President Trump Just Led Vladimir Putin to His Demise

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On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this week, noted idiot Joe Scarborough was once again pushing the debunked conspiracy theory that Russian President Vladimir Putin “has something” on President Donald Trump, which accounts for the U.S. president’s supposed willingness to act subserviently to his Moscow counterpart. Scarborough, following the rest of the media’s lead, concluded that it was the only thing that could explain why Trump would pull U.S. troops out of Syria and leave that wealth of…treasure?…to Putin and Russia.

“I think we all will be absolutely fascinated when we finally figure out what Vladimir Putin has on Donald Trump and why Donald Trump has surrendered the Middle East, helped ISIS, helped Iran, helped Russia, helped Turkey, helped all of our enemies and betrayed all of our allies,” Scarborough pontificated. “You know, a lot of people think that it’s – he has compromising pictures or something happened in a hotel in Russia years ago. No. It goes back to money. It’s always about money.”

Scarborough may be willing to go further than other pundits on the left by conclusively identifying the “something” that Putin is holding over Trump, but his overall theory is comfortably within the mainstream view. Of course, so was the theory that Putin and Trump collaborated to steal the 2016 election away from Hillary Clinton, and we all know how that one turned out. Mainstream consensus is hardly the same as the truth.

Here, it is so far afield from reality that it’s embarrassing. It seems that none of these so-called “experts” on Middle Eastern policy – including Republicans on Capitol Hill, by the way – have ever stopped to wonder what, exactly, Putin is gaining from this withdrawal. Yes, we know that Putin has found an ally in Bashar al-Assad, and that he finds our presence in Syria to be annoying. But in his desire to expand Russia’s geographical reach, Putin is almost certainly underestimating the nightmare he is about to inherit.

In the wake of Trump’s withdrawal from Northern Syria, one of the chief criticisms thrown against him was that he was allowing ISIS a foothold to return to power. Well, with Russian troops filling the vacuum and Moscow becoming the next great Middle Eastern occupier, who do you think Islamic extremists are going to target? Under President Trump, U.S. airstrikes and U.S.-backed forces did a mighty job of killing ISIS combatants and destroying their caliphate. But the best longterm “victory” against Islamic extremists could be to simply redirect their attention to our global adversaries. Let Putin spend billions of dollars on the War on Terror. Let him bankrupt Moscow trying to keep up with these jihadist cockroaches. Trump is more than willing to let Vlad take possession of this “treasure.”

Take ISIS out of the equation. Even without their pesky interference, Putin is facing a economy-draining hellpit in Syria. Assad, hoping to recover from a brutal, years-long civil war, doesn’t have the riches, the resources, or the economy to rebuild. This will become Putin’s responsibility, and a weighty responsibility it is. Some estimates put the price tag at close to $500 billion. The Russian economy, already on shaky ground, cannot afford this expenditure no matter how much Syrian territory it gives them access to.

In February, the Kremlin started an unusual project to reimagine the Soviet Union’s 1980s adventures in Afghanistan as an unqualified success. This military blunder not only strained Soviet forces and cratered the Moscow economy, it exposed the limits of the U.S.S.R.’s global power. But given Putin’s desire to repeat the mistakes of history in Syria, it’s no wonder that he wants to convince the citizenry that this historic tragedy was actually a great triumph. It’s not surprising that he can pull the wool over the eyes of the Russian public.

But how did he manage to convince the idiots in Washington?