With all the drawbacks in Questioning, Tucker Carlson should be appreciated for presenting another side of the opinion
Russian President Vladimir Putin has opened a Pandora’s box against the presidents of the United States of America. In an interview with renowned American host Tucker Carlson, the president of the Russian Federation has vented his frustration against successive US administrations.
On what basis the Russian leader labelled US presidents as puppets of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) will be analysed later. First, let’s look at some of the silly questions raised by the famous American talk show host.
No doubt, Tucker Carlson could have come much more prepared as he had been planning for this interview for a long time. Furthermore, since the Ukraine war started, he has been the only journalist given a chance to interview the Russian president. And that too for over two hours.
As the interview began, President Putin told Carlson that, ‘You were initially trained in history?’ Carlson replied ‘Yes’. Yet, as the Russian leader started narrating the events of 862 to explain where Ukraine came from and how the Russian relationship with Ukraine started, Carlson found himself struggling to cope with the pace.
The host begged his pardon and asked, ‘Can you tell us what period…..I am losing track of where in history we are?’
Then on, the Russian leader exercised full command over the interviewer. Putin, at no point, allowed Carlson to move him away to another topic before explaining well what he had on his mind.
However, the first silliest question the interviewer asked was: “Why wouldn’t you just take it (Ukraine) when you became President 24 years ago?”
And then, he went on to ask one such question after another. For instance: “What is denazification? Who blew up Nord Stream? Why wouldn’t the Germans say something about it?”
Quite surprisingly, he even asked: “Why haven’t there been talks about resolving the conflict in Ukraine? Do you think Zelensky (President of Ukraine) has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Do you think the CIA is trying to overthrow your government? ‘
And what an innocent question: “We have a strong China that the West doesn’t seem to be very afraid of.”
The patience of the Russian president should be lauded as anyone following the events in Ukraine knows all the answers to those questions.
Even if these questions were asked to make the American public informed about the events, the former prime-time anchor of Fox News could have rephrased them better.
To my surprise, no question was asked about the ongoing NATO exercises that are the first of their kind in decades. These are considered full preparations for going all-out against Russia.
Let’s now move on and see how the Russian leader labelled the US presidents as pawns of intelligence agencies. As expected, Putin said that it was the US that let the genie out of the bottle.
Presenting himself as Mr Peace, Putin told the interviewer that since becoming president in 2000, he had tried his best to restore relations with Washington.
Recalling Bill Clinton’s visit to the Kremlin on June 3rd, Putin told Carlson that he had asked the outgoing president what if Russia intends to join NATO.
According to him, the US president replied: “You know, it’s interesting, I think so.” However, in no time, Clinton changed his mind and said: “You know, I’ve talked to my team, no-no, it’s not possible now.”
The Russian leader went on to give another example of how he continued holding out an olive branch to the White House, especially regarding the events in the Middle East.
The President lamented that despite such gestures, the US continued to “support separatism or terrorism in the North Caucasus”.
As the issue was raised with the President of the US, he termed it “impossible!” and then asked for proof. When the evidence was provided, the POTUS ‘apologised’ and said: “Well, I’m gonna kick their ass”.
Putin claimed that there was no change in policy. So, he asked the Director of FSB (Russian intelligence) to repeatedly write to the CIA.
Quoting from the archival documents, Putin explained that the CIA replied: “We have been working with the opposition in Russia. We believe that this is the right thing to do and we will keep on doing it”.
President Putin cited another incident when he found his American counterpart helpless before the CIA.
It was when the US missile defence (ABM) system was created in the name of countering Iran. Putin said he proposed to then President Bush that ‘the United States, Russia, and Europe jointly create a missile defence system’.
Putin claimed that he was told by the US leadership that, it was very interesting. “We need to think about it.”
“Later, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, former Director of the CIA, and Secretary of State C Rice came here (Moscow)”. In the meeting, they told me: “Yes, we have thought about it, we agree… But with some exceptions.’ Finally, they ‘told us to get lost,” Putin told the interviewer.
“As a result, Russia first warned and then created hypersonic systems, with international range and we will continue to develop them. We are now ahead of everyone.”
In addition to that, President Putin said he was promised that there would be no expansion of NATO in the East.
“Later they said well, it’s not enshrined on paper. It was followed by “Five waves of expansion, the Baltic States, the whole of Eastern Europe and so on”. In 2008, NATO opened its doors to Ukraine and Georgia.
He termed the 2014 regime change in Ukraine as a ‘coup d’état’.
President Putin said, earlier he had even invited pro-Western politician Viktor Yushchenko to Moscow. When President Yanukovich took over and violence spread across Ukraine, he was asked by the US: “Calm Yanukovich down and we will calm the opposition”. He agreed and refrained Yanukovich from using force against the saboteurs, Putin said.
“Yet, the armed opposition committed a coup in Kyiv.’ It followed the ‘persecution of those who didn’t support the coup.”
Putin told Carson that it was done with the backing of the CIA, of course. “The organisation you wanted to join back in the day, as I understand. Maybe we should thank God, they didn’t let you in” (Carlson had tried his luck but failed to get recruited).
With that background, Putin justified retaking Crimea.
President Putin said: “They launched a war in Donbass in 2014 with the use of aircraft and artillery against civilians. It’s just that the US political leadership pushed us to the line we could not cross because doing so could have ruined Russia itself… Besides, we couldn’t leave our brothers in faith and, in fact, a part of Russian people, in the face of this war machine”.
Putin claimed he still tried to avoid attacking Ukraine. “But the current president (Zelenskyy) ‘declared that it would not implement the Minsk Agreement……. signed after the events of 2014.” Putin said: “Our goal is to stop this war. And we didn’t start this war in 2022. This is an attempt to stop it”.
About peace talks, the Russian president said that he was asked by European negotiators that Russia must pull back troops from Kyiv. “They said how can you imagine them signing a treaty with a gun to their heads?”
“When Russian forces were withdrawn, Ukraine threw all our agreements reached in Istanbul into the bin and … obeyed instructions of Western countries, European countries and the United States to fight Russia to the bitter end.”
At that moment, Putin also talked about his interaction with President Zelenskyy. Putin said he asked Zelenskyy: “Volodya, what are you doing? Why are you supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine today, while your father fought against fascism?” Putin avoided revealing how Zelenskyy replied.
However, he quoted top Ukrainian negotiator Davyd Arakhamia as saying: “We were ready to sign this document (peace agreement with Russia), but Mr. Johnson, the then Prime Minister of Great Britain, came and dissuaded us from doing this saying it was better to fight Russia.”
Later, the president of Ukraine legislated a ban on dialogue with Moscow.
When asked so, was there a way to negotiate peace? Putin said: “If you (USA) really want to stop fighting, you need to stop supplying weapons. It will be over within a few weeks’”.
Throughout the interview, no question was asked if the US intended to wage war against China.
However, citing previous efforts, Putin said: “For them it was necessary to continue chiselling Russia, to try to break it up, to create on this territory several quasi-state entities and to subdue them in a divided form, to use their combined potential for the future struggle with China.”
Here again, Putin pointed fingers towards the CIA as he did for blowing up Nord Stream.
In a nutshell, Putin believes that be it Biden (Democrat) or Trump (Republican), the White House toes policies presented by the Pentagon and so would do the American allies in Europe and beyond.
With all the drawbacks in Questioning, Tucker Carlson should be appreciated for presenting another side of the opinion. This is true journalism, rarely seen in the US when it comes to domestic issues.
And that is why Putin’s extensive interview has become viral with almost 1.5 million views in no time.