Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin – a vandal and barbarian after all

Vladimir Putin had reasonable issues regarding Russia’s security – the same America had at the time of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. John Mearsheimer, to whom I referred in previous comments, outlined a background – NATO’s eastward movement – for Putin’s concerns about security in his video, Why is Ukraine the West’s Fault? I found his case compelling.

A second reason I had sympathy for Putin’s position was his projection of a Burkean conservatism in speeches that invoked Russia’s rich history, traditions and culture. But the idea that Putin espoused a Burkean conservatism was a chimera – a chimera destroyed by a brutal invasion that has since degenerated into barbarism and vandalism.

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine shows he cannot be trusted and that his nationalism is similar to that of Hitler’s or Mussolini’s, both driven by a warped vision of their history. Their form of nationalism must destroy the sympathy of those who think history, tradition, and custom, circumscribed by the natural law, are of fundamental importance to a healthy nation. Nothing can excuse the indiscriminate pulverising of Ukraine’s cities.

The best outcome now for Putin is a Pyrrhic victory, the worst, total defeat. One must have not only sympathy for the people of Ukraine, but also for the Russian people, most of whom clearly did not want a war with the people of Ukraine and who regard the Ukrainians as brothers and sisters.

Who is establishing a pretext – Putin or Biden?

One rule for all

The Biden administration claims without any hard evidence that Russia is seeking a pretext to invade Ukraine. Why not the other way around? Biden could just as easily be establishing a pretext for NATO to go to the help of Ukraine. One should not automatically swallow the claims of Biden’s girls and boys.

Russia’s insistence that the US and NATO not expand into territories which have been traditionally in their sphere of influence is reasonable and justified. If the US can create a Cuba principle and a Monroe doctrine, why cannot Russia create the equivalent? The threat of a senseless war which will reverberate worldwide is on present evidence coming from the Biden Oval Office.  

Is Russia the baddie?

Has power-hungry Putin fixed his lustful eyes on Ukraine?

Commentary in Australia says ‘yes’. Vladimir Putin is just another Russian dictator about to crush a weak defenceless country – a country without the protection of the US and NATO. But this a stereotypical unresearched (even self-serving) view of President Putin. There is far more to the story and it could be the US and NATO who are at fault.

Professor John Mearsheimer provides a compelling case that the West is responsible for the explosive situation on Ukraine’s border in his hour-length video, Why Ukriaine is the West’s fault. If one wants to stick to the case that Russia and Putin are showing their characteristic lust for power, one has to answer the extensive detail in Mearsheimer’s case.

I have been taking an increasing interest in Russia and Vladimir Putin since the Oliver Stone interviews in 2017. Until then I thought of Putin and Russia in the way most in the West think – a communist dictator in a different dress, the Soviet Union in a different uniform. The interviews changed my mind, as they must have with many people in the West who saw them.

First, Putin was open, candid, and endeavoured to give straight answers all to Stone’s questions. Second, and this is what impressed me most, he argued with much verifiable evidence that the West had gone back on promises made to Russia. If Putin was right, then the West was playing a dirty game of shameless lies and deceit.

What? I thought. It’s the communists who are the liars, not us. We’re pure, innocent, keep to our undertakings. No, in this case, if Putin is right (and it’s easily verified), it’s the West who fits the image we have had of the communists.

Since the interviews I have been following developments and viewing the many youtube videos on Russian history and culture. Particularly informative are the Russian vloggers who give a fascinating look at ordinary Russians and Russian culture. As regards Professor Mearsheimer’s presentation, he has merely confirmed and filled out my own conclusions about the Ukraine problem.

The US and NATO are the problem and as of today, it looks they are prepared to unleash a senseless war which nobody wants.

Is Vladimir Putin a Burkean conservative?

That would seem a weird question to ask. After all, how could a KGB officer of the former Soviet Union hold to a political philosophy, the core of which is ‘prescription’ – the prescription of custom, tradition, and settled, proven ways of social and political organisation? Prescription underscored by the natural law is Edmund Burke’s political philosophy in a nutshell. But President Putin is a Marxist-Leninist, surely?

Well, Marxists would already be looking askance at his efforts to reestablish the Russian Orthodox Church. Those efforts have included the building or rebuilding of hundreds of churches and a fair number of monasteries. That’s not very Marxist, is it? Remember Marx saying religion was the opium of the people, meaning the proletariat?

But, as a Marxist, one would have one’s hair standing on end listening to Putin’s advice to the West on how to deal with non-Western countries. Whatever the Russian President has said in the past, the advice in this youtube video is pure Burkean: BREAKING! Putin: NATO Created A Mess In Afghanistan But Entire World Must Now Deal With Consequences . Indeed, he seems to applying this approach in Syria.

Vladimir Putin – the man to watch 2017?

Against the advice of his formidable Foreign Minister Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov, Russian president Vladimir Putin declined to take retaliatory action in response to Obama’s expulsion of 31 Russian diplomats for Russia’s alleged cyber attacks during the US presidential electioneering. Instead, Putin issued the conciliatory announcement below. The tone and content is hardly in the style of the former Soviet Union. What are we to think of this? Is it a sincere honest attempt to lower the temperature between Russia and the US. Or is it a cunning political move to boost a perceived ally in President elect Donald Trump or to give Barack Obama a kick in the bum as a send-off out of the White House by making him look politically immature – or both? The coming year will reveal more of Putin and his motivations. Conservatives around the world are taking an increasing interest in Putin.

Statement by the President of Russia
December 30, 2016

We regard the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing US administration as provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship. This runs contrary to the fundamental interests of both the Russian and American people. Considering the global security responsibilities of Russia and the United States, this is also damaging to international relations as a whole.

As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.

The diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends. We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays. Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin.

It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.

My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.

I wish all of you happiness and prosperity.