February 11, 2024

"Putin’s obsession with history is genuine, as is his belief in a narrative that justifies, indeed makes inevitable, Russia’s war against Ukraine."

"That Carlson was surprised suggests that he either didn’t watch Putin’s earlier appearances in preparation for the interview, or that, despite copious evidence to the contrary, he imagined that Putin the man would match Putin the role: a dictator whose opponents get killed and jailed and who invades neighboring countries ought to be larger than life, terrifying in person, and certainly not boring.... 'The professional liars in Washington . . . are trying to convince you that this guy is Hitler, that he is trying to take the Sudetenland, or something,' Carlson [said afterward]. 'Not analogous in any way!' In fact, Putin had clearly, and more explicitly than ever before, channelled Hitler during the interview. This is what a tyrant looks like: small, and full of tedious resentments...."

Writes Masha Gessen, in "Tucker Carlson Promised an Unedited Putin. The Result Was Boring/In an interview that lasted more than two hours, the Russian President aired well-trod grievances and gave a lecture full of spurious history meant to justify his war in Ukraine" (The New Yorker).

90 comments:

n.n said...

The Obama/ Biden/ Clinton Slavic Spring! What is it good for? Redistributive change.

hombre said...

Do the lefty journolistas and publications realize how predictable and tiresome they have become? Putin channeling Hitler?

It was, of course, necessary for the New Yorker to have a piece written by a Putin and Trump hater who is a persona non grata in Russia. No hint of bias there, right?

I don't much care if Russia and Ukraine batter each other to pieces. They are cut from the same cloth. I would prefer that they not blow up our tax dollars in the process.

n.n said...

Well-trod grievances...
Critical History Theory...
Slavic privilege...
Political congruence...

Russia against... with Ukraine.

The New Yorker is caught in an Ouroboros construct of it's own conception. What a burden. Abort.

Aggie said...

One gets the impression that, in spite of having a seminal interview subject to discuss, that the priority is an almost desperate need to dosedit and critique the interviewer, instead.

iowan2 said...

Putin has a well documented motivation to reconstitute "Russia" based on history, is well documented over the decades. Confused as to how anyone is surprised by Putin reinforcing his vision.
As a Guest Tucker is not in a position to force Putin to Tuckers line of questioning.

As a side bar, I heard a CNN critiquing the interview. In there someplace, the CNN guy said "Putin is really smart"

Remember when the media was trying to make hay out of Trump complimenting Foreign despots? It OK when the left does it.

chuck said...

This triggernometry discussion is informative, and less colored by biased vocabulary. It is long, but not boring. Konstantin doesn't favor the Russian invasion, but he is coldly neutral about history.

Joe Biden Is Corrupt said...

Funny how Hillary Clinton - is losing her mind.... on joke-hack Network MSNBC.
What is she so afraid of?

The Clinton foundation profited off Secret Russian Uranium deals while she was Obama's Secretary of State and she used her Private Server to hide it all.

Doesn't that make Hillary - who lives on MSNBC - an actual Russian Asset?

Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal

Original Mike said...

"Putin’s obsession with history is genuine, …"

As is the left's obsession with Putin. I wish I understood it. I have the impression it started with Hillary's Russian hoax, as if the left was forced into the position of having to keep up the charade for appearance's sake. Or it's just a convenient artifice to bludgeon Trump.

Dave Begley said...

Yeah, it was kind of boring. But we got an unfiltered look at how Putin's brain works. 193 million views as of now. Only about 330m people in the US.

The Nebraska Dem Chair is Jane Kleeb. She gets her talking points straight from the DNC. Here she is, "Republicans are rooting for Russia. Democrats are defending democracy."

My response was "2 + 2 = 5."

gadfly said...

Reminder: Donald Trump is an elderly man with a bad memory, a vulgar mouth, malicious views, a well-established record of misogyny, an unparalleled prevaricator, and no knowledge of world history or current events. He is currently facing 91 criminal counts in state and federal courts.

Mason G said...

"This is what a tyrant looks like: small, and full of tedious resentments...."

I guess The New Yorker would know. But enough about Joe Biden.

Scott Gustafson said...

A little history. Hitler used ethnic Germans living outside Germany as his excuse to take over those places. After WWII, those countries “cleansed” themselves of ethic Germans and sent them to Germany as refugees. Putin is making the same argument about ethnic Russians living outside of Russia. Will history repeat itself?

Mikey NTH said...

Vladimir Putin has stated that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a great tragedy. He is now trying to re constitute Russian Empire 3.0. This has been obvious for years for those eho pay attention. He just doesn't have the force to do so.
And should be kept from that.

Heartless Aztec said...

Fair enough assessment. Russia has has for centuries tried to close the seven avenues of attack into the heart of Mother Russia. With victory in Ukraine he's closed two.
Five more to go. Betting money says no - he'll die before that happens.

Jerry said...

Everyone the left dislikes channels Hitler. Reagan, Bush1, Bush2, Dole, McCain, Romney, Trump, DeSantis, Vivek - we gots ya League of Hitlers there, for a bargain price!

There's no country out there, except likely for ours, that teaches their history with themselves as the villain.

So it's not surprising that Putin doesn't see Russia as the bad guy here. What is surprising is how hard the left's vilifying every attempt to get info on what the guy's thinking.

It does lend some credence to the reason we're really invested in Ukraine is that a lot of folks on the left are getting 10% back...

Jupiter said...

Masha Gessen is a fatuous driveler. The reality is that Carlson may well have been aware that Putin is highly intelligent and has a complex and nuanced view of Russian history. But he did not expect a half-hour answer, starting 800 years ago, as to why Putin chose to invade Ukraine. That's not how it usually goes when you interview a national leader.

Big Mike said...

Is Putin’s grasp of Russian and European history any worse than the grasp of US history demonstrated by Nikole Hannah-Jones, and other writers from the New York Times via their “1619 Project”?

Tank said...

I thought that Putin was clear that it was the constant violations of the Minsk agreement that led to the necessity of invading Ukraine.

Jupiter said...

Although I was in my thirties when the Soviet Union collapsed, and did my best to follow what was going on, I could never understand how it happened. I grew up with the Soviet Union, and the Cold War. I used to work at the City Hall, and I could walk outside and point at the spot above Skinner's Butte where the Soviet ICBM would detonate, when it came hurtling over the Pole. You learned to live with it, but sometimes you woke up in the night, and couldn't get back to sleep for thinking about it. How does a vast, powerful empire, based on soul-killing terror and ruthlessly determined to implement its utopian ideology, just kind of lie down by the side of the road and expire?

I have been reading a book about it, "Collapse; The Fall of the Soviet Union". I highly recommend it. I still can't make any sense of it. But Ukraine is in the thick of it. The Soviet Union died because no one was prepared to make the sacrifices needed to sustain it. Suppose the North had not been willing, or able, to wage a war to prevent Secession. What would relations between Washington and Richmond be like today?

n.n said...

Published with a straight face in the annals of projection.

tim in vermont said...

It’s long and boring so be sure not to watch it! I will be sure to give you an honest take!

Candide said...

Historical discourse took about 30 minutes of about 2 hours long interview. Certainly significant amount of time but still about a quarter of the whole interview. More than 1 hour was about the present day political and economical issues, twice as long as historical part. So far, no criticisms of that part of the interview.

rcocean said...

Well, we all knew the MSM and that includes the New Yorker were going to dislike the Tucker-Putin interview. Either they were going to call it an outraegous pro Putin puff piece or it was going to be "Boring" and "say nothing new".

The MSM bottom line is: Don't watch it. Which is little different from their screeching before the interview. To them, any Putin interview which is NOT hostile and full of gotcha questions and interuptions by a russia-hating interviewer is worthless.

Personally, I found the history lesson interesting. But then then I'm not a Russian history X-burt like the New Yorker writer. Putin put the Ukrainian-Russian relations in perspective, and why the current anti-Russian attitude of Zelenksy is so unusual and ahistorical.

The most important part of the interview was Putin restating his peace conditions. No NATO membership for Ukraine, and freedom for the Donbas. The majority in that regime want to be with Russia and are now officially part of that country. Like Crimea, its never going back to Ukraine, and we might as well accept that and move on. To an American its completely irrelevant who controls the Donbas, what is relevent is we're wasting hundreds of billions on a war that needs to end.

Drago said...

Scott Gustafson: "A little history. Hitler used ethnic Germans living outside Germany as his excuse to take over those places. After WWII, those countries “cleansed” themselves of ethic Germans and sent them to Germany as refugees. Putin is making the same argument about ethnic Russians living outside of Russia. Will history repeat itself?"

Uh, no.

A nation with a GDP only 3/4's that of Italy doesn't have the means to extend much beyond its immediate border.

Russia has just about zero capability to project effective (sufficient and sustained) force anywhere in Europe beyond what they have cobbled together in Ukraine in the Crimea and Eastern provinces.

Witness their limited efforts in Georgia and Ossetia as well.

Poland and the Baltics are completely out of the question.

Any claims that the russkis are capable of making a run into Europe are ridiculously over the top stupid with the lie shown conclusively by the European nations essentially reaching purposely self-disarmed status and not sweating it in the slightest.

Putin isnt letting go of Eastern Ukraine and Crimea because...lets face it...that's all he's got and all he's going to have. Western Ukraine will never fall to the russkis. Our borscht eating laddies simply couldnt take it if they tried.

I do think Putin could make another push to Odessa to create an all russki northern Black Sea border presence and link up with Moldavian Transnistria, but that will still take just about everything in the arsenal to potentially achieve and is a high probabilty fail.

mccullough said...

New Yorker hot takes on Putin are boring.

Che Dolf said...

Original Mike said... "Putin’s obsession with history is genuine, …" As is the left's obsession with Putin. I wish I understood it.

The "left" sees Putin's Russia as some bizarre reanimation of Czar + Russian Orthodoxy, which disgusts them as much as "gay culture" disgusts Putin. He rejects their new religion, so he has to go.

"Merkel realized that Russia had permanently broken with the west when Putin expressed opposition to gay culture. It really is a sacred value for the west, almost everything else is negotiable."
- Richard Hanania

"At a conversation at the Hilton Hotel in Brisbane, Australia, during a G-20 summit in late 2014, Ms. Merkel realized that Mr. Putin had entered a state of mind that would never allow for reconciliation with the West, according to a former aide. The conversation was about Ukraine, but Mr. Putin launched into a tirade against the decadence of democracies, whose decay of values, he said, was exemplified by the spread of 'gay culture.'"
- WSJ

Che Dolf said...

Scott Gustafson said... A little history. Hitler used ethnic Germans living outside Germany as his excuse to take over those places. After WWII, those countries “cleansed” themselves of ethic Germans and sent them to Germany as refugees.

500k - 1.5 million Germans died as a result of that mass expulsion. I'd never even heard of this before Michael Tracey wrote about it last year.

"It's only recently that I've come to fully appreciate how shockingly impoverished the popular understanding is of WWII, and how centrally this factors into present-day propaganda. Be honest: what percentage of the population do you think knows the first thing about any of this?"
- Michael Tracey

(quotes at length from "Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans After the Second World War," by R. M. Douglas, Yale University Press, 2012.)

John henry said...

Joe Biden is corrupt,

Hilary lost a good bit of her mind in 2012 when she hack that stroke ("cerebral venous thrombosis"). She has never fully recovered and has not been the same since.

John Henry

Jerry said...

Jupiter said:
"How does a vast, powerful empire, based on soul-killing terror and ruthlessly determined to implement its utopian ideology, just kind of lie down by the side of the road and expire?"

You've hit on the crux of it - nobody (aside from the Politburo, and even then likely not many) was still invested enough in Communism to keep the farce going. You can pretend a system works for only so long - and the people under you will shift from trying to make it work to 'what's in it for me?'

Add in a top-down bureaucracy that didn't allow simple reality to get in their way, and leadership and the whole edifice hollowed itself out until it was a thin shell of the colossus we were wary of up until the Wall fell.

It wasn't really vast or powerful past about the 70s, I think - they poured a lot into the Vietnam conflict, and then Afghanistan bled them further. Then the Wall fell, and that was about it.

The thing was - we didn't see it from a distance. We thought it was at least somewhat stable though we knew it had problems after the withdrawal from Afghanistan. But the fall caught all the 'experts' in DC by surprise.

Which makes you wonder - if they got something so momentous and important wrong, what else have they gotten wrong over the years?

chuck said...

The Soviet Union died because no one was prepared to make the sacrifices

My version is that Russians were bored of the Revolutionary thing. You can only inspire people for so long before they grow up and would rather drink and play cards. What else was there to do?

Yancey Ward said...

Original Mike wrote:

"As is the left's obsession with Putin. I wish I understood it. I have the impression it started with Hillary's Russian hoax, as if the left was forced into the position of having to keep up the charade for appearance's sake. Or it's just a convenient artifice to bludgeon Trump."

I have written it many, many times here at Althouse- the Left was perfectly happy with Vladimir Putin until Putin put Pussy Riot in jail. That is why he is is now detested by the Left.

Nancy Reyes said...

Americans don't know history so can't understand Putin who is a mainstream czar fighting ruthlessly against the chaos that threatens his country, and wants to unite the old Russian empire that brought peace.
Before you condemn Putin however, remember China is doing the same thing, as is Iran who is depositing their proxies in the Sunni Arab states to remake the Persian empire.

Mason G said...

"Which makes you wonder - if they got something so momentous and important wrong, what else have they gotten wrong over the years?"

Might be quicker to list what they got right.

SDaly said...

The left loved the communist Soviet Union. They didn't care about the gulags, or exporting deadly revolution around the globe. They didn't care about the 100 million dead in the 20th Century--mostly civilians at the hands of their own governments--caused by communists. Then the Soviet Union disbanded, Russia gave up communism, and the left suddenly detests Russia (and insults him not as a reincarnation of communist Stalin, but as a new Hitler).

Boy, it sure is a mystery why the left hates Putin.

effinayright said...

Way I see it, the Left would not have been happy with Tucker's interview unless Putin shrieked at him for two hours, like Hitler in that "Downfall" bunker scene.

The notion that a journalist should go toe-to-toe with an enormously powerful head of state in an "interview" is simply laughable.


effinayright said...

Way I see it, the Left would not have been happy with Tucker's interview unless Putin shrieked at him for two hours, like Hitler in that "Downfall" bunker scene on YouTube.

The notion that a journalist should go toe-to-toe with an enormously powerful foreign head of state in an "interview" is simply laughable.

Has it ever happened before?


effinayright said...

Way I see it, the Left would not have been happy with Tucker's interview unless Putin shrieked at him for two hours, like Hitler in that "Downfall" bunker scene on YouTube.

The notion that a journalist should go toe-to-toe with an enormously powerful foreign head of state in an "interview" is simply laughable.

Has it ever happened before?


Narr said...

It is possible that the USSR lasted as long as it did because Great Patriotic War. The victory over Nazi Germany was, in their eyes and those of many in the West, proof positive that Communism was the future.

People enjoy prattling about Western ignorance of the Eastern Front, but that's nothing compared to the propagandizing that the Soviets undertook to make their efforts the only story worth telling or hearing. )Nina Tumarkin's "The Living and the Dead" is good on how the Victory Myth unraveled for the young in the 80s.)

But historical myths, especially carefully constructed ones, have half-lives and as the Soviet/Russian greatest gen faded so did the aura of triumph. In actuality the USSR remained dependent on the West for finance and technology (eventually grain!) because Communism itself is, in TIK's useful term, 'ideobabble.' It has nothing useful to say about actual human life.

The Nazis and Soviets alike used ethnic cleansing on a large scale before and after 22 June 1941, and one thing Hitler accomplished was to make Germans detested throughout large swaths of central and eastern Europe where they had lived for centuries.

It may be somewhat different now, but a few decades ago it was a reckless German who visited parts of Poland or Czechoslovakia in search of ancestral real estate.

Until the late 70s I was as convinced as anyone that the USSR was a fact of life for a long time to come, but I started reading Anders Aslund and other realists and realized that it was largely a sham. A true Potemkin Empire (though Potemkin Villages are a myth).

Narr said...

There isn't any question that Putin is intelligent, and has a theory of the case that he and others find convincing.

The question is about his wisdom and understanding of his and Russia's place in the great scheme of things.

rcocean said...

Gessler does something that always annoys me. Saying/writing "in fact" or "The fact of the matter is.." and then giving an opinion.

Newt Gingrich, who I usually don't mind, used to drive me crazy with his constant: "The fact of the matter is, vanilla ice cream is the best".

Looking at the New Yorker extract again, I'm struck by all the name-calling and adjectives. Of course, does anyone read the New Yorker for cool anlytical analysis? People like Gessler keep calling Putin a dictator or a tyrant, but in fact, Russia has elections and a parliment. And all the polls show Putin is popular.

Not only that, But Boris Nadezhdinis an antiwar Russian candidate for President, almost got 100,000 signatures to qualify for the next election. He claims he got over 100,000 but the election committee disqualifed him, y'know just like the Democrats disqualified Trump.

But why even bring this up? With Putin and Russia, Trump, Immigration and Border security, 2020 fraud, the J6 protesters, the bombing of Gaza, etc. the Liberal/left doesn't want to debate or discuss, just call names and censor.

rcocean said...

Gessler does something that always annoys me. Saying/writing "in fact" or "The fact of the matter is.." and then giving an opinion.

Newt Gingrich, who I usually don't mind, used to drive me crazy with his constant: "The fact of the matter is, vanilla ice cream is the best".

Looking at the New Yorker extract again, I'm struck by all the name-calling and adjectives. Of course, does anyone read the New Yorker for cool anlytical analysis? People like Gessler keep calling Putin a dictator or a tyrant, but in fact, Russia has elections and a parliment. And all the polls show Putin is popular.

Not only that, But Boris Nadezhdinis an antiwar Russian candidate for President, almost got 100,000 signatures to qualify for the next election. He claims he got over 100,000 but the election committee disqualifed him, y'know just like the Democrats disqualified Trump.

But why even bring this up? With Putin and Russia, Trump, Immigration and Border security, 2020 fraud, the J6 protesters, the bombing of Gaza, etc. the Liberal/left doesn't want to debate or discuss, just call names and censor.

tim in vermont said...

Because, I guess, it had a Super Bowl tie-in, they showed the movie The Sum of All Fears this weekend. Let me summarize the plot, this is a novel written by Michael Crichton, remember, who does his research. Anyway, there are these Nazis in Ukraine who are still butt-hurt that Hitler lost the war, and they want to lead naziism to ultimate victory by getting America and Russia to fight a nuclear war, instead of fighting Russia and America at the same time, like Hitler did.

Where did Michael Crichton get the idea that there were nazis in Ukraine? So it's like I said, they know that naziism is going to be out there in the zeitgeist whenever Ukraine comes up, so they try to pin it on the other side. Every accusation is a confession with these guys. I don't think it's unAmerican to be against siding with nazis.

Articles like this are how they inveigle us to support their endless wars.

tim in vermont said...

Russia has so many natural resources, why they would want to invade resource impoverished Europe is the real mystery. Can anybody explain why Russia would do it? When the USSR did it, they were in the process of driving the Nazis back from within sight of Moscow, the second invasion of Russia by Western Europe, the first being Napoleon, which is pretty funny that Biden mentioned that little factoid, saying that Western Europe was worried about Russia back then, when it was the other way around. Obviously Biden has never read War and Peace, but you can bet every Russian who matters has/

Stalin drove to Berlin on a handshake deal with FDR and Churchill. The USSR fell as a result of an overextended and costly empire. Why would Russia do it again?

The US wants to wrest control of the Black Sea from Russia, which is why we provoked this war, after starting the civil war in Ukraine by fomenting a coup.

Aggie said...

@tim in vermont says: "hey showed the movie The Sum of All Fears this weekend. Let me summarize the plot, this is a novel written by Michael Crichton, remember, who does his research...."

Wow. I knew Crichton was a talented guy, but I never knew he wrote all those Tom Clancy novels.

Original Mike said...

"they showed the movie The Sum of All Fears this weekend. Let me summarize the plot, this is a novel written by Michael Crichton, "

Tom Clancy. I enjoyed the book.

Original Mike said...

"Obviously Biden has never read War and Peace, "

He may have. He doesn't remember.

Drago said...

tim in vermont: "Because, I guess, it had a Super Bowl tie-in, they showed the movie The Sum of All Fears this weekend. Let me summarize the plot, this is a novel written by Michael Crichton, remember, who does his research. Anyway, there are these Nazis in Ukraine who are still butt-hurt that Hitler lost the war, and they want to lead naziism to ultimate victory by getting America and Russia to fight a nuclear war, instead of fighting Russia and America at the same time, like Hitler did."

I think I am going to have to hit you with an "Ackshually" here.

The Sum of All Fears is, if memory serves, a Tom Clancy novel (thus character Jack Ryan's involvement).

Further, the Tom Clancey novel was centered around the Middle East conflict, not the Ukrainians/russkis etc.

Hollywood, with Ben Aflecks pro-islamist worldview, completely altered the movie storyline to involve the only acceptable bad guys in Hollywood's view: white nazi dudes from Europe.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Although I was in my thirties when the Soviet Union collapsed, and did my best to follow what was going on, I could never understand how it happened. I grew up with the Soviet Union, and the Cold War. I used to work at the City Hall, and I could walk outside and point at the spot above Skinner's Butte where the Soviet ICBM would detonate, when it came hurtling over the Pole. You learned to live with it, but sometimes you woke up in the night, and couldn't get back to sleep for thinking about it. How does a vast, powerful empire, based on soul-killing terror and ruthlessly determined to implement its utopian ideology, just kind of lie down by the side of the road and expire?”

Went to college in CO Spgs. You could look over, a bit to the west, and see Cheyenne Mountain, home to NORAD, built underneath that mountain. My memory was that SAC, NORAD, and DC were supposed to be the Soviets top 3 targets. So, on occasion, looking over at Cheyenne, I would envision a nuclear exchange, where the warheads were falling fast enough that fratricide was taking out many of them, as the Soviets tried to dig NORAD out. Of course, since it unobstructed between us, we wouldn’t live long enough to see the fratricide. But the mood didn’t last long, because it was such a beautiful view, with Pikes Peak towering 8,000 ft above campus, set off by a beautiful cloudless blue sky.

Mr Wibble said...

It is possible that the USSR lasted as long as it did because Great Patriotic War. The victory over Nazi Germany was, in their eyes and those of many in the West, proof positive that Communism was the future
----

It gave a generation of soviet leaders cultural capital. It also removed millions of young men who otherwise might have caused unrest.

Narayanan said...

The notion that a journalist should go toe-to-toe with an enormously powerful foreign head of state in an "interview" is simply laughable.
=================
Oriana Fallaci interviewing Ayatollah Khomeini ~ Oct. 7, 1979

Narayanan said...

definitely laughable w r t murican journalists

Narayanan said...

The notion that a journalist should go toe-to-toe with an enormously powerful foreign head of state in an "interview" is simply laughable.
=================
Oriana Fallaci interviewing Ayatollah Khomeini ~ Oct. 7, 1979

but definitely laughable w r t murican journalists

Jerry said...

tim in vermont said...
Russia has so many natural resources, why they would want to invade resource impoverished Europe is the real mystery.
-------------

They've got 'em - but they're not easily accessible. Siberia's climate, east of the Ural mountain range, is considerably colder than northern Canada's. So people haven't wanted to settle there, the occasional gulag notwithstanding.

Overall, there's no easy transportation. You've got a few rail lines along the southern border with China, and that's about it for a LARGE swath of the country. The river systems they've got run North, and they're frozen a lot of the year so that's right out for transport.

So to exploit those resources, you'd need:

Rail and roads to get prospectors in to find the resources, get equipment in to mine them, and get people in to make the communities that'd support the mines and miners.

All in an area where you've got maybe 4 months where you can do road and rail construction before the weather closes you down, and a financial climate that makes starting any big business venture iffy. You'd need a LOT of funding to build the roads and rail needed - and I don't think the government's going to spring for it. So that puts it on the Russian private sector for the investment.

And with the returns they can get elsewhere, they're unlikely to go for it. Too much risk for an uncertain reward.

We don't really realize how good we've got it in the US. Rail systems, road systems, major river systems that can be used for transport of goods to warm-water ports... Russia doesn't have those where they need them.

So it's just easier to get them from their neighbors. Trade, if possible - but conquest if it isn't. But now Russia's shown just how weak it is, and with the lack of manpower and military might the conquest of the neighbors to grab their goodies is a lot less likely now.

Che Dolf said...

Yancey Ward said... I have written it many, many times here at Althouse- the Left was perfectly happy with Vladimir Putin until Putin put Pussy Riot in jail. That is why he is is now detested by the Left.

Most people will read that and think it's nuts and can't be that simple, but you are pointing in the right direction. (See my comment above about Merkel's identification of the fault line between the West and Russia.)

Darren Beattie, a former Trump administration appointee, refers to us as the GAE (Globalist American Empire, also gay), which nicely captures the phenomenon.

fairmarketvalue said...

Gadfly: "[Slow Joe Biden] is an elderly man with a bad memory, a vulgar mouth, malicious views, a well-established record of misogyny, an unparalleled prevaricator, and no knowledge of world history or current events." Not to mention a brainpan of pudding.

Fixed it for you.

tim in vermont said...

The peace deal that the US refused when the war. was a couple weeks old would have left Ukraine intact, as a federation, just like Canada, it would have had regions with language autonomy. The problem for the United States with this deal was that it didn't give us complete control of the Black Sea, and didn't put Belarus in a militarily untenable situation where it was surrounded by NATO on all sides.

The US has the most to gain out of this war, Russia is simply fighting not to lose what it already had. And before anybody trots out this Neville Chamberlin stuff, maybe they can explain where Russia is going to get the army to roll over Europe the way Hitler did. Hitler's army was many millions strong, and he had more aircraft at the start of the war, more tanks, etc. Russia cannot do that. Europe doesn't have anything that Russia wants or needs. Invading a NATO country would bring a nuclear war in any case. If you want to characterize me, you can think of that picture of the one guy who refused to do the Nazi salute.

I am still ashamed that I supported the Gulf War so wholeheartedly, but they are experts at manipulating us into thinking that war is peace.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

LOL Gershen! “Boring” is the “news” channel Tucker left to go do actual unfettered journalism. Like Megyn Kelly and James Rosen and other former Foxies. Boring is the elite media who write for the people in power. Racking up 100 million views on X seems to be the opposite of boring.

tim in vermont said...

"So it's just easier to get them from their neighbors. Trade, if possible - but conquest if it isn't. "

Honestly, this is so ridiculous I can't believe that this is something you actually believe. Europe doesn't even have the stuff, that's why Europe has been exporting Africa for centuries. China shares a long border with Russia, and will give them all the help they ask for to exploit their own resources. A war with Europe would go nuclear so fast people's head would spin. How the hell is that worth the risk?

tim in vermont said...

"Tom Clancey novel was centered around the Middle East conflict, not the Ukrainians/russkis etc."

Watch the movie.

tim in vermont said...

OK, OK, I was on my phone when I made that comment, I almost always do a web search on everything I claim here. But it's good to know that when I do make a mistake, you guys will keep me honest.

rwnutjob said...

Tucker is Hitler
Tucker interviewed Putin
therefore Putin is Hitler
Got it.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I have the impression it started with Hillary's Russian hoax, as if the left was forced into the position of having to keep up the charade for appearance's sake. Or it's just a convenient artifice to bludgeon Trump.

As the great Insty likes to say, "Embrace the power of and." To further quote Pete Townsend, "It's a put-on!" Original Mike uses three key words that explain literally everything the Left does: artifice, charade, hoax. They don't believe in anything at all except seeking power and gaining more power by any means necessary. Massa Gessen's little support role is to cast doubt and scorn on any media source not wholly committed to aggregating more power for Leftists.

Drago said...

tim in vermont: "Watch the movie."

I've seen the movie a kajillion times and understand perfectly how and why the screenplay was developed in just that way.

Tina Trent said...

I dread what will happen to public discourse when all the older gentlemen here who read books move to the next plateau.

Mike said...

If you'd told me in the 1980's that one day Republicans would be cheering for a Russian dictator over the US and NATO, I'd have said you were crazy.

Narr said...

Tim in vermont is retailing more of his misunderstandings of history. Hitler did NOT have more tanks and planes than his main antagonists when he attacked them in 1940 and 1941. Most especially in 1941.

T-i-v asks the question "Why would resource-rich Russia want to move west?" People are resources too; prosperous, taxable (or lootable as the Soviets perfected) cities and towns are good to acquire, especially the ones that access warm water and links to the more developed world.

As for Russians only going Westward in defense, then why were Russians in Corfu and Italy in the 1740s? And I'll wager that tim has never heard of Suvorov and his exploits in Switzerland and Italy in the 1790s.

If you want to talk about history don't cite ideologues and fictioneers. "Russia's Military Way to the West" by Duffy is old but still a good introduction for those that seek actual understanding.


Che Dolf said...

Mike (MJB Wolf) said... three key words explain literally everything the Left does: artifice, charade, hoax. They don't believe in anything at all except seeking power and gaining more power by any means necessary.

That isn't true of all or even most of them, and that inability to understand leftists is why "conservatives" have been losing for decades.

For example, Masha Gessen hates Russian gentiles and their culture. She isn't pretending to despise Putin to "gain power," she actually hates him and what he represents.

Justin Raimondo aptyly described this type as "the Cathy Youngs of this world – embittered Russian émigrés who carried their hate of the homeland with them in their suitcases."

Che Dolf said...

Mike said... If you'd told me in the 1980's that one day Republicans would be cheering for a Russian dictator over the US and NATO, I'd have said you were crazy.

If you'd told me in the 1980s that our president would celebrate parents who "transition" their kids, and DOJ would sue states to invalidate laws that ban "gender affirmation" surgery/HRT on minors, I'd have said you were crazy. Or that the US must have been conquered by a remarkably insane collection of leftists.

Even stipulating that Putin is evil, he's not as crazy as we are.

mikee said...

Use the interview as evidence in Putin's trial at the ICJ for crimes against humanity. Ah, who am I kidding? The interview just serves as an example of failed journalism of a failed dictator.

Dr Weevil said...

'tim in vermont' (6:45am) asks the same question I've already answered when he asked it before: he wants us to "explain where Russia is going to get the army to roll over Europe the way Hitler did".

Russian propagandists on Russian TV say they're going to destroy Ukraine, force all the Ukrainians to turn Russian (killing two million or more who resist), and then draft them to conquer the rest of Europe by 2030 or so. Does 'tim in vermont' read the replies to his comments? I think he does and then pretends that he doesn't, so he can repeat the same old lies, over and over again. Almost as if he's paid to do so.

Also, for those who continue to pretend that the Russian army is fighting against Nazis, rather than with them against democratic Ukraine, here's a picture of a recently-captured Russian soldier: link.

Jerry said...

Tim -

As Narr said - people are resources too. People to the east? Not that many. People to the west? There's a lot of them.

---------
Honestly, this is so ridiculous I can't believe that this is something you actually believe.
---------

Really. Let's go over why you think it's ridiculous.

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Europe doesn't even have the stuff, that's why Europe has been exporting Africa for centuries.
---------

Europe HAD the stuff. It had people, culture, money. Russia didn't. What'd the Tsars have? Not enough people, some but not enough resources. They copied European culture, methods of warfighting. Militarily, projecting much of their power outside Russia was a non-starter due to geography and the technology of the times. Warm water ports, usable all year around? Something they could only dream of, and worked to get when they could.

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China shares a long border with Russia, and will give them all the help they ask for to exploit their own resources.
--------

Uh... no. They're a rival, and had little to nothing to offer Russia until after the Industrial Revolution. Besides, until rail, how would they get anything other than teaser quantities of silks and spices? Certainly there's no way to get large quantities of iron or other resources needed to industrialize. And after the rail lines were developed, there wasn't much cooperation going on until about the late 1920s, when the CCP and USSR got diplomatic representation going - but then fought the Sino-Soviet war and relations were... difficult for a long time after that. Border disputes weren't quite a constant, but they were very frequent.

So China wouldn't have been invited into Soviet territory.

--------
A war with Europe would go nuclear so fast people's head would spin. How the hell is that worth the risk?
--------

It was, until nuclear weapons came along. What was once relatively normal pre WW1 (We'll send in enough troops to take and hold parcels of territory, then let diplomats fight it out) suddenly became a lot more complex. Nuclear weapons changed the old way of figuring how much of a threat a country was. Instead of ships and the ability to project force around the world through transporting armies and conquering land, suddenly a plane or two could devastate a city. The old game of 'I'll threaten you with a land army unless you give me what I want through diplomatic means' had new rules - and they're only now really shaking out.

One example of that is how there was a pretty much constant India-Pakistan conflict going on since 1947. Pakistan and India both developed nuclear weapons - and over time it's died down to border skirmishes. Neither side's happy, there's still skirmishes, but they're (at least for now) more or less content with NOT trying to decapitate each other's governments.

Now, if Russia really tried to decapitate someone else's government with nukes (like say... Poland) and take over, they'd be on the receiving end of a whole lot of bottled sunshine. It would cost FAR more to them than they'd ever get back, and as we've seen with Ukraine they don't have much at all left in the tank in re military power...

The game is no longer worth the risk.

Dr Weevil said...

mikee (11:42am):
Speaking of crimes against humanity, here's the captain of the guided-missile frigate Admiral Gorshkov talking about how to hit 5-story apartment buildings with pinpoint accuracy: link. He doesn't bother to pretend that he's aiming at military targets.

Dr Weevil said...

One more thing about 'tim in vermont' at 6:45am:
It is simply false to say that admitting Ukraine to NATO would "put Belarus in a militarily untenable situation where it was surrounded by NATO on all sides". Look at a map: it would be two-thirds 'surrounded', which means not surrounded at all.

More important, what kind of idiot can't think of a reason why Putin would want anything located in western Europe (not even washing machines and toilets? art from museums like the one they cleaned out in Kherson?), while at the same time thinking Belarus has anything the U.S. would want? Belarus has nothing except potatoes, poverty, and brutal dictatorship. We already have Idaho and Maine providing all the potatoes we can eat, and don't need any more poverty and dictatorship, either.

Candide said...

Narr said,
“ As for Russians only going Westward in defense, then why were Russians in Corfu and Italy in the 1740s? And I'll wager that tim has never heard of Suvorov and his exploits in Switzerland and Italy in the 1790s.”

All that was part of 18th century European royal dynasties’ politics, practically incomprehensible to us nowadays. Russian troops were sent there by some Emperatritsa to take part in some battles between some obscure European alliances and then withdrawn. There were absolutely no territorial acquisitions of any kind. Solzhenitsyn liked to bring these examples to support his claim how Russian people were exploited by Russian Imperial court to serve European interests.

Che Dolf said...

Dr Weevil said... Also, for those who continue to pretend that the Russian army is fighting against Nazis, rather than with them against democratic Ukraine...

For those who think the US and NATO are perpetuating a war vs Russia in defense of "democratic Ukraine," here's a helpful discussion of the snipers operating out of Maidan protester-controlled buildings, and the subsequent effort to blame the killings on that country's president.

(link) Ivan Katchanovski, Ukrainian-Canadian political science professor, University of Ottawa

We encouraged a violent coup to overthrow Yanukovych because he was pro-Russian and signed a huge energy agreement with Putin instead of the EU. It's fine to believe that Putin grotesquely overreacted to events of 2014-2021 by invading Ukraine, but most "conservatives" seem unaware of even basic recent history in that country.

tim in vermont said...

"Look at a map: it would be two-thirds 'surrounded', which means not surrounded at all."

LOL, it's what is known as a salient, and salients are notoriously difficult to defend. What Belarus has is geography, should it fall to NATO, Russia is the now the one that would be largely encircled. But I am sure that if you had only explained to Putin that two thirds surrounded was nothing to worry about, he would have seen that NATO is only interested in peace.

You know how Yeltsin got thrown out, and Putin put in his place? Because Yeltsin allowed the West to come in a rape Russia's natural resources, and then went along with the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. If Putin allowed NATO to take over Ukraine, and to "pacify" the ethnic Russian populations the east and Crimea, expelling those it did not kill, Putin would have gone the way of Yeltsin, and we knew that. We knew that we were giving Putin no choice but war or the fall of Russia's constitutional republic.

Putin has seen the video of what the "strictly defensive" NATO allied forces did to Khadaffy, and don't tell me the West holds Putin in higher regard than it did him. Certainly Putin has no such delusions.

tim in vermont said...

"Uh... no. They're a rival, and had little to nothing to offer Russia until after the Industrial Revolution. "

Putin went out of his way to defend China three times in the interview. If China was once a rival, that's all long since gone by, China and Russia have been driven even closer together by this ham-fisted gambit to seize Ukraine by the neocons. Oh, and the Industrial Revolution has happened, and our own Generals have been speaking out loud about the likelihood that we will be at war with China in just a few years, or it will be too late.

The CIA is big at trying to whip up conflicts in order to divide and conquer. Countries are sick of it. China went to the Middle East and negotiated a detente between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Israel's actions in Gaza are. just solidifying that new friendship. India and China are rivals, but they are working together now. The story that the British Empire managed to control a third of the globe, including the trade routes on the high seas, by keeping its rivals squabbling with each other, is becoming well known. "Perfidious Albion" has now become "Perfidious America."

Nobody is buying it.

tim in vermont said...

"Russian propagandists on Russian TV say they're going to destroy Ukraine, force all the Ukrainians to turn Russian (killing two million or more who resist), "

You must be talking about this Ukrainian propagandist.

Butkevich said that Donbass was "severely overpopulated with people nobody has any use for" and that out of 4 million inhabitants in Donetask oblast, "at least 1.5 million of them are superfluous"

You guys are always accusing Russia of the stuff Ukraine actually does. The TV station this guy was on, this is way before Russia's intervention in the civil war we started in Ukraine, the TV station where he was casually talking about genocide against ethnic Russians was US funded. BTW, the Ukrainians have been using cluster bombs against civilians in Donetsk City.

boatbuilder said...

A boring 2 hour interview with Putin. In which Putin got to tell his "side", unedited. Carlson didn't kiss his ass, and asked him some good questions--but not "gotcha!" Questions.

Isn't that what "journalism" is supposed to be?

Narr said...

Candide has done the reading--he knows the Solzhenitsyn argument on the misuse of Russian soldiers by Russian leaders. I almost spelled it out but wanted to see if someone would catch it.

The cabinet wars of the 18th C are germane only to point out that Russians have been participating in places far afield from the rodina for many centuries, and not only or merely in response to invasion.

As for taking territory, the Finns, Balts, and Poles would be surprised to learn that their long occupations by the Muscovites, and the imposition of Autocracy, Orthodoxy, and (Russian) Nationality never happened.

China will start revising the Unequal Treaties with Russia soon, I think, as compensation for the vast resources that Putin's economy won't be able to deliver.

Dr Weevil said...

No, 'tim in vermont', you are always accusing Ukraine of what Russia actually does. It is Russia and only Russia that fires cluster bombs at civilians, and has been doing so for a long time. Ukraine uses them only on Russian troops. And I note that you have nothing to say about the captain of the Admiral Gorshkov talking about the most effective way to fire missiles at 5-story apartment buildings - many of which have in fact been destroyed by missiles, killing dozens of people at a time.

As for Butkevich, who cares what some Ukrainian equivalent of Alex Jones says? He's an asshole, but he's also a nobody, and his opinions do not in any way reflect the aims of the Zelenskyy administration. As for "US funded", have they gotten a penny since Butkevich broadcast his little rant? Has Butkevich even appeared there since then, or did they fire his ass and ban him from the airwaves? You don't know, and you don't care, do you?

On the other hand, the people talking about destroying Ukraine "as a nation and a culture", killing two million or more to turn the rest into submissive Russians, and then drafting millions to invade western Europe, are doing so on RT, the official Russian propaganda TV channel, on which no one dares say anything that would contradict Putin in any way. They include top propagandists Solovyov and Simonyan. You would know that if you had ever watched any subtitled RT clips, but you don't, because you don't want to know the truth.

And you still haven't explained why anyone would want to invade Belarus. Anyone except Putin, I mean, if the Belarusian people manage to overthrow their murderous Putin-lickspittle dictator, as the Ukrainians did in 2014.

Dr Weevil said...

Che Dolf (4:02pm):
Cool name! Rhymes with Adolf as in Hitler, but substitutes Che for the first syllable. In honor of the murderous Argentine who particularly liked to pull the trigger himself instead of delegating the job to others?

The fact is that no one who has looked into it carefully believes Ivan Katchanovski's claims about Maidan. The murders were in fact committed by Yanukovych's men. There's a convenient summary of K's multifarious errors and misrepresentations in Vatnik Soup (link).

By the way, it's hard to see how Yanukovych's departure was a 'coup' when was not removed by force. When he realized that everyone in Kyiv hated him, he went to Kharkiv, his home town, to gather support for a comeback. He soon realized that everyone there hated him, too, and crossed the border to Russia, where he's been ever since, hoping Putin will conquer the country he used to rule and make him his Gauleiter there. But no one forced him out.

Greg the Class Traitor said...

iowan2 said...
Putin has a well documented motivation to reconstitute "Russia"

Sure he does. He's a corrupt thug of a dictator, and the bigger "Russia" gets, the more he can steal.

He's a fucking KGB Colonel. He doesn't believe in ANYTHING beyond what he can steals nd what he can control

tim in vermont said...

"It is Russia and only Russia that fires cluster bombs at civilians,

You just spout lies.

Do a simple search on Donetsk and Cluster and you will get lots of hits with video

https://twitter.com/GabeZZOZZ/status/1697477727568228792

"By the way, it's hard to see how Yanukovych's departure was a 'coup' when was not removed by force. When he realized that everyone in Kyiv hated him"

Because neonazi forces came after him with weapons, and fired on his motorcade? That's not "by force"? You have an interesting way of framing reality to suit your preconceptions.

"The murders were in fact committed by Yanukovych's men"

They "disproved" K's work by doing retesting the ballistics by the very people who gained power from the coup. This seems to be the only substantive attempt at a rebuttal, an additional test performed by interested parties and then reported as refuting the claims made in the trial.

The rest of that page seems to be a lot of butt-hurt caterwauling that anybody could possible be sympathetic to Russians, when we all know that Ukrainians are the master race. (OK, he didn't say that last part, he just implied it.)

Dr Weevil said...

Does 'tim in vermont' know what cluster munition damage looks like? It doesn't look anything like what the linked video shows - a house on fire and a single small hole in the street quite some distance away. Cluster munitions put hundreds or thousands of little holes in any equipment or building or people they hit. Would look something like this: link. All 'tim in vermont''s evidence proves is that the Russians would like us to believe that Ukraine is doing to them what they are doing to Ukraine: slaughtering civilians in large numbers.

Of course, the Maidan revolutionaries were not "neoNazis" and Yanukovych had signed a power-sharing deal with Parliament the day before he skipped town. Looks like he didn't want to share power, he wanted his buddy Putin to help him take absolute power. Probably still hoping he will. Hmmm. If there are so many Nazis in Ukraine, why isn't there a Nazi party in Parliament? Can't all those Nazis manage to elect a single one between them?

As for "master race", no Ukrainian has ever claimed any such thing. They do think Russians are subhuman, because people who murder, torture, rape, bomb civilians with cluster bombs and missiles, cut off heads of prisoners, castrate prisoners, and steal washing machines and toilets are acting subhuman. But Ukrainians have shown no sign that they think they are any better than Romanians or Poles or Czechs or Lithuanians or Americans or Swedes or any other nation, as members of a "master race" obviously would. Saying that they do is a contemptible slur. And another case of projection: if you watch RT, you know that Russians do think of themselves as a master race.

tim in vermont said...

“We are not the master race, it’s the orcd who are subhuman.”

That’s why I said that Ukrainians imply that they are the master race.

tim in vermont said...

“We are not the master race, it’s the orcd who are subhuman.”

That’s why I said that Ukrainians imply that they are the master race.

Greg the Class Traitor said...

tim in vermont said...
“We are not the master race, it’s the orcd who are subhuman.”

That’s why I said that Ukrainians imply that they are the master race.


Are you really so pathetically pig ignorant that you are unaware that teh "narrative" referred to in ""Putin’s obsession with history is genuine, as is his belief in a narrative that justifies, indeed makes inevitable, Russia’s war against Ukraine."" is the Russian belief that they are the master race granted the right to rule everyone in their vicinity?

The Ukrainians quite rationally hate the Russians. Go look up the Holodomor if you're unclear on why that is.

You babble a lot about "Nazis", while ignoring that Russia is still ruled by Commies.

Oh, let me guess, you're another one of those leftists who thinks that commies are good, it's only Nazis who are evil

Che Dolf said...

Dr Weevil said... (paraphrased) I can't figure out that your name parodizes Che-loving hipsters, so I assume you're honoring him.

So dumb that you're beyond parody, literally and figuratively.

Dr Weevil said...

At least I'm not stupid enough to believe Ivan Katchanovski has anything useful to say about Ukraine or Maidan.