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, and everything we feared about Vladmir Putin is coming true, Fox’s top host is doubling down on his own support of the Russian dictator.
And he is making claims that are patently false. As I have written before, Carlson is smarter than this.
I don’t know his motive, but I do know it’s a problem that he is seeking to win over normally sane rational Fox News viewers, and by osmosis, some Newsmax viewers.
This week as Russian tanks poured into the “breakaway” provinces of sovereign Ukraine (I call them “takeaway” provinces), Carlson used his powerful prime time perch to attack any defense of the democratic nation of Ukraine, and to claim he himself was a victim of the left.
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 looney 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? Biden is an incompetent and nincompoop, no doubt. But he has not been pushing for a war with Russia. Putin has been lusting after a war in Ukraine.
It is Vladmir 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 and not even the U.S. Russia poses an existential threat to the United States.
China is an 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 Sudetenland, Austria, Czechoslovakia 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. Gorbachev –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. But, 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 (Centigrade) 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 longtime 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.
The major source of corruption in Ukraine has been the United States as the Biden family moved in to make a killing.
Don’t blame the victim –Ukraine — for the corruption fostered by Hunter Biden.
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 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.
These 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.
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