go even further:
"Andrej Illarionov, the President’s chief economic adviser from 2000 to 2005, Mr Putin seeks to create “historical justice” with a return to the days of the last Tsar, Nicholas II, and the Soviet Union under Stalin. Speaking to the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, Mr Illarionov warned that Russia will argue that the granting of independence to Finland in 1917 was an act of “treason against national interests”. “Putin’s view is that he protects what belongs to him and his predecessors...parts of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and Finland are states where Putin claims to have ownership."A United States government that is willing to put military force on the line to keep Russia out of the Baltics, or Ukraine (Finland? Seriously? Didn't you fuckers learn the first time..?) would be big problems for that agenda.
So the notion that an autocratic kleptostate would be enthusiastic about reproducing its ways and means in other polities isn't exactly unbelievable.
But if you're a cunning ex-KGB officer (or an ambitious up-and-comer in the GRU or FSB...) why the hell would you pick a guy like Donald Freaking Trump?
I don't know how old you are or where you grew up, but I'm a child of the late Sixties and Seventies. I grew up in southern Jersey/southeastern Pennsylvania and was a young adult in the late Seventies and early Eighties when Trump was all over the goddamn place.
He was, not to mince words, a buffoon. What Bugs Bunny would call "an im-bessel". A joke. There was a glossy "humor" magazine called Spy that owned him constantly, making vicious mockery of his ridiculous boasting, his pretensions and vulgarity, his stupidity and egotism. Remember "short-fingered vulgarian"? Spy. But it didn't take other people mocking him - the dude was a total shitshow, everybody I knew thought he was a complete doofus. I mean...the guy went broke running casinos, a business where people give you money!
And, again, this was forty years ago when the guy was fairly lucid. Go listen to interviews with him in the Seventies. He was still a braying ass, but he could actually parse a sentence and pursue a fairly complex argument. Fairly...this WAS still Trump. Dude had never been a rocket scientist. Still.
Fast-forward thirty years, though?
Christ, you'd think the gomer had been hit repeatedly on the forehead with a brick. He's barely lucid, repeating monosyllables like a third-grader who's drunk a can of Sterno. I'm a Russian intelligence officer, why the hell would I trust this knucklehead? That's always been my problem trying to see Trump as Putin's sockpuppet. No matter how far you have your hand up Trump's ass, it's gotta be damn deadly difficult to make his mouth move the way you want it.
But for what it's worth, I came across something today that convinced me of how this fell out.
Here's my theory, courtesy of Ed Burmila at Gin and Tacos.
"I've never believed, and do not believe, that Russia gives a shit about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump per se. What they care about is creating as much of a shitshow out of America's increasingly feeble attempts to govern itself so that it, Russia, can present itself to the world as the safer, stabler economic and military protecting power.
Domestic chaos in the US also drastically reduces the chance of American attempts to limit Russian geographic expansion (and if you fail to understand that geographic security is the guiding force behind all Russian strategic thinking for the past five centuries, read up and get back to us). There was no Grand Scheme to "install" Trump. They just saw an opportunity and took it.
The U.S. would do exactly the same – and has repeatedly in the past – if we thought there was some opportunity to install a total assclown dictator type in Russia or another country."
So, yeah. That's pretty much it. It wasn't Trump, or, at least, not because of some particular virtue or value in Trump. He was just what they had - a weapons-grade moron who was deep in hock to Russian mob money - and they were fine with using it to help the goddamn U.S. public vote themselves a nice hole to fall in.
Somehow that just pisses me off more, though.
It would be one thing if the whole Trump nightmare was part of a deeply laid, brilliantly cunning plan concocted by a cabal of evil geniuses - Kochs and Waltons and Putin and Bannon and Miller and Trump - to destroy the New Deal America I grew up in and return us to the appalling depths of the Gilded Age as just another kleptocratic white nationalist shithole country.
But to be relegated to immiseration because some GRU captain got the goods on this ridiculous douchebro?
That's just insulting.