Monday, 21 December 2015

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin: Pragmatism of the highest standards.

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin - one American and the other Russian - but they have a lot in common.

They share for starters a huge dose of Tenacity and Methodology. They also share their love for their countries.

The personal history of Vladimir Putin shows enormous dedication and perseverance, rooted in the life of his parents. He has no little amount of pride and confidence born out of extreme adversity.

Some years ago, I was asked about what were defining characteristics in the United States of America, the kind of questions people usually asked in certain sectors of society. People would want to know your family name and see your pedigree. People would like to ask you about your educational and professional background and in the US one fundamental question would be how much you earn per year.

Those who know Donald Trump would remember that the man standing for the Presidential Nomination of the Republican Party was at one point thought to be bankrupt having made huge losses. The same man applied his talents to defeat adversity and become one of the richest men in the United States of America and being self-made is something that in general people in the US very much admire. We cannot avoid thinking about some politicians and some entrepreneurs that made American history.

Usually the Western mass media talk and write about Vladimir Putin in what they believe are pejorative terms. They define him as a KGB man. My dear friends, rising via the ranks of the KGB to become the man that he is now was no easy task for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Unlike their Western partners, those on the Russian side have no shortage of talent, tenacity and perseverance and are very often fluent in several languages and for them there is very little lost in translation.

Unlike many of the other contenders for the Presidential Nomination in the Republic Party and for the nomination in the Democratic Party, Donald Trump can see beyond the Cold War stereotypes so much reinforced on a daily basis by American mass media that suffer from tunnel vision. They fail to see that the fall of the Berlin Wall, the withdrawal from Eastern Europe and the end of the Soviet Union have somehow worked in favour of the rising Russian Federation. Russia still cares very much for those populations that are ethnically and culturally Russian but the new Russia is very much business minded and extremely pragmatic.

Had not been for the political myopia of the American Elites, the world would be a much safer place. The American Elites created a mess in Africa, Middle East and Asia Minor as they previously created a mess in Latin American and in other parts of the world. Like pretty bad chess players, they couldn't foresee the disastrous consequences of their short-termism in Foreign Policy.

The United States created Osama Bin Laden to use him against the Soviet Union and subsequently abandoned Osama Bin Laden and this is the time when Osama Bin Laden turned against the US. They invaded Iraq and completely dismantled the Iraqi State plunging the country in absolute and total chaos that led to the fragmentation of Iraq and the rise of what we know now as Islamic State.

For a long while the US supported Islamic State because they thought that Islamic State would be a useful tool to destroy Syria. For the mass media came the speeches against Islamic State but in their hearts of hearts American politicians very much wished that Islamic State would allow them to destroy Syria.

They couldn't antagonize Russia over and over again and expect that Russia would do no nothing. The US went against Iran because Iran was friendly to Russia. The US destroyed Libya and accelerated destabilization in the Islamic World. Even Tony Blair, their partners in the invasion of Iraq made desperate efforts to save Gaddafi. They started bullying Russia and threatening Russia with the installation of nuclear missiles in Czech Republic and in Poland. At that time, Russia's reaction was to mobilize defences in Kaliningrad (formerly known as Konisberg) just across the border with Poland. If that wasn't enough, US promoted the destabilization of Ukraine and then blamed Russia for what the US and its useful poodles in the European Union had created.

If all the aforementioned was not enough, US went against Syria, another traditional Russian ally. Prime Minister David Cameron even put forward a motion in the House of Commons to attack Syria directly with the intention of regime change.

When you listen to Hillary Clinton, she is bent on having a direct confrontation with Russia and totally ignores the fact that Russian Forces in Syria are there because they were asked for help against Islamic State.

When President Vladimir Putin reportedly said that he hoped Russia wouldn't have to use Nuclear Weapons against Islamic State, he meant business. The US is not dealing with Nikita Khrushev (for those who remember 1962). This is a complete different cup of tea. The Russian Federation has drawn a line on the sand and whoever is in charge in the US should take notice.

The US has a choice to make: they either do business with Russia or they face war with Russia. While this is happening, another giant, is making worrying moves in Asia and I don't think it would be advisable for those in charge in the US to be found with their trousers down.

For the US, friendships in the Arab World are by no means guaranteed. Not long after we heard screams coming out of OPEC countries that see their incomes dwindle as oil prices fall down, the US Congress passed a bill authorizing US oil exports that entering international markets will weaken oil prices even more. This could be an American effort to salvage their energy industries - fracking companies have been severely affected. In some kind of act of magic, they would expect oil prices to rise internally by sending oil abroad thus making fracking more competitive.

Sanctions against Russia have unwanted effects. By reducing exports to Russia, they weaken industries across the European Union, reducing demand of oil and other components of the energy mix. Other components of the energy mix in the European Union are also suffering. Just hours ago, we saw yet another British coal mine close down because imported coal is cheaper. As long as the demand for oil, gas and coal goes down, the richest countries who also happen to be energy producers are bound to suffer the most because of competition with countries like China that have lower production costs. If you want to know how damaging lower costs of raw materials like coal can have, look at Australia, country that supplies China.

Geopolitical moves are going directly against financial realities. In the short term, war industries can benefit from juicy contracts but other segments of the economy could end up paying a very high price and this would be directly linked to political instability. Countries like Spain, for example, can look forward to the formation of coalitions to try and maintain order but without the resources the country needs the strongest of coalitions would prove to be useless in the efforts to avoid financial meltdown.

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