Recent events involving our fearless leader President Trump and his merry band of Russophiles spurred me to think about “From Russia With Love,” my favorite James Bond movie. This was the second in the James Bond series and starred the greatest Bond ever, Sean Connery. The plot in “From Russia” is actually more believable than the widely varying explanations coming out of the White House regarding its relationship with Russia in 2017.
We recently learned of the fascinating versions of alternative facts as told by Donald Trump Jr. about his once-forgotten meeting with the lovely Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Jared Kushner the imperial son-in-law, and Paul Manafort the campaign chairman.
According to one version of the story that Don Jr. was peddling, the purpose of the meeting was to get some secret dirt from the Russians on Hillary’s campaign. He didn’t know who he was going to be meeting with, but he thought it was important enough to get Jared and Manafort involved. They apparently didn’t ask who or what the meeting was about either. According to Don Jr., Natalia’s story about Hillary dirt did not hold up, evolving into a touching story about the adoption of Russian orphans. If you believe Don Jr.’s story, I have a martian slave colony under a pizza parlor on the angry red planet I would be willing to sell you at a discount.
Let us wallow for a moment in 1963 nostalgia, which is when “From Russia” graced the silver screen. The photograph of the lovely Russian lawyer, Natalia, reminded me of Tatiana Romanova, the dazzling Russian spy who set a honey trap for James Bond by sleeping with him. Unknown to Tatiana and James, a rogue criminal outfit called SPECTRE secretly filmed Tatiana and James making whoopee for the purpose of blackmail.
As you may recall, there is a dossier story floating around from the Russian spyworks that makes reference to a video made of The Donald and some high-class Russki hookers. Yet another case of life imitating art. Perhaps there really is nothing new under the Moscow moon.
A great character in “From Russia” is Colonel Rosa Klebb, who defected from the Commies to join SPECTRE. Rosa is one tough cookie. She wears sensible work shoes that have switch blades dabbed in poison, the better to kill you with. She takes no guff from anyone. As the saying goes, Ms. Klebb would rather climb a tree and tell a lie than stand on the ground and tell the truth. She reminds me of Kellyanne Conway.
The McGuffin in “From Russia” is the Russians’ top-secret Lektor decoder machine. SPECTRE wants James Bond to steal it, and then SPECTRE will kill James to take the machine. In Trumplandia, the McGuffin was secret information from the non-colluding Russians on Hillary’s campaign that supposedly revealed that she and the Democratic National Committee were taking money from the Commies.
SPECTRE’s ace-killing machine, who was to assassinate Bond once James purloined the Lektor decoder, was a giant, blond, lean and mean killing machine named Red Grant. Grant cannot be stopped. No rules apply to him. He off’s Russians, Brits and Turkish gypsies without any human emotion. He reminds me of a clean-shaven version of Steve Bannon. I suspect Bannon eats live puppies for breakfast.
My favorite presidential tweet o’ the week was the one The Donald sent out right after the G20: “Putin and I discussed forming an impenetrable cyber security unit so that election hacking and many other negative things will be guarded.” This was the equivalent of King Kong tweeting: “Chiquita Banana and I discussed forming an impenetrable banana security unit so that bananas will be guarded.” Trump left his tweet dangling in cyberspace just long enough for his hapless Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin to come out and announce that Trump’s proposed “U.S./Russia cyber security partnership was a very significant accomplishment.” Then Trump hacked off Steve Mnuchin’s feet by tweeting that “The fact that President Putin and I discussed a cyber security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t.” The Donald giveth, the Donald taketh away.
As Doonesbury once accused George H.W. Bush, apparently Trump’s advisors have put their manhood in a blind trust. What does Trump really believe? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind. Turns out you do need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.