Garry Kasparov writes: Putin has spent years actually DOING things that the Western media worry American politicians are even thinking about, and yet Putin still has an endless supply of apologists at every level in the West. Putin has destroyed democracy and civil society in Russia, invaded two neighboring countries, annexed two million Ukrainians in Crimea, and launched a coordinated assault against the institutions that make up much of the modern world order. His global propaganda network constantly smears American and European leaders and society.
And yet even today Putin is still treated as a potential partner in Syria, courted by John Kerry (headed to Moscow again next week) and politicians in Germany and France despite blatantly and repeatedly lying to them and openly acting against their nations’ stated interests of containing ISIS and ending the slaughter in Syria. Even during my book tour over this past month I’ve been told by so-called experts and pundits that, for example, Russia is a “poorly functioning democracy”. You can read this week on CNN.com that the Russian middle class is “happy” with Putin. How would you know after 15 years of his decimating all opposition and turning the media into a propaganda machine? If you’re actually popular you can have a free media and free elections. Putin knows very well he cannot permit either.
I was taunted and criticized for a decade for pointing out the trends of Putin’s Russia toward dictatorship. Now only the most pitiful Putin bootlickers deny what he has done. Only when he invaded neighboring Ukraine on the darkly familiar pretexts of racial unity and national pride, right on the heels of Olympic glory in Sochi, did my comparisons to Germany in the 1930s become too obvious to roll eyes at. Soon they were being echoed widely (even by Hillary Clinton) and now the “H-word” is again in the mainstream thanks to Trump’s call for religious discrimination on a global scale.
Donald Trump gets more attention and condemnation for sounding like Hitler than Vladimir Putin gets for acting like Hitler. But there is a reason for this paradoxical behavior. Trump has no power, Putin does. [Continue reading…]