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Bill Barr’s New Book Complains Democrats Were Wrong for ‘Demonizing’ Putin



It’s unknown when former Attorney General Bill Barr handed his manuscript over to his publisher, but as it is being released, pieces of it are already outdated.

The Daily Beast revealed Sunday that Barr’s new tell-all attacks Democrats for “demonizing” Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Barr claims that the attacks on Putin were all that Democrats cared about when it came to foreign policy.

“Unfortunately, with the media ready to pounce on President Trump as a Russian stooge—if not a Manchurian candidate—at the slightest sign of détente, the President’s hands were severely tied, particularly during an election year,” Barr wrote. “This is not the way grown-ups should think.”

This comes as videos of Trump speaking positively of Putin are spreading across social media.

“The threat posed by Russia has changed dramatically since the fall of the Soviet Union,” Barr, who is far from a foreign policy expert. “The Russian Federation of today has roughly half the population the old Soviet Union had, and less than half the U.S. population. The larger Warsaw Pact countries—Poland, the former East Germany—are now part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The combined defense budgets of the three big Western European countries—Britain, France, and Germany—are comparable to Russia’s. While Russia still has a potent nuclear arsenal, the prospect of Russian tanks rolling to the English Channel—a realistic scenario during the Cold War—is just not plausible now. Further, while some Russian foreign policy goals are in tension with our own, Russia’s leaders no longer promote a revolutionary ideology that foreordains general antagonism with the West. For them, foreign policy is now more purely a matter of Realpolitik.”

It’s an awkward message as Putin threatens to use his nuclear weapons.

Barr also overly simplifies the Democratic position that extensively addressed the need for NATO to be supported, along with other international alliances and challenge Russia along with China. President Joe Biden frequently spoke on the campaign trail about the need for asymmetrical strategy in national security, like protecting the U.S. power grid and other infrastructure from hacking and cyber-attacks. Addressing climate change internationally is also a piece of Biden’s foreign policy.

The Daily Beast noted that this part of Barr’s book comes from an awkward time for the GOP, after they spent years promoting Putin and Russia. The overwhelming majority of the countries of the world are firmly against Putin and standing in solidarity with Ukraine.

Barr also said that he fears a “wavering, intermittently alert” Biden may give Putin space to “pursue Russian strategic goals more assertively.” Clearly, that didn’t happen. Far from it. But it’s Barr’s conclusion that makes him look even worse.

“Demonizing Putin is not a foreign policy. If the world is still in one piece after Biden’s term, the United States needs to explore the feasibility of putting our relations with Russia on a more positive footing,” the book says.

Read the full report from the Daily Beast.

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