Russia expecting ‘more of the same’ from Washington as Trump confronts ‘a nation divided’
RT: Donald Trump said at a news conference that the US media criticizes him for wanting good relations with Russia, but would commend him for blowing up a Russian ship. What would you make of this comment?
Bryan Crabtree: I think there are two different types of politicians in America. First, there’s the type that is funded by the war complex, so a lot of them want us to be in conflict with Russia. I was sitting and preparing for my radio show this week, and I was asking myself, ‘Why is it that some Republicans and Democrats in our country ultimately want us to be at odds with Russia?’ And I think that’s because they are empowered by the donors who fund their campaigns which are a part of the big military defense spending contracts.
On the other hand, you have people who want peace. It puzzles me as to why it is a bad idea for our President to try to reach out and create a new reset button with Vladimir Putin, and at least give it a shot. There are many who don’t believe it can happen, perhaps it won’t, but it’s worth a try with a different approach than what we’ve had over the past eight years. It’s very puzzling.
RT: Is it possible to reset the relationship given the pressure from the US establishment?
BC: I don’t think we can ‘reset’ the relations; I think that was very naïve when it was originally said under the Obama administration. I think we can find some points of common interest, for instance, both Russia and the United States has a very mutually beneficial issue and interest in stopping ISIS and creating some sort of stability in the Middle East. That’s an area where we can come together and find some commonality.
A lot of other economic and military issues abroad, that’s going to be much more difficult, and I think that’s what Putin is referring to when he says it’s impossible or nearly impossible. But I think Trump believes we can find enough common ground, enough overlap so that we can at least have less warring back and forth with each other than we presently have coming into the Trump administration.
RT: Trump also said that the previous US presidents have been hostile to Russia. What’s your take on that?
BC: I think Vladimir Putin, if you study him from afar, which I’ve done, he likes competent people. Even if we don’t like Putin, people who are like Putin, who are strong leaders, which Trump has called him - to a lot of blowback. He is a strong leader, whether we agree in America with his policies or not. People like that like competent people. In many ways with dealing with foreign policy, Russia and Putin himself, Barack Obama was very weak and almost petulant in the way he dealt with Vladimir Putin. That has greatly harmed, I think, any potential of an improved relationship. And I think maybe Putin is just expecting more of the same because we’re so politically divided in our country that it’s going to be very hard in his and many people’s view for Trump to actually do the things he says he wants to do.
And I think President Trump will eventually - as our political process exhausts itself - prove otherwise. I think Vladimir Putin might ultimately be a bit surprised if he in fact wants a good relationship with us. Many say he wants to go back to the days of the Soviet Union or at least retake territory. That’s the political narrative in our country. Maybe not, but I would have to think his number one interest is power in the world, presence in the world, and peace so that his country can improve economically. And with that it is going to require a partnership to some degree that is amicable in some areas at least with the United States.
RT: And what about the troubled relationship between Trump and the MSM?
BC: Well I had Arthur Brooks on my show today, who’s the President of the American Enterprise Institute, a prominent figure, and I’ve been doing some reading on top of that. It appears to me that we have a lot of good people in the media in America. I had a guest on yesterday, he told me that people in CNN are all good people. I think what’s happened is that they’ve allowed issues to cloud their judgment and their issues are so emotional, their social issues they’re emotional. And when you get emotional when you have a lot of fear of something that’s going to happen you convince yourself it’s going to be a lot worse than it is. And you’re activist and a journalist at the same time. It’s creating a situation that’s causing people through their own ignorance and emotional skin to really do a great disservice not only to their brand but to the American people. They are essentially coming up with things because they believe it to be true. And Trump is then calling it “fake news.”
I’m a person that likes the fact he’s calling out the media, but if you look at it in a macro view, it’s not a good thing. Because you’ve got a president calling the news media fake, and you have the media acting fake in some regards. And I don’t think anyone has that… ill intention, I think we’ve got so emotional that we’re not thinking logically anymore. And I’m losing a bit of hope or at least faith that we can turn this around. It is a very divided nation. You can have an article in a newspaper about popcorn, and before long in the comments, people will be arguing about Trump, or Clinton, or Democrat, or Republican. It doesn’t really matter. It’s disgusting. And I hope we exhaust ourselves, but I’m not convinced we will.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.