A Different Sunday

Sun, 2017/04/02 - 12:07pm | Your editor
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Having grown up during the fierce the Cold War, I can appreciate that another 70-year-old might want to try to restart US-Russian relations. In fact both George W. Bush and Barrack Obama had the same idea. But the shambolic mismanaged Trump Administration has so poisoned the air that the chances of a deal with Vladimir Putin have been reduced.

Russia has gained little in the end with its secret violation of the Start Treaty (which the Obama Administration tried to deal with quietly.)

Putin has gained little with his likely authorization of hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton staff emails.

The Kremlin has not won any points after the Obama decision to expel its diplomats did not lead to similar expulsions of US ones because it anticipated Trump would make a deal. In fact, Pres. Trump no longer can reduce pressures on Russia to exit the eastern Ukraine or even Yalta because of too many violations of the Hatch Act against private diplomacy during the Interregnum.

So Russia actually lost rather than gained from its illicit links to Trump supporters and future office holders, who will now have to be purged.

Unlike Pres. Trump, I don't think Vladimir Putin is smart. He is a corrupt KGB-trained thug. Unlike in the old USSR, Stalinism doesn't work in a country with a free press, Internet, an active opposition, and institutions which cannot be cowed by firing or arresting people. Which happens to include the USA, Germany, France, South Africa and a few other places where Russia is trying to influence policy with secret deals and covert payments. And maybe even Russia itself where younger people are protesting against Putin and his kleptocratic pals.

As I warned, there is no way I can manage to produce tables today given the computer mess I am still dealing with. I have removed la belle dame sans vêtements from my public email page which turned out to be do-able without a techie to hand once I had extracted the information on how to proceed, which was of course buried under 9000 pages of tat.

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