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Iconic World War II battles, such as the horrific Kiev Pocket or the siege of Sebastopol, might have provided some context as to why Russia felt that Crimea and Ukraine resonated with the Russian people in way not fully understood in the United States.
The point is not advocacy of friendship or alliance with Putin’s Russia, and certainly not a renewal of the failed Obama-Clinton reset.
Russia’s semi-Western heritage, its Christian Orthodoxy, and its fears over unassimilated Muslim populations in theory might have offered shared incentives to check radical Islam.
Its worries that its border regions were being populated with nuclear powers — China, India, North Korea, Pakistan — might have made it interested in triangulating against nearby Iran, a would-be nuclear nation.
Obama himself even discounted the ability of Russia to do much to influence the election, whatever Russia’s real intent. policy to renounce all foreign interference in any nation’s sovereign’s elections? Liberal politicians and administrations in relatively recent times have interfered with both our own and foreign elections. In return, the Soviets would lend the Democratic party a hand in undermining Reagan’s chances of reelection.
In terms of Russia’s macabre history, Putin is a piker compared with Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin, who may have orchestrated the deaths of 20 million Russians.
But he is perhaps no more a murderer than are the Castro brothers in Cuba, with whom we have concluded a détente and who have no arsenal capable of destroying the U. Putin is no more or less trustworthy than are the Iranians, with whom in 2015 we cut a deal on nuclear proliferation and who are far more likely than the Russians to send a nuclear missile into Israel someday.
Putin’s brutal suppression of the press recalls the ongoing repression by President Recep Erdogan of Turkey — a linchpin member of NATO. The Communists still in control have the blood of 50 million Chinese dead on their hands from Mao’s brutal revolutions and genocides.
In theory, the United States, in realpolitik fashion, could be playing Russia off against other rivals and enemies to our advantage — now seeking temporary shared agendas, now in keen rivalry over irreconcilable differences.
The fact that Russia is the sole country in the world that always could destroy the United States has, since 1949, proved an incentive to U. administrations, particularly Democratic ones, to find some sort of wary realist accommodation with the Russians.