So, you still believe there was some nefarious interference by the Russian government, with Vladimir Putin's personal OK to help defeat Hilary Clinton and elect Donald Trump?
The theory Putin didn't like Hilary is easy enough to believe. She was easily the most dislikeable candidate in our lifetime. Nonetheless, that premise was always absurd.
Putin must have been perfectly happy with the status quo — Hilary. Trump, with no political (let alone foreign policy) record, and repeatedly said he would, "bomb the s**t out of ISIS," was an unpredictable wildcard.
Hilary's campaign was about Trump's instability and unfitness for office.
Trump was indeed an unknown.
Putin preferred a volatile, unknown wildcard over the status-quo he'd ridden roughshod over for years?
The foreign affairs failures of the Obama administration would fill volumes.
Hilary Clinton crafted those policies during the first four years. She supported them the next four years. During the campaign, she promised more of the same broken policies.
Hilary Clinton hit the "reset" button to repair the relationship between the U.S. and Russia, leading to a Russian renaissance under Putin's leadership, and further deteriorating Russian-American relations.
President Obama warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, that the use of chemical weapons "would be a red line that would change my calculus."
Obama was clear using chemical weapons would result in a military response.
Later that year over 1,400 Syrian civilians were killed in multiple chemical weapon attacks, violating the Geneva Convention. U.N., British, French, and American
Intelligence concluded the attacks were "most likely" or have "high confidence" they were conducted by the Assad regime.
President Obama vacillated, first seeking authorization for the use of military force from Congress, then requesting to postpone the vote to pursue diplomatic solutions.
Obama ultimately decided against military action.
Obama's "red line" remark and lack of action, was a mistake.
Obama former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in his book, "Worthy Fights," wrote, "The power of the U.S. rests on its word. Assad's actions clearly defied President Obama's warning. By failing to respond, it sent the wrong message to the world."
It also allowed the Russians to gain a foothold in the Mideast and Putin to become the main powerbroker. The Russians obtained concessions from Syria resulting in their agreement to turn over all chemical weapons for destruction.
The Russians gain ground and air assets in Syria under the pretense of fighting ISIS.
By July 2014, all Assad's chemical weapons were thought completely removed from Syria.
Putin's role in Syria was a prime factor in his selection as runner-up for Time Magazine's "2014 Person of the Year."
During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Donald Trump campaigned saying we are better off letting the Russians stabilize the region. He repeatedly stated Moscow might be in a more superior position than Washington, D.C. to influence changes in Syria. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, called for expanding U.S. airstrikes in Syria.
That brings us to the present. Chemical weapons were used again in a rebel-held area of northern Syria. The Assad government claimed innocence, stating they bombed a rebel chemical weapons storehouse.
Russia backed the Syrian government story, prompting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to comment, "Either Russia has been complicit or simply incompetent," referring to Moscow's inability to prevent the Syrian government from using chemical weapons despite the 2013 agreement to remove them from the country.
Independent reports state this is impossible. American intelligence may have footage of the chemical weapons launch.
Thus far, 84 are dead, including 30 children and 20 women.
Apparently, pictures and video of young infants suffering from the chemicals had a profound impact on Trump. The president stated, "That crosses many, many lines; beyond just a red-line."
Despite campaigning on staying out of such foreign entanglements, President Trump quickly responded 180 degrees differently than as a candidate. He ordered targeted missile attacks on the chemical weapon launch sites.
The actions send a loud message to bad actors including Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Russia (given an hour notice before the bombing to get out of the way).
Assad's ignoring the agreement made via the Russians, use of chemical weapons again, and Trump's willingness to do what Obama would not, means for now at least, Vladimir Putin is dislodged as the central player in the Mideast. Trump can reassert U.S. leadership by following the missiles with immediate worldwide diplomatic efforts.
Yup, just as Vladimir Putin planned during the election.
This tragic incident demonstrates why the Russians prefer the status-quo; Hillary, the previous administration's secretary of state: Not Trump, the unpredictable wildcard.
Andy Bloom is a former communications director for Rep. Michael R. Turner, R-Ohio, and as operations manager oversaw content for Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, and Sports Radio 94 WIP, Philadelphia for eight years. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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