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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

My War With Russian Trolls by Paul R. Gregory

Putin bases his legitimacy on high approval ratings. To counter the Russian people’s sense that they have no say in how they are governed, Kremlin propagandists must sell the story that Western democracies have it worse. Downtrodden Americans, they say, face poverty, hunger, racial and ethnic discrimination, unemployment, and they are governed by corrupt, inept, greedy, dysfunctional, and feuding politicians who sell out to the highest bidder on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley. This brings us to how the ballyhooed Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election has given Putin a gift that keeps on giving—a paralyzed federal government, incapable of compromise, in which a significant portion of the governing class questions the legitimacy of a new president.


go to DefiningIdeas

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Overlooked in Putin's Reelection: The Kremlin's Challenge Is From The Left

Stalin famously remarked that "the people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything." Under Putin, voters are nothing compared to those who decide who can be on the ballot. Indeed, Putin’s Central Electoral Commission rejected Putin’s main liberal rival (Navalny) on a technicality. Other potential contenders have been assassinated (Boris Nemtsov) or subjected to death threats (Mikhail Kasyanov). There should be no talk of a Russian “election” when the sitting president chooses his opponents, controls mass media, and has all the instruments of power behind his campaign.

go to Forbes.com

Monday, March 5, 2018

Putin's nuclear posturing part of effort to win back displeased public




Putin’s message to the West: “Do not mess with us. If you do anything that threatens the Russian state (namely me), you will be subject to devastation. Russia’s nuclear arsenal can defeat any missile defense system that the U.S. and NATO can deploy.”
Putin enjoys needling his opponents. He surely has not missed the fact that the U.S. can do little against a weak and dysfunctional North Korea, whose deliverable nuclear arsenal is scarcely measureable compared with Russia’s.
Whereas Kim Jong Un threatens nuclear retaliation if attacked, Putin threatens nuclear annihilation if his enemies meddle with his regime, and he decides what, how and when.



go to The Hill