President Trump has once again doubled down on his admiration of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Speaking to Bill O’Reilly in a pre-Super Bowl interview, Trump shrugged off O’Reilly’s characterization of Putin as a “killer,” remarking that Americans are just as bad.
Trump: I do respect him, but I respect a lot of people. That doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him. He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight — and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that’s a good thing.
O’Reilly: But he’s a killer though. Putin’s a killer.
Trump: There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?
Trump is right… But he’s still wrong. And so is a big percentage of the media and politicians on this matter, but for different reasons. From what I’ve seen, Democrats and Republicans are more upset that Trump called out America’s gravitation towards violent solutions than they are about Trump admiring Putin.
More importantly, few people have noted that Trump is dismissing Putin’s violence, saying America does it too, as if it justifies the violence itself. If we all do it, it can’t be that bad. Trump is not being hypocritical here. He’s not calling out western violence while at the same time he advocated for it at his rallies. He’s dismissing the use of violence on both sides as being unimportant.
President Putin has been accused of a lot of things. Assassinating Journalists and spies, sending military incursions into Ukraine, Annexing Crimea, war against Georgia. He’s been accused of cracking down on political and civilian dissent as well as the LGBT community. He also been accused of interfering in the 2016 American Election.
Putin is certainly no one to be admired, especially by an American president. However, many Americans have trouble criticizing themselves when it comes to American led wars, drone strike assassinations, and coups of foreign governments. This is why American politicians are concentrating on the “America’s Killers” point, rather than Trump’s respect of Putin.
America does indeed have a lot of blood on it’s hands, certainly more than Russia since the end of the Cold War. Democrats and Republicans, refuse to look at the blood that’s been spilt, because they believe these violent actions are justified. That’s part of the problem here. Trump dismisses violence as well because he thinks it’s justified.
Noam Chomsky once said “If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.” Trump is guilty of the same indifferent nature toward violence as every other president going back decades.
Only when America comes to terms with its violent past and does something to curb its violent present will America be better than Putin. But to accomplish something like this, Trump will need to start admiring someone more like Ghandi, not Putin.
Last year, the American Government dropped an estimated 26,172 bombs on seven different countries. With Trump in power, I expect 2017 to be even worse…