The growth in threats of terrorism and militant extremism is accompanied by an escalation of local conflicts and the destabilisation of whole regions … In these conditions it is especially important to overcome mutual mistrust and unite efforts to ensure international stability and security.
-Vladimir Putin, Russian Dictator
So were the gracious and conciliatory words from Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin in a congratulatory telegram to France’s president-elect Emmanuel Macron shortly after his historic victory over his uber nationalist rival, Marine Le Pen.
The words were indeed sensical and very well-timed although a bit odd considering their source. Putin has been the very perpetuator and source of world destabilization for quite some time. From aligning himself with Syrian dictator and homicidal maniac Bashar-al Asad to his militaristic incursion and subsequent wholly unlawful annexation of the nation of Crimea, Putin has not only failed to live up to his words to Macron, he’s actively contradicted them.
In terms of the Macron/Le Pen election face off, one and a half days before the election it was reported that a massive hacking attack was leveled against Macron’s campaign by a group with ties to Russian military intelligence. And it’s no secret that former KGB officer Putin micromanages his intelligence resources.
Bigger picture, it doesn’t take a degree in political science to see why Putin would have wanted Le Pen at France’s helm: She’s a hyper nationalist who was in favor of closing France’s borders to cut off immigration and she vied for the dismantling of the European Union as well as NATO. World views completely in line with those of Putin’s.
So what does the congratulatory overture by Putin mean exactly? Is it simply an “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” sort of rapprochement or is it something more, a bit of an underlay for the overplay, kind of thing? We would bet the latter. Putin is hellbent on dismantling current world orders and taking things back to the time when there were no real checks or balances, times that gave rise to strongmen such as Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini. Times when a shrewd but morally misguided man such as himself could sway the masses and pocket and crush whole economies and the hopes of a nation with impunity.
Putin’s mare lost the race this go round but it should be understood clearly that his overture to Macron isn’t an abdication or sincere desire to make amends; it is the beginning of a trojan horse-esque move that was probably thought out as an alternative strategy in the event of Le Pen’s loss. Putin is a determined soul if he’s anything. And with the multiple challenges that Macron must overcome before he can begin to effectively govern still makes France and Macron himself potentially vulnerable to a fox as wily and capable as Putin.
So while we are immensely glad that at least France refuted hate and isolationism, that they didn’t follow our path and elect a fear-mongering, racially insensitive, bigoted, politically inept and socially tone def nationalist megalomaniac to lead them, we also hope that they will remain vigilant as far as Putin is concerned. Because the Russian dictator may be a lot of things, but finished isn’t one of them.
Think Passionately. Disrupt Strategically.
-A. Lawrence Haskins
United States Congress: (202) 225-3121
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