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Byron Shire
May 6, 2021

Stalag 13 revisited; closer than we think

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A meeting between Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in 2017. Photo http://en.kremlin.ru.

Ninian Gemmell

The Xmas, New Year break is a time to celebrate, acknowledge a religious event or perhaps take a break and recharge the batteries.

I chose the latter and in doing so, decided to read a few books that have been sitting on the shelf for the last few years.

Only blind Freddie would have been unaware of events unfolding in the US, starting with the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election. While that investigation officially concluded in March 2019 and a redacted report was made public in April, even casual followers of matters politic in the US will no doubt have formed a view on the Trump administration.

The buffoonery we have seen on TV is confirmed by authors Michael Wolff (Fire and Fury), Bob Woodward (Fear) and Craig Unger (House of Trump, House of Putin). Unger’s work paints a picture of a man with a litany of historical and family connections to ‘Russian undesirables’. So much so that it is inconceivable that Trump has not been compromised by the Russians over the years and by Putin more recently.

Unfit for office

Wolff and Woodward describe a US President unfit for office, not least because he is regarded by those around him, and those that have worked with him, as a moron, a narcissist, a liar, unhinged, forgetful, does not read, will not listen, will not take advice, shoots from the hip, is incapable of analysis and understanding of cause and effect, and has a very short attention span. It is argued he has no real political opinions and is therefore susceptible to the whims of others, providing those whims can be communicated in very short sentences!

Mueller ultimately made it clear that, ‘If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that. We did not…’ Such a statement was construed by Trump as complete exoneration of any wrongdoing; in other words, the Trump dialectic is that two plus two equals eight!

Trump has the demeanour of ‘mine is bigger than yours’ like a nine-year-old boy.

The conclusion easily drawn, is that the Trump administration and his inner circle are too naive and incompetent to knowingly collude with the Russians. However, what is apparent is that there was very likely interference. Whether Putin was involved directly or not, Russians and others saw their interests best served by a Trump victory in 2016.

Hogan’s Heroes

Putting the threads together it is hard not to conclude that Putin and the Russians regard the Trump White House as something of a ‘Stalag 13’. Trump is the bumbling Colonel Klink, who is supported as Camp Commandant by his enemies because he can be ‘played’ and is such a narcissistic dill. Trump, like Klink, just wants to be liked, and will do anything for some good press. Putin is the suave Colonel Hogan who, to outward appearances, knows his place, but works feverishly in the background pushing his own agenda, not the least of which is to keep Klink in power.

Who knows what 2020 will bring? Rest assured it will not be dull watching whether Hogan can keep Klink in Stalag 13? Or whether Major Hochstetter (Xi Jinping) will have them both shot.

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  1. The Xmas New Year break is the time to say “Hello” to the family that you do not know, eat Christmas pud without any sixpences, drink alcohol until you can’t stand up and watch fireworks when it is illegal to light fires.


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