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Russia Baiters and Putin Haters

“Is Russia an enemy of the United States?” NBC’s Kasie Hunt demanded of Ted Cruz. Replied the runner-up for the GOP nomination, “Russia is a significant adversary. Putin is a KGB thug.”

To Hillary Clinton running mate Tim Kaine, the revelation that Donald Trump Jr., entertained an offer from the Russians for dirt on Clinton could be considered “treason.”
Treason is giving aid and comfort to an enemy in a time of war.

Are we really at war with Russia? Is Russia really our enemy?

“Why Russia is a Hostile Power” is the title of today’s editorial in The Washington Post that seeks to explain why Middle America should embrace the Russophobia of our capital city:


“Vladimir Putin adheres to a set of values that are antithetical to bedrock American values. He favors spheres of influence over self-determination; corruption over transparency; and repression over democracy.”

Yet, accommodating a sphere of influence for a great power is exactly what FDR and Churchill did with Stalin, and every president from Truman to George H. W. Bush did with the Soviet Union.

When East Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Poles rose up against Communist regimes, no U.S. president intervened. For those nations were on the other side of the Yalta line agreed to in 1945.

Bush I and James Baker even accused Ukrainians of “suicidal nationalism” for contemplating independence from Russia.

When did support for spheres of influence become un-American?

As for supporting “corruption over transparency,” ex-Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili resigned in disgust as governor of Odessa in November, accusing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, our man in Kiev, of supporting corruption.

As for favoring “repression over democracy,” would that not apply to our NATO ally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, our Arab ally Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, and our Philippine ally Rodrigo Duterte? Were U.S. Cold War allies like the Shah of Iran and Gen. Augusto Pinochet of Chile all Jeffersonian Democrats? Have we forgotten our recent history?

The Post brought up the death in prison of lawyer-activist Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. Under the Magnitsky Act of 2012, Congress voted sanctions on Russia’s elites.

Yet China’s lone Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, sentenced to 11 years in prison for championing democracy, died Thursday of liver cancer, with police in his hospital room. Communist dictator Xi Jinping, who makes Putin look like Justin Trudeau, would not let the dying man go.

Will Magnitsky Act sanctions be slammed on China? Don’t bet on it. Too much trade. Congress will do what comes naturally — kowtow. Yet our heroic Senate voted 98-2 to slam new sanctions on Russia.

What are the roots of this hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin, whom a Fox analyst called “as bad as Hitler”?

During the Cold War, every president sought detente with a USSR that was arguably the most blood-soaked regime of the century.

When the Cold War ended in December 1991, the Soviet Union had dissolved into 15 nations. Moscow had given up her empire, a third of her territory, and half the population of the USSR. Marxist-Leninist ideology was dead. An epochal change had taken place.
Yet hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin seem to exceed anything some of us remember from the worst days of the Cold War.

Putin’s Russia is called imperialist, though Estonia, next door, which Russia could swallow in one gulp, has been free for 25 years.

Russia invaded Georgia. Well, yes, after Georgia invaded the seceded province of South Ossetia and killed Russian peacekeepers.

Russia has taken back Crimea from Ukraine. True, but only after a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev replaced the elected pro-Russian regime.

Russia has intervened to back Bashar Assad in Syria. Yes, but only after our insurgent allies collaborated with al-Qaida and ISIS to bring him down. Is Russia not allowed to support an ally, recognized by the U.N., which provides its only naval base on the Med?
Russia has meddled in our election. And we have meddled in the affairs of half a dozen nations with “color-coded revolutions.” The cry of “regime change!” may daily be heard in the U.S. Capitol.

Putin is not Pope Francis. But he is not Stalin; he is not Hitler; he is not Mao; and Russia today is not the USSR. Putin is an autocrat cut from the same bolt of cloth as the Romanov czars.

His cooperation is crucial to the peace of the world, the freedom of the Baltic States, an end to the Syrian civil war, tranquility in the Persian Gulf, and solving the North Korean crisis.

While our tectonic plates may rub against one another, we are natural allies. The Russia of Tolstoy, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn and the Orthodox Church belongs with the West.

If America stumbles into a war with Russia that all our Cold War presidents avoided, the Russia baiters and Putin haters will be put in same circle of hell by history as the idiot war hawks of 1914 and the three blind men of Versailles in 1919.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book
, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

39 Comments (Open | Close)

39 Comments To "Russia Baiters and Putin Haters"

#1 Comment By Kurt Gayle On July 13, 2017 @ 10:18 pm

One of your finest and most important columns, Brother Pat.

#2 Comment By Bob K. On July 14, 2017 @ 12:05 am

Putin has youth on his side compared to the old fools in our Senate who are the Russia Baiters and Putin haters.

If only we could get the cheap labor from the Russians that we get from the Communist government of China! Then perhaps we could have “free trade” with them with the resultant profits it would provide our entreprenurial class along with their political contributions to our political class!

#3 Comment By Billdes On July 14, 2017 @ 1:13 am

Amen Pat. The anti-Russia hysteria being propagated by Washington, the deep state and 80% of our media which is either leftist or globalist is pure madness.

#4 Comment By Oleg On July 14, 2017 @ 4:20 am

“Why we have forgotten our recent history?” because you don’t have long. And if it were, then you would have distorted and defiled…and then still forgot, because in your story, even a short of 240 years. You – country boil, country the plague, the country is a plague on the body of the planet, sprawling and devouring every living thing…that is your story.

#5 Comment By Aidar On July 14, 2017 @ 4:48 am

Fake news

#6 Comment By bkh On July 14, 2017 @ 7:47 am

No, Russia is not an enemy we should worry about. Our enemies come from within. We are destroying ourselves.

#7 Comment By MikeCLT On July 14, 2017 @ 8:00 am

“Communist dictator Xi Jinping, who makes Putin look like Justin Trudeau…”

Absolutely correct. War with Russia would be madness.

#8 Comment By Chris in Appalachia On July 14, 2017 @ 8:06 am

If it weren’t for Putin keeping the power in check of the US-Israel-Saudi Axis of Evil, and their EU puppets – who else would? And, of course, the Washington Post is part of that Axis.

People, if you just take a minute to watch and listen you can see who the teams are and who they are against. If the my fellow Americans had a memory that went back more than six months they could piece this all together and see who has acted in concert to make the world the ball of fire that it is today.

#9 Comment By Fred Bowman On July 14, 2017 @ 8:45 am

One wonders who is profiting from all this Russia baiting-Putin baiting? I suspect it the same old Imperialistic crowd that wants to keep it’s “Cash Cow” going, while the Republic “rots” from neglect.

#10 Comment By collin On July 14, 2017 @ 9:07 am

“Why Russia is a Hostile Power”

No we don’t want war with Russia and he is not Hilter/Mao, etc. However, his actions in Ukraine and Syria are aggressive and counter-productive.

Also, since it is increasingly clear they made moves against the Democrats in 2016 with assumption we have only seen ~30% of the evidence, it is hard to look upon them as an ally.

#11 Comment By Colonel Bogey On July 14, 2017 @ 10:28 am

You are correct, as usual, Pat

#12 Comment By Michael Kenny On July 14, 2017 @ 10:31 am

As always, Mr Buchanan is essentially preaching US hegemony dressed up as non-intervention. Putin should be given his “reward” in Ukraine because he’s doing things that, in Mr Buchanan’s view, suit the US. That postulates two things: first of all, Ukrainians have no human rights. The US is perfectly entitled to give away all or part of their country if it suits US interests to do so. That postulates Americans, or at very least, white Americans, as a sort of “master race”, entitled to dispose of “inferior peoples” as if they were their chattels. But why should people descended from Europeans be a master race when those very same European peoples are being defined as inferior? There’s no logic there. Secondly, Mr Buchanan postulates that Putin is an American stooge. He’s not “entitled” to anything, any more than the Ukrainians. As long as he remains an American “asset”, he is to be given such reward as the US cares to vouchsafe him for pursuing policies favourable to the US. Of course, the day he becomes a liability to the US, he should logically be overthrown. Mr Buchanan’s ideology is thus “America against the world”. That will work only as long as the US that power to impose its will by brute force. But American power is declining and the refusal to stand up to Putin is contributing mightily to that decline.

#13 Comment By AJ On July 14, 2017 @ 10:34 am

The Russia of Tolstoy, Pushkin, Solzhenitsyn and the Orthodox Church belongs with the West.

And of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Mussgorsky, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Russia, an integral part of Western Civilization.

#14 Comment By Will Harrington On July 14, 2017 @ 10:56 am

“Have we forgotten our recent history?”

Yes, and I can’t help but think it is intentional. Notice our news services, They heavily curate which stories they will present and then tend to present them as discreet episodes with no real connection to what has gone before.

#15 Comment By EliteCommInc. On July 14, 2017 @ 1:31 pm

Sounds very sound to me.

#16 Comment By bt On July 14, 2017 @ 3:32 pm

Russia is a problem for America, and that’s because they don’t like us.

Putin has an obvious axe to grind with regards to the loss of the Soviet Union and America’s ascendancy, he stated it clearly and often. They blame us for their lost glory, and if you look at how we acted during the Yeltsin era, I almost can’t blame them for feeling this way. Consequently, they have shown they will try to undermine our country at every opportunity, as this recent election so obviously demonstrates.

We don’t need a lot name-calling, there’s no point in labeling them our “enemy”. It’s very W Bush-like, always trying to frame things as a good vs evil battle for the fate of mankind – it’s a nearly childish view of the world. We are a country, we have interests and goals. So do the Russians. We need competent leaders to chart the course. Let’s move on.

Oh, and, by the way, our incompetent President, elected with help from Russia, needs to go.

I suspect that there are boat-loads of Schadenfreude in the world at large to see Americans finally get a taste of regime-change at the hands of another country. There’s a lesson there if anyone wants to look for it.

#17 Comment By nick On July 14, 2017 @ 3:37 pm

The article is a case study in “whataboutism.”

#18 Comment By Peter On July 14, 2017 @ 4:03 pm

Mr. Buchanan is right: Russia is not the enemy.
Most of those who read The American Conservative understand the reality.
Unfortunately, the majority of the public only know the fake news propagated by the mercenary media, and by those who profit from the military-industrial-complex.

#19 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On July 14, 2017 @ 4:12 pm

“Hostile power” is a foreign policy term of art. There are hostile powers and there are hostile powers. The USSR was the ultimate worst kind of hostile power; post-communist Russia isn’t remotely that kind of hostile power. Only because it has hundreds of nukes and is unfriendly to American-style democracy-exporting (so ruinous to Russia in the 1990s) can Russia today even be called “hostile.” That’s not saying much. Pipe down, John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

#20 Comment By nick On July 14, 2017 @ 4:13 pm

Peter, Russia’s allies are Iran and Syria, who we have historically considered state sponsors of terror. Do you not believe this to be the case?

#21 Comment By jack bowen On July 14, 2017 @ 4:19 pm

Pat gets it right as usual. Keep on doing it, Pat. I always turn to you and a few others for sound information and a broad and historical perspective. Thanks a lot for staying after the poseurs and Idiot War Hawks.

#22 Comment By Peter On July 14, 2017 @ 4:28 pm

Nick: I know that ” Iran and Syria .. have been historically considered state sponsors of terror”.
Which acts of terror sponsored by Iran or Syria have been perpetrated against us – the US?
My observation is that all acts of terrorism have been perpetrated by Sunnis – against us, against other Western countries (including Russia) and against Shia.
Iran and Syria happen to be Shia (or Alawite – secular).

#23 Comment By DrDubious On July 14, 2017 @ 5:20 pm

Pat’s bromance with Putin continues apace.

He congratulates Putin for having the restraint not to invade Estonia for 25 whole years! But there’s no mention of Russia’s cyber-attack on Estonia in 2007. Meanwhile, just last week a NATO video commemorating the “Forest Brothers”, resistance fighters who defended their Baltic homelands against the Red Army in the 1940s, is attacked by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin as evidence of “Nazi remnants” in NATO.

I could go on, but res ipsa loquitur. Pat clearly admires Putin’s thuggish nationalism and cynical religiosity, and will concoct a “yes, but …” apologia for anything he does. No doubt Pat wishes Trump could deal with his political opponents as firmly (to say the very least) as Putin has. But when one’s arguments are reduced to “He’s not Hitler; he’s not Stalin; no, he’s a Romanov czar!” it’s past time to move on.

#24 Comment By John S On July 14, 2017 @ 6:37 pm

“Are we really at war with Russia? Is Russia really our enemy?”

Firstly, I know of no other country that:

1. Has thousands of nukes pointed at us.
2. Is gleefully stoking political chaos here.
3. Aggressively attacks our NATO alliance
4. Has started a war in Europe, undercutting our ability to negotiate nuclear disarmament
5. Murders political enemies on the soil of our allies.

The list goes on.

Secondly, what practical actions could be taken through an alliance with the Russians? They are not fighting ISIS, so there’s nothing for us to do together on that score. Should we assist in the targeting of hospitals and schools in Syria?

#25 Comment By SteveK9 On July 14, 2017 @ 8:40 pm

Putin is the greatest statesman in the World today. He is widely respected and is on good terms with almost everyone (even Trump), and genuinely seems to be trying to make the World better. Take a look at the leaders has has met and meets on a regular basis.

He will undoubtedly go down in History as one of Russia’s greatest leaders. After the disastrous Yeltsin years, he really is the ‘man who saved Russia’.

Xi Jinping brings up the second place, with the ‘one belt, one road initiative’. It’s truly dismaying that the two leaders who seem to be trying to move the World forward are from Russia and China. Who would have believed it?

#26 Comment By Joe the Plutocrat On July 15, 2017 @ 12:48 am

it’s a sad day for TAC and a sad day for the Republic.

#27 Comment By Garric On July 15, 2017 @ 2:40 am

The writing about “Russian threat” becomes mostly deal for American business after WWII.
Sometimes it seems, that West manage to believe their own fabrications and intimidate themselves.

#28 Comment By EliteCommInc. On July 15, 2017 @ 5:35 am

“The article is a case study in “whataboutism.”

Sure considers like events and circumstances. Clearly circumstances may differ, but the the point about ” whataboutism is just when examining thee similar situations, what about causes to consider a different course of action. That’s not a unique method of analysis.

“My observation is that all acts of terrorism have been perpetrated by Sunnis – against us, against other Western countries (including Russia) and against Shia.

Iran and Syria happen to be Shia (or Alawite – secular).”

First the Sunnis are a diverse group.

Second, of the out of state actors, only 9/11 was an act committed by primarily the Sunnis and Saudi Arabia is not known to have anything to do with it.

Third, the US territory was invaded by Iranians when they captured our embassy.

Fourth, I am going by memory here, but the Marine Barracks in Lebanon was an act by Shia

9/11 has shifted the culprits, but I have yet seen a case in which the Saudis actively participated in acts of violence against the US. There’s a lot invested in making ISIS some manner of global threat. The evidence strongly suggests they have no global ambitions, their struggle is regional and local. And while they have made claims to attack the US, there’s an obvious reason(s): we are engaged in warfare there.

#29 Comment By foreign agents On July 15, 2017 @ 7:16 am

I notice that this weirdo who arranged the meeting between Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer/lobbyist had failed to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). And indeed, if any good is to come of this “Russian interference” business, it must be in the form of reinvigorated enforcement of the Espionage Act and FARA.

The FBI and DOJ were made to stand down on enforcement of these laws in order to shield groups like the America Israel Political Action Committee and others who support foreign interests that make large campaign donations to American politicians. But they are vital to keeping foreigners and foreign agents from interfering in our political process.

They should be revived and vigorously enforced – big prosecutions and long prison sentences. The Republic has been subverted and damaged by the action of these foreign lobbyists for far too long. Shut them all down for good.

#30 Comment By Andrei On July 15, 2017 @ 8:42 am

A KGB agent is helping the United States to live long and prosper. Right? What an idiotic set of “arguments”. This is disgraceful.

It’s bad enough that the “Conservatives” shed any pretense of being all about “morals” and “family values”, they are now Communist apologists.

Ukraine thought the “brotherly nation” to the East would never stab it in the back. Wrong. But hey, the United States – it’s cool. It’s safe. This is fine.

Let’s just spell out what Buchanan REALLY wants to say, SHALL WE?

Here it comes: Putin, the only Christian Crusader with a big army left (for he is a man of God, obviously), helped elect Trump, to save America from the plague that is the Brown peoples. Therefore, we are one.

#31 Comment By Dave Skerry On July 15, 2017 @ 9:33 am

Great article. Any how, who wants an enemy willing to sacrifice
15 million citizens to protect their homeland.

#32 Comment By Lee On July 15, 2017 @ 12:00 pm

When it comes to describing “America” there is no “We” there is only “Them”, and “They” are not “Us.”

#33 Comment By Ben Stone On July 15, 2017 @ 1:21 pm

The country of Russia literally attacked the United States federal election to install a puppet. And act far more deadly and nefarious than Pearl Harbor could have ever dreamed of being. You are a Quisling traitor.

#34 Comment By Edward bishop On July 15, 2017 @ 3:09 pm

The influence Putin has exercised in our last presidential election comes down to rhetoric from Putin himself. His apparent priorities, decisions, and speeches all appeal to conservatives in the USA more than the Democratic party appeals to conservatives. This is at least part of the reason for the 24-7 news coverage of the Russians as enemies. It covers up trumps victory, goals, and the bully pulpit at the same time as it forces people to shy away from russia.

#35 Comment By Mikhailo Lomonosov On July 15, 2017 @ 4:24 pm

I’m Russian, I’m fluent in English and I can say one thing. We’re tired of the Cold War attitude and aggressiveness preached from your capital city. It seems as if all warmongers, conspiracy theory lovers, paranoids and imperialists have concentrated in Middle America and wish nothing else but take over the world. You say Russia can’t let you live? It’s exactly the opposite: your politicians want to control what is happening in every corner of the Earth, under every tree leaf and grass lawn. It’s not us poking our nose into your business (the idea seems laughable at best), it’s you poking your nose in our business and telling us what to do, what to think and how to live. Just pay attention to what your politicians say for once. Sometimes it seems if the U.S. expected the world to be their colony (you have exceeded us in this, the USSR was more modest despite all “occupations”). Most Russians and even the Russian government doesn’t care what’s happening in your country, we want to have normal relations and trade with you, you’re not our enemy. Most Russians would like to do business with the U.S. and other countries, it helps our economy grow. We don’t dream of world domination. Strangely, it’s you who is constantly trying to change the government in every state and punish the “bad guys”. Are you really the good guys? You r government has already caused the death of 1,000,000 Iraqis in this century alone. And for what? The result was the creation of the ISIL. So with all this ,you expect everyone to love you and lick the boots of your troops? Or us to praise America when your MSM and the MSM of your “allies” when they brainwash their population that Russians are bad Mongoloids who want to murder them, and that every Russian living in their country for whatever reason is dangerous? But we don’t hate you. God be your judge. If you are as angelic as your leaders claim you to be, you have nothing to fear. If not, let God show mercy on your souls.

PS For those preaching human rights for poor Ukrainians, please, preach human rights for the victims of their Bandera, today this is their No. 1 hero.

PSS Buchanan is wrong about the USSR being the most brutal regime of the 20th century. Stalin repressions created 5 million victims (most were sent to prison camps, only 1/3 of them executed) according to the KGB archives data from the 1990s. Nazi (Hitler’s) regime destroyed 6 million Jews in 1940s only, consult any textbook of modern history.

#36 Comment By Gregory On July 15, 2017 @ 8:28 pm

>Which acts of terror sponsored by Iran or Syria have been perpetrated against us – the US?

Iran has been major source of arms, equipment and training for Shiite militias in Iran. The technology for EFP IEDs which appeared in Iraq in mid-2000s came from there. They bear responsibility for deaths of hundreds if not thousands of US soldiers and marines.

Going further back in history, Hezbollah (Iranian client militia) has carried out multiple attacks against United States – including Beirut barrack bombing, attacks on US embassy and plane hijacking.

#37 Comment By Whine Merchant On July 16, 2017 @ 3:05 am

“Yet hostility to Russia and hatred of Putin seem to exceed anything some of us remember from the worst days of the Cold War.”

That’s pretty serious revisionism, Pat, or maybe your memory really has gone the way of Pat Robertson. Weren’t you one of your pal Tricky Dickie’s principal red-baiting witch-finders?

#38 Comment By Aaron On July 16, 2017 @ 11:34 pm

These election interference comments are silly. I only saw one persons actions in the voting booth. Mine. And given who won, I’m pretty sure my vote was counted.

I thank god it was Trump and not Hillary.

#39 Comment By SLAVIC CHRISTIAN SOCIETY On August 30, 2017 @ 11:16 am

USA…GREAT AMERICANS…1776-1865-1968

[George Washington’s Farewell Address]

[Abraham Lincoln…with-malice-toward-none…]

[Martin Luther King, Jr.]


[…In practice, Russia’s backing of the First League of Armed Neutrality meant that other countries could engage in peaceful trade with the United States without having to worry about being blockaded or attacked by the British navy. This meant that the American rebels could keep getting crucial supplies from Europe, a factor that enabled them to stay in the war until defeating Great Britain….]

[Civil War…Paducah…Russians…]

[…Fortunately, Britain and France backed down before the Russian presence. The Laird rams never made it into Confederate hands, and the Union was saved.]

[The Russian Navy’s Landmark Visit to Civil War San Francisco]

[…The United States of America became an Arctic nation upon the purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867….]

[MARSHAL ZHUKOV – THE MAN WHO BEAT HITLER “Georgi Zhukov was a great general in the most devastating war in history. General Eisenhower said the world owed a greater debt to Zhukov than to any other military figure for the victory over Nazi Germany.”]