Putin’s interview: A cursory look

Putin’s interview: A cursory look

It is absolutely normal for heads of state and government or political leaders to grant interviews to the media. Everybody does that. It is part of the job: Communicating and communicating with the public to make their ideas, proposals and plans known.

We usually talk about the characteristics of the interviewee, but much less about the interviewer. I have always thought that a confrontation of this type is like a battle in which each party tries to pull the other onto its stage, to its space and to fulfill the interests that each one has and that often differ. It is also valid to know that there are no good answers if there are no good questions. An interviewee is “inspired” when he has a quality “opponent” in front of him.

Tucker Carlson is an American far-right journalist who worked for many years on the Fox News network. It is even said that – in the current electoral context of the United States – he could be Donald Trump’s running mate. As a journalist, Carlson has interviewed some of the most conspicuous leaders of the global extreme right such as Donald Trump himself, Jair Bolsonaro, Víktor Orbán and Javier Milei, among others.

The man has a guaranteed audience niche among followers of the most retrograde ideas in the United States and around the world. But he is also a merchant with a sense of smell who knows that news is a good commodity, as long as one knows how to sell it in the spaces granted by that farce called “freedom of expression”. A space that is sometimes violated when it collides with the sacrosanct parameters of the law of supply and demand.

In that context, Carlson perceived that there was a demand in the United States and in the world to know the ideas and thoughts of President Vladimir Putin and as a good news trader, he proposed to make an offer. Although accustomed to million-dollar audiences for his interviews and programs, he never imagined the impact that his conversation with the Russian president would have. The arguments that justified his desire to do the interview in themselves expose the falsehood of such “freedom of the press and expression.”

When referring to the blowing up of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, President Putin denied Russia’s responsibility for this terrorist act and, on the contrary, stated that it was the American CIA who did it. Carlson, I don’t know if with naivety or bad faith, asked him: “Why don’t you present that evidence and win this propaganda war?”

“Very difficult to defeat the U.S. in propaganda war”

President Putin’s response was very clear and forceful: “It is very difficult to defeat the United States in the propaganda war because the United States controls all the media in the world and many European media. The final beneficiaries of the largest European media outlets are American foundations. Don’t you know that? So, it is possible to get involved in this work, but, as they say, it costs more. We can simply expose our sources of information, and we will not get results. It is clear to everyone what happened, and even American analysts speak about it directly…”

Yes, it is true, the sacrosanct imperial interests of capitalism are above freedom of the press. They make known what is interesting that humanity – managed like a mass of sheep – must know so that the global stability of a “rules-based international order” is maintained. Whether what is said is true or false lost importance. The truth is a resource from the past that has no validity in the present. Faced with it, the forcefulness of fallacy, mendacious criteria and corporate interests prevail.

When killing journalists in Palestine has become Israel’s “national sport,” with the support and endorsement of the United States and Europe, what does it matter to forget for a while “freedom of expression” and turn a “blind eye” to a genocide that it carries out in the light of day and before a powerless and undaunted humanity that limits itself to learning about the number of dead and injured every day. So, it is understandable when Putin says: “It is very difficult to beat the United States in the propaganda war, because the United States controls all the media in the world and many European media.”

The scandal after the interview has been huge, “democratic” American and European parliamentarians have called to declare Carlson a traitor and deny him entry to European countries. What they did to Julian Assange has not yet happened, which is, without a doubt, another manifestation of the famous “freedom of expression.” Of course, although Carlson is a man of the system and to that extent apparently untouchable, it cannot be ruled out that in this new stage of McCarthyism, that could happen.

Some heads of state have exploded in excessive and hysterical reactions to Putin’s words, but apart from adjectives of all dimensions, they have not been able to provide any valid argument to contradict or deny the Russian president’s statements. Crushed by the hundred-million-dollar thinking audience that was interested in listening to and seeing Putin, they fail to develop coherent responses to the well-structured premises exhibited by Putin.

Some relevant aspects of the interview

Regarding the content of the interview, I am going to allow myself to outline some aspects that seem most relevant to me:

  1. Anyone can agree or disagree with Putin’s interpretation of history, but no one can doubt that he is a cultured man who knows his country’s past. It generates a certain peace of mind to know that at least one of the world powers is led by an enlightened person who respects knowledge. When faced with a president of the United States who is not able to differentiate Mexico from Egypt or François Mitterrand from Emmanuel Macron; a president of the European Commission who says that Russian hypersonic missiles work with chips extracted from washing machines and microwave ovens and a high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy who believes that the world is a jungle, while the Europe that created slavery, fascism, Nazism, capitalism, imperialism and colonialism and hosted the two wars worlds in history, is a garden, it is still encouraging to listen to Putin and know that there are also leaders up to the moment.
  2. Putin revealed something that was known. Russia’s possession of hypersonic missiles has changed the global war equation. It is no longer the aircraft carriers that mark the strategic definition of the conflict. And in this area, Russia is far ahead. The United States has not even been able to successfully develop its hypersonic missile tests.
  3. It is dramatic to hear the Russian president say that, in the face of NATO’s commitment not to expand towards the east and the violation five times of such a widely supported “gentlemen’s agreement”, Europe has been forced to accept it due to pressure from the United States without expressing any complaint, displeasure or displeasure. It is pathetic to know that European leaders have no honor, nor can they make commitments because if Washington pressures them, they renounce them. Later, when talking about the situation in Europe, Putin explains that the leaders of that region are not guided by their national interests but by those of what has been called the “collective West.” In this situation, hearing the Russian president say that: “I really don’t understand who I have to talk to” and later adding that “we are willing to talk, but with whom? Where are the guarantees? There is none”, it is very discouraging for those who fight for peace in the world and truly want it.
  4. It is not known whether due to his own ignorance or the need to explain it to the public opinion of the United States, which is also very conveniently ignorant, Carlson asks “What does denazification mean? What does this mean?” It’s terrifying that a journalist of Carlson’s stature would ask that. It shows how much the “propaganda war” has done and the impact of what it means for the United States to control “all the world’s media and many European media.” In the United States and in the world it seems not to be known that since 2014, Nazi organizations have occupied important positions of power in the Ukrainian State, including the armed forces; that they carried out a continuous genocide since that year in the eastern part of what was then Ukraine. They also do not know that in May of that year, they attacked and burned down a union in Odessa, murdering 42 innocent citizens. Likewise, it is inconceivable that they do not know that in Ukraine religions other than the official one are harassed, closing temples, imprisoning dignitaries and prohibiting the performance of their rites. They do not know in the United States that in Ukraine, Russian culture is persecuted, trying to eliminate true champions of science and world knowledge such as Lomonosov, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky among others. It is inconceivable that Carlson does not know that in Ukraine minorities have been prohibited from speaking their languages and not only Russian, but also Romanian, Hungarian and Slovak among others. The West is going through such a disastrous situation that it does not know what denazification means and, above all, the need to do it for the good of all humanity.
  5. At some point in the interview, Putin appeals to common sense. He repeats it on several occasions, but on one particular occasion he uses the term due to the need to seek agreements. Being typical of the human condition, common sense seems to be being lost and many of the world conflicts have to do with it and with something that he relates throughout the interview, which is the increasing absence of communication between large companies. world powers, which is still very worrying.
  6. Regarding alliances and blocs in the multipolar world, the president is very specific and precise. He says: “It is necessary for the world to be united, for security to be common and not designed for the ‘golden billion’. And then – only then – will the world be stable, sustainable and predictable. Until then, as long as the head is divided into two parts, it will be a disease, a serious disease. The world is going through this period of serious illness.”
  7. In relation to the role of the dollar and its future, Putin said that the dollar is the foundation of the power of the United States and that it has been a serious mistake for their governments to use it as an instrument of their foreign policy. By doing so, says the Russian president, they themselves dealt a blow to the power of the United States. He specifies: “I don’t want to use vulgar expressions, but this is stupid and a big mistake,” since in the world, even the countries allied to the United States are moving away from the dollar as a way of protecting themselves against what is happening. The United States applies sanctions, restrictive measures, property freezes and other actions that have sent a powerful alarm signal to the world.
  8. In response to a question from Carlson regarding the role of the BRICS and in particular of China, which he called “a kinder colonial power,” Putin explained that Russia already knows “those scary stories,” understanding that his country shares with China a border of thousands of kilometers so they have been accustomed to living together for centuries. In this sense, the Russian president points out that “China’s foreign policy philosophy is not aggressive” but always seeks compromise. He states that everyone wants to increase the volume of economic cooperation with China, including Europe and the United States, and states that Washington’s political decisions that lead to limiting trade with China will harm the United States itself above all.
  9. As for the BRICS, Putin considers it a group that is developing rapidly. While in 1992 the participation of the G-7 in the world economy was 47%, it fell in 2022 to 30%, while the BRICS countries, which constituted 16% of the world economy in 1992, have now surpassed the G-7. 7. Consider that this is an inevitable trend to which everyone must adapt. The United States attempts its “adaptation” through force: “Sanctions, pressure, bombings, use of armed forces,” which is an expression of its arrogance and its lack of understanding that the world is changing, but they do not understand it. If they want to maintain their dominance of the world, they must make the right decisions, but their political elite does not understand this and resorts to “tough” actions even against Russia. This, which is evident, leads to the opposite result for the United States.
  10. Almost at the end, Carlson asks him a seemingly innocent question regarding whether a change of leader in the United States could modify the panorama presented. With skill, he attempts to lead him to an opinion regarding the elections in the United States. Also skillfully, Putin responds that it is not about the leaders but about “the attitude of a particular person.” He does not believe that the personality of the leader matters “but rather the climate of the elites.” He explains that if the United States persists in its idea of dominating the world through force, nothing will change, it will only get worse. But if it comes to the conclusion that the world is changing, it adapts to those changes and – if it wants to maintain the advantages it has today – “then maybe something will change.”
  11. This statement that the world is changing is said by everyone, even American experts. In this regard, Putin concludes by saying that “…to change politics, we need people who think, who look to the future, who know how to analyze and recommend decisions with political leadership.”

There are many, many and very diverse topics. Some people will find some important and that will not coincide with the opinion of others. So, from now on, I apologize for not being able to cover everything.

Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein
Sergio Rodríguez Gelfenstein
A Venezuelan international relations expert, Gelfenstein was previously Director of the International Relations of the Presidency of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, his country’s ambassador to Nicaragua and an advisor for international politics for TELESUR. He has written numerous books, among them “China in the XXI Century – the awakening of a giant”, published in several Latin American countries. You can follow him on Twitter: @sergioro0701

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May 2024