Don’t Succumb to Putin Envy

By Jason Jones & John Zmirak Published on February 9, 2024

We watched the courageous journalist Tucker Carlson do the patriotic thing and interview Vladimir Putin. Yes, you read that right. It does show a love for your country to try to find out what its rivals are thinking. To provide an outside perspective that doesn’t fit the Official Story concocted by our Deep State, then imposed by our heavily censored media. To try defusing a potentially nuclear Third World War, and to seek a negotiated peace instead of the bloody “quagmire” our own Pentagon wants.

You’re probably reading claims that Carlson is a “traitor” or a “Putin asset” for doing what journalists do — or used to, before the COVID panic and Trump Derangement Syndrome turned those Pinocchios back into puppets. Anybody who says that betrays his own secret fetish: He wants the U.S. to be even more like Putin’s Russia, with media that slavishly repeat whatever the government says, as it imprisons its opponents.

But let’s not get carried away. Yes, on the surface there was much that was impressive about Putin’s performance. Unlike our president, who can’t remember when and how his own son died, or whether the Mexicans run Egypt, Putin could rattle off a 30-minute, artful narrative of the last 1300 years of his country’s history. Our president couldn’t do that. The last president of Harvard couldn’t have either, unless she’d plagiarized it. As Steve Deace reflected, it’s sobering to realize just what a shambles our country has become on the watch of the neocons and neoliberals since 1992:

Yesterday the Supreme Court held arguments over whether a “cause I don’t like them clause” could be used to remove candidates from the ballot without any due process, another state Supreme Court created an “Aloha clause” to ignore the Constitution, and it was declared to a world full of enemies our president is too senile and feeble to be held accountable by the Department of Justice. I’d post a sarcastic meme to sum it all up, but we are too far down the rabbit hole for gallows humor to soothe the pain and frustration now. This is end of empires stuff straight out of history books. The stuff of divine judgment. But we called it Thursday.

Our Idiot Elites

Our so-called elites  are so bad at their jobs that Russia, with an economy the size of Italy’s, is pressing forward and winning a war of aggression, in the face of billions of dollars in cash and weapons pouring in from the U.S. and NATO.

As Putin rightly pointed out, the Biden regime has endangered the single greatest remaining American economic advantage — the use of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency — by recklessly sanctioning private Russian citizens. Investors around the world absolutely took note that the U.S. is willing to politicize the dollar, which makes it no longer the “safe” asset it always has been. We essentially sawed off our leg in order to beat a few Russians over the head with it.

All this is sadly true. It’s also true that Ukraine will probably never get back all the sovereign territory it lost, and that this is mostly the fault of U.S. elites. Putin lied about a lot of things in his interview with Carlson (and we’ll detail all his lies further down).

Our Prodigal Fathers Squandered Our Inheritance

But he was telling the cold, hard truth about how our foreign policy elites betrayed the promises the U.S. made to Mikhail Gorbachev, which were the condition for dismantling the Eastern Bloc peacefully. We vowed not to expand NATO, but then went on to do exactly that, all the way up to Russia’s borders. We toyed with inviting Ukraine into NATO — an act as provocative as the USSR putting nuclear missiles in Cuba.

John F. Kennedy was willing to risk a nuclear war to reverse that. No patriotic Russian could respond much differently to a hostile alliance claiming for themselves what was once a core part of its country. No more could a patriotic U.S. president just leave our southern border controlled by foreign cartels … oh, wait. Never mind.

Putin made a powerful, if propagandistic case that Ukraine was indeed intertwined intimately with Russia for most of the past 1,000 years. Same culture, same church, and for almost 300 years the same government. That’s longer than the U.S. has actually existed. If what Putin said to Tucker is what’s taught in Russian schools, you can see why Russians got behind Putin’s pushback against Western advances.

The Dead Peasants Floating in the Punch Bowl

But while Putin served up a nice pot of nationalistic borscht, he hoped we wouldn’t notice what was floating around in it: The bodies of the murdered, the crimes of Russia’s rulers, the ruthless and vicious imperialism which Russia has engaged in over centuries. He painted Russia as a peaceful, prayerful, traditional Christian country ever threatened by hostile neighbors.

In fact, Russia’s overland empire grew as quickly and as ruthlessly as the overseas British empire ever did, and became a prison house of nations decades before the Soviets. Today Putin persecutes Catholics, Evangelicals, and patriotic Ukrainians (closing their churches and killing pastors) as the tsars abused Catholics, Muslims, and Jews. Someday a persecuted pastor will write a Putin-era sequel to Rev. Walter Ciszek’s spiritual classic With God in Russia.

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Why do you think the Russian government rules over Chechens, Tatars, Ukrainians, and a dozen other ethnic groups with many religions? Because the tsars conquered them, and Stalin subjected them to genocide, to keep them under his heel. Russia today is not some traditional ethno-state like Portugal or Iceland. Instead, it’s a polyglot empire with dreams of returning to Great Power status. The West must deal with it prudently and soberly — not demonizing it as the War Party needs to, but also rejecting the fairy tale that it’s a champion of Christian civilization, just because its embassies don’t fly the rainbow groomer flag.


Instead, the former KGB colonel now running Russia is closely aligned with genocidal China and suicidal Iran, promoting anti-Western terrorist and radical causes worldwide, including the quasi-Soviet regime in Venezuela. Putin didn’t mention any of that. He painted Poland as Hitler’s willing partner, and left out Stalin’s role as Nazi Germany’s ally in the invasion and rape of Poland. He spoke of Stalin’s murderous purges and gulag camps as “supposed human rights violations.”

A Holocaust, Denied

But the big lie, the dead thing floating right in the middle of Putin’s little patriotic stew, was the vast historic crime that permanently poisoned Ukrainians against any Moscow regime, as surely as the Holocaust soured Jews on right-wing nationalistic movements. The government of Russia in the 1930s conducted a full-on genocide against the people of Ukraine, in the form of the artificial famine Stalin imposed. It killed perhaps 6 million people (we’ll never know the true numbers), who starved in the breadbasket of Europe, as commissars seized every morsel of food at gunpoint.

Why? Powerful films like Mr. Jones and Famine 33 expose the motives: Stalin wanted to sell Ukrainian grain and use the money to build enormous factories. He also wanted to wipe out the Ukrainian language, religion, and national identity in service of Russian power and Soviet ideology. And he partly succeeded. The reason there are so many Russian speakers now on once-Ukrainian territory is that they came in to replace the Ukrainians Stalin had murdered.

With that historic crime, which Putin won’t address and Russia now pretends never happened, Russia forever forfeited any claim to be a “big brother” nation to Ukraine. It nullified all the history which Putin so loves to talk about. It poisoned the soil, which is now being soaked with blood.

 

Jason Jones is a senior contributor to The Stream. He is a film producer, author, activist and human rights worker. His upcoming book is The Great Campaign Against the Great Reset.

John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. His upcoming book is No Second Amendment, No First.

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