Tucker Interview Shows Putin’s Rational Side
The most anticipated interview of this century so far is out. It will take a while to listen to the two-hour marathon and digest the full 25-page transcript. Superficially, here are the most striking points.
First, Putin seems genuinely worried about the CIA. Second, he thinks Zelensky is powerless against domestic neonazis and is essentially a puppet who cannot defy them; therefore there is no point in talking with him anyway. He thinks America will have major problems from mass migration and economic implosion due to debt, much faster than anyone can anticipate. He genuinely cannot think that China will ever be imperial or have ambitions in the north. He is very vocally signalling about MAD and deterrence going both ways. He doesn't want a full NATO–Russia war.
This is perhaps the most important exchange in the whole interview.
“Can you imagine a scenario where you send Russian troops to Poland?” Tucker asked.
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“Only in one case, if Poland attacks Russia,” Putin replied. “Why? Because we have no interest in Poland, Latvia or anywhere else. Why would we do that? We simply don't have any interest. It's just threat-mongering.”
“It is absolutely out of the question,” he added. “You just don’t have to be any kind of analyst. It goes against common sense to get involved in some kind of a global war and a global war will bring all humanity to the brink of destruction. It’s obvious.”
A man who is worried about a humanity-destroying war isn’t, for all practical purposes, an irrational crusader. If he understands that nuclear deterrence goes both ways, perhaps we should try to relearn that lesson too.