A follow-up to a report in the New York Times undercuts it’s own story on Russian intelligence officers being offered up bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan. It is up in the air whether President Trump knew about the briefing. It is even unclear if the story itself is true.

The National Security Agency (NSA) differed from the conclusions of the CIA and others on Russian bounty intelligence. So, who is telling the truth? The CIA base their resources on human intelligence and possibly the Afghan Government itself.

There are multiple angles to this story that, as a progressive, really infuriates me. First is the way the media and establishment politicians on both sides are turning this into Russiagate 3.0. They are actually going after Trump for withdrawing troops.

The White House was on the verge of finalizing a plan that would have brought 4,000 American uniforms home. The plan came out just a day before the bounties on Americans story published. Now instead of celebrating the return home of American soldiers, hawks in the government and media are literally calling for Russian blood.

Let’s take the CIA and the media at their word for argument sake. Say the Russian bounties on American soldiers is true and Trump knew about them ahead of time. What did you want him to do? More useless sanctions? Did you want an unhinged president to directly attack the operatives of a nuclear power? He was in the middle of trying to get the soldiers out of harm’s way. That is the only fact we are certain of.

I’m not defending Trump, his sham of a presidency or his financial ties to Russia. This is one of the few right decisions he’s made in the past four years, and still, Neocons and hawkish Democrats still attack him from the right. All in the name of the military industrial complex.

The hawks within the governing establishment went on the same rampage upon hearing that Trump was seeking to withdraw thousands of troops from Germany. Are they afraid Putin is going to invade the Fatherland if 10,000 troops go home? Were these troops useful when Russia annexed Crimea? Germany and the European Union is perfectly capable of defending themselves.

There is no evidence that the CIA is telling the truth here. At least nothing they have made public. Nor is there any speculation on the part of mainstream media or our politicians. They take the same agencies responsible for the Iraq war at their word and use their information to go on the attack. Every sentence beginning with the phrase “if true.”

Sources for the bounty intelligence has not been revealed. The CIA has been working with the Afghans for years. The Afghanistan Government and CIA have a vested interest in keeping American Soldiers in country. If only for the billions in aid dollars to keep flowing. United States tax payers are on the hook for $45 billion a year.

The United States has been in Afghanistan for 19 years. The Kremlin is backing the Taliban these days, just as the U.S. backed the Mujahideen during the Soviet occupation of the 1980s. The only difference being the Soviets weren’t stupid enough to stick around that long.

Amid a bungled pandemic and social uprising, if people are still desperate to attack trump for something else, try blaming him for the idiotic policy of expanding the military budget while trying to bring the troops home. In fact, you can blame most of congress for that first part.

Let the troops come home. Stop reacting to every report concerning Russia like World War III is about to break out, you are in fact encouraging it. “If true” and Russian operatives are placing bounties on American soldiers, perhaps we shouldn’t give them targets. It’s the only way this proxy war is going to stop.

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