President Trump’s critics seem to have their wish.The Cold War is on again!
Over the last few days, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a series of new superweapons.Among those weapons is what he called an “invincible,” nuclear-capable, intercontinental cruise missile that travels at 20 times the speed of sound.He said, “No defense systems will be able to withstand it.”
According to Russian media, the so-called “Satan 2” can wipe out an area the size of Texas or France.Putin also showed off next-generation ICBMs, underwater drones, and nuclear depth charges.Russia recently announced development of a nuclear-armed torpedo that can take out aircraft carriers as well as coastal cities.
“Efforts to contain Russia have failed, face it,” Putin said.
There is good evidence that Russia is at least close to putting these new devices into production.The US must assume that the weapons are as capable as advertised.That means a new arms race, and a far more dangerous world.
Donald J. Trump is not a traditional conservative.In the past, conservatives tended to take a hard line with the Russians and, before that, with the Soviet Union.Liberals, on the other hand, emphasized the need for communication and cooperation.Clearly, there are appropriate situations for each of those approaches.
Before the Trump presidential campaign, you could usually guess where someone stood on Russia by looking at their other political positions.That’s still true in 2018, but the roles have been reversed.Trump and a new generation of conservatives want friendship and cooperation with Russia — the liberals seem itching for a fight.
The Trump Administration, and before that, the Trump campaign, were roundly criticized for not being tough enough on Russia.During 2016, Trump told Bill O’Reilly, “If we can make a great deal for our country and get along with Russia that would be a tremendous thing.I would love to try it.”
In July of that year, he said, “I would treat Vladimir Putin firmly, but there’s nothing I can think of that I’d rather do than have Russia friendly.”Later, he said, “Wouldn’t it be a great thing if we could get along with Russia?”
In an October debate, Hillary Clinton called Trump, Putin’s “puppet.”In that same debate, Trump accused Clinton of playing a game of nuclear “chicken” with the Russians.
So, Donald Trump, champion of conservatives, has tried to take a relatively liberal position concerning Putin and the Russians.At the same time, liberals have suddenly decided it’s time to get tough with Russia.They accuse Trump of going easy on Putin.They claim his softer approach comes from making a deal with Putin to help him get elected — the so-called Russian collusion.The problem is that their best evidence so far does not hold up.
Much of the media agrees with the liberals that the President’s peaceful overtures to Russia raise a red flag.CNN ran a long article that included 80 quotes of Trump talking positively about Putin.The quotes started in 2013 when Trump, the owner of the Miss Universe pageant, held that pageant in Moscow.
Most of the 2016 quotes come from the campaign trail.All politicians use a standard stump speech, and Trump’s standard speech called for America to try to work cooperatively with Russia.But CNN said, “His glowing statements on Putin have become central in stoking the suspicion that he and his campaign were somehow connected to Russian interference in the election.”
So far in his dealings with Moscow, President Trump has shown no evidence of wanting to give away the store — as have some of his predecessors.If he or she does not diminish America’s strategic position, a President should be allowed to work toward a peaceful relationship with a former enemy without being called a traitor.Calling for peaceful negotiation should not be seen as evidence of illegal collusion.
These Russian next-generation weapons have been in the works for years, if not decades.That means we can’t blame them on President Trump, or his critics.But it clearly hurts the US position when any overture of peace the President may extend toward Russia is presented to the US public as a sign of collusion.
Russia’s new superweapons, along with those of China, are quickly changing the world’s balance of power.The Russians’ cyber campaign to disrupt US elections, along with this massive new upgrade to their weapons of mass destruction, mean that Trump will have to deal with them as enemies before he can work with them as friends.
And make no mistake, they are a formidable enemy.Bible prophecy presents Russia as one of the major players on the world stage during the last days — capable of quickly unleashing awesome destructive force.
Like the United States, Israel has a whole arsenal of missile defense systems — all of them apparently made obsolete by Russia’s new missiles.In fact, the Bible says that Russia’s future attack on Israel will not be stopped by human military might.They will be defeated by God Himself.
In a move that will likely prompt more calls for collusion, Russia's President Vladimir Putin offered more words of praise for President Trump on Wednesday, but added that he was sorely disappointed with the U.S. political system, saying that it has been "eating itself up."
Speaking in an interview with Russian state television, Putin lavished Trump with praise, describing him as a great communicator: "I have no disappointment at all," Putin said according to AP, when asked about the U.S. president. "Moreover, on a personal level he made a very good impression on me."
Putin also praised Trump as a "balanced" man, who easily gets into the gist of various issues and listens to his interlocutor. "It's possible to negotiate with him, to search for compromises," Putin added.
The two leaders met on the sidelines of international summits last year.
The Russian president also noted that he spent some time talking to Melania Trump when he sat next to her during an official dinner at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany in July. The Russian leader said he told her and the wife of the Italian premier "about Siberia and Kamchatka, about fishing ... about bears on Kamchatka and tigers in the Far East."
"I made some exaggerations," the action-loving Russian leader said with a grin. "When you talk about fishing, you can't help exaggerating."
Asked jokingly by the interviewer if he was trying to recruit the women, the KGB veteran responded by saying: "No, I stopped dealing with that a long time ago." He added with a smile: "But I liked doing that, it was my job for many years."
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Putin then changed the topic, and vented his frustration with the U.S. political system saying "it has demonstrated its inefficiency and has been eating itself up."
"It's quite difficult to interact with such a system, because it's unpredictable," Putin said.
Russian hopes for a detente and better ties with Washington have been dashed by the ongoing congressional and FBI investigations into allegations of collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia. Speaking about the bitter tensions in Russia-West relations, Putin said they have been rooted in Western efforts to contain and weaken Russia.
"We are a great power, and no one likes competition," he said.
Turning his attention to a particularly sensitive topic, Putin said he was dismayed by what he described as the U.S. role in the ouster of Ukraine's Russia-friendly president in February 2014 amid massive protests.
Putin charged that the U.S. had asked Russia to help persuade then-President Viktor Yanukovych not to use force against protesters and then "rudely and blatantly" cheated Russia, sponsoring what he called a "coup." Russia responded by rushing through a referendum in Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, whose result was an overwhelming majority voting to join Russia.
"Few expected us to act so quickly and so resolutely, not to say daringly," Putin said.
He described the Western sanctions over Crimea and the insurgency in eastern Ukraine as part of "illegitimate and unfair" efforts to contain Russia, adding that "we will win in the long run." He added that "those who serve us with poison will eventually swallow it and poison themselves."
Responding to a question about Russia's growing global leverage, Putin responded: "If we play strongly with weak cards, it means the others are just poor players, they aren't as strong as it seemed, they must be lacking something."
Finally, Putin, who presented a sweeping array of new Russian nuclear weapons last week, voiced hope that nuclear weapons will never be used — but warned that Russia will retaliate in kind if it comes under a nuclear attack.
"The decision to use nuclear weapons can only be made if our early warning system not only detects a missile launch but clearly forecasts its flight path and the time when warheads reach the Russian territory," he said. "If someone makes a decision to destroy Russia, then we have a legitimate right to respond."
He concluded ominously: "Yes, it will mean a global catastrophe for mankind, for the entire world. But as a citizen of Russia and the head of Russian state I would ask: What is such a world for, if there were no Russia?"