Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Trump Continues to Shock; Incurs Wrath of Americans
Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump continues to shock partisan allies, American voters and the international community with his favorable comments about Vladimir Putin and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine mixed with poisonous observations about Ukraine.
Trump’s latest installment of preposterous remarks that demonstrate that he is so mentally deficient about Russia and Ukraine as to be incapable of ordinary reasoning began last Sunday during ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
Continuing to deny in the face of contradictory evidence that he has a relationship with the Russian dictator, Trump first admitted that his minions were involved in softening the GOP platform about Ukraine by eliminating references to lethal weapons but he explained that he was not involved.
Here’s the transcript that began with quotes about his representatives, who did not possess delegates’ mandates, manipulating the will of official Republican delegates and then it transitions to his support for Russian’s invasion of Crimea.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Then why did you soften the GOP platform on Ukraine?
TRUMP: I wasn't involved in that. Honestly, I was not involved.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Your people were.
TRUMP: Yes. I was not involved in that. I'd like to -- I'd have to take a look at it. But I was not involved in that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you know what they did?
TRUMP: They softened it, I heard, but I was not involved.
Is Trump, the micromanager, trying to convince voters that he knew what his people were going to do something shady but he was not personally involved while allowing them to sabotage the GOP’s official policy guidelines?
STEPHANOPOULOS: They took away the part of the platform calling for the provision of lethal weapons to Ukraine to defend themselves. Why is that a good idea?
TRUMP: Well, look, you know, I have my own ideas. He's not going into Ukraine, OK? Just so you understand. He's not going to go into Ukraine, all right? You can mark it down and you can put it down, you can take it anywhere you want.
Trump said with a straight face during the broadcast that Putin is not going into Ukraine – meaning that the Russian army and its mercenary terrorists have not invaded Ukraine and seized control of two eastern oblasts, bringing all of Europe to the brink of a new war. Even the greatest cynics on earth have accepted that Russia invaded Ukraine. Satellite images show Russian soldiers, artillery and missiles in Ukraine, and numerous civilian and military eyewitnesses have testified to their presence.
And Trump denies it on national television.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, he's already there, isn't he?
TRUMP: OK, well, he's there in a certain way, but I'm not there yet. You have Obama there. And frankly, that whole part of the world is a mess under Obama, with all the strength that you're talking about and all of the power of NATO and all of this, in the meantime, he's going where -- he takes -- takes Crimea, he's sort of -- I mean...
In a certain way? What way would that be? Trump again tries to exonerate his buddy. The United Nations, the European Union, NATO, the United States and its allies, and other global groups have condemned Russia’s occupation of Crimea while Trump says Putin “sort of” took Crimea. Indeed, Trump has little respect for those institutions. Instead he favors an isolationist vision for America which would merely suit Putin. The last time the US hid behind an isolationist wall, Hitler came to power in Europe.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you said you might recognize that (Crimean occupation).
TRUMP: I'm going to take a look at it. But, you know, the people of Crimea, from what I've heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were. And you have to look at that, also.
Where is Trump getting his information? Whose bidding will he do when he recognizes Russia’s invasion, occupation and then annexation of Crimea just like Hitler invaded and occupied Austria, Poland and other European countries? If Trump doesn’t have a relationship with Putin, as he claims, then he is certainly building the foundation for a lifelong bromance thanks to his absurd, dangerous comments that support Moscow’s arbitrary aggression.
And as for hearing that the people of Crimea would rather be with Russia, the source again must have been his pal Putin, certainly not Crimean Tatars who have been suffering ever since Russia illegally annexed Crimea in a fabricated referendum. Moscow’s domination has brought human and religious rights violations, disappearance of Crimean Tatar civic leaders and killings. It also destroyed the local economy and brought its military power to the Black Sea directly threatening Europe and the US Sixth Fleet.
As for the referendum, Halya Coynash of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, observed: “That event has never been recognized by any democratic country, and with good reason.  This was not only the fact that people were ‘voting’ surrounded by armed soldiers and paramilitaries, with the latter having already abducted and tortured to death at very least one peaceful protester Reshat Ametov.  The ‘referendum’ gave two options, with neither being to retain the status quo, and one referring to something few people would have understood.”
Crimean Tatars would be justified in inundating Trump Tower in New York City with boxloads of documented evidence of Russian repression on the Ukrainian peninsula.
Trump’s comments about reviewing US policy about Russia’s occupation of Crimea comes at a time when Putin announced the consolidation of Russia’s Southern and Crimean federal districts into the united Southern Federal District, shuffling and replacing several governors, local representatives and one ambassador. This imperialistic move, which has been condemned by Ukraine and other countries, further binds the Ukrainian peninsula with Russia.
Crimean Tatar Mejlis leader Refat Chubarov castigated the changes, saying: “Dark days are looming on Russian horizon.” Perhaps Chubarov wasn’t included in the survey of residents that Trump cited.
“This move indicates that Russian leadership plans to treat Crimea as every other Russian region where unified state policy is applied. It means ethnic, historic and cultural diversity in the region will exist as a cover until Crimea is cleared up to meet the Russian world standards. Nowadays everyone knows what these 'Russian standards' are and where Putin thinks they end,” Chubarov said.
Trump should expect another nice gift from Putin.
TRUMP: Now, that was under -- just so you understand, that was done under Obama's administration. And as far as the Ukraine is concerned, it's a mess. And that's under the Obama's administration, with his strong ties to NATO. So with all of these strong ties to NATO, Ukraine is a mess. Crimea has been taken. Don't blame Donald Trump for that.
Trump exonerated himself of any complicity with Russian aggressive designs, blamed Obama for what’s happening in that region of the world but simultaneously showed that he is incapable of understanding these events and unable or, more likely, unwilling to help because he believes it’s better to have a strong, friendly relationship with Russia. Trump is either totally ignorant or building a strong partnership with Putin, both of which make him unsuitable to be President of the United States.
Capitol Hill and American voters quickly reacted to Trump’s absurd comments. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., a Democrat from New Jersey’s 9th CD and a member of the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, who lambasted Trump on his anti-Ukraine position a couple of weeks ago, again castigated the GOP presidential hopeful. Last night he sent me this statement:
“This past weekend we again saw that in addition to Donald Trump’s difficulties mastering simple facts, he doesn’t think twice about regurgitating Russian President Vladimir Putin’s talking points on Crimea. It is simply irresponsible for Donald Trump to perpetuate the idea that the Kremlin has not violated the sovereign territory of another country by force. This runs counter to the current policies of the United States, our NATO allies, and even the Republican Party’s platform. These remarks, as well as his history of cavalier compliments for autocratic strongmen like Putin and chosen advisors, demonstrate that Donald Trump would be dangerous for protecting human rights and democracy around the world. I will continue to stand in strong support of the Ukrainian people by pushing for continued sanctions and relief, as they fight against the illegal invasion of its territorial integrity.”
In his statement, Pascrell also quoted Tamara Olexy, president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, saying that Ukrainian American voters are very troubled by Trumps statements that he is considering recognizing Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea and even ending sanctions against Russia.
“These statements run counter to the Republican Platform that explicitly states, ‘We support maintaining and, if warranted, increasing sanctions, together with our allies, against Russia unless and until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restored.’ It seems that Candidate Trump has shown a reluctance to condemn Mr. Putin for his continuing war against Ukraine – a country that is currently on the frontlines of defense for Europe, America and the world.” She said.
The New Jersey lawmaker also cited Myroslaw Smorodsky, communications director of the Ukrainian American Bar Association (UABA), saying that Americans of every ethnicity and political affiliation should be appalled by Trump’s reckless comments about Ukraine.
“Trump has displayed his inherent inability to observe and comprehend the reality of the historical events as they occur before his very eyes.  There is no reasonable doubt that Russia has -- in full view of the entire world -- illegally annexed Crimea and it is Russian military and mercenaries who are killing Ukrainian soldiers and civilians daily on Ukrainian soil.
“The issue before us is not whether we support or oppose either political party. This crucial question is about the future of the United States.  The issue is simply whether the next president of the United States will have the political foresight to comprehend the geo-political events occurring in the world and to take such steps as may be necessary to protect the United States of America.   Regrettably, Donald Trump’s myopic and distorted geo-political vision of the world - as displayed during his interview – does not engender any confidence whatsoever in his ability to be commander-in-chief of the United States of America.”

Ironically for conceitedly self-confident Trump, he manages to torpedo himself every time he expresses a comment or opinion on any topic. Hillary Clinton would do well for her campaign if she would issue a policy paper on Ukraine and Russia that reflects America’s genuine, traditional views on freedom, independence, sovereignty, democracy, the captive nations, aggression and tyranny.