‘I saw a stone cold killer.” That’s former Defense secretary Robert Gates, on looking into Vladimir Putin’s eyes.
The histories of the Syrian civil war will record an abundance of bloody red lines. History will recall how Assad retained power by etching bloody scars on the lungs, stomachs, and bodies of his people. It will remember how Iran and its proxy militias, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah — those self-ordained servants of the oppressed — forged “justice” by painting Sunni blood on Syrian streets. It will remember how ISIS turned ancient cities into factories of death, enslaved the innocent, and exported terror. And history will remember how Russian president Vladimir Putin skillfully used slaughter as his strategy, while President Obama sat impotent.
Slaughter: At present, that’s Russia’s primary focus in Syria. Assessing the collapse of U.S. resolve — first on Assad’s use of chemical weapons, then on supporting the Free Syrian Army, then on demanding that Assad step down — President Putin sees opportunity in the slaughter of civilians in western and northern Syria. He sees opportunity for two reasons.
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Source: Tom Rogan, ‘Putin’s Syria Red-Line Strategy’, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/431391/vladimir-putins-syria-strategy-slaughter, accessed 10 June 2016
This is the nonsense one has to beware of coming from the propaganda organs of the American Empire, even those masquerading as conservative journals like National Review. Arjun Walia wrote further:
Dr. Udo Ulfakatte is a top German journalist and editor and has been for more than two decades, so you can bet he knows a thing or two about mainstream media and what really happens behind the scenes. Recently, Dr. Ulfakatte went on public television stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, also adding that noncompliance with these orders would result in him losing his job. He recently made an appearance on RT news to share these facts:
I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public. But seeing right now within the last months how the German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia — this is a point of no return and I’m going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany, all over Europe.
It’s important to keep in mind that Dr. Ulfakatte is not the only person making these claims; multiple reporters have done the same and this kind of truthfulness is something the world needs more of. One (out of many) great examples of a whistleblowing reporter is investigative journalist and former CBC News reporter Sharyl Attkisson. She delivered a hard-hitting TEDx talk showing how fake grassroots movements funded by political, corporate, or other special interests very effectively manipulate and distort media messages.
Another great example is Amber Lyon, a three-time Emmy award winning journalist at CC, who said that they are routinely paid by the US government and foreign governments to selectively report and even distort information on certain events. She has also indicated that the government has editorial control over content.
Ever since Operation Mockingbird, a CIA-based initiative to control mainstream media, more and more people are expressing their concern that what we see in the media is nothing short of brainwashing. This is also evident by blatant lies that continue to spam the TV screen, especially when it comes to topics such as health, food, war (‘terrorism‘), poverty, and more.
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Source: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/12/no_author/top-journalist-spills-beans/, accessed 5 Dec. 2015
So who is President Putin? A cold-blooded killer? Or someone entirely different than the caricature portrayed by the Western press? Here is an account from Dr Matthew Johnson that will hopefully balance the picture a bit:
Vladimir Putin is fairly mute about his own religious views. Being a member of the Communist Party is no evidence of atheism. Its evidence only of conformity. Party membership was essential for having any a career of any substantial kind, especially in the security services. Military and police careers were, as in all societies, attractive to patriots and nationalists, though it had to be a “Soviet” rather than a specifically Russian nationalism. However, he does say that he was secretly baptized by his mother at 18 months in Petersburg at the Cathedral of the Martyrs Alexandria and Antonia of Rome. From this, it is safe to say that Putin was secretly taught the faith from a young age.
According to his mother, it was the day of St. Michael and all the Angels, so it had to be November 21st. Putin's views are, in hos own words, to be internal, and never the subject of a show. The cross that his mother gave him at the Sepulcher Church in Jerusalem he wears always. In his house many years ago, a fire broke out from the heating unit of the sauna malfunctioning. Worried that the cross, which he had left near his bed, was gone forever, once of the workmen found it perfectly intact in the midst of all the rubble.
Putin stated on Larry King that he sees this event as a miracle and a “revelation.” His personal commitment to Orthodoxy never wavered afterwards. Normally he goes to obscure, rural churches to spend the holidays, wishing to avoid the cameras and distractions of the major cities. His natural constituency is the Orthodox population, who, as polls have stated since the mid 1990s, trust the patriarch more than anyone else in Russia, even more than Putin himself.
Unlike Slobodan Milosevic, Putin is clearly comfortable and at home in an Orthodox setting, and his ritual movements are smooth and comfortable, not jerky and artificial as might be expected for a hypocritical display. Milosevic was noted for his awkwardness in Orthodox churches in the 1990s, suggesting he had no experience in them. The only time he seemed slightly stiff is when, upon kissing an icon, the background noise was of hundreds of cameras taking pictures.
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Back in 2001, Izvestia interviewed Putin's spiritual father, the Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov) of the Sretensky Monastery. This was December of 2001, probably prior to anyone really knowing too much about his policy agenda. The Archimandrite stated:
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is really an Orthodox Christian really, and not nominally. He confesses, receives communion and is aware of his responsibility before God for the ministry entrusted to him from on high and for his immortal soul. The burden and severity of the problems he is undertaking to solve and his responsibility for these is truly enormous. Anyone who really loves Russia and wishes her well can only pray for Vladimir Vladimirovich whom the Providence of God sent to deliver Russia.
The Archimandrite was himself sent to prison by the old KGB and had members of his family perish because of them. Thus, Putin's background in this organization did not initially endear him to the President. However, he soon was convinced of Putin's Orthodox mind. In his book, the Archimandrite writes:
Combining the modern Russian state with past forms, Putin has undertaken a huge effort to connect it to the heavens. The construction of churches, the reconstruction of destroyed parishes, monasteries and the revival of Russian shrines has become an urgent matter for Putin. For the dark, soulless landscape that was imposed on Russia after 1991 – one dominated by nihilism, anger, and nonsense mercantile scams – Russia was in a condition completely unsuitable for any future development. Anything built in this context, any laboratory or university, immediately plunged into the abyss of a toxic lifestyle. The restoration of churches and monasteries is truly the creation of huge sewage treatment plants which are to filter and processing the fetid waste of the 1990s. It is the construction of spiritual filters through which passes the poisoned spirit of the Russian people.
In his visit to Valaam, Putin stated that “without Orthodoxy, there would be no Russia.” On the website of the Valaam monastery, they speak of the sincerity of the President's faith. They state that visiting the northern shrines was a “turning point” for Putin and began a sincere conversion. He ensured that there was a minimum of meetings and no talk of politics. On August 16th of 2001 Putin first began his pilgrimage and acted like an “ordinary believer.” He walked the three kilometers to the main monastery to St. Nicholas' skete. He then decreed that the island of Anzer be granted officially to the church and more specifically, the monastery of Solovki.
On the 1025th anniversary of the baptism of Rus under St. Vladimir, Putin stated:
Today, when people are again looking for moral support, millions of our fellow citizens see their Russian Orthodox religion as a beacon. Trust the wise pastoral words of the Russian Orthodox Church. Her selfless, educational and social service demand respect. Her public authority and peacekeeping efforts aimed at strengthening the harmony and stability of Russia, as well as her efforts to restore the historical ties among peoples, and especially with our compatriots abroad, has been her legacy. It is also important that a new level of state-church relations has developed. We act as genuine partners and as co-workers in solving the most pressing domestic and international challenges in the implementation of joint ventures for the benefit of our country and people.
On the 90th anniversary of the restoration of the Patriarchate, Putin stated:
The Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church helped the people survive the agony of the 20th century. It helped defend the faith, to unite the flock and to save not just the church, but the ideas of Christianity. And later, already in a revival of religious life, the Church has helped continue his tireless service. And today, we appreciate the desire of the Russian Orthodox Church to return the ideals and values to Russian society that for centuries were our spiritual landmarks (Putin, 2007).
It is common to condemn Putin for being a “KGB agent.” the truth is that the security services of any nation attract nationalists. Few doctrinaire Marxists existed in the USSR. This is the exclusive domain of capitalist universities. Putin has condemned Marxism and communism. He has stated that the fall of the USSR was a great “catastrophe.” Indeed it was: Solzhenitsyn said the same. The destruction of the Soviet economy in a few years and its liquidation into the bank accounts of a few Jewish oligarchs is well known. The USSR was preferable to the 1990s in Russia. The life expectancy of the Russian male went down to under 60 years.
To be a career man of any kind in the USSR, one had to join the party. Spouting a few slogans that no one believed is a minor price to pay for the ability to feed one's family. Putin clearly (albeit secretly) rejected the party's atheism. He was and is a Russian nationalist. My book, Russian Populist: The Political Thought of Vladimir Putin shows this at great length. I've translated some speeches and writings that have not seen the light of day in the west. The revelations of Putin's secret baptism make sense out of his post-soviet career and ideological development.
Source: ‘Putin’s Orthodoxy: A Few Ideas about His Religious Views and the New Russia’, http://www.rusjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Putin_ROC.pdf, accessed 1 June 2016