The Mind of Mr. Putin

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Pat Buchanan
Pat Buchanan

USA – -( “Do you realize now what you have done?”

So Vladimir Putin in his U.N. address summarized his indictment of a U.S. foreign policy that has produced a series of disasters in the Middle East that we did not need the Russian leader to describe for us.

Fourteen years after we invaded Afghanistan, Afghan troops are once again fighting Taliban forces for control of Kunduz. Only 10,000 U.S. troops still in that ravaged country prevent the Taliban's triumphal return to power.

A dozen years after George W. Bush invaded Iraq, ISIS occupies its second city, Mosul, controls its largest province, Anbar, and holds Anbar's capital, Ramadi, as Baghdad turns away from us — to Tehran.

The cost to Iraqis of their “liberation“? A hundred thousand dead, half a million widows and fatherless children, millions gone from the country and, still, unending war.

How has Libya fared since we “liberated” that land? A failed state, it is torn apart by a civil war between an Islamist “Libya Dawn” in Tripoli and a Tobruk regime backed by Egypt's dictator.

Then there is Yemen. Since March, when Houthi rebels chased a Saudi sock puppet from power, Riyadh, backed by U.S. ordinance and intel, has been bombing that poorest of nations in the Arab world.

Five thousand are dead and 25,000 wounded since March. And as the 25 million Yemeni depend on imports for food, which have been largely cut off, what is happening is described by one U.N. official as a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

Yemen after five months looks like Syria after five years,” said the international head of the Red Cross on his return.

On Monday, the wedding party of a Houthi fighter was struck by air-launched missiles with 130 guests dead. Did we help to produce that?

What does Putin see as the ideological root of these disasters?

“After the end of the Cold War, a single center of domination emerged in the world, and then those who found themselves at the top of the pyramid were tempted to think they were strong and exceptional, they knew better.”

Then, adopting policies “based on self-conceit and belief in one's exceptionality and impunity,” this “single center of domination,” the United States, began to export “so-called democratic” revolutions.

How did it all turn out? Says Putin:

“An aggressive foreign interference has resulted in a brazen destruction of national institutions. … Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty and social disaster.
. .

Nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life.”

Is Putin wrong in his depiction of what happened to the Middle East after we plunged in? Or does his summary of what American interventions have wrought echo the warnings made against them for years by American dissenters?

Putin concept of “state sovereignty” is this: “We are all different, and we should respect that. No one has to conform to a single development model that someone has once and for all recognized as the right one.”

The Soviet Union tried that way, said Putin, and failed. Now the Americans are trying the same thing, and they will reach the same end.

Unlike most U.N. speeches, Putin's merits study. For he not only identifies the U.S. mindset that helped to produce the new world disorder, he identifies a primary cause of the emerging second Cold War.

To Putin, the West's exploitation of its Cold War victory to move NATO onto Russia's doorstep caused the visceral Russian recoil. The U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine that overthrew the elected pro-Russian government led straight to the violent reaction in the pro-Russian Donbas.

What Putin seems to be saying to us is this:

If America's elites continue to assert their right to intervene in the internal affairs of nations, to make them conform to a U.S. ideal of what is a good society and legitimate government, then we are headed for endless conflict. And, one day, this will inevitably result in war, as more and more nations resist America's moral imperialism.

Nations have a right to be themselves, Putin is saying.

They have the right to reflect in their institutions their own histories, beliefs, values and traditions, even if that results in what Americans regard as illiberal democracies or authoritarian capitalism or even Muslim theocracies.

There was a time, not so long ago, when Americans had no problem with this, when Americans accepted a diversity of regimes abroad. Indeed, a belief in nonintervention abroad was once the very cornerstone of American foreign policy.

Wednesday and Thursday, Putin's forces in Syria bombed the camps of U.S.-backed rebels seeking to overthrow Assad. Putin is sending a signal: Russia is willing to ride the escalator up to a collision with the United States to prevent us and our Sunni Arab and Turkish allies from dumping over Assad, which could bring ISIS to power in Damascus.

Perhaps it is time to climb down off our ideological high horse and start respecting the vital interests of other sovereign nations, even as we protect and defend our own.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

  • 7 thoughts on “The Mind of Mr. Putin

    1. “To Putin, the West’s exploitation of its Cold War victory to move NATO onto Russia’s doorstep caused the visceral Russian recoil. The U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine that overthrew the elected pro-Russian government led straight to the violent reaction in the pro-Russian Donbas.” – above quote by Pat Buchanan

      Hey Pat,
      You leave out a lot for a smart guy.

      What about Mr. “still communist” Putin interfering with Ukraine by installing (not a free election free from Russian interference) the “Communist Lite” Party of Regions’ Yanukovych who started to dismantle the Ukrainian military for a future Russian takeover that later involved Yanukovych allowing Russian troops to be stationed in Ukraine? (That was the REAL last straw for Ukrainians and the west did take advantage of it at the cost of the Ukrainian people).

      What about Mr. “still communist” Putin celebrating May Day with red and yellow communist flags everywhere, adornment of Lenin in banners and displays, and Putin’s decision to rename Volgograd back to Stalingrad? You remember Stalin, the guy that starved to death 8,000,000 – 12,000,000 Ukrainians in the early 1930s in a forced famine genocide to erase Ukrainian ethnicity?

      What about Putin’s order to fly nuclear Bear bombers off the coast of Alaska and California on INDEPENDENCE DAY/JULY 4TH 2015!!! (He is also doing this to our NATO allies in England, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, etc.) What about Russian nuclear subs off the coast of the USA/Georgia this summer? What about Putin’s decision to run Bear bomber runs in the gulf coast off the coasts of Texas, Alabama, Florida, etc. launched from new bases in Cuba? Or his commitment to leftist and communist governments WHO OUR AMERICA’S ENEMIES to build military bases so that they are poised for a future military invasion strike on the U.S. which he has been practicing with the Red Chinese for the past few years in war games? Over 80 stories Will you cheer Putin on after he incinerates U.S. cities with the Russian Topal-M nuclear missiles (fastest ICBM as of a couple of years ago) that he is pointing at us or will you say that it is America’s fault?

      What about Vladimir “The Sportsman” Putin NOT allowing Russian citizens to own handguns except ones that fire rubber bullets and that it takes 5 years to be permitted to own a rifle AFTER you are approved for a shotgun? (Contrary to the BS articles that went around the internet last year about his support of CCW – it was for rubber bullet handguns NOT real handguns).

      What about Putin’s comment that Ukraine is not a real country even though it existed before Russia? Here is some history that you may not be aware of: Russian governments have long tried to erase the history of the Ukrainian/Kyivan-Rus people long before Stalin murdered 8,000,000 – 12,000,000 Ukrainians in the early 1930s in a forced famine genocide in the bread basket of the world/Ukraine. The Czars made it punishable by death or imprisonment for Ukrainians to even use the Ukrainian language in the 1800s. Ukrainians were the Rusyn people long before the Muskovites (or Muscovites) invaded and took over the Kyivan-Rus empire. After the defeat of the Kyivan-Rus, the Muskovotes announced to the world that they were now the leaders of the Rusyn people. Along with taking many aspects of Rusyn culture as their own, the Muskovites changed their name to something similar to Rusyns later becoming “Russian” in their language. To differentiate themselves from the new Russians, the Rusyn people took the name of Ukrainian. As Paul Harvey used to say; now you know the rest of the story. Ukraine was NEVER the “little brother” of Russia or “Little Russians.” Here is a good primer on this history:

      Although our foreign policy is a failure in the middle east, what about Putin’s real plan for Syria which is to have Russian occupation and continue securing the Russian Naval base and expand with Russian air bases and army bases so that they and China can have a military foothold to augment their Crimean bases for an eventual war with western Europe? Do you really feel that Putin is involved in the Syrian military action for the good of mankind???

      Why are you seemingly always defending Putin? Are you working for RT News now?

      1. And Pat, lets not forget these quotes by Putin’s buddies:

        “War to the hilt between Communism and Capitalism is inevitable. Today, of course, we are not strong enough to attack. Our time will come in 20 or 30 years. To win, we shall need the element of surprise, the bourgeoisie will have to be put to sleep. “So we shall begin by launching the most spectacular peace movement on record. There will be electrifying overtures and unheard-of concessions. The capitalist countries, stupid and decadent, will rejoice to cooperate in their own destruction. They will leap at another chance to be friends. As soon as their guard is down, we shall smash them with our clenched fist…”
        — Dmitri Z. Manuilsky, former tutor of Nikita S. Khrushchev) 1930 speech for students at Moscow’s Lenin School of Political Warfare

        Gentlemen, comrades, do not be concerned about all you hear about Glasnost and Perestroika and democracy in the coming years. They are primarily for outward consumption. There will be no significant internal changes in the Soviet Union, other than for cosmetic purposes. Our purpose is to disarm the Americans and let them fall asleep.
        We want to accomplish three things: One, we want the Americans to withdraw conventional forces from Europe.
        Two, we want them to withdraw nuclear forces from Europe. Three, we want the Americans to stop proceeding with Strategic Defense Initiative.”
        — Mikhail Gorbachev to the Politburo in 1989

        “We have Nicaragua, soon we will have El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Mexico. One day, tomorrow or five years or fifteen years from now, we’re going to take 5 to 10 million Mexicans and they are going into Dallas, into El Paso, into Houston, into New Mexico, into San Diego, and each one will have embedded in his mind the idea of killing ten Americans.”
        — Thomas Borge, Nicaragua Interior Minister as quoted in the Washington Times, March 27, 1985
        (And where is Putin spending millions in military assistance and bases now??? In Nicaragua where communist Daniel Ortega is BACK in power!!!)

        Sounds like Vlad Putin is following the communist plan along nicely (especially in Europe and Central & South America) and many “informed” people don’t see it. Its sad how many “conservatives” and “patriotic” (or maybe pay-triotic) talk show hosts, bloggers, politicians, and political “celebrities” are blind to this and spreading RT News-type Putin worship to patriotic Americans.

    2. President Putin is correct. It is US interference in the internal affairs of other nations that has destroyed ME stability and opened the door of radical elements. Further, Mr. Obama’s snubbing of Mr. Putin early on was disrespectful of Russia and set the stage for poor relations with that nation. The last two US presidents have made a mess of foreign relations and put the US near economic bankruptcy.

    3. I trained for years in the Army to fight a Soviet invasion of Europe. They were “The Enemy” and we were right to see them that way. It was a happy day for the world when the USSR failed.

      But now, as Buchanan points out, it’s the USA that has destroyed the balance in MENA and given the rabid Islamists a foothold. I was in Iraq from 2004 to 2007, so i can speak from experience, and Saddam was an animal but what have we left them with. And what has Obama’s pathetic excuse for foreign policy dome for Libya, Egypt, or Syria? Has his headlong rush from Iraq and Afghanistan, both places I have been to many times, made those countries stable or has it given the rabid Islamists a place to hunker down and plot the next 9/11? Has arming the Saudi’s, the people who have harbored the Wahhabi sect for decades, helped the people of Yemen? I know Yemenis in Sa’ana, and talk to them regularly on Skype and they don’t feel like it has done anything but hurt, killed, misplaced and caused endless suffering to the common people.

      Obama is a worthless loser as a president.

      I have spent the past 11 years working all over MENA. I talk to people

    4. Not everyone wants to accept the gift of freedom…This country can NOT be the worlds police, nor should it even try. We have our own threats here. And I believe the SWHTF…soon
      Molon Labe

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