American separatists and the treachery of fools…

In 2019, then President Donald Trump held a controversial private discussion with Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Japan. This meeting mirrored the unrecorded discussion held by the world leaders in Helsinki two years earlier during which Trump ordered the translators’ notes of their talk destroyed. No American officials were permitted at the secretive meeting in 2017. Trump’s dismissive response to a reporter’s questions about whether the 2019 secret meeting would center on issues like Ukraine and the upcoming 2020 election was a concern:

“I’ll have a very good conversation with him. What I say to him is none of your business,” Trump answered as he left the White House when a reporter asked him whether he would tell Putin not to meddle in U.S. elections. (emphasis mine)

— abc News Report, June 26, 2019, by Conor Finnegan

What Trump declared was none of our business may well have ramifications today as Putin takes his first steps in invading Ukraine. Is it possible that the “business” of those meetings bear directly on the Russian despot’s obsession with Ukraine and the American despot’s own obsession for power? It would not be difficult to frame a logical agenda for these private meetings using the events that have transpired since then.

Is there a doubt that Putin’s desire to annex Ukraine was not at the top of his list of topics to discuss with Trump? Would Putin and Trump agree to hold off the Russian invasion until after the 2020 elections to avoid an embarrassment that would harm Trump’s reelection chances? Would Trump agree to a quid pro quo that would have Trump recognize the Russian grab of Crimea 5 years earlier-a bucket-list item for the Russian dictator?

Trump today joined the chorus of Republican traitors who have found reason to praise and excuse Putin’s war objectives. The most tone-deaf response, of course, was the gushing, ass-licking remarks made by the Trump himself, calling Putin “a genius”:

“Putin is now saying, ‘It’s independent,’ a large section of Ukraine. I said, ‘How smart is that?’ And he’s gonna go in and be a peacekeeper… We could use that on our southern border.””Here’s a guy who’s very savvy.”

— The traitor, formerly known as Donald Trump

His Secretary of State continued the absurdity by praising the Russian Thugocrat who has stifled his critics by poisoning them. Mike Pompeo used an odd word to describe his feelings for Putin, given the fact that he oversaw the single worst foreign policy initiatives in the modern era. respect:

He is a very talented statesman. He has lots of gifts,..He was a KGB agent, for goodness sakes. He knows how to use power. We should respect that.”

Respect has just acquired a new, darker definition.

History offers a modern example of what Putin has been able to accomplish without a single Russian troop firing a single shot. Like the Nazi takeover of free France in WW II, Putin has seemingly chosen Donald Trump to serve as his Marshal Philippe Pétain. Pétain at the time of his appointment as Prime Minister of Vichy France was 84 years old and a life-long fascist:

Pétain was reactionary by temperament and education, and quickly began blaming the Third Republic and its endemic corruption for the French defeat. His regime soon took on clear authoritarian-and in some cases, fascist-characteristics. The republican motto of Liberté, égalité, fraternité (“Freedom, equality, brotherhood”) was replaced with Travail, famille, patrie (“Work, family, fatherland”)… Though Pétain publicly stated that he had no desire to become “a Caesar,” by January 1941, Pétain held virtually all governing power in France; nearly all legislative, executive, and judicial powers were either de jure or de facto in his hands.

…Fascistic and revolutionary conservative factions within the new government used the opportunity to launch an ambitious programme known as the “ Révolution nationale”, which rejected much of the former Third Republic’s secular and liberal traditions in favour of an authoritarian, paternalist, Catholic society. Pétain, amongst others, took exception to the use of the term “revolution” to describe what he believed to be an essentially conservative movement, but otherwise participated in the transformation of French society from “Republic” to “State.” He added that the new France would be “a social hierarchy… rejecting the false idea of the natural equality of men.”

— Wikipedia

Trump is the equal of the weak but willing French leader who was brought to power with the help of a murderous regime. Putin’s gamble was a limited one, but the payoff was huge. Who dreamed that the bombastic, hate-filled simpleton could become a lightning rod for like-minded fringe elements lurking within the nation. For those who may believe that Putin would never have attempted his current atrocity-in-progress had Trump won, I have a better hypothesis-had Trump won, an invasion would not have been necessary. More likely a compliant, doddering Trump would have gladly ceded Ukraine and aided any Russian false flag operation with a wink and a nod. The Republican Party which has devolved into a Vichy-like cabinet of useful idiots, like they are doing now, would concur and formalize the surrender to the tin-pot dictator from Moscow with official tweets retweeted on chyrons streaming across state-controlled networks. No, the timing of this suggests that Putin’s plans now as before were always intended to benefit Russian aggression and the forces surrounding Donald Trump-for whom he has only contempt.

Sometimes we get too close to evolving events to recognize their true import. The relationship between Trump and Putin was one planned and cultivated by Putin. Looked at from a distance, the Putin plan for Ukraine seems similar to the one he has for America. Like the separatists, he has planted in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine, Trump’s rag-tag MAGA army can now be seen as “American Separatists”, replete with false-flag operation and phony grievances. For those of us convinced of the Russian collusion designed to help elect Trump in 2016, there is little doubt that there are traitors in our midst, planted by Putin using the Trump clown show as his proxy. While we worry, and rightfully so, that Putin’s ultimate goal is to devour his neighbor by undermining their independence using pretense to grease his blatant power grab, we might better be alert to the bleeting admiration of American separatists for a smug and dangerous Russian bully. The homegrown useful idiots now plotting the demise of our democracy remind us of the source quote for John Kennedy Toole’s novel A Confederacy of Dunces. The title was taken from an epigram from a Jonathon Swift essay Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting. Swift satirically noted,

“When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him,”

We live in a time that invites satire and the cathartic reprobation that exposes the treachery of fools.

Originally published at https://vincerizzo.substack.com on February 23, 2022.

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Vince Rizzo

Vince Rizzo

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Former president of the International Association of Laboratory Schools (IALS) and a founder of a charter school based on MI theory.