July 13, 2017

Obama administration’s dereliction of duty

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Dear Editor:

John Bodnar (letter to the editor, June 18) maligns Donald Trump by using innuendoes and distortions without demonstrating any concrete evidence. He states that President Trump can’t wait to sweep Russian intrusions under the rug. Yet among the evidence on Barack Obama’s desk was proof that Vladimir Putin was directing Russian espionage against the U.S. Nevertheless, President Obama kept relatively silent on this effort in order to avoid contaminating the expected Hillary Clinton triumph. Mr. Bodnar states Jared Kushner sought to make common cause with the Russians. This is as vague a statement as you can make.

Improved relations with Russia have been the aim of every president since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. Presidents and presidents-elect have been using secret emissaries and back channels forever. Are we supposed to infer a gigantic conspiracy from the fact that Mr. Trump did not frown during his meeting with Sergey Lavrov?

Former Obama administration CIA chief John Brennan, in testimony, offered evidence of Trump campaign cooperation with Russian intelligence.

Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, showed no grasp of Russian realities. She launched the “reset policy” after the murder of Alexander Litvinenko and Anna Politkovskaya by Mr. Putin’s henchmen. Instead of seriously trying to deter Russian aggression, which in Ukraine so far has claimed more than 10,000 lives, the Obama administration in 2009 created the McFaul-Surkov commission. Michael McFaul, President Obama’s chief adviser on Russia, was tasked with building a civil society in Russia alongside Vladislav Surkov, a Kremlin aide responsible for suppressing it.

Instead of spreading distortions about Trump, Mr. Bodnar should face the fact that the Obama administration’s strategic dereliction of duty in not giving Ukraine the lethal weapons it needs to defend itself against Russian aggression compounded the Russia problem. Ukrainian Americans should realize that Mr. Obama and Ms. Clinton should be the ones brought to justice for abandoning Ukraine by not upholding the Budapest Memorandum.

 Colts Neck, N.J.

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