What did we learn from the Summit?
Both Russia and the US have said that the relationship between the two major countries is at an all-time low. Most Democrats would agree with Putin’s comment that Biden is a “very balanced person,” which implies Putin believes that last guy was not mentally predictable. But after hearing the President of Russia say that its relations with the US are so bad, I have to ask why.
Despite all the glowing things our former president said about getting along with Russia and Putin, and all the actions he took despite advice from experts in the State Department, somehow the result was zero good will between the two powers. What did our last president do that caused Putin to be unhappy with us?
Remember that Donald Trump and Putin talked behind closed doors. No one knows what was said, but relations between the two countries didn’t change one bit. Trump’s verbal gymnastics in Helsinki only made things worse. It remains unclear if he didn’t see any reason why Russia WOULD or WOULDN’T have interfered with our elections? We have proof of what Russia did, but Putin continues to deny, deny, deny — as any mobster worth his salt should do.
Okay, big newsflash here. Vladimir Putin doesn’t give a shit about the United States of America, and he could not care less about our president. His focus is staying in power. He has already changed the laws of his land to do so for the rest of his life, and he’ll kill anyone who gets in his way. Short of an aggressive form of prostate cancer, he will continue tormenting the world for quite some time.
Let me offer this perspective, the economies of Russia and Texas are roughly the same size, but our comrades overseas don’t have the frills and fabulous lives we have here in the good old USA. Amazon isn’t making multiple deliveries to Russian homes. The principal driver of the Russian economy is the energy they sell to the rest of the world. It’s fortunate that we buy more vodka and caviar from them than energy. Now, consider this. When was the last time you picked up a product at Walmart and saw a stamp saying “Made in Russia?” Economically speaking, we can only hurt them. Putin understands this and that’s why he often talks about sanctions.
Russia has always been the underdog and they carry an inferiority complex into every meeting with the outside world. Yes, they helped us beat the Nazis but, as Joe Biden pointed out, that was self-interest and not an altruistic response to a madman. The Soviet Union lost about 27 million civilian and military lives in World War II, but the Russians want us to believe it was 20 million. Had Hitler been successful in the east, there would be no Russia today.
Joseph Stalin was no angel. Some people believe that the 1930-1933 Russian famine, in which 7.5 million people starved to death, was a plot concocted by that “man of steel” Stalin to “liquidate” prosperous peasants (“kulaks”). By getting rid of those who controlled agriculture, their lands would transfer to Moscow and the capital extracted from the countryside could build Soviet industry, fill government coffers and line the pockets of the country’s so-called leaders. That’s terrible, if true, but truth in Russia is a rare commodity.
Yesterday, Vladimir Putin stood in front of the world press in Geneva and said that it wasn’t his people who hacked the US; it was the US itself. When asked why Russian opposition leaders have been poisoned, imprisoned and murdered, Putin claimed he had nothing to do with any of that. When asked about peaceful Russian protesters being arrested, Vlad cited the US January 6th Insurrection in a feeble attempt to create a false equivalency. Putin said he wants to avoid the same thing happening in his country, clearly disagreeing with the Republicans in Congress who claim January 6th was just another day of leisurely tourism on Capitol Hill. While our Republican sycophants stomp their feet and claim Biden is negotiating from a position of weakness, Putin is saying that all those anti-democracy Proud Boys who attacked Congress on January 6th should either be put in prison or poisoned.
Vladimir Putin doesn’t care if Alexei Navalny dies in prison. Should the dissident die in prison, Putin will go on TV to say it was an unfortunate outcome and “that guy” should never have protested. The little dictator will continue going after anyone who disagrees with him with a deathly vengeance. Nice guy, eh?
There is no “all time low” in our relationship with Russia. It’s just the way it is and always will be. Yes, Reagan was able to get the then-Soviets, to tear down the Berlin Wall, but the fundamental reason they got out of Germany was the prohibitive cost of maintaining a presence there. A young KGB agent stationed in Berlin oversaw the burning of secret documents. His name was Vladimir Putin. He wasn’t happy about his country giving up power then and that continues to be his main driver now. He learned German in high school and speaks it fluently. One could surmise he has a Napoleon syndrome because of his stature, but he probably leans more toward Hitler as an influence.
I don’t want to come off as an asshole, but we don’t need the US media swarm of junior TV reporters pontificating and spouting their theories about the meaning of the summit. The only person who made any sense to me was Fiona Hill. She was a key figure in Donald Trump’s Ukraine quid pro quo controversy and, as Senior Director for Europe and Russia of the National Security Council, she understands Putin and Russia better than anyone at the State Department. Hill’s commentary that Putin will continue to spread disinformation to shape the opinions, policies and actions of other nations is spot on. He’s just a spy who figured out a way to grift billions of dollars from Russia’s energy industry. He’s not a president. He’s an oligarch standing in front of an atomic arsenal.
It’s sad that the day after the summit the American press is more interested in a confrontation between Biden and a CNN reporter rather than the substance of what happened there. What did we learn? I saw a US president being presidential, having a meeting with the ruthless Putin, then coming out to plainly talk about the substance of their discussion. Man, that’s refreshing. We actually learned what happened, while remaining clueless about what Trump and Putin talked about in Helsinki. Trump fears truth while Biden fights for his truth. At least that’s something.
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