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World & Current Events > What could be a theoretical collusion?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14968 comments As we are engaged here discussing an alleged collusion, what could it theoretically contain?
A dissolution of the USA and California joining Khabarovsk region?
Break up of NATO?
Appointing Putin's daughter to a vice-President position and Medvedev as the head of the Fed reserve?
What's your version?
With all the tensions and wild speculations, I'd offer: be serious or not so much, as you choose -:)


message 2: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) First off, I would disagree that there is "wild speculation". Second, the nature of the collusion seems pretty clear. Putin had the NSF - which employs hackers to conduct spamming, trolling and cyber intrusions - to interfere with the US election in order to embarrass the US and undermine his political rival - Hillary Clinton.

Beyond that, there is also the possibility that Putin and his government had been seeking to blackmail Trump or cultivate him as an ally while the election was still taking place. This is made evident by the fact that Trump and his family have a well-documented history of doing business with Russian people and companies that are tied to Putin.

This information, if revealed, would be comprising to Trump, hence the speculation about blackmail. Or it could just be that his long-standing relationship with Putin and high opinion of him made Putin think that it would be better if Trump won instead of Hillary. That's a no-brainer given the fact that Putin's government considered her and Obama to be enemies, due in no small part to the sanctions imposed on them for the annexation of Crimea.

There really is no grand strategy beyond that. It was a simple case of interference to create an outcome that would be preferable for the Russians.


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14968 comments Yeah, but what would Russian want in return, if they helped Trump? Or 'not Hillary' is enough for them? And why to be in position to blaickmail, unless one needs demands heeded?


message 4: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "Yeah, but what would Russian want in return, if they helped Trump? Or 'not Hillary' is enough for them? And why to be in position to blaickmail, unless one needs demands heeded?"

You mean aside from the sanctions being lifted, which is what Flynn promised? Or perhaps recognition of their annexations in the Ukraine? Or perhaps for Trump's assistance in Syria, where they are trying to back Assad and eliminate the pro-democratic rebels that the US was supporting under Obama? Or perhaps access to US intelligence that Trump gave them happily?

Blackmail comes in mighty handy in all these cases. On the one hand, they can count on Trump to be grateful for their assistance in making him president. On the other, they can threaten to ruin him if he says no to them.


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14968 comments So sanctions, annexation and Syria? Sanctions are more symbolic, 2-nd and 3-d he already has. Kinda small for Putin. Oil prices maybe? Demise of EU?


message 6: by Matthew (last edited May 18, 2017 12:38PM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "So sanctions, annexation and Syria? Sanctions are more symbolic, 2-nd and 3-d he already has. Kinda small for Putin. Oil prices maybe? Demise of EU?"

Oil is one of the biggest things to suffer from the sanctions, which were specifically targeted. These have hardly been symbolic, they've hurt Russia's economy. The proof of that a Russian oil CEO offered Trump's team a cut of the profits if the sanctions were lifted.

http://www.businessinsider.com/carter...
https://cleantechnica.com/2017/02/20/...

And yes, Putin wants to undermine the EU. But for Putin, the main thing is making foreign powers respect Russia and fear its influence. He certainly made his point with the US election.

//2-nd and 3-d he already has// What does this mean?


message 7: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14968 comments Crimea is annexed and firmly in Russia's grip, Assad's regime solidified ...


message 8: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "Crimea is annexed and firmly in Russia's grip, Assad's regime solidified ..."

Not really. Crimea may be annexed, but it is not recognized by the US or NATO as being Russian territory. The same goes for the eastern regions of the Ukraine where Russia is backing separatists. And Assad's regime is not solid at all. Syria is in the midst of civil war and Assad's regime isl fighting on two fronts - against both ISIS and the pro-democratic rebels. Russia intends to wipe both these forces out to secure his regime, whereas the US wants to defeat ISIS and back the pro-democratic rebels and overthrow Assad.


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10762 comments Collusion requires fraudulence, so anything related to Trump after inauguration cannot be fraudulent. The President has been elected to carry out foreign policy. He may be inept, stupid, corrupt, but he can't be fraudulent because he is what he says he is.

I disagree with the oil price argument; as far as I can make out, this is to do with market forces. Basically, oil consumption has dropped, and neither Putin nor Trump has any say in this - Opec members are breaking their agreements and over-producing, and nobody else is pulling back to compensate. America's fracking is probably as good a cause as any. I also doubt Putin cares that much about whether the West approves of his action in Crimea. He knew fine well there would not be any. I doubt there is any collusion here - what we are seeing is examples of Realpolitik.

What could Trump offer Putin? A breakup of NATO is as good as anything. Getting the Euro zone to pay for the US military to be there might be another. But that is plausible anyway.


message 10: by Matthew (last edited May 18, 2017 09:26PM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Ian wrote: "Collusion requires fraudulence, so anything related to Trump after inauguration cannot be fraudulent. The President has been elected to carry out foreign policy. He may be inept, stupid, corrupt, b..."

That argument makes no sense, Ian. The promises to lift sanctions were made before his inauguration, and the collusion we are talking about involved tampering with the election to become President. Anything he does as President is an extension of that, since Putin would have put him there to ensure he got a President who would support Russian policy.

//I disagree with the oil price argument; as far as I can make out, this is to do with market forces.//

Disagree all you like. The embargo has hurt Russia's economy, which the links I provided showed. The country's economy is build around the petrochemical sector, and it depended on its economic ties to the US and the EU to export it. Market forces are irrelevant if Russian's cant get into the world market.

//I also doubt Putin cares that much about whether the West approves of his action in Crimea.//

Really? He's attempting to annex territory in the Ukraine is what resulted in the sanctions in the first place. You don't think he cares if a US president will lift those sanctions and recognize his territorial claims?

//What could Trump offer Putin? A breakup of NATO is as good as anything. Getting the Euro zone to pay for the US military to be there might be another. But that is plausible anyway. //

We've already covered what he could offer him. He could end the sanctions against Russia, support Russia's policy in Syria, and recognize its claims in the Ukraine. Then there's what Trump said about abandoning NATO allies that lie on Russia's borders, which Russia has been actively threatening in recent years. He could also pull back the missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, which the Russians have hated and wanted to see removed.

These moves would all allow for the extension of Russian influence, its borders, and its economy. Which is what Putin wants more than anything. He wants Russia to ascend and be taken as seriously as it was during the Soviet era.


message 11: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10762 comments A promise to lift sanctions, if it were a promise, is simply a statement of foreign policy, and having better relationships with Russia. Yes, oil prices have hurt the Russian economy. My disagreement is that this had anything to do with Trump, or Obama for that matter.

Of course he cares whether there are sanctions. But collusion involves fraud, and it involves secrecy. Trump announcing he wants better relations with Russia is hardly secret. Announcements of foreign policy during an election campaign is hardly secretive, nor is it wrong. If the American people don't like the policy, they don't vote for it. As for Ukraine and Crimea, this all happened well before this election. Of course Putin would like these sanctions eased, but I doubt it is that important to him. The fact is with oil prices having gone south, Russia actually needs to restructure its economy, and in some ways the sanctions may be making it easier. It is still difficult, but maybe not as much because the Russians as a whole can see the problem.

The real question is what Putin offers in return? Trump did not need money. Our theory, Matthew, is that Putin is offering something. What Trump needed is votes, and I cannot see how Putin could deliver any.

The point is, Matthew, most of what is going on has multiple explanations. So, if you think there is criminality, surely Mueller is the man to prosecute it. So what is wrong with giving him time to do this properly?


message 12: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14968 comments Matthew wrote: "Not really. Crimea may be annexed, but it is not recognized by the US or NATO as being Russian territory. ..."

I'm under impression Putin doesn't care much about recognition from US and NATO, but it can have a prime significance as a precedent..
Sanctions don't do much harm. My impression its Putin's own counter-sanctions that cause inconvenience to many Russians...

There is no market in oil. There is OPEC cartel in control of about 80% of global oil reserves. OPEC increases production - prices drop, OPEC limits production - prices go up. I'm under the impression that Russian establishment believes it was Obama's agreement with Saudis to keep the production high and prices low. That what hurts Russian economy the most..


message 13: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14968 comments Matthew wrote: "He wants Russia to ascend and be taken as seriously as it was during the Soviet era...."

Is there anything wrong with that aspiration per se or you are a strong supporter of a unipolar world?


message 14: by Matthew (last edited May 19, 2017 01:38PM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "Matthew wrote: "He wants Russia to ascend and be taken as seriously as it was during the Soviet era...."

Is there anything wrong with that aspiration per se or you are a strong supporter of a unip..."


You mean aside from the fact that Putin wants to expand his country's power by annexing border regions and dominating Russia's neighbors by any means necessary (including threats and military incursions)? Or perhaps the fact that he's a totalitarian who murders his own people and ensures his hold on power by killing, intimidating, jailing all his opposition, and ensuring that his friends control all of Russian society? Nope, can't think of a thing!

Anyone willing to do the bidding of such a man is incredibly corrupt or too stupid to live. Anyone who would be blackmailed into doing so should not be in power.

And are those the only two choices, in your mind? A unipolar world or a bipolar one? I happen to think there are other options. But then again, I don't suffer from Cold War-era thinking like some people.


message 15: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) There's been a lot of questions about what Putin would want from Trump. This misses the painfully obvious, in my view. It was more about what he wanted to avoid from Hillary. He viewed her as an enemy and didn't relish the prospect of dealing with an opponent who would be even more ardent than Obama.

And US surveillance has already revealed evidence to that effect.

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/...


message 16: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10762 comments Matthew is correct that Putin would want to avoid having Hillary as President - her statement about no-fly zones over Syria could have triggered WW 3. But that does not mean Trump was asking Putin for help. Putin showing a preference is merely acknowledging the obvious, that Russia did not want that sort of foreign policy.


message 17: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14968 comments Matthew wrote: "You mean aside from the fact that Putin wants to expand his country's power by annexing border regions and dominating Russia's neighbors by any means necessary (including threats and military incursions)? Or perhaps the fact that he's a totalitarian who murders his own people and ensures his hold on power by killing, intimidating, jailing all his opposition, and ensuring that his friends control all of Russian society? Nope, can't think of a thing!..."

Perhaps, all Canada's friends are perfect democrats? But when I look at Canada's foreign relations, strangely enough I find that authoritarian or corrupted regimes don't exactly prevent from Canada having friendly ties with them: be it Cuba, African countries, Russia or China.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign...

Reading your posts here, I was under impression your utmost worry and concern should be expansion of US influence, because Trump is not so much to your liking? -:)


message 18: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Posted this elsewhere, so I'll be sure to be post it here too:

https://www.byline.com/column/67/arti...


message 19: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) Nik wrote: "Matthew wrote: "You mean aside from the fact that Putin wants to expand his country's power by annexing border regions and dominating Russia's neighbors by any means necessary (including threats an..."

Except that no Canadian government was put in place by any foreign totalitarian regime! Trump not only has made it clear that he admires this foreign, hostile dictator - not to mention Ergodan, Kim Jong-Un and Saddam Hussein - but Putin actively assisted him into power, illegal promises were made, and classified intelligence shared.

Nice try, trying to make this about your country vs. mine's litany of diplomatic sins, but you're comparison is irrelevant for just that reason.

And for the record, based on what he has done in the first 100 days, the expansion of US influence under Trump is not to anyone's liking. Not because it would be particularly immoral but because Trump is so blatantly lazy and incompetent, he'll completely wreck the US' standing aboard and endanger all its allies in the process. Putin, for what it's worth, actually has a plan, as sinister and obvious as it is.


message 20: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10762 comments Matthew illustrates an issue I had with sets. Thus he does not like a change of government by a "foreign totalitarian regime". However, the US has a long tradition of overthrowing foreign governments (think of Allende, a dirty socialist) and then endorsing the subsequent dictatorship, often because the act has assisted American corporations extract wealth. But that is all right because America is not totalitarian, it seems. So it was OK for the CIA to help the Ukrainian change of government. However, Putin is bad for such interventions because he qualifies for the set of a "foreign totalitarian regime". Except Putin was also voted in, and appears to be genuinely popular in Russia. I would judge the intervention through the alternative set "foreign regime" or more importantly one of the sets defined by "effect on the population subject to the intervention."


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