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Russophobia, a WMD (Weapon of Mass Deception)

Russophobia: akin to Racism.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Jean Ranc via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Resume: Russophobia, as psycho-social-political pathology, is diagnosed as a disorder in The West since before the 1000-year-old Roman-Orthodox religious schism and most recently manifested with a vengeance in the course of the 2013-14 with Edward Snowden’s revelations of mass surveillance by the US and its covert activities leading to the Ukraine coup with Russophobia used thereafter as a weapon of mass deception to inflame this latent pathology in the public.

After more than a year since we first heard the BBC “breaking news” about the “Russians Poisoning the Skipals”, all we have are allegations, but there is still no real evidence to present before a judge and jury for a just trial, only media propaganda which has provoked even more fear and hysteria meant to distract people from the government’s bungling and high level of anxiety over Brexit by once again blaming Russia. Never-the-less, it prompted politicians to administer instant sanctions against Russia as punishment. That first day, the “evidence”, presented in the usual clipped, “authoritative” British accents, included interviews with a conservative British MP, then the former US Ambassador to Russia, Alexander Vershbow (2001-05), now with the notoriously hawkish US-based think tank, the Atlantic Council. Thus, the three of them: the BBC “journalist” and the two “experts”, colluded to transform false allegations into “facts”… fueled, as always, by their perpetual prejudice, RUSSOPHOBIA, in the course of their propaganda war to force Russia to surrender to American-led Western Domination or else: have their economy destroyed & their people suffer. Indeed, it is a threat to the whole world played to the discord of rattling nuclear swords with a chorus of vindictive Russian oligarchs, whom Putin expelled for robbing the Russian people. So, now living in London as expats, they would seem to be the more likely culprits. All the while elsewhere in London, thanks to our “special US-UK relationship”, Julian Assange has been excommunicated and imprisoned in a tiny “cell” at the Ecuador embassy for revealing embarrassing American secrets via Wikileaks.

There we have it: the poisoning of our minds by the media and politicians which are owned and controlled by the US-UK-EU 1%, who benefit from Western Hegemony. So, these deluded few are now desperately defending it from the rising powers led by Russia and China with India not far behind demanding a multi-polar, democratic world order.

My search for the roots of this particularly vicious and extremely dangerous hate campaign began in a Dartmouth College Russian Foreign Policy course, which led me to the book, “Russophobia: Anti-Russian Lobby and American Foreign Policy” by San Francisco State University Professor Andrei P. Tsygankov (2009). And there, the detoxification of my mind began as I studied his deft, well-documented deconstruction of the political propaganda disseminated “by various think tanks, congressional testimonials, activities of NGOs and the media” (preface p. XIII)

Then in Italy the following winter, I discovered the work of the Swiss journalist, Guy Mettan, in the Italian geopolitical journal, LiMes: an excerpt from his book, “Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria” (2017). There, Mettan informs us that this psycho-social pathology in Western Civilization” goes back more than 1000 years: to the division of Christendom between the Orthodox and Roman churches. Indeed, his research into the depths of history confirms the diagnosis by our renowned American psychiatrist, Robert Jay Lifton, in his 2003 book, “Superpower Syndrome: America’s Apocalyptic Confrontation with the World”. Therein, Lifton states: “More than merely dominate, the American superpower now seeks to control history. Such cosmic ambition is accompanied by an equally vast sense of entitlement, of special dispensation to pursue its aims.” (p.3) And Mettan’s analysis of Russophobia also underscores the work of University of Chicago Professor John J. Mearsheimer, our leading international relations “realist” in his three Henry L. Stimson lectures at Yale University November 2017: “The Roots of Liberal Hegemony”, “The False Promises of Liberal Hegemony” and “The Case for Restraint”: with his book, “The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams, International Realities” published in 2018.

But what about “Russian Aggression” in Ukraine & Crimea?

In the first place, it was the astute Mearsheimer, who, in the Sept-Oct 2014 Foreign Affairs, informed us “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault: The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin” (pp 77-89), but the American foreign policy establishment, together with ambitious politicians and the me-too media, paid no heed and continues to repeat its fabricated “facts”.

Never-the-less, Mearsheimer is backed up by Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent. In Sakwa’s book, “Russia Against the Rest: The Post-Cold War Crisis of World Order”, 2017, we turn to the section on “Reality Wars and American Power” on p. 217 to read: “It does indeed seem that Russia and Western elites live in totally different worlds, divided by different epistemological understandings of the nature of contemporary reality. The Ukraine crisis crystallized the profound differences between Russian and Atlanticist understandings of the breakdown and its causes.” And he continues on p. 218: “Elite and policy-maker perceptions and attitudes forged in the Cold War years sustain these legacies and frame the discussions of such crucial issues as NATO enlargement, democracy promotion in the post-Soviet area, and strategic arms talks.” Adding that these “are no longer so much legacies as self-regenerating narratives and modes of discourse that preclude a more open-ended understanding of the dynamics and concerns of Russia today.”

Karl Rove: “We’re an empire now; we create our own reality.”

[In 2004, journalist Ron Suskind wrote in The New York Times magazine that a top White House strategist for President George W. Bush—identified later as Karl Rove, Bush’s Deputy White House Chief of Staff—told him, “We’re an empire now, we create our own reality.”]

Thus, we’ve become trapped in a contrived “reality” promulgated by neo-conservative warriors under cover of neo-liberal “democracy-spreading-humanitarian-interventionists” to justify an American Empire promoting itself as the indispensable “Liberal World Order”. However, under that global order, as Sakwa points out on p. 219: “If a foreign power is considered to have violated ‘international order’, then it can be overthrown” as a rationale for American “regime change” anywhere around the world: whether to control the supply of copper in Chile or oil in Iran. And, with its eye on Russia’s vast oil, gas and other natural resources, America claims the right to threaten Russia by ringing it with weapons which we would not abide were the Russians to place missiles in Mexico…as the Soviets did in Cuba to defend it after our “Bay of Pigs” invasion that brought humanity to the brink of nuclear war. Thus, Russia was defending itself in Ukraine against further NATO expansion while Crimean citizens, by majority vote in a democratic referendum, chose to rejoin Russia as they had been one country ever since Catherine the Great…except for an interval in the ’50s when Crimea was” gifted” to Ukraine while they were all members of the Soviet Union.

“Ditching Solzhenitsyn, Defender of Russia”

And not to forget that in 1974, after being expelled from the Soviet Union, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn and his family fled first to Zurich then to Vermont in 1976 and lived on a farm near Cavendish, where he continued to write and publish his work. Meanwhile, Mettan, as a journalist covering events related to Russia, became quite distressed over “the widespread prejudices, cartloads of clichés and systematic anti-Russian biases of most western media.” And he went on to say that “the more I traveled, discussed and read, the wider I perceived, the more the gap of incomprehension and ignorance between Western Europe and Russia became evident.

“That was why, during the 1990s, I was shocked by the way the West treated Solzhenitsyn. For decades, we had published, celebrated, and acclaimed the great writer as bearing the torch of anti-Soviet dissidence. We had praised Solzhenitsyn to the skies as long as he criticized his native country, communist Russia. But as soon as he emigrated, realizing that he preferred to isolate himself in his Vermont retreat to work rather than attending anticommunist conferences, western media and academics began to distance themselves from the great writer.

“The idol no longer matched the image they had built and was becoming a hindrance to their academic and journalistic career plans. And once Solzhenitsyn had left the United States to go back to Russia and defend his humiliated, demoralized motherland that was being sold at auction, raising his voice against the Russian ‘Westernizers’ and pluralist liberals who denied the interests of Russia to better revel in the troughs of capitalism, he became a marked man, an outdated, senile writer, even though he himself had not changed in the least, denouncing with the same vigor the defects of market totalitarianism as those of communist totalitarianism.

“He was booed, despised, his name was dragged through the mud for his choices, often by the very people who had praised his first fights. Despite that, against all odds, against the most powerful powers that were trying to dissuade him, Solzhenitsyn defended his one and only cause, that of Russia. He was not forgiven for having turned his pen against that West that had welcomed him and felt it was owed eternal gratitude. A dissident today, a dissident wherever truth compelled, such was his motto. This deserves to be remembered.” Mettan, pp. 15-16 in “Creating Russophobia”.

Russophobia: akin to Racism

From another perspective: Mettan’s chapter on “German Russophobia” set me thinking that this “Western Supremacy” political-cultural pathology known as Russophobia is like the racism which I knew growing up in totally segregated Oklahoma. Until in high school, I became so perplexed and appalled by the curtain of hate and “justifications” in which we were smothered: the Negro schools on the other side of town? and why were there separate waiting rooms, drinking fountains & restrooms in bus and train stations?…that I began poking holes in the curtain to see what was outside…and found a book in the library: “South of Freedom” by Carl Rowan, an African-American Minneapolis Star Tribune journalist, describing his journey from South to North. So, thanks to what I learned from Rowan, I began to tear the whole damned curtain down…at least in my mind.

Whom the Gods would destroy, they first drive mad?

So, here’s a Swiss journalist punching a hole in this wall of Russophobic Western Supremacy… and through that gaping hole, we are reminded that the Russians are Europe’s neighbors who sacrificed more than 26 million of their own lives to save Europe, America and Russia from the Nazis. These are not poor “niggers” from the Eurasian ghetto we’ve been trying to club into submission as second-class citizens of “The Liberal World Order” dominated by US; they’re nuclear-armed and no longer willing to sit at a separate, inferior table with no vote and no voice over who makes the rules…nor are China, India and Brazil. And last year, while the wave of Russophobic hysteria over alleged “Russian poisoning” was rolling out of the UK and engulfing the Western world in the latest siege of mass madness…with only Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labor party, having the courage to stand up in Parliament on the Ides of March and demand Evidence! only to be pilloried by the mindless politicians and media…led by the once esteemed BBC. And the week following the August 7, 2018 Trump-Putin Helsinki summit, will surely go down in psychiatric circles as another case of mass media-political delusions led by cheer-leader-in-chief, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC.

Meanwhile, not to forget that it was Hearst newspaper propaganda that whipped the American public into a war frenzy to support our first step in empire-building: our 1898 intervention in Cuba’s war for independence from the Spanish Empire which had dominated all of Latin America for 500 years. As the former NYTimes journalist/bureau chief in Istanbul, Berlin & Central America, Stephen Kinzer reminds us in his latest book “The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire”, Twain, Booker T. Washington and even Andrew Carnegie leading a handful of other anti-imperialists…were not able to prevail against Roosevelt with his Rough Riders and the Hearst newspapers’ war propaganda.

Regime Change Comes Home

Never-the-less, after a very long run of American “regime change” abroad leaving a bloody trail of destruction, dictatorships and chaos from Iran in 1953, when we joined with the British to overthrow the democratically-elected President Mohammad Mossadegh to maintain the Brit-US control of its oil…on through Guatemala, Vietnam and Chile…to name a few of our interventions…we were back for a second round with “coalitions of the willing” or not? in the Middle East where our regime-change machine managed to plow its way through Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya…before breaking down in Syria. Until now it’s been brought home again, renovated and renamed “RussiaGate” for another attempt at removing a President for trying to mend US relations with Russia. Though even after more than a year of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigations accompanied by such cinematic support as the movie, “Felt”, another “Watergate” re-run. Did anyone else notice the resemblance between “Felt” and Mueller? And despite the media’s commemoration of its 44-year-old “moment of courage” with the movie “The Post” to promote Trump’s ouster, our democratically-elected President, as of this writing, remains in power. However, in this rush to “regime change”, didn’t the our “ruling elite” read Jane Mayer’s “The Danger of President Pence” in the 10/23/17 New Yorker? At least the 70s’ “ruling class” was smart enough to remove an unqualified Vice President Spiro (who?) Agnew…before “regime changing” Nixon and replacing him with the more or less benign Gerald Ford.

A Florentine Epiphany

But back to last January in Florence, Italy, when I was hiking in the hills beyond the Piazzale Michelangelo, with its spectacular view of that Renaissance city and its centerpiece, the Duomo, I came across the Villa Galileo, which had been his last home after his trial as a “heretic”, during which to save himself from torture and execution, he was forced to deny his helio-centric vision and henceforth lived under “villa arrest”, from 1631 until his natural death in 1642. While pondering his fate, I continued walking along the gently rising, ever-narrowing road between ancient stone walls overlooking villas and olive groves until I reached the peak, where I felt as if I were standing on top of the world as I contemplated both the Arno and Ema river valleys far below and where I swear I heard Galileo declare: “The world does not turn on an American axis!”

The 21st Century Inquisition

So how is it that we now have contemporary Inquisitors persecuting so many truth tellers…such as Edward Snowden, our electronic age “Solzhenitsyn?” in Russian exile; Chelsea Manning, imprisoned some 7 years for revealing US brutality in Iraq; Julian Assange confined to his Ecuadorian Embassy exile in London since August 2012; Katharine Gun, a whistleblower attempting to stop the Iraq invasion, who faced 2 years of British imprisonment before her case was dropped; James Risen, former New York Times journalist who was persecuted by our “justice” system for revealing our government’s surveillance of US!

Any Good Sense Left?

So, do we the people have enough good sense & independent thinking left to follow the advice of Henry David Thoreau?

“Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe, through Paris and London, through New York and Boston and Concord, through church and state, through poetry and philosophy and religion, till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality.”

“Walden” 1854

If not, the Doctor prescribes Shock Therapy:

For a week, a month, or however long it takes to cleanse and open the mind, one must adhere to strict abstinence from Mainstream Media propaganda, junk news, pseudo analysis, fake photos, TV & videos including absolutely NO phony “for, by & of the people” NPR, PBS, BBC or other Government-funded Neo or LibCon Imperial tranquilizer.

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Isabella
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Isabella

It is, of course, interesting to do a sort of literary / sociological “Root Cause Analysis” to trace the beginnings of Russophobia. If it began with the schism in Christianity, then it is clear that Russophobia started as soon as Russia did. It’s always been there. What is perhaps more to the point is to ask ourselves “why does it go on”? The people of today are not the people of 1000 yrs ago. The “man in the street” of the 1960’s, reiterating over and over “we gotta beat them damn Rooskies” is not the man in the street of… Read more »

Isabella
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Isabella

There appears to be no mechanism for editing a comment !! So I would add here, that given van der Post’s view of Russians, his inclusion of a stunning observation by Waliszewskis’ “Peter the Great” seems contradictory – but is valuable. The quote was “It can mean an enormous waste of wealth, labour and even human lfie, but the strength of Russia and the secret of her destiny has always consisted to a great extent in her readiness and power to ignore the cost in order to obtain a desired result.
Indeed.

Julia
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Julia

Hello, Isabella. I take great pleasure in reading your thoughtful and rather informative comments and I thank you for your interest and respect for Russia. Just wanted to add my five cents today. You say “If it began with the schism in Christianity, then it is clear that Russophobia started as soon as Russia did”. In 1988 Russia celebrated 1000 years anniversary of Russia’s Baptismal – Russian prince Vladimir accepted Orthodox Christianity in 988. Official history states 862 as the beginning of Kievan Rus, when a bunch of pagan Russian princedoms decided to unite after having squabbled amongst each other… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
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It is best for Russians not to visit the UK, Canada, USA. Their is great risk of being harrassed, imprisoned, tortured.

Paris is Burning
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Paris is Burning

Macron has now blamed Russian-speaking Ukrainian workmen on Notre Dame. He declared in Le Figaro “Agents of Putin! It’s now our Reichstag burning”, not realizing he’s a complete idiot.

Isabella
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Isabella

Oh God, you are kidding.

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Peace on Korean Peninsula within reach, if only Trump can remove Pompeo & Bolton (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 152.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the results of the Putin-Kim summit in Vladivostok, Russia, aimed at boosting bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries, as well as working to contribute to a final peace settlement on the Korean peninsula.

Putin’s meeting with Kim may prove to be a pivotal diplomatic moment, as North Korea continues to work towards normalizing ties with the U.S. amidst ongoing denuclearization talks with the Trump White House.

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Via the BBC…

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un needs international security guarantees if he is to end his nuclear programme.

Such guarantees would need to be offered within a multinational framework, he added, following talks near Vladivostok in Russia’s far east.

Mr Kim praised the summit as a “very meaningful one-on-one exchange”.

Mr Putin said North Korea’s leader was “fairly open” and had “talked freely on all issues that were on the agenda”.

The meeting followed the breakdown of talks between the US and North Korea in February, when Mr Kim met US President Donald Trump in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

Those talks reportedly stalled over North Korea’s demand for full economic sanctions relief in return for some denuclearisation commitments – a deal the US was not willing to make.

Speaking after the talks on Thursday, Mr Putin said he wanted to see full denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

But he said this could only be achieved through respect for international law.

“We need to restore the power of international law, to return to a state where international law, not the law of the strongest, determines the situation in the world,” he said.

Mr Kim greeted Russian officials warmly when he arrived in Russia on Wednesday.

The North Korean leader was entertained by a brass band in Vladivostok before he got inside a car flanked by bodyguards, who – in now familiar scenes – jogged alongside the vehicle as it departed.

What do we know about the summit?

According to the Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin believes the six-party talks on North Korea, which are currently stalled, are the only efficient way of addressing the issue of nuclear weapons on the peninsula.

Those talks, which began in 2003, involve the two Koreas as well as China, Japan, Russia and the US.

“There are no other efficient international mechanisms at the moment,” Mr Peskov told reporters on Wednesday.

“But, on the other hand, efforts are being made by other countries. Here all efforts merit support as long as they really aim at de-nuclearisation and resolving the problem of the two Koreas.”

What do both sides want?

This visit is being widely viewed as an opportunity for North Korea to show it has powerful allies following the breakdown of the talks with the US in February.

The country has blamed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for the collapse of the Hanoi summit. Earlier this month North Korea demanded that Mr Pompeo be removed from nuclear talks, accusing him of “talking nonsense” and asking for someone “more careful” to replace him.

The summit is also an opportunity for Pyongyang to show that its economic future does not depend solely on the US. Mr Kim may try to put pressure on Moscow to ease sanctions.

Analysts say the summit is an opportunity for Russia to show that it is an important player on the Korean peninsula.

President Putin has been eager to meet the North Korean leader for quite some time. Yet amid the two Trump-Kim summits, the Kremlin has been somewhat sidelined.

Russia, like the US and China, is uncomfortable with North Korea being a nuclear state.

How close are Russia and North Korea?

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union (of which Russia is the main successor state) maintained close military and trade links with its communist ally, North Korea, for ideological and strategic reasons.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, trade links with post-communist Russia shrank and North Korea leaned towards China as its main ally.

Under President Putin, Russia recovered economically and in 2014 he wrote off most of North Korea’s Soviet-era debt in a major goodwill gesture.

While it is arguable how much leverage Russia has with the North today, the communist state still regards it as one of the least hostile foreign powers.

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Putin meets Kim for the first time (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 151.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at the historic meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the city of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The meeting marks the first ever summit between the two leaders.

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Via RT…

Leaders of Russia and North Korea sat down for a historic summit in Vladivostok, expressing hope it will revive the peace process in the Korean Peninsula and talks on normalizing relations with the US.

The summit on Russky Island, just off Vladivostok, started a little late because President Vladimir Putin’s flight was delayed. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had made the trip by train, arriving on Wednesday.

In brief public remarks before the talks, the two leaders expressed hope the summit will help move forward the reconciliation process in the Korean Peninsula. Putin welcomed Kim’s contributions to “normalizing relations” with the US and opening a dialogue with South Korea.

Kim said he hoped the Vladivostok summit would be a “milestone” in the talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but also build upon “traditionally friendly ties” between Russia and North Korea.

The North Korean leader also made a point of thanking Putin for flying all the way to Vladivostok for the meeting. The Far East Russian city is only 129 kilometers from the border with North Korea.

The historic summit takes place less than two months after Kim’s second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi fell apart without a breakthrough on denuclearization. The US rejected North Korea’s request for partial sanctions relief in return for moves to dismantle nuclear and missile programs; Washington insists on full disarmament before any sanctions are removed.

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the main subject of the Kim-Putin summit, but there will also be talks about bilateral relations, trade, and humanitarian aid. The first one-on-one meeting is scheduled to last about an hour, followed by further consultations involving other government officials.

Following the summit, Putin is scheduled to visit China.

 

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Kim And Putin: Changing The State Of The Board In Korea

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


Today is a big day for Korea. The first face-to-face summit of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un takes place.

At the same time the 2nd annual Belt and Road Forum kicks off in Beijing.

This meeting between Putin and Kim has been in the works for a while but rumors of it only surfaced last week. But don’t let the idea that this was put together at the last minute fool you.

It wasn’t.

The future of Korea could be decided by these two men today.

I know that sounds bold. But hear me out.

And while no one seems to think this meeting is important or that anything of substance will come from it I do. It is exactly the kind of surprise that Putin loves to spring on the world without notice and by doing so change the board state of geopolitics.

  • Russia’s entrance into Syria in 2015, two days after Putin’s historic speech at the U.N. General Assembly
  • 2018’s State of the Union address where he announced hypersonic missiles, embarrassing the U.S. Militiary-Industrial Complex which accelerated the Bolton Doctrine of subjugating the world
  • Flying 2 TU-160 nuclear-armed bombers to Venezuela, creating panic in D.C. leading to the ham-fisted regime change operations there.
  • Nationalization of Yukos.
  • The operation to secure Crimea from U.S. invasion by marines aboard the U.S.S Donald Cook during the Ukrainian uprising against Viktor Yanukovich.

Both Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping are angry at the breakdown of the talks in Hanoi back in February. It was clear that everyone expected that meeting to be a rubber stamp on a deal already agreed to by all parties involved.

In fact the two meetings between Kim and Trump were only possible because Trump convinced them of his sincerity to resolve the ‘denuclearization’ of North Korea which would clear a path to rapid reunification.

It’s why they went along with the U.S.’s increased sanctions on North Korea as administered through the U.N. in 2017.

That John Bolton and Mike Pompeo destroyed those talks and Trump was unwilling or unable (who cares at this point, frankly, useless piece of crap that he is) to stop them embarrassed and betrayed them.

They are now done with Trump.

He’ll get nothing from either of them or Kim until Trump can prove he’s in charge of his administration, which he, clearly, is not.

And they will be moving forward with their own agenda for security and Asian economic integration. So I don’t think the timing of this meeting with that of the Belt and Road Forum is an accident.

And that means moving forward on solving the Korea problem without Trump.

It is clear from the rhetoric of Putin’s top diplomat, the irreplaceable Sergei Lavrov, that Russia’s patience is over. They are no longer interested in what Trump wants and they will now treat the U.S. as a threat, having upped their military stance towards the U.S. to that of “Threat.”

If Bolton wants anything from Russia at this point he best be prepared to start a war or piss off.

This is also why Russia took the gloves off with Ukraine in the run up to the Presidential elections, cutting off energy and machinery exports with Ukraine.

To put paid Putin’s growing impatience with U.S. policies, he just issued the order to allow residents of Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics to apply for Russian passports.

This will send Bolton into apoplexy. Angela Merkel of Germany will be none too pleased either. Putin is now playing hardball after years of unfailing politeness.

It’s also why Lavrov finalized arms and port deals all over the Middle East in recent weeks, including those with Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and India.

Bolton, Pompeo and Pence are ideologues. Trump is a typical Baby Boomer, who lives in a bubble of his own design and believes in an America that never existed.

None of them truly understand the fires they are stoking and simply believe in the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. to rule the world over a dim and barbaric world.

Putin, Xi, Rouhani in Iran and Kim in North Korea are pragmatic men. They understand the realities they live in. This is why I see Putin willing tomorrow to sit down with Kim and flaunt the U.N. sanctions and begin the investment process into North Korea that should have begun last year.

Putin would not be making these moves if he didn’t feel that Bolton was all bark and no bite when it came to actual war with Russia. He also knows that Germany needs him more than he needs Germany so despite the feet-dragging and rhetoric Nordstream 2 will go forward.

Trade is expanding between them despite the continued sanctions.

Putin may be willing to cut a deal with President-elect Zelensky on gas transit later in the year but only if the shelling of the LPR and DPR stops and he guarantees no more incidents in the Sea of Azov. This would also mollify Merkel a bit and make it easier for her politically to get Nordstream 2 over the finish line.

There are moments in history when people go too far. Bolton and Pompeo went too far in Hanoi. He will pay the price now. Putin and Kim will likely agree to something in Vladivostok that no one is expecting and won’t look like much at first.

But the reality is this summit itself marks a turning point in this story that will end with the U.S. being, in Trump’s transactional parlance, a “price taker” since it has so thoroughly failed at being a “price maker.”

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