Liberal pundits consistently act shocked that Donald Trump seems not to regard Russia as America’s sworn enemy. Their stance, though, is inexplicable to me. When, pray tell, did Russia become our implacable foe? In what sense, exactly, does Russia threaten the United States?
Listening to these pundits, you’d think we were still fighting the Cold War. For over four decades the Soviet Union posed an existential threat to the United States. Committed to Marxist ideology, the USSR fomented worldwide revolution and sought the annihilation of capitalism. The United States – as capitalism’s torchbearer – was thus the USSR’s greatest enemy.
The Cold War, though, is over. Russia may not be a modern democracy, but it no longer embraces communism and no longer hosts an intelligence apparatus promoting proletariat revolutions around the globe. In other words, Russia poses no direct threat to the United States – or even Western Europe for that matter. At best, it poses a threat to some of the old Soviet satellite states. But a threat to Estonia, Latvia, or Ukraine is not a threat to the Unites States.
What should concern liberal “elites” is radical Islam – or, as some would call it, traditional Islam. Like the old USSR, radical Islam dreams of global domination and sees the United States as the cradle of evil on this earth. Tens, if not hundreds, of millions of Muslims dream of America’s destruction and nearly every week now we read of a member of the “religion of peace” slaughtering people in the name of Allah as part of a worldwide jihad against the West.
But liberals say virtually nothing about radical Islam. When a Muslim slits the throat of a Catholic priest in France, the Democrats can’t even deign to mention it at their convention. But Trump’s Russia comments? Those apparently are too important to ignore.
Saudi Arabia is arguably the world’s largest exporter of terrorism, yet we treat its leaders as friends. Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism and may soon become a nuclear power, yet we give it $150 billion. China – with leaders as fanatical and steel-willed as those who led Japan in 1941 and who may very well launch World War III one day – is also handled with kids’ gloves by our pundits and leaders. But Russia? This country apparently deserves our unreserved enmity.
We need to get smart, as Trump would say. Russia has zero designs on the Western world. At worst, Vladimir Putin wants to restore Russia to its former glory under the czars. In the meantime, he hates radical Islam. So why not ally with him in crushing this cancer? Why treat him as a pariah? George W. Bush famously got along with him. Why can’t this president – or the next one?
My point is simple: Russia is not the Soviet Union. Let’s stop living in the past, and let’s start opening our eyes to our true enemies.
Elliot Resnick is an editor and writer for The Jewish Press and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape.”