Putin’s trump card

Whole books have been written about Donald Trump’s special bond with Putin, an affair based on mutual attraction and a sense of spiritual kinship.

Some commentators have suggested that other factors, such as an FSB dossier of kompromat, may be a factor as well, but the romantic in me insists on ascribing the relationship to warm feelings rather than cold calculations.

Anything more than that falls into the category of treason, and such accusations can’t be levelled without prima facie evidence, which in this case is lacking. However, if lawyers demand proof, commentators can make do with indications.

Trump has always been generously obliging in providing those, but seldom as much so as in the immediate aftermath of Navalny’s murder.

That crime has caused global shouts of outrage, with most of the West’s top politicians especially in fine voice. Probably not all of them felt genuine wrath and a sense of personal loss, but they all acknowledged the political benefits of not showing callous indifference to that brutality. Some might even have been guided by simple decency, although I wouldn’t bet on it.

Against that background, here’s how one of the world’s most influential politicians, Trump, commented on that crime: “The sudden death of Alexei Navalny has made me more and more aware of what is happening in our Country. It is a slow, steady progression, with CROOKED, Radical Left Politicians, Prosecutors, and Judges leading us down a path to destruction.”

Every word is a real gem (as is the orthography), but especially precious are the words that didn’t appear in that typically illiterate missive: ‘Putin’ and ‘murder’. Instead, Trump repeated the mockingly cynical diagnosis issued by Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FPS): sudden death syndrome.

Another possibility offered by the same source was a loose blood clot, which diagnosis was made within minutes of Navalny’s death. None of those ridiculous Western expedients, such as scans or even X-Rays – Russian diagnosticians don’t need them, they are that good.

Incidentally, that second diagnosis immediately inspired Russian rappers. Just two days later federal TV channels ran a video of youngsters disco-dancing to the deafening sound of the band bellowing “Loose clot, loose clot!” Nice clean fun, Russian-style.

That alone is enough to tell you all there is to know about the moral degradation of the Russians. But what interests me today is the moral degradation of Donald Trump. And let’s not forget his unique take on logic, which, to follow current fashion, may be held as evidence of cognitive decline.

I for one fail to see any obvious connection between Navalny’s “sudden death” and the “CROOKED, Radical Left Politicians, Prosecutors, and Judges leading us down a path to destruction”.

My feeling about those reprobates are every bit as vehement as Trump’s, even though they so far haven’t made me shell out $350 million (good luck with that). But is Trump suggesting it’s those miscreants who are directly responsible for Navalny’s “sudden death”?

The Romans used to call this sort of thing non sequitur, while the Russians came up with a proverb, “Where is the water and where’s the estate?”. Next time Trump talks about Biden’s stupidity and senility, he ought to remember the English proverb about glass houses and stones.

In case Trump really does think that it’s those $350-million extortionists who caused Navalny’s sudden death, then his friend in the Kremlin has happily disabused him of that notion. While everyone knows who ordered the murder, Putin blithely revealed the names of those who responded “Yessir!” to the order.

Yesterday it was announced that several FPS officers had been promoted without the requisite time in service.

Valery Boyarinov, Deputy Director, was bumped up to Colonel General; Alexander Rozin, another Deputy Director, to Lieutenant General; Dmitry Sharovatov, Administrative head, to Major General; and Alexander Fedorov, Head of Personnel, to the same rank.

Since the promotions came in circumvention of the statutory requirements, these officers must have provided a special service to Russia. You aren’t getting any prizes for guessing what kind.

The name of the hands-on murderer hasn’t been made public yet, but I’m sure he was rewarded internally. It must have taken a lot of courage and skill to kill an emaciated prisoner with a single blow to the heart.

Trump’s response to Navalny’s murder, sorry, I mean “sudden death”, amounts to disgraceful toadying, making him an accomplice after the fact. Next to that salient fact, it seems almost petty to mention another murder ordered by Trump’s friend who is on a roll.

On 9 August last year, the Russian pilot Maxim Kuzminov flew his Mi-8 helicopter across the frontline and defected to the Ukraine. The young officer risked his life – and make no mistake: the risk was huge – because his conscience couldn’t allow him to take part in Putin’s mega-crime.

Unfortunately, Capt. Kuzminov didn’t stay in the Ukraine, where he would have been relatively safe. Instead he took his $500,000 reward and went to Spain, somewhere near Benidorm. There Putin’s hitmen riddled him with bullets the other day.

That didn’t come as a surprise to anyone who had watched an earlier interview with Russian Spetsnaz soldiers. Their voices firm and masculine, their faces hidden by balaclavas, the soldiers swore vengeance. “We’ll punish him where he is,” they promised, and they or their colleagues have been as good as their word.

The murder (what Trump would probably also call “sudden death”) of Capt. Kuzminov sends, or rather reiterates, a message ad urbi et orbi: Putin is prepared to murder anyone he considers his enemy anywhere in the world. Whether his victim is completely in his power, like Navalny, or at large, like Kuzminov, is immaterial. “We have long arms,” as those Spetsnaz soldiers put it.

The world, specifically the West, is facing the onslaught of absolute evil, Putin’s Russia. Like its other manifestations, such as Nazism and communism, its triumph depends not only on the originators but also on the servile collaborators.

If Trump’s shameful response to Navalny’s murder is any indication, one of them stands a good chance of ending up in the White House, which is supposed to be the headquarters of the West’s resistance. Considering that, and also the available alternative, I can’t look to the future with a song in my heart. Unless that song is a dirge.

When talking about elections in any Western country, I show my commitment to responsible recycling by often talking about the evil of two lessers. One can understand the growing popularity of my favourite candidate, Mr None of the Above.  

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