Did Somebody Say Vladimir Putin?

18 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Did Somebody Say Vladimir Putin? Russian President Vladimir Putin

The Sunday News

To construct and circulate the image of the President of the Russian Federation as a monstrosity is what the Euro-American media have succeeded in. So effective has been the construction and circulation of the image that the name Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has become a metaphor for a political anti-christ whose very existence and work as a leader is a threat to world peace and order. To imagine Putin as reasonable and driven by a just political cause has been made impossible by the circulation of his name and image as an archaic nationalist who is prepared to destroy humanity and the world in pursuit of resurrecting the dead and the lost Soviet Empire. 

It was a kind of dramatic irony when a conservative American Journalist, Tucker Carlson, on 6 February 2024, decided to interview President Putin and allow him to explain himself and his cause through the same Euro-American media channels that have successfully demonised the Russian leader. Carlson might have mistakenly expected Putin, in his own words, to crucify himself before the world. What Putin did was score the many  political penalty kicks Carlson placed as traps before him. The listening and thinking world was left to witness the performance of the historian and philosopher of the Global South whose vocation is for a multi-polar world with many centres of political and economic power, besides the Euro-American imperial centre. About the unfolding loss of American power and fading world political and economic dominion, and the rise of the Global South led by China, Putin tersely told Carlson, “you cannot prevent the sun from rising, you adapt to it.” 

The enchantments of patriotic history

That Putin is a Russian nationalist and patriot was dramatised in his long elaboration on the origins of the Russian state and the many trials and tribulations of the Russians across the centuries. It was a romantic account of one who stopped short of expressing the belief in Russians as a chosen people of some spectacular destiny. Throughout the interview, Putin decried the persecution of Russians in Ukraine after the CIA-assisted coup detat of 2014. What Adolph Hitler, the Nazis, and neo-Nazis have done to Russians was described in the frame of crimes and sins that must never be forgiven. The capital question that Carlson asked Putin was why on earth he commanded the Russian Army to invade Ukraine in what he officially called the Special Military Operation in February 2022. Putin’s long answer was punctuated with the patriotic and nationalist belief that before the Euro-American Empire installed their client leadership in Ukraine, the Russians and the Ukrainians saw themselves as one people with one destiny, economically, politically, and culturally. The war between Russia and Ukraine, Putin argued, is a political creation of the West as they seek to expand their economic and political influence into Eastern Europe generally and the former Soviet republics specifically.  

Why the war in Ukraine? 

Why wars are fought, as brutish and barbaric as they are, is a question that has troubled philosophers and scientists alike. In 1933, when Hitlerism was in vogue, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to Freud Sigmund, inquiring from the psychologist why humans had to resort to war. Freud’s reply delayed in coming and when it came it did not sufficiently answer the question, “Why war?” It was not an easy question to answer, even for a genius. Carlson attacked Putin with the troubling question, why the war in Ukraine, and why now?  The answer came in the form of a punchy list of causes and grievances.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1999, Nato countries led by the United States of America promised never to expand an inch into the former Soviet Republics, a solemn historical agreement that they have violated in a series of “five waves of expansion” that saw Ukraine and Georgia being offered the door into Nato in 2008.  And this has been as Russia kept on telling the USA and Nato, “please do not do this!” To show goodwill and the willingness to co-operate with the Euro-American establishment Putin asked then President of the USA, Bill Clinton, if Russia could join Nato but the convivial political gesture was laughed at and rejected. 

The USA, through the Central Intelligence Agency, right from the time of George Bush Senior, has advanced the habit of funding Russian dissidents and separatists, “terrorists” that threaten the very existence of Russia. Evidence of this crime has been given to several American presidents who have all promised to “kick the backside” of the culprits but have gone on to sit on the evidence and continue the assault on the Russian political order. 

When the USA developed the ABM defence system Russia protested, citing a threat to its security, but the Americans insisted that the system was developed against Iran, laughing off Russian concerns. Russia asked to be part of the development of the missile system to avoid it being unilateral and western, but the request was rejected. In response, Putin said, Russia developed the intercontinental hypersonic ballistic missile system that makes a joke of the American missile defence system. So, an arms race of a kind has always been going on between the USA and Russia. 

At the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, it was agreed that the former Soviet Republic would be a neutral state. The neutrality fell to the ground in 2008 at Bucharest when Nato invited Ukraine and Georgia to join the security pact.  The European Union also courted Ukraine to its trade regime that directly threatened the Russian market that had an open-market agreement with Ukraine. All that was the Euro-American world trespassing into Russian geography, economic, and political landscapes. 

The trigger to the war between Russia and Ukraine was the CIA-assisted coup that dethroned Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president who was reluctant to lead his country into the EU and Nato. After the dethronement of Yanukovych, Russian-speaking Ukrainians came under attack in the country, culturally and politically. Nato military experts started training bases in Ukraine, preparing the Ukrainian army for war with Russia.  

Poland, France, and Germany were the countries that became guarantors and signatories to the Minsk agreements that were supposed to bring a political settlement in Ukraine, between Yanukovich and his opponents before the coup. The agreements were thrown to the wind as Yanukovich was ousted in a coup. The three Nato guarantors of peace in Ukraine looked aside as the CIA sought to turn Ukraine into a client of the Euro-American establishment. American mercenaries, followed by those of Poland, flooded Ukraine in clear preparations for war with Russia. 

Worse was the return of the neo-Nazi movements in Ukraine. Individuals and groups that had Nazi affiliations started being glorified and honoured in Ukraine. Nazi “false heroes” were openly celebrated, and statues and monuments were erected in their honour. The upsurge of Nazism in Ukraine and Nato military activities in the country were a direct threat to Russia. It was going to be “culpable negligence” for Russia to sit and watch this, Putin said. Ukraine had to be de-militarised and de-Nazified, hence the Special Military Operation. 

Why not talk? 

Russia, said Putin, has always been open to talks. When the Ukrainians agreed to talk to Russia, the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, flew in to instruct the Ukrainians to rather fight Russia than talk to the Republic, money and weapons would be provided. The Nato alliance, led by the USA, wanted, and started the war in Ukraine, Putin said. The bombing of the Nord-Stream pipeline was by the USA, who were interested parties and could sink and attack the infrastructure. Russia has lived under being “pressured, pressured, pressured and pressured” by the West until the time came to push back.  The West has never been interested in talks but war. 

America should listen to Americans

Putin told Carlson that he reads American “analysts” that are “thinking people” who have told their government that their construction of himself as an imperialist and coloniser are false and criminal. Here Putin was talking about such figures as Professor Jeffrey Sachs, John Mearsheimer, and the late Henry Kissinger amongst other influential Americans that condemned America’s approach to the war in Ukraine. The Putin that Carlson interviewed is not the monstrosity that is constructed and circulated in the Euro-American media that have become the global media. And Putin noted what the media scholar, Jeremy Tunstall noted, that the global media are actually American in form and in content, hence their ability to turn American fears and desires into truths for the whole world.  The Putin that Carlson showed to the world is a Putin that the global media have concealed from rather than revealed to the world. 

λ Cetshwayo Zindabazezwe Mabhena writes from Gezina, Pretoria, in South Africa. Contacts: [email protected].

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