First published on the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.
In particular, there is hope that Trump’s statements that he wants the US and Russia to have friendlier relations will mean the Trump administration will work to reverse the much-increased tensions of the last few years between the nations — tensions characterized by harsh words, sanctions, and military deployments.
In this week’s Ron Paul Institute weekly email to subscribers, RPI Executive Director Daniel McAdams wrote about how Obama’s foreign policy turned out to be different than the one for which many peace supporters had hoped. McAdams also discussed in the email other matters, including Obama granting a commutation for whistleblower Chelsea Manning. (You can sign up here to receive free RPI updates.)
Read here the RPI weekly email beginning paragraphs, in which McAdams addresses Obama’s foreign policy and the last-minute escalation of confrontation with Russia that Obama is leaving for the incoming president to deal with:
It seems strange that this will be the last time I write you under the presidency of Barack Obama. I recall the slight ray of hope we felt when he took office, after eight years of the crazed neocons who ran Bush’s White House. At the time, Dr. Paul had just finished his ground-breaking 2008 presidential run and so much had changed for us in the Congressional office.
While we were legally separated from campaign activities, we felt the mist from the waves crashing on the shore of American political life. Ron Paul went from being a widely-admired and principled Member of Congress to the world-renowned ambassador of honest money and non-interventionism! A revolution was born!
By the 2008 race, Bush and his foreign policy were thoroughly discredited, and Ron Paul offered the strongest opposition to the warmed-over Bushism that the hapless McCain campaign had on offer. Obama had run as the peace candidate, and the peace candidate always wins — even if he is a liar (see: Woodrow Wilson, FDR, GW Bush, etc.). But while many of us hoped for the best, we also knew there was little chance for us to change course.
Ron Paul went out with a bang in 2008. He refused to endorse the neocon who won the nomination and instead brought together candidates from the “minor” parties to agree on a basic set of principles upon which this Institute was founded in 2013. It was an excellent parting shot. The McCainiacs in their arrogance bade good riddance to the anti-interventionist wing of the party and…the rest is history (as it was four years later). Did they learn? Of course not.
So at that time, in 2008, Ron Paul became the steady voice of the non-interventionist movement even as much of the anti-Bush “peace movement” faded into silence hoping that Obama would live up to his Nobel Peace Prize billing. Instead, Obama bombed his way through his final year in the White House as he did the preceding seven years: he dropped an average of three bombs per hour in 2016. That’s three per hour, each 24 hours, each 52 weeks, each 12 months. With some admirable exceptions, the Left side of the peace movement went into hibernation for eight years.
President Obama is going out with a bang, but of an entirely different sort. After he and his surrogates all but accused President-elect Trump of being a Kremlin agent — bolstered by the “fake news” experts at the Washington Post and the rest of the mainstream media — he made a couple of moves in attempt to bind his successor to a confrontational stance regarding Russia.
First, he sent thousands of US troops to permanently be stationed in Poland for the first time ever. These troops and military equipment, including hundreds of tanks and so on, are literally on the border with Russia, but any complaint or counter-move is reported by the lapdog media as “Russian aggression.”
Imagine five thousand Chinese troops with the latest in war-making equipment on the Mexican border with the US, with a few ships in the Gulf of Mexico to boot. Would Washington welcome such a move? Then today we discover that Obama has sent a few hundred US Marines to take up in Norway for the first time since World War II.
Of course it’s not enough to be a military threat to Russia nor is it enough to actually defend Norway if “Russian expansionism” dictates an invasion. So what is the purpose? To wrong-foot any ideas Trump might have about turning down the nuclear-war-with-Russia dial.