The American journalist was himself the subject of questioning at the World Government Summit in Dubai
Following his two-hour interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, US journalist Tucker Carlson opened up about his experience at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
In an hour-long interview with TV presenter Emad Eldin Adeeb, Carlson addressed why the conversation with Putin did not touch on certain topics, how the US political establishment had reacted to it, and why Washington has failed to understand Moscow, among other things.
Putin the diplomat
According to Carlson, he had an off-the-record conversation with Putin after their recorded interview was over. He would not reveal what was discussed, however.
Carlson did say that Putin seemed willing to negotiate with the West about both the end of the Ukraine conflict and a new balance of power in the world. Diplomacy is the art of compromise, and almost everyone “other than maybe the United States during the unipolar period” understands this, Carlson said. But while Putin wants the conflict to end, his position will only harden the longer it goes on, he added.
NATO and Russia
One of the major revelations in the interview for Carlson was that Russia had asked to join NATO – and while then-US President Bill Clinton seemed receptive, his aides pushed against the idea and it ultimately failed.
Since the entire point of NATO was to keep the Soviet Union out of Western Europe, Carlson said in Dubai, “if the Russians ask to join the alliance, that would suggest you have solved the problem and you can move on to do something constructive with your life. But we refused.”
“Go sit in the sauna for an hour and think about what that means,” he added.
The problem with Western politicians
Politicians in the West aren’t setting themselves “achievable” goals, Carlson has argued.
“I have heard personally US government officials say well we just have to return Crimea to Ukraine,” he said. “That’s not going to happen, short of a nuclear war. That’s insane, actually.”
Even bringing up this kind of idea “shows you are a child, you don’t understand the area at all, and you have no real sense of what’s possible,” the journalist concluded.
It’s always Munich 1938
According to Carlson, one of the biggest issues in the US and the West in general is the tendency to reduce everything to the 1938 Munich conference, at which Britain and France sought to “appease” Nazi Germany by giving it a portion of Czechoslovakia.
“The American policymaker historical template is tiny – in fact there’s only one – and it’s a 2-year period in the late 1930s, and everything is based on that understanding of history and human nature. That’s insane,” Carlson said.
How Moscow ‘radicalized’ him
Carlson pointed out that he’s 54 and grew up in an America that had nice, safe and beautiful cities, “and we no longer have them.”
It was “radicalizing” to see Moscow “cleaner, safer and prettier” than American cities, he said, or be reminded of that in Dubai and Abu Dhabi – while in the US, one can’t ride the subway in New York City because it’s dirty and unsafe.
“That’s a voluntary choice,” he said. “You don’t have to have crime, actually.”
Reacting to the backlash
Asked why he hadn’t raised certain topics with Putin, Carlson said he wanted to do the interview because he was interested in how the Russian leader saw the world – and not to inject himself into the discussion.
Most journalists who interview leaders the US dislikes tend to make it about themselves, Carlson added, and since he only cared about the approval of his wife and their children, he didn’t need to virtue-signal.
Asked to comment on former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton calling him a “useful idiot” for Russia, Carlson laughed it off.
“She’s a child, I don’t listen to her,” he said. “How’s Libya doing?”