Why Do Americans Hate Putin?
By Mike Whitney
Tucker Carlson thinks he knows. Here’s what he said:
“… Democrats in Washington have told you it’s your patriotic duty to hate Vladimir Putin. It’s not a suggestion. It’s a mandate. Anything less than hatred for Putin is treason.
Many Americans have obeyed this directive. They now dutifully hate Vladimir Putin. Maybe you’re one of them. Hating Putin has become the central purpose of America’s foreign policy. It’s the main thing that we talk about. Entire cable channels are now devoted to it. Very soon, that hatred of Vladimir Putin could bring the United States into a conflict in Eastern Europe.
Before that happens, it might be worth asking yourself: What is this really about? Why do I hate Putin so much? Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him? Has he shipped every middle-class job in my town to Russia? Did he manufacture a worldwide pandemic that wrecked my business and kept me indoors for two years? Is he teaching my children to embrace racial discrimination? Is he making fentanyl?” (Tucker Carlson,”Americans have been trained to hate Putin, and will suffer because of it“, Fox News)
Is Carlson right, do Americans hate Putin because the media and the political class in Washington have told them to do so?
Yes and no. Yes, the media and the politicians have played a big role in the demonization of Putin. But, no, they’re not the main drivers of this smear campaign. That designation belongs to the plutocrats behind-the-scenes who use the media to attack Putin in order to promote their own globalist agenda. That’s what’s really going on; the news is being shaped to advance the interests of elites.
After all, what do the American people really know about Putin? Have they ever listened his speeches or read his statements following meetings with other world leaders? Have they ever tuned-in to his marathon 4-hour “ask-anything” Q&A sessions? Have they ever read transcripts of his interviews where he speaks candidly on critical policy issues, culture or religion?
No, of course, not. Everything Americans know about Putin they read in the media. And that’s the problem, because media despises Putin. And they despise him for the same reason they despise Trump, because the media’s wealthy owners see him as a threat to their political agenda. That’s the whole deal in a nutshell. Putin is not hated because he is a “KGB thug” or a “new Hitler”; that’s just public relations gibberish. He’s hated because he is an obstacle to the globalists achieving their geopolitical objectives. That’s the motive that drives this smear campaign. Putin has blocked them in Chechnya, South Ossetia, Syria and now Ukraine. He has derailed their grand plan to “pivot to Asia” and to encircle China with US military bases. He has been a thorn in their side for the better part of two decades and he has thrown a wrench in their loony plan to crush emerging centers of power and rule the world for the next century. That’s why they hate him, and that’s why they use their media to make you hate him, too. Check out this chart from a recent report at Pew Research:
A line graph showing that a record high share of Americans say they have no confidence in Putin
Pew Research: “Russian President Vladimir Putin receives dismal ratings, with only 6% of U.S. adults expressing confidence in him following his decision to invade Ukraine – an all-time low in surveys going back nearly two decades. The vast majority of Americans (92%) have little or no confidence in Putin’s handling of world affairs, including 77% who have none at all.” (“Zelenskyy inspires widespread confidence from U.S. public as views of Putin hit new low”, Pew Research Center)
Are you surprised?
Probably not, after all, the Pew survey just confirms what we already know, that Putin is widely reviled in the US and across the west. But what the report fails to mention is the extent to which Putin is admired in Russia and the rest of the world. Check it out:
“According to Statista Putin holds a very favorable approval rating among Russians averaging between 84% in August, 2022, to 79% approval by Russian citizens and Dual Nationals holding both Russian and United States Passports despite the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.” (Wikipedia)
84% is in the nose-bleed section! No other leader in the world today can claim 84% public approval. And what’s more incredible, is that — after 20 years in office– the overwhelming majority of Russians still support him. How does that happen? How does a modest, self-effacing bureaucrat become the most widely-admired and popular Russian leader of all time?
Here’s more from the same article:
Observers see Putin’s high approval ratings as a consequence of the significant improvements in living standards and Russia’s reassertion of itself on the world scene that has occurred during his period of office….
A joint poll by World Public Opinion in the US and Levada Center in Russia around June–July 2006 stated that “neither the Russian nor the American publics are convinced Russia is headed in an anti-democratic direction” and “Russians generally support Putin’s concentration of political power and strongly support the re-nationalization of Russia’s oil and gas industry.” Russians generally support the political course of Putin and his team. A 2005 survey showed that three times as many Russians felt the country was “more democratic” under Putin than it was during the Yeltsin or Gorbachev years, and the same proportion thought human rights were better under Putin than Yeltsin.” (Wikipedia)
So, according to the Russian people, Putin is largely responsible for Russia’s economic prosperity, the higher living standards, the sharing of oil revenues, the better human rights record and the stronger democracy.They also overwhelmingly support Putin’s military operation in Ukraine. (87%) So, how do we explain the huge disparity between the Russian peoples’ opinion of Putin (over 80% approval) and that of the American people? (92% have little or no confidence in him) Either the Russians are extremely dim-witted and gullible or the Americans are the most weak-minded, brainwashed sheeple on earth? Which is it?
For roughly 17 years, the media has been spewing the same slanderous claptrap (aimed at Putin) they settled on in 2005 and 2006. Did you know that? Did you know that– at one time– western elites and their lapdog media actually liked Putin and thought he was a leader “they could work with”? In other words, they figured Putin would be another compliant stooge like the perennially-inebriated Yeltsin who thrust the country into “shock therapy” and allowed western economists to raffle-off the nation’s most valuable assets, industries and resources to bloodsucking oligarchs who bought them for pennies-on-the-dollar. That’s what they were hoping for, another spineless toady that was willing to sell-out his country to ingratiate himself with Uncle Sam. Instead, they got Putin; a devout Christian, an unwavering conservative and a ferocious Russian patriot.
Can you see why they hated him?
And because they hated him, they ordered their media to make you hate him, too; just like they did with Saddam, and Qaddafi, and Kim Yong Un, and anyone who gets in their way. We all know the drill by now, and it always begins with character assassination; the requisite smear campaign that is designed to persuade the public to hate the enemies of the elites.
But here’s something you probably didn’t know. You probably didn’t know that the demonizing of Putin can be traced back to a precise time and place.
It’s true. Years ago, I looked into it and here’s what I found.
Former senator John Edwards and Congressman Jack Kemp were appointed to lead a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) task force to determine whether a “strategic partnership” with Russia was still possible in light of policies Putin had enacted that conflicted with Washington’s broader geopolitical aims. When Kemp and Edwards returned from Moscow they published an article titled “Russia’s Wrong Direction” (March 2006)
The authors decided that a “strategic partnership” with Russia was no longer possible because the government under Putin had become increasingly “authoritarian” and Russian society was growing less “open and pluralistic”. The irony of these observations was not lost on analysts who realized that the US has no problem jumping-into-bed with the most authoritarian countries in the world including Saudi Arabia that conducted the mass execution of 81 men in one weekend alone (in 2022) That is an impressive achievement even by Saudi standards. And we should also note that all 81 men were beheaded which further underscores the barbarity of the leaders that Washington regards as their best friends.
The point we are making is that ‘Putin hatred’ and character assassination can be traced back to a particular time and place when US foreign policy elites decided that Putin was not going to be the “responsible stakeholder” they had hoped for. He was not going to click his heels and fall in line like many of the other allies. In fact, Putin had shown his willingness to commit –what the globalists regard as the one unforgivable crime– that is, he put his own country’s national interests above those of the international banking cabal. That, of course, is the biggest “No-No” of all. Here’s a short clip from “Russia’s Wrong Direction”:
Fifteen years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, “U.S.-Russia relations are clearly headed in the wrong direction,” finds an Independent Task Force on U.S. policy toward Russia sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. “Contention is crowding out consensus. The very idea of a ‘strategic partnership’ no longer seems realistic,” it concludes…
…when President Bush has made democracy a goal of American foreign policy, Russia’s political system is becoming steadily more authoritarian, the Task Force charges. “The political balance sheet of the past five years is extremely negative……
“U.S.-Russia cooperation can help the United States handle some of the most difficult issues we face,” said Edwards. “Yet regrettably, cooperation is becoming the exception, not the norm. This report is a wake-up call that we need to get U.S.-Russia relations back on track to meet the challenges that face both of our countries.”
Consistent with this, the report argues, “Although President Putin is presiding over the rollback of Russian democracy, the United States should work with him to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and to keep terrorists from attacking either his country or ours.”..
“Since the end of the Cold War, successive American administrations have sought to create a relationship with Russia that they called a ‘partnership.’ This is the right long-term goal, but it is unfortunately not a realistic prospect for U.S.-Russia relations over the next several years,” says the report.
In the short run, the United States needs to see Russia for what it is now. “The real question that the United States faces in this period is not how to make a partnership with Russia work, it is how to make selective cooperation—and in some cases selective opposition—serve important international goals,” concludes the report.” (“Russia’s Wrong Direction”, Council on Foreign Relations)
The report indicates the precise time that western elites gave up on Putin and, (basically) threw him under the bus. And the reason they gave up on him, is because they could see that he was a true Russian patriot. Patriotism is the mortal enemy of globalism, because patriots can’t be “flipped” and the elites know it. They know that you cannot fundamentally change a man who loves his country. These men are not ‘for sale’ and they are incorruptible. Anyone who puts country above the globalist agenda– including MAGA Americans– is the mortal enemy of the globalists. And that is why elites always enlist foppish girlie-men like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron to do their bidding, because the job requires weak, unprincipled men who are willing to debase themselves in order to serve their masters.
But what was it in particular that convinced the elites that Putin was a lost cause who would always be a threat to their agenda?
Fortunately, we know the answer to that question because the authors listed their objections under four main headings. Here’s they are:
- De-democratization: The report finds that Russian political institutions are becoming “corrupt and brittle.” As a result, “Russia’s capacity to address security concerns of fundamental importance to the United States and its allies is reduced. And many kinds of cooperation—from securing nuclear materials to intelligence sharing—are undermined.” (My comment– In other words, Putin was unwilling to impose additional sanctions on Iran, would not support Kosovo independence (which never gained UN approval) and refused to support the Iraq War. Bottom line: He refused to go along with Washington’s genocidal wars and arbitrary redivision of the Middle East. That’s why he was he was dubbed an “unreliable ally.”)
- Energy supplies: “Russia has used energy exports as a foreign policy weapon: intervening in Ukraine’s politics, putting pressure on its foreign policy choices, and curtailing supplies to the rest of Europe. The reassertion of government control over the Russian energy sector increases the risk this weapon will be used again.” (My comment– This is true, Putin seized control of Russia’s greatest public asset –oil– and used it to raise standards of living across the board. Privatization is the Holy Grail of western capitalism so, naturally, Putin was condemned for errant behavior. He was also blasted for “curtailing supplies to the rest of Europe” which is also true. He cut off Ukraine’s gas supplies after Ukraine repeatedly siphoned gas from the pipelines and refused to pay for the gas it had already consumed. The authors seem to think that Russia should give away its gas for free but that’s not how capitalist economies work.)
- The war on terror: The Task Force finds “a seeming Russian effort to curtail U.S. and NATO military access to Central Asian bases,” a sign that Russia is retreating from the idea that “success in Afghanistan serves a common interest.” (My comment– Putin was extremely accommodating in allowing US troops and weaponry to pass through Russia on their way to Afghanistan. What he opposed was the CIA-backed color revolutions that Washington supported across Central Asia in order to install their own puppet governments that were openly hostile towards Russia. He also opposed Washington’s covert support for Chechen terrorists. Was that unreasonable?
- Russia hosting the G8: “A country that has in the space of a single year supported massive fraud in the elections of its largest European neighbor and then punished it for voting wrong by turning off its gas supply has to be at least on informal probation at a meeting of the world’s industrial democracies.” (My comment– Russia follows a strict policy of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries. None of the allegations of electoral interference have ever been proven. Quite the contrary, in the 3 year-long investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Robert Mueller was unable to find a scintilla of evidence to support the bogus claims. In contrast, Washington’s clandestine interventions, coup d’etats, targeted assassinations and full-scale military invasions have been widely documented and substantiated. No country in the world has ever interfered in the affairs of other sovereign governments more than the United States.
These are largely the issues upon which the authors decided that Putin was headed in “the wrong direction.” He wouldn’t support their reckless military interventions, he wouldn’t hand Russia’s oil over to rapacious oligarchs, he wouldn’t look the other way while governments in his neighborhood were toppled by Washington one-by-one, and he wouldn’t snap a salute and click his heels when he got his marching orders from Washington. These are the reasons he is viciously attacked in the media and regarded as Washington’s blood enemy. He simply refused to be their lackey, which is why they’ve spent the last 17 years trying to destroy him.
Mike lives in Washington state. He can be reached at email@example.com.