There is a reason why Russian President Vladimir Putin eclipses his Western counterparts in popular support, and why he can demonstrate to them what it means to be a world leader of stature. It’s partly a result of Putin’s ability to connect with real people about real life in a way that reflects their concerns about what is really going on. He does it with an honesty and compassion that Western leaders no longer know the meaning of.
This was evident in his televised question-and-answer interview with the Russian nation this week, in which he dealt with the dangerous unrest in neighbouring Ukraine. A good many other people around the world were also watching and listening to Putin’s words.
In short, this is a politician whom people actually feel they can trust because his views concur with how they interpret the world around them. The polls show it. Putin’s favourable rating among the Russian public is well over 70 per cent.
Of course, the ever-so smart Western media would distort this fact as a product of Russian propagandizing of its people.
If so, how do the ever-so smart Western media explain the abject polling of Western politicians?
Compare Putin’s support rating with corresponding flagging figures for US President Barack Obama, Britain’s premier David Cameron or the French leader Francois Hollande. The vast majority of the Western public continually voice disapproval of their government leaders. Hollande, whose ruling party suffered humiliating defeats in the most recent municipal elections, has the lowest rating of only 17 per cent – the most unpopular French president on record.
What should be even more disconcerting for the Western so-called leaders and their media is that plenty of anecdotal evidence points to the Russian president commanding higher respect even among the Western public.
The decisive issue is one of credibility and integrity, and with that comes respect. By contrast, lack of credibility and integrity engenders disrespect. When lack of credibility and integrity become routine and habitual, as in the case of Western politicians, then that manifests in contempt because the public rightly feel that their intelligence is being insulted with barefaced lies.
When Putin talks about the upheaval in Ukraine as being the result of a campaign of Western political interference in that country, he talks with facts and evidence that the whole world can see. Yet Western politicians and media live in denial and expect everyone else to likewise live in denial.
The Western-backed coup brought an unelected, fascist regime to office in Kiev. The mob-rule nature of the Kiev regime with its odious public hate-statements and actions of violence towards their countrymen is testified by countless video evidence and reports.
If majority populations in the east and south of Ukraine are opposed to the unelected, self-imposed rule of fascists in Kiev that is the right of the people to resist, as they are doing in cities and towns, from Kharkov to Donetz, from Lugansk to Odessa and in the Crimea.
It is even more the right of the people to resist when the self-proclaimed junta in Kiev condemns the protesters as “terrorists” and sends in parachute troopers to crush the people with violence, as they tried to do this week only to fail.
Putin’s view of the world corresponds with the facts, and it is not only the people of Ukraine and Russia who recognize this attribute; the public in the West and the rest of the world can see it too.
On Ukraine, Putin said:
“Instead of realizing that something has gone wrong in the Ukrainian state and making attempts to start dialogue, they [the Western-backed junta in Kiev] have intensified their threats to use force and have even decided to send tanks and aircraft against the civilian population. It is another very serious crime on the part of the current Kiev authorities”.
It is only Western rulers and their pliant news media that seem to have a problem with relating to such unequivocal reality. Obama and his ilk twist reality by accusing Putin of violating Ukraine’s sovereignty – this after the American government helped bring neo-Nazi paramilitaries to power in Kiev through murderous street violence and occupations. Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague this week accuses Russia of pushing Ukraine to “the brink”, while the French government is adding its support for imposing further provocative diplomatic sanctions against Moscow. Such people are living in a parallel universe, and most ordinary citizens around the world are increasingly becoming aware of their appalling irrationality.
The egregious contradictions mouthed by Western government leaders belie their lack of credibility and integrity. Public protests and occupations are somehow acceptable in Kiev, but unacceptable in Donetz and other cities, even though the latter demonstrations are conducted with much less violence, and without the malign interference of foreign governments.
Turning reality on its head, Western governments and the mainstream media ignore the facts of Western-backed subversion in Kiev, and yet with negligible evidence they charge that Moscow is leading agitation now in the rest of Ukraine.
In Geneva this week talks opened between the US, European Union, Russia and members of the junta in Kiev. It is a grave mistake to even refer to the latter as the “government of Ukraine” when in fact it is merely a cabal that usurped power by force. In any case, it was reported that the junta entered the Geneva forum with the precondition that there would be no dialogue about Ukraine’s internal affairs or of the Russian proposal for a federal solution between all regions of Ukraine. How do you like that? This Western-installed junta has unleashed chaos, called for mass murder of Russian-speaking people in the east of Ukraine, and now it is stipulating that it will not engage in talks about internal affairs, but it insists on allegations of Russia “de-escalating” and to “stop supporting terrorists”.
It is only the patronage of Western governments and their news media that lends this chauvinist junta a veneer of legitimacy, even while it is declaring war on its people.
As Putin said in his televised nationwide interview: “Order in the country [Ukraine] can be established only through a dialogue, in the course of democratic procedures, rather than through the use of the armed forces, tanks, and warplanes”.
There is a strong sense that Putin may be far too decent with regard to the Kiev mob. But it is Putin’s civility and common sense that has seen him winning over public opinion, nationally and internationally.
Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize warrior and Assassin-in-Chief whose name has become a byword for liar, told American media earlier this week. “What we do need is a recognition that countries like Ukraine can have relationships with a whole range of their neighbours and it is not up to anybody, whether it is Russia or the United States or anybody else, to make decisions for them”.
Well, empty platitudes aside, that is exactly what the US has done in Ukraine by fomenting violence in Kiev from the end of last November until the coup in February and is doing now by bestowing a completely illegitimate and illegal junta with the false nomenclature of “government of Ukraine”.
This week too, Samantha Power, the American ambassador to the United Nations, echoed the distortion by telling the Security Council that Russia was subverting eastern Ukraine: “We know who is behind this. Indeed the only entity in the area capable of coordinating these professional military actions is Russia”.
This sounds rather like the voice of guilty conscience speaking out about its own dark and dirty secrets.
Despite her assured tone, Power’s lack of evidence regarding Russia amounted to fanciful speculation, which the Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin duly noted and derided as “phantom chasing”.
This is the same Samantha Power who last August “assured” the world that her country had “conclusive proof” that Syrian government forces had used chemical weapons to kill hundreds of its citizens. Power was urging back then for US military strikes against Syria in response. We are still waiting to see American “conclusive proof” for that warmongering claim, while substantial counter-evidence has in fact since emerged to show that the culprits for the atrocity were actually US-backed militants in Syria.
Every time, it seems, that Western political leaders and their media make bombastic claims, it is subsequently shown to be fabrication, deception, lies or arrant nonsense. No wonder the Western public is deserting them en masse.
They have lied about wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. That makes these wars criminal aggressions and huge crimes against humanity. They lie about the reasons for why the US and its allies kill people every week with assassination drones in Somalia and Yemen and with criminal trade sanctions imposed for bogus pretexts on Iran.
Even on more mundane matters, such as unemployment figures and economic policy, Western government leaders are seen to be ludicrously out of touch with reality and the real concerns of people. France’s new Prime Minister Manuel Valls – brought in by the hapless Hollande to salvage his government’s plummeting credibility – turns around this week and tells the French public that a planned drive to cut €50 billion in public spending is “not austerity”. Meanwhile, Britain’s Cameron tells his citizens that he a committed Christian whose faith guides his policies – policies that have driven up rates of misery and hunger among Britons to record levels, an abhorrent fact that more than 40 British Anglican Church bishops pleaded with him to address urgently.
By contrast to all these arrogant Western follies and falsehoods over Ukraine and countless other issues, Putin comes across as a genuine leader of people. In this television interview with the nation, he spoke with quiet respect to individual citizens by answering their concerns with honesty and in plain language. Unlike Western politicians, Putin does not condescend with platitudes, fakery and fabrications.
Western politicians and media try to hide the embarrassing truth by claiming that the Russian leader is deluded, that the people of Russia and Ukraine are deluded by “Soviet propaganda”, that the people around the world who admire Putin are dupes. The New York Times this week accused Russia of “bluster and hyperbole, of misinformation, exaggerations, conspiracy theories, overheated rhetoric and, occasionally, outright lies about the political crisis in Ukraine”.
The irony is that it is the New York Times, the rest of the Western media and Western politicians who are actually guilty of the malfeasance they accuse Putin and Russia of.
The proof? Just ask the people out there, in Russia, Europe, America and elsewhere, whom do they believe and respect. The numbers are growing by the day.
[DS added the video.]
Putin’s annual Q&A session 2014
RT on Apr 17, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin is holding his annual televised question and answer session in which he is expected to speak about Crimean integration into Russia and the current crisis in Ukraine.