Putin will disappoint Trump
President Trump has begun the biggest change to America's stance on China since Nixon. He conveyed that America cannot have friendly relations with China as long as North Korea is launching ballistic missiles with Xi Jinping's money. The tweet was nothing radical, only the truth.
It is time for truth-telling Trump to handle Russia the same way.
If China is held responsible for trading with North Korea, then what is the significance of North Korea's obtaining much of its military technology from Moscow?
Peter Pry is a "white hat" of the intelligence community (he has superb analysis debunking the "Russian hacking" theory here). He has two Ph.D.s, worked at the CIA as well as on nuclear weapons design, and has since worked with Congress and on spreading awareness of the threats America faces. He lays out the North Korean connection to Russia in detail. For instance, he points out that Russia sold North Korea submarines capable of holding nuclear missiles, which North Korea is eagerly preparing for use now. And how North Korea has multiple satellites orbiting directly over America on a trajectory and design based on some of Russia's deadliest weapons.
As President Trump pointed out, it was really Obama who covered for Russia. Maybe Obama's submissive attitude toward Russia has roots in his deeply felt relation to mentor Frank Marshall Davis, who had been a communist and an agent for Stalin. Before that, there was confused George Bush, who said Vladimir Putin was "straightforward and trustworthy" after looking "the man in the eye." And before that was appeasing Bill Clinton.
Trump had invited Xi down to Mar-a-Lago and was effusive about how well they got along. It took only three months before he shrewdly realized that Xi was playing opaque games with America. The same will happen with Russia.
When the time comes for Trump to shift American policy on Russia, there is no shortage of issues he can put under the spotlight. Putin claims to be a proponent of nationalism, but then why is it that less than a year ago, he sent Kim Jong-un a message extolling "[t]he glorious traditions of friendship and cooperation" between Russia and North Korea?
Putin should be smart enough to realize, as a "champion" of nationalism, that it is actually North Korea impinging upon the sovereignty of Japan and South Korea.
Eventually, it will become clear that Putin will not work with America to bring stability to Syria. Though politically unacceptable to most Republicans right now, the fact is that having a brutal Alawite dictator rule over a majority Sunni population is inherently unstable. It was Assad, after all, who was helping Sunni jihadists kill Americans all the way back in 2003. Then there is the striking fact that ISIS is actually getting its money from Assad, who is, of course, backed by Putin.
Putin claims that he is a warrior for Christianity who is obsessed with defeating Islamic terrorists. Trump will be able to point to Putin's support of Sunni terrorists Hamas. Some may claim that this is just a geopolitical thing relating to Jewish Israel. Then Trump can tweet, "Why does Putin sell arms to the Sunni government of Sudan while they commit genocide against Christians?"
President Trump has proven himself to be a fast learner both his entire life and as president. It was politically smart to have a good meeting with Putin in Hamburg. Eventually, America first, tell-it-like-it-is Trump is going to see how nefarious Putin's actions are and drag the country into acknowledging what Russia is for the first time in a long time.