The Obama-Clinton collusion with Russia

Victor Davis Hanson:
Donald Trump has said a lot of silly stuff about Russia, from joking about Vladimir Putin helping to find Hillary’s deleted emails, to naïve musings about the extent of Russian interference into Western democratic elections. But far more important than what he has said is what Trump has done. That same caveat applies to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Start with two givens: Vladimir Putin is neither stupid nor content to watch an aging, shrinking, corrupt, and dysfunctional — but still large and nuclear — Russia recede to second- or third-power status. From 2009 to 2015, in one of the most remarkable and Machiavellian efforts in recent strategic history, Putin almost single-handedly parlayed a deserved losing hand into a winning one. He pulled this off by flattering, manipulating, threatening, and outsmarting an inept and politically obsessed Obama administration.

Under the Obama presidency and the tenures of Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, Russia made astounding strategic gains — given its intrinsic economic, social, and military weaknesses. The Obama reaction was usually incoherent (Putin was caricatured as a “bored kid in the back of the classroom” or as captive of a macho shtick). After each aggressive Russian act, the administration lectured that “it is not in Russia’s interest to . . . ” — as if Obama knew better than a thuggish Putin what was best for autocratic Russia.

A review of Russian inroads, presented in no particular order, is one of the more depressing chapters in post-war U.S. diplomatic history.

Just watching the film clip of Hillary Clinton presenting the red, plastic Jacuzzi button to Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva remains painful, more so than even George W. Bush’s simplistic, reassuring commentary after he looked into Putin’s eyes. Under the Obama-Clinton reset protocols, Russia was freed from even the mild sanctions installed by the Bush administration, imposed for its 2008 Ossetian aggressions. As thanks, in early 2014, Russia outright annexed Crimea. It used its newfound American partnership as an excuse to bully Europe on matters of energy and policy, confident that under American reset, it would face little NATO pushback.

Russia assumed de facto control over large sections of eastern Ukraine. Its aggression sent nations of Eastern Europe and the Baltic States into a panic and raised fears of another Ukrainian-like intervention — thereby wresting pro-Russians concessions on the premise that it was nearby and unpredictably dangerous while the U.S. was distant and predictably inert. Russia succeeded in helping to dismantle previously negotiated U.S. missile-defense arrangements with the Czech Republic and Poland.

Russia since 2013 had sought to interfere in U.S. elections with impunity, so much so that as late as October 18, 2016, on the eve of the anticipated Clinton landslide, Obama mocked any suggestion that an entity could ever successfully warp the outcome of a U.S. election. (“There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections. There’s no evidence that that has happened in the past or that it will happen this time, and so I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and make his case to get votes.”)
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There is much more.

I have often argued that Obama had an overrated intellect.  This piece by Hanson lays out the case in excruciating detail.  Obama and Clinton consistently underestimate Putin and Russia.  They went from one blunder to the next.  Only days before the election Obama was arguing that no one could rig the US election and when Clinton lost he and the rest of the Democrats flipped a switch and argued that the Russians had done it with Trump's help/  This point was argued with no proof.

The Democrats are still arguing it trying to find evidence to support an unverified dossier made up of third-hand Russian hearsay.  There is no evidence to support the dossier.

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