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Trump mind-bogglingly defends the Soviets (WE)

5 January 2019


Washington Examiner title: Trump mind-bogglingly defends the Soviets

“If presidents could be impeached for ignorance, Donald Trump just merited impeachment for endorsing the Soviet Union’s brutal 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.

To listen to what Trump said today at a Cabinet meeting is to enter a bizarrely anti-moral alternative universe. In a confused, ahistorical, and rambling comment in a ramblingly reality-deprived confab, Trump uttered this stunningly benighted take on the Soviets’ attempt to conquer and permanently communize Afghanistan: “The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They [the Soviets] were right to be there.”

Right to be there? Really?

In 1979, there were no “terrorists” from Afghanistan going into the Soviet Union. None. Not even the Soviets claimed as much. The official Soviet excuse for invading was to shore up the supposedly legitimate Afghani government (itself installed in a pro-Soviet coup in the previous year), which had been upending local customs and brutalizing its internal enemies.

There was nothing “right” about the invasion. Not even close. Virtually the whole international community, even nations which usually kowtowed to the Soviets whenever conflicts arose, sharply denounced this flagrantly illegitimate use of Soviet power. The U.N. General Assembly, often a Soviet-friendly conclave, passed a resolution against the invasion, 104-18. In protest against the invasion, some 66 nations joined the U.S.-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

The invasion was an application of the Brezhnev Doctrine, which promised the use of Soviet armed force to crush any attempt to roll back communism or attain human rights, anywhere the Kremlin considered within the Soviet sphere of influence. The doctrine was, in a word, evil. Tens of millions of people had human rights, or hopes for them, destroyed, and of course many thousands lost their lives.

Opposition to the Soviet invasion was, in turn, a key facet of the Reagan Doctrine, aimed at rolling back the Russian Evil Empire. It was a moral American doctrine, part of an immensely moral worldwide struggle. Because of the Reagan Doctrine, the large U.S. military build-up, and the eventual success at evicting the Soviets from Afghanistan, the Soviet Empire of course did collapse — and hundreds of millions of people won the freedom that had been denied them for decades.

For an American president to say the Soviets were “right” to invade Afghanistan is mind-boggling. It’s morally akin to approving Mussolini’s fascist invasion and subjugation of Ethiopia or even the “ killing fields” of Pol Pot. It is unfathomable. It is an outrage.

Trump is either historically illiterate or morally monstrous. Let’s hope it’s the former. Either way, he should recant his remarks. They sully the Oval Office and the nation which its occupant is supposed to serve.”


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