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The primary aim of US domestic policy is Wall St profit.
If that means starting a war of fifteen or subverting popular democracies around the world, that's considered business as normal.
This makes the US seem more like a military failure than it actually is. The US does not use military force to maintain its empire. It uses military force as an excuse for domestic military profit, and as a misdirection from less overt forms of political manipulation.
The primary difference between the US and the Soviet Union is that the US mastered two very important arts - overt international lifestyle propaganda, used to define imperial values as self-determining high-status markers, and covert indirect repression.
The USSR never understood the value of either. Putin doesn't seem to have learned that lesson. He's still doing the 'You know we have nukes and soliders, so you'd better take us seriously' thing in the Ukraine.
It may work there, for a while, but - unless those nukes are used - it may dent US hegemony, but it won't destroy it.
China is the only country which has more military leverage and longer experience of building empire through careful status management and media control. Post-communist China isn't there yet, but it has certainly has the potential to win a narrative war against the US.
The US-led indirect repression has increased risks with worse global economy and energy resource limits in sight (as Greece exemplifies). Russia and China might just reasonably expect to wait for the "reality" to hit harder.
Similar to ISIS in some ways. They're propaganda strategy is to show everyone what badass motherfuckers they are and how the West is shitting its collective pants. The NATO strategy is to show what terrible murderers they are and building up hysteria to get more funding and make those surveillance, torture and bombed wedding scandals go away. Which is the same strategy minus the coarse language.
All this ISIS, Putin, Hebdo, North Korea circus is to make otherwise smart people keep wondering what is happening.
Is it really addressed in any measure towards a dialogue recognizable to "convertible" Westerners?
Yes, precisely. In English, German, and French.
Putin personally supervised a shake-up of Russian communications with the rest of the world. RIA Novosti in English (rather a good news agency) was merged with Voice of Russia to make the surprising Sputnik News. Russia Today in English was boosted with more means, now more languages.
the power of the Western propaganda, that being the reason he does not even try to compete there.
He is most definitely trying to compete, and with some success.
Putin is opportunistic with the freedom from appearances.
Troll-rated for promulgation of MH 17 troof.
Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
Leonard Cohen sings:
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
I had some education in crack sensing in the last Soviet years. That TASS/BBC blip -- a deviation from the eventual presented makeup - is what I recognize as a crack. That's all.
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