An Autocratic Bear; An Idealist Eagle

It has become frankly apparent that major news media throughout the United States have absolutely no interest in reporting the news, they wish to shape the news to damage any sitting Republican at the White House.  I think the vast majority of working American’s already know and accept this as fact.  What they may not know is team Trump’s implicit appeal to Putin’s rule is more than just an open solicitation to detente.  Its a paternalistic view that Russia’s development as a nation state has petered out.  Russian polity isn’t on autocratic autopilot, but its governing institutions don’t easily or readily accept the demands of an open, transparent market based system.

Let me put the matter frankly:  the vast majority of working Asians know and believe that they must produce something of value to participate in market based economies.  Every working Asian implicitly know this, it governs the public behavior of their citizens, their bureaucracies and universities.  This ethos of active participation in an extended order of cooperation has no history nor appeal to Russians.  It is this insight that dominates most of team Trump’s security detail in any emerging relation with Moscow.

Put simply:  U.S. and Russian interests diverge too profoundly to underwrite any cooperative framework.  But this insight propelled Flynn and hosts of others at the National Security Council to work ever harder to appease and openly promote an easing of relations outside of denunciating sanctions that continue to damage Putin’s oligarchic circle.

Russia has entered a cul-de-sac, in having openly abandoned market based reform of its polity, Moscow now resides in a second time-of-troubles; on opaque time absent any cohesive governing polity or dynasty.  Putin’s rule is based on an assertive foreign policy, replacing economic progress with a mythos of achievement abroad in service of Byzantine Holy Russia.

Putin has blunted the impact of U.S. sanctions by restructuring the states share of the Russian economy, while actively reducing deficits.  Inflation remains unanchored as commodity prices continue to soar.  Putin cannot ignore the dominant role his central bank plays in ameliorating the impact of sanctions; placing more emphasis on purchasing safe sovereign treasuries abroad, while usurping oil output in dollar denominated agencies in Venezuela and Libya.  Putin seeks more predictable business conditions domestically to replace lost foreign investment.  By any measure he cannot continue to hold out from U.S. sanctions, hence the horrific bombing of Aleppo as a means of punishing Obama.

The open hand to Russia hasn’t paid any dividend to either Obama or Trump.  Given Russia’s willingness to openly solicit and play nuclear brinkmanship with Iran and Riyadh while providing cover for Assad’s Quod’s force places Putin favorably in regions where Russian power has diminished.

At $40 a barrel for oil, he can’t stay anywhere long.

About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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