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Glad to be guest blogging

Thanks for the opportunity to guest blog for you, Allison. I’ll try to do you right!

One thing we’ve been discussing is what we can expect from Putin. He has arrested capitalists, stifled democracy, economically threatened neighbors to influence their policies & elections, had many critics turn up dead, supported our main enemies on some level and generally been threatening a new cold war.

What is his endgame?

Russia’s population is spiraling downward so quickly that they’re paying people bonuses to have kids. He should be embracing more freedom, but he craves power. He’s planning to have a stooge serve as President (he’s term limited), but he may become prime minister, and he could run for president again after a term out of office.

He looks at the history of Russia & thinks that the people want a strongman. Even though he properly joined in condemning Stalin, he like many other Russians see Stalin as a great hero of Russia despite the millions he killed.

The main concern now is his helping Iran’s nuclear program, both with providing parts & running interference at the UN. Russia would never allow Sanctions on Iran. His comments at the Caspian nation were meant to convey a threat.

In this context, I can’t forget the story I heard years ago, right before the 2000 election about how Gore worked with the Russians on an agreement starting in 1995 to let the Russians help Iran with their nuclear program while not informing Congress. When Reagan did it for the Contras, they tried to go after him, but when Gore does it, he wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

But I digress. I think Putin looks back at how much more prestige the country had when they were the other “Superpower” and wants to have that prestige back. I think part of him shares that irrational thought that life is a zero sum game & that if America has more problems that Russia will benefit.

Regardless of the degree of each motivation, our goal has to be to show him that it’s in his best interests to stop Iran from having Nukes. I believe largely because of how we give without expecting anything back, there’s less incentive for countries like Russia to favor us. (That’s why Giuliani’s plan for the State Department to advocate for America’s interests is so revolutionary) We can help him understand that if the US were to fall, there wouldn’t be less Beslans, but more.

(this story will be much cooler when I add the hyperlinks)

1 comment to Glad to be guest blogging