Next to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the most vilified figure in America today has got to be Russian President Vladimir Putin. The media portray him as the next incarnation of Hitler, the man behind all the evil in the world. As Charles Goyette recently joked on lewrockwell.com, if someone spills their coffee at Starbucks it has to be Russia’s fault. Yet Putin consistently gets over 80% approval ratings from his own people. Clearly, there’s something the mainstream media isn’t telling us. As an avid reader of international news sites, I have a different view. I see Putin not as an evil dictator, rather as one of the most capable leaders of this century. The following are seven reasons why I think the man’s a genius.
1. Russian Renaissance
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia was decimated, its industries failing, its people unemployed and hungry. Life expectancy and birth rates fell precipitously, while alcoholism and suicide rates soared. To make things worse, the vultures of Western capitalism swooped in, looting Russian national assets for kopeks on the ruble. As the 1990’s came to a close, the Russian people elected Vladimir Putin and his party, United Russia. Putin put a stop to the hemorrhage, re-acquiring some of those stolen Russian assets and deporting or imprisoning those oligarchs who wouldn’t play by the rules. If only we had this kind of leadership in America – not only do our financial criminals escape prison, we reward them with bailouts.
2. Trashing the Terrorists
While American financiers were busy subjecting Russia to economic “shock therapy,” America’s intelligence apparatus, cheered on by neo-conservative pundits, was attacking Russia’s Islamic underbelly. Jihadists fighting for Chechen independence committed numerous acts of terror, including the horrific 2004 shooting of hundreds of innocent schoolchildren in the town of Beslan. Putin’s subsequent crackdown on Chechnya was harsh, but Russia could not afford to have a hotbed of Islamic terrorism on its southern flank. Unlike France and Germany, Russia has the will to deal with radical Muslims who attack their host country.
3. Reclaiming Crimea
Speaking of subversion, the 2014 coup d’etat in Ukraine, in which the popularly elected pro-Russian President Yanukovych was replaced by pro-Western Poroshenko, was a typical plot fomented by the CIA and its “civil society” puppets. One of the new government’s first actions was to stir up trouble by passing laws discriminating against Ukraine’s ethnic Russian minority. No doubt Putin realized that America’s main goal in instigating this putsch was to deprive Russia of its strategic naval base in the Crimean port of Sevastopol. He took the logical step of annexing Crimea, which is a historic part of Russia with an overwhelming majority of ethnic Russians. It did not “invade,” as Russian troops were already stationed there. Nor was the change unwelcome; in a referendum, about 90% of the voters favored rejoining Russia. Despite the presence of international observers, Western officials called the election a sham. They saw no parallel with America’s meddling in Serbia and the “independence” of the province of Kosovo against the wishes of the Serbian people. No, that was entirely democratic.
4. Surviving the Sanctions
After the so-called “invasion” of Crimea, the US quickly imposed economic sanctions on Russia and pressured its European allies to do the same. The American media could hardly contain its delight about the suffering of the Russian people, which would surely cause them to reject the evil Putin. They could not have been more wrong. The Russians rallied around their leader and his popularity increased. Furthermore, the sanctions were a wake-up call which led Russia to develop its own financial infrastructure and forge closer ties with China and Iran. This tough period will benefit the Russian economy in the long run while hurting America’s allies, especially the Germans, who had enjoyed a profitable trading relationship with Russia.
5. Banning the Bastards
One of the dirty tricks in the play book of the American Deep State is the non-governmental organization or NGO. Supposedly harmless and neutral, they often help foment disorder and plot “color revolutions” in any nation that opposes American hegemony. Ukraine is a prime example, along with other countries on Russia’s fringes such as Georgia. In 2015 Putin decided that enough was enough, and banned such busybody organizations as George Soros’ “Open Society Foundation” and the so-called National Endowment for Democracy from operating in Russia. By the way, Russia does have a political opposition, part of which is pro-Western and anti-Putin. Political freedom is still alive in Russia, just not for organized foreign subversives.
6. Saving Syria
The American propaganda war against Russia has hit a new low with allegations of Russian “war crimes” in Syria. Yet it was America that stoked the flames of rebellion in the first place, tearing apart a nation that was once peaceful and prosperous. Not coincidentally, Syria was an important Russian ally on the site of the nation’s only military base outside the former USSR. At the verge of defeat by the fanatics of ISIS and al Qaeda, the Syrian government requested Russia’s help in defending itself. Unlike the busybody Americans, Putin did not seek regime change, merely to restore peace. In September 2016, the US destroyed the hard-won truce by “accidentally” bombing a Syrian Army position, allowing ISIS terrorists to gain territory. Now Russia is working to end the siege of Aleppo by helping the Syrians defeat the Islamic terrorists that infest the eastern half of the city. American leaders weep crocodile tears at the inevitable civilian casualties while ignoring the much more terrible crimes that their ally Saudi Arabia is currently inflicting on its impoverished neighbor Yemen. It is not Putin who should face a war crimes tribunal, but our “friend” King Salman.
7. Minding His Own Business
The last in the list is something that Putin most likely did NOT do, despite the hysterical claims of the US government and its lapdog media. They have accused the Russia government of hacking the computers of the Democratic National Committee and plotting to influence the upcoming Presidential election. Putin has denied any involvement, and in my view, he’s wise to stay out of it, since such interference would probably backfire. Of course, the media offers no real evidence, just the allegations of a private security firm called CrowdStrike, hired by the Democratic National Committee to investigate the breaches. Interestingly, CrowdStrike’s CTO Dmitri Alperovitch is a member of the Atlantic Council, a well-known neo-conservative (anti-Russian) think tank. Many people believe that the American establishment is inventing these allegations out of whole cloth to provide a scapegoat in case the election does not go the way they want it to.
I’m not saying that Putin is right about everything, nor am I denying that Russia has problems. For example, there are reports of bigotry and violence against gays, though nothing like the death penalty they face in Saudi Arabia. I would personally not choose to live in Russia because of its censorship of pro-gay speech, and its banning of “offensive” words and memes. All thing considered, however, it’s probably not much more restrictive than the suffocating political correctness that muzzles America’s corporate media.
Vladimir Putin is no Hitler. He is a democratically elected politician, not a tyrant. In the context of Russian politics, he’s a moderate, walking a fine line between pro-Western and hard-line influences. Under Putin’s tenure as President and Prime Minister, Russia has returned from the brink of being a failed nation to once again be a proud world power.
Thanks to the following off-beat, alternative, and deplorable sites for their enlightened and unbiased coverage of Russian issues: lewrockwell.com, antiwar.com, thesaker.is, consortiumnews.com, voltairenet.org, theduran.com, zerohedge.com, unz.com, and alternet.org. Thanks also to wikipedia.org, whose article on Putin was less biased than I expected it to be. Putin meme from http://knowyourmeme.com/videos/33177-vladimir-putin.
If you admire Vladimir Putin, or if you despise him, you’ll like my books. Check them out here.