I suspect that some of the people rightly expressing outrage at last night’s horrible events in Berlin were far more sanguine about the even more horrifying events last week in Aleppo. I’m thinking in particular about the people I’ve met in person over the last few months who expressed the belief that Vladimir Putin is essentially a good leader who knows what he is doing: the English couple I got talking to over lunch last month who thought that aligning with Assad was the only possible option in terms of ensuring ‘global’ ‘security’; the Colombian IELTS candidate last weekend who felt he was cruelly unrepresented in the ‘Western media’; the Italian Quaker who believes that Putin’s sterling work in ‘growing’ the Russian economy was a good model to follow. For what it’s worth, I want to lay out some facts that challenge this point of view, one which I think is heavily conditioned by the deeply insidious pseudo-radical state propaganda outlet Russia Today and the useful fools such as Max Keiser, Julian Assange (clearly neither of them actual fools, but both of them possible tricksters), Ed Schultz and George Galloway who lend it their credibility (odd that we should still be talking about Galloway’s credibility in 2016, but still…). Other prominent pro-Putin advocates include that orange prick and other far-right demagogues like Le Pen, Farage, Salvini, etc, along with their fellow travellers such as Beppe Grillo (another possible trickster). This propaganda effort is all part of a much bigger initiative to restore Russia’s power and I doubt that my teeny little blog is going to make much of a dent in their tanks but what the hey.
You will notice by the way that the sources for these facts are reputable news organisations. For a useful breakdown of which news sources are trustworthy and which are garbage this is a very useful graph.
- The immediate violent reaction to the full-scale destruction of Aleppo was absolutely predictable.
- There is very strong evidence that Putin was directly complicit in the murder of hundreds of his own citizens in 1999 in order to instill fear and panic in the population, justify a new war in Chechnya and delay the election so he could take power.
- Putin is enormously personally corrupt.
- On the singlemost important issue facing the world today Putin is profoundly stupid. He is on record as saying that “two or three degrees” of warming could be good for Russia because residents wouldn’t need to spend as much on fur coats. Actually with two to three degrees of warming Russia would be в жопе.
- The Russian economy is tanking, with millions having been plunged into poverty in the last two years. Any supposed growth under Putin has been wiped out.
- His supposed popularity with the Russian people is partly based on electoral fraud.
- Putin is weaker than his slavering supporters like to pretend.
As I say, you don’t have to take my word for any of these things; please click through to the links from newspapers of record and they will confirm in the form of carefully-researched detail what is stated above (the first one is self-evident). Alternatively, if you prefer to trust in internet ерунда, there are millions of sites just like this, all just about as credible as Russia Today. As for Trump, I hope that when he gets to meet his hero his backup staff have some sort of sexual sedatives on hand as I fear that otherwise Putin might have difficulty shaking the US President off his leg.