Two old friends, Pete and Sandy, get together for breakfast at a diner in Greenville, South Carolina.
Pete — Heard about the two doctors who got charged with conspiracy?
Sandy — No, I didn’t.
Pete — Read about it yesterday. They were working at a military base, I think in Virginia, and they contacted the Russian embassy offering to help.
Sandy — Oops.
Pete — Well, our intelligence services found out and had an undercover agent interview them. One of them was willing to provide medical records of soldiers to Russia to see if they could use them.
Sandy — That would’ve been the start…
Pete — It came out that they were disturbed by the hatred for Russia here in the US.
Sandy — How old are they?
Pete — Late thirties.
Sandy — Amazing. Do you hate Russia?
Pete — I don’t. I’m angry at them. Angry that they let themselves be bamboozled by Putin.
Sandy — It goes back to the implosion of the Soviet Union during Gorbachev… and their feeling diminished in the world stage as a result. Putin slowly worked up that sentiment… stoking hopes that one day they’d get it all back.
Pete — But they’d have to surrender their freedom.
Sandy — Something similar is happening in China today. Surrender your freedom today and one day — sometime in the future — we’ll be on top of the world.
Pete — But you won’t get your freedom back.
Sandy — Once given, it’s gone. You have to fight for it to get it back.
Like you, I am angry at Russians… how the majority has gone along with the massacring of Ukrainians. But they are waking up. The massive exodus of people wanting to avoid the draft has stung Putin. Yet he still has his supporters.
Pete — When will they get angry enough to remove Putin is the question, because they’re sure taking their sweet time.
Sandy — It’s going to take a while because they’ve identified with him… letting him sink his claws into them, as they yearned to be great again… even though other nations were passing them by in terms of economic growth. The US, China, Japan, Germany, India, the UK…