Writing for TheAmericanConservative.com, Daniel
Larison penned an excellent article entitled The Iranian People Are Not Our
Yes, I liked the title so much, I borrowed it for this column. Larison quotes
Ardeshir Zahedi and Ali Vaez in an op-ed
piece for the Washington Post. Zahedi is Iran’s former foreign
minister (1966-1971) and ambassador to England (1962-1966) and the United
States (1960-1962 and 1973-1979). Vaez is the International Crisis Group’s Iran
project director, based in Washington.
Larison begins by quoting Zahedi and Vaez:
and crude threats will achieve little beyond entangling the United States and
the region in another senseless war while deepening the two countries’ 40-year
estrangement. The United States should strive for an Iran that is stable with a
strong middle class and highly educated youths connected to the moderating
influence of the outside world. The Iranian people want to restore the
friendship between Iran and the United States, two countries that enjoyed 123
years of cordial ties before 1979. But the path to their hearts and minds is
not through sanctions and military intervention.
Trump administration should follow these recommendations, but I fear it is so
far down the path of belligerence and confrontation that the president and his
officials wouldn’t know how to stop at this point. Most U.S. administrations
are loath to give up on failed policies even when it is obvious to everyone
else that they cannot succeed, and the Trump administration is more resistant
to admitting failure than most. If the president opts for de-escalation and
climbing down from the unrealistic and excessive demands that his
administration has made, we should encourage him in making that change and
support that effort at de-escalation. If he continues to follow the toxic
advice of Iran hawks to intensify the pressure campaign, he should be opposed
every step of the way.
we are capable of burying the hatchet with Vietnam, China, Japan, Italy, and
Germany within 20 years of fighting them or less, and if we could have normal
relations with the Soviet Union and its communist allies throughout the Cold
War, we can certainly have normal relations with Iran after all this time.
That last paragraph makes so much sense a fifth grader could
understand it. But we don’t have a fifth grader in the White House; we have a
kindergartener who only knows what his mommy and daddy tell him—and his mommy and daddy are Zionist
Israel and its American surrogates: evangelical Christian Zionists. And neither
Israel nor America’s Christian Zionists want peace with Iran.
Larison quotes Zahedi and Vaez again:
administration’s list of public missteps toward the Iranian people is as long
as it is regrettable. It includes preventing almost all Iranians from visiting
the United States; misstating the historic name of the Persian Gulf; failing to
express sympathy with Iranians after terrorist attacks by the Islamic State and
separatist groups; and, perhaps most consequentially, withdrawing from the
nuclear deal that remains popular in Iran and to which many there had pinned
their hopes for a better life.
mistakes have helped transform top-down anti-Americanism in Iran into a
bottom-up phenomenon. Nothing spurs a rally-around-the-flag effect among 83
million Iranians more than humiliation and threats of foreign aggression.
Of course, the U.S.
government isn’t going to express sympathy with Iran after terrorist attacks by
the Islamic State and separatist groups. The U.S. government (along with
Israel, Saudi Arabia and Great Britain) created, armed, financed and provided
military assistance to those terrorist groups.
The Iranian people are not and never
have been our enemy, but our Iran policy doesn’t reflect that in practice. When the Iranian government
was aligned with the U.S., our government backed the regime despite the harm
that it was doing to the people. After the revolution, our government
reflexively backed Iran’s enemies in the hopes of getting at their government.
The effect was to cause massive suffering and death among the people. Our government regularly claims that
our quarrel is not with the people, but it is always the people that bear the
brunt of our policies. One of the main themes in U.S.-Iranian relations
over the decades has been our government’s inability or unwillingness to treat
Iranians with respect, and under the Trump administration that lack of respect
has turned into contempt. We see that with the travel ban and the indulgence of
the Mujahideen-e Khalq by prominent U.S. officials and politicians, and we see
it with the suffocating oppression of sanctions imposed on the entire country. Iranians are not our enemy, but our
government has insisted on treating them as enemies all the same.
Our policy should never be to suffocate
the civilian population of another country with ruinous sanctions. In addition
to being unjust and cruel, it hardens attitudes against the U.S. and provokes
stronger resistance. No genuine U.S. interests are served by immiserating tens
of millions of people for the actions of their government, and by inflicting
collective punishment on an entire nation our government commits a terrible
injustice that should shame us all. If the Iranian people are not our enemy, we
must halt the economic war our government is waging against them and pursue a
course of diplomatic and economic engagement instead.
Tell me, folks, when did the
terrible “terrorist” state of Iran shoot down a U.S. passenger jet and murder
nearly 300 innocent civilian passengers? You can’t remember? Well, you can’t
remember, because Iran did NOT shoot down an American passenger jet; it was
America that shot down an Iranian passenger jet.
The date was July 3, 1988. The
Iranian passenger jet was Iran Air Flight 655. The military
vessel that shot down that Iranian passenger jet was the guided missile cruiser
USS Vincennes, which fired two
SM-2MR surface-to-air missiles—from inside Iranian territorial waters, no less.
All 290 people on board were killed, including 66 children.
How’s THAT for an act of terrorism?
And just as Israel never
apologized for attacking and trying to sink the USS LIBERTY on
June 8, 1967 (killing 34 American sailors and Marines and wounding 174), the
U.S. government never apologized for downing Iran Air Flight 655 (killing all
290 on board).
Folks, which country is
sending spy drones and Raptor attack drones into another country’s airspace,
Iran or America? Which country is sailing military ships into another country’s
territorial waters, Iran or America? Which country is flying military attack
aircraft into another country’s airspace, Iran or America? Which
country has built dozens of military bases within a few miles of another
nation’s borders, Iran or America? Which country is sending
covert armies into another sovereign nation to disrupt communications and cyber
security and blow up facilities and assassinate government officials and
scientists? You know the answer: the United States (and Israel, of course).
And despite all we hear from
the propagandists in the federal government and mainstream media promoting
on Terror,” Muslims in Iraq, Iran or anywhere else had
absolutely NOTHING to do with the attacks on 9/11.
I hear people say that Trump should attack Iran because that
country shot down one of our drones. Really? That drone had no business being
in Iran’s territorial airspace. It was an act of aggression on America’s part.
What, pray tell, would America do if another country flew a drone into our air
space? If America has the right to defend itself from acts of aggression (and
it does), why does Iran not have the same right? It does.
Folks, all of the hatemongering and fearmongering against Iran
aside, the Persian nation has not invaded any country in an act of unprovoked
aggression in over 200 years. Iran was not even involved in Israel’s Six Day
War in 1967. And not only has Iran not attacked the United States (or Israel
either, for that matter), Iran poses absolutely NO threat to the United States.
And the only threat Iran poses to Israel is a defensive threat as Israel
constantly attacks Iranian assets across the region. If Israel was not such a
fanatical militaristic apartheid state, the PLO, Hamas and Hezbollah would not
Israel has launched hundreds (maybe thousands) of missile attacks
against Iranian assets in Syria and Lebanon. And please remember that Iran’s
forces are in those countries lawfully, having been invited by the respective
governments of those countries to help defend their people against the constant
attacks by Israel.
This war against Iran is
not about the safety and security of the United States, and it’s not about
protecting the world against a “terrorist” state. It’s all about war for Israel
and the Federal Reserve. Iran is the last major Middle Eastern country that has
refused to submit to the Federal Reserve international banking cartel. That’s
what the war in Iraq (under G.W. Bush) and the war in Libya (under Barack
Obama) were about; and that’s what this war in Iran (under Donald Trump) is
USMC Major General Smedley Butler said, war is nothing more than one giant
Justin Amash is exactly right: Donald Trump does NOT have the
authority under our Constitution to attack Iran without direct authorization
from Congress. But who cares about the Constitution anymore? Not Donald Trump,
that’s for sure.
Craig Roberts opines about the traitorous Zionists in our government
(Pence, Pompeo and Bolton) who are directing America’s foolish and
unconstitutional war against Iran and the fact that America doesn’t have a
leader (read “president”) with the understanding or guts to stop it. Right on,
Trump’s decision to not launch air strikes against Iran after it
downed the U.S. drone in its airspace was NOT an attempt at peace; it was a war
tactic. Trump knows the last thing the American people want is another war in
the Middle East. What Trump said about not wanting to kill 150 Iranians in
those air strikes is complete balderdash.
Trump drops a bomb somewhere in the world every 12 minutes. Every 12
minutes! That means,
Donald Trump has dropped over 44,000 bombs each year in office. That
means, Trump has dropped over 110,000 bombs during his 2½ years in office. And
the vast majority of the victims of these bombings were innocent civilians.
Only 2%—that’s right, 2%—of those bombs killed so-called enemy combatants on
the DOD “kill list.” 90% of the time, his bombs killed innocent civilians. Astonishingly, the CIA’s own
documents report that 80% of the time, the people killed in America’s bomb
attacks are completely unidentified. In other words, they have no idea who they
are killing. But they keep killing them nonetheless. If only one innocent
person was killed in each of those 110,000 bombs that Trump dropped since being
in office, he has murdered at least 110,000 innocent people. Do you really
think that an additional 150 people dying in another U.S. air strike would mean
anything to this president? Hardly.
You watch: What Trump will do is authorize the Israeli/Saudi
terror groups in the Middle East to launch another false flag attack—one too
big to be overlooked—that will be blamed on Iran and that will “force” Israel
into a war with Iran. Then, Trump will announce to the American people that the
United States must enter the war to defend its “great ally” Israel. And Trump’s warmongering (and
Muslim-hating) evangelical Christian Zionist base will absolutely LOVE it.
Of course, where this war will lead and what Russia and China will
do is anybody’s guess. Dr. Roberts says we are facing Armageddon. He might be
right. If he is, won’t these
Christian Zionists be shocked when they discover that they weren’t raptured to
heaven ahead of time after all?!
Iranian people are not our enemy. Our enemy is those warmongering miscreants in
Washington, D.C., Tel Aviv, Riyadh and London.
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Everyone else wants the names of the FBI officials who approved
the unprecedented law enforcement dragnet against low-level Trump aides in the
middle of a presidential campaign.
I want the names of the
staffers at the Republican National Committee who prepared Trump’s “backgrounders”
on potential hires for the new administration. (I’m not interested in
finding out who leaked them because I assume it was the Russians.)
America is no more, future generations are going to want to know who murdered
Below is a random
selection of the idiotic quotes from the RNC’s vetting document on Kris Kobach, when
President Trump was considering him for secretary of the Department of Homeland
Security. Instead of Kobach, who could have saved the country, Trump appointed
a series of imbeciles, who managed to engineer the worst immigration crisis in
the nation’s history.
If this cretinous
document had anything to do with Kobach being passed over, then there are
specific people whose names we’re going to need.
The RNC seems to think “hardliner” means: “supports current
federal law, on the books, passed over generations by Republicans and
Democrats, negotiating compromises and getting their bills signed into law by a
series of presidents in both political parties.”
“Would you ever allow your support of policies that ‘strengthen’ immigration
enforcement (to) conflict with bipartisan compromise legislation negotiated by
a Trump administration?”
Who wrote this question? John McCain? Jeb!?
Even after Trump won, the RNC proceeded as if nothing had
happened and their goal was to pass a new Gang of Eight “Comprehensive
Immigration” bill. They wanted Kobach to swear fidelity to a policy that had
just been soundly rejected by the voters and their own party.
“Given your history of campaigning on immigration politics, do you believe you
have an ability to strike the appropriate tone …?”
Tone! Democrats routinely call Republicans racists, liars,
warmongers, homophobes, haters, rapists, etc., but somehow only conservatives
are ever accused of having a “tone” problem.
Again, the RNC seems sublimely unaware of the entire 2016 election.
Trump called Mexican immigrants rapists and won. But the RNC is
worried about an erudite Midwesterner’s “tone.”
How’s this tone? F— you, RNC.
“When America is no more, future generations are going to want
to know who murdered our country.”
“Kobach is credited with helping draft the controversial immigration law
allowing Arizona state and local officials to check the immigration status of
individuals they stopped …”
“Controversial” is what idiots say when they don’t have a real
I can’t be sure about all of them, but by my count, at least 300
of the 400 members of the current Democratic presidential field support slavery
reparations, Medicare for all, free college tuition, eliminating I.C.E.,
transgenders in women’s bathrooms, abortion at 8.9 months, flinging open our
borders and providing free dental care to illegals.
But according to the RNC, supporting immigration laws currently
on the books is “controversial.”
I note that it wasn’t “controversial” at the Supreme Court.
“… (much of the law was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012).”
The morons at the RNC aren’t
even familiar with the landmark Supreme Court ruling they’re citing to bash
Dear Useless, Incompetent
Twits: The law — I mean, the “controversial” law — “allowing Arizona state and
local officials to check the immigration status of individuals they stopped” …
was UPHELD BY A UNANIMOUS SUPREME COURT. (Other parts of the law, not
mentioned by the RNC or anyone else, were struck down by a divided court with
dissents from Trump’s favorite justices: Scalia, Alito and Thomas.)
The RNC: “Much of the law Was Struck Down by the Supreme Court
York Times: “Court Splits Immigration Law Verdicts; Upholds Hotly Debated
I’m sure any person of reasonable intelligence could confuse
“unanimously upheld by the Supreme Court” with “struck down by the Supreme
“Background: Kobach has advocated for use of a technicality within the Patriot
Act, that would potentially force Mexico to ‘pay for the wall’ by holding
hostage the millions of dollars that Mexican nationals in the U.S. send home to
family each year.”
Holding hostage? It’s known as the Treasury Department’s taxing
Idea for the RNC’s next policy paper: “The Trump administration
advocates for use of a technicality within the law that would potentially force
taxpayers to pay for government services by holding hostage trillions of
dollars that Americans spend on their families each year.”
The Kobach “backgrounder” is the equivalent of me writing the
vetting documents for the Obama administration.
“CONTROVERSIES: Kobach Faced Criticism for Speaking at What Some Called a
‘White Nationalist’ Conference.”
Holy moly! That’s a blockbuster! I’ve followed Kobach’s career
for years, and I’m floored that the Harvard/Yale/Oxford graduate is consorting
with “white supremacists.”
Oh wait, I see. Here’s the RNC’s evidence:
“Kobach was a presenter at a writers workshop last week for The Social Contract
Press, a publishing house that the Southern Poverty Law Center includes on its
list of hate groups under the category ‘anti-immigrant.'”
Anyone — in media, in politics, in casual conversation around
the water cooler, certainly anyone at the RNC! — who cites the SPLC as anything
other than “America’s Leading Hate Group” needs to have his head examined. This
is on the order of the NAACP using KKK literature to evaluate job applicants.
The RNC vetters are too stupid not to bury the SPLC’s specific
claim: that The Social Contract Press is guilty of being “anti-immigrant.” I
know the RNC hated Trump, but the only reason the RNC even has a Republican
president right now is that a plurality of Americans want less immigration,
“During the Campaign, Kobach’s Opponent Tied Him to White Supremacists Groups.”
Again with the “white supremacist groups”!
Guess who this time? Guess! FAIR — the Federation for American
Immigration Reform, a group concerned with … yes, that would be the principal
assignment of department for which Kobach was being considered: IMMIGRATION.
In fact, FAIR is a little namby-pamby on immigration, certainly
compared to, for example, the Angel Moms, Bernie Sanders circa 2016, or — I
don’t know — THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. If FAIR is a “white
supremacist group,” then Trump is the Grand Wizard of the KKK.
Who at the RNC wrote this
document? I want their names and I want them killed. (Or forced to watch
the Democratic debates — their choice.)
More likely, the nitwit responsible for this Swamp Manifesto
will be appointed Trump’s new DHS Secretary.
My parents immigrated to an America whose economy boomed,
then busted in 1929. Pop worked in the docks of New York City as a stevedore
before the big crash. Mom was as passionate about raising a good family,
regardless of difficulties, as she was about everything else. Nothing small,
here – the scale was set high. Anything worth doing was carried out with a
generous and loving heart. Our anchor was God and friends – not politicians and
banks. It was a rough ride that made life all the more valuable for countering
the many obstructions, day-to-day and hand-to-hand.
family was not unique. My parents were typical of the people who left their impoverished
burgs and towns in Europe to strike new roots in American soil. As with the
first Europeans who settled here and launched a new nation, the vast majority
of subsequent settlers were God-and-family-oriented, strong in body and spirit,
early 20th Century saw America swirl into a storm of productivity, with
creative advances in many fields. Breathless innovations in technology,
industry, transportation, communications, and the arts remade the landscape and
transformed the home almost overnight from “primitive” to “modern.”
fantastic New York World’s Fair of 1939 enchanted me as a child and planted an
unforgettable memory of progress with beauty. Growing up in the dizzying array
of film masterpieces during cinema’s golden years – the 1940Fantasia still
makes people gasp – spoiled me for life regarding excellence in screen
entertainment. Soon color became the norm and black-and-white the option. Then
television escaped science fiction and entered the living room to deliver live
performances of stunning quality. I saw black-and-white TV turn to color and
recorded music evolve from 78 rpm records to LPs, then to tape, as my ears
witnessed the shift from “rich, warm sound” to exciting audio fidelity. All
this with no computers, no satellites, no digital wizardry.
mid-century, the drive and originality that delivered a vigorous and vibrant
America to the world were still at play. Excellence was taken for granted in
the performing arts. Sports and education reached incredible levels of
achievement with a small fraction of today’s funding in equivalent dollars.
Over 90% of students graduated from my high school (Bushwick, in Brooklyn),
with far tougher standards than today’s.
aside, as in all forthright
discussion . . .
until about 1960, children that were not orphans had fathers and mothers living
together in a nest secured with bonds of love and civil rules inspired by God.
That life is sacred was taken as fact, not opinion. Women were cherished and
respected by men who were brought up to be gentlemen. You did not require a
high IQ to know that a man could never be the equal of a woman, and vice-versa.
Respecting each other’s real differences, both sexes would laugh at the
ridiculous notion that male and female are interchangeable, either in function
or psyche. Such a claim, as made by post-Friedan feminists, reveal a mind
tangled in abstractions and lost in wish lists.
was concrete reality, not social science, that informed the actions and
attitudes of the typical pre-1960s American, whether living in the boondocks or
in the shadows of skyscrapers. He or she knew in the bones that science does
not replace wisdom and aware that opinion is not a substitute for fact. The
alert of every generation knew – and still know – that emoting is no substitute
for thinking. The solution to real problems, not phony ones concocted by
political pressure groups, needs a clear head grounded in objective reality.
everyone was aware of how easily the mind is warped by media bias and the will
turned by mob attitude. But it was an essential aspect of the times that people
who were serious about getting out of trouble or improving anything acted
within the framework of reality and truth – the objective kind, not the “truth”
of opinion marinated in myth and served with scientific dressing. Adulterated
truth – the kind peddled by deceivers – is a trick that predates Christ.
was understood – just as bleeding follows wounded flesh and friendship follows
kindness – that freedom comes with responsibility for the consequences, bad or
good, of one’s actions. “Experts” were home-grown, not hired by well-funded
groups to push their agendas. People depended on priests, pastors and rabbis
for guidance on troublesome matters, not on TV anchors, think tanks, NGOs, and
others with questionable loyalties and ideas about justice and progress.
is inevitable. But the alert of every generation demand to know what any
proposed change is from and to what. Being
specific and clear is a basic element of communication, without which
confusion, misunderstanding and, yes, deceit abound. Training the mind to
perceive and to conceive clearly was, during my youth, a function of subjects
like grammar and geometry – essential preparation for everyone, not just
students preparing for professional or technical careers. Hard, disciplined
thinking in youth forms essential neural connections not obtained any other
way. The mushy language and fuzzy logic that prevail today would be considered
evidence of poor education or sign of a weak mind by those who came of age before
the dumbing-down of
the last century.
foregoing take on life generated a beneficial social atmosphere – friendlier
and more open than it is today. We kids were safe on the streets and in school.
Yes, there were gangs, as always, but schools were free of drugs and violence
and none of them had barbed wire fences and police guards. Despite the presence
of every form of corruption and deceit known to exist among humans, life in
America was nevertheless upbeat and people generally succeeded in living their
lives as they saw fit – not as agenda-peddling moguls think they should. The
Constitution of the United States still grants citizens the right to live their
lives and conduct their affairs with minimum interference from government.
short, before 1960, this country was – it’s been said often – “another planet.”
Having lived in that freer, far more open and natural environment, I report
from personal experience as a resident of New York in that time frame that the
graph of social well-being after 1960 turned swiftly toward the bottom of the
chart. The atmosphere all over America has soured with a slew of prescriptions
for thought, speech and behavior that stifle initiative, creativity,
originality, and pit “oppressor class” against “victim class,” according to the
latest designations posted by groups and agencies not elected by or
representing the American people.
“the invasion of the body-snatchers,” America has changed from a relatively
free and happy land to a decidedly fretful and contentious place. The fouling
of an open mind in an open atmosphere and the collapse of morals that began
after the 1950s was not evolutionary and not inevitable. It was the
accomplishment of change agents infiltrating America’s schools and institutes
of learning, publication, entertainment, seminaries – change agents with
Marxist ideas and no loyalty to America. Americans fell for this programmed,
“evolutionary” transformation. And before any could pick up the pieces, the
changes became the “new normal” – that hoodwinking
cliché of “progressives.”
political revolution, justified or not, is to some degree understandable. In
1776, serious grievances with the British Crown led American colonists to cut
their ties with England and give birth to a new and independent country,
America. In 1861 the South tried to sever its ties with the North for serious
grievances; the failure of the South and the success of the North are chapters
in America’s political upheavals.
a social revolution? Over what? Were we suddenly not the
same people? Was justice a matter of personal opinion, now? Was anything-goes to
replace moral principle and sound judgment? Was the family obsolete? Was life
no longer sacred? How did right become wrong? When did up become down? And not
the least of the questions: Were the 1960s rebels smarter than the millions of
people who came before them?
I returned from Korea in 1955, I witnessed the start of the civil rights movement,
which brought promise of major social progress in race relations. (It made no
difference what color our skin was in the Korean War; we were all brother
soldiers, thanks to a change in DOD policy following World War II.) But as the
net descended over a hoodwinked populace whose offspring were being groomed in
school to live in a socialist society under a global government, instead of in
a free nation under God, those of us awake shouted foul.
Americans have no idea what happened to their country, let alone the rape of
their minds and their souls by well-funded globalists manipulating media,
education, politics and public service channels to advance their new
those who dismiss or downplay the seriousness of America’s “transformation,”
let me remind you that when it has become “legal” to kill a baby on its day of
birth, mutilate a child’s body when a boy thinks he’s a girl or a girl thinks
she’s a boy, when it has become possible – nay, likely under duress of the law
– to lose reputation, job, and liberty for speaking the truth (the “legal”
outrages to society are beyond count), then you know we have taken a terribly
is time for waking Americans to shout down every action witnessed or
contemplated that devalues human life, denigrates fatherhood and motherhood,
makes speaking the truth “hate speech,” and replaces common sense and morality
with political correctness. This is a hard but necessary stand in order to make
loud and clear to everyone throughout the land that Americans will no longer
tolerate the deliberate and systematic dismantling of this nation.
the meantime, God spare the children and their children from the worst of the
rough road ahead.
Anthony J. DeBlasi is a veteran and lifelong defender of Western
President Vladimir Putin on
Thursday gave an exclusive interview to the Financial Times newspaper, a rarity
for a president who seldom sits down with foreign journalists.
The Russian president spoke candidly on a
wide range of topics, from Russia’s domestic and foreign policy issues to his
thoughts on the global trend of national populism and who will succeed him
after the end of his term limit in 2024.
In one particularly vivid
comment, Putin said liberal values had outlived their purpose and had been
rejected by the majority of people in Western nations, drawing criticism from
Here are the highlights from
the far-reaching discussion:
— “I think that he is a
talented person. He knows very well what his voters expect from him.”
— “The middle class in the
United States has not benefited from globalization; it was left out when this pie
was divided up. The Trump team sensed this very keenly and clearly. It is where
you should look for the reasons behind Trump’s victory.”
On China and Chinese-Russian
— “We [Russia and China] never
direct our bilateral relations against anyone. We are not against anyone, we
are for ourselves.”
— Yes, Russia and China have
many coinciding interests, this is true… Of course, we have also established
very warm personal relations, and this is natural.”
— “You try to rule a country
with such a population. This is not Luxembourg, with all due respect to that
— “What we should be talking
about is not how to make North Korea disarm, but how to... make any country,
including North Korea, feel safe and protected by international law that is
strictly honored by all members of the international community.”
— “... the North Korean nuclear
range is not far away from our border. This why this concerns us directly, and
we never stop thinking about it.”
On Russia’s presence in Syria
— “I decided that the positive
effect from our active involvement in Syrian affairs for Russia would far
outweigh non-interference and passive observation of how an international
terrorist organization grows ever stronger near our borders.”
— “We have managed to preserve
Syrian statehood, no matter what, and we have prevented Libya-style chaos
there. And a worst-case scenario would spell out negative consequences for
— “[If] Assad steps down today,
what will happen tomorrow? When you do not know what happens tomorrow, why
shoot from the hip today?”
On the Russia-U.S. arms race
— “We said that we are ready to
hold talks and to extend this treaty between the United States and Russia, but
we have not seen any relevant initiative from our American partners.”
— “We will support any
agreement that can advance our cause, that is, help us contain the arms race.”
— “We have no nothing to do
with what is happening in Venezuela.”
— “We provide maintenance
services for this equipment [in Venezuela] ...There are no Russian troops
— “We have invested billions of
dollars there, mostly in the oil sector. So what? Other countries are doing the
same as well.”
On the Skripal poisonings and
— “All this fuss about spies
and counterspies, it is not worth serious interstate relations.”
— “...these spy scandals made
our relations reach a deadlock so we could not develop our ties normally and
— “Treason is the gravest crime
possible and traitors must be punished. I am not saying that the Salisbury
incident is the way to do it. Not at all. But traitors must be punished.”
On Russia’s economy and
— “The most important task we
need to achieve is to change the structure of the economy and secure a
substantial growth of labor productivity through modern technologies,
artificial intelligence, robotics and so on.”
— “We do not have oligarchs
anymore. Oligarchs are those who use their proximity to the authorities to
receive super profits.”
On the Western world,
liberalism and traditional values
— “The liberal idea has become
obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming
majority of the population.”
— “[It] presupposes that
nothing needs to be done. The migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity
because their rights as migrants must be protected. What rights are these?
Every crime must have its punishment.”
— “Deep inside, there must be
some fundamental human rules and moral values. In this sense, traditional
values are more stable and more important for millions of people than this
liberal idea, which, in my opinion, is really ceasing to exist.”
matter what the current leader does and how he does it, not matter who he
represents or how, it is the voter that has the final word — the citizen of the
— “[A successor will be chosen]
by means of a direct secret ballot, universal direct secret ballot. Of course,
it is different from what you have in Great Britain. We are a democratic