Putin/Trump Summit: An Exercise in Futility if Forthcoming
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Washington is intractably hostile to Moscow. Putin should recognize reality and abandon hopes for improved relations – including by refusing to come to Washington if invited.
Russia’s only options are strengthening relationships with reliable allies, along with preparing for confrontation with America if occurs militarily.
Political and economic US war already are raging, the false flag Skripal incident and newly imposed illegal sanctions the latest examples.
Putin has nothing to gain, much to lose by meeting with Trump in Washington, Moscow, or at a neutral venue.
It’s inconceivable why he continues believing improved relations are possible. Not a shred of evidence suggests it.
It’s only possible if the Kremlin sold its soul to America like in the neoliberal 90s. It was Russia’s lost decade under Boris Yeltsin, a US darling – supporting his presidential election, rigging his 1996 reelection.
During his July 1991 – December 31, 1999 tenure, 80% of Russian farmers went bankrupt, 70,000 state factories closed.
An epidemic of unemployment raged. Half or more of all Russians became impoverished. A permanent underclass was created.
Crime, suicides, mortality, alcoholism, drug abuse, and HIV/AIDS soared to intolerable levels.
US-mandated “shock therapy” produced economic genocide. GDP plunged 50%. Life expectancy fell dramatically.
Democratic freedoms were nonexistent. An oligarch class accumulated enormous wealth at the expense of millions of harmed Russians.
Contemptuously ignoring essential needs, human rights and civil liberties, Yeltsin let corruption and criminality flourish.
One scandal followed another. Money-laundering became sport. Countless billions of dollars in stolen wealth were hidden in Western banks or offshore tax havens.
He surrounded himself with like-minded apparatchiks.
Decisions were made secretly behind closed doors, implemented without popular consent.
US-led Western imperialism backed them to exploit the nation’s wealth, resources and people.
Yeltsin kept power until resigning on December 31, 1999. Despised by most Russians, he’s remembered as a US-supported puppet, serving its interests, the nation still scarred by enormous damage done.
Putin is an anti-Yeltsin, why he’s despised by the West, mainly Washington and Britain. Russophobic hardliners in both countries make improved relations unattainable.
During her Thursday Duke University rant, Nikki Haley assaulted Russia verbally, saying the country will “never be America’s friend,” adding Washington will “slap (it) down when we need to.”
“You haven’t seen the end of what this administration will do to Russia. You will continue to see that play out.”
No signs whatever suggest improved relations are possible. It’s foolhardy to believe otherwise.
Two earlier Putin/Trump meetings accomplished nothing – at the July 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, and on the sidelines of last November’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam.
Putin wastes time and energy stressing he’s ready to improve ties with Washington based on mutual trust and respect – unattainable from undemocratic Dems and GOP administrations.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders saying Trump “wants to have a good relationship with Russia but that’s going to depend on some of the actions by the Russians” is unacceptably offensive.
Despite tough new sanctions imposed and other hostile actions, adding “(w)e’re going to continue working…to have a meeting with Vladimir Putin at some point” should be rejected, not accepted.
Hopes for improved relations with Washington not forthcoming shows weakness, encouraging greater US hostility.
Cold War 2.0 rages, far more dangerously than when mutually assured destruction (MAD) prevented nuclear war during the Soviet era.
Neocon hardliners in Washington today make the unthinkable possible.
Putin needs to prepare for the worst, abandoning hope for improved relations with Washington not forthcoming.
That’s the cold hard reality vital for him to accept. Paul Craig Roberts asked if he “understands that Washington is doing everything in its power to have him assassinated.”
Indeed so! A key US geopolitical goal is eliminating him, wanting a Yeltsin-like puppet replacing him.
It’s one thing to hope for the best – vital for Putin to prepare for the worst, along with watching his back!
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”