MORE Putinology (Westerners really don’t know this guy!)
by Don Hank
I recently sent the following commentary and link to a Sergey Lavrov speech to a small reader group:
The anti-Russian hysteria is so thick these days that even Russophiles are laying low. They’re waiting for the Trump administration to end so that they don’t have to join in the chorus of anti-Russian jeers just to prove they aren’t helping Putin hack their neighbor’s phone.
I have not seen any signs of sanity in the West for a while, but Russia is still behaving like the only adult in the room. Recently foreign minister Sergei Lavrov gave a speech which, if you are looking for signs of rational thinking on planet earth, is here for you to contemplate:
It is a bit longish so if you’re short on time, here are the highlights:
Paragraph 4 dicusses how Russophobes have long attacked Russia for “expansionism.” But here Lavrov discusses the addition of Siberia to the Russian empire and, without bluntly stating it, he is alluding to the way the Russians accepted the different cultures in that region, in contradistinction to the brutality of the Americans who treated their native peoples as if they were lower than animals, slaughtering them when they saw fit or forcing them onto reservations.
In about Par. 15, he mentions Kissinger and how he takes into account the cultural and historical factors in relations with other nations, while others in our State Department simply rely on fire power to persuade nations to come over to our side or else. This is certainly why Putin has maintained a cordial relationship with Kissinger all these years. Many Americans tend to dismiss Kissinger as simply another NWO stooge. We simply don’t like details and nuances and are paying dearly for our lack of attention to detail.
Par. 22 or thereabouts:
The historical, geopolitical, moral foundations that shape the foreign policy of Russia are solid and constant. They set the tone of our day-to-day diplomatic efforts which, in keeping with the Constitution, are guided directly by the President of the Russian Federation.
When was the last you heard any US pol talk about foundations such as these? They can’t. A “progressive” nation is not supposed to have any such foundations. We ignore our history, deny morality, and substitute ideology for geopolitics. Our answer to any geopolitical problems: carpet bombing. If it weren’t for US firepower, we would have no friends at all.
Par. 24 or therabouts: A big truth here that America refuses to see:
ONLY through an international coalition including Russia can the growing terror threat be combated. We are doing just the opposite, inventing Russian “hacking” and smearing anyone who dares to state the truth, and Europe is now cowering before Islamic terror. America is next. Oh, but we’re now obsessing over Iran, which has never contributed one penny to ISIS and is in fact fighting it in Syria. We’ve got all that fire power but where’s the gray matter?
QUOTE: The formation of a polycentric international order is an objective process. It is in our common interest to make it more stable and predictable. In these conditions, the role of diplomacy as a tool to coordinate balanced solutions in politics, economics, finance, the environment, and the innovation and technology sectors has increased significantly. Simultaneously, the role of the armed forces as the guarantor of peace has increased too.
To US Neocons, the idea that nations OTHER than the “exceptional” US (which has all but destroyed the Middle East and wiped out its Christian population) might do a better job of leading is blasphemous to the Neocons/Neoliberals who have us all in a stranglehold. The problem for them is that, while they may own the media and government, what Lavrov says here makes plenty of sense to people in other countries, who are sick and tired of being under the heel of Washington and NATO. We may have the bombs, but we have lost the propaganda war.
I received a fair amount of blowback on this commentary. Example:
This Russian government media outlet [ http://russia-insider.com/…/incredible-speech-lavro…/ri19331 ] genuflects to Russian Foreign Secretary Lavrov, who mentions Henry Kissinger and how he supposedly took into account cultural and historical factors in interacting with other nations.
NOT QUITE: Putin and Lavrov have maintained a cordial relationship with Kissinger even though
1) Kissinger and Nixon were responsible for US bombing of Cambodia resulting in the murderous Khmer Rouge coming to power, which Kissinger and the U.S. then supported during the Killing Fields until ended by the Vietnamese army.
2) Kissinger supported the overthrow of democratically-elected Salvador Allende in Chili (9/11/1973) and the killing of thousands as military dictator Pinochet was taking power,
3) Kissinger supported Indonesian dictator Suharto’s invasion and brutal East Timor holocaust. …
My response below.
That is all true. The reason Putin and Lavrov are friends with Kissinger is not because of what he did in the past but because he does now take history and culture into account. What he did before or how many nations and lives he destroyed is beside the point for the eminently pragmatic Russia. What he is doing NOW is trying to avoid war (because he sees that his old sneaky method is a loser and has repented) and that is all Putin cares about. Because Putin is a winner, and you can’t let anything stand in the way of winning, not even emotions. In a nutshell, Putin understands the principle of repentance and utilizes it wisely.
Who in our supposedly Christian nation really understands this wise principle?
NOTE: Putin is NOT a Westerner and does not behave like one. ONLY a tiny percentage of us will appreciate or understand this.
In the West, if a leader screws you, you hate him til one of you dies.
Not Putin. You don’t have to like this MO but it is Putin’s, it works, and you need to be aware of it.
Example: Around the start of the war in Syria, a Russian plane was shot down by the Turkish air force. Initially, Putin reprimanded and warned Turkey not to repeat this.
Erdogan did not even apologize at first. The Russian people were angry.
So Putin slapped meaningful sanctions on Turkey, notably the ban on Russians getting visas to Turkey. Russian tourists had poured significant wealth into Turkey. Now that was over. Worse, he suspended the potentially lucrative Turkish Stream pipeline project, another major economic loss for Turkey.
Erdogan felt the pain. Eventually, he apologized — REALLY a hard pill for a proud Turk to swallow!
Then a while later,as you will recall, a coup was planned in Turkey and Erdogan was targeted for removal for office. It is believed he was to be murdered.
Here is where Putin did the unexpected (if you are an average Westerner). Putin’s intel service informed him of the intended coup and Putin got on the horn and warned Erdogan. It is believed he told Erdogan that his Western partners (US and NATO) were behind the attempt. Erdogan had no trouble believing that after what the US had done to Ghadaffi, Mubarak and Yanukovich. Treachery is the name of the Washington game. The only reason any nation still deals with us is fear. Raw fear of our firepower. Not respect, not love, certainly not trust. But now the Russians are neck in neck with us in weaponry… And, er, their allies respect them.
Erdogan believed that Putin had saved his life and that was no doubt true. In so doing, Putin also gave Erdogan an object lesson in the treachery of his “allies.”
So now, as a result of the stinging treachery on the part of the allies and the loyalty of his Russian friend, Erdogan turned against the West, incl, recently, Germany, with which Erdogan is at cold war.
Meanwhile, what does one do when someone saves your life?
Of course, you treat them special, particularly if you have been unkind to them before this. Thus, Putin has persuaded Erdogan to let the US and Russia team up to provide safe haven for the Kurds in Syria, even though Erdogan hates the Kurds (Kurdish terror was a problem in turkey). Putin killed more than one bird with this stone. He managed to secure a cooperation agreement with the US, which has been snubbing him. He did so by manipulating NATO member Turkey, which is very important to US interests. It is give and take, at which Putin is an undisputed master.
As a result of this wise maneuvering, the Turkish Stream pipeline project is revived and Russian tourists are spending their money in Turkey again. The US is also forced to grudgingly admit that Putin helped keep Turkey at bay because that country has gotten way out of hand lately in its behavior toward the US and Germany.
If this is all too complicated for you and you can’t figure out what Putin is up to, don’t worry. Putin knows. He doesn’t need love, or understanding, or respect from Westerners. He’s getting plenty of those things elsewhere, where it counts.
His attitude toward Erdogan is a reflection of his attitude toward Kissinger.
No Western leader would have the motivation and the intelligence to turn an enemy into a friend the way Putin does on an almost routine basis. But consider who has the $20 trillion debt and who has almost no debt — and who goes around creating chaos that destroys nations like Libya, Syria and Kosovo while who respects the sovereignty of nations and does not meddle in their internal affairs? Since both have comparable arms at their disposal (if you consider that Russia is backed up by China), who will win?
BTW, while RT is a Russian government outlet, Russia Insider — where the Lavrov speech is featured — is owned by an American who lives in Moscow. It IS pro-Russian, however.
As for Kissinger “supposedly” taking culture and history into account, I think that is a matter of public record. Kissinger recently came out and warned the US about taunting the Russian bear. Yes, he did evil things when in office, but he has learned from his mistakes and is a whole lot smarter than any foreign service “specialist” in the US government today.