Review: Oliver Stone’s “The Putin Interviews”

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June 17, 2017- by Steven E. Greer, MD

Battery Park resident Oliver Stone has a must-see series on Showtime called “The Putin Interviews” Over several years, ending in the Spring of 2017, Stone obtained unprecedented access to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. This is a very insightful history piece.

What is apparent from watching the interviews is that Putin, a former lawyer before heading the KGB, is a rational and smart man. He is not a crazy war hawk leader, such as Kim Jong-un of North Korea. In fact, Mr. Putin has tried to become allies with the United States several times. He reached out to Bill Clinton to join NATO. After 9/11, he allowed US forces to launch attacks against Afghanistan under the Bush administration. He briefly tried to work with the Obama administration. And now, he views President Trump optimistically (So much so that he enabled computer hackers to leak DNC emails to Wikileaks to hurt Hilary Clinton).

Vladimir Putin has held on to power for so long that he has seen four U.S. presidents come and go. He has a cynical view of it all. In the big picture, regardless of whether they are Democrats or Republicans, the administrations behave the same, he told Stone. The US presidents all need Russia to be viewed as an Evil Empire in order to justify NATO and the power that it holds over Europe. A cold war also justifies the trillion-dollar-per-year spending on the spy agencies and military (In contrast, Russia spends one-tenth on its military as does the US. Saudi Arabia actually spends more on its military than Russia.)

Putin’s comments on the Obama administration are very insightful. He was playing chess while Obama and his stooges were playing checkers when it came to the Ukraine and Crimea, for example.

Towards the end of the Obama administration, Obama started to award self-congratulatory medals. When Obama hung the Presidential Medal of Freedom around Joe Biden’s neck, Putin said that it made him laugh. It reminded him of the leaders of the Soviet Union near the end of that regime. Brezhnev infamously awarded his cronies bogus medals too.

Surprisingly, Putin allowed Stone to ask questions about the accusations that he has murdered opponents, rigged Russian elections, invaded Ukraine and Crimea, etc. His answers are educational. The United States has done many of the same things.

Putin is holding together a corrupt Russia with Band-Aids and he knows this. It is why he has tried so hard to become a friendly partner to the West. However, the US needs Russia to stay the enemy.

As the final interview concluded and the men stood up, Putin said something that confused Oliver Stone at first. He said, “Have you ever been beaten?”, and he meant physically beaten up. Then, Putin explained that the establishment back home in the U.S. would destroy Stone for making this documentary. He was prescient. When Stone went on the far-left Colbert show, they edited the interview before it aired on CBS. The Putin Interviews do not support the far-left narrative that Russia is bad, Trump is an arm of Russia, and therefore Trump must be impeached.

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