Dictator Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation sent a heavily weighted telegram to president-elect Donald Trump today, congratulating him on his shocking win and applauding the opportunity for “new relations” between the United States and Russia.
“Putin expressed hope for joint work to restore Russian-American relations from their state of crisis, and also to address pressing international issues and search for effective responses to challenges concerning global security” read the Kremlin’s telegram. They look forward to “building a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington, based on principles of equality, mutual respect and each other’s positions, meets the interests of the peoples of our countries and of the entire international community.”
While the words may seem like polite political speak, the implications behind them are heavy. The “state of crisis” of Russo-American relations, of course, is a result of Moscow’s territorial aggression in Eastern Europe and the casual war crimes that the Russian military commits in Syria every day.
In March 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from the Ukraine and has been not only been arming separatist rebels in Eastern Ukraine but waging a covert war in support of two separatist republics, Luhansk and Donetsk. In case their ultimate ambitions weren’t obvious, the two have joined in a federation and declared themselves Novorossiya (New Russia).
In August 2015, the Russian military joined the Syrian Civil War on the side of dictator Bashar al-Assad. Pummeling civilians with impunity, targeting markets, schools, and hospitals, killing over 3,800 innocent men, women, and children – more than the murderous nihilists of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) have.
Economic sanctions preventing Putin and the ruling oligarchs of Russia from funneling out the country’s wealth into convenient investment opportunities, like Trump condominiums in Florida, were leveled in 2014 by the Obama administration.
The head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, Kirill Dmitriev, crowed that “a less confrontational U.S. foreign policy will unlock major opportunities for joint (Russia-U.S.) trade and investment.”
What he means is that Trump will likely immediately lift those sanctions, allowing Putin and the Russian oligarchs to once more engage in a plutocratic embezzlement spree- one which Trump, obsessed with greed, is likely to want to join. Vladimir Putin has hoarded a personal wealth of at least $70 billion and possibly as much as $200 billion, a number which must make Trump green with envy.
Given his utter lack of interest in governing or foreign policy, we can anticipate a reduction in American involvement overseas, opening a power void that will be immediately filled by the corrupting hand of Moscow, which sows authoritarianism, oppression, and destruction wherever it touches.
God only knows how many will die from the American people’s monumentally selfish decision last night.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.