Ukraine, of course, as it always has been and always will be. Why? You’ll have to ask the Ukrainians. Only they know. Or maybe they don’t, and that’s part of the problem. The Moon of Alabama blog and its notoriously anti-American author, “b” for Bernhard, has posed the question in a recent blog post at his site, Who Lost In Ukraine? Considering b’s twisted, myopic and zealous anti-Americanism, the implication is that America loses, and perhaps Ukraine. But certainly not Russia. No, Russia never loses in b’s fantasy land of anti-Semitic commentators. St. Putin and Blessed Mother Russia are the harbingers of freedom and liberty and will deliver the world from the millenia-old wrath of the evil Jews. That sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Of course it does, but a reading of the commentary over at Moon of Alabama can come to no other conclusion. David Duke would be, and probably is, right at home. And to think, this German computer programmer, allegedly, is a welcomed and often-quoted commodity in right-wing and left-wing American alternative media circles. How this is not seen as traitorous and treasonous is beyond me. No, it’s not really (beyond me). It is in keeping with the thesis of this blog. It’s all lies, but some lies are better than others, and the lies disseminated at MOA (Moon of Alabama) are about as crappy as they come. If you’re going to lie, do it with style and panache…not some broken English from an aging “Leftist” German activist turned computer programmer who usurped a former author’s blog rather than possessing the necessary originality to create his own space. Can anyone say Asperger’s Syndrome?
So, let’s look at some of what b has to say in the linked post above about Ukraine and losing.
With unfriendly relations of the coup government with Russia the Russian subsidies are likely to stop. That is an extra $20-30 billion hole in an already deep in debt yearly budget. And no, shale gas will not save the Ukraine.
No one will be willing to fill the Ukrainian deficit. It will now have to default.
But b, this is an admission that Ukraine was already failing under the influence of Blessed Mother Russia and Lord Putin, or do you deny that the government that was forced out of office was in bed with Tsar Putin? If Putin and Russia were all you crack them up to be, all those subsidies to just keep Ukraine afloat wouldn’t be necessary, would they? Ukraine wouldn’t be deeply in debt to the point of bankruptcy if your personal savior, Putin Christ, had the best interests of Ukraine at heart.
As far as the West is concerned, there’s always restructuring in case you’ve never heard of that convenient little (or big) mechanism. From the link:
Contrary to the IMF’s premise, research from Moody’s Investors Service shows the sovereign restructuring mechanism as it stands now, whereby creditors form committees to negotiate with the governments for a reasonable workout, seems to work.
“Our research of sovereign bond defaults over the 1997-2012 period shows that sovereign bond restructurings have generally been resolved quickly; without severe creditor coordination problems, and involve little litigation. The case of Argentina is unique in the historical context,” said Elena Duggar, sovereign risk analyst at Moody’s told Reuters.
Obviously, Crimea is now Putin’s and Russia’s. But is that a win or loss? It’s too early to tell, but there’s now no doubt that Russia is fiscally responsible for it, and also responsible for policing it full time not to mention the logistical nightmare of untangling it from the rest of Ukraine, which may prove impossible. Also of great significance, is the ready-made Tatar insurgency in Crimea. It may well be that Putin was lured into swallowing a poison pill in annexing Crimea, and he may be lured further if, or when, he invades and occupies the remainder of Ukraine in his quest to challenge the hegemony of the West.
Just as an example, a small one that’s just the tip of the iceberg, let’s look at Putin’s offer to the Ukrainian troops stationed in Crimea to switch “sides.” From the link there is this:
A pair of Russian generals have been visiting Ukrainian military bases in Crimea and offering soldiers there fat pay and pension packages if they join the Russian army before a Friday deadline, when Russia has said its patience with a Ukrainian presence in the Black Sea peninsula will run out.
A Ukrainian captain who was among the officers who met with them at a base in Perevalne, Crimea, said in a phone interview that at each base the generals make a very simple point: The Russian military would love to welcome Ukrainian troops into its ranks.
The possibility is lost on no one, the captain said, that the alternative is a grim one: Russia has said that on Friday Ukrainian soldiers will be classified as bandits and terrorists and hunted by the vastly superior Russian military now on the peninsula. On Tuesday a Ukrainian soldier was killed and an officer injured when Russian troops and local paramilitaries stormed a base in Simferopol. On Wednesday, pro-Russian forces took control of the Ukrainian naval headquarters and raised the Russian flag. The Ukrainian commander was arrested and troops were left to wander off on their own.
The captain said he expects many of his compatriots to accept the Russian offer, especially those who consider Crimea home.
“The pay is five times that offered by Ukraine,” he said. “The pensions are five times better, and will be offered 20 years sooner. We are told we would serve on the same military base. Defend the same soil, the homeland of many at these bases. Families living quite nearby the bases will be able to remain in their same homes.”
Wow! That’s straight out of one of my favorite movies, The Godfather. Putin made them an offer they can’t refuse. If Putin and the Russians make good on the offer in a world where there are no guarantees, then that’s a sizable expense to Russia where none existed before. As I’ve said, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t believe Russia has the capacity to make good on all these promises, so it could well be that the ego-bound Putin is biting off way more than he can chew…and perhaps that was The West’s plan all along. After Putin’s meddling in the imperialist plans for Syria, the West recalibrated and said, “alright, Macho Man, you want to play in a Man’s World, you have to pay a Man’s Price. So, here’s Ukraine…our sacrificial lamb. Choke on it.”
If Russia doesn’t go for the rest of Ukraine, at least overtly via occupation, but instead attempts manipulation covertly, it’s likely it will fall to the EU and NATO if they want it. If they don’t want it, they may opt to fail it as they’ve failed so many other countries and operate it as Controlled Chaos; a Narco-Mafia vassal that serves as yet another base for Black Budget dealings. Per the link:
But emboldened adversaries and dwindling resources are not the only problems confronting police departments, prosecutors, and judges. In recent years, a new threat has emerged: the mafia state. Across the globe, criminals have penetrated governments to an unprecedented degree. The reverse has also happened: rather than stamping out powerful gangs, some governments have instead taken over their illegal operations. In mafia states, government officials enrich themselves and their families and friends while exploiting the money, muscle, political influence, and global connections of criminal syndicates to cement and expand their own power. Indeed, top positions in some of the world’s most profitable illicit enterprises are no longer filled only by professional criminals; they now include senior government officials, legislators, spy chiefs, heads of police departments, military officers, and, in some extreme cases, even heads of state or their family members.
This fusing of governments and criminal groups is distinct from the more limited ways in which the two have collaborated in the past. Governments and spy agencies, including those of democratic countries, have often enlisted criminals to smuggle weapons to allied insurgents in other countries or even to assassinate enemies abroad. (The CIA’s harebrained attempt to enlist American mafia figures to assassinate Fidel Castro in 1960 is perhaps the best-known example.) But unlike normal states, mafia states do not just occasionally rely on criminal groups to advance particular foreign policy goals. In a mafia state, high government officials actually become integral players in, if not the leaders of, criminal enterprises, and the defense and promotion of those enterprises’ businesses become official priorities. In mafia states such as Bulgaria, Guinea-Bissau, Montenegro, Myanmar (also called Burma), Ukraine, and Venezuela, the national interest and the interests of organized crime are now inextricably intertwined.
And of course, the sanctions that Putin and his minions treated as a joke. That nonchalance was for show, no doubt. They know it’s no joke. If The West follows through, it’s not too funny when you take someone’s money, as dirty as that money may be. IF. That’s a big if. As we saw in Cyprus, the Russian Oligarchs were given a back door through London branches of Cypriot banks. A snippet from the link:
For readers who have missed this particular tidbit, it seems according to a Reuters report that while banks were closed in Cyprus, their subsidiaries in London and Russia remained open – and the ‘evil Russian oligarch money’ (or whatever…) that the EU sought to punish via the ‘bail-in’ very likely got out that way. This is quite funny in a way, but as a friend correctly remarked to us, it is very bad news for medium sized enterprises and moderately wealthy Cypriots, whose haircuts will be that much bigger.
So there you have it – the Russian money probably exited via London while the banks in Cyprus were ‘closed’ and capital controls and withdrawal limits imposed. It seems almost certain that some sort of sub rosa deal was made with big Russian depositors.
Are these sanctions just window dressing and will another back door be given…yet again? We’ll see. According to Forbes, the second round of sanctions will hurt and if you include the Cyprus bail-in as a warning shot across the bow to Russia and Russian Oligarchs, then increasingly, they have no place to park their ill-gotten gains but to invest it domestically where they should have been investing all along if they cared so much for their beloved Mother Russia. Per this link to Forbes:
The impact of these sanctions extends far beyond the inner circle. It sends shudders down the spines of all of Russia’s moneyed elite. Although Putin ordered Russians (presumably excluding his inner circle) to de-offshorize their wealth over a year ago, Russian assets remain conspicuously abroad, concealed behind layers of secrecy that the U.S. Treasury Department can easily penetrate. All Russian citizens with foreign bank accounts, estates, apartments, and children studying at elite Western universities will worry whether they are perhaps next. Among themselves they will whisper: What has this Putin guy got us into? Is there a way to get rid of him?
Despite Putin’s order to keep money at home, Russia’s 2013 capital flight was $63 billion, which offset 70 percent of inflows of foreign direct investment (Crimean Crisis Will Exacerbate Capital Flight). Personal capital is fleeing en masse from a country desperate for capital and foreign technology. One of Russia’s most trusted financial experts, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin, estimates that Putin’s Ukrainian adventure will cost Russia $200 billion. If adjusted for the smaller size of the Russian economy, this figure would be the equivalent of a $2 trillion loss to the U.S. economy, more than the entire cost of the Great Recession.
Russia’s most notable weakness is the absence of a rule of law that protects private property from arbitrary seizure. All Russian officials and businessmen understand that their assets can be taken away at any time if he or she falls on the wrong side of a powerful official. They have no choice, therefore, but to hide their money in what were safe havens in the West. Whatever they have in Russia is of little or no lasting value. Their whole life depends on their hidden foreign assets. In threatening the inner circle with the loss of their foreign assets, the whole of Russia’s elite and even moneyed middle class with their Miami Beach apartment or children in Ivy League schools are threatened.
Of course, I know, it’s Forbes so that kind of coverage is expected. But still, there is a ring of truth in it even though the conclusions they draw are misdirecting. That Forbes link can be juxtaposed with this link to Zero Hedge where Durden reports most Russian wealth has already been pulled from Western financial institutions. Durden says the following:
Earlier today we reported that according to weekly Fed data, a record amount – some $105 billion – in Treasurys had been sold or simply reallocated (which for political reasons is the same thing) from the Fed’s custody accounts, bringing the total amount of US paper held at the Fed to a level not seen since December 2012. While China was one of the culprits suggested to have withdrawn the near USD-equivalent paper, a far likelier candidate was Russia, which as is well-known, has had a modest falling out with the West in general, and its financial system in particular. Turns out what Russian official institutions may have done with their Treasurys (and we won’t know for sure until June), it was merely the beginning. In fact, as the FT reports, in silent and not so silent preparations for what will be near-certain financial sanctions (which would include account freezes and asset confiscations following this Sunday’s Crimean referendum) the snealy Russians, read oligarchs, have already pulled billions from banks in the west thereby essentially making the biggest western gambit – that of going after the wealth of Russia’s 0.0001% – moot.
A back door before the sanctions were even levied? Maybe. How interesting. If so, surely The West knows this, and yet it levies feckless sanctions anyway knowing full well there is no stolen wealth (what wealth isn’t stolen?) to seize since it’s all been withdrawn. It’s time to reinvest all that stolen loot back into the country you looted it from you crummy Russian Oligarch bastards. Let’s see how much Putin and his fellow gangsters care about their country now. Show your people the money, Vlad. Put that money where your big mouth is. Show us you care about the people.
And what about those Russian Oligarchs. I’ve heard them described elsewhere as excrement. I think it’s an apt description. To steal, yet again, from an already overly-exploited people is beyond the pale evil. These people (the Russian Oligarchs) are scum, and anyone who enables them and protects them is also scum. By virtue of that, Putin must be scum because he protects these Robber Barons at the expense of the common Russian man. As we all know, the fall of the Soviet Union that reached its conclusion in the early 1990s revealed within every “Communist” was a Capitalist Oligarch waiting to get out and get on. And so, the final dissolution of the former Soviet Union saw one of the most prodigious transfers of wealth from public to private hands ever witnessed. If you were in the right place at the right time in Russia, wealth was like picking low hanging fruit in a Rain Forest. Everything you could touch turned to gold and Russia, soon enough, gave birth to an Oligarchy rising from the ashes of the former Soviet Union like a Phoenix of Capital.
To be fair, Oligarchs, regardless of ethnicity and/or nationality, are not nice people. They’re vampire squids that extract the lifeblood of the world. That’s what they live for…to torture and destroy in the name of prosperity. It’s me and mine first and don’t you dare get greedy with the scraps I’ve left behind or any trace meat I’ve left on those bones. In fact, Oligarchy could be considered its own culture that transcends any notion of nationality and/or ethnicity. Oligarchs know each other. They can spot each other a mile away; the way they hold themselves…their body language and those Cold, Dead Eyes.
As Rust Cohle said in True Detective, “I will not avert my eyes — not again.” Yet so many do. Even some who are well-meaning. In their hatred for one dimension, they overlook another equally evil and nasty dimension and even go so far as to embrace that other dimension in their hatred. Not a winning strategy. This article from International Business Times highlights some of these soul-suckers nicely, pictures and all. Don’t avert your eyes. In fact, look deep into these bloodsuckers’ eyes. What do you see? It is said the eyes are the window to the soul. Take a good, hard look. Those eyes are Cold and Dead. The window reveals there is no soul, but rather a House of Horrors.
But b…ber goes on. Further on in the linked Moon of Alabama post above, Bernhard has this to say:
The result of the neocon meddling in Ukraine has created, as usual, a terrible mess for the “west” and even more so for the Ukrainians. Is there any way to prevent a repeat of such misdeeds?
I know, I did too. I thought the Neocons and all the talk about Neocons was history, but no. It’s being resurrected specifically for this crisis. I believe it’s the Deep State running interference and disseminating memes. And of course, b at MOA is more than willing to carry water for Western intelligence that serves to muddy the waters and misdirect cause and blame. Look over there, not over here. It’s always been their stock in trade. How lame, though. The Neocons. Come on. Can’t they be a bit more clever than this? The Neocons? Get off of it. Ridiculous. But b’s not alone. He’s just parroting and amplifying what he’s read at other sites like Pat Lang’s Sic Semper Tyrannis. Here’s what “Thomas” had to say in the linked post:
Democracy promotion and regime change is the primary goal for Neo-conservative empire building. An example is the Director of Freedom House, he was previously with PNAC , the Jacobin club of our generation, received a government post for resume padding , and eventually winds up in the current post. It is how they place their people in key organizations to pursue the agenda. The Founding Mothers of R2P are Obama’s key advisors so their influence will naturally be reflected in his public comments. As the Mommas wanted to bombs away on Syria and he didn’t points to him not being a true R2Per or at least not as ideologically strident. I believe his problem is there are differing factions within his administration pushing their goals and undermining him at the same time, one in particular doing it intentionally. He lacks the experience or understanding to thwart this and therefore he goes from one crisis on fire to the next instigated by his own pyromaniacs.
The Colonel (Pat Lang – Former Head of Human Intelligence) then goes on to say:
I made this comment by Thomas into a post. I would like to see a full throated discussion here of the various international elements of the Jacobin project. pl
Bernhard from Moon of Alabama is a frequent commentator at Pat Lang’s site, so it stands to reason he’s going to pick up some of his material from there and parrot it and amplify it at his site. That’s how misdirectional memes work; like a charm. And it spreads across the alternative media and mainstream media like a virus. Mission Accomplished. Smokescreening at its best even though it’s so transparently lame once you notice the ruse. Lang’s a former spy. Once a spy, always a spy. Do you really think a spy is going to be honest? Hardly. Some of what they say may be truth but it’s mixed with lies and presented in such a way to enable you to draw one false conclusion after another. These guys (and gals) are pros. Anything they say or write must be taken with a healthy grain of salt.
See, it wasn’t but a few years earlier that we heard from not a few in the media, mainstream and alternative, that the Neocons and Neoconservatism were/was dead. Do a Google search and find out for yourself. Let’s start with this offering from Salon in Sept. 2013 where the headline reads Bye-bye, neocons: Your fantasy has finally died.. Per the link:
Neoconservative dreams of creating a hard-edged, neo-imperial American hegemony over the world died in the rubble of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Obama administration, however, has not seriously sought to revive the concert-of-power alternative — an alternative that, on a global level, would require a high level of collaboration with China and Russia.
Instead, the Obama Doctrine can be described as “hegemony lite.” The U.S. will continue to seek military domination of all regions of the world, but will try to do so by methods less likely to arouse domestic political opposition — drone strikes and proxy wars, instead of “boots on the ground.”
But that link from Salon is not too dated, so one might get the notion that Neoconservatism just recently passed away before b, Pat Lang and the Western intelligence community announced its sudden and miraculous resurrection. However, Neonconservatism’s death knell was announced many years prior. Here’s a link to Brent Budowsky writing for The Huffington Post in 2007 where he says, unequivocally per the headline, Neoconservatism Is Dead. Budowsky says the following from that link:
Charles Krauthammer, not content with having been proven deadly wrong in his world view of many years, learning nothing from the bloody disasters of the policies he so aggressively promoted, now attacks Barack Obama for suggesting America should talk with enemies as well as friends.
Our first and last neoconservative President, George W. Bush, is the lead witness for the prosecution in the case whose verdict is the death of neoconservatism.
There are many other such examples. Feel free to find your own. What do b and the Western intelligence community take you for, a bunch of gullible morons? Of course they do…and you are if you keep adulating their lackadaisical efforts to misinform and misdirect you. Think for yourself. Don’t let them do your thinking for you. Just because it sounds good…and authoritative, doesn’t make it true. It only makes it seem true like any good fiction.
What’s most interesting to me with this whole Ukraine kerfuffle is that it is yet another example of how political and social critics of America wholeheartedly, and oftentimes quite zealously, embrace totalitarian tyrants like Putin in Russia, Iran’s Supreme Leader and his Council of Guardians, or the CPC (Communist Party of China). There’s rarely, if ever, any criticism for these despots. No, the only despotism and tyranny emanates from The West, and more specifically the United States. Everything and everyone else is just peachy keen or small potatoes. It’s “Amerika” this and “Amerika” that 24/7 with these critics, and what’s ironic is these very same critics are consistently whining about what they call American Exceptionalism and yet that’s exactly what they’re engaging in with their myopic “Amerika” vision. To them, there is nothing else. It’s “Amerika” every time all the time. If that’s not exceptionalism, I don’t know what is. Does the “k” annoy you? Yeah, me too. Whenever I see it typed with the “k”, it is absolutely predictable what will come next; as though it’s right out of a playbook.
What makes me laugh about these so-called critics is the company they keep. Most reading this have heard of David Duke, but in case you haven’t he’s an avowed White Nationalist and dare I say, racist. Racists don’t like that word. Too bad. Choke on it. If there is still racism, and I think there still is, David Duke is the ridiculous embodiment of it, and like so many social and political critics of America, the enemies of David Duke’s enemies are his friends…hence his fondness for Putin and the leadership of Iran. Here’s a link to an article from Accuracy In Media titled Putin’s Big Lie Against Ukraine. Per that article we have the following about Putin:
Commentators such as radio host Michael Savage have been claiming that the new government of Ukraine is either run or supported by “neo-Nazis.” It is a charge expanded upon by Russian President Vladimir Putin himself. He claimed in a Tuesday news conference, “We have neo-Nazis and Nazis and anti-Semites in parts of Ukraine, including Kiev.”
The claim, designed to justify the invasion of Ukraine, is pure Soviet/Russian disinformation. It has the added attraction of diverting attention from Putin’s own personal embrace of anti-Semitic lies and propaganda. In a curious turnabout, he now blames the Jews for the Soviet communism that he once served as a KGB officer.
I don’t think it’s a lie that The West is utilizing, as a tool, Fascist sects in Ukraine to destabilize the current political arrangement. What I do think is a lie is Putin being overly concerned about the Fascist part. That’s just a cover story, yet people like b from MOA eat it up and amplify it without properly chastising Putin for his use of the same tactics he decries The West for using in Ukraine. But I’m digressing before making the David Duke connection. Per the link, there is this about David Duke and Putin:
While it is true that Putin has refrained from open anti-Semitism, he made the controversial assertion that at least 80 percent of the members of the first Soviet government were Jewish—a claim exposed by Jewish journalist Yori Yanover as an anti-Semitic lie.
“Some anti-Semitic lies just don’t die,” noted Yanover, in a story about Putin’s incendiary claim. “But it is incumbent on Jewish reporters to refute them every single time, especially when they’re being espoused by a brutal Russian politician with the capacity to inflict a lot of pain on the Jews in his country.”
Writing in the Jewish Daily Forward, J.J. Goldberg said Putin’s message was that it was the Jews who ruined Russia. He said Putin’s comments, made during the course of presenting documents stolen by the Soviet communists to the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, were designed to come across as “friendly,” but left the impression that he believes “the Jews cooked up the revolution” that devastated Russia.
Putin’s comments reminded this writer of the claims of Alexey Komov, of the Russian branch of the World Congress of Families, that Wall Street bankers were behind the Soviet communist revolution in Russia.
A variation of this theme has been offered by David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader who views “Zionist-driven Globalism and its collaborators [as] the greatest enemies of mankind.” In his book, The Secret Behind Communism, Duke argues for the existence of “the Jewish Supremacist role in the creation, execution and maintenance of world Communism, and the ‘Russian’ Revolution in particular…”
Back in 2005, Duke wrote of traveling to Moscow “to interview Russian leaders in an effort to gain a deeper understanding of the real policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.” He said he met “with members of the Duma, some nationalist newspaper editors, and some leaders of the Russian anti-globalist, nationalist community.”
Putin “is Russian,” Duke said. “A real Russian.”
Duke went on, “The biggest roadblock to the New World Order and a sublimation of America and Europe to Jewish-supremacist globalism is Vladimir Putin. As important a figure Putin is for every freedom-loving Russian, he is just as important to those who love freedom in the United States of America, in Britain and all over the European world.”
Sweet Mother of Russia!! Does Duke fanboy much? How can this not be considered treasonous and Duke not a traitor? Remember my first post…the statement that “Traitors Will Be Consumed?” Will they? Or is there anything such as treason and a traitor any longer? Maybe not. It’s All Good, apparently.
Duke’s not alone. There are not a few on the right, the left also but that’s not as surprising considering Russia’s Communist past, who appear to idolize and embrace the authoritarian image of strength Putin exudes which is an amazing about face if you consider it. Fifty years ago we had the hard Right hauling all corners of society, including and especially Hollywood, in front of Congress to testify about their allegiance to the United States because they were suspected, oftentimes on flimsy to no evidence, of being Communists or Communist sympathizers. My how things have changed in fifty some odd years. Some of those on the so-called hard Right have come to see the “light” … or is it Red? They have seen the error of their former ways and now embrace their former sworn enemy on whom so much filthy lucre was spent defending against. Let’s take this latest from Pat Buchanan as an example of this obsequious fawning by the hard Right over Putin:
Is Vladimir Putin a paleoconservative?
In the culture war for mankind’s future, is he one of us?
While such a question may be blasphemous in Western circles, consider the content of the Russian president’s state of the nation address.
With America clearly in mind, Putin declared, “In many countries today, moral and ethical norms are being reconsidered.”
“They’re now requiring not only the proper acknowledgment of freedom of conscience, political views and private life, but also the mandatory acknowledgment of the equality of good and evil.”
Translation: While privacy and freedom of thought, religion and speech are cherished rights, to equate traditional marriage and same-sex marriage is to equate good with evil.
No moral confusion here, this is moral clarity, agree or disagree.
President Reagan once called the old Soviet Empire “the focus of evil in the modern world.” President Putin is implying that Barack Obama’s America may deserve the title in the 21st century.
Nor is he without an argument when we reflect on America’s embrace of abortion on demand, homosexual marriage, pornography, promiscuity, and the whole panoply of Hollywood values.
Our grandparents would not recognize the America in which we live.
Moreover, Putin asserts, the new immorality has been imposed undemocratically.
The “destruction of traditional values” in these countries, he said, comes “from the top” and is “inherently undemocratic because it is based on abstract ideas and runs counter to the will of the majority of people.”
Does he not have a point?
Unelected justices declared abortion and homosexual acts to be constitutionally protected rights. Judges have been the driving force behind the imposition of same-sex marriage. Attorney General Eric Holder refused to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act.
America was de-Christianized in the second half of the 20th century by court orders, over the vehement objections of a huge majority of a country that was overwhelmingly Christian.
And same-sex marriage is indeed an “abstract” idea unrooted in the history or tradition of the West. Where did it come from?
Peoples all over the world, claims Putin, are supporting Russia’s “defense of traditional values” against a “so-called tolerance” that is “genderless and infertile.”
While his stance as a defender of traditional values has drawn the mockery of Western media and cultural elites, Putin is not wrong in saying that he can speak for much of mankind.
Same-sex marriage is supported by America’s young, but most states still resist it, with black pastors visible in the vanguard of the counterrevolution. In France, a million people took to the streets of Paris to denounce the Socialists’ imposition of homosexual marriage.
Only 15 nations out of more than 190 have recognized it.
In India, the world’s largest democracy, the Supreme Court has struck down a lower court ruling that made same-sex marriage a right. And the parliament in this socially conservative nation of more than a billion people is unlikely soon to reverse the high court.
In the four dozen nations that are predominantly Muslim, which make up a fourth of the U.N. General Assembly and a fifth of mankind, same-sex marriage is not even on the table. And Pope Francis has reaffirmed Catholic doctrine on the issue for over a billion Catholics.
While much of American and Western media dismiss him as an authoritarian and reactionary, a throwback, Putin may be seeing the future with more clarity than Americans still caught up in a Cold War paradigm.
As the decisive struggle in the second half of the 20th century was vertical, East vs. West, the 21st century struggle may be horizontal, with conservatives and traditionalists in every country arrayed against the militant secularism of a multicultural and transnational elite.
And though America’s elite may be found at the epicenter of anti-conservatism and anti-traditionalism, the American people have never been more alienated or more divided culturally, socially and morally.
We are two countries now.
Putin says his mother had him secretly baptized as a baby and professes to be a Christian. And what he is talking about here is ambitious, even audacious.
He is seeking to redefine the “Us vs. Them” world conflict of the future as one in which conservatives, traditionalists, and nationalists of all continents and countries stand up against the cultural and ideological imperialism of what he sees as a decadent west.
“We do not infringe on anyone’s interests,” said Putin, “or try to teach anyone how to live.” The adversary he has identified is not the America we grew up in, but the America we live in, which Putin sees as pagan and wildly progressive.
Without naming any country, Putin attacked “attempts to enforce more progressive development models” on other nations, which have led to “decline, barbarity, and big blood,” a straight shot at the U.S. interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Egypt.
In his speech, Putin cited Russian philosopher Nicholas Berdyaev whom Solzhenitsyn had hailed for his courage in defying his Bolshevik inquisitors. Though no household word, Berdyaev is favorably known at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal.
Which raises this question: Who is writing Putin’s stuff?
Putin is Buchanan’s kind of Man. A True Conservative; maybe HBO can do a new series with this title since they already have True Blood and True Detective. They like True Everything and True Anything. You wonder if these social and political critics of America would like for Putin’s Russia to annex the United States just as it’s done to Crimea. Don’t laugh. Some people are already trying it. Check this out.
Residents in Alaska, Gaza Strip Want to Join Russia
Russia’s annexation of Crimea following a referendum has prompted calls from such distant places as Alaska and the Gaza Strip to hold votes on their own absorption by Russia.
A petition calling for Alaska to secede from the U.S. and join Russia gathered more than 12,000 signatures on the White House website by early Monday morning, just a few days after it was posted by an unidentified local resident.
Entitled “Alaska back to Russia,” the petition cites the travels of 18th-century Russian explorers to Alaska, which was a Russian colony until the U.S. bought it in 1867 for a mere $7.2 million, or $120 million adjusted for inflation. The petition must attract 100,000 signatures by April 20 to be reviewed by President Barack Obama’s administration.
In the Middle East, the Russian-language version of a Palestinian website run by Hamas said that Russian speakers in the Gaza Strip planned to hold a referendum on their territory join Russia, though no confirmation by Hamas leaders of any such plans were reported.
An activist supposedly involved in the referendum movement, and identified only by her initial “N,” cited Moscow’s statements about its readiness to protect Russian citizens in any part of the world, Palestine-info.ru website reported.
Ha! Are they sure the activist’s initial related to Gaza isn’t “b” instead of “N”? Might as well “b”.