I've been flooded with responses, almost all positive, since my recent column "Tucker Carlson's Putin Play Mirrors Hitler Appeasement."
It's indeed worrisome for many that Fox News’ lead host has become such an ardent defender of Vladimir Putin, criticizing the U.S. while defending the Russian dictator’s territorial ambitions by saying he "just wants to keep his western border secure."
In his recent Fox monologue, Carlson alleges that Putin is simply threatened by the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO. Carlson even wondered how "we would feel if Mexico and Canada became satellites of China."
He replies, on our behalf, that "we wouldn’t like that at all."
He adds, "In Russia’s case, this is an existential question." Oh, really.
Based on Carlson’s reasoning, if NATO did not exist, none of Russia’s border states would have much of a problem at all. The fact is, NATO was created because Russia was — and remains — a major problem for its neighbors.
All across Eastern Europe, Putin has been meddling in the internal affairs of his neighbors, making demands, fomenting coups, threatening governments, even employing his "energy weapon" of denying natural gas that so many of these nations depend on.
The last I checked, the U.S. has a zero score for meddling in Mexican and Canadian affairs. And that’s why there’s zero chance they’d ally with China.
Carlson does not seem to appreciate that NATO is a purely "defensive" alliance.
This alliance exists for one purpose only: to defend its members against attack by a foreign adversary. If Ukraine joins NATO and Russia doesn’t invade Ukraine, Putin has nothing to fear from this new arrangement.
But Putin wants to control Ukraine — so badly, apparently, Putin is apparently willing to invade to ensure its status as a satellite of Russia.
Russia is losing population, down now to 145 million people, having seen a decrease of about 3 million over the past 2 1/2 decades.
Putin lusts for Ukraine’s 44 million people, massive agricultural output, and strategic location with warm water ports and a well-worn Russian invasion route into Eastern Europe.
After Ukraine broke from the Soviet Union, Putin put two puppets in office: first Leonid Kuchma and then Viktor Yanukovych.
But Ukraine voters, sick of their corruption, rallied to opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko who, almost solely, stood up to Russian pressure.
Putin’s KGB had to take him out.
In 2005, they invited him to a negotiation and poisoned his soup with a lethal dose of dioxin. After prolonged hospitalization and a horrible disfigurement of his face, he survived and pursued his candidacy.
When I advised President Bill Clinton during the 1990s, he always stressed that Ukraine was "the key" to stopping the emergence of a new Russian empire in Eastern Europe.
Clinton grasped that supporting a free Ukraine while admitting Poland and Hungary into NATO created a "land bridge" from Western Europe to the former Soviet empire.
Spurred by his comments, I volunteered my services to Yushchenko in his 2005 campaign for president of Ukraine.
What the KGB assassins failed to do, Putin now proposed to accomplish by getting his puppet candidate, Yanukovych, elected.
I worked for Yushchenko pro bono, a bit of a contrast with Paul Manafort, who made many millions working for Yanukovych.
At first, based on totally phony election results, Yanukovych claimed victory, but the freedom-loving Ukrainians would have none of it.
In the harsh Ukrainian winter of 2005, over 1 million people turned out day and night in subfreezing temperatures to stand in the capital’s Kiev Square.
They refused to leave for three months.
Their rebellion, called the Orange Revolution, attracted global support and eventually triumphed. But Putin was not to be denied.
Soon after he shut down the natural gas pipeline that ran from Russia into Ukraine.
But the savvy Ukrainians simply helped themselves to Russian gas that passed its territory destined for Germany. Putin’s attempt to "freeze" them into submission failed.
Undaunted, Putin hired the former German Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder — at a huge salary — to help him build "Nord Stream 2," a pipeline under the Baltic Sea.
This pipeline bypassed Ukraine, and Putin had no fear Kiev could interfere in his sale of gas to Germany. But President Donald Trump, who was falsely accused of being pro-Putin, opposed Nord Stream 2 and delayed the project.
Trump then had Congress to impose sanctions on any company building the pipeline.
Putin countered by fomenting a revolt in the Donbass, the Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, to try to topple the government and install another puppet regime.
But, again, Trump outwitted him by sending massive military aid to Ukraine.
Now Putin sees Biden’s weakness and is already taking advantage by threatening an invasion. Biden has responded, incredibly, by announcing that the U.S. will not militarily assist Ukraine under any circumstances, and instead plans "harsh" economic sanctions against Russia.
This is the same policy Obama employed after Russia invaded and seized Crimea from Ukraine. And that policy was an unmitigated disaster.
Even worse, today, Putin is finding enablers from the likes of Carlson, who is usually sensible and good on most issues.
For example, Carlson says that Putin has an "existential" need to keep control of Sevastopol, the main warm water port on the Black Sea.
But he ignores the fact that Ukraine controlled the port until the 2014 Russian invasion of Crimea, and that Russia invaded it in clear violation of their treaty with Ukraine and the United Nations charter, of which it is a signatory.
Carlson even makes the laughable suggestion that NATO exists primarily to "torment" Putin, ignoring the dictator’s two decades of both underhanded and blatant aggression across Eastern Europe.
Carlson assures us all is OK because Putin has no "intention of invading Western Europe."
The same was said of Adolf Hitler as he invaded the Rhineland, then the Sudetenland, then Czechoslovakia, then Austria, then Poland, then Russia, and then, surprise, France and the rest of Western Europe.
Like Putin, Hitler claimed repeatedly that his aggression was "defensive" because of his need for secure borders.
Amazingly, the Carlsons of the 1930s bought Hitler’s fantastical claims hook, line, and sinker, just as the Fox News host does today.
To his dying day, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called World War II the "unnecessary war." Had Hitler been challenged early, the chance of a major war would have been reduced to almost zero.
In recent years, Putin has marched into Georgia, Crimea, and Eastern Ukraine, with little resistance from the West.
No doubt, Putin has dreams of restoring the old Soviet empire, the same one that enslaved hundreds of millions and that the West spent a half century battling in a Cold War.
Ronald Reagan must be turning over in his grave as he watches Putin on the rise, and a leading conservative like Fox News’ Carlson undo his life’s work of bringing down the "evil empire."
Carlson sees no benefit standing, as Reagan did, with free nations, and he says we must not endanger American lives fighting for Ukraine. But this is not the issue.
Nobody proposes sending our soldiers halfway around the world to fight a war on the Russian border against a nuclear power. We don’t have to.
Military aid to Ukraine and real economic pressure on Russia will be just as effective in keeping Putin in check.
We could, for instance, deny Russia access to the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) system that enables global international financial transactions.
So worried about this possibility, Putin’s lackey, Dmitry Medvedev, former president of Russia, said a SWIFT ban would be "tantamount to a declaration of war."
There are many other arrows in our quiver that Putin fears. Since he is a predatory animal, we must be resolute and never foolish.
Vladimir Lenin said communism will triumph because of the unwitting help of "useful idiots" in the West.
Tucker Carlson — for the sake of millions in the Ukraine and around the world that look to America to keep their freedom — don’t be one.
Dick Morris is a former presidential adviser and political strategist. He is a regular contributor to Newsmax TV. Read Dick Morris' Reports — More Here.
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