The Entire Question Of Whether America Should Assist The ICC In Investigating Putin For War Crimes Only Comes Up Because Of Two Other Glaring Acts Of Hypocrisy.

On March 17, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant of arrest for Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal for allegedly deporting and transferring children from Ukraine to Russia.

The 1946 Nuremburg Tribunal declared that, “To initiate a war of aggression is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Putin deserves to be convicted of war crimes on the same grounds that American Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan and Bush deserve to be convicted of war crimes. Noam Chomsky has said that, “If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.”

But there are a number of questions that need to be answered and a number of hypocrisies that need to be faced in the arrest of Vladimir Putin.

The first is the question of how the ICC came to consider the case. The first way ICC jurisdiction can be triggered is by a referral from the Security Council. That did not happen. The second way is if a country that is a member of the ICC refers a crime that was committed on its territory to the court. Neither Ukraine nor Russia are members of the ICC.

The final way is if an ICC prosecutor starts an examination on his or her own accord into a crime committed on the territory of an ICC member or on the territory of a country that has consented to ICC jurisdiction. Again, neither Ukraine nor Russia are ICC members. However, Ukraine accepted ad hoc jurisdiction of the court in 2014, meaning that crimes against humanity or genocide, but not crimes of aggression, can be tried by the ICC.

According to former Indian diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar, the United Kingdom pressured the ICC judges to take up the case against Putin, though he does not provide a source for this information.

There is greater clarity and evidence for the several hypocrisies that need to be admitted in the American reaction to the arrest warrant.

The first was exposed by Biden’s stumbling endorsement of the arrest warrant. “Well, I think it’s justified,” Biden said of the warrant on Friday. “But the question is—[the ICC is] not recognised internationally by us either. But I think it makes a very strong point.”

America recognizes the justification of ICC arrest warrants but does not recognize the ICC.

The second hypocrisy is more glaring still. The United States says that the arrest warrant is “justified” and “makes a very strong point” while simultaneously protecting themselves from similarly justified warrants.

According to reporting by The New York Times, “The Pentagon is blocking the Biden administration from sharing evidence with the International Criminal Court in The Hague gathered by American intelligence agencies about Russian atrocities in Ukraine.” Why would the American military oppose assisting the ICC to prosecute Putin since Biden says it is justified? Because the American military knows it is guilty of war crimes. “American military leaders oppose helping the court investigate Russians,” according to former and current American officials, “because they fear setting a precedent that might help pave the way for it to prosecute Americans.”

The entire question of whether America should assist the ICC in investigating Putin for war crimes only comes up because of two other glaring acts of hypocrisy. The first is that America has restrictions in place that limit cooperation with the ICC, since it does not recognize its jurisdiction. But recent legislative alterations have made it easier for America to cooperate with the ICC specifically on Ukraine. America is now permitted to cooperate with the ICC—whom it does not recognize—specifically in its Ukraine “investigations and prosecutions.” Human Rights Watch has pointed out the hypocrisy that “restrictions still apply to other ICC investigations” and that “There is now a two-tiered system in which broader cooperation is allowed for Ukraine than in other equally worthy investigations.”

The other hypocrisy that Human Rights Watch points out is that the United States “objects to the court’s jurisdiction over American citizens and nationals from other non-member countries, even when they fall within the court’s jurisdiction.” That implies that America is making an exception for Ukraine and their ad hoc acceptance of jurisdiction. The Times says that Washington takes “the position that the court should not exercise jurisdiction over citizens from a country that is not a party to the treaty, like the United States and Russia—even when the alleged war crimes take place in the territory of a country that did sign onto it.”

Though the National Security Council has tried to mediate between the Pentagon and the State and Justice Departments who do want to give evidence to the ICC, “Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III continued to object.”

There is yet one more remarkable hypocrisy in the American response to the arrest warrants. Biden says the ICC decision is justified and that it makes a strong point. But the American regime has historically fought to make the ICC unjustified and not strong.

In 1998, 160 countries attended a conference to formulate the Rome Statute of the ICC. Many states advocated for universal jurisdiction that would give the new court jurisdiction over crimes committed anywhere in the world. America blocked that universal jurisdiction and insisted that the ICC have jurisdiction only over crimes committed in countries who voluntarily signed the Rome Statute. This was a loophole America planted so that it could later exploit it. In 2000, President Clinton signed the Rome Statute, but did not send it to the Senate to be ratified. Two years later, President George W. Bush withdrew the signature. That ensured that the ICC could not prosecute Americans for war crimes.

Just to be sure, in 2002, the Bush administration enacted the American Service members’ Protection Act, or the “Hague Invasion Act,” as it came to be known. The act authorized the United States to use “all means necessary…to bring about the release of covered U.S. persons and covered allied persons held captive by, on behalf, or at the request of the Court.”

To be doubly sure, the law banned “the provision of U.S. military assistance…to the government of a country that is a party to the court.” That prohibition was extended in 2004 by the Nethercutt Amendment to include several other types of economic assistance. NATO countries and major non-NATO allies were exempt. For all other countries—unless the president deemed it important to the national security of the country—there was only one route to exemption. That was by entering a Rome Statute Article 98 agreement with America ensuring that they agree not to surrender Americans to the ICC, “preventing the International Criminal Court from proceeding against United States personnel present in such country.”

WikiLeaks revealed hundreds of cables that show how America used the threat of sanctions to force countries into Article 98 agreements. A confidential December 2002 American cable from Honduras says “the U.S. will help those countries that sign Article 98 agreements and cut aid to those that do not.”

The United States sought agreements from 77 countries who joined the ICC “to make extraditions of Americans to the Hague impossible.” They exerted significant pressure. Romania’s foreign minister said that he “can’t remember anything they put so much weight or interest into.” The EU told member states that entering into an Article 98 agreement with America “would be inconsistent” with their ICC obligations. Human Rights Watch said the American goal was “to exempt U.S. military and civilian personnel from the jurisdiction of the ICC” and said that signing the “impunity agreements…would breach their legal obligations under the Rome Statute.” In the end, at least 100 countries signed Article 98 agreements with the United States.

The long list of sanctioned countries eventually boomeranged against the American, leading countries to look to Russia and China for help and impeding the American-led Global War on Terror and drugs. They were gradually dropped.

America may believe the ICC is “justified” in issuing an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, but it has tried to make sure the same will never happen to an American. In 2017, when the ICC tried to investigate American torture of terrorism detainees, the government imposed sanctions on court officials.

Putin deserves the same sentence as practically ever post-World War II American president. The hypocrisy of American support for the ICC action against Putin is revealed by the long history of the United States attempting to weaken the court and refusing even to recognize it. It is further revealed both by the reluctance to assist the court because of the precedent it could set against itself and by the selective willingness to support the court against American enemies but not against its “equally worthy” friends.


This Risks Pushing Russia And China Into A Tight Alliance And America Missing Out On Opportunities For Peace In Ukraine.

The most popular foreign policy related activity in Washington this week is raising the alarm about Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow and what it might mean for a Chinese-Russian alliance.

But this outcry threatens to conceal the complexity of the situation, and most importantly the freedom of action America still has to head off such an alliance. Using that freedom of action is going to require a more conciliatory, flexible, and imaginative foreign policy than we have seen in recent years. This will be a tall order, particularly as there are many in Washington who seem to wish to lock America into a full blown new cold war against a Russian-Chinese alliance.

The Xi visit reflects Beijing’s ongoing effort to uphold its close relationship with Moscow while, crucially, avoiding an unqualified endorsement of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. In crafting this balancing act, Xi seeks to present China as a trustworthy, if not completely neutral, proponent of peace. This is the perspective presented in China’s recently unveiled twelve point position paper on Ukraine.

The paper implicitly counters Moscow by championing territorial sovereignty and opposition to nuclear threats. This is a position likely to appeal to neutral states. But the paper also refers to the need to respect the legitimate security interests of states, an obvious reference to Moscow’s stated concerns about its border security and the expansion of NATO.

Both Putin and Xi released statements at the end of meetings on Tuesday. Neither reflected any new or expanded positions on the relationship vis-a-vis Ukraine. Xi in fact, continued to insist that China “adhere to an objective and impartial position.”

China has significant motives for trying to keep at least some distance from Moscow, including maintaining economically important links in Europe and keeping international credibility with neutral states. But rather than appreciate these motives and try to build on them, Washington has categorically condemned China for failing to explicitly condemn Putin’s invasion and demand Russia’s withdrawal from Ukraine. This approach puts China in the same box with Russia. Instead of building on Beijing’s hesitation to fully support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it simply pushes Moscow and Beijing closer together.

This position is made even more problematic by the fact that it undercuts Ukraine’s own efforts at triangulation. Zelensky has not aligned himself with the American-led stance, seeking instead to look for the positive in the Chinese position and do what he can diplomatically to keep China from full military support of Russia.

There is no question that Beijing’s resistance to condemning Russia’s invasion outright runs counter to its own stated support of national sovereignty and territorial integrity. But we should realize that it is in part the level of hostility being expressed by Washington toward China that drives this hypocrisy. So long as Beijing perceives a full-blown American campaign to weaken China and overthrow the CCP — as strikingly illustrated by XI Jinping’s unprecedented recent comments on American “suppression” — it is unrealistic to expect it to come out in full opposition to Russia, its most significant strategic partner in opposing such a campaign.

If America is unwilling to distinguish between Russia and China as challengers to American interests and international law, and persists in rhetoric and actions that seem to substantiate Beijing’s worst case assumptions about American motives, it gave Xi Jinping little reason to put any pressure at all on Putin during his three-day visit to Moscow. This alone reduces the chances for peace. Indeed, contrary to our position that Ukraine is fully in control of any peace process, America has already unilaterally rejected any cease fire that might emerge from Chinese efforts.

Even more dangerously, an American position that seems to prejudge China as a full supporter of Russia’s worst instincts may have the opposite effect and encourage China to provide more extensive military support to Russia. Particularly if it appears Russia might actually lose the war in a decisive way; a China that sees Washington as an intractable enemy would have a strong incentive to prevent such a defeat of its most powerful ally against American global control.

To avoid this outcome, Washington needs to show more openness to the possibility that China might play some constructive role in the resolution of the war — or at least need not play a negative role. At minimum, it would require America to tone down its attacks on Beijing’s motives and role in the international order. An American willingness to reassure China on this score might give it more reason to keep its distance from Moscow.

But some in Washington might even welcome a closer alliance between China and Russia, despite the fact that it would be harmful to America’s long-run strategic interests. From the perspective of domestic politics, driving China and Russia into a coalition of independent states makes it easier to win support for a more militarized and more aggressive American global posture based on the framework of a new cold war. For those who believe this more aggressive stance is needed for America to protect its global primacy, there are many advantages to making a conflict between America and a tight China-Russia alliance of free countries appear inevitable.

But it’s not yet inevitable, and we should try to avoid making it so. For reasons obvious from a glance at a map, some of the most respected figures in American foreign policy have long warned of the risks of a closer Russia-China alliance. As Zbigniew Brzezinski stated in his magnum opus The Grand Chessboard, “the most dangerous scenario would be a grand coalition of China, Russia, and perhaps Iran, an ‘anti-hegemonic’ coalition united not by ideology but by shared grievances.” As this possibility draws nearer, we need diplomats adroit enough to prevent it through actually engaging in diplomacy.


In A Post-Hegemonic World There Could Be Justice And Security For Everyone.

In history books as well as in politics every story is shaped by where one chooses to begin the tale. The current fighting in Ukraine, which many observers believe to already be what might be considered the opening phase of World War 3, is just such a development. Did the seeds of conflict arise subsequent to Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s consent to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 after having received a commitment from the United States and its allies not to advance the West’s military alliance NATO into Eastern Europe? That was a pledge that was quickly ignored by President Bill Clinton, who intervened militarily in the former Yugoslavia before adding new NATO members from amidst the ruins of the Warsaw Pact.

Since that time NATO has continued its expansion at the expense of Russian national security interests. Ukraine, as one of the largest of the former Soviet republics, soon became the focal point for potential conflict. The American regime interfered openly in Ukrainian politics, featuring frequent visits by relentlessly hawkish Senator John McCain and State Department monster Victoria Nuland as well as the investment of a reported $5 billion to destabilize the situation, bringing about regime change to remove the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovich and replace it with a regime friendly to America and its European allies. When this occurred it inevitably led to a proposed invitation to Ukraine to join NATO, a move which Moscow repeatedly warned would constitute an existential threat to Russia itself.

Finally, Moscow tried assiduously to negotiate a solution to the developing Ukraine crisis in 2020-2021 but America and its allies were not interested, allowing the corrupt Ukrainian government of Volodymyr Zelensky to refuse any accommodation. So Russia itself has perceived that it has been misled or even lied to repeatedly by America and its allies. It has been particularly vexed by the looting of its natural resources by mostly Western oligarchs operating under protection afforded by the feckless President Boris Yeltsin between 1991 and 1999, a puppet installed and sustained through American and European interference in the Russian elections. Just when Russia was on its knees, perhaps intentionally, there arrived on the scene in 1999 former KGB officer Vladimir Putin who, as Prime Minister and later president, proceeded to clean house. Ever since that time, Putin has very carefully explained himself and what he has been doing, making clear that he is no enemy of the West but rather a partner in a relationship that respects the interests and cultures of all players in a global economy that maximizes freedom and individuality.

Given the danger of dramatic escalation of the current situation in Ukraine, with talk coming from both sides about the conditions for the use of nuclear weapons, an October 27th speech made by President Vladimir Putin at the 19th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, held near Moscow, should be required reading for the Joe Bidens and Jens Stoltenbergs of this world. The theme of the meeting was A Post-Hegemonic World: Justice and Security for Everyone. The four day-long session included 111 academics, politicians, diplomats and economists from Russia and 40 foreign countries, including Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Turkey, Uzbekistan and the United States. In his speech, Putin laid out his vision of a multipolar world in which there is no concept of a politically hegemonic “rules based world order” which substitutes “rules for international law.” And, he observed, the rules have themselves been regularly dictated by one country or group of countries. Putin instead urged a transition into a willingness to accept that all countries have interests and rights that should be respected.

Interestingly enough, Putin, since assuming leadership of his country, has been unwavering in his demand that all countries in the world be granted respect, by which he means that local interests and cultures must be considered legitimate and worthy of acceptance by all as long as they permit individual freedom and are similarly respectful of the interests and national traits of others.

A relaxed and jocular Putin spoke for over an hour in his opening remarks and then fielded questions for another two and a half hours from the audience. In response to a question, he assessed the sanity of White House advisers who would “spoil relations with China at the same time they are supplying billions-worth of weapons to Ukraine in a fight against Russia… Frankly, I do not know why they are doing this…Are they sane? It seems that this runs completely counter to common sense and logic… This is simply crazy!”

The Russian president emphasized several points which elaborated his views. First, he observed that American/Western hegemony “denies the sovereignty of countries and peoples, their identity and uniqueness, and disregards any interests of other states… [The] rules-based world order” only empowers those making the “rules.” Everyone else must obey or face the consequences.

Putin also decried the West’s tendency to make rules and then ignore them when circumstances change. He noted how economic sanctions and “cancel culture” are being used cynically to weaken local economies while also demeaning the cultures and national traits of foreign adversaries. He observed, for example, how Russian writers and composers are being banned purely to send a political message and punish Moscow for its foreign policy.

Putin explained that Russia is an “independent, original civilization” which “has never considered itself an enemy of the West.” Moscow “simply defends its right to exist and develop freely. At the same time, we ourselves are not seeking to become some kind of new hegemon.” He then provided his analysis of what it developing, saying that the world is confronting a global storm which no one can ignore. “We are standing at a historic milestone, ahead of what is probably the most dangerous, unpredictable and at the same time important decade since the end of World War II. The West is not able to single-handedly manage humanity, but is desperately trying to do it, and most of the peoples of the world no longer want to put up with it.” We can decide “either to continue to accumulate a burden of problems that will inevitably crush us all, or to try together to find solutions, albeit imperfect, but working, capable of making our world safer and more stable.”

So, Vladimir Putin is issuing a call to arms for a transition to a multipolar world, which will inevitably change the playing field both in international relations and in the global economy. No longer will the United States and its allies be able to claim “rule of law” when using coercive force to punish competitors. The drift away from using dollars as the world’s reserve currency, mostly for energy transactions, is already taking place as major trading partners like India, China and NATO member Turkey have ignored restrictions while continuing to buy up Russian energy exports, negating to a certain extent the sanctions put in place by Washington and Europe. The death of dollars as the reserve currency will make it more difficult for the American Treasury to print money without any backing as many nations will no longer be willing to accept what will be increasingly seen as a fiat currency produced by a government that is actually drowning in debt.

Putin might, of course, be proven wrong and the current global system might well be able to limp along for the foreseeable future. But if he is right, those developments transitioning into a multipolar world would mean a de facto decline and fall of the United States as the world hegemon while anything even remotely like a dollar collapse would have catastrophic effect on the American import driven economy as well as on ordinary Americans. Some kind of partial default on American Treasury debt is not unimaginable. And Putin might well be right in his prediction that the change is coming and there is nothing that the United States and its friends can do to stop it.

In any event, the political and economic adjustments that are certainly coming in one way or another will certainly play out as the Ukraine conflict continues to simmer. The tragedy is that what is developing is self-inflicted, completely avoidable and unresponsive to any actual United States interest, but that is another story. If Ukraine turns to open warfare with more direct Amerian involvement and economic dislocation, international pressure to dismantle the post-World War 2 status quo will inevitably increase. No matter how it develops, what is occurring right now will force the perennially tone-deaf politicians in and around the White House to begin to rethink America’s place in the world and its options as a major power. No one can predict how that will go and the process will make compelling theater as America’s two major political parties take up positions to make the case that the other party is solely at fault. It is impossible to foresee how far that bloodletting will go.


Ukraine Is Gradually Being Bombed Into The Stone Age Through The Destruction Of It’s Infrastructure.

Another day of large-scale missile attacks on Ukraine’s hobbled energy infrastructure has plunged much of the country into darkness. The relentless attacks—which continued through the night and into the early morning hours—have intensified dramatically as Russian combat troops continue to join their units along the perimeter in preparation for a major winter offensive. Russian President Vladimir Putin has waited patiently for the Zelensky regime to grasp the gravity of their situation and press for bilateral negotiations. But the Ukrainian president has stubbornly rejected diplomacy at every turn opting instead to fight til the bitter end. He is fully supported in that decision by his backers in Washington who see the conflict as an opportunity to weaken Russia so it cannot obstruct American plans to “pivot” to Asia. The transformation of Ukraine into a frigid, uninhabitable wastelands is largely the result of Washington’s voracious geopolitical ambitions.

The widespread power outages are accompanied by freezing temperatures that will inevitably lead to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Millions of Ukrainians will be forced to flee across the border seeking refuge in Europe. Others will be left to hunker-down in makeshift emergency shelters that are sporadically heated by diesel-powered generators. There is no prospect that Ukraine’s dilapidated power-system will be fixed quickly if ever. And even if it could be cobbled-back together in some improvised capacity, it would only be a short-term fix. The fact is, the Russians have identified the main substations, terminals and auto-transformers across Ukraine and are picking them off one-by-one. Unable to defend itself against the daily barrage of precision-guided missiles, Ukraine is gradually being bombed into the Stone Age.

The objective of the Russian operation is to undermine Ukraine’s ability to wage war. The attacks on Ukraine’s power-grid, railway hubs, fuel deports, bridges and command-and-control centers are merely Phase 1 of a 2-phase operation that is designed to defeat the enemy and bring the war to swift end. Russia has gathered roughly 500,000 troops in a combat Strike-Force that will traverse the country along three main axes annihilating Ukrainian Forces wherever they are encountered and seizing key cities along the way. Critical supply-lines from Poland will be blocked, leaving troops at the front cut-off and vulnerable to attack. Eventually, the regime and their Right-bloc security forces will be killed or captured. Moscow will not allow a government that is openly hostile towards Russia to rule the country.

There is, of course, no way of knowing whether the war will actually play out in-line with such a scenario. It does seem likely, however, that Russian strategists have already figured out that the war cannot be won without cutting off vital supply-lines to Poland. That is the main artery that sustains the conflict and allows Zelensky to avoid negotiations. For Putin, attempting such a move would be a risky gambit that could precipitate his political downfall, but if he fails to seize the opportunity to force Kiev to the bargaining table, the war could drag on forever. There are no easy choices but—in this case—it appears the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.


These Are The Reasons He Is Viciously Attacked And Regarded As Washington’s Blood Enemy.

Tucker Carlson thinks he knows. Here’s what he said:

“… Democrats in Washington have told you it’s your patriotic duty to hate Vladimir Putin. It’s not a suggestion. It’s a mandate. Anything less than hatred for Putin is treason.

Many Americans have obeyed this directive. They now dutifully hate Vladimir Putin. Maybe you’re one of them. Hating Putin has become the central purpose of America’s foreign policy. It’s the main thing that we talk about. Entire cable channels are now devoted to it. Very soon, that hatred of Vladimir Putin could bring the United States into a conflict in Eastern Europe.

Before that happens, it might be worth asking yourself: What is this really about? Why do I hate Putin so much? Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him? Has he shipped every middle-class job in my town to Russia? Did he manufacture a worldwide pandemic that wrecked my business and kept me indoors for two years? Is he teaching my children to embrace racial discrimination? Is he making fentanyl?”

Is Carlson right, do Americans hate Putin because the media and the political class in Washington have told them to do so?

Yes and no. Yes, the media and the politicians have played a big role in the demonization of Putin. But, no, they’re not the main drivers of this smear campaign. That designation belongs to the plutocrats behind-the-scenes who use the media to attack Putin in order to promote their own globalist agenda. That’s what’s really going on; the news is being shaped to advance the interests of elites.

After all, what do the American people really know about Putin? Have they ever listened to his speeches or read his statements following meetings with other world leaders? Have they ever tuned-in to his marathon 4-hour “ask-anything” Q&A sessions? Have they ever read transcripts of his interviews where he speaks candidly on critical policy issues, culture or religion?

No, of course, not. Everything Americans know about Putin they read in the media. And that’s the problem, because the media despises Putin. And they despise him for the same reason they despise Trump, because the media’s wealthy owners see him as a threat to their political agenda. That’s the whole deal in a nutshell. Putin is not hated because he is a “KGB thug” or a “new Hitler”; that’s just public relations gibberish. He’s hated because he is an obstacle to the globalists achieving their geopolitical objectives. That’s the motive that drives this smear campaign. Putin has blocked them in Chechnya, South Ossetia, Syria and now Ukraine. He has derailed their grand plan to “pivot to Asia” and to encircle China with American military bases. He has been a thorn in their side for the better part of two decades and he has thrown a wrench in their loony plan to crush emerging centers of power and rule the world for the next century. That’s why they hate him, and that’s why they use their media to make you hate him, too.

Are you surprised?

What the media fails to mention is the extent to which Putin is admired in Russia and the rest of the world. Check it out:

According to Statista Putin holds a very favorable approval rating among Russians averaging between 84% in August, 2022, to 79% approval by Russian citizens and Dual Nationals holding both Russian and United States Passports despite the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.” (Wikipedia)

84% is in the nose-bleed section! No other leader in the world today can claim 84% public approval. And what’s more incredible, is that — after 20 years in office– the overwhelming majority of Russians still support him. How does that happen? How does a modest, self-effacing bureaucrat become the most widely-admired and popular Russian leader of all time?

Observers see Putin’s high approval ratings as a consequence of the significant improvements in living standards and Russia’s reassertion of itself on the world scene that has occurred during his period of office….

A joint poll by World Public Opinion in America and Levada Center in Russia around June–July 2006 stated that “neither the Russian nor the American publics are convinced Russia is headed in an anti-democratic direction” and “Russians generally support Putin’s concentration of political power and strongly support the re-nationalization of Russia’s oil and gas industry.” Russians generally support the political course of Putin and his team. A 2005 survey showed that three times as many Russians felt the country was “more democratic” under Putin than it was during the Yeltsin or Gorbachev years, and the same proportion thought human rights were better under Putin than Yeltsin.” (Wikipedia)

So, according to the Russian people, Putin is largely responsible for Russia’s economic prosperity, the higher living standards, the sharing of oil revenues, the better human rights record and the stronger democracy. They also overwhelmingly support Putin’s military operation in Ukraine. (87%) So, how do we explain the huge disparity between the Russian peoples’ opinion of Putin (over 80% approval) and that of the American people? (92% have little or no confidence in him) Either the Russians are extremely dim-witted and gullible or the Americans are the most weak-minded, brainwashed sheeple on earth? Which is it?

For roughly 17 years, the media has been spewing the same slanderous claptrap (aimed at Putin) they settled on in 2005 and 2006. Did you know that? Did you know that– at one time– western elites and their lapdog media actually liked Putin and thought he was a leader “they could work with”? In other words, they figured Putin would be another compliant stooge like the perennially-inebriated Yeltsin who thrust the country into “shock therapy” and allowed western economists to raffle-off the nation’s most valuable assets, industries and resources to bloodsucking oligarchs who bought them for pennies-on-the-dollar. That’s what they were hoping for, another spineless toady that was willing to sell-out his country to ingratiate himself with Uncle Sam. Instead, they got Putin; a devout Christian, an unwavering conservative and a ferocious Russian patriot.

Can you see why they hated him?

And because they hated him, they ordered their media to make you hate him, too; just like they did with Saddam, and Qaddafi, and Kim Yong Un, and anyone who gets in their way. We all should know the drill by now, and it always begins with character assassination; the requisite smear campaign that is designed to persuade the public to hate the enemies of the elites.

But here’s something you probably didn’t know. You probably didn’t know that the demonizing of Putin can be traced back to a precise time and place.

Former senator John Edwards and Congressman Jack Kemp were appointed to lead a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) task force to determine whether a “strategic partnership” with Russia was still possible in light of policies Putin had enacted that conflicted with Washington’s broader geopolitical aims. When Kemp and Edwards returned from Moscow they published an article titled “Russia’s Wrong Direction” (March 2006)

The authors decided that a “strategic partnership” with Russia was no longer possible because the government under Putin had become increasingly “authoritarian” and Russian society was growing less “open and pluralistic”. The irony of these observations was not lost on analysts who realized that America has no problem jumping-into-bed with the most authoritarian countries in the world including Saudi Arabia that conducted the mass execution of 81 men in one weekend alone (in 2022) That is an impressive achievement even by Saudi standards. And we should also note that all 81 men were beheaded which further underscores the barbarity of the leaders that Washington regards as their best friends.

The point is that ‘Putin hatred’ and character assassination can be traced back to a particular time and place when American foreign policy elites decided that Putin was not going to be the “responsible stakeholder” they had hoped for. He was not going to click his heels and fall in line like many of the other allies. In fact, Putin had shown his willingness to commit –what the globalists regard as the one unforgivable crime– that is, he put his own country’s national interests above those of the international banking cabal. That, of course, is the biggest “No-No” of all. Here’s a short clip from “Russia’s Wrong Direction”:

Fifteen years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, “U.S.-Russia relations are clearly headed in the wrong direction,” finds an Independent Task Force on American policy toward Russia sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. “Contention is crowding out consensus. The very idea of a ‘strategic partnership’ no longer seems realistic,” it concludes…

when President Bush has made democracy a goal of American foreign policy, Russia’s political system is becoming steadily more authoritarian, the Task Force charges. “The political balance sheet of the past five years is extremely negative……

U.S.-Russia cooperation can help the United States handle some of the most difficult issues we face,” said Edwards. “Yet regrettably, cooperation is becoming the exception, not the norm. This report is a wake-up call that we need to get U.S.-Russia relations back on track to meet the challenges that face both of our countries.”

Consistent with this, the report argues, “Although President Putin is presiding over the rollback of Russian democracy, the United States should work with him to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and to keep terrorists from attacking either his country or ours.”..

Since the end of the Cold War, successive American administrations have sought to create a relationship with Russia that they called a ‘partnership.’ This is the right long-term goal, but it is unfortunately not a realistic prospect for U.S.-Russia relations over the next several years,” says the report.

In the short run, the United States needs to see Russia for what it is now. “The real question that the United States faces in this period is not how to make a partnership with Russia work, it is how to make selective cooperation—and in some cases selective opposition—serve important international goals,” concludes the report.” (“Russia’s Wrong Direction”, Council on Foreign Relations)

The report indicates the precise time that western elites gave up on Putin and, (basically) threw him under the bus. And the reason they gave up on him, is because they could see that he was a true Russian patriot. Patriotism is the mortal enemy of globalism, because patriots can’t be “flipped” and the elites know it. They know that you cannot fundamentally change a man who loves his country. These men are not ‘for sale’ and they are incorruptible. Anyone who puts country above the globalist agenda– including MAGA Americans– is the mortal enemy of the globalists. And that is why elites always enlist foppish girlie-men like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron to do their bidding, because the job requires weak, unprincipled men who are willing to debase themselves in order to serve their masters.

But what was it in particular that convinced the elites that Putin was a lost cause who would always be a threat to their agenda?

Fortunately, we know the answer to that question because the authors listed their objections under four main headings. Here’s they are:

  1. De-democratization: The report finds that Russian political institutions are becoming “corrupt and brittle.” As a result, “Russia’s capacity to address security concerns of fundamental importance to the United States and its allies is reduced. And many kinds of cooperation—from securing nuclear materials to intelligence sharing—are undermined.” (In other words, Putin was unwilling to impose additional sanctions on Iran, would not support Kosovo independence (which never gained UN approval) and refused to support the Iraq War. Bottom line: He refused to go along with Washington’s genocidal wars and arbitrary redivision of the Middle East. That’s why he was he was dubbed an “unreliable ally.”)

  2. Energy supplies: “Russia has used energy exports as a foreign policy weapon: intervening in Ukraine’s politics, putting pressure on its foreign policy choices, and curtailing supplies to the rest of Europe. The reassertion of government control over the Russian energy sector increases the risk this weapon will be used again.” (This is true, Putin seized control of Russia’s greatest public asset –oil– and used it to raise standards of living across the board. Privatization is the Holy Grail of western capitalism so, naturally, Putin was condemned for errant behavior. He was also blasted for “curtailing supplies to the rest of Europe” which is also true. He cut off Ukraine’s gas supplies after Ukraine repeatedly siphoned gas from the pipelines and refused to pay for the gas it had already consumed. The authors seem to think that Russia should give away its gas for free but that’s not how capitalist economies work.)

  3. The war on terror: The Task Force finds “a seeming Russian effort to curtail U.S. and NATO military access to Central Asian bases,” a sign that Russia is retreating from the idea that “success in Afghanistan serves a common interest.” (Putin was extremely accommodating in allowing American troops and weaponry to pass through Russia on their way to Afghanistan. What he opposed was the CIA-backed color revolutions that Washington supported across Central Asia in order to install their own puppet governments that were openly hostile towards Russia. He also opposed Washington’s covert support for Chechen terrorists. Was that unreasonable?)

  4. Russia hosting the G8: “A country that has in the space of a single year supported massive fraud in the elections of its largest European neighbor and then punished it for voting wrong by turning off its gas supply has to be at least on informal probation at a meeting of the world’s industrial democracies.” (Russia follows a strict policy of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries. None of the allegations of electoral interference have ever been proven. Quite the contrary, in the 3 year-long investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Robert Mueller was unable to find a scintilla of evidence to support the bogus claims. In contrast, Washington’s clandestine interventions, coup d’etats, targeted assassinations and full-scale military invasions have been widely documented and substantiated. No country in the world has ever interfered in the affairs of other sovereign governments more than the United States.)

These are largely the issues upon which the authors decided that Putin was headed in “the wrong direction.” He wouldn’t support their reckless military interventions, he wouldn’t hand Russia’s oil over to rapacious oligarchs, he wouldn’t look the other way while governments in his neighborhood were toppled by Washington one-by-one, and he wouldn’t snap a salute and click his heels when he got his marching orders from Washington. These are the reasons he is viciously attacked in the media and regarded as Washington’s blood enemy. He simply refused to be their lackey, which is why America spent the last 17 years trying to destroy him.


We Know How To Stop Vladimir Putin Once And For All. The Following Is The Strategic Approach We Offer To The American Empire Free Of Charge.

(Please, Be Prepared For Just A “Bit” Of Sarcasm.)

Before we reveal our unstoppable plan, we must first understand that the Associated Press has just informed us that it is a “baseless conspiracy theory” that America is responsible for sabotaging the Nord Stream pipelines which were set up to carry Russian gas to Germany, and that this baseless conspiracy theory is being promoted solely by Russia and far-right groups.

The Kremlin and Russian state media are aggressively pushing a baseless conspiracy theory blaming the United States for damage to natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea in what analysts said Friday is another effort to split the U.S. and its European allies,” AP tells us. “The Russian position is also reverberating on social media forums popular with American conservatives and far-right groups.”

The suggestion that the U.S. caused the damage was circulating on online forums popular with American conservatives and followers of QAnon, a conspiracy theory movement which asserts that Trump is fighting a battle against a Satanic child-trafficking sect that controls world events,” AP reports.

This information may come as a surprise to the many people who are unaware that promoting this claim means they are necessarily either Russian or far-right QAnon Satanic pedophile conspiracy theorists, like for example Poland’s former foreign minister and current sitting member of European Parliament Radek Sikorski, who openly thanked the United States for exploding the pipelines.

The news that this conspiracy theory is “baseless” may also come as a surprise to those who’ve noted that both President Biden and his Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland explicitly said that Nord Stream 2 would be brought to an end if Russia invades Ukraine, that America sanctioned those who built Nord Stream 2, that DC insiders are on record saying they want Europeans to be more dependent on North American energy than on pipelines from Russia, that Germans had just been angrily demanding an end to American-led sanctions on Russia and a reopening of Nord Stream gas, that American naval forces were recently conducting unmanned underwater vehicle drills right where the pipelines were attacked, that unmanned underwater vehicles have been found carrying explosive charges near Russian pipelines in the past, that Poland literally just inaugurated a gas pipeline that will transport gas from Norway through Denmark and the Baltic Sea, that American military helicopters were recorded traveling between the two blast points and along the Nord Stream 2 pipeline shortly before the explosions, that the American empire has an explicitly stated policy of ensuring that no powers develop that could challenge its global hegemony including in Europe, and that the CIA has a known history of blowing up Russian gas pipelines.

But it’s in the news, so it’s definitely true. They’re not allowed to lie. America is not guilty.

So if it’s a crazy Russian-Satan-pedophile-QAnon crackpot conspiracy theory to believe the American government or its imperial proxies may have had something to do with the sabotage of Russian pipelines, who did it?

Well, this is going to blow your mind because of how wildly counter-intuitive it is, but here’s the answer: Russia.

This is according to such ever-impartial and totally trustworthy experts as former CIA director John Brennan, who says that “Russia certainly is the most likely suspect,” and NATO think tanker Alexander Vershbow, who says Putin blew up his own pipelines instead of simply closing a valve because he wanted to show the world that he is a “madman”.

The sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines further reinforces the image of Putin as madman, which might persuade some allies to push for a ceasefire and negotiations that would inevitably mean Ukraine giving up significant amounts of territory,” Vershbow told The Atlantic’s Susan B Glaser.

So there you have it. Russia, not the American empire, is responsible for destroying billions of dollars of its own economic and energy infrastructure and releasing hundreds of millions of dollars of its own gas and ending its crucial point of leverage over Europe in direct facilitation of American geostrategic interests and in direct subversion of its own, because Putin is a crazy lunatic. If it wasn’t true, they couldn’t report it in the news.

So are you ready for our brilliant strategy on how to defeat Putin? Here it is: simply stand back and wait for him to explode the rest of Russia.

This is after all the same madman who the New York Times informs us has been ordering his troops to shell a nuclear power plant they already control. If Putin is a gibbering, irrational lunatic who enjoys blowing up his own stuff for no reason other than to act crazy, surely if we just stand back and leave him to his own devices he will soon turn the Russian Federation into a steaming pile of rubble.

Honestly we can’t believe it’s taken us to figure this out on behalf of the American empire. You’d think with all the brilliant minds in the American government and the mainstream news media would have figured this one out by themselves, but apparently they need a little help sometimes. Any DC think tanks are welcome to respond to this post with any lucrative employment offers they care to extend in order to learn how to do anything else they want to do.

You are welcome in advance. Here’s looking forward to Putin’s self-inflicted downfall.


Biden Said It’s “Putin’s Price Hike” Reacting To The Report Revealing Continued High Inflation, Showing Once Again That The Government Believes Americans Are Idiots.

Make no mistake about it: I understand inflation is a real challenge to American families. Today’s inflation report confirms what Americans already know: Putin’s Price Hike is hitting America hard,” Biden said in a statement. “My administration is going to continue to do everything it can to lower prices for the American people.”

Which is of course absurd. Prices were already soaring and inflation was already at a 40-year high before Russia invaded Ukraine on the 24th of February, and there was never anything inscribed upon the fabric of reality which said America needed to respond to that invasion with an economic war that has made everything worse. America initiated these unprecedented acts of economic warfare in response to an invasion it could easily have prevented with a little diplomacy, and has managed to do so without even hurting the strength of the ruble at all.

There are many people Americans could blame for their shrinking bank accounts, but Putin isn’t one of them.

And people know this. Nobody who doesn’t work for the American government ever unironically uses the term “Putin’s price hike” except to comment on the Biden administration’s repeated use of that term. We’ve never once seen even the dumbest liberals in our social media notifications use that phrase.

Right now it looks ridiculous to hear even Biden use that term. It sticks out like dog’s balls because of how obviously contrived and out of place it is, like if he’d spontaneously yelled “Cowabunga, dudes!” or something.

But just you wait. If they keep repeating it often enough and frequently enough, sooner or later you’ll start to notice rank-and-file members of the public repeating it themselves.

This is because the empire managers understand something which John Q Public does not, and it’s this: if you repeat something often enough in a confident-sounding tone of voice, a glitch in human cognition known as the illusory truth effect causes them to mistake what you’re saying for the truth.

The illusory truth effect describes the way people are more likely to believe something is true after hearing it said many times. This is due to the fact that the familiar feeling we experience when hearing something we’ve heard before feels very similar to our experience of knowing that something is true. When we hear a familiar idea, its familiarity provides us with something called cognitive ease, which is the relaxed, unlabored state we experience when our minds aren’t working hard at something. We also experience cognitive ease when we are presented with a statement that we know to be true.

We have a tendency to select for cognitive ease, which is why confirmation bias is a thing: believing ideas which don’t cause cognitive strain or dissonance gives us more cognitive ease than doing otherwise. Our evolutionary ancestors adapted to seek out cognitive ease so that they could put their attention into making quick decisions essential for survival, rather than painstakingly mulling over whether everything we believe is as true as we think it is. This was great for not getting eaten by saber-toothed tigers in prehistoric times, but it’s not very helpful when navigating the twists and turns of a cognitively complex modern world. It’s also not helpful when you’re trying to cultivate truthful beliefs while surrounded by screens that are repeating the same bogus talking points over and over again.

This would appear to be the strategy behind the continual repetition of the phrase “Putin’s price hike” in particular and the narrative that rising prices are Russia’s fault in general. Just keep saying it and saying it until the illusory truth effect kicks in and overrides people’s cognitive faculties.

We are being trained. Westerners are paying more because of western policies chosen by western policy makers, and we’re being trained to look at our shrinking bank accounts and yell, “Damn you, Putin!”

No part of this new cold war would be possible without copious amounts of such training. Without massive amounts of propaganda, people would never consent to being made poorer in order to facilitate the dopey grand chessboard maneuverings of a few sociopaths on the east coast of the United States. Without massive amounts of propaganda, people would never consent to having the gun of nuclear war held to their heads every day as American imperialist escalations continually ramp up brinkmanship between the world’s two nuclear superpowers. Without massive amounts of propaganda, people would never consent to agendas which directly hurt them and threaten everyone they know while providing no material benefit to them whatsoever.

But this is also true of our entire society in general. Our entire civilization is marinating in propaganda produced and promulgated by the powerful in order to manipulate our collective psychology into consenting to a status quo which serves them and not us.

Over centuries of dynasties, upheavals and revolutions, powerful people have learned that the best way to dominate a population is to manipulate them into serving your interests while giving them the illusion of freedom and control. The invention of mass media has facilitated this new form of tyranny, as has the emergence of psychology as a field of study. These two factors have combined together to give rise to the steadily advancing science of modern propaganda.

This is why the world is as it is: because the people have been psychologically manipulated at mass scale away from using the power of their numbers to create systems that benefit them instead of a few powerful sociopaths.

This is the source of all our major problems. Understanding it, and finding ways to overcome it, is the solution. The only reason they’ve been able to control us in this way is because they understand all the many ways our minds can be manipulated better than we do.


There Are Many Who Won’t Be Satisfied With Just Getting Russia Out Of Ukraine — But Removing Putin Could Backfire Dramatically.

On March 26, President Joe Biden clearly called for regime change in Russia, saying that, “For God’s sake, this man [Putin] cannot remain in power.” While Biden’s staff tried to walk back his statement, there seems little doubt that it reflects a widespread view in the Biden administration and the American, British, and Canadian establishments more generally.

This view is very understandable given that many believe that of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was wrong. Whether it is sensible to make this the goal of Western policy towards Russia is a very different matter. There are two essential conditions for Putin’s replacement. First, it should be a Russian matter, not driven by the United States — because otherwise, the succeeding regime will be permanently burdened by a Weimar-style perception of treason and defeat. Second, it should be a controlled, not a revolutionary process — because in present circumstances, a revolution in Russia is far more likely to lead to a government of the fascistic right than a liberal one.

First and foremost however, if Putin and his inner circle believe that the West’s intention is to overthrow them whatever they do, then all incentive on their part to reach a compromise peace in Ukraine will disappear. In the worst-case scenario, they might resort to the use of nuclear weapons to save the regime (and as they would doubtless convince themselves, the Russian state itself).

As far as the Russian people are concerned, even many who have come to detest the regime for corruption and allegegd criminality worry deeply that given the underlying weaknesses of the Russian state, forced and uncontrolled regime change could lead to the catastrophic weakening of the state itself, leading to another period of anarchy and economic collapse.

That may indeed be the hope of Western hardliners; but if so, they should think seriously about the impact of such a collapse on security in Eurasia and especially the radical Islamist threat to the West. In any case, fear of state collapse driven by America is likely to consolidate, not reduce, support for the regime among Russians. We should hardly forget that in the great majority of cases where Washington has used economic sanctions in an effort to produce regime change — Cuba, Venezuela, Iraq, Iran, and North Korea — that strategy has failed.

Western hardliners who want to weaken or destroy Russia appear to have no real interest in the character of a post-Putin regime, let alone the wellbeing of the Russian or Ukrainian peoples. For them, it is enough that Russia as a state should be crippled. Other observers (Russian liberals as well as Westerners) have come to believe that Putin is so evil that whatever replaces him simply has to be better.

If only this were true. Tragically, if there is one lesson that the European and Russian history of the last century should teach us, it is that however bad things may be, they can almost always get even worse. As bad as Putin supposedly, he is by no means the worst leader that Russia might throw up, especially in the circumstances of the increasingly harsh nationalist extremism generated by the war in Ukraine. It is entirely possible given the present mood in Russia that even a popularly-elected successor to Putin might be even more recklessly aggressive.

In this context, American analysts should also carefully examine the history of American-backed coups in various parts of the world, and the unforeseen and awful consequences that often resulted — a history magisterially critiqued by Stephen Kinzer. In her careful analysis of American-backed coups, “Covert Regime Change,” Lindsey O’Rourke says that one of the two necessary criteria for Washington to support regime change is the ability “to identify a plausible domestic political alternative to the target regime.” If you are going to remove a leader because of unsolvable policy differences, there must be the promise of a new leader that “share[s your] policy preferences.”

In the case of Russia, no such promise exists. In the first place, precisely those Western hardliners who are advocating regime change are also demanding what amounts to complete Russian surrender in Ukraine: the abandonment not only of the new territory that Russia has conquered in this war, but the separatist Donbas republics that Russia has backed since 2014, and — most importantly of all — Crimea, which was transferred from Russia to Ukraine by the Soviet leadership in 1954. Russia re-annexed Crimea in 2014, and now contains the key Russian naval base of Sevastopol and the vast majority of Russians now regard it as Russian national territory.

No Russian government could agree to surrender Crimea short of complete military defeat. Even opposition leader Alexei Navalny has only spoken of the possibility of a new referendum there to confirm the inhabitants’ desire to join Russia. And any government which did give up Crimea would live thereafter as a regime of defeat and surrender. Such a government would be very unlikely to last very long.

Those Western (and Russian liberal) commentators who believe in the possibility of a pro-Western successor to Putin are in some respects making the same mistake as those who demand that Russia become a “normal nation-state.” They are ignoring the power of nationalism, which dominates throughout the former Soviet bloc. The entire eastward expansion of NATO and the European Union since the end of the Cold War, and the reconstruction of states that it has entailed, has been powered very largely by local ethnic nationalisms; which in some cases (Poland and Hungary), with Western protection secured, have become virulently hostile to contemporary Western liberal democratic culture.

Russia, under both Yeltsin and Putin, inherited by contrast the state nationalism of the USSR (and even of the Russian empire that preceded it). This has had bad and good effects. On the bad side, it has meant that Russia has inherited the imperial character and ambitions of those states. On the other hand, it has meant that within Russia, unlike in Hungary, Poland or the Baltic States, the state has not yet become narrowly ethnic nationalist; which has been very fortunate indeed for Russia’s ethnic and religious minorities.

In an essay published in 2012, Putin himself wrote of Russia as an innately multi-ethnic and multi-religious state (albeit with Russian language and culture as the central element), and he warned that Russian ethnic chauvinism would destroy the Russian Federation. In keeping with this belief, Putin’s regime and its top economic elites have been thoroughly multi-ethnic, and the cultural traditions of Russia’s autonomous republics have been respected. There is no guarantee that this would continue to be the case under Putin’s successor.

As far as relations with the West are concerned, Putin has clearly now shifted to an extremely hostile position. Previously, however, this was not so. For a long time, Putin often sought to portray Russia as a kind of “third West” (alongside the two Wests of America and Europe); culturally and politically distinct, but part of the Western world.

Above all, Putin sought to appeal to France and Germany against America — something which in the view of hardliners within the Russian regime (now widely called “the Party of War”) led him to act in 2014 with far greater military restraint towards Ukraine than he should have done. Today, these same people are said to be advocating a terrifying escalation of the war in Ukraine. If they replace Putin this would not be better for anyone.

American advocates of regime change should remember both the unpredictable and sometimes terrible results of American-inspired regime change elsewhere in the world; and America’s absolutely awful record of trying to manage Russian internal affairs in the 1990s. That effort helped to produce Putin’s regime; a repeat performance could produce something even worse.


The Western Media Caricature Of Putin As A Psychopathic Leader Acting On Irrational And Idiosyncratic Beliefs Is A Convenient Propaganda Narrative.

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, Western media have depicted Russian President Vladimir Putin as an irrational—perhaps mentally ill—leader who cannot be reasoned or bargained with. Such portrayals have only intensified as the Ukraine crisis came to dominate the news agenda.

The implications underlying these media debates and speculations about Putin’s psyche are immense. If one believes that Putin is a “madman,” the implication is that meaningful diplomatic negotiations with Russia are impossible, pushing military options to the forefront as the means of resolving the Ukraine situation.

If Putin is not a rational actor, the implication is that no kind of diplomacy could have prevented the Russian invasion, and therefore no other country besides Russia shares blame for ongoing violence. Yet another implication is that if Putin’s defects made Russia’s invasion unavoidable, then regime change may be necessary to resolve the conflict.


Western media have for years been debating whether Putin is insane or merely pretending to be—speculation that has only intensified in recent weeks:

  • Guardian (2/24/22): “Decision to Invade Ukraine Raises Questions Over Putin’s ‘Sense of Reality’”

  • Daily Beast (3/1/22): “The Russian People May Be Starting to Think Putin Is Insane”

  • Vanity Fair (3/1/22): “Report: An ‘Increasingly Frustrated’ Putin, a Madman With Nuclear Weapons, Is Lashing Out at His Inner Circle”

  • New York (3/4/22): “Putin’s War Looks Increasingly Insane”

  • Guardian: This article is more than 1 month old Decision to invade Ukraine raises questions over Putin’s ‘sense of reality’

  • Guardian (2/24/22) : “A member of the European parliament for Macron’s grouping told France Inter radio…he thought Putin had gone mad.”

The Guardian report (2/24/22) cited concerns raised in European official circles about Putin’s mental state:

They worry about a 69-year-old man whose tendency towards insularity has been amplified by his precautions against Covid, leaving him surrounded by an ever-shrinking coterie of fearful obedient courtiers. He appears increasingly uncoupled from the contemporary world, preferring to burrow deep into history and a personal quest for greatness.”

Even when other media analysts argued that Putin’s alleged mental illness was merely a ruse to wrest concessions from the west, this was not presented as a rationale for negotiating with him, but rather as a reason to reject de-escalation and diplomacy. Forbes claimed that although Putin is “obviously capable of massive errors in judgment,” that doesn’t necessarily mean that “he’s lost his marbles,” as Putin has only “gotten this far by being calculating and cunning.” Forbes‘ Michael Krepon went on to explain that the “mad man theory only works when the threatener is convincingly mad,” and that Western countries should proceed to call Putin’s bluff: “Help Ukrainians with military, economic and humanitarian assistance,” he urged, rather than pursuing diplomatic negotiations with Russia.


In the Daily Beast, Amy Knight, a historian of Russia and the USSR, displayed a remarkable ability to read Putin’s mind, discerning the real motivations of someone she describes as possibly “detached from reality.” She attributed Putin’s decision to invade to a feeling of insecurity over his “hold on power,” because he “knows that he was not democratically elected to the presidency in 2018, or even in 2012, because serious contenders were barred from participating.”

This alleged feeling of “insecurity” has apparently driven Putin to hate “democratic states on his country’s border,” because he doesn’t “want his people to get ideas.” Knight claimed that all Putin’s rhetoric about “the West destroying Russian values and NATO threatening Russia with nuclear weapons” merely “camouflages his intense fear of democratic aspirations in his own country.” Strangely, although Knight speculates about Putin’s possible insanity, she also provides largely rational explanations for Putin’s actions, because if a leader is afraid they weren’t legitimately elected, they might opt to launch a war to generate a “rally ’round the flag” effect, as George W. Bush did. This undermines the suggestion that Putin is an irrational actor.

Knight suggested that Putin was more dangerous than Soviet leaders like Nikita Khrushchev or Joseph Stalin, or even Germany’s Adolf Hitler. Khrushchev, she wrote, was someone who wasn’t “consumed by the historical grudges and the need to show off his masculine credentials,” and “had to consider the views of fellow Politburo members” instead of making key decisions on his own, like Putin allegedly does.

One of Khrushchev’s decisions, jointly made or otherwise, was launching the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary, which kept that country in the Warsaw Pact at the cost of several thousand lives. That invasion does not seem obviously different in kind from Putin’s attempt to keep Ukraine from leaving what Russia considers to be its sphere of influence.


Other Western media headlines offered quite specific, though varying, evaluations of Putin’s mental state from a distance. (This sometimes also happens with domestic figures like former President Donald Trump.) A few instances:

  • Atlantic (4/15/14): “Vladimir Putin, Narcissist?”

  • Independent (2/1/15): “President Putin Is a Dangerous Psychopath—Reason Is Not Going to Work With Him”

  • USA Today (2/4/15): “Pentagon 2008 Study Claims Putin Has Asperger’s Syndrome”

  • Sun (2/28/22): “Vladimir Putin Is Egocentric, Narcissistic & Exhibits Key Traits of a Psychopath”

  • Fox News (3/2/22): “Russian President Vladimir Putin Has Features of a Psychopath: Expert”

These diagnoses from afar have been going on for a long time. In 2014, psychotherapist Joseph Burgo (Atlantic, 4/15/14) argued that “Putin may or may not be a clinical narcissist,” because it’s “impossible actually to diagnose the man at a distance.” Nevertheless, Burgo encouraged the American foreign policy establishment to assume he is a narcissist, in order to help “mitigate risk in the ways it deals with him.”

The Western media caricature of Putin as a psychopathic leader acting on irrational and idiosyncratic beliefs is a convenient propaganda narrative that excuses American officials from taking diplomacy seriously—at the expense of Ukrainian lives and nuclear brinkmanship. Recent negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in Istanbul were hailed by both parties as constructive, with Russia vowing to reduce military activity around Kyiv and northern Ukraine as a result. It’s important not to let American officials subvert peace negotiations between the two parties on the evidence-free grounds that negotiations with Russia are pointless.


The Proportion Of Russians Who Trust President Vladimir Putin Has Risen To 81.6% From 67.2% Before He Ordered Troops Into Ukraine. Has Biden’s Approval Gone Up?

The conflict has led to sweeping Western sanctions that will push down Russian living standards.

VTsIOM said 78.9% of respondents in its latest survey said they approved of Putin’s actions, compared to 64.3% in the last poll before the start of what Russia calls its “special military operation”. The proportion who disapproved of his actions fell to 12.9% from 24.4%.

Ukraine and Western leaders have condemned Russia’s military campaign as unprovoked aggression. The Kremlin says it had to demilitarise and “denazify” Ukraine to protect Russian-speakers and pre-empt a threat from the Western NATO alliance.

VTsIOM’s numbers were similar to those in a survey published on March 30 by the independent Levada Center, in which the proportion of Russians saying they approved of Putin’s actions rose to 83% from 71% in February.

Levada recorded a comparable surge in Putin’s approval rating in 2014, when Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine and annexed it and Russian-speaking separatists took control of part of the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine with Moscow’s support.

VTsIOM said it surveys 1,600 people across Russia each day and its weekly polls are an average of responses from the previous seven days.

The poll published on Friday was gathered between March 28 and April 4, it said.

A reasonable person would ask how Russian President Putin can be labeled a “dictator” when he has that level of support among his constituents.