What Russia Wants — and Expects

Washington’s political infighting has blocked President Trump’s plans for a new détente with Russia but also has left the global playing field open for Russian – and Chinese – advances in expanding their influence, explains Gilbert Doctorow.

By Gilbert Doctorow

As Democrats and the mainstream U.S. media focus intensely on still unproven charges of Russian election meddling to explain Hillary Clinton’s surprising defeat, the furor has forced an embattled President Trump to retreat from his plans to cooperate with Russia on fighting terrorism and other global challenges.

Russian President Vladimir Putin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on May 10, 2015, at the Kremlin. (Photo from Russian government)

Amid the anti-Russian hysteria, Trump’s Cabinet members and United Nations ambassador have gone out of their way to reiterate the tough policy positions of the Obama administration with respect to Russia, underlining that nothing has changed. For its part, Congress has plunged into McCarthyistic hearings aimed at Trump supporters who may have met with Russians before the 2016 elections.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has duly noted these developments in Washington. In Moscow, the breakthrough in relations that some had hoped for is now dismissed as improbable. On the other hand, while the United States is tearing itself apart in partisan fighting, Russia is getting a much-needed breather from the constant ratcheting up of pressure from the West that it experienced over the past three years.

We hear from Russian elites more and more how they plan to proceed on the international stage in the new circumstances. The byword is self-reliance and pursuit of the regional and global policies that have been forming over the past couple of years as the confrontation with the United States escalated.

These policies have nothing to do with some attack on the Baltic States or Poland, the nightmare scenarios pushed by neoconservatives and liberal interventionists in the U.S. and the European Union. The Russian plans also have nothing to do with subversion of elections in France or Germany, the other part of the fevered imaginations of the West.

Instead, the Russians are concentrating on their domestic defense capabilities and their budding political alliances with China and a host of Asian countries that together can oppose the power of the West. It is important to understand that the Russian vision is a future multi-polar world, not a return to the bipolar Cold War system of two superpowers, which Russian elites see as unattainable given the diffusion of power across the globe and Russia’s own more limited resources.

In other words, the Russians are envisioning a future world order whose contours harken back to the Nineteenth Century. In terms of details, the Russians are now inseparably wed to China for reasons of mutual economic and security interest on the global stage. The same is becoming true of their relationship with Iran at the regional level of the Greater Middle East.

The Russian elites also take pride in the emerging military, economic and geopolitical relationships with countries as far removed as Libya, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and Thailand. News about breakthroughs with each of these countries is heralded on daily television programming.

Mideast Interests

Russian elites note that the United States has misunderstood Moscow’s position in Syria from the start of the war there. Russia’s priority was never to keep the Assad regime in power, but rather to maintain a foothold in the Middle East. Put narrowly, Russia was determined to maintain its naval base at Tarsus, which is important to support Russia’s presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. More broadly, Moscow’s goal was to restore Russian influence in the strategic region where Russia once was a significant player before the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

In May 2016, Russian marchers honoring family members who fought in World War II. (Photo from RT)

Russia’s loss of Eastern Europe is also not forgotten, though American hegemony there is acknowledged as a reality of the present. But nothing lasts forever, and the Russians expect to be back as a major force in the region, not by military conquest, but by virtue of economic and strategic logic, which favors them in the long term. Though many East European elites have been bought off by the United States and the European Union, many common citizens have been major losers from the American led post-Cold War order, suffering from de-industrialization and large-scale emigration to more developed E.U. countries, reaching as much as 25 percent of the general population in some places. These Eastern European countries have little to offer Western Europe except for tourist destinations, whereas their shared potential for trade with Russia is immense.

This past weekend, Russian television news carried images of demonstrations in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova that you did not see on Euronews. The object of this popular wrath was billionaire financial speculator George Soros and his “Open Society” affiliates. Russian news commentary explained that these demonstrations — operating under the banner of “Go Home Soros” — became possible now because the Trump administration has dropped U.S. support for him.

It would be naïve not to see some official Russian assistance to these coordinated demonstrations across a large swath of Eastern Europe, but the Russians were simply giving the United States a taste of its own medicine, since U.S.-sponsored “non-governmental organizations” have been busy subverting legitimate Euro-skeptic governments in these countries in cooperation with Soros’s NGOs.

Not Your Grandfather’s Cold War

But there are key differences between what is happening now and in the Cold War days. The original Cold War was characterized not only by military and geopolitical rivalry of the world’s two superpowers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union. It also was an ideological rivalry between – on one side – free market capitalism and parliamentary democracy and – on the other – planned economies and monolithic top-down Communist Party rule.

President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.

Starting with President Richard Nixon, a policy of détente was put in place, which embodied the principle of co-existence of these competing principles of organizing human society for the sake of world peace. There are those who maintain we have no New Cold War today because the ideological dimension is lacking, although there are obvious differences over principles between the socially liberal U.S./E.U. and the more socially conservative Russia. But those differences hardly constitute a full-blown ideological conflict.

The real area of contention is in how each side today conceptualizes global governance. On this level, it makes sense to speak of an ideological divide because there is a vast body of thought to underpin the competing views which include: globalization versus sovereign-state; values-based foreign policy versus interests-based foreign policy; a global order established by the all-out victory of liberal democracy over all other forms of national governance versus a balance of forces and respect for local differences; idealism versus realism. The West generally has favored the first of these options while Russia and China lead a bloc of nations generally favoring the second options.

On the campaign trail and in his Inaugural speech, Donald Trump spoke in Realist terms suggesting that the U.S. would abandon its Idealist ideology of the preceding 25 years, which involved coercive “regime change” strategies to impose Western political values and economic systems around the world. Instead, Trump suggested that he would do business with Russia and with the world at large without imposing U.S. solutions, essentially accepting the principles that the Russians have been promoting ever since they began their public pushback to the United States in 2007.

However, given Trump’s retreat on foreign policy in recent weeks – while under fierce attack from Washington power centers asserting possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia – we may be left with something akin to the re-set that Obama introduced at the start of his rule in 2009 which never went as far as détente/co-existence. It was limited to cooperation in isolated areas where U.S. and Russian interests were deemed to coincide.

The only difference we might see from the embattled Trump administration is less of a penchant for “regime change” operations and a resumption of some bilateral contacts with Russia that were cut off when Obama decided to penalize Russia for its intervention in Crimea and the Donbass in 2014.

Assuming that Washington’s neocon Republicans and hawkish Democrats don’t push Trump into a desperate political corner, he might at least engage Moscow with a more polite and diplomatic tone. That might be better than some of the alternatives, but it is surely not an onset of a new collaborative Golden Age.

The scaling back in expectations of how far the Trump administration will go in improving relations with Russia makes sense because of another reality that has become clear now that his team of advisers and implementers is filling out, namely that there is no one in his “kitchen cabinet” or in his administration who can guide the neophyte president as he tries to negotiate a new global order and to do a “big deal” with Vladimir Putin, such as Trump may have hoped to strike.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner lacks the experience and depth to be a world-class strategic thinker. Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has corporate skills from his years at Exxon-Mobil but also lacks a strategic vision. Many other key jobs have gone to military generals who may be competent administrators but have limited political or diplomatic experience. There was talk of guidance coming from Henry Kissinger, but he has not been seen or heard from recently, and it is doubtful that at his advanced age and frailty he could provide consistent counsel.

As Trump struggles to survive the cumulative attacks on his fledgling administration, he is also distracted from the reality of a rapidly changing world. If and when he does get to concentrate on the geopolitical situation, he may well have to play catch up with Russia and China as they make deals with other regional players and fill the vacuum left by the ongoing American political disorder.

Assuming Trump can bring on board talented advisers with strategic depth, it would still take enormous vision and diplomatic skills to strike a “big deal” that could begin to end the violent chaos that has swept across much of the world since 2001. If and when that becomes possible, such a deal might look like a “Yalta-2” with a triangular shape involving the U.S., Russia and China.

Gilbert Doctorow is a Brussels-based political analyst. His latest book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015.

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101 comments for “What Russia Wants — and Expects

  1. Mark Thomason
    March 22, 2017 at 10:29 am

    The US would do better to divide the Russians from the Chinese and Iranians. That would serve US interests far better than forcing them together. In WW2 we allied with Stalin, to hold off a greater threat. Today China is far more powerful than Germany was, and Iran is as rabid than Mussolini was. Putin meanwhile for all his faults is not Stalin mass-murderer and conqueror. We made a more difficult choice, and we now know we were right to do so.

    • March 22, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Way too late. The US borrows billions to pivot militarily to the Pacific and establish a police state internally.

      China, Russia and Iran are unite by profitable railroads that extend to Madrid, London and Afghanistan.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 23, 2017 at 1:17 am

        You just wrote the summarized analogy of the whole first half of the 21st Century. I don’t do LOL so I’ll just say, good on you.

      • Sam F
        March 23, 2017 at 8:03 am

        Yes, I haven’t heard of Doctorow’s “Idealist ideology of the preceding 25 years” that the US might abandon, nor have I seen any trace of media sympathy for it. There is no idealism behind zionist/MIC/WallSt control of elections and mass media, it is greed.

    • March 22, 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Iran which convenes conferences to implement a nuclear free Middle East. Iran who has not invaded another nation in 300 years. The Iran which had its first democracy overthrown by Britain and USA. Iran which unlike Saudi Arabia and Qatar is oppossing Daesh.

      • Virginia Jones
        March 23, 2017 at 2:37 am

        Well said!!!

      • March 23, 2017 at 4:35 pm

        Hear!Hear!

    • Andrew Nichols
      March 22, 2017 at 7:26 pm

      Stuff your silly divide and rule. How about live and let live? I presume this is what you do in your private life. I dont feel any threat at all from Russia, Iran or China despite the Chicken Little crap from our media and bought and paid for pollies on a daily basis. So let’s all chill out and tell our pollies to shut ..f..k up!

    • Kiza
      March 22, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      Your words reminded me of what I learned about Hitler. In Europe, all my teachers of history in primary and secondary school emphasised that if Hitler was smart enough to attack one country at a time, he would have won the WW2. For example, when he attacked Poland and Britain declared war on Germany, he should have tried to finish off Britain instead of trying to win it over whilst attacking Soviet Union.

      Perhaps the US/Israeli leadership suffers from the same type of hubris, believing that it can globalize the World by conquering both Russia and China. Of course, the US/Israeli MIC believes that the bigger the enemy the higher the profit.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 23, 2017 at 1:35 am

        KIza my hunch is the American Israeli MIC is blinded by money, and what they consider success. Here could have been the moment for America to truly be the that shinning city upon the hill, but instead we took the advice of the Project for a New American 21st Century, a project so evil it surpasses the stupidity of Dr Strangelove…and here we are. If the money could see a profit in humanitarian needs, wow wouldn’t that be lovely.

        My grandmother always told me…the bigger they are, the harder they fall, and America better watch out now…it’s gonna get it’s ass kicked good if it doesn’t wise up. I love my country, and that remark I just made isn’t a reflection on our uniformed military, but these genius in DC fighting each other, and laying down some really made stuff on Russia, isn’t good, and it ain’t going to amount to much more than pain in the end. The whole idea of this 21st century America is nothing but a plan to inflict pain.

        This fricking media we have isn’t going to stop until Trump gets impeached, or we really do something stupid to Russia. The sense of all of this in my eyes always leads back to that Project for the new American Century piece of crap. America had it all to win over the love of the world, why with just the rhetoric and spirit it was enough to try and strive for, but now ah not so much. It’s not too late, but I don’t at this moment in time see what good is on the horizon…in the meantime I’m going to just try and appreciate whatever it is there is to appreciate …take care Joe

        • Kiza
          March 23, 2017 at 3:35 am

          I agree Joe, as a project of its Dual Citizens PNAC is the root of most evil in US. It is not a true American project. It is a project for global domination of Israel using US, its people and its resources, as means to an end. Who needs to discuss the veracity of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, when PNAC is available in plain sight. I am just surprised how few US people understand this. Thanks for your great comment as usual.

          • Tiu
            March 24, 2017 at 9:36 pm

            It would be better to think of Israel as a Rothschild front so as to better identify the source of the evil. It was at the beginning of modern Israel (the Balfour declaration was addressed to Lord Rothschild), and it is now. That’s not to say taking down the Rothschild’s would be a smaller target than taking down Israel, although logic would seem to conclude that they are. You’d be less likely to fall into the trap of social division which suits their purpose too.

    • LJ
      March 22, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Too late

      • Linda Furr
        March 23, 2017 at 1:51 pm

        Wait wait wait! Re-read Doctorow’s article. I haven’t had a shred of hope for a workable future for years until I read this article. And unless Washington DC wrests itself from Zionist control, it won’t be a part of that workable future.

    • Zachary Smith
      March 22, 2017 at 9:38 pm

      Today China is far more powerful than Germany was, and Iran is as rabid than Mussolini was.

      That’s an amazing pair of assertions, and you don’t provide a speck of evidence to back them up.

      • Skip Scott
        March 23, 2017 at 9:33 am

        China being more powerful than Germany was is obvious with nuclear weapons. Iran being rabid is questionable. I think they are rational players who see us as a threat . They will never forgive our ousting of Mossadegh, and the re-installation of the Shah. The age of the Ayatollahs was a direct result.

    • Jace M.
      March 24, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      …… Iran is as rabid as Mussolini LOL?? Why is it that people like you are complete slaves to the US presstitute media, and all of the vile propaganda that it portrays as news??? The US will never be able to break the Russia China Iran axis because these countries know without any doubt that the US can never be trusted…EVER. Putin is far too smart, and pragmatic to allow the US in the mix. The US will continue with failed sanctions, and falling further into the abyss with its terrorist proxy Israel. Period.

    • Pixy
      March 28, 2017 at 10:23 am

      Oh Stalin was a “mass-murderer”, was he? Like your president killing thousands of innocent civilians in nuclear strike on Japan wasn’t? Or is murdering perfect strangers half across the globe some how a better and a nobler thing to do than killing people in one’s own country? Cause those people in Japan were less of people and don’t count? Yankee arrogance is unbelievable!

  2. Bob Van Noy
    March 22, 2017 at 10:55 am

    ”Russians are concentrating on their domestic defense capabilities and their budding political alliances with China and a host of Asian countries that together can oppose the power of the West. It is important to understand that the Russian vision is a future multi-polar world, not a return to the bipolar Cold War system of two superpowers, which Russian elites see as unattainable given the diffusion of power across the globe and Russia’s own more limited resources.” Gilbert Doctorow

    Again. ”The real area of contention is in how each side today conceptualizes global governance. On this level, it makes sense to speak of an ideological divide because there is a vast body of thought to underpin the competing views which include: globalization versus sovereign-state; values-based foreign policy versus interests-based foreign policy; a global order established by the all-out victory of liberal democracy over all other forms of national governance versus a balance of forces and respect for local differences; idealism versus realism.” Gilbert Doctorow

    To me the choice, were we ever given a choice as voters, would clearly be: 1) A future multi-polar world and, 2) a balance of forces and respect for local differences. The choice doesn’t seem so very controversial? However, the default position of the Neocons and the liberal interventionists has always been to double down rather than negotiate, so I expect more saber rattling aggression…

    • March 22, 2017 at 5:26 pm

      Jimmy stated USA is no longer a democracy, true. Idealism is the opposite of true USA motives, pure machivellian greed.

      • March 22, 2017 at 5:27 pm

        Jimmy Carter, wheres the edit button?

        • Kiza
          March 22, 2017 at 8:41 pm

          After saving your comment, refresh the screen (F5, Ctrl-R) to see the Edit button within five minutes.

          You are mixing up the Dual-Citizens and the true Americans. “Pure machiavellian greed” = Dual-Citizens.

  3. March 22, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Good article, thank you. Russia, China, and any other nation wanting to ally with them should do so, if the western nations continue their bellicose and uncooperative behavior. In fact, I think they are better off without the West. In my opinion, the United States has absolutely no moral authority whatsoever after its disastrous Iraq invasion and other dirty wars, contrary to their self-righteous claims.

    It is high time humans learn that we live on a finite planet and need to cooperate with wisdom, or Mother Nature will surely send us more unpleasant messages than we are already getting. If nasty bellicosity continues to dominate through foolish politicians, whether male or female, I don’t see a great future for succeeding generations.

  4. Brad Owen
    March 22, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I just get a different picture of Trump, over at EIR website: Tillerson going to Russia in April, then by-passing NATO Foreign Minister meeting in April to go with Trump to Mar-a-Lago to meet with Chinese President Xi. Trump at Louisville rally invoking the American System of Political Economy, (pure LaRouche right there), Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay. If he keeps going down this trail he’ll end up in FDR-World…even his post-WWII vision of the three Great Republics (USSR-now-Russia, Republic of China-now-Peoples’ Republic of China, and USA) cooperating together through “Marshall Plan” (read New Silk Road) type projects to develop the World and secure the World Peace so dearly paid-for, by these three natural Allies, with victory in WWII. So, I think Trump is just temporarily on the ropes and covering up, playing rope-a-dope, while the old-order Establishment goes through its’ death throes (already quite advanced, as their obvious “policy dementia” attests).

    • March 22, 2017 at 3:24 pm

      Great comment Brad.
      I take issue with the author’s opinion of Kushner:
      “Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner lacks the experience and depth to be a world-class strategic thinker. Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has corporate skills from his years at Exxon-Mobil but also lacks a strategic vision.”

      Kushner won a Presidential election versus the GOP establishment and Hillary Clinton. He did so with far fewer resources. He’s tied into Silicon Valley. What must one do to prove himself a world-class strategic thinker? Also he married Ivanka and is a trusted advisor to the most powerful man in the world at age 35.
      I don’t know much about Tillerson, but if you are the CEO of the largest company in the world, then your job is strategic vision.

      • Kiza
        March 22, 2017 at 8:53 pm

        Well, you are a big exception in your view of Kushner. Most Trump supporters agree with Dr Doctorow, thinking that Kushner was a huge Trump mistake. The only grace that Trump can have is that he has very few trusted people available, thus temporarily using his s-i-l was unavoidable. Most of your Kushner glorification is totally silly, typical of MSM and unworthy of consortiumnews.

        • March 23, 2017 at 4:03 pm

          I don’t understand Kiza. Trump supporters agree so they must be right? My view is both an exception and typical?
          How is it a grace to only have a few trusted people?
          I’m not a Kushner fan boy, just saying you could just as easily make the case he is a strategic prodigy. He may very well prove to be a mistake. So far he’s won.
          Do you think that MSM has given JK too much credit? What evidence to you have that this is true?
          Who made you arbiter of Consortium News worthiness? Are ad hominem attacks preferred here?

          • Kiza
            March 23, 2017 at 6:48 pm

            “I’m not a Kushner fan boy” Are you glorifying him for a money payment then?

    • backwardsevolution
      March 22, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      Brad Owen – that’s the way I see it too. I don’t think that Trump needs Bannon or his son-in-law to be strategic. Strategic thinking (one-upping your opponent, outsmarting him, taking what’s not yours, outright lying, propaganda, coups, trying to control the whole world) has been the policy for too long. I think Trump has a particular vision, and he’s, as you say, playing rope-a-dope with the “strategic” thinkers.

      I see Trump as wanting to create free (but FAIR) trade. I see him wanting to stay out of other countries’ business, concentrating on the home base, which has been sorely neglected for the last 20 – 30 years.

      I think people totally underestimate Trump.

      This is really a war between those who favor globalism/internationalism thinking (open borders, absence of a nation state or culture, multinational corporations controlling the world, one-world order) and those who favor nation states, culture, borders, fair and open trade with other countries.

      Trump is not a professional politician. He is not a great orator, slick or polished. But I believe he loves his country more than the other bought-and-paid-for politicians who govern according to who is paying them the most money on any given day.

      I think that the way Trump looks at business is if his competitor gets a property on one block, he gets one on the next. Everybody is happy. He doesn’t set out to ensure that his competitor is crushed. He doesn’t lie about him, try to get others to sanction him, try to bar him from doing business.

      • Arseniy Urazov
        March 22, 2017 at 9:45 pm

        Hi Brad, nice comment, I think you will like this article in case you missed it https://consortiumnews.com/2017/03/14/trumps-quiet-outreach-to-russia/
        And just to add to your comment, Russia and USA are working very close in Syria. Not directly of course, but Syrian army and the Kurds (who are heavily supported by USA from air) are making great progress in the Norther part of Syria. In fact they even cooperated to block further advances of the Turks (NATO member btw). So I think that the RU-USA relationship is better than the media is trying to show us

        • Brad Owen
          March 23, 2017 at 5:21 am

          I agree,Arseniy. We are two of the three Nations (China being the third Nation) PRIMARILY responsible for securing the peace and guiding development for the entire World…we three. This was Roosevelt’s vision,ejected by the Anglophile intelligence community the moment he died; recovered fortunately, by our mutual ally China, in the BRI policy. Russia and USA will be the Gateway managers of the World LandBridge (tunnel, spanning Bering Straits with mag-lev rail lines, pipelines, power lines, communication lines) that ties the whole World together. This was thought of in Lincoln’s time…a way to bypass the powerful British and other European maritime Empires. Russia had the foresight to sell us Alaska towards this end. Russia ALWAYS supported our stand AGAINST European Empires (especially the British Empire), even in the Soviet days. Together with our friend China, AND the rest of the World’s Nations we’ll continue to progress and grow and move out, into the Solar System to industrialize the moon and Mars and other moons and planets, after we put away these childish, pointless, sinful, wars. Read Executive Intelligence Review website, where these ideas are championed. Remember Krafft Erikhe (spelling?) whose vision of Man the Solar Species inspired our early space program. Our next, centuries-long Era will be our inhabiting of our Solar System, after war has been abolished as obsolete and counter-productive.

  5. Joe Tedesky
    March 22, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    It is a sad day when detente and cooperation is replaced with demonization and belligerence to boot. When will our American leadership finally come to grips that this world isn’t flat? Is liberating a nation for the sake of our installing an American fast food chain worth the price of so many innocent lives who get displaced, or worst yet killed by American bombs the price people must pay to join the NWO? Does anyone believe that by doing these things we are making any real and sincere new friends…can you say blowback?

    All this fuss over Putin and Russian interference is putting President Trump in a difficult box. Why even Putin critic Masha Gessen is worried…..

    https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2017/03/21/noted-putin-critic-warns-of-confrontation-between-trump-and-russia-not-collaboration/

    • Joe Tedesky
      March 22, 2017 at 3:11 pm

      Politics is said to make strange bedfellows, and if we include journalist well then Masha Gessen for at least on this Russia-Gate story is making charges similar to those of us who see this witch hunt for what it really is. Now don’t blast me for posting a link to Gessen’s article but since others are quoting her I thought you may wish to read her own words.

      http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/03/06/trump-russia-conspiracy-trap/

      After reading what Gessen has to say, then read what Paul Street has to say about her saying it.

      http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/22/russiagate-and-the-democratic-party-are-for-chumps/

      If America can pull through these tough and difficult times all in one piece, and regain some sense of sanity and fairness of values, this moment in time will be shelved along side the McCarthy era of the lowest of times in America.

      • Kiza
        March 22, 2017 at 9:00 pm

        I would not be as generous to Masha Gessen as you are Joe. Ms Gessen is very anti-Russian and anti-Putin, but she recognises the damage the current DNC policy against her two pet-hates does. After all the US high-tempereture emotional madness blows out, Russia will end up standing even taller because the US Democrats were crying wolf. I have been highlighting this same point for a while now – the Democrats are really working to benefit Russia, they are the really traitorous fifth column they accuse Trump of. This is why Ms Gessen is distancing herself from the mindless bunch.

        • Joe Tedesky
          March 22, 2017 at 11:46 pm

          KIza please don’t read my posting Gessen’s article as an endorsement. I only posted it due to the fact that sites like libertblitzkreig and Leftist Paul Street on counterpunch talked about Gessen’s concerns. You know how I’ve mentioned in many of my comments how I think Vladimir Putin is the only adult in the room when it comes to our world’s future. I’m all for distributed power, and I am no fan, and never was of the NWO.

          You are on too something though, when you mention to how Masha is no doubt distancing herself away from the awaiting disaster the Democrate’s are leading us into. This whole fiasco is troubling when you think of how Hillary’s conniving has brought us all to this place. It would be great if Hillary were brought to justice, but then again so much for wishful thinking.

          I’ll leave you with this, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

          • Sam F
            March 23, 2017 at 8:34 am

            The real traitors are Hillary’s major campaign sponsors, all of them Jewish.
            http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/033116/top-10-corporate-contributors-clinton-campaign.asp
            The top 10 contributors to HRCs Superpac were as follows:
            1. Dustin Moskovitz and Cari Tuna: $35 million
            2. Donald Sussman, Paloma Partners: $21,100,000
            3. Jay Robert Pritzker (Mary), Pritzker Group and Foundation: $12,600,000
            4. Haim Saban and Cheryl Saban, Saban Capital Group: $10,000,000
            5. George Soros (Schwartz): $9,525,000 (changed name from Schwartz)
            6. S. Daniel Abraham, SDA Enterprises: $9,000,000
            7. Fred Eychaner (Eichner), Newsweb Corporation: $8,005,400
            8. James Simons (Shimon), Euclidean Capital: $7,000,000
            9. Henry Laufer and Marsha Laufer, Renaissance Technologies: $5,500,000
            10. Laure Woods (Wald), Laurel Foundation: $5 million

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 23, 2017 at 11:40 am

            You are right Sam F, if we Americans are to consume our congress with investigations into outside influence and agendas then we should look at all outside agendas.

    • March 22, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      Liberating? Normally USA invades/ overthrows prosperous socialist ( Bathist), or democracy resulting in Oligarchy and/or perpetual disintergation.

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 22, 2017 at 6:03 pm

        I use the word ‘liberating’ with the sarcasm our foreign policies deserve, but thank you BannanaBoat for pointing out the realism my word usage implied…it’s good to make me define the meaning, since by my absentmindness of words and by there meaning someone might think I really did mean liberating in the sense of us liberating something or the other.

  6. Skip Scott
    March 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    I hope I’m wrong, but I think this author is giving Trump credit for intelligence that seems lacking. He talked of detente, but then has Nikki Haley tell Russia they need to give back Crimea? Doctorow accurately describes the competing worldviews, and I think given the choice, most Americans would choose a multi-polar world waging peace instead of war. But I think Trump lacks the intelligence, power, and support within the halls of power to bring it about.

    • Bill Bodden
      March 22, 2017 at 2:32 pm

      I hope I’m wrong, but I think this author is giving Trump credit for intelligence that seems lacking. He talked of detente, but then has Nikki Haley tell Russia they need to give back Crimea?

      Alternatively, Trump has delegated UN operations to some subordinate who is playing by his or her own rules and not paying attention to what Trump is saying. Nikki Haley is probably just reading whatever script is handed to her.

  7. PlutoC
    March 22, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    I can’t take issue with the author coming down on the US with a heavy hand. In actuality, it is worse than what was stated in his article, IMO.

    That said, this article lacks balance when some obvious omissions are considered. First, the punishment for Russia’s annexation of Crimea involved several countries, not only the US. Why did the other unnamed countries punish Russia? Because the US forced them into taking that action? Apparently not; one must assume the author would have noted if the US had used its influence. Nothing is mentioned about the times Putin has cut off gas to the Ukraine and other countries. What about the charges of Russian interference in US and European elections? What about the murders, attempted murders and imprisonment of those opposing Putin? What about the corruption? How is it possible Putin is estimated to be the wealthiest person on the globe – $85 billion plus – while his salary is about $134,000 per year?

    My last question: Why is the author willingly overlooking major transgressions by Russia?

    • Bart in Virginia
      March 22, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      You work with the superpowers you have; not the ones you would like to have. As for corruption, we are exceptional, don’t cha know.

    • March 22, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      1. “Why did the other unnamed countries punish Russia? ” – Do you seriously consider a possibility that the European vassals had a free will re the US diktat?
      Spiegel: “What Merkel didn’t say, though, is that behind the scenes, her government has long since developed concrete plans for a step-by-step easing of the sanctions against Russia and that the process could begin as early as this year.” – And why she was so shy?
      Newsweek: “… high-level politicians in Greece, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Italy re-emphasized the economic argument for sanctions relief, claiming that food producers in their respective countries have seriously suffered by losing access to the Russian market as a result of the sanctions.” And yet they were coerced to follow the US-designed illegal sanctions.
      2. “….Putin has cut off gas to the Ukraine and other countries.” It seems that you are unaware that the gas to “other countries” used to transit via Ukraine where the Russian delivery was routinely interrupted through an open theft by the Ukrainians, on all levels. When Russian federation had decided to establish a reliable delivery of gas to Europe via other countries than Ukraine (Nords Stream), the US and EU went on with a deafening wailing, since this plan deprives Ukraine’s economy of the hefty transit fees.
      3. “What about …..Putin is estimated to be the wealthiest person on the globe?” – How come that you have a fantastically detailed knowledge of Putin’s wealth but we all do not have a chance to learn about Trump taxes?
      By the way, if you are so good with numbers, how much exactly the Saudis paid to Clintons? Some suggest in the hundreds of millions. And where is Libyan gold that was whisked away after the good statesman Qaddafi was murdered on the US orders? And where is Ukrainian gold that had mysteriously disappeared after Nuland-Kagan came with cookies to Kiev.

      • Realist
        March 22, 2017 at 3:34 pm

        It’s an onerous task when one has to respond to so much ignorance or willful misinformation. As usual, you’ve done a masterful job, Anna. Thanks.

      • SteveK9
        March 22, 2017 at 5:34 pm

        Actually I think Alexander Mercouris (of this site, so you can probably find the article) took a detailed look at how ‘wealthy’ Putin is. I believe his conclusion was that it is the usual bullshit about Putin/Russia, and he is not actually wealthy at all.

        • Kiza
          March 22, 2017 at 9:08 pm

          Why would Putin have to be wealthy when:
          1) that would expose him to opposition criticism and diminish his almost 90% popularity,
          2) he is so deeply established in Russia that he is for all intents and purposes a life-long leader (who does not need financial wealth).

          The story of Putin’s wealth has been going around for a while now, with as much evidence as for Russia changing the outcome of US elections. Therefore, file it under the same tab.

      • Kiza
        March 22, 2017 at 9:25 pm

        Anna, a friend of mine suggested something I was not aware of before. He read the following point of view in some Russian philosophy and social sciences magazine.

        The election of Trump has exposed the resistance of the “EU allies” to a peace-dividend offered to be delivered to them by Trump. Instead of embracing Trump as a detente-with-Russia-President, a give-peace-a-chance-President, all of EU/NATO countries, and especially Germany, France and UK, treated Trump as a pariah madman. For example, who forced Germany to send tanks to the Russian border as during Hitler, just when Trump was elected? This shows that NATO allies are not as innocent, that they are abusing the “we-are-just-US-puppets” excuse card. This really shows the deep-rooted envy & hate that the Western European Christians always felt for the Orthodox Christian Russians, since the Great Schism of 1054. This envy & hate are wealth related (so much rich land in Russia), culture related (unique and different Russian culture), military (Russia was never conquered by any Western Europeans although many tried), religious and so on.

        I just find this justification extremely plausible – why would the Western Europeans be so much against Trump? Therefore, let us stop calling the Western Europeans the innocent US puppets.

        • March 23, 2017 at 7:47 am

          “NATO allies are not as innocent, that they are abusing the “we-are-just-US-puppets” excuse card.”
          Agree about the so-called “elites.” However, who is in real command of NATO? Who has been paying for the music?
          https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-8f4024ef47b861aeeb3f4d32f8374268-c

          • Kiza
            March 23, 2017 at 8:13 am

            Did US pay for the German thanks on the Russian border? Did Trump order Germany to send those thanks?

            Therefore, yours is a related but a different issue. What your graph is saying is that the same NATO allies of US who are abusing the “we-are-just-US-puppets” excuse card are also the freeloaders, as President Trump said to Germany and to other members.

            Are you not sick of these Euro schemers, scumbags and flim-flams? This is what the old lady Europe has sunken down to. After a deep crisis in the 90s, Russia has shot up to become a bright outlier in the moribund European political, moral and cultural environment. The EU must fall apart and Greece must be let out of German and French financial clutches before any chance of Euro renewal. I would not hold my breath.

        • Brad Owen
          March 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm

          Excellent points. Let’s not forget that all of those so-called Royal Families, and the families of titled (ig)Nobility, and the families of their Managerial Elites(in which rank of high-class employees one finds zionistas, Arab Royalty, willing puppets in former colonies INCLUDING USA, and so on) who ran all of their many Empires, STILL EXIST, they’re just smarter and more covert in managing “Imperial Affairs”. America has been recaptured by our own American Tories (those who opposed Revolution and embraced the Mother Empire), aided by their colonial masters in City-of-London, in a renewed project, launched for the 5th time(1.opposition to Revolutionary War 2.War of 1812, 3.Civil War, 4.Panic of 1873) in our History to accomplish this very task, starting with the day FDR died, finished under Clinton in time for Prez W. to put it into action. Hence WE are Europe’s whipping-boy puppet, the new Roman Legions at THEIR command. It should be obvious that NO WAR since WWII has served any true U.S. interest, and MOST unfortunately, the Master Helmsman (FDR) died with no suitable replacement ever since (JFK would have been a good one, so would RFK, and even MLK…all murdered by these same forces that I’m talking about). The more things change, the more they stay the same…until they actually DO change, which does happen from time-to-time.

          • Niko
            April 2, 2017 at 1:12 pm

            Henry Wallace would have and should have been exactly that and even more. But then happened the real DNC fraud, not the current comedy..

    • Realist
      March 22, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      Show me the money. Show me the palatial estates. Point out the major corporations that Putin supposedly owns and identify the network of executives he must employ to keep his alleged personal financial empire going. Of what good is money if he can’t spend it or flaunt it? Talk is cheap and the claim that Putin is the wealthiest man on the planet, in spite of what Forbes Magazine has to say, comes at a bargain price. The rest of your points are even less credible. What you are putting your entire stock in is otherwise known as blatant propaganda. Keep reading this news blog, you might begin to understand why.

    • Marko
      March 22, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      ” How is it possible Putin is estimated to be the wealthiest person on the globe – $85 billion plus – while his salary is about $134,000 per year? ”

      He’s second-wealthiest , at best. I’m the wealthiest by far , and I make a lot less than $134k a year , so it’s possible , obviously.

      What’s that ? You want some evidence , rather than just my unsubstantiated claims ?

      C’mon , man , this is the internet. We don’t need no stinkin’ evidence !

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/02/20/is-vladimir-putin-hiding-a-200-billion-fortune-and-if-so-does-it-matter/?utm_term=.ffe978061e90#comments

      “….Estimates of Putin’s wealth lack even the smallest thread of evidence. “

      • Bill Bodden
        March 23, 2017 at 12:48 am

        C’mon , man , this is the internet. We don’t need no stinkin’ evidence !

        There is no one standard or policy for all websites on the Internet. All too many are fabricators and outright liars. Some, however, do strive to achieve a high level of accuracy supported by valid evidence.. They may not be perfect, but without them we may as well all head for the local gin mill, smoke pot, or find some other way of getting into a stupor to escape reality.

    • March 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm

      Punishing Russia, like the Axis punished Poland, or Soviets punished Czechoslovakia, or China Tibet? I believe at least one incidence was caused by Ukraine defaulting on payment and possibly retaliation against European sanctions. What about the millions murdered for opposing USA hegemony? No nation compares to USA in size of prison population. Gates is named as the wealthiest.

      • Pixy
        March 28, 2017 at 11:25 am

        May I remind you the Soviet Union did not just come to Czechoslovakia because they just woke up one morning and felt bored. They were demanded to do so in accordance with WP by the Czech government itself. Also may I remind you that those oh-so-innocent protesters we getting violent and starting shooting on the streets. But no! Let’s just forget about the decision of the Czech government and pretend there wasn’t any will coming directly from them, let’s pretend these protests were a nation-wide action and not some “encouraged” trouble-makers stirring trouble, not unlike the crowd that is used nowadays for colour revolutions. Let’s pretend Russians are just evil people who just enjoy oppressing other people for the sake of it. That would not be biased at all. That is not at all a lie and a propaganda. Well done, mate!

  8. March 22, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    I take anything written by the West about Vladimir Putin with a grain of salt. In fact, a great amount of what passes for news should be investigated further if possible. I have never seen so much gossip in my life, as what passes for “news” nowadays.

  9. March 22, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Article of interest at link below:
    —————————————————————
    Putin: The Russian President Says Something About The New World Order That Western Media Won’t Air

    By Arjun Walia
    Collective Evolution

    March 22, 2017

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/03/no_author/time-universal-deceit/

  10. Mark Petersen
    March 22, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Besides the export of fossil fuels, what other valuable goods and services does Russia have to export? I’d really like to know. We all know the multitude of quality exports coming out of China and their vast cheap labor pool but I don’t know anything coming out of Russia that has any credibility in the world markets.

    • jo6pac
      March 22, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Russia is now the largest grain grower and supplier in the world. They’re also export Train tech to other countries. Then there is weapons that are used in Syria and sold countries like Viet Nam, Thailand, and China. Their 30yr rocket tech is still some the strongest in the world and the first stage of an Atlas 5 is Russian. There’s many more, they aren’t the USSR any more.

    • Realist
      March 22, 2017 at 3:51 pm

      For one, the American space program is entirely dependent upon Russian-built rocket engines, employed by both NASA and the billionaire American oligarchs attempting to establish private space programs like Musk and Bezos. Their defense and aerospace products are in great demand. Even Turkey, a charter member of NATO is begging to purchase S-300 air defense missiles from them. It says a great deal about the depth of talent that Russia has and its resiliency in the aftermath of societal collapse during the 1990’s which saw the country lose much of its talent and ideas to a brain-drain to the West, as well as much of its wealth along with the traitorous oligarchs who fled the country after stealing most of its public property. American leadership never fails to underestimate the capabilities of Russia and overestimate the imagined dangers it poses to the West. The American mouthpieces probably don’t even believe what they say about Russia, but it serves their purposes of desperately clinging to every shred of remaining power in an ever more competitive world.

      • Kiza
        March 22, 2017 at 9:41 pm

        Well, Turkey wants to purchase the latest deployed and the most modern S400 (superior to the Raytheon’s Patriot system), not the up-to-date S300 (match for Patriot).

        Did you dear readers know that Russian military budget is 1/12th of the US military budget (this is the official Jane Defence data, which is an underestimate, because it should be 1/16th). Compared with NATO total budget, the Russian military budget is 1/25th (realistically about 1/30th). On top, the Russian military budget is declining, even in the absolute amount, whilst all NATO country budgets are increasing. This shows how Russia is getting ready to conquer Europe and then US. Some special Hitler that Putin!

        • Realist
          March 23, 2017 at 4:09 am

          Thanks for the correction, Kiza. I knew Turkey wanted the top of the line system (which Russia would be foolish to provide to any NATO country) but didn’t clearly remember the numbering system. I think Iran has only the S-300’s then, not the very best. Syria apparently has only the S-200 from recent accounts. Perhaps Israel should get a taste of the S-400’s during their next sortees.

          • Kiza
            March 23, 2017 at 6:36 am

            Yes, to my knowledge S400 is a Russia-only system, although China appears to be at an advanced stage of purchasing some, possibly the export version (different software). India is also getting closer to reaching a deal on S400. Iran has purchased several S300, Syria appears to have purchased at least one S300 system, but Russia may still be delivering some of its parts and training its Syrian operators. Russia has at least one S400 in Syria under its own command, to protect its air-crews at Khmeimim base, nothing to do with SAA. Russia also appears to have one or two S300V4 in Syria, but this is an advanced models not available for export. Until recently, it also head a maritime version of S300 on the missile cruiser ‘Moskva’. The main difference between between S-models appears to be in the software (more advanced radar-jamming resistance) and in the longer range and faster missiles. Russia is unlikely to ever use its S400 against Israeli planes, but SAA could surprise Israel by suddenly utilising its S300. Israel is rumoured to have hacked the earlier and export version of S300, by using the S300 system which Russia sold to Cyprus. This means that Israel could theoretically jam the older S300 radars (its surveillance and targeting radars), but the version that Russia sold to Iran and Syria is likely to be more modern than the Cypriot version.

            The most modern Patriot MIM-104 system is roughly a match for the most modern S300V4 system, whilst S400 is in a league of its own because it is a multi-purpose anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic missile system, which can destroy incoming ballistic missiles at altitudes before they start spreading MIRVs (separate nuclear bombs).

          • jo6pac
            March 23, 2017 at 9:57 am

            Syria has an updated S-300 series they haven’t used yet. There is S-400 in Syria and they are at the Russian air bases only.

    • March 22, 2017 at 6:44 pm

      Russia is banning GMO and going totally organic and plans to dominate that market. Putin proposes appropriating large dormant landholdings for farmers. Russia is offering free land in the east to all citizens of the world. Wood, Chemicals exported.

      • Pixy
        March 28, 2017 at 11:31 am

        Not to all citizens of the world. But to citizens of Russia only. And for specific purposes of development and not for re-sale.

    • March 22, 2017 at 6:46 pm

      Russia is banning GMO and going totally organic and plans to dominate that market. Putin proposes appropriating large dormant landholdings for farmers. Russia is offering free land in the east to all citizens of the world. Wood, Chemicals exported.

    • Kiza
      March 22, 2017 at 9:58 pm

      The main effect of the Western sanctions on Russia was an increase in self-reliance in industry. Furthermore, the well-connected Russian agri-businessman have used the very smart Russian counter-sanctions on EU agriculture to invest in substitution. Russia was already the biggest exporter of grain in the World, ahead of US, Canada and Australia, but Russia is also on the path to becoming the biggest agricultural exporter overall. Plentiful unused fertile land and GMO-free planting guarantee a bright future. Perhaps, many in the West still think that Russia is USSR, an inefficient communist country. They will live to regret their illusions when Russia agri-exports take-over the growing Asian and South American markets.

      Think about the future of agriculture as:
      1) Eastern Europe and Thirld World – almost only GMO
      2) Western Europe, US and Canada – GMO-free sometimes polluted by GMO
      3) Russia – only GMO-free.

      Russia Sanctions – someone’s really bright idea!

      • March 23, 2017 at 7:53 am

        “Russia Sanctions – someone’s really bright idea!”
        Agree, Russians really needed to feel a wall behind them in order to initiate the swift and effective reconstruction in agriculture. The ironclad defiance of Monsanto (despite the highbrow verbiage from the Fifth column in Moscow) is a gift to humanity.

        • Bob Van Noy
          March 23, 2017 at 9:46 am

          Thank you Kiza and Anna. I think this (a non GMO Russia) is a key to both Russia’s international strategy and what I see as their Nationalist insight. Environmentally, sustainable, organic farming on a large scale in a country as large as Russia will surely be their ultimate salvation, and allow them to be much more competitive internationally than a corporatized, GMO dominated America. I think Henry Wallace and Eleanor Rosevelt were on to this kind of thinking many years ago. California is fighting this battle right now…

  11. Bill Bodden
    March 22, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Instead, the Russians are concentrating on their domestic defense capabilities and their budding political alliances with China …

    No doubt our warmongers and other barbarians will see this defense posture on the part of Russia as another act of aggression. In the Orwellian world of Washington defense is an act of war. Except for the Second World War and a few days after 9/11 when was the last time our war department was in a defensive posture?

    • backwardsevolution
      March 22, 2017 at 4:03 pm

      Bill – being surrounded by NATO kind of makes you get defensive, doesn’t it? And being sanctioned by a huge part of the world kind of makes you look for other markets, doesn’t it?

      Russia was trying to be a good neighbor, trying to show it could be capitalist too. Part of the arrangement was Europe and the eastern European countries would buy gas from Russia, and in return Russia welcomed France’s apples and grapes, or whatever produce or products other countries wanted to sell. Some of these European countries are really, really hurting because they’re not allowed to sell their products to Russia because of the sanctions (in some cases, Russia was their biggest market).

      Putin said, “Well, if you won’t trade with us, this forces us to do what we should have probably done all along – develop our own produce, grow our own stuff.” Forced into self-sufficiency, who will be the biggest losers in the end?

      Who are the real aggressors here?

      • Joe Tedesky
        March 22, 2017 at 4:27 pm

        If I might add that sanctions not only hurt our rivals and allies sanctions hurt the U.S..

        Read this….

        https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/going-alone-economic-sanctions-hurts-us-more-foes

        I would also add that while American politicians proclaim to bring down our trade deficit often it is the same hucksters enforcing the sanctions on other nations. Yet again the leakers complain about the leaks…nothing is real!

        • Bob Van Noy
          March 23, 2017 at 9:50 am

          Great thread and insights. Thanks to all…

          • Joe Tedesky
            March 23, 2017 at 2:58 pm

            Yes Bob all of this over all of nothing….sad!

  12. Marko
    March 22, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    Breaking :

    https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/844632137072623616

    By the look on his face , I’m guessing Devin Nunes’ dog just died.

    • Marko
      March 22, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Why does Devin look so sad ?

      I suspect that this newly-incoming piece of mail might have had something to do with it ( see , especially , paragraph 1 on page 4 ) :

      http://www.freedomwatchusa.org/pdf/170321-Final%20Whistleblower%20Letter.pdf

      “….

      • backwardsevolution
        March 22, 2017 at 6:12 pm

        Marko – very interesting letter sent to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence members re the evidence submitted by whistle blower, Mr. Montgomery. Larry Klayman has done a masterful job. Now let’s see if the committee members do actually pick this information up and run with it. Klayman must have sat through the whole proceedings on Monday, March 20th, to see whether any questions were asked of Comey. Nada.

        He’s now writing them (on Tuesday, March 21st) to remind them of what they must do, if they are at all interested in the citizens of the United States. Unbelievable that he has to go to such lengths to get these guys to move. Who and what is keeping their mouths shut? Makes you wonder if there isn’t dirt on every single one of those committee members. What’s going on?

        Nunes is asking for people with information to come forward. Well, it’s right in front of you, Nunes!

        Thanks for the info, Marko.

      • Realist
        March 23, 2017 at 4:22 am

        And yet MSNBC spent the evening trying to blame Putin for committing an act of war against America using Wikileaks as his weapon. So far, the media has somehow got most of America believing not only untrue but quite preposterous things. Unless Trump folds and resigns, at some point they are going to have to show the garbage hand they really hold. On that day, I will be highly amused.

  13. March 22, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    On a completely aside note, the arts have been woefully ignored in this modern age, as if not important. Some of the greatest music composers, musicians, writers, ballet dancers, both past and present, are Russian. Russians have contributed tremendously to human culture. Absolutely nothing like the Russians, to my mind!

    • Zachary Smith
      March 22, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      Agreed. If I was going to a desert island and could take recordings from only one nation, it would be Russia.

      Shostakovich
      Tchaïkovsky
      Prokofiev
      Rimsky-Korsakov
      Mussorgsky
      Borodin

      Of course there is a host of minor Russian composers as well. That said, I’d very much like to sneak in the Czechs – Dvorak, Janacek, Smetana and Mahler. Also my very most favorite of all – Austrian Anton Bruckner.

    • Gregory Herr
      March 23, 2017 at 5:00 pm

      Some of the finest literature for all times has been produced by Russian minds.

  14. March 22, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    more info of interest at link below:
    ———————————————————————————-
    House Intelligence Chairman: Trump Transition Members Were Monitored By Intel Community Under Obama

    Katie Pavlich
    |
    Posted: Mar 22, 2017 1:45 PM

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2017/03/22/house-intelligence-chairman-trump-transition-members-were-inappropriately-monitored-n2302550

  15. Plincoln
    March 22, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    I’m not sure what Trump really intended to do as President. It seems just as likely he simply said what people wanted to hear to get elected. Lot of people were not comfortable about restarting another Cold War. It gave those in the middle who hated Hillary a reason to vote for him. He certainly did not fight very hard to keep Flynn and forcing him to resign simply fueled the anti -Russia mania which may have been desired. It’s also possible that he has do much baggage that has been exposed from constant surveillance over a decade or more that he could be brought down at any time by the deep state at great personal cost , and he was made aware of this and backed down.

    In any event, we will probably never know but its pretty clear Presidents dont have that much of a say on such foreign policy – geopolitical matters since they all seem to have the same objectives once they get elected.

    It is clear he has extensive ties with the Russian mafia, one of whom is a CIA informant, and while some of them may be pro-Putin (or even anti Putin as there is an uneasy alliance between Russia and oligarchs doing business in Russia) while others are pro-Israel and some of them are both. The lack of talk on their influence on Trump and the election results is interesting.

  16. Andrew Nichols
    March 22, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    These policies have nothing to do with some attack on the Baltic States or Poland, the nightmare scenarios pushed by neoconservatives and liberal interventionists in the U.S. and the European Union.

    and their lame propagandists in our media…

  17. Zachary Smith
    March 22, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    These Eastern European countries have little to offer Western Europe except for tourist destinations, whereas their shared potential for trade with Russia is immense.

    Those Eastern European countries do get some “special treatment” from the Western ones which involves foods which are in identical boxes/cans yet differ greatly regarding content.

    Jan Pivo?ka was the project’s coordinator. He described some of the results for a range of soft drinks such as Pepsi-Cola, Sprite, and ice-tea bought in Germany and the Czech Republic. “In the Czech Republic a glucose fructose syrup was used as a replacement sweetener, in Germany sucrose was used. It is not possible to say whether one is better or worse, it all depends on the preferences of individual consumers. Both of these sweeteners have their positive and negative aspects.”

    Price-wise, the two types of sweetener are not that different so it is not possible to say whether Czech or German shoppers were being sold a cheaper product. The producers said they were reacting to the different demands of different markets.

    In another case, Czech -sold fish fingers had a higher water content and less fish that their German cousins with Czech consumers actually saying that they preferred the German version. A well known mark of coffee sold on Czech shelves had a third more caffeine than the German equivalent.

    But in the case of one type of tinned meat, Tulip, from a Danish-based producer, the same product was radically different on the two markets. In Germany, the meat was basically pork, in the Czech Republic it was mechanically recovered poultry remains which is a very different proposition.

    Paying an equal or higher price for second-class foods is bound to irk the Easterners. In the long term “stuff” like this will benefit Russia.

    www*radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/study-reveals-stark-differences-in-same-food-and-drink-sold-on-czech-and-german-markets

    • Kiza
      March 22, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      From what I know, and I may be wrong, sucrose (white sugar) is bad for us, but fructose syrup (extracted from corn) is catastrophically bad for our health. Therefore, I am not surprised it is not used in Germany but is used in Eastern Europe.

  18. Tristan
    March 23, 2017 at 2:38 am

    I unfortunately have to disagree with the summation of this article as it is asking something beyond the capability of the US government and its evermore neutered President. The majority of the thoughts in the article tend to indicate an aspect of understanding Trump in his struggle with governance. But the reality is that Trump is a TV star, a brand. He has never, ever, concerned himself with the demands of such an office as that as the President of the United States.

    Thus, as an oligarch, an American Globalist, an American businessman, a reality TV star, and a known huckster, a purveyor of bullshit, a bullshit artist as it were, Trump is not really our President. His thrashing about, his incoherence, is just an indicator of a man, Peter Principled into a position power (by a system of government that has now clearly shown its hand as a corrupt mask pretending to be some shallow form of democracy, but which is nothing other than factional fighting between oligarchs for the spoils of governance), that is now finding himself subjected to the more powerful controlling interests behind our proto democracy.

    I’m not defending Trump; he however is now a wounded President less than 3 months in office. This will only continue. This denuding is of a different nature than the attacks which were made on Obama. There is a nefariousness to it all. This lends to the building of factions and power struggles. We need now to retreat to history and we find examples and should note the results. Our nation is on the razor’s edge I would argue, and we are teetering toward an abyss from which we will soon find that we are unable to extract ourselves.

    As our capitalist globalist oligarch leaders of freedom and democracy point out, it is only by continuing the policies, which after so many years, have not produced any tangible results, that we understand that the pursuit of democracy promotion has nothing to do with democracy, but has only to do with capitalism. As the US Empire implodes due to policies which enrich globalists, the last most precious vehicle the US government has under the auspices of economic growth is the production of weapons of war, and in fact war and destabilization which requires war like responses. There lies our conundrum, we as a nation have adopted policies which hollow our infrastructure, eradicate domestic production, outsource our “high tech” jobs to foreign partners, and provide tax incentives for corporations to defer payment, possibly forever. And on the other side of the scale is the honey pot of war material production, bombers, tanks, and super duper attack jets from Mars.

    Mars, the Roman god of war. Oh I have wandered.

  19. March 23, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Tristan, I certainly get what you say, and am sure many others here do. I’m just finishing Barbara Tuchman’s “A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century”. It’s the same thing, over and over: War. Seems little is learned about such follies. The poor always paid for the rich and powerfuls’ excesses. Now, we’re in a different age because of technology, and the consequences may be more catastrophic. I was just reading a website last night that said Fukushima could have potential for another explosion because of inability to reach the disabled cores in the ocean, said would take 50 years to disable the site when they finally reach it! Foolishness but on it goes…

    • Tristan
      March 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you for your reply. I also have read Barbara Tuchman’s “A Distant Mirror” and other works. I have found such works to be very insightful and illuminating, specifically in that Tuchman has the ability as a writer is to bring the past to life. Her other works are well worth reading.

  20. John Doe II
    March 23, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Simply stated, Putin is under threat from the US — he is no threat to us. His posture is defensive. He has no “plans for the West”.

    Brzezinski and the Democrats have lusted after Russia and Central Asia for 30 years or more. Positive evidence will be found in Brzezinski’s book The Grand Chessboard, and other of his published articles.

    It was his strategy, in 1979 to arm Saudi jihadists and lure them into Afghanistan to fight the Russian army. He essentially ‘created’ the Al Qaeda monster with great assistance from Saudi Arabian cash and Wahhabi religious ideology.

    Too many Americans have swallowed the kool-aid about Putin’s “aggression” — It is we who are and have been the bellicose, truculent agitators for more than 30 years now. Especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the prominence of the US as ‘The World’s Sole Superpower’- along with the propositions of The Project For A New American Century. Russia has been the ultimate target.
    The “Color Revolutions” throughout the region (Baltic States) have all been US provocations financed by US dollars and modeled after our overthrow of the elected president in Iran back in 1953.

    “Manifest Destiny” (and “exceptionalism”) is the narcosis that drives our foreign policy.

    • Tristan
      March 23, 2017 at 2:57 pm

      Consider those words, Manifest Destiny. As a policy the nation of the United States adopted Manifest Destiny now modernized and recognized as Exceptionalism or Indispensability. Manifest: clear or obvious to the eye or mind. Destiny: the hidden power believed to control what will happen in the future. My god, and we are the nation that professes to have this, this exceptional and unique position above all others on the planet?

  21. John Doe II
    March 23, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    In what state of condition would the world be if Russians hadn’t sacrificed Twenty Million of it’s citizens to help defeat the Powerful (and US Corporate and Bank supported) Nazi Military in WW2?

    The Nazi’s with their ovens, slave laborers, mass graves, Josef Mengele and his frankenstein-ish mental & physical human experimentation — those criminal and sociopathic Nazi’s?

    The salient question we must face, in this age of Artificial Intelligence, cries for Population Control, Climate Science (denial), Modern Surveillance, Nuclear (and Drone) Weaponry — how far away are we from a world wide Military Police State controlled by The World’s Sole Superpower, these United States of America – whose insolent economic and military power is dominant and controlling?

    The person of Donald Trump is apt representation/personification of the power and control that the United States affects upon the entire world at this present time. Arrogant, Demanding, Self-serving and Extremely Threatening to humanity.

    We are not a peaceful nation/people – never have been – and the signature “god bless america’ after every political speech is as a devised Official “stamp of approval” upon the lies just spoken.

    Wake Up, people… .

    • Tristan
      March 23, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      Yes, we poor citizens of this once great nation are not looking in the eye of the problem. Perhaps because of the constant bombardment of baubles and the distraction of Prince William dancing is enough to sate the hunger and slake the thirst for honest and vigorous reportage of the events of our present state of things.

      The capitalists are vengeful and have only self interest at heart. Slogans and cheerful jingles should remind the observer that a bill of goods is being sought to be sold to you, even if you have no interest in the product. This has translated into our present form of government. It is a product, to be marketed to the “voting public” and vigorously protected as some pinnacle of democracy.

      This is nothing other than the manipulation of the public on as massive scale via the means of propaganda and disinformation. It is the practice of population management, ie; public relations. The profiteering from war and the production of weapons and the instigation of instability around the globe are the goal, and this gets the “Stamp of Approval” from our profiteers who now run our government as a for profit machine as never before imagined. The reason the Democrats are so willing to sacrifice our security as a nation and that of the world is that they wanted to run this profit machine and had set up a pre-investment scheme via the Clinton Foundation.

      When that went bust due to electoral failure the Democrats decided that seeking a foreign foe would be a convenient means in seeking a method to denude the new Republican administration. Now we have entered the vortex.

  22. jaycee
    March 23, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    Hegemonic world vs multi-polar world is another way to explain the current divide. Hegemonic world is led by US, but represents “western” elite corporate and financial blocs. Hegemony’s end-game is a corporate dominated global structure impervious to challenge, the building blocks to which include the TTP – TTIP type trade agreements (Obama/Clinton would have overseen ratification of TTP without any public input or say).

    US power is underwritten by the dollar as world currency, such as used for most hydrocarbon transactions. Change in this status will severely diminish US power due to resulting economic instability (i.e. America will have to face its debt and deficits). A multi-polar world will inevitably challenge the status of US dollar, meaning the US will inevitably face its reckoning, short of war. War is being actively prepared for, in US and Europe.

    In the hegemonist world-view, Trump’s “realism” leads inevitably to decline, and the opportunity of realizing total domination and unlimited riches will have been squandered – when it was so close!

  23. Brad Benson
    March 23, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Trump should use Henry Kissinger if he wasn’t so frail? Well Gilbert, you just lost me forever. Kissinger is a WAR CRIMINAL who should be publicly hanged for his crimes. Nor was there ever any 25 years of liberal democratic policies. There is nothing liberal or democratic about aggressive, perpetual war. You’ve really lost your mind with this one.

  24. Michael Kenny
    March 24, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    As usual, Trump is supposedly just dying to capitulate to Putin (“new détente”) but is being blocked by “Washington’s infighting”! “Trump’s Cabinet members and United Nations ambassador have gone out of their way to reiterate the tough policy positions of the Obama administration with respect to Russia, underlining that nothing has changed”. Could that not be because Mr Doctorow’s thesis is just plain wrong? Trump isn’t planning a “new détente” with Putin and nothing really has changed? Putin seems to think so: “In Moscow, the breakthrough in relations that some had hoped for is now dismissed as improbable”. The rest of the article seems to be (like yesterday) wishful thinking (or clutching at straws!). The idea, for example, that European countries which suffered 45 years of Soviet repression would now welcome the Russians back is just nonsense, particularly as Putin acts with the same bullying manner as was employed in Soviet days. Mr Doctorow is right, though, when he says that “the Russians are envisioning a future world order whose contours harken back to the Nineteenth Century”. Putin’s worldview is essentially reactionary, at least 100 years out of date, maybe 200. It is precisely that, indeed, which makes him dangerous. Like Hitler before him, he is a revisionist, wanting to go back to some notional “glory days” that he believes once existed in the past. The lesson of history is that revisionists never succeed and often enough, come to a very sticky end.

  25. Richard Coleman
    March 24, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    I’ve never understood how people could be so taken in by Trump’s supposed desire for “detente” or thaw in relations with Russia. Item: his military budget, some $54,000,000,000 increase. Is there any sign Putin is dancing for joy or celebrating this? Item: his clear hostility and aggressiveness toward Iran, an ally of Russia. Is it supposed that any attack, whether diplomatic, financial or military against Iran will be met with Russian indifference? Are the boots on the ground increase in Syria seen as part of a joint US-Russian military strategy?

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