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How happy will Russia when Bernie gets the nomination?

Think they will want the Capitalist or the Socialist to win?

Posted - February 21


  • 46197

      February 21, 2020 4:33 PM MST

  • 46197
    I'm glad that you have the foresight and wisdom to say WHEN.  

      February 21, 2020 4:34 PM MST

  • 46197

    Whereas recent US foreign policy has emboldened the Kremlin, Sanders actually understands how to undermine it

    Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Mesquite, Texas
     ‘Sanders avoids the lazy cold war rhetoric about “the Russians” that helps boost Putin’s legitimacy back at home.’ Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Mesquite, Texas. Photograph: Larry W Smith/EPA

    He may not be running, but Vladimir Putin is already a formidable presence in the 2020 US presidential campaign. From concerns about Russian aggression abroad to anxieties about electoral interference at home, Putin has become a question to which all presidential candidates are expected to have a strongly worded answer – particularly in the wake of Donald Trump’s failed impeachment, in which the Democratic party sought to make the case that “all roads lead to Putin”.

    The conventional wisdom in US foreign policy is that military competition is necessary to contain Putin and circumscribe the Russian sphere of influence. “The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that they can fight Russia over there, and we don’t have to fight Russia over here,” said the Republican adviser Tim Morrison during the impeachment hearings – a quote then repeated by Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee, in his opening argument.


    Sanders has long been a leading advocate of military restraint, and he is campaigning on a platform of 'responsible foreign policy' that promises to end America’s 'endless war'

    It is in this context that the rise of Bernie Sanders is raising fears inside the Democratic party establishment. Sanders has long been a leading advocate of military restraint, and he is campaigning on a platform of “responsible foreign policy” that promises to end America’s “endless war”. Despite speech after speech in which the senator decries Putin’s criminal authoritarianism, a narrative is now developing that his presidency would amount to a great gift to the Kremlin. “If I’m Russian, I go with Sanders this time around,” tweeted the former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

    But most advocates of military competition fundamentally misunderstand the nature of Kremlin power – a misunderstanding that has led the US to fail, time and again, in its attempt to contain Putin. The promise of Sanders’ foreign policy platform is precisely that it turns the conventional wisdom on its head, showing how the US government can use domestic reform as a strategy to undermine Putin’s authoritarian aggression abroad.


    To make sense of this strategy, it is necessary to see the three pillars on which Putin’s regime rests. The first of these pillars is hydrocarbons: the vast reserves of oil and gas in Russia that deliver large revenues and deep political loyalties both within Russia and across Europe. Russian oil and gas output is currently at a record high 11.25m barrels per day, generating $44.4bn each year from countries such as Germany that have become heavily reliant on Russian gas exports.

    The second pillar of Putin’s power is corruption. Russia is today a kleptocracy, a political system that runs on kickbacks, bribes and pocketed public money for loyal oligarchs. Their dark money, of course, does not stay in Russia. Instead, it circulates through the vast international system of murky finance – into Deutsche Bank and Danske Bank, into London real estate and US shell companies – buying allegiance to the regime along the way.

    And the third pillar is propaganda: Putin and his allies actively seek to stir up conflict abroad in order to strengthen nationalist loyalties at home. From the very beginning of his tenure, Putin has fomented violence and aggression against Russia’s “enemies” – be they Chechen, Ukrainian or American – as a strategy to boost his own popularity.

    Far from attacking these pillars of Kremlin power, recent US foreign policy has served to strengthen them. The Barack Obama administration, for example, aggressively pursued a fossil fuels arms race against Russia, further entrenching the global addiction to hydrocarbons. Meanwhile, Obama presided over a flood of Russian oligarchs’ cash into the US, even as his secretary of state, Hillary Cinton, drew comparisons between Putin and Hitler.

    Sanders, by contrast, seeks to dismantle each of the three pillars at their base. Rather than deepening US dependence on oil and gas, he is promoting a Green New Deal with major provisions to support a green transition beyond US borders. By driving decarbonisation among US allies in Europe and around the world, Sanders promises to reduce Putin’s geopolitical leverage.

    Rather than ignoring the illicit financial system, Sanders is advocating a programme of “corporate accountability” to shut down tax havens, eliminate anonymous shell companies and strictly regulate the Wall Street banks that have facilitated the flow of kleptocrats’ cash all around the world.


    Finally, Sanders avoids the lazy cold war rhetoric about “the Russians” that helps boost Putin’s legitimacy back at home. Instead, his approach is infrastructural, attacking the nodes of the illicit finance network rather than the individual “bad actors” operating within it.

    In short, Sanders is shifting away from the antiquated paradigm of “foreign policy” – with its clear demarcations of home and abroad and its appeals to a unified national interest – and towards “foreign politics”. He is targeting the global architecture of kleptocracy in which many US firms and passport holders are complicit, and building ties with social movements around the world that can serve as allies in the fight against state corruption.

    Progressives cannot afford to be naive in their approach to Putin. His efforts to consolidate a sphere of influence are unlikely to abate, regardless of the 2020 election outcome. But for all the Democratic party’s legitimate fears about Russian aggression, it cannot retreat to an outdated paradigm that approaches Russia as a question of military security alone.

    It should come as no surprise, therefore, that those who understand Putin’s kleptocratic system – such the leader of the Russian opposition, Alexei Navalny – are now rooting for Sanders. It is only by undermining that system, not competing with it, that the US can truly weaken Putin’s authoritarian grip, and make way for a new democratic movement to flourish in Russia.

     Ben Judah is a fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington DC. David Adler is a fellow at the school of transnational governance at the European University Institute


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      February 21, 2020 4:39 PM MST

  • 23091
    Bloomberg favors China. 
      February 21, 2020 6:24 PM MST

  • 46197
    That's nice.  Who cares?  He isn't going to win.  Trump is not going to win.  Bernie Sanders is our next President.
      February 22, 2020 8:27 PM MST

  •   February 23, 2020 6:45 AM MST

  • Early voting in our primaries a week from today for PRESIDENT Trump on a straight Republican ticket.  I will not sit idly by and allow the DEATH TO AMERICA Party to accomplish their namesake.  F**K being a third world country!
      February 21, 2020 6:46 PM MST

  • 23091
    No early votes for my state. Just in person on election day. :)

      February 22, 2020 6:43 PM MST

  • We'd never be able to pull that off.  The lines are long every day of early voting.  No fraudulent voting going on either, everyone has to show an ID, one that is compliant with the federal Real ID Act.  
      February 22, 2020 6:48 PM MST

  • 23091
    Sounds like y'all need more polling places.  We did have to show ID but some activist judge put a hold on it. Playing word games over the provisional ballot statement. 
    I am curious to see if they still ask for it though in March. 
    Good your state requires it. 
      February 22, 2020 7:51 PM MST

  • 6377
    But, they hated Hilary and tried, and succeeded in ruining her campaign. it would be illogical to assume or even think that they'd want a dem as leader.. Much better for them a loud-mouthed idiot. 
      February 22, 2020 4:01 PM MST

  • 23091
    A socialist leader who honeymooned in Russia...or a loud mouth who puts sanctions on them, kicks their diplomats out of the country and interferes with their oil sales.  

    The want US citizens to fight and doubt our election system. 
      February 22, 2020 6:41 PM MST

  • 46197
    Hi Daydream, the only sane person on this thread.   I think Bernie Sanders is going to win.  BIG.
      February 22, 2020 8:28 PM MST

  • Just wait til he has to face Trump in the debates where Trump will force Bernie to explain how he plans to pay for all this FREE crap. :P This post was edited by Benedict Arnold at February 23, 2020 7:04 AM MST
      February 23, 2020 6:53 AM MST