A Nation of Killers?

This should concern you. Here is Donald Trump talking about his buddy Vlad  to Bill O’Reilly.

TRUMP – I do respect him, but I respect a lot of people. That doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him. He’s a leader of his country. I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight — and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that’s a good thing.

O’REILLY – But he’s a killer though. Putin’s a killer.

TRUMP -There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?

First a clarification. When O’Reilly says that Putin is a killer, he can only mean that Putin’s regime is connected to politically motivated killings.

It is bizarre that Trump would say “we’ve got a lot of killers” too, suggesting that political killing is an American our policy choice as well — just after news that one of the main Russian opposition leaders — Vladimir Kara-Mruza —  was poisoned — for a second time.  If you are wondering, this man was an assistant to Boris Nemstov, the leading opposition figure, who was assassinated in the streets of Moscow just two years ago.

These things are not happening in the US. And so “yes, we are so innocent” at least in this respect. For example, Hillary still lives.  And no one thought Mitt Romney or John McCain were in any danger from Barrack Obama. Al Gore and John Kerry still live as well. And the judge who issued the stay to the Trump immigration executive order is not in immediate danger of a hit. Right? Same For Bill O’Reilly, Rachel Maddow, Megyn Kelly etc. Right?

BTW, the above two politically motivated killings in Russia are just a few examples of the killings that one hears about. There is Mr. Litvenenko, killed by polonium poisoning in London. Or how about the murder of prominent  Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya in Moscow? Anyone remember what happened to American journalist Paul Klebnikov just after he arrived in Moscow to report on corruption? Again, there are many more examples of killings of prominent figures who were causing trouble for the regime. So we are not talking about a “bad patch” in Russia —  few years of turbulence. There has been a pattern of politically motivated killings going back through the Putin era to the beginning.

Let’s hope that Mr. Trump, as he often does, spoke before he had a chance to use the little grey cells in his head. Or perhaps he was just grossly dissembling. comparing political killings with common street crime. The alternative explanation for suggesting a comparison between America and Russia with respect to politically motivated killings would be too crude — even for him.

And yet, one cannot help but wonder about his question “Our country’s so innocent?” Why pose such a question? It suggests that Trump does not believe that the US really is innocent. Thus the door is open to the speculation that politically motivated killings could be within the US  experience. Is that what Trump intended to say? Let’s hope that he clarifies his thoughts on this rather sensitive subject, and soon.

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