Putin Trump
While writing my book on the Syrian war, I came across several disturbing videos. In one, Syrian rebels destroyed a church and riddled the Cross with bullets; in another terrifying video, an armed Syrian rebel asks someone if he was a Sunni or an Alawite (Shiite Muslim). When the victim says, "Alawite," the rebel fires multiple rounds and kills the victim. Such psychopaths have three qualities: (1) Fanatic belief in their ideology (2) Inability to sympathize with other people's point of view, and (3) Refusal to coexist with others who are different.

While we insist on tolerance within America, our foreign policy is quite different. Americans are told they are the "greatest", "#1" and "exceptional." We are stuck in perpetual wars and we always have a bogeyman du jour.

To justify all the aggression, we are fed endless atrocity propaganda that incontrovertibly proves how evil another country and its leaders are. In this mythology, America is the innocent Little Red Riding Hood who's threatened by wolves like Putin. He attacks our democracy! He threatens Europe! (There's also new vitriol towards China and Iran).

The fact is that US policies over the last 25 years have consistently pushed Russia away and fostered enmity between the two nations.

1990's, Harvard Boys and the Russian Economy

1992 started with a new Russia that had just dissolved its communist system. Everything American was considered awesome. American TV shows, American products and ... American economists ... took over Russia. What better way to achieve prosperity?

The Harvard Boys were in charge of the Russian economy. Larry Summers, Jeffrey Sachs, Robert Rubin and others implemented their grand economic "reforms" with the help of handpicked Russian politicians and businessmen (future oligarchs).

To make a long story short, Russia experienced its own Great Depression for the next eight years. Hyperinflation, 40% drop in GDP, mass unemployment, widespread poverty, soaring suicides ... the reforms turned out to be a cruel shock therapy.
Russia great depression 90s
However, pro-West oligarchs such as Khodorkovsky, Berezovsky and Abramovich became instant billionaires. Americans like Bill Browder - the now famous anti-Putin warrior behind the Magnitsky Act - also enjoyed the spoils of the plunder.

US Meddling in Russian Politics

While we are shocked by alleged Russian interference in our election, back in the 1990s, Washington elites literally picked the Russian President and the cabinet. As Bill Clinton bragged to Tony Blair, he also had tremendous influence over the Russian parliament. And when Boris Yeltsin was about to lose in the 1996 election, Bill Clinton arranged an IMF loan that went into Yeltsin's campaign coffer; and US campaign experts flew into Russia and engineered a resounding victory for Yeltsin. The US media gloated about the meddling with titles, "Yanks to the Rescue!" and "Rescuing Boris."
Yanks to the rescue
American Jihadists, Part II

After the CIA and Saudi Arabia created the Mujahideen/Al Qaeda in Afghanistan to defeat the USSR, they didn't want to dismantle such a useful organization. In 1992, those fighters were sent to Bosnia, Azerbaijan, Chechnya and Kosovo, with all of the conflicts there having long-term economic and geopolitical impact.

Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea has vast reserves of oil and gas. And the only competition was the Russian pipelines that went through ... Chechnya.
Caspian Pipeline
Soon, a pro-US dictator took over Azerbaijan - he and his son have been ruling the country for the last 25 years (obviously, the US won't demand "democracy" there).

In Chechnya, our Mujahideen blew up the Russian pipelines and then defeated the Russian army in the First Chechen War.
Mujahideen Bosnia Chechnya
In Bosnia and Kosovo, Islamic terrorists engaged in ethnic cleansing and mass murder of Serbians.

The CIA and US private military contractors (such as MPRI) played a major role in the dismembering of Yugoslavia. When separatists in Kosovo started losing, NATO stepped in and bombed Serbia into submission in 1999. The following year, Soros-funded group Otpor! ("Resistance") overthrew the Serbian president. Why was Serbia so relentlessly targeted? It was pro-Russia.

I describe these events in details in my new book, "Geopolitics for Dummies."

Color Revolutions against Russia - Georgia, Ukraine

Many other 'color revolutions' followed the same playbook. When a pro-US leader lost an election, grassroots organizations funded by Soros/USAID/NED would start protesting. This would be called a 'revolution', with catchy names such as Tulip, Orange, Rose, Umbrella etc. Following sophisticated propaganda and international pressure, there would be a new election and, voila, the pro-US candidate would win. Rinse, Repeat.
Color revolutions
As for the oil/gas by the Caspian Sea, they could not reach Europe without going through Georgia. Hello, Soros! Goodbye, pro-Russia president! Within a few years, western conglomerates started reaping big profits from the BTC pipeline as shown below:
BTC Pipeline
Next, Soros worked his magic in Ukraine in 2004 and got rid of the pro-Russia president. Of course, in 2013, the US staged another clever coup in Ukraine.

While we're enraged by Russia spending $100,000 on Facebook ads, US Asst. Sec. of State - Victoria Nuland - admitted that the US spent $5 billion on interfering in Ukraine's civil and political life. She was also famous for handing out cookies at the faux Maidan Revolution in Kiev in 2013.
McCain Nuland Kiev
In his 2015 annual report, George Soros bragged that he had spent $180 million in Ukraine.

NATO Expansion

When the USSR was dismantled, US elites promised Russians that NATO would expand "not one inch eastward". However, while the Russian military was being decimated, globalists kept expanding NATO anyway. In 1999, NATO added Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. In 2004, when Russia was still weak and friendly towards the US ... NATO added 7 more countries.

Many of these new NATO members have anti-missile defense systems, and US soldiers participate in massive war games right on the Russian border. Obviously, all these are clear and dangerous security threats to Russia.
US missiles Russia border

In 2001, George Bush and the Neocons unilaterally cancelled the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which had been in place since 1972. This was a needless provocation against Russia which had reduced its nuclear weapons from 45,000 to 7,000 and signed many treaties to promote peace.

NATO Rejects Russia

In 2001, Putin offered to join NATO, but was turned down. If Russia joined NATO, how will the military-industrial complex justify its annual budget and expensive projects? No enemy, No money!
War moneyed classes want it Orwell
Trying to Steal Crimea

In the 1850s, Great Britain and France tried to steal Crimea from the Russian Empire. Why? Without Crimea and control of the Black Sea and the access it provides to the Mediterranean, the Russian military would be severely hampered. Geography hasn't changed in 160 years and we shouldn't be too Machiavellian. Crimea belongs to Russia, let's move on.

Pipeline War Continues

Poland and Ukraine were the most important transit countries for Russian pipelines. Now, largely thanks to the US, both countries are hostile towards Russia. So, when Putin tried to build pipelines that would reach Europe through Bulgaria, the US stopped it. When he tried to build pipelines through Greece, well, the US/EU blocked it again. As a last resort, Putin ordered the laying of pipelines under the sea towards Germany (NordStream), and the US found 100 reasons to object and threatened to impose more sanctions against Russia.

It's rather difficult to be friendly with someone who's persistently trying to sabotage your economy.

Hybrid Wars

Without an iota of diplomacy, the US media and politicians constantly attack, demonize and use derogatory language against Putin. Despite this, Putin continues to refer to "our American partners."

Japanese leader, Shinzo Abe, has met with Putin 20 times, and nobody freaks out in Japan; India and China treat Putin with enormous affection and respect. Even geopolitical enemies Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran often meet with Putin and negotiate like reasonable adults.
Putin, Israel, Saudi, Turkey, Iran
Putin Merkel Macron
Putin Modi XI
The US spends too much time on hybrid and propaganda wars - placing sanctions on Russia, attacking its currency, expelling Russian diplomats, seizing Russian embassies, stopping Russian athletes from participating in Olympics and accusing Putin - without any public evidence - of poisoning people (especially right before the World Cup) and so on.

War happens language fail Twain
Going back to the beginning of the article, do we want to be like that jihadist? Or can we analyze the situation objectively and understand why US-Russia relations have soured? Given the vast powers of the US, other countries don't deliberately provoke us; ipso facto, if we have terrible relations with a country, it's most likely a conflict of choice started by warmongering Washington elites. Russia, China, Iran and others want prosperity, mutually beneficial deals and respect for sovereignty. Whether the US can accept this paradigm and recalibrate its foreign policy to reflect the emerging multipolar world or not will determine whether we have global peace or increasing levels of insecurity and unnecessary wars in the coming years.