This article first appeared on GR in November 2016.
As the Duran reported, it was only a matter of time before the ‘Putin Did It’ (see The Duran Lexicon for more) line crept back into the news in light of a re-opened FBI investigation, following the discovery more incriminating Hillary Clinton emails. Sure enough, Howard Dean, the man who ended his own presidential campaign by acting like a crazed hooligan on stage, has said that now the FBI and Putin are on the same side.
This comes days after Putin reassured the world that he really doesn’t want, need or care to meddle in the US election. Of course the usual suspects in the western mainstream media don’t listen to Putin because he’s just too damn reasonable. It seems that western mainstream media are confounded by Putin’s calm, his consistency, his logic and moreover by the fact that he doesn’t seem too perturbed about the issues that western pundits go hysterical over on a daily basis.
In order to make life easier for those who ‘question more’ in the following week, I’ve come up with a list of the varieties of people who say ‘Putin did it’ and why.
1. THE OLD ANTI-SOVIET COLD WARRIOR WITH IMAGINARY NUKES AT THE READY
This is an increasingly small but vocal group of people who lost their raison d’etre after the illegal break-up of the Soviet Union. Much like the members of the CPSU who rallied against the leadership of Gorbachev in 1991, this variety of person was equally devastated by the loss of Soviet power. The absence of the USSR meant that they could no longer talk about nuking Moscow in order to ‘free the people’ from Communism. In an instant they went from being extreme defenders of liberty, to trigger happy weirdos.
But life has recently got a lot better for them. These people go home at night pretending that the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is not Gennady Zyuganov but Vladimir Putin. To them the Soviet Union is back and so too is the great crusade against it.
Many of these people couldn’t actually care less about Hillary Clinton’s emails and her crimes against everyone from Bernie Sanders to foreign heads of state. They’re simply happy that a mainstream political figure has allowed them to once again feel relevant. The USSR is back, it must be destroyed by any means necessary and the former Goldwater supporter Hillary Clinton is their kind of gal. Put on your cowboy boots…
2. THE PATHOLOGICAL ANTI-RUSSIAN RACIST
This group has roots which date back far beyond America’s ascension as a world power. Unlike the previous group, these people are no laughing matter. Where the anti-Soviet cold warriors have a certain Dr. Strangelove value to them, one that even in 1960s America wasn’t fully taken seriously, the anti-Russian racists have been spreading vile propaganda in the west for centuries.
To these people, Russians are barbaric by design. They are expendable and their country is fit to be used by western powers as they see fit. This attitude reached a fevered pitch during the so-called ‘Great Game’ between Britain and Russia in the mid to late 19th century.
The kind of propaganda spouted at that time held that Russians have no culture, no education, no civilisation and most importantly, that Orthodox Christianity is an inferior faith vis-à-vis varieties of Western Christianity. This was said in spite of Orthodoxy’s direct relationship to the Ancient Church.
This attitude was later elevated to the realm of pseudoscience when Sir Halford John Mackinder proposed that Russia ought to be used as a geographical pivot region that the west must control in order to better dominate the Orient. According to such people, Russia wasn’t even worthy of colonising, it was simply a geographical motorway that ought to be pacified in order to get to the final destination.
These ideas were refined and consequently became highly dangerous under the Nazis. Hitler sought Lebensraum or living space for the German race. In order to accomplish this, Slavic populations, mainly Russians, needed to be eliminated so Hitler could use the land to provide resources for the Germanic races.
Although few of the ‘Putin Did It’ brigade openly associate themselves with Hitler, their attitudes have a similar origin. It is a deep set attitude whereby those of western European lineage and those of a Western Christian persuasion feel they are implicitly superior to Russians, black people, Jewish people, Orthodox Christians, Arabs, all Asian people and native peoples of the Americas and Oceania. Russia is the safest target for them because of the power and unity of the Russian state. But do not be fooled. These people are old fashioned western racists, they’re just more careful about whom they openly insult these days.
3. THE BORING, WILFULLY IGNORANT LIBERAL
‘Putin isn’t a liberal therefor he MUST be bad’: so goes the mantra of those who talk about Russia in a negative light and blame them for everything from the local health food shop running out of inedible garbage to the fact that their loser kids failed a recent maths exam.
For them, Russia has a DUTY to be a neo-liberal state, because that’s just the way the world should be. There’s a weirdly racist element to this thinking. Because they see Russia as a nation of ‘white people,’ they expect Russia to do as European countries do and embrace the post-identity liberal way where to quote the song Lola by The Kinks ‘Girls will be boys and boys will be girls It’s a mixed up muddled up shook up world’.
They are incensed not by Russia’s alleged lack of democracy but because Russia is too democratic and actively choose to do things the Russian way rather than the liberal European way. Of course this doesn’t fit the narrative, so in their minds, Putin is forcing Russians to have what they want in a totally undemocratic way.
If you’re looking for logic, don’t attempt a conversation with one of these liberals. These people know almost nothing about Russia, they simply cannot believe anyone who looks vaguely white wouldn’t want to be like good European liberals. Therefore it must be due to ‘oppression’.
The insincerity of their pseudo-compassion is easily exposed. Most of these people reckon they are Putin experts and can tell you made up stories concerning everything you need to know about Putin from his childhood to his present attempts to ‘rig the election’.
Less familiar to such people will be the names, Alexander Yakovlev, Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais. These people are often wilfully ignorant that western bandits like George Soros acted in collusion with Russian traitors in the 1990s to stave the Russian people. When they hear that in the liberal 1990s, young men were committing suicide left and right, the elderly were starving and homeless, young girls who would have been teachers, scientists, athletes or musicians were forced into prostitution; they just tend to cover their ears. To them, the precious liberal narrative is more convenient than the truth of what Russia’s neo-liberal experiment did to the lives of ordinary Russians.
So go on, ignore reality, and don’t choke on your gluten free smoothie. Keep calm and remember no matter the problem, ‘Putin did it’.
4. THE ‘CAN’T HAPPEN HERE’ TRUE BELIEVER
Unlike the previous groups, I almost pity these people. These are the people who were brought up to believe ‘the west is the best’. In the west the newspapers tell the truth and in other places they are full of lies. Western politicians are honourable men and women who go into public service to enhance the lives of their countrymen. In the west there is free speech and everywhere else there isn’t. In the west, everyone is honest.
These people are confounded to lean that western powers are as bad or worse than the faraway places they’ve grown up thinking are vastly underdeveloped and backward vis-à-vis the west. These people still believe the myth even though the age of Wikileaks, new media like The Duran and RT, social media and an inter-connected world, has made such beliefs increasingly difficult to maintain.
For them, the clichés about ‘truth justice and the American (or French, or British, or Swedish or Dutch) way’ must be clung onto because it makes them feel safe in the world and absolves them of any guilt for voting for war criminals and con-artists.
5. HILLARY CLINTON
She really does deserve her own category. Seneca once said, “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful”. This quote goes a long way in explaining the modus-operandi of Hillary Clinton. She will say anything to anyone in order to gain some sort of electoral, economic or general political advantage.
I truly believe that Hillary Clinton knows that Putin did NOT do it. But she has found a way to simultaneously exploit stupid liberals, wicked racists, old Cold Warriors and true believers. It was only after Trump and Putin said some vaguely positive things about one another that Hillary Clinton began blaming Putin for all of her own ills and beyond her, those of the wider world.
This demonstrates that the ‘Putin did it’ line is a child of opportunism rather than ideology. Had Trump and the leaders of China said vaguely positive things about each other ‘China did it’ could have easily been her go-to mantra.
However, Hillary Clinton underestimated Donald Trump. To quote George W. Bush, perhaps she even ‘misunderestimated’ Trump. Where many less independent minded leaders would have buckled under pressure and eventually said, ‘yes Putin is bad, sorry Mrs. Hillary you can spank me now’, Trump stuck to his principles and he ought to be lauded for it.
Trump has consistently said that whilst he doesn’t have a relationship with Putin he would like a good one because, cooperation between superpowers is better than conflict, because a common policy on ISIS is better than a hypocritical and confused one and because Putin is a man who inherently commands respect, something which Donald Trump finds rightly admirable.
The moral of the story is, Hillary Clinton can fool a lot of the people a lot of the time but she cannot fool everybody all of the time. Donald Trump’s indefatigability has made this especially so.
So there you have it. Your ‘Putin Did It’ survival guide. I have a feeling that over the next week it will be increasingly useful.