From The Substack Courageous Discourse. Posting the text here

The first thing that jumped out at me as I listened to the Tucker Carlson-Vladimir Putin interview is that Putin is 100 times more intellectually capable than President Joe Biden. No wonder Biden won’t take his call.

It says a lot that the terrible people who run the United States wanted to prevent Carlson from conducting the interview, and then to hinder it from being made available to the American public.

Many, including Carlson himself, expressed frustration that the Russian President began with a history lesson, going back to the founding of the Kievan Rus state in 882. I suspect this was Putin’s sly way of expressing a salient point that has long struck me about we Americans—namely, while our government is ever keen to send weapons and armies all over the world to police mankind, we find it onerous to sit through a 30-minute history lesson about the people and places we wish to control.

Russia is, in Churchill’s formulation, “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” and it has always been governed by an authoritarian state. Nevertheless, with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there is plenty of evidence that Russia wished to cease living in a state of enmity with the United States.

To me, it seems clear it was the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex, and NOT Russia, that wished to maintain this state of enmity, for without it, there would be little justification for the U.S. government to spend hundreds of billions on weapons goodies such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II—a program that started in 1995 and (if DoD accountants are to be believed) has cost U.S. taxpayers about 500 billion.

With Bill Clinton’s NATO expansion in 1997, no less of a Cold War eminence than George Kennan characterized this decision as a Fateful Error that would likely result in precisely the instability and insecurity it was purportedly supposed to prevent.

From the beginning of the Russian crisis that developed in the autumn of 2021—shortly after the Biden Administrations’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan after a 20-year occupation that achieved nothing—I have suspected that administration and the terrible people who advise it did everything in their power to BAIT THE RUSSIAN BEAR into invading Ukraine.

The Administration did NOTHING to defuse the crisis, and it insulted the Russians by sending the imbecilic Kamala Harris to the Munich Security Conference on February 18, 2022. I suspect that an Austrian-style neutrality deal would have prevented the catastrophe that has apparently gotten hundreds of thousands killed. It has also seemed obvious to me that, since 2014, Ukraine has been the CIA’s favorite pet project.

To to this day, not a single person has been able to explain to me why Russia would consider tolerating Ukraine joining NATO. Since President Monroe outlined his foreign policy in 1823, the United States government has increasingly pursued a policy of zero tolerance of any foreign military alliances or installations in the entire Western Hemisphere.

And yet, this same United States government, which has invaded and bombed dozens of countries since 2001, claims it is perfectly reasonable to propose that Ukraine (whose northeastern border lies 370 miles from Moscow) join NATO. The distance from the Mexican border to Dallas is greater.

Key Putin statements in the interview are as follows:

On the negotiation process and its failure: “[Talks] reached a very high stage of coordination of positions in a complex process, but still they were almost finalized. But after we withdrew our troops from Kiev… the other side threw away all these agreements.”

On his last conversation with Joe Biden: “I talked to him before the special military operation, of course… I told him I believe that you are making a huge mistake of historic proportions by supporting everything that is happening there, in Ukraine, by pushing Russia away.”

On the possibility of global conflict: “It goes against common sense to get involved in some kind of a global war and a global war will bring all humanity to the brink of destruction.”

On Russia’s territorial ambitions: “We simply don’t have any interest [in Poland, Latvia, or anywhere else]. It’s just threat mongering.”

Commenting on US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s remark that the US has to continue to fund Ukraine or US soldier citizens could wind up fighting there, Putin said:

This was a provocation and a cheap provocation. Don’t you have anything better to do? You have issues on the border. Issues with migration, issues with the national debt. More than $33 trillion. Wouldn’t it be better to negotiate with Russia? Make an agreement. Already understanding the situation that is developing today, realizing that Russia will fight for its interests to the end. And realizing this, actually return to common sense, start respecting our country and its interests and look for certain solutions. It seems to me that this is much smarter and more rational. I do not understand why American soldiers should fight in Ukraine. There are mercenaries from the United States. The bigger number of mercenaries comes from Poland, with mercenaries from the United States in second place and mercenaries from Georgia in third place. Well, if somebody has the desire to send regular troops, that would certainly bring humanity to the brink of a very serious global conflict. This is obvious.

John Leake