Donald J. Trump has no shortage of hyperbole. The president trots it out whenever he damn well feels like it.
Such as this: “I have been the toughest president on Russia … ever!”
Really? Hmm. Let’s review that bit of bluster, shall we?
October 1962: President Kennedy gets intelligence that the Soviet Union was building offensive missile sites in Cuba. He consults with his national security team. They debate whether to attack the sites, invade Cuba, do nothing, or impose a blockade on the island nation. JFK chooses to blockade Cuba. He then speaks to the world on national TV and warns the communists that an attack on any nation in the Western Hemisphere would result in a “full retaliatory response” from the United States.
The Soviets backed off. They took down the missile sites. World War III was, thus, averted.
June 1987: President Reagan ventures to West Germany. He already has described the communist regime in Moscow as the Evil Empire. The president goes to the Brandenburg Gate separating East and West Berlin and bellows, “Mr. (Mikhail) Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
There have been other instances of U.S. presidents acting sternly in response to Russian (or Soviet) aggression. President Carter ordered a U.S. boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow after the USSR invaded Afghanistan in the previous year. President Bush 41 oversaw the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama all had their instances of spine-stiffening resolve as they involve the Russians. I include the Soviet Union era in this discussion because, well, the Soviets were Russians, too.
And yet the current president of the United States, Donald Trump, keeps insisting — without any demonstrable evidence — that he’s the toughest president of all time against the Russians.
Give me a break.
Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of history knows better.