Saturday, July 14, 2018

What More Can Trump Do for Putin? How About Absolution?

Nothing Vlad Putin has done will deter Donald Trump from his one-on-one chin wag with his fellow despot in Finland on Monday. Nothing, not even Robert Mueller's forensic evidence showing that Putin meddled, probably fixed, America's 2016 elections will stop Trump. The Russians know it and they're already crowing "victory."

The mere fact that Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin will finally get his one-on-one meeting with President Trump in Helsinki on Monday is seen by the Russians as a validation of everything they have been up to in recent years. 
The hacking. The election meddling. The troll farms. The export of corruption. The support for xenophobic, extremist and all manner of disruptive movements in the West. The bullying of neighbors. The poisoning of U.K. citizens with a nerve agent. The kidnapping of an Estonian law-enforcement officer. And, of course, the illegal annexation of Crimea and the invasion of eastern Ukraine. 
And yeah, I get it — the Russians would never openly admit their responsibility for most of this. But that doesn’t change the fact that they view the summit as the United States giving them a pass on whatever they’ve done. 
Moscow-based foreign affairs analyst Vladimir Frolov, one of the more astute observers of the Kremlin’s thinking, succinctly summed up the conventional wisdom in a recent column: “This one decision — turning the page — will be an important victory for Putin, who so far has not given an inch and who has patiently waited for the U.S. to begin to restore relations.” 
The subtext of this narrative is simple: Extortion pays. The American and Russian presidents will meet as equals amid the trappings of superpower summitry. And from Moscow’s vantage point, that means bygones are bygones. Is this really the message the United States wants to send? Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov underscored the sentiment by stressing that any challenge to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea will be off limits in Helsinki. 
In Moscow they’re already gloating. The Russian propaganda machine is already preparing to spin whatever comes out of the summit. The Trump administration should be on its guard. 
One op-ed in the Kremlin mouthpiece Izvestia claimed that the famously hawkish U.S. national security adviser, John Bolton, was forced to “step on his throat” — the Russian equivalent of “eat his words” — and take a more conciliatory public line during his recent visit to Moscow. 
Another, penned by Andrei Bystritsky, chairman of the Valdai Discussion Club and a leading Kremlin surrogate, gleefully noted that the current world order is in crisis, citing the migration problem, divisions within the European Union and the widening transatlantic rift. Russia, he added, now occupies “a unique position in the world,” and constructing a stable order without it is impossible. Well, that’s one way of putting it.

A more accurate one would be that Putin has turned Russia into a global protection racket that is prepared to wreak havoc and chaos until he gets what he wants: a free hand in the former Soviet space and an exemption from the rules of international conduct.

A Brace of Grifters
Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria has exacerbated Europe’s migrant crisis. Its disinformation campaign and support for extremist parties have undermined European unity and transatlantic solidarity. Its encouragement of corruption has established networks of influence across the West and undermined faith in democratic institutions. 
Given the Kremlin leader’s background, this should not be surprising. Putin cut his political teeth facilitating relations between the state and organized-crime groups when he was deputy mayor of St. Petersburg in the 1990s. Among other things, he helped the infamous Tambov group, a major crime syndicate, take over the city’s gaming and fuel distribution industries. 
Putin has since expanded. He now runs the biggest mafia syndicate in the world: the Russian government. And he has applied the skills he mastered in the St. Petersburg underworld — things such as extortion, blackmail and confidence tricks — and applied them to international politics. 
Sometimes this involves childish and disrespectful power plays, such as showing up hours late for appointments with other world leaders. Sometimes it involves thuggish stunts such as bringing his dog to a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 
But Putin is most effective at playing the role of the international grifter. And his big con is getting his protection racket recognized as a “respectable business.”
One thing we know about Trump is that he recognizes his own. That much is manifest in Trump's warm embrace of other despots from Orban to Erdogan, Duterte to Putin. And we know from Trump's legendary business career that he has few qualms about dealing with sketchy characters, facilitating money laundering, and fleecing lenders, investors and even tradesmen. The man is a lifelong grifter. He and Putin can instinctively spot each other a mile off. They may not speak the same language but, then again, they do.


rumleyfips said...

Brex, Enron, Exon, Imperial Tobacco ,Trump University et al have shown that there is no such thing as a " respecrable business ".

Jay Farquharson said...

Love the Sovcit Soviet/Russian "whataboutism".

Anonymous said...

"extortion, blackmail and confidence tricks — and applied them to international politics" ... isn't it, as well, a modus operandi of Uncle Sam?

Jay Farquharson said...

“Goddamn the hackers. Goddamn the journalists who laundered the pilfered material. Goddamn any of them who treated Roger Stone as a source, or as a cute prankster, instead of the nasty vandal he’s always been. Goddamn the pundits who chortled over the pilfered material. Goddamn the politicians who profited from the hacking. Goddamn the politicians who minimized the hacking. Goddamn the politicians who still stonewall about the hacking. Goddamn the “activists” who ranted about “McCarthyism” when anybody pointed out that the 2016 presidential election had been poisoned from afar. Goddamn them all as traitors, if not to the American nation, then to everything that ever made that nation worth the bother. ”

Jay Farquharson said...

Love the Sovcit Soviet/Russian "whataboutism".

Anonymous said...

From Washington Post - a mouthpiece of globalist neo-cons: Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria has exacerbated Europe’s migrant crisis.
Whaaat? This is Orwellian double-speak. Black is now white. It was the USA that deliberately destroyed Syria, Libya and Iraq* and thus directly caused that immense war crime tragedy. Don't bet though on Nuremberg-style trial coming soon for heads of Bush and Obama.

*If you did not notice these facts yet: Syria, Libya and Iraq were the most secular, developed and rich in capital (human and financial) Arab countries.

Jay Farquharson said...

Since the Russian intervention in Syria, in just under 2 years,

Syrian refugees have gone from 5 million, with 3.5 million internal refugees inside Syria and 1.5 million fleeing Syria,

To 11 million, with 6 million internal refugees inside Syria and 5 million fleeing Syria.

Karl Kolchak said...

Nice. More Trump-Putin homophobia from a supposed liberal. What next, are you going to show them in blackface?

Jay Farquharson said...

And SovCit steps out of the closet for all to see.

I guess those Gawker stories on how you guys had to to churn 24/7, with very little training and guidance were true.

Anonymous said...

"Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria has exacerbated Europe’s migrant crisis."

Russia's bombing? Is this commentator sane?

So, unfortunately, I found this post a complete load of utter tosh.

The US is/was in Syria illegally. Russia was invited in by Assad. Legally. There can be no argument in that.

The whole post is a regurgitation of tired State, Democrat and CIA bleatings. The NYT "mainstream" establishment view.

I can understand the need for attempting to sort some order from the chaos in order to try to establish a safe secure footing from which to opine.

Too bad it's so establishment and avoids dealing with the hard questions of rampant illegal US bombing and bullying of the world for decades. Including Syria.

Trump is hardly beholden to Putin. Or anyone else. His ego is too big for that. As I pointed out in a comment on your previous post, I believe the general thinking around here is so conventional it hurts. The hack writers busily clacking away in the Kremlin basement are on usual remote control just as are those who write rubbish for the NYT.

There has been a considerable amount published on Putin's precarious position vis-a-vis his PM and the Russky criminal element recently. And by US sources. Try following some of Decarie's links to learn something more than what these "lions" of the establishment churn out. For a change.

On the environment, I'm 100% behind you. On JT, the pipeline fiasco etc., likewise. On foreign policy, I just shake my head.


Anonymous said...

Here's some more Orwell. At the same time they indicted a dozen Russian hackers for "interfering in the US election," this crazy FBI spook was giving testimony he actively interfered in the US election to stop Trump.

That guy gives me the willies. His crazy arrogance and big empty words and gestures. You question him, you dare to question the sanctity of the entire FBI. Just imagine that guy going through your emails and phone calls if you somehow come to his attention. -- That's when he's not tanking foreign economies, staging coups, training death squads, influencing the outcomes of democratic elections abroad and at home.

Who's watching the watchers? The scary part is that soon they will have the AI capabilities to scour the web for political thought crime. They're already cracking down on the social media and content producers. Shaping the message.

Twitler put me on a 7-day time out for calling the European Union the 'Evil Empire' to a mutual follower. Of course, had to kill the throttled account. Wrote them a well-thought-out GFY! on this affront to political free speech. They wrote me back and said I was suppressing users' free speech. It was like talking to a giant insect.

These Cultural Marxist entities predicated on some form of Fake Virtue are very dangerous. Like Akhenaten -- who failed. Like Constantine -- who successfully destroy the Roman Empire with Deep State Fake Christianity. Stalin and Hitler were the same. Stalin succeeded in putting Russia in the hurt locker for 80 years. Hitler failed -- his thousand year Reich coming up pretty short.

Orwell wrote about the perfect Cultural Marxist revolution. Turn people into double-thinking reactionary fanatics who can't even parse obvious contradictions. People led by the meat. Hollow lies incite fear and hate to various forms of violent action. Mobocracy. Literal democracy. De facto nanny-state tyranny. (The real Gilead. American Christians are just as fond of freedom and the constitution as they are the Bible. They would argue the former two are predicated on the latter.)

Western plutocrats envy Eastern oligarchs. They will bring the hammer down if they can. Maybe start by manufacturing floods of refugees into Europe and America... The Shock Doctrine: manufacture crises to bring in Friedmanian disaster-capitalism reforms under the radar.

Whatever you think of Trump, is he supposed to be worse than what preceded him the past 50 years of downward spiral? Or what was coming next?

Jay Farquharson said...

Since the Russian intervention in Syria, in just under 2 years,

Syrian refugees have gone from 5 million, with 3.5 million internal refugees inside Syria and 1.5 million fleeing Syria,

To 11 million, with 6 million internal refugees inside Syria and 5 million fleeing Syria.

Jay Farquharson said...


While there was an active FBI Counterintelligence and Criminal investigation into the Trump Campaign, during the election, only the President, NSC, House and Senate Intelligence Commitee's and Leadership were informed.

As is being made clear by your lies, Friday's Indictments, Conservatives are actively engaged with the Russian State in acts of war against the US.

In addition to Friday's Indictments, Meuller also recieved 100 more subpenas.

Strokz lead the Vernona Investigation, which spent 30 years rooting out Soviet/Russian deep cover agents in the US, while also quietly removing all of the people they had compromised from the body public. One high ranking State Official is now selling condo's in Pumona, stripped of his pension, clearance, a nobody. The guy who sold them drivers lisences, picks cans for a living in Jersey.

Looks like Meuller's gonna methodically rip all the rot out root and branch, including the peripherals who aided and abetted.

I wonder how many of Hair Furour's Troll Army are going to have their lives, relationships and career's ruined.

There's no such thing as being "anonamous" on the web.

Anonymous said...

"Conservatives are actively engaged with the Russian State in acts of war against the US"
More Orwellian double-speak.
To translate it into truthful statement: Conservatives are actively engaged with the PNAC v2.0 in acts of war to save the US.

Jay Farquharson said...


Moron's gotta moron I guess.

The Mound of Sound said...

BM, you're entitled to your opinion and to your opinion of what I write but, to me, you're just another comment poster. I formulate my opinions not on anything that comes out of these comments but what I read in newspapers, magazines and journals I trust on a spectrum from center-left to center-right, yes, including National Review, and from analysis pieces I glean from prominent think tanks (I have quite a list).

Disagree with me to your heart's content. It matters not to me.

Jay Farquharson said...

Technically Mound, he's not disagreeing with you or your post.

To do that he would have to instead, read and respond to what you wrote and engage in argument.

He's not doing that.

Instead he's "talking past you", using your blog comment section to post a cut and paste chunk of SovCit/GRU/MAGAat counterfactual agitprop to a site that get's viewers and readers.

Basically, because you have unmoderated comments, he's spamming your site to get eyeballs, even if you take them down, he still gets eyeballs from the time of post to the time you take them down,

And as we saw earlier in the week, it has impact.

"They" are doing it all up and down the web, any left/center site that has unmoderated comments or no banhammer at the ISP level.

It's part of the "active measures" like #walkaway running up towards the US midterms.

Anonymous said...

Either Mound or BM is very wrong.
The moral of the story?
Looks like that even well read men, with an intact intellect, guided by good intentions can make colossal blunders when it comes to the opaque and deceitful sphere of the world politics.
Nothing new but still scary.

Jay Farquharson said...

"The bothsiderism is very strong in this one Obiwan Brooks!"

Anonymous said...

You can never know a person's true intentions.

But one can imagine there are a lot of phony people in the world – otherwise it wouldn't be the shithole that it is.

The world is a neocolonial barbarian racist Nazi-concentration-camp banality of evils because there are a lot of phony people pretending to be good.

There have been for decades. There have been for centuries. There have been for millenia going back 50k – to the birth of patriarchy predicated on manufacturing crises via human sacrifice and cannibalism to prevent the people from reverting to their egalitarian roots. (At least we got rid of cannibalism.)

Take a look at your world. You are responsible for it. You will be held account for what side you are on: a part of the problem or a part of some form of solution. And clearly many solutions are required.

By whom will you be held account? The universe. It's been around a long, long time. Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing goes to nothing. Whatever you do in this place you better be sure you got some in the bank. (And if you're only fooling yourself, that is only where the humiliation begins.)

Long story short: the truth is your only guide. The more honest you try to be, the closer you will get to the truth. (And all sorts of rotten patriarchal instincts and culture will get in your way.)

Only you can have some idea if some idea is the truth. And do like they teach you in high school: check out different sources to verify your information.

When you read material suspend your biases. If the material is suspect suss out the biases and then think of reasons they might exist.

One-person-one-vote has no meaning if people behave like cattle being herded from field to field. And in being herded like cattle being treated like cattle – like if you ever find yourself in an Emergency Room.

The finest in British Cattle Care! But don't complain about the gruel! They REALLY REALLY don't like it when you complain about the gruel! (Just be glad they aren't feeding you your own! – At least not yet!)