While Donald Trump was reasserting his intention to engage in diplomacy with Moscow at last week's GOP debate, a snarling Carly Fiorina stepped forward with some harsh anti-Putin rhetoric in a clear attempt to establish her Neocon bonafides.
The failed former CEO of Hewlett Packard minced no words in detailing how she would deal with the Evil One in the Kremlin, and to the surprise of probably no one amongst RI's readership, it had absolutely nothing to do with diplomacy. 'Having met Vladimir Putin, I wouldn't talk to him at all. We've talked way too much to him', said the former advisor to John McCain's failed 2008 presidential campaign.
She then outlined her plan for ensuring that Putin 'gets the message', which included, but would surely not be limited to: rebuilding the U.S. sixth fleet (didn't know that it was broken, but okay); rekindling the 'missile defense' system in Poland; conducting continuous and aggressive military exercises in the Baltics; and ramping up America's military occupation of Germany. These steps combined with a complete lack of communication and/or diplomacy would ostensibly suffice in bringing the Russian strongman to heel.
And the 61-year-old mother of none was not done there. She went on to essentially claim that Putin is now operating in an agent-like capacity for General Qasim Sulaimani, the head of the infamous Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, who, according to Fiorina, traveled to Moscow and 'talked Putin' into aligning Russia with the Assad regime.
The deception on this latter point is particularly insidious. Ignored was the fact that Russia has been an ally of Syria since the early days of the Cold War. Ignored was the fact that Russia has had a naval presence in Tartus, Syria through a base lease signed in 1971. And certainly ignored was the fact that Russia's activities in Syria are intended to check the horrific terror unleashed by forces both directly and indirectly supported by the U.S. itself in its maniacal drive to oust Assad in favor of a puppet who will transport Qatari natural gas to Europe via Syrian territory.
So, with the second GOP debate, the spetrum of U.S. Republican policy toward Russia has been clearly defined. On one end we have the pragmatism of Donald Trump, who believes in negotiation, deal making, and diplomacy. While on the other, we have more of the same pig-headed belligerence and aggression that has driven the world to the brink with endless war and its resulting multi-national refugee catastrophe.
As bad of a state as the world finds itself in today, things can always get worse - much worse - and the hysterical and dangerous policies of diplomatic isolation and increased military aggression against Russia as espoused by Ms. Fiorina last Wednesday, would almost certainly guarantee that they would.