Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy recently travelled with Senate colleagues to Russia for high-level talks with counterparts in the Kremlin.
From what Kennedy told CNN about his own remarks, it is clear that no one could accuse him of engaging in meaningful dialogue. The senator went to bawl out the highest-ranking Russians who would meet with him and was not listening to a thing they said. His mission was strictly political and did not target peace and harmony. (The fact that the US government operates on politics alone and no longer addresses solutions to problems is a topic of frequent discussion at NSS, eg, as shown here).
After all, he represents the exceptional country that is entitled to school all countries that disagree with America’s beautiful system of democracy and freedom. No one but no one is his peer outside the US Senate. He is a demi-god and if the Russians do not bow down to him they will pay the price.
First off, he told Russian government officials to "stop screwing with our elections.”
He was referring to the “election meddling” that was reported by the US intel agencies just after the 2016 election, at which time each intel agency presented as proof the fact that the others all agreed they had proof – which was, of course, classified until such time as they might dig it up or invent it.
Ultimately they came up with this long-sought proof, namely, the fact that a private firm in Russia had hosted a forum on politics in which US politics was mentioned. Now since the US is exceptional, it matters not that private US firms likewise host such sites, which also discuss Russian politics around Russian election time, and one might contend that this puts the US on a par with Russia and has no right to blame Russia for allowing free speech on their sites. Because the US is exceptional and is entitled to make the rule, don’t you see?
"Kennedy said he warned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Congress will "double down on sanctions ... if you screw with the elections this fall."
How courageous to go up against Russia with the full backing of the US Senate, the State Department and the Pentagon, all fearless opponents of Russia who routinely slapped sanctions on Russia at the slightest provocation. Talk about a fearless stand-up guy!
Kennedy also said Lavrov struck him as a "bully" and "belligerent," while other media outlets such as the Washington Examiner, reported that Kennedy had referred to foreign minister Sergey Lavrov as a “smart-ass.”
Now I have heard Lavrov speak in English and in Russian debunking official US lies and absurd accusations and am impressed by his ability to hold his temper and speak coldly and objectively. I admire him and Putin for their uncanny ability not to react angrily against the unwarranted insults and accusations that make my skin crawl and my blood boil. Of course, in defence of Kennedy, let’s admit that a smart man may well appear to be a smart ass to a person who lacks smarts.
Kennedy went on to say to CNN:
“The message was ‘stop screwing with American elections ... get out of eastern Ukraine and let them self-determine ...... stop screwing around in Syria and help us settle the mess. And ... do not allow Iran to get a foothold in southern Syria, because if you do that, there's going to be another war that Israel's not going to stand for.’ "
Kennedy went on the say some further incoherent platitudes about Russia and Putin, but let us analyse what he said as cited above (and let us also consider why his utterances are all meaningless and most likely harmless – as we shall see).
Let’s take these demands one by one:
“Get out of eastern Ukraine and let them self-determine.” Need I remind anyone that it was Western leaders, USAID and NGOs like the foundations of busy-body George Soros, and high officials like then-German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who – according to a leaked phone call with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffry Pyatt, actually picked the new Ukrainian leader – who publicly and ham handedly meddled in the internal affairs of Ukraine. How is that for “letting Ukraine self-determine”? Further, if it had not been for the false implied intent to admit Ukraine as an associate member of the EU, it is doubtful that the Maidan coup would have happened at all.
“Get out of Crimea and let Crimea self-determine.” Crimea self-determined by taking a referendum that found over 90% of its population wanting to accede to Russia. In contrast, the US government that Kennedy represents, did not allow Kosovo or Serbia to self-determine. Without holding a referendum and without consulting with the Serbian people, the US and NATO, after illegally bombing Serbia, determined that Kosovo should be an independent state and no longer part of Serbia. Does Sen. Kennedy not remember that ignominious move on the part of the country he represents?
“Stop screwing around in Syria and help us settle the mess.” This is Kennedy’s most outrageous demand of all. It was America’s illegal war in Iraq that led to the creation of ISIS, which in turn created the “mess” in Syria. It was then Obama’s inaction that allowed ISIS fighters to invade Syria unimpeded in their shiny new white Toyotas – during an alleged “war on terror” that our government simply refused to fight, thereby enabling the ISIS terrorists to mix with the civilian populations throughout the country. This inaction – dereliction of duty to call it by its name – was the cause of hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths in Syria, all of them blamed by the US on Assad, whose only role was in fact that of defender of his people. The second part of this outrageous demand “help us settle this mess” is even more outrageous. Firstly, the US is the uninvited invader in Syria, so it has no role to play. So “help us” is deceitful to say the least. If this were stated honestly, it would read “help the Syrians settle the mess that was initiated by the US.” Does Kennedy not realize any of this?
“Do not allow Iran to get a foothold in southern Syria, because if you do that, there's going to be another war that Israel's not going to stand for.” Firstly, Syria is a sovereign state and has every right to allow Iran to be the boots on the ground fighting Al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria and Iraq. In fact, without these valuable boots on the ground, it is questionable whether these terrorists could have been defeated to the extent they were. Then Kennedy incongruously mentions Israel, which never offered to help fight ISIS and which cultivated the presence of ISIS around its borders as a buffer against Syria and a potential bulwark against Assad (details here, here and here). He implies that Israel is entitled not to have Iranians at its borders and that this is a matter of relevance to the US. In fact, the US never once publicly denounced Israel's over 100 missile attacks against Syrian forces and their allies since the beginning of the war. Kennedy’s country not only has no right to set foot in Syria but also has no moral justification to defend Israel from the consequences of its own unprovoked belligerent actions. Further, it is not up to Russia to tell Iran to stay out of the sovereign state Syria. Only Syria is entitled to do that.
Thus the brazen Sen. Kennedy has made unjustified demands on Russia, implying that Russia is to blame for the situations in Ukraine, Crimea and Syria, all of which are the result of irresponsible US actions!
So is Kennedy completely uninformed about what is going on in these regions? In other words, is he that naïve? Or is he playing a game?
There are two possible reasons for his strange behaviour that do not imply a lack of knowledge or intelligence on his part:
1. Trump’s upcoming tête-à-tête with Putin, and
2. The upcoming midterm elections in November
The midterm results are expected to be close and will offer the Democrats a chance to seize the majority in the Senate. They are close because, for one thing, as polls show, the majority of Americans disagree with Trump’s immigration policies and are liable to vote for Democrats who offer an alternative to them.
The upcoming meeting with Putin is a bone of contention for Democrats, who are trying to cast Trump as a traitor for meeting with Putin. This is nonsense since all presidents meet with powerful leaders, even those they disagree with. But the Democrats control the media and will try their best to support the narrative of Trump as a “Kremlin stooge.” Now, instead of boldly countering this patently false and silly narrative, the Republicans are trying desperately to show that they agree with the Democrats and also think of Putin as a mortal enemy. If they were intelligent and articulate, they could no doubt control the narrative and realistically cast the Democrats as a bunch of warmongers. But there are some obstacles to that approach. Firstly, they are not very articulate, having become accustomed to the use of deceit and lies in lieu of honest discourse. Secondly, the public is so heavily brainwashed that many voters, especially Democrats, think Putin is a commie and KGB agent who wants to take over the West or even nuke us all. Their underlying, unspoken bone to pick is his frank defence of traditional Christian values (this could, of course, be Kennedy’s hidden agenda as well) but they pretend they think he will try to take over the West. Thus the enemy is both in deceitful Washington and on naive Main Street.
The US has never been in tighter straits and that is reflected in Sen. Kennedy’s seemingly witless statements about Russia. Perhaps Kennedy is right in his assessment of his constituents as brainless sheep. But more likely, if the Republican political class, including Trump, were sufficiently intelligent and articulate, they could address the voters like sentient beings and make them understand that not only are the Russians not about to take over the world but they are indispensable allies in the confrontation with the threats that face us all.