When Vladimir Putin became president in 1999, an office he inherited following the resignation of Boris Yeltsin, those worries were suddenly valid again. After all, we were talking about a former KGB spy who was good enough to rise fairly quickly up the ranks. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Putin continued to rise, until he ended up running the FSB, what the KGB eventually turned into. It wasn’t long before Yeltsin tapped him to be his successor, and he essentially got to run as the incumbent when Yeltsin quit. Putin has managed to hold onto power ever since, in influence, if not directly in name.
So, what has Russia become over the past seventeen years?
They’ve pretty much become the world’s bully. They’ve clamped down on their press. They’ve invaded and annexed land from former soviet countries that don’t agree with their policies. They jailed, killed or disappeared those who oppose Putin or his policies. They’ve used their veto power in the UN Security Council to block efforts at stability or peace, or to stop consensus on actions against Human Rights violations against countries they are allied with, or have plans to do so. Their own Human Rights record is tainted, particularly in their overt disdain for LGBTQ rights. And if the FBI and all of our intelligence agencies are to be believed, they interfered in our election by having DNC servers hacked and distributing stolen emails, many with their own propagandist’s spin, in an attempt to sway the election.
Yes, I’m saying it was an attempt to sway the results of our most recent Presidential Election. Why else do it? For shits & giggles? I don’t think so. Whether Putin and his cronies achieved the desired effect may be debatable, until we learn more, but this was definitely more than an attempt to sow chaos. Several of Don Presidente’s own words and choices, as well as recent history, make that very obvious.
While the connections between the incoming administration
are numerous, let me focus on just a few. We are all aware of Il Douche’s admiration of Putin. That’s well documented, even in his own words. It’s no coincidence that Putin’s rise to power was orchestrated around increased law and order, ending corruption, draining the swamp of the oligarchs that threatened to destroy the country, fighting the Muslim Terrorist Threat from Chechnya—a region of Russia that was fighting for independence, and regaining the power on the world stage they had lost when the Soviet Union fell apart. Basically, Putin grabbed the reins by promising to Make Russia Great Again. How could Chump not have anything but affection for the man who wrote the playbook he would use to become the most powerful person in the world, himself?
What is not as well documented are the financial connections between his Organization and Russia. There are rumors that, when his repeated bankruptcies made it hard for him to borrow money in the U.S., he turned to Russian banks for financing. Of course, these will remain only rumors while he refuses to release his tax returns.One thing that is widely known is the connection between his choice for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and Russia. Most of us know about the buddy-buddy relationship between Tillerson and Putin. They’ve been working together since the Yeltsin days. Tillerson was even awarded the Order of Friendship by Putin! But it goes deeper than that. Their story actually tells us a lot about why this alliance is forming.
Tillerson was practically Exxon’s ambassador to Russia. Through him, they engineered hundreds of billions of dollars worth of projects, many extending out into the Arctic Circle, an area we have, so far, managed to keep ourselves from exploiting. After Russia’s intervention in areas of the Ukraine—retribution for the 2014 Revolution, where the people rose up against pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, forcing his removal—we imposed sanctions that ground that deal to a halt. Russia’s deal. Exxon’s deal. A big, fucking deal!
We all know Don Presidente’s feelings about climate change. It’s a hoax, perpetrated by China. It’s also a boon to anyone who wants to drill in the Arctic.
With a picture this clear, it strikes me as dumbfounding to see
the abrupt shift among many towards Russia and its intentions. We’re now supposed to trust a man whose intentions are obvious, if you know where to look? His aggressions against his neighbors show he intends to rebuild Russia’s empire, by whatever means necessary. His political manipulations show he intends to stay in power for as long as he can manage it. His willingness to continue tapping oil despite a lack of demand shows he intends to enrich himself and his friends, not his people. His intervention in our politics show he intends to manipulate the American people for his own gains.
What does all that say about Don Presidente and his intentions?
Feel free to draw your own conclusions, but the evidence is pretty damning. If we’re going to survive the Trumpocalypse, we need to be clear about what that man is doing while he’s in office. We need to be clear about why he’s doing it? Knowing what you’re fighting against is essential if you plan on winning.
As of the initial publication of this post, Obama has announced sanctions against the Russians for their interference, namely an expulsion of 35 Russian intelligence operatives, as well as the shutdown of two Russian compound in the U.S.
Former Republican maverick, Senator John McCain issued a joint statement with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham saying, "The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama administration today are long overdue. But ultimately, they are a small price for Russia to pay for its brazen attack on American democracy. We intend to lead the effort in the new Congress to impose stronger sanctions on Russia."
And how did our soon to be feckless leader respond? Basically with a basic nothing to see here; move along. So, as long as the results are what he wanted, he just doesn't give a fuck. Spy as thou will! Apparently, he does care about Putin's response to the sanctions, though.
When Putin decided not to retaliate, he praised him, yet again:
Of course, it makes perfect sense, especially if you consider he will likely remove all American sanctions against Russia. Putin doesn't have to retaliate. He can pretend to be rising above it all, knowing Obama's sanctions will have no lasting effect. Meanwhile, the man that's supposed to lead this country will only lead us to nothing more than some very dark days. It looks like most of his time in office will be spent leading big bucks into his own pockets, as well as those of his richest friends.
His statement after an intelligence briefing on the Russian hacking:
"While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election, including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines."What I find interesting his downplaying of what Russia did by adding other countries not in the report into the conversation. Also, there was no investigation of any tampering of voting machines, nor a look at the effect the hacking and the subsequent distribution of the pilfered emails and the misinformation campaign.
What does that tell us. While trying to save face under the weight of incontrovertible evidence, by adding elements he knows nothing about, he's still trying to salvage his relationship with Putin. So basically, Don Presidente is bought and paid for.