Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

He Said That? 9/10/17

From Vladimir Putin’s recent press conference:

It is difficult to talk to people who confuse Austria and Australia. But there is nothing we can do about this; this is the level of political culture among the American establishment. As for the American people, America is truly a great nation if the Americans can put up with so many politically uncivilized people in their government.

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Laughing on the Way to Armageddon, by Paul Craig Roberts

Many nations are laughing at, not with, the United States. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

The United States shows the world such a ridiculous face that the world laughs at us.

The latest spin on “Russia stole the election” is that Russia used Facebook to influence the election. The NPR women yesterday were breathless about it.

We have been subjected to ten months of propaganda about Trump/Putin election interference and still not a scrap of evidence. It is past time to ask an unasked question: If there were evidence, what is the big deal? All sorts of interest groups try to influence election outcomes including foreign governments. Why is it OK for Israel to influence US elections but not for Russia to do so? Why do you think the armament industry, the energy industry, agribusiness, Wall Street and the banks, pharmaceutical companies, etc., etc., supply the huge sum of money to finance election campaigns if their intent is not to influence the election? Why do editorial boards write editorials endorsing one candidate and damning another if they are not influencing the election?

What is the difference between influencing the election and influencing the government? Washington is full of lobbyists of all descriptions, including lobbyists for foreign governments, working round the clock to influence the US government. It is safe to say that the least represented in the government are the citizens themselves who don’t have any lobbyists working for them.

The orchestrated hysteria over “Russian influence” is even more absurd considering the reason Russia allegedly interfered in the election. Russia favored Trump because he was the peace candidate who promised to reduce the high tensions with Russia created by the Obama regime and its neocon nazis—Hillary Clinton, Victoria Nuland, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power. What’s wrong with Russia preferring a peace candidate over a war candidate? The American people themselves preferred the peace candidate. So Russia agreed with the electorate.

Those who don’t agree with the electorate are the warmongers—the military/security complex and the neocon nazis. These are democracy’s enemies who are trying to overturn the choice of the American people. It is not Russia that disrespects the choice of the American people; it is the utterly corrupt Democratic National Committee and its divisive Identity Politics, the military/security complex, and the presstitute media who are undermining democracy.

To continue reading: Laughing on the Way to Armageddon

 

The Unsung Summit of Putin and Trump From Hiroshima To Hamburg, by John V. Walsh

As SLL noted in “Is Trump Winning?,” the cease-fire in Syria President Trump and Vladimir Putin signed off on at the recent G20 summit received remarkably little attention. There were some other things accomplished worthy of note. From John V. Walsh at lewrockwell.com:

This week marks the 72nd anniversary of the criminal US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.   And as is the case each year, there is much discussion and lamenting over this atrocity, as there well should be.  For the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was not necessary for victory; Japan had already sued for peace.  It was the opening salvo, a brutal one, in the first Cold War in which the world was nearly incinerated during the Cuban missile crisis.

This week is also the one month anniversary of the first in-person meeting of Presidents Trump and Putin at Hamburg on July 7 in the shadow of the G20 meetings.  This comes at a time when we find ourselves years into a New Cold War. Given the tensions between Russia and the US, the leading nuclear powers, one would think that there would be rejoicing over the prospect of relieving the tensions between the nuclear superpowers.  For that was the agenda of the Trump-Putin summit, as such meetings were called during the first Cold War.  Unfortunately, such rejoicing was not to be heard, quite the opposite – with a few rare exceptions

This is lamentable, to say the least, because as tensions grow between the superpowers, the chance for nuclear war increases.  During his lengthy interviews with Vladimir Putin, Oliver Stone showed him the movie “Dr. Strangelove” which Putin had never before seen.  Putin commented that the movie captured, among other things, a technical truth with its depiction of the Doomsday Machine.  That is, said Putin, nuclear weapons grow increasingly harder to control with every passing day.  Given this, the failure to applaud the Trump-Putin on the part of those who were full of praise for the UN vote on denuclearization made me wonder whether there was any thought behind their chatter.  Hatred of Trump and Putin seemed to blot out a rational concern for human survival.  Are we living in a mad house?  Did we not learn our lesson when we narrowly escaped Armageddon in Cold War 1?

To continue reading: The Unsung Summit of Putin and Trump From Hiroshima To Hamburg

 

Washington Pushes Harder Against Russia, by Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts argues that many Russians are deluded about the United States, viewing it through a prism of wishful thinking. If the Russians don’t wise up, Roberts argues, world war is inevitable. From Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:

Some historians believe that the cause of WW2 was UK prime minister Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler’s recovery of German territory given to other countries via the Versailles Treaty in contravention of US President Woodrow Wilson’s promise to Germany that there would be no reparations and no loss of territory if Germany agreed to an armistice ending WW1.

I do not agree. The facts seem clear. The cause of WW2 was the gratuitous and unenforceable guarantee to the Polish military government given by Chamberlain that if Poland refused to hand German lands and populations back to Germany, Great Britain would be there to support Poland. When Germany and the Soviet Union made the deal to split Poland between them and attacked, Britain due to its stupid “guarantee” declared war on Germany, but not on the Soviet Union. As France was aligned by treaty with Britain, France, too, had to declare war. Because of the reign of propaganda in the West, hardly anyone knows this, but WW2 was started by the British and French declaration of war on Germany. Yet, it was the surviving members of the German regime who were put on trial by the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in Nuremberg for initiating aggressive war.

Nevertheless, as the general opinion is that Chamberlain encouraged Hitler to ever more aggressive actions by the British failure to respond, why has no one pointed out that the Russian government’s lack of response to Washington’s aggressive actions toward Russia encourages Washington to become more aggressive. This also is leading to war.

The Russian government, like Chamberlain’s, has not responded to provocations far more dangerous than Chamberlain faced, because, like Chamberlain, the Russian government prefers peace to war.

The question is whether the Russian government is avoiding or encouraging war by its non-response to illegal sanctions and propagandistic accusations and demonizations. Russia has even allowed Washington to put ABM bases on its borders with Poland and Romania. This is like the US permitting Russia to put missile bases in Cuba.

To continue reading: Washington Pushes Harder Against Russia

4 Financial Components to Improved Russian Relations, by Jim Rickards

Jim Rickards thinks that US relations with Russia will improve, and he maps out some financial implications. From Rickards at dailyreckoning.com:

With the U.S. preparing to confront China and go to war with North Korea, Russia is an indispensable ally for the U.S.

There are huge implications on capital markets as these hegemonic powers continue to edge toward war.

Here’s an overview of some of the financial implications of improved relations with Russia…

1: The End of OPEC and the Rise of the Tripartite Alliance

On energy, a new producer alliance is being created to replace the old OPEC model. This new alliance will be far more powerful than OPEC ever was because it involves the three largest energy producers in the world — the U.S., Russia, and Saudi Arabia. This Tripartite Alliance is being engineered by former CEO of Exxon and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, with support from Trump, Putin and the new Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman.

This alliance is perfectly positioned to enforce both a price cap ($60 per barrel to discourage fracking) and a price floor ($40 per barrel to mitigate the revenue impact on producers). Supply cheating by outsiders, including Iran and Nigeria, can be discouraged by directing order flow to the alliance members, which denies the cheaters of any revenue.

As a result, energy will trade in the range described. Traders can profit by buying energy plays when prices are in the low 40s and selling when prices hit the mid-to-high 50s.

2: Improved U.S. Relations with Russia and Sanctions Relief

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and intervention in eastern Ukraine, President Obama imposed stringent economic sanctions on Russia, its major banks and corporations, and certain political figures and oligarchs. The EU joined these sanctions at the behest of the U.S. Russia responded by imposing its own sanctions on Europe and the U.S. in the form of banning certain imports.

The sanctions have been a failure. They have had no impact on Russian behavior at all. Russia still acts freely in Crimea, eastern Ukraine, and in other spheres of influence such as Syria.

This failure was predictable. Russian culture thrives on adversity. Russians understand that their culture is distinctly non-western and has its roots in Slavic ethnicity and the Eastern Orthodox religion.

The benefits to Europe from sanctions relief would amplify what is already solid growth and monetary policy normalization there. This paints a bullish picture for the euro and the ruble as trade and financial ties expand beginning in 2018.

To continue reading: 4 Financial Components to Improved Russian Relations

Russia’s Real Endgame, by Jim Rickards

Vladimir Putin is hated not because he has designs on the world (he almost certainly doesn’t), but because he is first and foremost a nationalist. From Jim Rickards at dailyreckoning.com:

Russia’s Putin has never taken his eye off the ball. His ambition is not global hegemony or European conquest. Putin seeks what Russia has always sought: regional hegemony and a set of buffer states in eastern Europe and central Asia that can add to Russia’s strategic depth.

It is strategic depth — the capacity to suffer massive invasions and still survive due to an ability to retreat to a core position and stretch enemy supply lines — that enabled Russia to defeat both Napoleon and Hitler. Putin also wants the modicum of respect that would normally accompany that geostrategic goal.

Understanding Putin is not much more complicated than that.

In the twenty-first century, a Russian sphere of influence is not achieved by conquest or subordination in the old Imperial or Communist style. It is achieved by close financial ties, direct foreign investment, free trade zones, treaties, security alliances, and a network of associations that resemble earlier versions of the EU.

Russian military intervention in Crimea and eastern Ukraine is best understood not as a Russian initiative, but as a Russian reaction. It was a response to U.S. and U.K. efforts to attack Russia by pushing aggressively and prematurely for Ukraine membership in NATO. This was done by deposing a Putin ally in Kiev in early 2014.

This is not to justify Russia’s actions, merely to put them in a proper context. The time to peel off Ukraine for NATO was 1999, not 2014.

The Russian-Ukraine situation is a subset of the broader U.S.-Russian relationship. Here, the opposition comes not just from domestic opponents but from the globalist elite.

The Globalist Roots of Today’s Brewing Conflict

Globalization emerged in the 1990s as a consequences of the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany. For the first time since 1914, Russia, China and their respective empires could join the U.S., Western Europe and their former colonies in Latin America and Africa in a single global market.

To continue reading: Russia’s Real Endgame

Russia Baiters and Putin Haters, by Patrick J. Buchanan

Given the many thugs and dictators the US has dealt with through the years, it’s a mystery why Vladimir Putin excites such special animus among the US establishment. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

“Is Russia an enemy of the United States?” NBC’s Kasie Hunt demanded of Ted Cruz. Replied the runner-up for the GOP nomination, “Russia is a significant adversary. Putin is a KGB thug.”

To Hillary Clinton running mate Tim Kaine, the revelation that Donald Trump Jr., entertained an offer from the Russians for dirt on Clinton could be considered “treason.”

Treason is giving aid and comfort to an enemy in a time of war.

Are we really at war with Russia? Is Russia really our enemy?

“Why Russia is a Hostile Power” is the title of today’s editorial in The Washington Post that seeks to explain why Middle America should embrace the Russophobia of our capital city:

“Vladimir Putin adheres to a set of values that are antithetical to bedrock American values. He favors spheres of influence over self-determination; corruption over transparency; and repression over democracy.”

Yet, accommodating a sphere of influence for a great power is exactly what FDR and Churchill did with Stalin, and every president from Truman to George H. W. Bush did with the Soviet Union.

When East Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Poles rose up against Communist regimes, no U.S. president intervened. For those nations were on the other side of the Yalta line agreed to in 1945.

Bush I and James Baker even accused Ukrainians of “suicidal nationalism” for contemplating independence from Russia.

When did support for spheres of influence become un-American?

As for supporting “corruption over transparency,” ex-Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili resigned in disgust as governor of Odessa in November, accusing Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, our man in Kiev, of supporting corruption.

As for favoring “repression over democracy,” would that not apply to our NATO ally President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, our Arab ally Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt, and our Philippine ally Rodrigo Duterte? Were U.S. Cold War allies like the Shah of Iran and Gen. Augusto Pinochet of Chile all Jeffersonian Democrats? Have we forgotten our recent history?

The Post brought up the death in prison of lawyer-activist Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. Under the Magnitsky Act of 2012, Congress voted sanctions on Russia’s elites.

Yet China’s lone Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, sentenced to 11 years in prison for championing democracy, died Thursday of liver cancer, with police in his hospital room. Communist dictator Xi Jinping, who makes Putin look like Justin Trudeau, would not let the dying man go.

To continue reading: Russia Baiters and Putin Haters