I know what the liberal response to this is going to be. They’re going to say that Putin’s comments are part of a staged effort by U.S. and Russian officials to make Americans think that relations are bad, when in fact, they’ve never been better. And that whole missile strike on a Syrian airbase was also a part of the conspiracy to make people think the U.S. is at odds with Russia.
Most of the time, the simplest explanation is the closest to the truth. They call that Occam’s razor.
In this case, is it really all that helpful to assume without evidence that there’s been Russian collusion with the U.S. for the past year, and then interpret every other event – domestic and foreign – as being a part of this supposed collusion? Wouldn’t it be a lot more plausible to say that nothing has really changed as far as our foreign policy is concerned, and that U.S. policymakers and geopolitical engineers are simply doing what they’ve always done in the Middle East?
Vladimir Putin has said Russia’s relationship with the US has badly deteriorated since Donald Trump became president.
When asked about relations since Trump became president, Putin said: “One could say that the level of trust on a working level, especially on the military level, has not improved, but rather has deteriorated.”
Putin claimed Damascus had given up its chemical weapons stocks and offered two main explanations for the horrific incident.
One was that Syrian government air strikes had hit rebel chemical weapons stocks, releasing poisonous gas, or that the incident was a set-up designed to discredit the Syrian government.
On Wednesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson finally was able to meet with Vladimir Putin. The New York Times reported:
After Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson waited for much of the day, wondering whether he would get to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin, the two men sat down at the Kremlin late Wednesday afternoon in the first face-to-face meeting between the Russian leader and a top official in the Trump administration.
Relations between the United States and Russia have grown so tense that it was unclear whether Mr. Putin would agree to see Mr. Tillerson, a man he once gave a medal of friendship.
Their meeting lasted almost two hours and ended just before 8 p.m. local time.
In the 24 hours before Mr. Tillerson landed in Moscow, the White House accused Mr. Putin’s government of covering up evidence that the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for sarin gas attacks on its own people, launched from a base where Russian troops are operating.
Mr. Putin shot back that the charge was fabricated and accused the administration of President Trump, who American intelligence agencies believe benefited from Russian cyberattacks intended to embarrass his Democratic rival during the election campaign, of fabricating the evidence to create a fake confrontation.
Putin remarked that the U.S.’s confrontation with Syria is reminiscent of Iraq in 2003, “when U.S. representatives in the Security Council showed alleged chemical weapons discovered in Iraq.”
“The exact same thing is happening now,” Putin said.
Putin put forth a couple of theories about the chemical weapons attack that’s being blamed on Assad. The first possibility is that Syrian military blew up what turned out to be a terrorist-controlled ammunition dump which included chemical weapons. The other possibility is that “this was all staged,” according to Putin, “in other words this was a provocation.”
“This was deliberately done to create noise and pretext, for additional pressure on the legitimate Syrian government,” he said. “That’s all. This needs to be checked. Without a check we don’t think it is possible to make any steps against the official Syrian government.”
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like two countries who are in bed together, and it certainly doesn’t sound like Putin is controlling the Trump administration. But some Dems just won’t give it up:
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