In Donald Trump’s world, Mexico is a big bad enemy, who must be made to pay for a wall between our neighboring countries, and must be made to pay for the fact that they benefitted from NAFTA. Russia, on the other hand, is run by a smart leader, popular with his countrymen, and treats the press as Trump wishes he could treat them.
Could anything in the world be more wrong?
Russia’s GDP is 166 percent of Mexico’s, with a population only 17.3 percent larger (about 20 million). Combined Mexico plus Russia are about 25 percent of the U.S. GDP ($16.77 trillion in 2013). Economically, Russia and Mexico are similar in that most of the wealth is concentrated in a ruling oligarchy.
As for import/export, Mexico imports $370.7 billion (2013) and exports $370.9 billion. 78 percent of their exports head to the U.S., while only 49.9 percent of imports come from the U.S. Most of the rest come from China and Japan. Russia imports $341 billion, and exports ($515 billion) mainly energy and natural resources to Europe. Their main imports are from China and Germany. Germany has a large positive trade balance with Russia.
The Russian military is rated number 2 in the world. Could America whip their butts in a shooting war? Probably. Would it hurt, really bad? Absolutely. Our military doctrine for 40 years was to fight Russia in the Fulda Gap. Mexico’s military is rated number 31, behind Vietnam, Iran, Canada, Thailand, North Korea, Greece and Sweden.
A Russian T-90 tank took a direct hit in Syria from a U.S.-supplied TOW missile and survived without major damage. The Mexican army has a total of zero main battle tanks. Russia has 15,398–nearly double what the U.S. has. The Russians have eyes on Crimea, Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia, Syria, and everywhere else they can increase their empire and territorial control. We should fear the Russians (not in the sense that they’ll attack us, but in the sense that their interests are in direct conflict with America’s). Our NATO partners seem to fear them (isn’t that the purpose of NATO? Not “protection money”).
We have nothing to fear from Mexico. They have no eyes on America’s wealth or territory. We do have an internal problem, as Trump pointed out–do we have sovereign borders or not? But our allowing massive infiltration of illegal aliens is not Mexico’s fault. It just isn’t. This is not the Mariel Boatlift, where Carter announced that every Cuban refugee would be welcome and Castro obliged by emptying his prisons. The Mexicans do not empty their prisons into America.
Building a wall to keep illegal aliens from crossing America’s southern border is a purely American problem to solve. A large number of those crossing the border aren’t Mexicans, but are Panamanians, Hondurans, Guatemalans, Costa Ricans and El Salvadorians. Many of them come because they believe President Obama offered them a permiso to show up and join family, or leave anchor family here.
But Trump thinks Mexico is a big bad enemy.
Trump said he was just being “sarcastic” when he challenged Russia to release 33,000 emails deleted from Clinton’s server. He was just joking that the number 2 military power in the world, whose leader has vanished opponents without a trace, who “probably” approved the murder of former spy Alexander Litvinenko using deadly polonium-210, was likely behind hacking an American political party, to directly influence an American presidential election.
“He was joking around,” former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump surrogate, said on CNN’s “New Day.” “If he tells you I’m joking, you take him at his word.”
Former House Speaker New Gingrich referred to the comments as a “joke” soon after the GOP nominee made it Tuesday morning.
Ha ha. Very funny joke. Regime change and all: yuck yuck. I can take Trump at his word. He toys with the Russians, but the Russians aren’t prone to toying. They’re dead serious about taking down America in parts of the world where they want to grow influence and diminish ours.
The problem with believing Trump is that the outcome of believing him is usually worse than when you can’t believe him.