Trump and Putin

Trump and Putin shake hands
Trump and Putin

The Qur’an (as always) has a verse for the Trump-Putin situation. Loosely translated it says:  Don’t make friends and protectors of those who fight you because of your beliefs (Surah 60, verse 9). 

Now, to be sure, this verse is talking about people who fight you over matters of religion, but it applies equally here. Russia has not been an ally of the US since World War II, and we were only allies then because Germany made the titanic mistake of invading Russia. We endured decades of Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, covert operations in Latin America and Africa, and several real wars (Vietnam, Korea) all designed to contain the Russian communist threat. We fostered the Taliban and other warlords in Afghanistan to contain Soviet expansion, and have been paying the price ever since.

After the demise of their planned economic system, Russia didn’t stir many waves for the better part of two decades. But with the annexation of Crimea, along with ongoing military action in the Ukraine, and support for Assad in Syria, Russia has made clear it intends to reclaim its position as a player on the world stage. Furthermore, Putin consistently depicts Russia as a bulwark of conservatism and religious values in opposition to a godless, lawless, immoral West. It’s true, Russia does not adhere to our values — there is almost no freedom of the press in Russia, the right to public protest is severely limited, freedom of speech is restricted, and while there are multiple political parties, election fraud is rampant. Worst of all, there is mounting evidence that Russia is attempting to undermine the American democracy and corrupt our electoral process both indirectly and directly.

Trump would do well to pay attention to the Qur’an (naturally!) and put his trust not in the enemy, but in the American intelligence community that is tasked with keeping our country informed and safe.

 

 

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