|Putin with his old boss Yeltsin|
Let me also say that when it comes to foreign policy, while I mostly think Putin has been atrocious in this area, there are areas in which he has a legitimate case. For example, the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe. NATO, in which the United States carries almost the entire military burden, has moved in right next door to Russia by accepting countries such as the Baltic states as members. Given how NATO is set up (one goes to war, we all go to war) this was effectively a war guarantee to these countries from the United States. Let me stress that I have nothing against the Baltic states and do not wish any harm to come to them but the idea that the United States should go to war on their behalf is absurd. These countries, much like Ukraine, were part of Russia for hundreds of years and it had no impact on the United States at all. There is no reason for it and it antagonizes Russia just as the United States would be outraged if Russia gave a war guarantee to a country like Mexico. Perhaps even worse as Putin has talked a good game when it comes to warning the west not to mess with his allies but he has never actually been willing to risk a confrontation by defending them. NATO has never been put to the test so it remains probably more threatening because it has never had to back down.
However, for those coming at things purely from a nationalistic or religious perspective, none of that must matter. They are not pan-monarchists and must believe that monarchy can exist in a vacuum and/or that it can still come back even if the last monarchy on earth is extinguished. Fine, but even from that standpoint I still cannot understand what would turn an Orthodox Christian and Russian nationalist with monarchist leanings into a starry-eyed Putin fan boy. First, on the nationalist front, I will agree that Putin may well be, once again, the only viable option available but that is a far cry from being someone worthy of enthusiastic support. I will give Putin credit for being better than post-Soviet regimes that went before him (I take it for granted that anything is an improvement over the USSR) as these regimes really were horrible and brought nothing but shame and despair on Russia and which did often allow themselves to be exploited by despicable players in the western world. That being said, I still see nothing that Putin has done that warrants such adulation as he often receives in terms of Russian nationalism and he held office in those dark days under Yeltsin and his first act on becoming president was to make sure that his former boss would not face prosecution for the corruption that left Russia in such a sad state. He often talks a good game, but I have yet to see him deliver anything concrete.
|Putin and Chinese president Hu Jintao|
For one thing, while I am frequently annoyed with those in the west who try to portray Putin as the worst monster on the world stage (including the same old tired comparisons to the dead-horse named Adolf Hitler -which, again, Putin responds to by surrendering the moral high ground and stooping to the same level) which he certainly is not and is often responding to unjustified meddling by others in his own backyard, I am also only further put off by the gushing tributes of his starry-eyed fan boys. This is because their attitude tells me that Putin is doing something, in a way, worse than anything even the Soviets did which is to make republicanism in Russia seem acceptable to normally loyal people. I don’t want Russia to be comfortable with republicanism, I don’t even want it to be a stunning success as, while certainly wishing no harm to come to the Russian people, I don’t want anyone to settle for anything less than the restoration of the Orthodox monarchy and Russian Empire. This is something that has been talked about, the subject being tossed around every few years, but which never seems to come to fruition. If Putin is so popular, if he is so beloved and trusted in Russia, there is no reason why he couldn’t do it if he so desired. That brings me to the subject of Generalissimo Franco. What?
|It's Franco -don't act surprised|
However, the greatest good deed Putin has done is also, in a way, the deed that most condemns him from my perspective. That good deed was the official rehabilitation of the martyred Romanovs of the Imperial Family in 2008 (after three previous refusals to do so). Giving Putin credit for this, just as an aside, can be a double-edged sword though as it rather undermines the independence of the legal system and would give credence to those who accuse him of using the courts to punish his political enemies. However, it was a good thing to see justice done to the martyred members of the Russian Imperial Family. The problem is that it makes the lack of a restoration of the monarchy all the more infuriating, particularly if Putin, as his fans so often claim, has been pushing for the rehabilitation. If the Czar did nothing wrong, if the Russian government is admitting that his murder was unjust; then what exactly is the basis for their continued refusal to restore the monarchy and all the property unjustly seized from the Imperial Family?
|HIH Grand Duchess Maria of Russia|
|Holy Russia -accept no substitutes|