Thursday, December 15, 2016

How I Learned to Love Putin: Think Like A Trumpian

Photo: Getty Images
Vladimir Putin used to worry me. A lot. But I’m over it.
In September 1999 a series of apartment bombings in three Russian cities killed nearly 300 people. The Kremlin promptly blamed Chechen rebels, sparking the Second Chechen War.
Later that September, agents of Russia’s security service, the FSB, placed explosives in the basement of an apartment building in the city of Ryazan. Authorities claimed it was a training exercise, and that the explosives were merely sacks of sugar. An independent parliamentary inquiry went nowhere. Documents related to the incident are under 75-year seal. The bombings were instrumental in bringing Mr. Putin to power.
It once appalled me to think that he might hold his office thanks to a false-flag operation that would have made Macbeth blush and Richard III smile. But I’m OK with it now. We need Mr. Putin to defeat the terrorists in Syria.
Among the members of the Ryazan inquiry was liberal politician Sergei Yushenkov and investigative journalists Otto Latsis and Yuri Shchekochikhin. Yushenkov was assassinated in April 2003. Latsis was killed after a jeep rammed into his Peugot in September 2005. Shchekochikhin fell violently ill in June 2003, lost all his hair, suffered multiple organ failures and died 16 days later.
The following year, Viktor Yushchenko, a Ukrainian opposition figure seen as hostile to Russia, fell mysteriously ill as he was campaigning for the presidency. He survived to win the office, but his face was permanently disfigured by what turned out to be dioxin poisoning. Two years later, Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB agent and political asylee in Britain, ingested a fatal dose of polonium. An official inquiry concluded that his murder was conducted by the FSB with the likely personal approval of Mr. Putin.
No big deal. As President-elect Trump told Joe Scarborough last year, “our country does plenty of killing also.” ...
Read the rest from Bret Stephens HERE.

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