We are truly living in a bizarre world, and to prove the point you have to just tune into Tucker Carlson these days on Fox News.
I must admit, in the past I would agree with Fox News’ lead host most of the time and on most issues.
But on one of the gravest matters ever to face our republic, Carlson has gone completely off the rails.
One could dismiss an eccentric view here or there from any host.
But as war now rages in Europe with Russia’s reckless and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine, everything we feared about Vladimir Putin is coming true.
Still Fox’s top host is doubling down on his own support of the Russian dictator and even claims he would back Russia over innocent Ukraine.
Carlson is making claims which are patently false.
As I have written before, he's smarter than this.
I don’t know what his motive is, but I do know it’s a problem that he's seeking to win over normally sane rational Fox News viewers, and by osmosis, some Newsmax viewers.
As Russian tanks pour into Ukraine, and Moscow conducts missile strikes against Ukraine, Carlson used his powerful prime-time perch to attack Ukraine, to attack his own critics, and to claim he himself has been a victim of the left.
On Tuesday night Carlson said, "The very same politicians who claim the United States is systemically racist, a white supremacist hellscape, defined by slavery, in other words an evil nation — those people are always the first to claim that you hate America if you dare to disagree with them."
So what Tucker is doing here is setting the stage for him to attack U.S. policy in support of Ukraine, and paint anyone who criticizes him as part of the nasty left.
"For months, we have criticized Joe Biden's lunatic push for war with Russia," he said. "Nothing about that makes sense. It's not foreign policy; it's self-harm, and it's a lie."
Biden’s push for war? While Biden's competency can be questioned, he has not been pushing for a war with Russia.
Putin has been lusting after a war in Ukraine. Now he has one.
It's Vladimir Putin who saw with his own eyes Biden’s weakness, first in Afghanistan, and then in these opening salvos of Russia’s move against Ukraine.
"Russia is not America's greatest international rival,” as Tucker claims. "By every measure that is of course China."
Russia, not China, controls the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, not China, posing an existential threat to the United States.
China is a real, emerging threat, and a dangerous one. And we should take steps to prepare against it. But Russia, as Putin’s recent actions show, is an immediate threat to the United States and our allies.
But then Tucker claims, "Ukraine is not our vital ally. We have no legal or moral obligation to defend Ukraine’s territorial integrity even as we surrender our own to the rest of the world, letting millions in in a single year.
"Ukraine is not even a democracy, despite what Joe Biden endlessly claims. Ukraine is a corrupt Eastern European autocracy that has spent millions of dollars lobbying politicians in Washington, and by the way made Joe Biden's family rich.
"Those are not Russian talking points."
Well, they are Tucker talking points for sure. Here’s the truth:
- Ukraine is not "vital" to the U.S.? I guess the Sudentenland, Austria, Czechosloavkia, and the Polish corridor weren’t either, until they were, and led to a cascade of troubles we now call World War II.
- We have no legal or moral obligation to defend Ukraine? In 1995, while I worked at the Clinton White House, we signed the Budapest Memo pledging "to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine" and "to refrain from the threat or use of force" against the country. With those assurances in their pocket, the Ukrainian government agreed to give up the 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads on its soil, a force the amounted to the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal.
- As for a moral obligation, President Ronald Reagan based his entire foreign policy on a determination to free the captive people of Eastern Europe, culminating in his famous admonition to "Mr. Gobachev, tear down this Wall."
Carlson says "Ukraine is not a democracy," setting up a phony moral equivalency between Kiev and Moscow. Once Ukraine became independent as the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, Russia moved swiftly to put in place a puppet government.
However, in 2004, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians took to the streets in the dead of winter to demand a fair election. After three months of frostbite in the sub-zero temperatures, they won and got a new election that the freedom candidate Viktor Yushchenko won with 52% of the vote.
Since then, Ukraine has been a functioning democracy with the parties alternating their turns in power. In fact, Yushchenko’s long time rival, the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych won the election of 2010 and served as president until 2014 when he was forced out amid a stream of allegations of corruption.
There is no doubt Ukraine suffers from corruption, as do many countries, and as the United States has in the past.
Carlson has been waving the white flag warning against committing U.S. troops to defend Ukraine. But there are no U.S. troops within several hundred miles and none are in danger of even stubbing their toe in Ukraine.
We are watching pure 1930s-style appeasement in action on Fox News and in Carlson’s show. It’s not an invasion. It’s an incursion. It’s not important. Ukraine is not a vital ally. It’s none of our business. It’s Europe’s problem. They’re corrupt.
Such talking points must be dear to Putin’s heart as they split the conservative freedom-loving Republicans in America and sap the very limited reservoir of courage and resolve in Joe Biden’s heart.
Offering a coward a way out is like buying a drunk a drink.
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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