Alexander Vindman Gets Fired Up & Goes After ‘Fox News’

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Recently, Rep. Scott Franklin (R-Fla.) self-confidently proclaimed in reference to rising aggression from Russia towards Ukraine that if President Joe Biden “does not radically alter his national security strategy from one of appeasement, these foreign threats will snowball and eventually impact U.S. interests at home,” and ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman wasn’t impressed — he shredded the nonsensical argument in a response posted on Twitter. As Vindman put it, replying to a tweet from the official account associated with House Republicans:

‘What the hell are you talking about? You make a mockery of the legacy of Eisenhower & Reagan. Appeasement is what your platform [Fox News] & [its] carnival barker [Tucker Carlson] advocate. Get your own house in order before you pipe up.’

Have these people completely forgotten the four years of the Trump administration? It’s not just the “Russian agents helped prop up the Trump campaign” stuff — far from it. Trump repeatedly downplayed the threat of Russian election meddling. He sought to see Putin re-admitted to the G7 group of world leaders, even though he was removed from what was then the G8 specifically because of aggression towards Ukraine. And with other leaders, the trend continued: Trump resisted taking substantive actions against a Saudi leader after a U.S.-based journalist was executed in Turkey at that leader’s direction.

As for Fox and Carlson, the latter has repeatedly trumpeted pro-Putin talking points on his weekday program on the network. Recently, Carlson questioned why interests in the U.S. would support Ukraine — a democracy — over Russia, which remains under Putin’s authoritarian control, and at another recent point, he defended Russia’s concerns about Ukraine joining NATO. Carlson asked his viewers to “imagine if Mexico fell under the direct military control of China,” adding: “We would see that as a threat of course. That’s how Russia views NATO control of Ukraine. Why wouldn’t they?” Membership in NATO does not entail becoming controlled by the alliance.

Previously, Vindman credited certain divisions in the United States — including those perpetuated by Carlson — for Putin feeling sufficiently emboldened to threaten Ukraine. As Vindman put it, the timing of Putin’s actions is “mainly because of a sense of opportunity, a sense of weakness within the United States,” and he added that he has “every reason to believe that if we had not had an insurrection on January 6, because of President Trump, President Putin would not believe that there’s an opportunity, there’s a vulnerability in the United States. The hyper-polarization that Trump continues to nourish in the United States helps… [Putin] has major talking heads on Fox News, like Tucker Carlson, pandering to his interests, drawing false equivalencies between the U.S. and Russia. Really kind of fanboying over authoritarianism.”