Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Biden to scold Putin?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The days of Vladimir Putin getting a pass from the president of the United States appear to be over.

That said, I would pay real American money if I could become a “fly on the wall” in the room where President Biden and the Russian strongman/spook/tyrant/dictator hold their first summit … when it occurs.

They don’t have one scheduled yet, but the wheels are turning to get the two men together to talk about, oh, differences over policy.

Putin got all snuggly with Donald Trump during Trump’s four years in the White House. He interfered in two of our elections, Trump said nothing. Putin reportedly paid Taliban terrorists bounties for every American they killed on the Afghan fields of battle, but again Trump said not a word. He has sought to subvert Ukraine in an ongoing war with the former Soviet republic, but Trump kept quiet about that, too.

Joe Biden wants to look into Putin’s flinty eyes and and give him the what-for, to which I say, “You go, Joe!”

If only I could eavesdrop. Dang!

Tension with Russia, China mount? Imagine that

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Who would have thought that two nations competing with the United States of America are getting their dander up over the words coming from the new U.S. president?

Too bad … for them.

President Biden has acknowledged that Russian despot Vladimir Putin is a killer, prompting the Russians to call their U.S. ambassador back to the Kremlin. Biden also is working with our allies to get China to change the way it treats dissidents in its country, prompting the People’s Republic to stiffen its back as well.

I want there to be peaceful relations with both countries. I also want the United States to act like the powerhouse nation it is, not roll over and concede matters to Russia and China, which happened all too often during the Trump administration.

Biden has pledged to make Russia pay for interfering in our elections and for its assorted other misdeeds, such as reportedly paying bounties for Americans killed on the Afghanistan battlefield. Donald Trump never even brought that subject up with Putin, as Trump himself has admitted. That must change and by all accounts, it has done so.

Russia, China tensions rise with White House  | TheHill

As for China, I also want President Biden to talk openly about human rights abuses, which the PRC is infamous for committing against its citizens. If the leaders in Beijing don’t like it, well … that’s just too damn bad.

Russians might pull their envoy to the U.S.? | High Plains Blogger

The United States has sufficient alliances around the world with nations that are able to back us up and are capable enough to withstand challenges from Russia and China.

I welcome the tougher talk coming from President Biden. After all, we are big dog on the block.

Yep, Putin is a ‘killer’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden has hit an important reset button.

It’s the one that calibrates this nation’s relationship with Vladimir Putin, the one-time chief spook who governs Russia.

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos this week asked Biden directly, “Is he a killer?” The president answered, “Mm-hm. I do.” So, with that we well might witness a new era of competition between the leaders of two former Cold War adversaries, rather than a relationship in which Putin seemingly called all the shots and the man who served as our president marched to Putin’s cadence.

The ABC interview with President Biden came at a fortuitous time, as Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines released declassified findings that showed how hard Russia worked to influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

The good news? The DNI’s findings have determined that the Russians failed in their effort to re-elect Donald Trump. The election was carried off without foreign interference, the report said.

What happens now?

President Biden said Putin is going to “pay” for the misbehavior in which he engages. Biden said he knows Putin “fairly well” and that he once told Putin that he looked into his eyes and didn’t see his soul, to which — according to the president — Putin responded that “now we understand each other.”

I am not willing to support a buddy-buddy friendship between our president and the Russian despot/strongman. Donald Trump simply could not bring himself to speak critically of Putin, seemingly believing that overt criticism held too many risks for this nation.

Sigh. What the ex-president never appeared to grasp is the reality that Russia is a third-rate economic power and that — beyond its vast nuclear arsenal — it is a relatively feckless military power as well. The United States truly is the world’s remaining military superpower and our economic heft is far greater than anything that Russia or Putin can imagine.

Donald Trump operated from a position of weakness with regard to Putin. Joe Biden intends to flex our economic and military muscle and appears set to remind Vladimir Putin that he no longer is dealing with a patsy who is working in the White House.

‘Human rights’ has returned

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

For four years the words “human rights” were rarely uttered by the president of the United States.

Now they have returned to the presidential vernacular. President Biden’s statement this week after the release of intelligence on the death of a prominent Washington Post columnist includes a fulsome statement about the need to protect the rights of all human beings.

The report blames Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, for ordering the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Post columnist and critic of the Saudi regime. President Biden has refused to sanction the man known as MBS, fearing some long-term harm to U.S.-Saudi relations. I wish he would have dropped the hammer on MBS, but that’s another story.

It’s out: MBS ordered killing | High Plains Blogger

As for the human rights mantra, I welcome its return to the top of our foreign policy pecking order.

We must stand in this country as a beacon of individual liberty and respect for the rights of all humanity. Only the president of the United States can speak to that priority and only the POTUS can alert the world that we mean it when we invoke those rights for everyone.

Human rights did not get much attention from Donald J. Trump. Indeed, the ex-president sought to curry favor with despots and dictators, such as, oh, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, by proclaiming some sort of bizarre “love affair” with him. Of course, Trump infamously refused to criticize Russian bad boy Vladimir Putin for anything, let alone for the way he treats those who live under his ham-fisted rule.

I hope those days are gone. I also hope to hear much more from President Biden on the value he will place on human rights. May he say it loudly and often going forward.

Putin isn’t your pal, Mr. POTUS

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin chatted the other day.

They reportedly covered — according to a read-out supplied to the media by the White House — a number of topics. They included at least two topics that Donald Trump refused repeatedly to mention to his pal Vlad: the bounty paid to Taliban terrorists who kill American service personnel on t he battlefield and the Russian interference in our elections.

What a change in tone. What a welcome change.

President Biden has made it clear, or so it appears, that he doesn’t plan to be Vladimir Putin’s friend. He wants to assert U.S. moral authority. He wants to engage Russia on nuclear arms reduction. Biden intends to face Russia down on its efforts to subvert Ukraine.

Trump boasted of his deal-making prowess but he never came close to negotiating a nuclear arms reduction deal with his good pal Putin.

Biden enters this relationship with a long history of involvement in foreign policy discussions. Let’s remember that he formerly chaired or was ranking member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee before he became vice president for two terms serving under President Obama.

Indeed, the White House read-out of the meeting is something the public didn’t get for the past four years during Donald Trump’s term. No one ever knew what the two men talked about, except what Trump would say out loud; and we all know how believable Donald Trump could be, right?

To be sure, the read-out only reveals what the White House wants us to know. However, my own sense is that the Biden administration will deal much more forthrightly and candidly with Vladimir Putin than the Trump administration ever did.

President Biden has laid down an important marker at least by challenging Putin on the hideous report of the bounties he paid for the lives of American service personnel.

Don’t let up, Mr. President.

‘Blind spot’? Do ya think?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Mitt Romney says Donald Trump “has a blind spot” where it regards Russia.

Really? Does the Utah Republican U.S. senator know something none of the rest of us knows? Sen. Romney has just exhibited a remarkable command of the obvious.

Indeed, Trump’s downplaying of Russia’s latest bit of international maliciousness shouldn’t come as a surprise. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says it’s Russia that hacked into our security systems; so does Attorney General William Barr; same with the FBI. Trump, meanwhile, says that China might have hacked into our system.

He cannot bring himself to say that Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, the former Soviet spy master, could lead an assault on the United States.

Then again, he won’t challenge Putin over reports that Russian goons paid bounties to Taliban terrorists who killed Americans on the battlefield. Nor has he ever said Russians hacked into our 2016 electoral system, which every U.S. intelligence official said occurred.

Blind spot with regard to Russia? Yeah! Do ya think?

POTUS has gone AWOL

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Can there possibly be a more glaring, graphic and grotesque example of a president who has gone AWOL than what we are witnessing at this moment of dire peril?

Never mind (for just a moment) that the nation is suffering grievously from a pandemic that has killed more than 300,000 of our citizens. The pandemic is dire enough of a threat. Yet the president ignores it.

Russia has just conducted what is believed to be the largest national security breach in our history and Donald Trump — the current president of the United States — is silent. He hasn’t said a word publicly to or about his pal, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. The Russians are now believed to hacked into our national security network in a sophisticated full assault on our cyber system.

What has Trump said or done about it? Not a damn thing!

Hell no! Instead, Trump continues to rant and rail about election “corruption” that simply does not exist. He continues to insist that President-elect Joe Biden’s victory is illegitimate because of “widespread” voter fraud. Courts all over the land have dismissed Trump’s phony allegation out of hand.

Meanwhile, real threats have emerged that have placed the nation in dire peril. Trump’s response has been to, uh, not respond at all!

I’m going to say it one more time with extreme malice: Donald Trump is a menace to the nation he has governed for the past four years. Thank goodness — oh yes! — that Trump’s time in power is coming to an end.

Where is POTUS’s outrage now?

(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As the president of the United States continues to rant and rail against the democratic process in this country, an avowed foe of the country he was elected to govern has been revealed to have hacked into several federal government agencies.

Have we heard a peep from Donald J. Trump? Has the president signaled any sort of public anger at what the Russians have done — again! — in their ongoing assault on our governmental infrastructure?

The answer is as obvious as it gets. No. He hasn’t said a word publicly about it. Donald Trump has expressed zero outrage. He has remained silent, just as he did when it was reported that Russian goons were paying Taliban terrorists bounties for Americans killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

It has been abundantly clear to me and others that Trump might pretend that he won the 2020 presidential election, but his lack of action on any manner of important matters suggests he has taken leave of his duties … not that he ever paid much attention to the myriad details of his job.

Donald Trump will disgrace Americans for as long as he occupies the presidency. The clock is ticking on his exit.

Putin is laughing his a** off

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Do you know who among all the world leaders is laughing so hard he is having trouble catching his breath?

It has to be Russian strongman/despot/dictator/former Soviet spy chief Vladimir Putin. That’s who.

Think of it. His boy, Donald Trump, lost his re-election bid for a second term as U.S. president. Trump is refusing to concede to President-elect Joe Biden. He is withholding national security information from the new president’s team. He is fighting the results in courts all over the place; and he’s getting them tossed by judges.

Trump is sowing seeds of discord in our electoral system.

Isn’t that precisely what Putin sought to do in 2016? And again in 2020? Isn’t this kind of activity that former special counsel Robert Mueller III warned us would happen?

Trump is fabricating a story where none exists.

And yet Vladimir Putin must be laughing his keister off as he watches from the Kremlin while Trump continues this ridiculous effort to undermine a political system he took a sacred oath to defend and protect.

I do hope the new president is taking plenty of notes and will get Putin on the phone soon and read him the riot act, warning him of serious consequences for his interference in our electoral system.

The Russians are still at it

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Wherever he is ensconced in the Kremlin, Russian goon in chief Vladimir Putin must be a happy man these days.

He set out in 2016 to sow fear, discord and confusion in the American electoral system. If there’s a Russian equivalent to “mission accomplished,” then Putin is saying it over and over.

Now he’s at it again. FBI Director Christopher Wray agrees with two of his predecessors — Robert Mueller and James Comey — both of whom have said the Russians would do the same thing, only more of it, this time around.

I heard today that Donald Trump, Putin’s pal in D.C., might fire Wray after the election, I guess Trump means “win or lose” the election. He doesn’t like the job Wray is doing. All he has done to incur Trump’s reported wrath is confirm what the rest of the civilized world knows already, that the Russians are up to no good once again.

They wanted to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Trump invited them to look for Clinton’s missing e-mails, which they commenced doing the same day Trump made the public request.

They’re messing around now with Joe Biden’s campaign. I pray that Americans have wised up to the chicanery Putin is capable of performing.

All in all, though, Putin’s gang of crooks has enlisted the aid of none other than Donald Trump, who himself is sowing more doubt in our electoral process, claiming the existence of “rampant voter fraud” where none exists. Trump threatens to take the election to the Supreme Court if Biden gets more votes than he does. And, what to do you know, he is likely to have a fully staffed SCOTUS on hand to render some decision on whether to accept the results; that will include, in case you’ve been comatose, Amy Coney Barrett, who is about to be confirmed by the Senate in a railroad-job of a confirmation process.

I will hand it begrudgingly to Vladimir Putin. He played his hand perfectly four years ago. I am going to hope for all I am worth that we have wised up to the trickery and will send Vlad’s boy, Donald Trump, packing once we get the ballots counted.