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On Trump’s Reaction to Putin Not Expelling US Diplomats

2016 December 31
by Ian Welsh
Vladimir Putin Official Portrait

So, in “retaliation” for the Russian hacking that Obama claims happened during the election, Obama kicked out a bunch of Russian diplomats, shuttered some buildings, and so on.

Putin was expected to retaliate and did not do so, instead inviting the children of US diplomats to come to the Kremlin holiday parties, as Russian diplomats’ children had been deprived of some of their activities as part of Obama’s punishment.

Trump then tweets,

And people go wild, accusing him of treason, supporting the US’s enemies, etc.

Let’s state this clearly.

a) Obama does things to hurt Russia.

b) People expect Putin to do things to hurt the US.

c) Putin does not.

d) Trump says Putin is smart for not doing things to hurt the US.

ENOUGH.

Trump is undoubtedly a bad man. He will probably be a bad President, quite likely even a very bad President. (Making him similar to every President since Reagan, at the least, each of whom have only varied in how awful they were and in what ways, though that variance, yes, did matter. Especially to Iraqis, Libyans, Nicaraguans, and so on.)

But just because he does something doesn’t make it bad. Reagan did things I approved of, and he was loathsome and is more responsible than any other politician for putting the US and the developed world onto the road that has led, well, here.

If you are going to oppose everything Trump does, and always draw the worst possible conclusion about his actions, you lose all credibility.

The hysterics about Russia’s role in the election (if they even had one, there is, as yet, no hard proof; all the evidence is circumstantial at best) are hysterics. The hysterics about Russia, in general, are hysterics.

The US and Russia have no significant real national interests that clash. It does not matter to the US who rules in Georgia or the Ukraine. It just doesn’t goddamn matter to the US. It does matter to Russia. The US would have been better off if Assad and Qaddafi had never faced rebellions, because both were tame despots, happy enough to cooperate with the US against Islamic terrorism (no, Israel wanting Hezbollah cut off is not a US interest and Saudi Arabia’s fear of Shi’ites should not make Americans think Shi’ites are of concern to the US).

The US and China do have real clashing national interests, which doesn’t mean they can’t and shouldn’t be resolved to mutual benefit. The US and Russia? No.

Well, they shouldn’t. They do now, but almost entirely because the US insists upon it.

At any rate, the simpler point is just this: Saying that not expelling US diplomats is smart is not treason, or bad, or anything else. You wanted them expelled?

The people spewing this drivel are either propagandists, or in fear-driven overdrive.

Stop the hysterics.


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35 Responses leave one →
  1. different clue permalink
    December 31, 2016

    They are Information Operationers and Psychological Operationers. They are trying to save and operationalize the Cold War 2.0 they have been working for years to achieve. SecState Clinton was to be their Visible Leader and War Co-Ordinator from atop the White House. They fact that they have lost their Clinton makes them afraid that they may lose their Cold War.

  2. V. Arnold permalink
    December 31, 2016

    President Putin is a Judoka (Judo master).
    Judo is a way of life as well as self defense and president Putin just gave a brilliant example of its application in real time.
    I’m afraid you may be correct about Trump as president, but; he’ll be vilified for giving credit to Putin. Trump knows this and responds with a middle finger to the sycophantic U.S. MSM.
    I’ll give him credit for that independence…
    CNN just got busted big time for out right lying about Russia shutting down a school for children in Moscow.

  3. V. Arnold permalink
    December 31, 2016

    Here’s a link to MoA;
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/
    Scroll down the first article and see a hilarious cartoon of Putin vs. Obama.
    It says it all…

  4. Tom permalink
    December 31, 2016

    Obama acts like child throwing a tantrum that his favorite toy was taken away and Putin responds like an adult. +1 Respect for Putin, -1 respect for Obama.

  5. Racer X permalink
    December 31, 2016

    “If you are going to oppose everything Trump does, and always draw the worst possible conclusion about his actions, you lose all credibility.”

    Oh? Really???

    I believe we’ve just witnessed 8 years of exactly this behavior with exactly 0 loss of credibility. Or have you and I been living on different planets?

  6. V. Arnold permalink
    December 31, 2016

    It does not matter to America who rules in Georgia or the Ukraine. It just doesn’t goddamn matter to America. Ian

    If that were true, then why the Maidan? Both countries are important as part of the conquest of the largest, richest country on the planet, Russia.
    A very interesting read by Eric Zuesse;
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-30/eric-zuesse-america’s-secret-planned-conquest-russia
    Zuesse gives links to a number of sources and it is a fact that Russia kicked out many U.S. NGO’s for 5th column activity.

    Further, there is Memo PPS23 written by George Kennan in 1948. PPS23 is the whole map of the coming cold war with the Soviet Union. It’s all there; Europe, the Middle East, Mediteraean countries, and Asia. And it’s infinitly clear the U.S. planned to dominate them all.
    Link to PPS23;
    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Memo_PPS23_by_George_Kennan

    Trump winning changes absolutely nothing. Better relations with Putin? Possibly, but doubtful.
    The U.S. is clearly on the way down; a most dangerous time for us all.
    Trump has some very hard lessons coming soon, IMO.
    The first 100 days will be Trumps re-education into the real world.

  7. reslez permalink
    December 31, 2016

    Disturbing to see the media in the grips of hysterics once again. A few months ago it was Trump Terror 24/7, a relentless blaring siren, now it’s Russia Fear. The Joint Analysis Report was a big fat nothingburger yet I’ve seen so many commenters talking around the complete lack of evidence. Look. If you’re moron enough to give US intelligence services the “benefit of the doubt” after Iraq, if you believe “17 intelligence agencies” are withholding the “real evidence” for spycraft reasons, just abandon your voting privileges now — you’re too stupid for the franchise. Nobody gets the benefit of the doubt after Iraq, torture, surveillance, and so many other lies.

    Pretty much all the JAR said was that some of the attack IP addresses came from Russia. But get this, even more of them came from the US. Whoa surprise! That’s because hackers don’t care where computers are located — they scan machines at random and infect whatever they find. Not exactly relevant for proving the attacks were directed personally by Putin. The report also provided evidence that the PHP malware stack used in an attack was an out of date version preferred by Ukrainian and Russian hackers. No evidence of “nation-state level” hackery — it was off-the-shelf stuff any 14 year old could download from github. No evidence. Deceitful garbage.

    And they expelled 35 diplomats over this…

    Taibbi finally admits the Russia story stinks, says it may be a “a cynical ass-covering campaign” from the election-bungling Democrats, and goes on to wonder if it’s all a bullshit attempt to sabotage Trump by escalating tensions with a nuclear power. Ginning up a war with Russia, that’s all we need. I’m looking forward to the next round of WikiLeaks that’ll show how the Clinton camp neocons relentlessly coordinated this story with their breathless enablers in the press.

  8. V. Arnold permalink
    December 31, 2016

    reslez
    December 31, 2016
    Yes, but did you know those “35” diplomats amounted to 96 people uprooted with only 72 hours notice?
    Obama has acted as a petulant child; as contrasted with one of the few adults in the room; President Vladimir Putin.
    Obama has shamed the U.S. with arguably the worst diplomacy in recent U.S. history.
    I’ve long been embarrassed by U.S. behavior in the world at large; but this?
    It’s the absolute worst!!! I can hardly wait for O to just STFU and leave…
    After all, waiting in the wings is? Who the fuck knows; but we’ll soon find out; got your popcorn buttered and salted?

  9. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    December 31, 2016

    Anyone here read Spengler’s “Hour of Decision”? Published in 1936, it is his historical method from Decline of the West applied with laser focus to the crisis of that era. I wonder what he would say today.

    Who would he say are the true statesman, if any, who are able to act in history rather than be swept along by its forces? Putin maybe – anyone else? What would he say are the active living cultures? Does Islam and its anti-Western fury herald a re-emergence of the old Caliphate, or a purely chaotic force? Before the war Japan was seen as more formidable than pacifist China – will the Japanese militarism ever re-kindle, and what spirit will finally wield China as a military force? Spengler thought the Bolshevik overthrow of the Czar represented in part Asia re-claiming Russia from Europe – would he see in Putin’s Russia a revival of Europe, or the final triumph of Asia? And is there any outpost of the old “white” diaspora that still has the will to survive?

    Spengler wrote that the state’s purpose is in relation to other states, and that domestic policy only serves to keep the nation “in form” for external conflicts. We can see that the USA is in a state of anarchy – it likely has no policy at all, and if it had one, it certainly couldn’t carry it out. Trump is too old to be the first Caesar, but when Caesarism comes, will it be the Roman imperium style, or dueling warlord states? Or will we get that final apocalypse that Spengler warned of, the simultaneous class- and race-Bolshevik revolution? The San Diego plan realized, a continent-wide Haiti? What kind of chaos is about to be unleashed as the shabby scaffolding of the post-world order finally collapses? Does Spengler’s “Asiatic will to destroy” finally end in a form Spengler himself couldn’t have foreseen, the nuclear winter?

  10. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    December 31, 2016

    Sorry if the above is off-topic. I was just thinking how the Putin-hacked-the-election stuff is nonsense on the surface., but obviously represents a rallying-point for some party. But what party, exactly?

  11. GrimJim permalink
    December 31, 2016

    I keep seeing references to the future “American Empire” ruled by a modern-day Caesar. This is looking at things from the wrong end of the historical spectrum. We are not at the beginning of the American Empire, we are at the end of the American Empire.

    The United States is not Republican Rome, on the verge of Empire; it is later-day Byzantium, and has played the part of “Byzantium” to England’s “Rome” since its founding. Just remember, history rhymes, it does not repeat…

    Trump is no Roman Augustus; he is more along the lines of Phocas, the usurper who ended the Justinian Dynasty… he began his rule as a “populist,” to great acclaim of the people and the wealthy, turning to cruelty, terror and murder to continue his rule, and ended it with the collapse of the Byzantine borders, civil war, and in the end his own body “mutilated, paraded through the capital, and burned.”

  12. bruce wilder permalink
    December 31, 2016

    the Putin-hacked-the-election stuff is nonsense on the surface., but obviously represents a rallying-point for some party. But what party, exactly?

    I have puzzled over this, too.

    The first point of puzzlement is why it is such obvious nonsense. Who would think such obvious nonsense ought to flow thru the media?

    Is it a test of mass critical thinking skills? Mass reaction response? Feeling the outlines of potentially dissenting media?

    That this fake news of Russia hacking the election accompanies hysteria over fake news is surely significant!?

    I consult the blog, Lawyers, Guns & Money (LGM) when I want to take the measure of soi disant left-centrist self-regarding self-deception. There I learn that the Clinton Foundation has saved millions of lives as an exemplary charity that entailed no misconduct by the Clintons. And, Paul Campos, an LGM principal, yesterday was commenting on a Fox News conversation between Tucker Carlson and Glenn Greenwald where the two puzzled over the election hacking accusation and Obama taking diplomatic action to express hostility to Russia. Campos could not comprehend what Greenwald and Tucker were talking about. On the question of why the U.S. would adopt a hostile stance toward Russia, Campos complains that Greenwald “omits any mention of the event that changed the tenor of U.S.-Russia relations: the Russian attack on Ukraine. Obama responded to the invasion by imposing sanctions on Russia in 2014. That event, not some election-year need to gin up a foreign bogeyman, is what generated tension between Obama and Putin. “ So, the American effort to overthrow a Ukrainian government friendly to Russia in favor of groups intensely hostile to Russia is now reduced to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Of course, that still does not explain the unsubstantiated accusation of “interference” by Russia in the U.S. election.

    Just as an occasion for fathoming just how stupid smart people are, a U.S. Presidential election has no equal. In 2004, the Bush Administration used fake color-coded terror alerts and probable election-fixing in Ohio to secure victory, but Clinton is taken down by overuse of the word, email, and it becomes an international incident. Go figure.

  13. gnokgnoh permalink
    December 31, 2016

    There is a much bigger underlying issue, for which Russia, in my view, is just a distraction. Our elections have become increasingly unfair and undemocratic. While Freedom House gives the U.S. an 11 out 12, that is still worse than 61 countries. The better measure is the Electoral Integrity Project , which gives the U.S. an index of 62 out of a possible 100, and a ranking of 47th in the world, behind all of Western Europe, most of South America, and about a third of Eastern Europe. Russia is not ranked, it is not considered a democracy.

    The 49 indicators they use include standards for campaign finance, proportional electoral systems, election management bodies, and electoral registration. We are absolutely the worst among Western democracies. Russian influence, and the ability to make hay from even the possibility of it, are by-products of how bad our election system is. The media and our politicians are not interested in fixing the bigger problem, so we get distraction. It’s always easier to blame external factors than to face our own rot.

  14. Jeff Wegerson permalink
    December 31, 2016

    I wonder how much of our current distorted politics and economics is Age of Oil caused? Ian posits that arms technology often drives power concentration or decentralization and therefor politics and economics. Could energy technology have a similar effect? Could we be be leaving the Age of Oil era and it’s extreme concentration and centralization of energy and entering an age of renewable decentralized energy? What will be the effects on politics and economics?

  15. nihil obstet permalink
    December 31, 2016

    The whole “Russia hacked our elections and must be punished for it” kerfluffle has really had me wondering. I’m not a real political junkie, but I grew up knowing that nations messed in each other’s power relations. This wasn’t cynicism; everybody knew it. The U.S. government was proud of Voice of America, which broadcast “the truth” into repressive countries to help their citizenry out. The government wasn’t always really upfront about fomenting coups, although it wasn’t really secretive about it either. But it was clear that it provided help to electoral parties that represented our values, again to help them elect the kind of government that would bless them with our way of life.

    So when all this Russia hacking hysteria started, I thought it was just red-baiting, but either a lot of these writers and politicians are really having a great game being into it or there’s something weird about their sudden concern about foreign influence. I don’t know if it has to do with the real problems we have with freedom of speech and the press — if money is speech and corruption is limited to explicitly agreed upon quid pro quo and reporters are stenographers for the big bucks, then the issues of how to prevent a foreign government from buying the election does get serious. Russia can outbid even the Koch brothers.

    Still, the hysteria is extraordinary.

  16. different clue permalink
    December 31, 2016

    BlizzardOfOz,

    Iran is a living culture. Much of the Arabian Peninsula is just a pile of high level radioactive waste in a state of hot fast decay. All the jihadi particles being emitted by Saudi Wahhabistan are one sign ( among others) of that radioactive decay.

  17. different clue permalink
    December 31, 2016

    BlizzardOfOz,

    The Putin-Diddit story is a rallying cry for the Clintonite Shitobamacrats in particular, the DLC Third Way New Yuppie Scumocrats in broader general, and the FIRE Sector Klepto-Industrial Complex in broadest general . . . .who all planned to party hearty for the next four years and maybe 4 more years after that. Also for antirussianitic racist antirussianites like Zbiggie-poo Brzezinski and his ilk-load of accolytes who inform the DC FedRegime’s racist antirussianitic foreign policy. Starting with the vile scum Bill Clinton who began pushing NATO eastward in violation of the Gentleman’s Agreement Promise from Reagan and Elder Bush to Gorbachev not to do so. Clinton diddit in order to set the stage for Cold War 2.0. One more of Clinton’s gifts that keeps on giving.

  18. Peter permalink
    December 31, 2016

    @NO

    Russia has an economy about the same size as Mexico so I doubt we need to worry about them buying our elections any more than their hacking to elect Trump.

    What we are seeing now may appear like hysteria but there is method to the madness and there are a number of goals. One data point that showed me that this agitprop is already successful was that %20 of Trump supporters already believe the storyline of Putin interfering to help in Trump’s election. Repeat these lies/propaganda enough for long enough and they become viewed as facts especially because their is no mainstream rebuttal or even real questioning of the assertions.

  19. dude permalink
    December 31, 2016

    I am not persuaded the dust-up with Russia (or Israel) at the close of the Obama Adminstration is important. I don’t think the US will ever meet Glenn Greenwald’s standard for proof of Russian hacking laid out for all to see. As much as I usually agree with Glenn’s logic, I think he is setting the bar too high to suit his rhetorical purposes and that is about all. The US display of righteous indignation is alarmist and hypocritical, and Putin saw a way to emphasize that very effectively. On the other hand, Mr. Trump’s tweet– patting himself on the back for ‘always’ knowing Putin was ‘smart’– seems to alarmed the standard media more. Trump has again managed to convey ambiguity about his intentions and his intellectual capacity. It is like saying his first conversations with President Obama in person were ‘nice’ or ‘interesting’. Putin’s first take on the tweet was probably like Boris Badinoff laughing a Moose and Squirrel–but then, he too probably had second thoughts: “Who is this guy?”

  20. January 1, 2017

    Ian, you should read more epted enemies – twitterverse is not among them.

  21. Blissex permalink
    January 1, 2017

    «America and Russia have no significant real national interests that clash. It does not matter to America who rules in Georgia or the Ukraine.»

    That is rather optimistic: there are huge untapped natural resources in the Ukraine, other bits of Russia’s “near abroad”, and in Russia itself. It is very much in the private interests of many top USA nationals that the rulers of those countries be friendly to foreign asset strippers. The great advantage of the post-Soviet, pre-Putin politicians was that they were quite compliant with that.

    And the private interests of very rich USA nationals are the «real national interests» of America. What is good for Exxon or Citigroup or Blackrock is good for America.

    PS Georgia is economically irrelevant, but its location is moderately important.

  22. Blissex permalink
    January 1, 2017

    «So when all this Russia hacking hysteria started, I thought it was just red-baiting,»

    My best guess is that “the elites” think that the USA etc. are subject to both isolationist and centrifugal forces and engagement with the world and internal cohesion depend on having focus on an external enemy, whether that is the islamic terrorists or the russian hackers. Similar to the theory of R Girard about the scapegoating of the underclass to release the hatred of the rest of the population or G Orwell’s “1984” “2 minutes of hate”. I think that the idea of making up an external enemy was a central strategy of the neocon project.

    «if money is speech and corruption is limited to explicitly agreed upon quid pro quo and reporters are stenographers for the big bucks,»

    That has always been the case, except for a few decades in which trade unions had countervailing power and some small cracks in the system were developer. All that the Supreme Court has done is to reset the clock to previous practice, in which everybody knew that large numbers of politicians were on the payroll of various organizations.

    «then the issues of how to prevent a foreign government from buying the election does get serious. Russia can outbid even the Koch brothers.»

    The saudis,Likud, japanese companies, chinese interests have been doing that for decades. Never mind the less savoury parts of USA society, everybody knows that the mob has had lobbysts in DC for decades too.

  23. neoliberalkilla permalink
    January 1, 2017

    @racerx tu quoque fallacy. learn some basic logic, for CHRIST SAKES.

    A doi! A doi! The Republicans were nasty and repellent, so we can be too!

    So you advocate losing your mind and fearmongering like the conservatives? Yeah, that is exactly why I left the Democrats and spit on liberals. I will not have a part in red baiting 2.0. You keep spouting such nonsense, and be prepared to lose again and again and again.

  24. neoliberalkilla permalink
    January 1, 2017

    Obama is an incompetent buffoon who isn’t qualified to clean toilets at Arby’s. His administration is a complete failure, from his shit healthcare scheme to his dismantling of our civil liberties. You can thank him if Trump goes after journalists, whistleblowers, and ignores due process. I am so tired of you neoliberal scum. You need to all be purged, every single last one of you technocrat fools who don’t think before you do.

    We warned you about Trump. We warned you what would happen if you dismantled our civil liberties and built up a police state. We FUCKING WARNED YOU. Oh! The demographics will magically change and so we continue on this road of lesser evil indefinitely! As if people of color are a single monolith and will keep voting for Democrats no matter what. FOOLS. You neoliberals, of which there are many seeping into Ian’s blog, are complete clowns. The Democrats had the chance to end the Republican party in 2008. Now, the Democrats are stark raving mad, ranting about Russia, and how they don’t have to change, and they hold zero levers of power. Not a single one. Not the Supreme Court, not the Presidency, not the Senate, not the House, not the state governorships, not the state legislators. Pat yourselves on the back. You managed to completely fuck everything up because you refused to fucking grow a pair and vote for basic core principles.

  25. realitychecker permalink
    January 1, 2017

    @ neoliberalkilla

    Righteous rant, and right you are on all points.

    Very inconvenient truths, but obvious nonetheless.

    The my team/your team Dem/Rep bullshit is what got us here.

    For a while, pragmatism must rule, and nothing is more pragmatic than understanding that the real fight is regular folks vs. the corporatocracy and its minions and enablers.

    Along the way, we must become more comfortable with the task of pissing on all bullshit talking points, no matter their source.

  26. January 1, 2017

    Well said. Kudos!

    Indeed, I am astonished by the clumsiness of recent American propaganda. It seems as if our elites have been living for so long in an echo chamber where everything they do is wonderful, that they can no longer rationally process a setback nor face a real opponent with anything other than mindless hysteria.

    How bad The Donald will be as president remains to be seen – although if he really will appoint Jeff Sessions as attorney general and start enforcing the laws against illegal immigration, he might be better than you think. Still, there are indeed SO many actual negatives about Donald Trump to report, why are our elites making stuff up that is clearly absurd? You don\’t need to make stuff up to attack Trump.

    There were headlines that the Russians had hacked a US power grid – and then it turned out that a corporate laptop not connected to the grid had some old malware on it. If you were going to make something up, wouldn\’t you do a better job?

    My only conclusion is that our current governing elites and institutions are simply insane. Or perhaps they have reached the ultimate stage of big lie propaganda, and are convinced that people will eventually believe ANYTHING that they hear repeated often enough. Perhaps they are right, although the rise of Trump suggests that the public has developed a certain tolerance for endless mindless slander… Although a public that doesn\’t believe anything that comes from established sources – true or false – may not be an altogether good thing.

    Suggestion: credibility is valuable but not indestructible. If our elite institutions don\’t start realizing what they are doing to themselves and to our society by acting in such an irresponsible and slipshod manner, it will all end in tears.

  27. Linda Merrill permalink
    January 1, 2017

    As always, Ian, AMEN and thank you. It’s nearly impossible to find writing, like yours, that is truthful and based on common sense from my so-called, “side” (as much as I still have one), about our present politics, and specifically anything whatsoever about our new prez to be, Donald Trump.
    When I first noticed you writing in this way, it was almost like music. And no horrible comments, either–at first. And I thought to myself that something was wrong with me and/or some of the kinds of friends (on FB, for me) I had chosen because when I so much as questioned something basic, like, “well, what is ‘honest journalism’?” in regard to a HRC comment, I was advised, for example, to “get the toilet paper” and etc. I never made a FB friend because someone shared my political position–especially because almost no one else shares it. (The Christian Left is a very small group, although as long as Bernie ran, I was in excellent company; afterward is when the conflict began.) Rather, it was b/c of music/my bands, family, childhood and academy and grad school friends, etc. Anything but politics, even as I studied political science. As a result, I probably have one of everything…and, in my opinion, all great people. I have only 300+ FB friends, not 4,999.
    But I have been astounded that there is literally no thought process associated with many of my FB friends’ comments. If you are not righteously pro-Hillary, you then, automatically, embody every depraved thing about Donald Trump and deserve evil to befall you. Of course, HRC is considered an angel, “my shero”, etc., and the big one, “pizzagate never happened, it’s a lie” (idiots may believe this). Several friends actually sent out blanket notices to everyone they knew that “any Trump supporter will be DEFRIENDED.”
    And then I saw your version of conflict over what you wrote. Music to me was not music to everyone after all. It takes courage to speak against the grain–well, come to think of it, that would be to speak against Galbraith’s well-known “conventional wisdom”!! ha…which is what I am doing right now.
    Thank you again.

  28. Linda Merrill permalink
    January 1, 2017

    P.S.: I am not a Trump supporter, just to be clear, but I don’t hate every single thing he does, either. I was Bernie or Bust.

  29. Lisa permalink
    January 2, 2017

    “The hysterics about Russia, in general, are hysterics.”

    Yep. This is weird but is part of a long, since WW2, US tradition, There are some serious people in many places in the US Govt and military that really do want war with Russia.
    Yes it is suicidal, yes it is insane, but they exist. And to ignore them and their influence is naive.

    And they are not going to stop, to expect otherwise is also naive.

    Look if you take the long view Russia has been the demonified enemy for centuries, the British Empire saw it for a very long time as its ‘greatest enemy’. The fact that the were allies in both WW1 and WW2 never changed that. Their ‘communism’ (it was never that) then became the next ‘greatest enemy’. Heck a coalition of what, the UK, France, US and many others fought on the side of the ‘white army’ after WW1.

    Russia and its current ‘federation’ (past empire, past ‘republic’) has always been coveted, a vast area of resources. The fact that traditionally whether it was an empire, a ‘soviet republic’ or a ‘federation’ it has always been conservative (in the old sense) and cautious that is dealable with is irrelevant.

    In the end it it greed and stupidity of the elites that drives the ‘west’ and to be able to get something for nothing has always been their ideal. Russian elites are just as greedy and stupid, but for some reason they periodically cull them, so therefore they always seem to manage to reinvent themselves as a society and along the way many ordinary people get a bit of a shot at survival and some sort of decent life….. Not always of course, Stalin was a rare animal, sociopathic and competent (they are usually contradictory such as Hitler), so bad that when Germany invaded many, for a very short term, people in the USSR cheered the Germans.. then found to their surprise that they were even worse (which was hard to believe) .

    Putin is obviously intelligent and conservative, canny, cunning, cautious. He managed to achieve a rare thing these days, an increase in the standard of living by the vast majority of people over the last 20 years, something no western country (or nearly anywhere) has managed.
    Periodically he culls the corrupt elites..to a certain extent (but not enough). His modus operandi is to bribe first, act secondly, threaten thirdly.. He has also made huge mistakes that will create great challenges in Russian society in that they also have their right wing and ‘religious right’ and he hasn’t shut them down enough. The Russian Orthodox church is just as bad and odious and destructive as any western ‘religious’ right bigots, they have their racists and ‘alt right’ as well.

    The classic ‘canary in the coal mine’, LGBTI hatred. is endemic. Because once it is ok to hammer one group, then the next one is even easier and in Russian society they have ‘red necks’ that would make an Alabamian jealous. Given its multi racial, multi ethnic and multi religious structure that spells doom for the Russian ‘federation’ unless they get it under control. Chechnya writ large is not a low probability outcome.

    Remember how Hitler did it, the weakest the mentally ill went first (100% death rate) , that set the scene to go to the next group, then the next …and so on.
    Note to those who want to protect society…protect the weakest first….If you hold the line there it becomes impossible for those to attack the next.

    So called ‘christian’ religious groups are the most devisive groups in any society these days and will, left alone, destroy everyone. They have to be fought down at all points. I exclude Real Christians (and Muslims, etc) from that of course. Who really follow the meta teachings of their religions and who care, accept and fight for everyone.

    Note those observations are also true for the US which I believe will break up. The divisions are too great in its society to continue as a sort of united whole.

    Russian ‘federation’ post Putin … break up as well.

  30. January 2, 2017

    Well said! Indeed, Trump may yet be a very good President. It’s too early to judge.

  31. January 2, 2017

    “there is, as yet, no hard proof, all the evidence is circumstantial at best”

    Seventeen intelligence agencies disagree.

  32. markfromireland permalink
    January 2, 2017

    Seventeen intelligence agencies disagree.

    Provide evidence for this assertion please the last time I look ODNI which oversees 17 USG intellience agencies explicitly refused to endorse the accusations being made.

    Even if your assertion is true all that it means is that seventeen highly politicised agencies have said they believe the accusations.

    If you actually go and read the report for yourself:

    Report on Russian Hacking

    You’ll find that there’s very little presented in the way of evidence either direct or indirect. There’s nothing in it, nothing that constitutes actionable intelligence. Which is one of the reasons why USG has confined itself to diplomat expulsions.

  33. Peter permalink
    January 2, 2017

    @Tim

    You might want to recalculate your IA count because the Director of the FBI, James Comey and the DNI, James Clapper have never made public statements supporting this Clintonite smear campaign. In fact Comey has contradicted these evidence-less assertions directly in conversation with The President-elect. We don’t even actually know for certain what the other IA’s think because all information on this subject comes through the Clintonite media and Clintonite supporters in the IA’s.

    Hopefully by Wednesday Trump will drive a stake into this vampire Queen’s last sick scheme and close the casket sealing up that festering corruption forever.

  34. White Buffalo Calf Woman permalink
    January 3, 2017

    I’m so confused (not really), which is real news and which is fake news?

    I laugh.

  35. January 13, 2017

    You can download any flash file on the web plus Flash games on Facebook or
    any other web site of Flash games. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijonRusZ7Ms

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