There are times when I cannot make up my mind as to whether our president is the world’s canniest con man or a world-class narcissist. I have implied as much many times on these pages. But last week, at the end of the G-7 conference in France, I finally caught on.
Trump is simply an old-fashioned fool, with a particular hatred for former president Obama.
At the conclusion of the conference, Mr. Trump spoke long and lovingly about himself and his many great accomplishments as president, while once again castigating Obama’s abject failures, including letting Vladimir Putin outwit him by taking over the Crimea in 2014.
“President Obama was pure and simply outsmarted,” Trump said. “They took Crimea during his term. That was not a good thing. It could have been stopped, it could have been stopped with the right, whatever. It could have been stopped, but President Obama was unable to stop it, and it’s too bad.”
Once again, Trump demonstrated his dangerous ignorance of how the real world works. If Putin wanted the Crimea back into the Russian embrace, so be it. After all, it had long been a strategic part of the Russian/Soviet empire.
No American president would have attempted to use military means to stop him. Harsh words, yes; military deployment, no.
The First Commandment of the Cold War from Eisenhower to H.W. Bush was never risk a shooting war between the United States and the Soviet Union … or, later, Russia. At the time of the Crimean takeover, Russia had roughly 5,000 nuclear weapons, as did we.
Virtually everyone engaged in foreign affairs, whether American or Russian or any other country, understood that Americans and Russians could not risk another Cuban Missile Crisis, for fear that it could quickly escalate into tens of millions of deaths. Or worse.
To be sure, with Trump in the White House, such a life-or-death crisis with Russia is not likely. After all, our president and the Master of the Kremlin, seem to share a fondness and even an admiration for a similar value system, sometimes labeled “despotism.”
Mike Moore, Green Valley