“Some on our side are so stuck in the Cold War era that they want to tweak Russia all the time and I don’t think that is a good idea.”With Rand out of contention, Trump is now the least hawkish of member of the Republican field. Here he is responding to similar castigation from neocon outfits like National Review for not eagerly desiring to humiliate Russia, preferring instead for the US to work amiably with the bear on behalf of Western civilization:
It is not the only time Paul has come running to the defense of a despot. Paul defended Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the grounds that he is good for Christians.
His comments come at the moment Vladimir Putin is putting his troops on alert on the Ukraine-Russia border and after months of effort to prevent Russian bullying of Ukraine. The “tweaking” of Russia is consistent with 22 years of American foreign policy. Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute reacted via e-mail: “What a sad day for America when a prominent senator believes that standing for freedom and justice should be labeled 'tweaking.'”
Compare this to NR's Russian approach, which is mostly indistinguishable from the rest of the Republican field:
A new Russia strategy must be the projection of military strength in Europe: establishing a permanent U.S. military presence in the Baltic region, expanding joint training exercises with military allies in Eastern Europe, and providing arms to help the Ukrainian government resist the Russian invasion. Alongside this approach should be a robust reiteration of America’s commitment to NATO’s Article 5.Article 5 is the one about collective defence, where an attack on one member is to be treated as an attack on all members. If Russia does something one of it's neighbors like Estonia doesn't approve of, the Russians must be prepared for US military retaliation!
What National Review really wants is for Ukraine to became a full-fledged NATO member so that, instead of acting collectively to thwart the invasion of the Global South into the Global North, we can focus instead on killing hundreds of thousands of Russians. After all, they're too intolerant of homosexuality (for white people), so they deserve what's coming to them.
Cruz, the least bad of the remaining non-Trumpian bunch, at least pays lip-service to averting civilizational internecine military conflict before launching into how the US should use everything short of military action to bend Russia to its will regarding the country's interactions with its neighbors:
And here's Rubio, giving his full-throated support to militarily arming Russia's neighbors free of charge:
Beyond his aversion to rekindling the Cold War, the establishment forces opposing Trump at every turn are the same ones who did all they could to destroy Ron Paul's 2008 and 2012 campaigns, to say nothing of destroying his impeccable character. This is why guys like Lew Rockwell, who has almost nothing in common with Trump, tacitly want him to win the nomination.
The Republican party, as currently constituted, needs to burn to the ground so that out of the ashes may rise Trumpian populism and Paulian libertarianism, among many other strands of dissident rightism, to occupy space that the neocons have monopolized and zealously guarded for the last couple of decades.