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Unfair Press Is Missing Putin's Message

By James Donahue

In the 16 years that Vladimir Putin has assumed leadership positions first as Prime Minister and then President of Russia, he has remained an enigma to most Americans. Portraying a generally friendly but "strong man" image via the American media, Mr. Putin has succeeded in keeping us guessing as to the direction he is taking Russia and what his nation’s impact on the world might be.

A former KGB officer and later a high ranking official in the Russian Federation following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Putin quickly came to power after former President Boris Yeltsin fell ill in 2000.

U.S. President George W. Bush appeared to maintain a friendly relationship with Putin during his term in office. Putin was even a guest on the Bush ranch in Texas during that time. But his relationship with the U.S. has been much colder since President Barack Obama took office. This was largely because of Russia’s assistance to Iran in the construction of a controversial nuclear power plant that was construed by American military strategists as a prelude to building nuclear weapons.

When Putin granted asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Obama canceled a summit with Russia for the first time since 1960. Russia also refused to assist Washington’s efforts to resolve the Syrian civil conflict. One obvious reason was because Russia depends upon Syrian ports for access to the sea.

Currently Russian troops appear to be "invading" the Ukrain following a revolution by the people there in 2014. Putin initiated military force at the request of exiled Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to "stabilize" the region. The action has alarmed western media. Some are perceiving the move as an invasion of Ukrainia as well as Crimea. There has been concern that Putin may be attempting to reinstate the old Soviet Union and shift from a democratic back to an authoritarian state. The concern was so strong in 2014 that Russia was excluded from the annual G8 Summit.

When Russia hosted the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, President Obama joined other western leaders in boycotting the games.

So is Putin the "bad boy" the western media appears to be making him out to be, or are we being deceived?

Indeed, Mr. Putin is not playing "nice" with NATO and the United States these days. In a speech before the Munich Conference on Security Policy in 2007 he blasted the "hypocricy" of countries attempting to teach democracy to Russia, condemned the United States and other countries for bypassing international law, called for a stop to the militarization of space and objected to plans by the U.S. to install a missile defense system in Europe.

Putin fired verbal salvos at what he called the aggressive behavior of the United States when he spoke at the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in October, 2014. Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration and former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, Business Week and Scripps Howard News Service, reviewed the speech as marking "a leader striving for a humane and livable world in which the interests of all peoples are respected."

Putin told the group that after World War II and the years of the Cold War between Russia and the United States, there was an opportunity at that moment to "carry out a rational reconstruction and adapt it the new realities in the system of international relations. But the United States, having declared itself the winner of the Cold War, saw no need for this. Instead of establishing a new balance of power, essential for maintaining order and stability, they took steps that threw the system into sharp and deep imbalance."

He said the "so-called 'victors' of the Cold War . . . decided to pressure events and reshape the world to suit their own needs and interests. Instead of managing their wealth wisely," Putin said "international law and justice have been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. Arbitrary interpretations and biased assessments have replaced legal norms. At the same time, total control of the global mass media has made it impossible when desired to portray white as black and black as white."

Putin noted that the power figures have used "force, economic and propaganda pressure" to "justify illegal intervention in this or that conflict or toppling inconvenient regimes. It is not for nothing that 'big brother' is spending billions of dollars on keeping the whole world, including its own closest allies, under surveillance"

Putin, who has been among the advocates of a united one-world government, noted that the policies practiced by the United States and NATO allies have escalated the spread of chaos. Instead of democracy there is support for a very dubious public ranging from open neo-fascists to Islamic radicals. Today's demographic, economic and cultural trends all suggest that dependence on a sole superpower will objectively decrease.

"If we do not create a clear system of mutual comitments and agreements, if we do not build the mechanisms for managing and resolving crisis situations, the symptoms of global anarchy will inevitably grow," he warned.

Putin said the growing threat of violent conflict among the world's major powers is making the feasibility of a legal, political and economic basis for a new world order more and more difficult to achieve.

It is true that there is a major resistance to the concept of a new world order. Christians conceive it as a foundation for a world dictator they perceive as the antichrist. Others warn that the plan would involve a socialistic system of business that conflicts with Capitalism, or worry that it could all evolve back into Communism which has also been marked for its imperfections.

Putin said, however, that he believes "success and real results are only possible if key participants in international affairs can agree on harmonising basic interests, on reasonable self-restraint, and set the example of positive and responsible leadership . . . We must resolve the dilemma between the actions by international community to ensure security and human rights and the principle of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of any state."

It is interesting to note that the late Walter Cronkite promoted the concept of a world government in 1999. In a speech before the World Federalist Association, he said: "It seems to many of us that if we are to avoid the eventual catastrophic world conflict we must strengthen the United Nations as a first step toward a world government with a legislature, executive and judiciary, and police to enforce its international laws and keep the peace.

"To do that, of course, we Americans will have to yield up some of our sovereignty. It would take a lot of courage, a lot of faith in the new order . . . We cannot defer this responsiblity to posterity. Democracy, civilization itself, is at stake. Within the next few years we must change the basic structure of our global community from the present anarchic system of war . . . to a new system governed by a democratic U.N. federation."