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The Bigger Wild Card - Trump Or Putin?

By Douglas Herman

They are both billionaires, if you believe the financial press. They are both white and middle-aged, in a world gone multi-cultural politically correct. Both men are good for quotes, uttering words and phrases that stun the sensibilities of the timid or the tenderhearted. They are both power-hungry men, if you believe the media pundits. They are both cruel and unpredictable tyrants, if you believe the political press. Naturally, they are both vilified by the mainstream media. They are both a pair of wild cards, destined to make history, if you judge by recent events.
Trump Defined
The difference is, and this is a big difference, that the powers that be (PTB) can take out a Trump any time they wish. They can trump a man like Trump and dump him into the dust bin of history, any time they feel like it. Or they can make him an offer he can’t refuse. And if he refuses, out of obstinacy, pride or some skewed hubris masquerading as patriotism, they can show him old footage taken in Dealey Plaza in 1963 or photos from the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel taken in 1968, where Bobby Kennedy lay with a bullet hole in the back of his head. Or they can show him the Paul Wellstone plane wreckage. The PTB can trump any man, anywhere, whenever they like. Just ask reporter Mike Hastings, demolition expert Danny Jowenko or Panama president, Omar Torrijos. Like Paul Wellstone, they pissed off the PTBs, and they ended up dead.
A man like Donald Trump may sound powerful, sound like he is speaking truth to power, to the talking heads on TV. But true power today, in the waning days of the American Empire, lies elsewhere in the deepest depths of the secret state.  Putin is another matter.
“Putin is a thug,” said a lawyer friend of mine. “He is a murderer; look how ruthless he was in Chechnya.”
Ruthless like Bill Clinton at Waco, I replied?  Thuggish like Janet Reno at the Branch Davidian compound? More of a murderer than Madeline Albright when she admitted on national TV that 500,000 deaths was “worth it?” More murderous than Bush / Cheney after September 11? The millions of state-sanctioned murders, committed by the American Empire in the past 50 years, would warrant a UN War Crimes Commission if anyone there had the courage.
“Empires at the end concentrate on military force as the be all and end all of power,” said Lawrence Wilkerson, former US Army colonel and Chief of Staff for Colin Powell. “History tells us we’re probably finished. The rest of the world is awakening to the fact that the United States is (1) strategically inept and (2) not the power it used to be. . . This is what empires in decline do, they can’t even govern themselves.”

Empire In Denial & Decline
What could Donald Trump do for that empire in decline?
“What people see in Trump is strength and leadership,” wrote former assistant US Treasury Secretary, Paul Craig Roberts. “The corrupt American political establishment has issued a ‘get Trump’ command to its presstitute media. . . because the world’s favorite leader, President Putin of Russia, said complimentary things about Trump, and Trump replied in kind.”
“Trump voters are not just angry – They want revenge,” wrote Frank Lutz. “Mr. Trump is different. The media attacks on him have been fast and furious. Yet he has defied electoral gravity because the blows are delivered by an institution that is distrusted and an elite political and business establishment that is detested.”
But what exactly could Trump do? Make things worse, or make them better for the average American and citizen of the world? Idealists and reformers have been removed rather easily, or simply excluded, like Ron Paul. Trump will do what others tell him to do. By contrast, Putin has been compared to a savvy poker player. A poker player with a nuclear arsenal. Trump does what DC, Langley and Wall Street tell him to do. Putin has those strategic sites targeted with his own version of the Sampson Option and could take them out if the Neocons forced the issue.
Putin is the push back. Putin is the equalizer. And yet as powerful as Putin appears to be, he seems far more restrained than the media portrays him. His restraint to the coup in Ukraine must have seemed weak to the war hawks in Congress and the White House. His response in Syria, however, to the recent downing of two Russian aircraft, sent a much louder message. He holds several trump cards.
And yet Putin must realize he is constantly in danger too. Malaysian Airlines MH17 was travelling almost the same route as the Russian president’s plane before MH17 was shot down and killed 298 people. Putin was returning to Moscow from Brazil, where he attended a BRICS summit.
“I can say that Putin’s plane and the Malaysian Boeing intersected at the same point and the same echelon. The contours of the aircraft are similar, linear dimensions are also very similar,” reported a source for Interfax News agency. “As for coloring, at a remote distance they are almost identical.”
Putin must realize this was a warning shot from the PTB. An empire on the ropes, ruled by sociopaths and served by psychopaths, feels no remorse.  For a marked man, Putin is remarkably cool. He refused to take the bait and brushed off the accusations that Russia was to blame.
“This tragedy would not have happened if there was peace on this land, if military action in the southeast of Ukraine had not been resumed,” he said. Naturally the recordings from the so-called black boxes of flight MH17, removed to a NATO country, have never been released to the public.
A wild card like Putin, with a nuclear arsenal, commands far greater power than any trump card here at home. In the USA, any candidate, even a Donald Trump, has far fewer options. A wild card candidate here can clamor to build walls and deport citizens but a wild card like Putin can frustrate the Neocons to such an extent the empire unravels at last.
A wild card like Vladimir Putin, acting in the interests of Russia, can frustrate the designs of NATO, can exterminate the proxy terrorists of ISIS. A Donald Trump can bluster, but at the end of the day the deep state will tell him what to do. The last president who tried to curb the PTB ended up in a coffin.
I mentioned reporter Mike Hastings. Having finished his book, I Lost My Love in Baghdad, I concluded Hastings nursed a vendetta against the PTB and they took him out in one of those mysterious one car crashes that doom many truth tellers.  Ironically he died behind the wheel of an expensive burning German automobile, exactly as his beloved died in Baghdad several years before. The deep state is cunning, cruel and patient. But in Putin they may have met a superior foe.



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