A few hours ago this guest post went up on the site as a guest post to rebut a piece of mine concerning Putin and Russia. That post contained some rather….interesting…opinions concerning Russia, Putin, the west and the Catholic Church the like of which have never been posted on this site before and are unlikely to ever be posted here again.
Frankly if I hadn’t invited the post I wouldn’t have run it but having made the offer I was of course obliged to keep my word.
I also thought it would be unfair to Fisk or rebuke said post as an update. Having invited the piece such a direct rebuke would, in my opinion be a dishonorable case of bait and switch to the authors.
So as the proper answer to speech is more speech here is my rebuttal to by 1389AD & CzechRebel post
Let’s start by noting some of the valid points in their piece:
1. Russia as it was:
Before the Soviets took over Russia was pretty much one large empire stretched to the pacific in the west, to the Arctic in the North, to Persia/India to the south and Europe in the east. A good map of Russia can be found here. While Russia did conquer some of the states and there have been nationalist movements involved it’s fair to say that the borders of the various soviet “republics” drawn the time of the Soviets were arbitrarily drawn and took chunks of traditional Russia with them. Russia’s claim to the Crimea has a particularly solid historical basis.
2. Russian Christianity:
The Orthodox Church in Russia was brutally repressed by the Communists. I can’t claim knowledge of the underground church in Russia during the Soviet Era and can’t speak intelligently on the subject. Given of the Catholic Church in Poland I see no reason not to accept the claims of my Orthodox Friends concerning Soviet Era underground Christianity and a resurgent church with the end of repression.
3. The Media vs Russia:
It’s fair to say that the MSM which always seemed to be willing to make an excuse for Soviet aggression and their manipulation of the press during the cold war suddenly has no tolerance for such behavior now that it comes from a non socialist/communist Russia unapologetically opposed to the gay agenda. I’ve written of the media’s double standards concerning Islamic and Christian belief more than once here.
4. Jihad: Russia has been fighting Chechen jihadist for nearly 20 years. One might argue the Chechens are more nationalistic than Jihadist (I say they’re both) but the tactics, terror & bloodshed used against the Russians are the tactic of Islamic terror and Russia faces these attacks directly on their homeland and infrastructure a fact that gets little play in the west.
But having conceded these points let deal with the rest of the piece starting with the big lie concerning Russia:
Russia, being a Godly nation, disbanded the Warsaw Pact in 1991, ending the Cold War and leaving NATO with no legitimate reason to continue.
Russia didn’t “disband” the Warsaw pact “because it was a Godly nation” any more than southern slaveholders freed their slaves of out respect for the Emancipation Proclamation. When the Soviet Union that had taken them by force fell into disorder the formerly enslaved states of the Soviet union from Estonia to Poland reasserted their independence. They could not retain their status without a war that Russia was not interested in fighting at that time.
The experience of being under the Soviet thumb is only a generation past for those European states. To expect them to say to the US “Oh we don’t need you Russia is nice now” is the height of absurdity, particularly considering what happened in Georgia in the last decade. The whole cavalier reference to taking parts of Poland doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence either.
As for the reference to the Polish born Zbigniew Brzezinski & family let’s see:
Seven years before his birth Poland fought a war against the Soviets that confirmed their independence. When he was 11 his country was invaded by the Nazi’s on one end and the Soviets on the other. Six years later the Soviets went into Poland on their way to Berlin and kept as a puppet for 46 years.
Maybe it’s just me but I have a funny feeling the Brzezinski family just might have a reason to be a tad suspicious of Russia. I suspect the 900+ tanks in the Polish Army reflect that same feeling.
Full disclosure I’ve met Mika Brzezinski. As an apologist for this administration I find her often wrong but wrong honest.
As for the stuff concerning the Catholic Church and the Orthodox, I don’t begrudge the authors defending their own Orthodox church or disagreeing with the Catholic Faith. I don’t even begrudge them their rather crass remarks concerning the Miracles of Fatima (which tens of thousands witnessed). Belief in Fatima or any such post Apostolic revelation is not required by the Church doctrine, but the whole “Vatican Kool Aid” business, that’s simple BS.
In my 51 years of life I have never heard a single member of my church at a sermon, lecture or religious event say anything disparaging concerning the Eastern Churches in general or the Russian Orthodox Church in particular. Nor do I recall anyone inside the church critiquing Putin based on whatever religious beliefs he has or frankly even mention he was Russian Orthodox.
In fact my initial piece had absolutely nothing to do with religion but was focused really on how the beatings in Memphis (that the media has still ignored) and Putin’s advances are similar in that they are enabled by the knowledge that there is nobody willing to stand up to them. I didn’t even know his faith until I looked it up while writing this piece.
Yet the rebuttal contained 8-10 paragraphs going after the Catholic Church as if opposition to Putin by the west is part of a vast Papal plot to bring down the Russian Orthodox Church. The level of paranoia involved here seems rather incredible. If the Russian Orthodox church is as integrated with the Putin government as the piece implies then it could be that the right word is “projection” rather than paranoia. I would think an anti-communist would recognize the game being played here.
Furthermore for all the talk about “protecting christianity” as churches have been burning in the middle east and Christians slaughtered all over the world seems ridiculous. Exactly how has Russia’s response been any different than the shameful indifference of the west?
Listen I understand Russia is a huge nation and it shares borders with some rather interesting neighbors including a resurgent China and a Crazy North Korea in the west and is dealing with radical Islamists in the east. I also get that both Napoleon & Hitler had a go at them over the last 200 years. Russia needs a strong army to protect its people, secure its borders and to defend its interests overseas. If that’s what Putin & Russia want to do I don’t have an issue with it and given the number of cultural Russians in the former Soviet States Russia has a legitimate interests in their well being.
However it seems to me the actions of Mr. Putin and his words seem to have a lot more to do with expansion to recreate “Greater Russia” than to simply advance his nations interests, of course I’d be delighted if events prove me wrong because our guest posting friends are right about one thing for sure.
Given the weakness of Barack Obama if Putin decided he wanted to take Ukraine and the Baltic States I sincerely doubt the west would do anything about and that fact alone makes it less likely that he would have to bother to get anything he might want.
Closing thought, if that guest post is characteristic of how the average Russian views the west it would explain an awful lot of the history of the last ten years.