What Putin understanders have grasped and their critics ignore

The Western “free press” has entered a huge, concerted propaganda campaign against the russian president, who “has to be stopped”, as the papers want their readers to believe. These hawks should be careful what they wish for. Ordinary people will suffer from a new war against Russia – be it a hot or a cold one.They should hold the warmongers (within their reach) accountable.

The dynamics of war originate in the political classes in US and Europe, but the drums of war are beaten by the media – even and especially by the so called reputable ones; the same media outlets, which make such a fuss of the beginning of World War I hundred years ago. Putin is pictured als arsonist, pimp, pariah, comics villain and as convicted criminal – the imagination of chief editors seemingly knows no boundaries.

Alas, this is no exercise in factfinding and legitimate criticism, but one in distorsion, the fading out of historical context and the usage of polarizing verbiage, regardless of its adequacy. The counts of indictment against Putin are:

  • the novorussians shot down MH-17 and the russian government/Putin is responsible for it because it/he has provided the murder weapon.
  • These weapons, they think, also are the root cause for rebellion in the eastern provinces, which is why “Putin has to be stopped”. This, of course, elicits the wrongful notion, that some crazy expansionist dictator is on a roll, adding one country after the other to his empire. There is only scarce evidence to back up a contention like this.

Lacking the will of going into the details of the MH-17 atrocity, western media decided to parrot Washington and Kiev, implicitely and explicitely attributing the blame to russians.So far there has been no reasonably sound evidence implicating the rebels in this shoot down.

And because Americans have said, that “there is not going to be a Perry Mason moment here” one can expect, that this is why for them evidence will not matter in the slightest.The media do not even do their “core business” to follow up on information, that was trumpeted as smoking gun on one day, only to be exposed as disinformation a day later.

The fact that FSB and GRU are involved in this propaganda war is enough for these type of journalists; enough to blindfold their own eyes and seal their ears from unwanted information.

Mainstream Media seemingly act on the assumption, that for the “good” the deliberate dissemination of disinformation is a trivial offence and that they can afford this because the public credits them with trustworthiness no matter what. But this is not the case any longer.

Disinformation à la Syrie

In the meanwhile even serious papers have shed the reputation, they might have enjoyed 20 or 30 years ago. One still can remember how the US engineered the Irak war in 2003 and the pitiful role, media played in this farce.

Syria 2013 was another case in point, when US and its vasall states were eager to start (escalate) another war. The deployment of poison gas against civilians – allegedly by the Syrian regime itself – was intended to function as catalyst for the escalation. But Ghouta was not the first of these incidents. It was the third one, the others being directed against government troops.

The west was quick to put the blame on Bashar al Assad, who at the time would have acted outright stupid to use poison gas. Only weeks ago US president Obama had warned, that the US regarded chemical attacks as a “red line”, a trigger for war. This would not be the behaviour of even the most unscrupulous strongmen who happen to be in the crosshairs of the world’s only super power.

Yet the US and their accomplices in the “free press” wanted and want the public to believe that “Assad must have done it” – despite a report to the contrary from a religious organisation, and against doubts of a UN committee and a
investigative journalist.

The downing of MH-17 seems to be a replay all over again. Not only is there a lack of incriminating evidence – the western media also have been assuming the same role they held in Syria 2013: the role of pliable heralds for their governments.

Dubious claims on historic Russian land

In their opinion Putin has already been found guilty because of the annexation of the Crimean peninsula and because he is allegedly destabilizing Ukraine on an ongoing basis.

But is this a fair or only accurate descrption of his actions?

Granted, Russia’s actions in march were probably a breach of international law and certainly not in line with Russian Federation’s own principles for foreign policy (non intervention in domestic affairs). It may or may not have been the will of the Crimean population – but a challenge to an international status quo like this always bears the risk of war. And in a formal sense Ukraine may have had a claim to Crimea.

But on a somewhat higher level Kiev’s claim is quite questionable, if not outright ridiculous. Crimea has been part of the russian empire since 1783. After 1917 it was an autonomous socialist republic and part of the Russian Soviet republic afterwards. 1954 Stalin’s successor, Nikita Chruschev, gave it to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of a Treaty with which the Cossacks acknowledged the overlordship of the Russian monarch. Maybe it was intended to be a signal, that the Soviet Union did not care when and under which circumstances its parts had joined the Czarist Empire. A dissolution of the Soviet Union was in any case completely unthinkable for Chruschev and his ilk.

You cannot refer to a gift from 60 years ago as a historically founded right. If one of the opponents in this conflict had a such a right, it would be Russia, ahead of Turkey, the successors of Osman Sultans, and the descendants of Ghengis Khan. ;-)

The crucial point after Yanukovich’s overthrow was the military base, which the russians had leased from Ukraine after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The strategic value of the peninsula obviously is enormous. Whoever owns it, controls the Black Sea, Levante and the eastern Mediterranean. Its importance can’t be overstated. Clearly the russian military did not want to leave Crimea to NATO, their strategic rival.

After the change of government in Kiev the russian military acted swiftly, while at the same time keeping a low profile. After a referendum Moscow incorporated Crimea to the Russian Federation, but declined to let Novorussians in (as they desired). Moscow advocates negotiations between Kiev and separatists, constitutional reform and federalization of Ukraine while abstaining forem recognizing the novorussian republics.

Ukraine within current boundaries (of course without Crimea) is Putin`s “plan A” – if Kiev is willing to accept far reaching autonomy of russian (non-Ukrainian) provinces. But the new Ukrainian government does not want to negotiate with persons, it labels “terrorists”. It prefers to fight them militarily.

Putin might have a “plan B” up his sleeves. This alternative plan might foresee the breaking up of Russia’s largely synthetic neighbour state. In this case Russia for sure would incorporate the eastern provinces of Ukraine.

Part of Russia’s Plan B is its low dosed support for novorussian rebels, (so far) according to the motto: “Too much to let them die, too little for survival.” Without any doubt they do get arms from Russia, but clearly not really modern ones. Furthermore, the supply of military equipment from the east can best be described as trickling.

The american and european politicians know exactly that Putins options have their limits and those, who want their constituency to know, that they try to avoid further escalation have purportedly tried to negotiate a secret deal: “Land for gas”. If these negotiations were for real, Ms. Merkel is aware that Putin has virtually no maneuvring room with Crimea but could possibly compromise on gas price and support for Donbas.

Land for gas” would have required Russia to completely sever its financial and military support for the separatists operating in eastern Ukraine.

New Narodniki and Novorussia

There are a lot of people in Russia, who would strongly object to this course of action and denounce it as an act of treason – treason vis-à-vis the russian people.

For example Alexander Dugin, a Russian right wing intellectual, who is said to be influential in Moscow’s power circles. For Dugin events in Novorussia are the key for the awakening of наро́д, the ethnic russian community. This is, what Dugin wrote in “Battle for the State. Russians Awaken” about the nexus (own english translation, my emphasis):

“Today, Russia’s Narod awakens breaking through the depths of its dreams—difficult and simple, impoverished and enriched—but dreams nonetheless. It views Crimea and Novorossia as territories of its awakening. Thus, Narod heads to a place where the Russian Light pulls it in like a magnet, shining through the heroes of Novorossia. These are not emotions, chauvinism, or ultra-patriotism. This is not a ‘hurray’ or a surface, but, rather, it is the voice of our ultimate Russian depths. We exist authentically only when faced with death. Only when faced with death does it become clear what it means to be Russian. People go to Novorossia, to Donetsk and Lugansk, obeying the Will of Russian History, drawn in by the Russian Death. It is this Red Death that makes Russians what they are. Death in the world. In the name of Narod. Death for Narod is life. Thus, people go to Novorossia to live in the Russian way.”

“Igor Strelkov (Novorussian military commander) is the symbol of the Russian Narod. Strelkov is the embodiment of our spirit, our will, our resistance. And even if we are not there with him, he makes us ashamed of ourselves and proud of him, but most important, he inspires Faith in our Narod. Strelkov exists authentically. In him, our Narod finds its image. And all those who are with him—Gubarev, Motorola, Mozgovoi, Babai, Purgin, and all the heroes of the Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples’ Republics, living or dead—they are all our Narod, its faces. As it is. As it exists. One cannot rip it out, pollute it, or relativize it.”

Modern Narodniki see Russia in a protracted war, which will only come to a close when Narod has found its way to a Greater Russian Empire.

They don’t talk about federalization of Ukraine like Putin and without a doubt they would have recognized the newly proclaimed republics immediately – no matter, what the West (and the rest of the world) would have thought of it. If it were for them, Russian military would have conquered Kiev months ago – not because it was able to do so, but because big part of today’s Ukraine has for centuries belonged to Russia. The willingness to give up on Novorussians and to trade it as a concession for the West’s recognition for the return of Crimea would be unthinkable for them.

For them Putin has acted like an equilibrist in the last 14 years, as an equilibrist between Narod and Moscow’s westernized elites. For them Putin is a high level political manager, nothing more. In Dugins eyes Putin is not the new Czar, he thinks the Russian Narod is craving for.

It may sound odd to western ears – but people like Dugin are the most probable successors to Putin, at least under present circumstances. Much more realistic than a new Boris Jelzin, who for ordinary russians is the embodiment of bankruptcy and corruption, the sell-out of national natural resources and the impoverishment of russian citizens.

The political and media elites in the West dream of Russia without Putin, while acknowledging disarmingly honest, that Putin is supported at home by 80 per cent – supposedly because he has managed to whip up nationalistic feelings. See this for example.

What puzzles me most in the western media is, whom they expect to follow Putin. I simply can’t believe, that they are banking on a new Boris Jelzin. Not as a result of a genuine political process in Russia.

One can’t help but think, that the warmongers want the “arsonist” to be replaced by a nationalistic dictator, whichever title this man may hold. An autocrat, maybe successful at first, who would qualify better as bogeyman for the euuropean public.

At first, the west would lovingly concede to a dictator, what it had denied to his more or less democratically legitimate predecessor. At least temporarily. Up to a point, at which everybody has to accept, that one has to wage war against the monster of his own making. We have seen it all before  and are seeing it again and again.

Of course this is a monstruous rationale, which could and will backfire (which may be intended anyhow). And of course you can adapt the plan so as to fit Vladimir Putin proper. With a little luck you don’t have to put someone else into his shoes. Just make him act like the beast you want him to be. Rob him of the possibility to act in another way. And make forget your own contribution to the making of Putin 2.0, the dictator.

Nobody knows what this crisis will bring with it. Only one thing is sure: The bill will have to be picked up by ordinary europeans and russians, i.e. the voters and readers of the instigators of those cataclysmic foreign policies, we are steered into. Let us not forget who is responsible for them.

Unabhängiger Journalist

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.