Lot of fear driven Western propaganda about Russia lately, but what is the actual truth seems to be less heard. So how long before war is considered an option and we dehumanize the Russians?
Is Russia Democratic? Yes – but so what?
Russians cast their votes in parliamentary elections on Sunday, with an overwhelming victory widely expected for Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party – and yet we already knew what we were supposed to think of the whole process, with Western governments and media outlets (or do I repeat myself?) having already decided the whole thing was a farce well before a single vote was cast.
How did they know this?
Well, because Putin is supposedly the reincarnation of Joseph Stalin – in spite of the fact that he hasn't jailed a single person on account of their political opinions, and the Russian gulag has long since disappeared into history. Yet the accusations against Putin have grown louder, even as Russia grows more prosperous and ordinary Russians are more supportive of their president – and therein lies a tale.
Why the Council on Foreign Relations Hates Putin
Vladamir Putin is arguably the most popular leader in Russian history, although you'd never know it by reading the western media. According to a recent survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal, Putin's personal approval rating in November 2007 was 85 per cent, making him the most popular head of state in the world today. Putin's popularity derives from many factors. He is personally clever and charismatic. He is fiercely nationalistic and has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of ordinary Russians and restore the country to its former greatness. He has raised over 20 million Russians out of grinding poverty, improved education, health care and the pension system, (partially) nationalized critical industries, lowered unemployment, increased manufacturing and exports, invigorated Russian markets, strengthened the ruble, raised the overall standard of living, reduced government corruption, jailed or exiled the venal oligarchs, and amassed capital reserves of $450 billion.
Russia is, once again, a major world power and a vital source of hydrocarbons. It's star is steadily rising just as America's has begun to wane. This may explain why Putin is loathed by the West. Freud might call it petroleum envy, but it's deeper than that. Putin has charted a course for social change that conflicts with basic tenets of neoliberalism, which are the principles which govern US foreign policy. He is not a member of the corporate-banking brotherhood which believes the wealth of the world should be divided among themselves regardless of the suffering or destruction it may cause. Putin's primary focus is Russia; Russia's welfare, Russia's sovereignty and Russia's place in the world. He is not a globalist.
That is why the Bush administration has encircled Russia with military bases, toppled neighboring regimes with its color-coded revolutions, (which were organized by US NGOs and intelligence services) intervened in Russian elections, and threatened to deploy an (allegedly defensive) nuclear weapons system in Eastern Europe. Russia is seen as a potential rival to US imperial ambitions and must be contained or subverted.
Russian Historians to Study Stalin
President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, has rolled back Russia's democratic achievements, restored Soviet-era symbols and tried to soften public perceptions of Stalin.
In June, he told history teachers that although Stalin's political purges were one of the most notorious episodes of the Soviet era, Russia should not be made to feel guilty because "in other countries even worse things happened."
In a new book for history teachers commissioned by the Kremlin, Stalin is portrayed as an effective manager. "Political repression was used (by Stalin) to mobilize both ordinary citizens and the management elite," the book says. Also in the book, published earlier this year, the United States is cast as an evil power seeking world dominance.
More wars to come, until we cure the insanity of unbridled greed.