2016-10-21 06:46:33 UTC
electorate is voting for a collision course between Hillary - the next
White House occupant - and Russia's Putin.
Reckless Hillary has too much personal grudge to work out to give
peace a chance.
And sadly, that's the nature of America's immediate future!
The Hawk on Russia Policy? Hillary Clinton, Not Donald Trump
By DAVID E. SANGER OCT. 20, 2016
WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton made it abundantly clear Wednesday night
that if she defeats Donald J. Trump next month she will enter the
White House with the most contentious relationship with Russia of any
president in more than three decades, and with a visceral, personal
animus toward Vladimir V. Putin, its leader.
"We haven't seen a you-can't-trust-these-guys tone like this since the
days of Ronald Reagan," said Stephen Sestanovich, who served in
President Bill Clinton's State Department and is the author of
"Maximalist: America in the World from Truman to Obama". "But even
that was more a systemic criticism of the Soviet Union. This is
focused on Putin himself."
In a reversal of political roles, Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic
candidate, is the one portraying Mr. Putin as America's newest
archenemy, whose underlings hack into her Brooklyn campaign
headquarters, bomb Syrian civilians and threaten Ukraine and NATO
allies in Europe. For a woman who presented a big red "reset" button
to her Russian counterpart in March 2009 (with the word incorrectly
translated into Russian), the change in tone was more striking than
ever in her debate with Donald J. Trump.
She, and the Obama White House, insist they were on the right course
until Mr. Putin decided he had more to gain from reviving Cold War
tensions than from a quarter-century effort to integrate with the
West. Now, much of the Democratic foreign policy establishment has
become as hawkish as Mrs. Clinton on the subject of Russia, a view
that seems almost certain to outlast the campaign.
Privately, some of her longtime advisers are already thinking about
what mix of sanctions, diplomatic isolation and international
condemnation they might put together if they take office to deal with
Mr. Putin and the fragile economic state he runs, an update of the
"containment" strategy that George F. Kennan formulated for President
Harry S. Truman in 1947.
Equally surprising is the Republican reversal of tone. Only four years
ago, it was the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, who was
warning of the dangers of a revanchist Russia and President Obama who
said "the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back,"
noting that "the Cold War's been over for 20 years".
Most of the Republican Party remains firmly distrustful of Russia. But
not Mr. Trump, its standard-bearer. "If the United States got along
with Russia, wouldn't be so bad," he said Wednesday, uttering not a
word about Mr. Putin's land grabs.
. . .
For days, hacked emails from the Gmail account of John D. Podesta,
Mrs. Clinton's campaign chairman, have embarrassed her campaign, and
on Thursday, emails from an account Mr. Obama had during his 2008
transition surfaced for the first time. No one knows if the hacking
campaign is winding down or whether the revelations so far are simply
a prelude to something bigger between now and Election Day.
Mr. Obama is considering retaliation that, according to several senior
officials, could include attacks inside Russia that could expose
corruption among the leadership and embarrass Mr. Putin. It is not
clear whether Mr. Obama will choose that route, even after Vice
President Joseph R. Biden Jr. issued a threat last weekend that
Mr. Putin could get some of his own medicine.
But it is clear that if Mrs. Clinton wins, she will enter the White
House with a very personal grudge against Mr. Putin. He, in turn, has
long harbored a grudge against her for her statements in 2011 calling
into question the validity of a Russian parliamentary election.
It is possible, Mr. Sestanovich warned, that Mrs. Clinton and the
Obama administration are seeing Mr. Putin's direct hand in too many
events. He questioned how the director of national intelligence, James
R. Clapper Jr., would know for certain that the Kremlin leadership was
behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the emails
of Mr. Podesta and Colin L. Powell, one of Mrs. Clinton's predecessors
as secretary of state. The United States has released none of its
evidence, so it is unclear if the conclusion was based on an educated
guess about Kremlin operations, an "implant" in Russian networks, or a
human spy or communications intercept. [Or a fabrication from the
About James R. Clapper Jr.:
Wyden: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or
hundreds of millions of Americans?
Clapper: No sir.
Wyden: It does not?
Clapper: Not wittingly. There are cases where they could,
inadvertently collect, perhaps but not wittingly.
This was a lie. Many people believed it was a lie at the time, but
that was confirmed thanks to the documents leaked by Ed Snowden, who
later claimed that seeing that bit of testimony helped convince him
that he needed to go through with his plan to leak this information.
James Clapper, of course, is the Director of National Intelligence,
and the heads of the various intelligence agencies basically report
in to him. He's still in that job, which many people argue is a
complete travesty. He flat out lied to Congress and got away with
What's been really odd is that the story as to why Clapper lied
seems to keep changing.