Opinion

Dan Liljenquist: Being ambassador to Russia in the era of Putinism

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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 21, 2017 12:29 a.m.

    @2bits "Trump has negotiated business deals in Russia. He knows how to get things done in Russia. Most leaders in Russia today are pragmatic (and no... it's not just one person, Putin)."

    American capitalism and Russian capitalism are becoming increasingly similar - typified by massive wealth concentrations at the top. Trump, Tillerson, and Putin - the 3 Amigos.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 20, 2017 3:50 p.m.

    @Ernest T. Bass
    RE: "Let's be honest. Putin has enough dirt and money loaned to trump that trump is effectively owned by Putin"...
    ---
    Is there any proof Putin loaned any money to Trump? No.

    If you're going to say it... At least have some evidence what you are saying is true.

    If you say things there is zero evidence of.... you are just as bad as Trump just saying he was under surveillance with no proof.

    ===

    RE: "pragmatic POTUS, President Obama"...
    ---
    So would you have approved if Obama had appointed Hunstman?

    I get the feeling the answer is yes.

    The pragmatic POTUS, President Obama, had an Ambassador to Russia as well... was he Evil?

    I mean the Ambassador who accepted the job.

    What's the difference?

    Partisanship.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    March 20, 2017 2:00 p.m.

    Let's be honest. Putin has enough dirt and money loaned to trump that trump is effectively owned by Putin.
    In a bizarro world, the right wing has come full circle and likes an oligarch dictator like Putin a lot more then they liked a very kind an pragmatic POTUS, President Obama.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 20, 2017 11:28 a.m.

    I think Huntsman (and maybe even Trump) will be able to communicate with Russian leaders better than a bunch of Democrats who are anti-business and 100% political ideologues.

    Huntsman Sr made tons of money negotiating deals in Russia (he built many factories there). He knows how to get things done in Russia.

    Trump has negotiated business deals in Russia. He knows how to get things done in Russia.

    Most leaders in Russia today are pragmatic (and no... it's not just one person, Putin).

    Russian leaders today know they need an economy. And to have an economy, they need to be somewhat at peace with the world. USA should work on that angle. You do business with us... and the world will do business with you.

    You fund or arm Hamas... there will be problems. Not just a red line in the sand they know we won't enforce, but business/economic issues first, military issues only if they do something really stupid.

    Give Trump a chance. You may be surprised.

    He's used to dealing with people like Putin. From many negotiations he knows compromise and some "win" in the deal for both sides is critical to making the deal.

    What if relations with Russia improve?

    Is that bad?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 20, 2017 10:13 a.m.

    Dan, what about Putin's influence with Trump. Isn't that even more of a threat to the U.S.?

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    March 20, 2017 7:50 a.m.

    Kudos to Dan Liljenquist for acknowledging that Vladimir Putin is a serious problem, which President Trump seems either completely naÏve about, or has no objection to.

    Trump openly admires Putin, and clearly envies Putin's 81% approval rating among Russians. (If there's any solace for Trump, it's that Arnold Schwarzenegger wouldn't be able to achieve an 81% approval rating, either.)

    For those who've done the research, Trump strategist Steve Bannon appears to have no problem seeing the kind of social upheaval that would lead to Trump achieving the same level of control, and dominance. (Sure, there would be many thousands killed, and imprisoned, but it's a small price to pay for making America Great Again... it would seem.)

    We all need to hope that more Republicans, like Liljenquist, oppose the radioactive poison Bannon is trying to feed America.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 19, 2017 10:53 p.m.

    "But Russia under the leadership of Putin and his cronies is not much different from the Russia of old. While Putin has repudiated communism, ..."

    It's true. Russia today is every bit a menacing and expansionist as say Kruschev's Russia. There exists a Russian national character which existed before communism and persists after it.

    It's too bad socialism has to carry the Soviet baggage. American socialism predates Bolshevism. The socialism of Eugene V Debs is nothing like the socialism of Stalin. Let's understand this.

    As for the relationship between today's Russia and the Trump campaign, and the support of 1/3 of our electorate for that connection, well I am amazed.

    Huntsman will either grow enormously as a statesman, or the experience will ruin him. I wish him the best.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    March 19, 2017 2:39 p.m.

    Trump appointed Huntsman because Hatch asked him to. Hatch didn't want Huntsman as an opponent for Senator. Huntsman's ego swayed him to take this job. The US needs a strong ambassador to offset Trump's ties to Russia. Huntsman won't be that guy-that's why Trump chose him.