This is entirely unfair. While I had to fight that ruthless bastard Adolf Hitler and form an alliance with shrewd but treacherous capitalists Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, my most celebrated successor, Vladimir Putin, is blessed with a world in which his strongest adversary, Donald Trump, isn’t really his enemy but his most ardent admirer. Hitler tried to grind my nation and me into rubble and almost succeeded while Roosevelt and Churchill dawdled about opening a meaningful second front on the European continent. In the realm of today’s politics, I gather that Trump would sacrifice himself, or at least the United States, in order to make life more congenial for his hero.
I shall watch no longer. I summon Putin to my dacha, personally arrest him, and send him where he’s sent a good many opponents, and I’ve assigned millions, whether or not they were foes. Henceforth, President Trump will be dealing with me.
“Get him on the phone,” I order, delighted with all this fancy new technology.
“Vladimir, I guess it’s you, sir,” says Trump. “Who else would call claiming to be Stalin?”
“This is Stalin, Donald, and you’re to meet me in Kremlin in two weeks.”
“Don’t worry. Unlike you and me, Putin was leader of second tier nation.”
“He’s got plenty of nukes.”
“They’re mine now, and we really must discuss those and other urgent issues.”
“Maybe I should let the Russia situation cool off a little. The liberals are claiming Vladimir took me to the woodshed in Helsinki.”
“Nonsense. If anything, opposite is true.”
“You really think so?”
“I do. See you in two weeks.”
On time – I’d sent word not keep me waiting – Donald Trump marches into my office with his matronly interpreter. I receive him with my new interpreter who says, “I was in your Miss Universe contest here in Moscow.”
“You must’ve won,” he says.
“No, I didn’t even place.”
“The judges were fools.”
“You had the option to overrule them.”
“Sorry, I just didn’t see you.”
“All right,” I say. “Let’s reshape world.”
“I’d love to.”
I motion for Trump to sit before my desk and for his interpreter to sit several feet to his left where mine sits in relation to me.
“Crimea should not have had to be annexed because it’s intrinsically part of my Russia,” I say. “I don’t want to hear any more sniveling from West.”
“You won’t hear any strong complaints from me. I know the people are happy and speak Russian.”
“Ukraine is next.”
“For return to its Soviet father.”
“There’ll be a lot of complaining about that,” says Trump.
“I’ll do more than complain.”
“I’ll send Ukraine more defensive military equipment and really lay on the sanctions.”
“You think Man of Steel would be bothered by economic inconvenience?”
“You won’t like it.”
“I endured Nazis killing twenty-five million of us and destroying thousands of our cities, towns, and villages. I endured certainty that Hitler would torture and execute me if I lost greatest war in history. And you speak to me about not liking puny effects of sanctions. Levy all sanctions you want. We’ll cut off oil and gas to Germany and Western Europe. That’ll wreck their economies. Yours, too.”
“I guess a lot of Ukrainians speak Russian.”
“More than half in cities are ethnic Russians. And Russian is preferred language of those who know what’s coming. It would be official language of Ukraine if traitors hadn’t banished commercial imports of Russian language books. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky wrote in Russian. Have you read War and Peace?”
“Not yet, but I will if it’s not if it’s not too long.”
“Never mind,” I say, lighting my pipe, leaning back, and studying Trump.
“You were imprudent to violate nuclear deal with Iran.”
“I’ll get a far better deal soon,” says Trump. “In the meantime, I’m smothering the Iranian government with sanctions. People are rioting all over the country. I doubt their crazy Islamic leaders will last much longer.”
“Iran is good friend of my country and of China.”
“The United States won’t let the Iranians acquire nuclear weapons.”
I blow smoke in Trump’s direction and say, “I commend United States, particularly your predecessor, Barack Obama, for establishing international framework that was in fact preventing what most concerns you.”
“The Iranians better stick to the terms of the agreement, or else.”
“Or else what?”
“They’ll regret it.”
“You better not attack them,” I say.
“They’re not in a position to stop us and neither are you.”
“They’re prepared to strike you in the Middle East and all over the world. The West will call it terrorism, but their counterattacks will be self-defense.”
“That won’t last long. When we strike the government and military, the Iranian people will receive us as liberators.”
“Sure, like Ukrainians received Nazis as heroes and Iraqis greeted Americans. You’ll face massive shit storm far worse than Iraqi debacle, which you swear you opposed in 2003 and thereafter. And while all that shit’s hitting you in face, North Korea will be developing its nuclear program and getting ready to use it, if necessary.”
“Kim Jong Un and I established a great relationship. He’s quit testing missiles and bombs. The danger of nuclear war has virtually disappeared.”
I cough and put down my pipe. “Would you like to share a bottle of Georgian wine?”
“I’ve never had a drink in my life.”
I try to smile but don’t think I succeed. “You’d have been far better off keeping Iranian deal you had and then trying to get something that good with North Koreans.”
“North Korea and Iran will either denuclearize or suffer the consequences.”
“We won’t tolerate you destroying our neighbors.”
“Respectfully, Premier Stalin, you don’t have the economic or conventional military strength to stop us.”
“We have as many strategic nuclear weapons as you.”
“You’re not going to nuclear war to save the asses of Kim Jong Un or the Ayatollah Khameini.”
“And you’re not going to nuclear war when I liberate the Baltic States and Ukraine and Belarus and all our many other wayward Soviet Republics.”
“Go ahead and take them,” Trump says. “They’ll be burdens more than anything else. That’s why they splintered in your face thirty years ago.”
I finish my glass of wine and relight my pipe.
“President Trump, I think we’re going to get along very well.”
“What about Vladimir?”
“He sends his regards.”