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Thursday, September 8, 2016
Trump praises murderous dictator as a better leader than Obama
At NBC's "Commander-in-Chief" forum in New York last night, Donald Trump praised Russia's murderous dictator Vladimir Putin, saying he was a better leader than Barack Obama.
It's not the first time that Trump has sung the praises of Putin, who is responsible for the murders and imprisonment of dozens of political rivals and opponents, journalists, businessmen, and activists.
Trump's praise of Putin and his suggestion that the United States and Russia form an alliance to defeat Islamic State militants could raise eyebrows among foreign policy experts who feel Moscow is interfering with efforts to stem the Syrian civil war.
"If he says great things about me, I'm going to say great things about him," Trump said of the Russian president. "Certainly in that system, he's been a leader, far more than our president has been."
Trump had called Obama "the founder of ISIS," an acronym for Islamic State, in stump speeches several weeks ago. The statement drew broad criticism, prompting him to take a more disciplined approach to campaigning. He has since picked up ground on Clinton in national opinion polls.
Trump also flirted with revealing what he had been learning in classified intelligence briefings given to him by U.S. officials because he is the Republican nominee.
"There was one thing that shocked me," Trump said. "What I did learn is that our leadership, Barack Obama, did not follow what our experts ... said to do, and I was very, very surprised. ...Our leaders were not following what they recommended."
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump pledged to launch a new U.S. military buildup, saying America was under threat like never before from foes like Islamist extremists, North Korea and China.
The issue isn't is Putin a stronger leader than Obama. A marmoset is a stronger leader than Obama. But why single out this thug for any praise whatsoever? Trump has no clue about Putin's strategic aims, which do not include destroying Islamic State. The notion of an alliance is laughable - something Putin, no doubt is doing every time Trump hints some kind of joint action against the terrorists. Putin wants ISIS to continue to bleed the US, making us expend precious resources in Iraq and Syria while making little headway in dislodging them from their strongholds. He also has little interest in a negotiated settlement in Syria until Russian intervention has solidified the regime of Bashar Assad and the rebels have been weakened considerably.
If Trump was going to hold up a leader of another country who is stronger than Obama, why not an ally? Why choose someone who is on the opposite side in Syria and the Ukraine where Putin's long term goal is annexation of most of that country? Putin is threatening our allies in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states and looks to destroy NATO. What is there to admire in this man who threatens the peace of the world so brazenly?
Trump's flirtation with Putin needs to end and he needs to see him for what he is; a threat to the US and our interests.