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CNN Talking Head, Fareed Zakaria, Kicked into Touch by Russia’s President Putin

Vanessa Beeley
21st Century Wire

In October 2015, Council on Foreign Relations member and CNN talking head, Fareed Zakaria, made the following statement on his blog that aptly demonstrated the yawning chasm that exists between Whitehouse media mouthpieces and the reality of the war against Syria fomented and fuelled on all fronts by a US government protecting its geopolitical interests and those of its allies in the region in the only way it understands, via “regime change”

“If defeating the Islamic State is important, then it has to become the overriding priority, allying with any outside forces that will join the fight. If Assad falls and jihadis take Damascus, that would be worse than if Assad stays. This doesn’t mean providing Assad with any support, but allowing him to create an Alawite enclave in Syria, of a kind that is already forming. The Kurds and moderate Syrians are creating their own safe spaces as well. Even if the civil war ends and a country called Syria remains, these groups will not live all intermingled again.”

“So far in Syria, the West has combined maximalist, uncompromising rhetoric with minimalist, ineffective efforts. It is the yawning gap between the two that is making Vladimir Putin look smart.” ~ Fareed Zakaria

collage fareed putin
In this mind-boggling display of that all too familiar American exceptionalism, the attributes of any world statesperson being entirely dependent upon their reflection in the US mirror, Zakaria set himself up for a crashing fall.  That fall came when Zakaria was invited to moderate a panel discussion at Saint Petersburg Economic Forum, which ran from June 16th to June 18th of this year.

Present on stage were, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, President Putin, and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Putin throughout the interview manages Zakaria with his usual adroit and intelligent responses. However, when Zakaria confronts Putin with reference to his alleged comments on Trump, we see the full force of Putin’s razor sharp wit and intellect turned against the CNN frontman with devastating effect.

The quote that Zakaria refers to is taken from The Hill and Political Insider among others:

Russian President Vladimir Putin had kind words for his “stablemate” Donald Trump during an annual end-of-the-year Q&A session in Moscow.

“[Donald Trump is] a really brilliant and talented person, without any doubt,” [Vladimir] Putin told reporters, according to a translation by Interfax. “It’s not our job to judge his qualities, that’s a job for American voters, but he’s the absolute leader in the presidential race.” [emphasis added]

Zakaria with the smugness of certainty in his information asks Putin if he stands by his opinion of Trump.

Putin responds with the certainty that comes from the experience of dealing with propagandists. He clears his throat and projects the sardonic look that he is expert at which illicits a ripple of laughter from his audience and fellow guests.

putin laughs

Putin:You are very well known in our country Mr Zakaria, and not only as a presenter with one of the world’s largest TV networks but also as an intellectual, so let me ask you, why do you keep distorting facts? The journalist tramples upon the analyst expert in you. What I said was that Mr Trump is a flamboyant, colourful, bright personality but isnt he flamboyant? He is, and there is nothing more to add. What I really like about him, and I very much welcome that, is Mr Trump said he would be willing to restore a fully fledged relationship between Russia and the US [applause].  I think everyone would be happy, wouldnt you?

The Zakaria grimace speaks volumes…

zakaria grimace
ZAKARIA: Turning noticeably red.

The interview in full is a further demonstration of how Russia is stealing the march on its US rivals in every sense, diplomatically, politically and militarily in Syria. While our world leaders and representatives in the west trip over their own lies, Russian, Syrian and Iranian statesmen and women maintain a dignity, integrity and intellectual prowess that is captivating to watch.

Here is the panel discussion in full, enjoy the second slap down regarding Putin’s working with Hilary Clinton:

Last fall, another monolithic establishment media outlet, the BBC, dispatched its own institutional set-piece, John Simpson, to St. Petersberg in order to publicly confront Russia’s Putin. The results were similar that of CNN’s Zakaria, as Putin skillfully deconstructed Simpson’s own dry Council of Foreign Relations and UK Foreign Office talking points and one-sided world view. Watch that embarrassing exchange here:


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READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files