Two and a half years ago, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is reputed to have said the following about Barack Obama: "Negotiating with Obama is like playing chess with a pigeon. The pigeon knocks over all the pieces, shits on the board and then struts around like it won the game.” Whether Czar Vlad actually said that (he did publicly crack last fall that The One has "mush" for brains, so I have no reason to believe that the earlier quote isn't genuine), the fact is that he has effortlessly played Red Barry like a ten-cent kazoo for the past near-decade, solidifying Russia's re-hegemonizing of the Caucasus region, reconquest of the Crimean peninsula and eastern Ukraine, regaining of strategic nuclear and conventional military superiority over NATO and global supremacy over the U.S. via Moscow's alliance with Red China. This was made effortless by what is O's greatest vulnerability and character flaw: the disastrous combination of his woeful ignorance and stupendous narcissism.
Compared to Donald Trump, King Hussein may be Henry Kissinger. Which likely explains Putin's ecstatic reaction to and approval of Trump's ascension to the presumptive Republican presidential nomination:
Russian President Vladimir Putin is "pleased" with Donald Trump's successful campaign and rise to become the Republican Party's presumptive presidential nominee, but veteran U.S. diplomats are not so sure if his call to improve relations with the Communist leader is such a good idea.
"There's a mythology about foreign policy that it's just like deal-making in the business world, and if you don't like 'the deal,' you can just walk away," Michael McFaul, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia under Obama and a vocal Trump critic, told the Wall Street Journal. "In foreign policy, you can't walk away. It can come back to bite you. It can create vacuums."
But in December, while Putin was praising Trump in a gesture that raised eyebrows in the United States and worldwide, Putin said that the New Yorker "says he wants to move to another level of relations, to closer and deeper relations with Russia — how can we not welcome that? Of course, we welcome it."
Sure he does. Because he could and would fleece The Donald even easier than he has Obama simply by dint of appealing to his vanity. Vlad at least had to wade through the latter's Sheldon Cooper-esque faculty lounge lizard foolishness on the way to extracting what he wanted from him. But Trump's tissue-deep shallowness, gaping ignorance, stunningly easy manipulability, and roaringly overrated self-regard have got to be making the Russian strongman wonder how he managed to stumble onto this continent-sized field of four-leaf clovers.
"What we have now in the dynamics between Putin and Obama is very unhelpful," Dimitri Simes, president of the Center for the National Interest, which hosted Trump's foreign-policy last month, told the Wall Street Journal.
"Obama clearly does not trust Putin, does not like Putin, and doesn’t hide it," said Simes. "I think that Putin doesn't like Obama, is not afraid of Obama, and doesn't particularly respect Obama."
The latter, we already knew. But what's wrong with the former? No POTUS should like or trust Putin, nor should that dislike and distrust be hidden. O, of course, bears those feelings out of wounded ego and resulting butthurt rather than any strategic insight or acumen, though the Regime's quiet rebuilding of the Bush43-era anti-ICBM shield in eastern Europe is a sign that he might genuinely have learned something over the past eight years.
Which is more than can be said for Trump's self-educative capabilities:
Meanwhile, Trump has used the tension between Obama and Putin on the campaign trail, telling Fox News after Russian warplanes and a helicopter buzzed a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea that Putin was "tweaking us. If it were me, I will tell you, I would call him and I would say 'don't' do it. Just stop it. Don't do it.'"
And when he did it again, then what? Putin knows we don't have the means or willingness to back up such a warning, just as he has no more respect for or fear of Trump than he does Obama. Is The Donald even capable of realizing that it might be a lot more complicated than "don't do it"?
Of course, he isn't. Like all strutting narcissists, he has the stratospheric self-conceit that convinces himself that he, and he alone, has the unique ability to "see into other people's souls" and charm and bend them to his will
Russia, said Trump, will "respect us, and I've had a sort of a semi-nice relationship with Putin."...
Why will they respect us? Again, is he aware that international respect comes from actions, not "semi-nice relationships," and that Obama has so hopelessly squandered U.S. deterrent credibility and prestige that there's no practical way to get it back? And that such a situation calls for firm, steadfast, steady, philosophically-informed and -reinforced leadership, not flights of egotistical fancy?
"I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia — from a position of strength only — is possible, absolutely possible," Trump said at his foreign-policy speech, in April. "Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out."
And get stripped naked in the process. Why is an easing of tensions and improved relations with Russia possible or even desirable under the present circumstances? Putin has the upper hand; an easing of tensions in that scenario - i.e. NOT a "position of strength" - would mean more appeasement and capitulation (i.e. "great deals"). Which is what makes "I intend to find out" so ominous a comment.
And how would a President Trump react to getting double-crossed and humiliated by Putin? I think we have a pretty good idea: some combination of impotent Trumpertantruming compounding our national embarrassment and an impulsive desire for revenge that could be, shall we say, dangerously destabilizing.
It's all part of the insurmountable "trust deficit" that will keep Il Douche out of the White House. If he and Vlad are to have a "semi-nice relationship," the pic above will be its only tangible manifestation.