Putin ‘was laughing uproariously’ at Trump after the 2018 Helsinki summit, Bolton says in explosive book. ‘This was hardly the way to do relations with Russia,’ former national security adviser claims. Among Mr. Bolton’s claims in the book is that Mr. Trump was reluctant to enact policies designed to clamp down on Russian aggression towards the United States and its interests. He does little in the tome to explain his conclusions about the American leader’s feelings towards Russia and Mr. Putin.
In the aftermath of the U.S. election, the hot take from Russian state TV pundits was that the election’s chaotic conclusion demonstrates how far the mighty superpower has fallen. “The borders of insanity are limitless,” said political scientist Andranik Migranyan on the talk show Big Game on state-owned NTV.
“Each of the candidates accuses the other of stealing votes. This shows the deep crisis in the U.S.A.”
The long, slow count of ballots and cries of a rigged U.S. election have become a gold mine for Russian state media, which is using it to suggest the decline of a once-great democracy instead of focusing on the potential new president.
Other prominent voices struck an almost apocalyptic note. The situation in the U.S. is “extreme,” said Gennady Zyuganov, leader of Russia’s Communist Party, the second largest party in the country’s parliament. He went on to raise the prospect of “anarchy” coupled with a looming nuclear threat to Russia as a result of the contested outcome.
Maria Zakharova, who speaks for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, said she hoped the country could avoid “mass riots.”
The U.S. frequently accuses Russia and Tehran of rigging its elections. But now, the ongoing uncertainty around US elections has offered the Kremlin and the Mullahs an irresistible opportunity to turn the tables.
Putin won the last presidential race in 2018 with 77 per cent of the vote in a contest that was so heavily stage managed that potential challengers had to be approved or vetoed by the Kremlin.
Despite Trump’s unwillingness to personally criticize Putin, the U.S. imposed a succession of economic and political sanctions on Russia over the 2016 election interference and Russia’s use of nerve agent Novichok in an assassination attempt in 2018.
“The problem is that Russia became a key tool for the [U.S. political] opposition to hit Trump,” Stanovaya told CBC News in a follow up interview. “So, in the Kremlin now, they hope that this factor will disappear, and it will open the doors for bilateral dialogue.”
The Biden presidency will be more focused on pursuing a human rights agenda, and that would likely include addressing perceived violations inside Russia. “I think the front line of Russia-U.S. confrontation will be extended to fully include Russian domestic politics — which Trump doesn’t really care about democracy, human rights and whatever you can think of,” a key analyst said. But for now, the chaos in the US is helpful to Putin.
Putting the chaos that has been caused by the way Trump has handled US elections US-Russia relations (including Helsinki) aside for a moment, there are other areas where the Russians seem ecstatic.
Trump has handed Israel and its other allies (Saudi Arabia and UAE) a carte blanche with Iran. In addition, he (himself) has been a principal player in antagonizing Iran’s regime – with among other things killing General Soleimani in Iraq (who was on a false state invitation to Iraq to broker peace with Saudi Arabia).
Israel has taken full advantage of this opportunity and systematically penetrated Iran to kill key regime operatives.
I do not want readers to think for a minute that I support the Mullahs in Iran. But its clear to me that the only winner of this US (and its allies) – Iran showdown is Russia and its allies.
The heightened tensions between the United States (and its allies) and Iran over the killing of Qassem Soleimani and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (and others) has offered Russia and Iran’s hardliners another opportunity to increase its influence throughout the region.
Relations between Washington and Tehran have deteriorated since the onset of the Syrian conflict and even more so since President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. At the same time, Russia and Iran have grown closer through military cooperation in Syria. Moscow’s expanding influence in Syria suggests that a conflict between the United States and Iran could advance Russia’s power and reputation in the region. Russia has helped the Assad regime maintain control in Syria, even as the U.S. and its NATO allies demanded Assad’s ouster.
At the very least, Russia will be able to paint the United States as an erratic aggressor, leading regional actors and international allies to question cooperation with Washington. As the U.S. pulls back from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan… the whole region, Russia and Iran remain in control. Russia/Iranian’s backing of Assad began as a quest to undermine U.S. interests and gain influence in the region. More than four years later, Russia’s triumphs from that conflict include drawing Turkey away from its NATO allies, building a reputation as a valuable foreign backer, and emerging as a kingmaker—all at the expense of the United States.
Poorly reasoned U.S. foreign policy decisions, such as, most recently, abandoning Kurdish partners in Syria, helped create a power vacuum that Russia has stepped in to fill.
Iraq’s government is outraged by what it views as a U.S. violation of its sovereignty, with the Iraqi prime minister calling the strike of General Soleimani a “flagrant violation of the conditions authorizing the presence of U.S. troops.” Iraq could soon expel U.S. forces from the country in response. With no troops in Iraq, the United States will find it hard to sustain a presence in the region.
That void has clearly created more maneuverability for Moscow and Tehran in the region — essentially, cementing their allied position as regional power brokers.
Trump’s reckless policies, including fully supporting criminals such as MBS and Netanyahu has completely undermined the US in the streets….among regular Iranians, Arabs, Palestinians…
Iran for sure knows how to bide its time. The Mullahs have systematically seen the back end of multiple American presidents, and virtually every one of their rivals like Saddam Hussein.
Beyond strengthening their position, recent strikes contribute to Russia’s goals of driving a wedge between Washington and its partners and advancing global perceptions of the United States as volatile and belligerent. Moscow is laughing. The Mullahs are laughing.
The prime example is Turkey: Although Russia and Turkey were on opposite sides of the conflict in Syria, they now jointly control operations in the north of the country after a remarkable October 22 agreement between Washington and Ankara to establish a “Syria Safe Zone” and the withdrawal of U.S. troops. In reaction to Soleimani’s death, Turkey released a statement that it opposes “foreign interventions, assassinations and sectarian conflicts in the region.”
Moscow and Iran also benefit if the U.S. strikes create more disunity between Washington and its European allies. Numerous U.S. decisions in the region have frustrated allies, particularly its withdrawal from the nuclear deal. Reports suggest that the Trump administration even failed to warn Britain and other allies ahead of the strikes on Soleimani. If Washington does not heed its allies’ calls for immediate de-escalation, the United States could find itself further isolated on the world stage.
For a while it seemed that Trump was trying to fulfill his campaign promise of a reduced U.S. presence in the Western Asia. Today, though, there are clues that he’s trying to draw the country into another prolonged quagmire — whether as a distraction from US election chaos or to undermine Biden’s capacity to negotiate with Iran.
It is too early to tell. But all this seems idiotic. It might serve Trump and Netanyahu (and their voters) emotionally, but its a dumb policy.
Russia, and the Mullahs on the other hand, are left with the enviable position of capitalizing on the turbulent behavior of the United States and its allies. Regardless of whether the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran go to war – ultimately, U.S. actions will strengthen Russian and Iranian leadership.
It is noteworthy that the Iranian regime consolidated their power base when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran. Every time there is an assassination, every time there is chaos – ordinary folks, on the street move one inch closer to the regime. In a strange way the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is an affirmation that Iran had a viable scientific approach, brilliant scientists and a real program. It makes Iran seem potent and dangerous – i.e. a viable competitor. It reinforces the regime.
But also, more importantly, all this turns regional and global sentiment against the United States with both Russia and the Mullahs winning. In the end, Iran and Russia become the source of stability with strategic patience that has systematically supplanted U.S. influence in the region — and will continue to do so no matter what happens next.
This blog is provided by the “Supreme Dr. Ayatoilet Kh.Kh.Kh.” pen name and moniker with a passion to exposing the abuses of the regime in Iran and those outside Iran who also abuse Iranians. The “Ayatoilet” communicates via original blogs, videos, music compositions, comedy, novels, and animation movies that can be found on www.baharmedia.net and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org