Trump Trips, But He’s Right On Russia. Our Ruling Class Is Crazy. Remember the Romanovs!

Introduction — July 22, 2018

This introduction is to point out how grossly misjudged one particular sentence in the following article is. I cannot emphasise enough how badly mistaken John Derbyshire is where he writes:
“Putin is the illegitimate leader of a corrupt and dysfunctional country, an economic nonentity among nations, geographically overstretched, with a rusting military and a population increasingly composed of aging drunks.”
Seriously, is Derbyshire joking? Is he being sarcastic?
View from my hotel on a grey and misty Moscow day. Click to enlarge

View from my hotel on a grey and misty Moscow day. Click to enlarge

If not I can only assume that John Derbyshire has not been to Russia in the past decade. I’ve been visiting Russia periodically for the past two decades and while his assessment may have been true 20 years ago it’s no longer valid.
Russia is steadily transforming itself from the corrupt and failing behemoth it was under Yeltsin to a dynamic revitalised power under Putin. It’s recent military campaign in Syria proves just how badly misjudged Derbyshire’s assessment is.
Unlike their American counterparts, Russia’s military went into Syria and efficiently and professionally dealt with the militants before withdrawing, mission accomplished, with minimal losses.
Russia’s performance took Western observers completely by surprise. it was anything but the “rusting military” that Derbyshire describes.
And what does Derbyshire mean when he describes Putin as being an “illegitimate leader”? Is he referring to the fact that Putin won more than 75 percent of votes in the last national election? Or is he implying that Putin’s election win was rigged?
When I first went to St Petersburg in 2003 I did indeed spot some hookers walking the streets near the old Winter Palace. While I’m sure the world’s oldest profession still operates in Russia, things are a little more discrete now and you don’t see them on the streets anymore.
Likewise on my visits I have also seen a steady increase in the quality and variety of goods available in supermarkets. When I first went to St Petersburg in 2003 there were a limited number of beers available on supermarket shelves: imitation Budwiessers, more expensive German imports and some locally brewed beers of dubious quality. That’s changed and there is now a greater variety of beers available, including many new and surprisingly good local beers.
The same holds true across a wide range of consumer goods, from cheeses to clothing and electronic goods there is now a wider choice of better quality goods available. Nor do you have to worry about inadvertently buying Genetically Modified (GM) foodstuffs. They have been banned. Unlike in America.
Similarly the infrastructure in Moscow and St Petersburg is better maintained and services are delivered more promptly and efficiently. Again, in contrast to America where roads and other infrastructure are falling into disrepair.
If anything John Derbyshire’s assessment says more about a section of U.S. society than it does about Russia. Americans may not realise it because U.S. culture is now so prevalent globally, but the U.S. mindset is very insular and ignorant too. In a word it’s parochial.
I’m not a young man but if I was I would be looking to relocate to Russia. While large parts of the West may become more like the Third World, in terms of national achievements and inhabitants, I’m convinced that the future, at least the next few centuries, will be dominated by Russia, eastern Europe and the Slavic people. Ed.

Trump Trips, But He’s Right On Russia. Our Ruling Class Is Crazy. Remember the Romanovs!

PutinsAttack

John Derbyshire — The Unz Review July 20, 2018

Another week in the U.S.H., the United States of Hysteria. The occasion of this week’s shriek-fest was, of course, President Trump’s engagement with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.
Sample reaction, this one by Lt. General Mark Hertling in Politico:
In 2016, our country was targeted by an attack [whose] aim was every bit as much to devastate the American homeland as Pearl Harbor or 9/11 … But two years on, we still haven’t put any boats or men in the proverbial water. We still have not yet acted—just today, President Donald Trump, a beneficiary of this attack, exonerated the man who ordered it: Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.
Putin’s Attack on the U.S. Is Our Pearl Harbor, By Mark Hertling And Molly K. McKew, July 16, 2018
So those Facebook ads posted by Russians in 2016 were just like Pearl Harbor, just like 9/11. It’s war, says General Hertling! Get those boats in the water! And Trump is Putin’s tool!
Yes, I agree, it’s deranged. And yes, I agree: President Trump’s notion of what our relations with Russia should be like is more correct, more reasonable, and just more damn sane than General Hertling’s is, or anyone else’s in the mob howling for war with Russia.
That said, our President made a poor showing at Helsinki. For a guy with as much TV experience as he has, we should expect a better performance.
Putin is the illegitimate leader of a corrupt and dysfunctional country, an economic nonentity among nations, geographically overstretched, with a rusting military and a population increasingly composed of aging drunks. Trump is the constitutionally elected leader of a country so prosperous, buoyant, and secure, our main national problem is holding back the tide of people trying to break in across our borders to share in our blessed bounty.

Continues …

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