We have been told, frequently, by the current resident of the oval office, that this man is fine. He can be our friend. That we, in our past, are just as bad as him. And so, after a universally panned private meeting in Finland, guess who is coming for dinner?
Keeping with my fact-based post week, here are some facts about Vladimir Putin:
He has been in charge of Russia since 1999
Though a “Prime Minister” for a short time, everyone agrees he was still effectively running Russia. He has never hidden from the spotlight (as his many bare-chested photo-ops illustrate).
Nor has he hidden his aspirations to rebuild the old Soviet republic. His expansion attempts in Crimea, Ukraine and elsewhere are still ongoing.
He had a long career in Russian intelligence
A member of the KGB and the FSS (the less “Cold War” sounding new acronym for Russia’s spy service). Putin has been involved since he joined back in 1975.
He “resigned” in 1990 after the KGB backed a coup attempt on then leader Gorbachev. No current intelligence agency of any government (U.S. included) believes he is still “inactive” with the KGB, as he is now essentially their boss.
His aim is to make Russia great again
The difference between Putin’s slogan and Trump’s is that Putin intends to effect it by growing Russia, not through economics, but through annexation.
The initial efforts in Crimea, Ukraine and (believe it or not) Montenegro, have yielded mixed results. But, it has also had the effect of ratcheting up tensions between Russia and the neighboring nations, many of whom are in the European Union.
He has adopted a method of targeting the rural over the urban
In recent times (the 2010’s), Putin depended on stirring up biases and resentments in his country (for example, anti-gay attitudes). He has used these people’s lack of information sources to blanket them with state-driven propaganda.
While it increases loyalty, it creates serious cultural divides within Russia, often prompting protests that end badly.
Some Putin actions as president of Russia
– Called the U.S. a “parasite” on the world economy
– Ordered a passenger plane carrying 110 people to be shot down over an alleged bomb threat (it was a drunk passenger and the order was cancelled)
– Bragged about new “invulnerable” ICBM capable of hitting any target in the world and that “No defense systems will be able to withstand it.”
– Invaded and annexed Crimea and then allegedly influenced the vote to confirm Crimea’s “willingness” to join with Russia
– Apparently, (based on camera footage) stuffed ballot boxes to re-elect Putin as Russian leader in the latest election in Russia. Also prevented most popular opposing candidate from even running against him.
– Arrested 1,600 anti-Putin protesters angry at the prospect of a rigged Russian election. This included using batons against them.
– Poisoned ex-spy on British soil. Later two British citizens also fell victim to the poison.
These are the facts about Vladimir Putin. They are not all the facts, mind you. These are just some of the facts about the man you are being told we should be friends with. Even from this short list, it seems clear this is not a man to be trusted, let alone invite over for a visit.
For your information, all the facts above came from FoxNews.com. Not a left-wing site. Not “liberal mass media”. Fox. News. Be my guest; go on their site and look it up.
If you decide to also look elsewhere, you will see even more alarming stories that, strangely, I could not find listings for on FoxNews.com. Make of that what you will.
The bottom line is that the facts suggest this man is not our friend. Instead of asking guess who is coming for dinner, perhaps a better question is guess who is coming to eat our lunch?