Well I didn’t like Putin when he first stole the throne from Medvedev; but I am now glad that he did. He very skilfully steered his country through the constant aggression coming from the Obama administration and prevented the tension being stoked by the west in Eastern Europe from boiling over; and he did so without backing down from NATO bullying tactics in the Baltic. I liked Medvedev. I think he was a nice guy but he had no back-bone. I imagine if he were in power there would be NATO bases in Donetsk by now; not so far from my home-town, and I don’t want NATO guns pointing at my people.
“Everybody? Even those whose voices Putin silences through murder and intrigue?”
There is no evidence that Putin has murdered anyone. Russia doesn’t tend to use the assassination by drone method so popular with Obama. You have been reading too many conspiracy theories. As for intrigue — well name a government that does not play those political games. Putin is just a politician. Why do you expect him to be the only one in history to be squeaky clean?
“Unfortunately Trump seems to be even weaker on foreign policy than Obama, especially concerning restraining Putin.”
Really? How does Trump seem to be weaker than Obama on foreign policy? It is too early to tell about Trump, but Obama was a mess on foreign policy. Putin out-manoeuvred him at every turn. Mostly because Putin is a clever statesman whereas Obama is just a glossy game show host; good at invoking rounds of applause by telling everybody exactly what they want to hear; very good at manoeuvring himself into a position of power; but useless in terms of understanding how international strategy works. Obama was a talented actor but that is all he was; a clueless TV celebrity.
“Deluded or lying. The proof is there.”
So I keep hearing: But I have yet to see any of the people who make this claim actually produce any evidence. Constantly repeating that the evidence is there is not evidence. As I said; I have no doubt that Russia would have interfered in the US election if it had had the means to do so; just as I am pretty sure the USA would interfere in Russian elections if it could. But I don’t think that either country has the power to interfere in the election process of the other in any real way. I know that both Russia and the United States routinely interfere in the domestic politics of smaller nations though.
“Standing military alliances” have been in existence since the city states protected each other through treaties.”
Yes and the city states proved completely uninterested in protecting each-other when any of their interests collided. The Greek city states were constantly at war. Treaties have always been as worthless as the paper they are written on.
“And they work most of the time.”
No: They don’t. See above. How did the alliances prior to WWI work out, or the Central Powers for that matter? How about the “Pact of Steel.” Military alliances far more often start wars than end them. The last time Russia was worried about a powerful military alliance massing on its border, Barbarossa was the end result. The time before that was the Kaiser and his friends, and before that again it was the forces of the French Empire. Now it is NATO.
When Russian forces are building bases on the south bank of the Rio Grande and conducting massive military war games in the Gulf of Mexico; then people like Obama and Clinton will finally have the right to call Russia’s action “provocative” without sounding like complete hypocrites.
“Right now NATO is successful enough that Putin is interfering in elections in NATO nations, attempting to get his own people in leadership positions.”
The only redeeming feature of NATO is that it has proven to be a complete mess in terms of actually working cohesively. They can have their meetings and play their war games, but whenever there is any kind of serious situation NATO falls apart and the recriminations start. It happened over Iraq, Afghanistan, Georgia and Ukraine. Does anybody really think any NATO country is going to shed its blood and treasure for a place like Estonia? If so they should have a chat with Mikheil Saakashvili. Russia didn’t care about South Ossetia or Abkhazia so much as making sure NATO was kept out of Georgia. As usual NATO huffed and puffed and then told Saakashvili he was on his own.
“Trump won by some good electoral manipulation and voter suppression strategies.”
Electoral manipulation is part and parcel of the election process and both sides always engage in it. There is no evidence of any kind of “voter suppression.” No American citizen was denied the right to vote. What on earth are you talking about?
But it’s true of course that Trump’s campaign was far shrewder in terms of strategy than Clinton’s. I think maybe it was Clinton was too locked into her bubble of PC outrage politics to gauge the mood. Obama had relied on his charisma and his showmanship. Clinton had neither. And a lot of Americans as far as I can see got totally sick of Clinton’s hipster followers with their politically correct doctrines and their constant judgement of ordinary people and their ordinary values. Trump read the mood far better than Clinton.
“Borders defined by Putin, of course.”
Ehm??? Do you just babble off the first loony-tune thing that comes into your head? Putin had nothing to do with defining the borders of Russia. They have not changed since the fall of communism, and Putin has made no attempt to change them. Even during the fall of communism, Russia voluntarily gave up territory. It did not expand.