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Putin’s bear hold on Trump

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The immediate future of the United States of America and much of the “free world” hangs on whether special prosecutor Robert Mueller and his team can find tangible and cogent evidence that President Donald Trump colluded with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, to rig the 2016 US presidential election.

Logic determines that given Trump’s continued acquiescence to his Russian counterpart, capped off by his prostration in front of the Russian strongman in Helsinki before a watching world, the speculation that Putin holds an ace that could hang Trump’s jack, and possibly send him to jail (mixing the images of All Fours and Monopoly) is most cogent.

That the US president preferred to believe the “strong and powerful” word of his counterpart in preference to the researched intelligence of the US security agencies, that Russia, with the full knowledge of Putin, sought to influence in a very direct manner the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election comes close to high treason.

While the world awaits the outcome of Muller’s investigation, it may answer a few questions, if we examine and contextualise the two leaders, their actions on the world stage, their worldview, their personal ambitions and those they hold for their countries.

First, it is of importance to note that Putin is a former KGB chief whose career required him to investigate and assemble information on individuals and institutions of power in the interest of Russia’s foreign policy. Did the KGB unearth information and intelligence on Trump, the candidate, that would make him pliable to Putin’s Russia if elected as President of the United States? Is the Russian leader now cashing-in on his investment?

President Putin unabashedly made it known at the Helsinki news conference that candidate Trump was his choice to win the election. In possession of a probing cyberspace capacity with the potential to infiltrate and distort the Democratic Party’s election platform to his liking, could President Putin, with his aspirations to gain power over the US, resist utilising that capacity?

Putin has demonstrated his ruthlessness in getting himself elected and re-elected, has sought to re-colonise neighbouring Georgia and Ukraine, and has annexed Crimea notwithstanding objections from the West. He has levelled and eliminated potential opponents to his presidency and man-handled sections of the population that dared to oppose his dictates.

Only the person sitting in the White House as President of the USA, Donald Trump, could thwart and in any way present blockades to Putin’s achievement of his goals; “why not compromise him (Trump) to remove all potential obstruction,” Putin could have calculated.

As if led by the hand of Putin, Trump has set about causing havoc inside of NATO, the defence mechanism of the post-war period that secures the North Atlantic community against attacks from outsiders. Similarly, Trump has irrationally been attempting to break up the multilateral trading environment of the post-war period.

Would candidate Trump in his effort to satisfy his ego (inclusive of his obvious hate for Clinton and his desire to overturn the Obama legacy) and to service his personal financial empire, inside and outside of America, have succumbed to overtures from a Moscow willing to lend a helping hand to his campaign? More so if President Putin held potentially compromising information on Trump?

Or would Trump in his ambition to “make America great again” have scoffed at any such offer if it had been made —after all, accepting such assistance would have diminished the status of a resilient and rebounding America, something that Trump, the ultra-nationalist, would never consider.

Has Putin pledged support for Trump in the effort to find solutions to the problems of Syria, Iran and the Israel-Palestinian-Arab conflict? In this respect, is Trump genuinely attempting to make Putin’s Russia acceptable to the western world?

President Trump’s unbounded love for Putin could not be based on the importance of Russia as a trading partner. In 2013, US trade with Russia amounted to 1.1/4 per cent (US$48 billion) of total US trade, that surely is not a trading relationship to entice Trump into a bear hug with the grizzly.

Putin’s Russia though would gain economically, starting with the removal of sanctions, if he were able to put a compromising lock on Trump. The irony of it all though is that throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, the USA has deposed and installed governments all over the developing world


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