Mixed Signals from Moscow: Putin’s Russia, Israel and the Middle East
(Sept. 26, 2015, Non-Aligned Media)
We have been hearing loud assertions of Russian benevolence towards the Arab world for some time, usually emanating from certain dogmatic quarters of anti-Zionist, anti-imperialist circles on the web.
These analysts see themselves as top class mind readers, tapping into the brain of Vladimir Putin and interpreting his every geopolitical move in a positive manner, no matter how ugly or duplicitous it may appear to be on the surface.
Putin is playing a master class chess match against the New World Order, these partisan analysts say, ignoring or downplaying anything that doesn’t conform to their Russophilic talking points.
Putin is a super secret anti-Zionist who will ‘checkmate’ Israel any day now, these dogmatists theorize with confidence, without providing a tangible piece of evidence that this is true.
Putin is a Pragmatist, Not an Anti-Zionist
Russia under Putin’s leadership has pursued a delicate balance between ideological support as well as economic and military cooperation with Israel on the one hand, and cashing in on lucrative oil, gas, nuclear energy and military contracts with several Arab/Muslim states on the other.
Spellbound Putin supporters point to the ex-KGB strongman’s whimpered public statements in support of a “Palestinian state” as evidence that he’s an anti-Zionist. These lackluster analysts knowingly fail to point out that such rhetoric from the Kremlin is completely offset by Putin’s much more forthright and unequivocal proclamations in support of Israel in its current configuration.
During a meeting with a delegation of Israeli and Russian Jewish religious leaders in July 2014, Putin said he identifies with and supports the “struggle of Israel” against the native Arabs whose land and resources have been consistently usurped by European and Russian Jews who mass migrated to Palestine and then took much of it over through violence and terrorism in 1948. One rabbi at the meeting ‘blessed’ Putin’s leadership in Russia, saying it was the ‘will of god.’ Putin told the rabbis that he is a “true friend of Israel” and of its extremist prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Putin has described Israel as part of the “Russian world” because 15 percent of its population is of Russian origin. Despite living in Israel, many of these Russian-Israelis vote in Russian elections, and a good number of them cast their ballot for Putin. At a 2011 dialogue conference featuring organizations representing the major religious and ethnic groups in Russia, Putin stated that Israel is “a special state to us” because it is “practically a Russian-speaking country.” Russian-speaking Israelis form the base of the ultra-Zionist Yisrael Beiteinu political party, headed by Israel’s former foreign affairs minister Avigdor Lieberman who recently called for “disloyal” Arab citizens of Israel to be “beheaded.”
During a 2013 joint press conference, Putin and Netanyahu both affirmed that ties between Russia and Israel are getting ‘stronger and stronger.’ Putin said that “our relationship with Israel is both friendly and mutually beneficial.” He stressed that Russia and Israel cooperate in a “wide variety of areas,” including political, cultural, economic and military. He proudly noted that under his watch the Russian city of Gelendzhik was twinned with the Israeli city of Netanya.
Russia has fuelled Israel’s war economy, purchasing more than $550 million of Israeli drones since Putin became president. In 2010, Russia and Israel signed a five-year military contract that boosted “military ties between the two nations to help them fight common threats, such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” Increased cooperation and information sharing between Russian and Israeli intelligence services was one result of the agreement.
In 2013, Putin’s Gazprom oil and gas company signed a 20-year deal with the Israeli firm Levant LNG Marketing Corp. to exclusively purchase liquefied natural gas from Israel’s Tamar offshore gas field. Plans are also in the works for Russia to develop Israel’s Leviathan gas field. According to Debkafile, in August of 2015 Putin offered to heavily invest in, as well as safeguard, Israel’s gas fields, thereby dissuading hostile forces from confronting Israel.Russia and Israel do billions in trade each year, and in 2013 negotiated a free trade agreement.
If Putin were truly “anti-Zionist” he would not have any relations with Israel whatsoever and would support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Offering to safeguard Israel’s security with Russian investment in its economy is hardly a gesture of hostility. And signing a 20-year gas deal with Israel evidently signifies that Putin’s Russia believes the Jewish state will continue to exist 20 years in the future.
At best Putin supports a “two-state solution” to the Israel/Palestine quandary – a heavily fortified and domineering Israeli Jewish state next to a rump Palestinian Arab state with vastly inferior military capabilities, if any at all. This is a scenario ‘championed’ by many mainstream Western politicians too, so Putin’s position is nothing extraordinary, and no honest commentator can label such a feeble stance “anti-Zionist.”
Factually speaking Putin upholds the status quo in the Israel/Palestine conflict, merely maintaining hampered relations with the Israeli puppet regime – the “Palestinian Authority” – in the West Bank under Mahmoud Abbas, while offering no physical, ideological or diplomatic support to the armed Palestinian resistance. Russia has basically no formal relations with the democratically elected Hamas government in the Gaza Strip and pays lip service to Israeli propaganda about “Hamas rockets” being a significant threat to Israel.
When Israel launched its murderous Operation Protective Edge terror campaign last summer, Putin largely sided with Israel. “Support for Operation Protective Edge [the codename for Israel’s latest offensive in Gaza] is coming directly from the Kremlin,” noted the Federation of Jewish Communities website. Putin said he “[supports] Israel’s battle that is intended to keep its citizens protected.” Putin cited the engineered Israeli pretext of the three Jewish settlers who were kidnapped and killed by unknown assailants as a sufficient justification for the mass arrests of hundreds of West Bank Palestinians and the wholesale slaughter of more than 2100 Gazans, including nearly 500 children and 250 women. Putin of course didn’t mention that Israel itself created the Jewish settler kidnapping/murder saga as a false-flag ploy to rubber-stamp its premeditated attack. Nor did Putin mention the dozens of Palestinians periodically killed by Israeli forces in the months before the deaths of the three Jewish settlers, or how the Palestinians have suffered more than 60 years of Israeli occupation and state-sponsored mass murder.
Ultimately, it is Putin’s actions, not his words, which carry the most weight in judging his true attitude towards any situation. As a mealy-mouthed politician and former career spy, Putin’s slippery statements are often contradictory and adaptive to different situations. But his actions, and much of his words, are undoubtedly partisan to Israel.
Syria and Iran
Russia’s support of Syria and Iran is a major talking point for those who wish to portray Putin as an ally in the struggle against Zionism. However, they ignore the driving factors behind said support and project motives onto Putin that aren’t there.
Putin’s support of Syria and Iran, however mild and restricted that backing actually is, does not in any way prove that he is ideologically anti-Zionist. What it does illustrate is that he is a pragmatist who seeks stability in the region to secure markets for Russian big business. His position on Iran and Syria is not based on moral or ideological grounds, but practical ‘realpolitik’ motivated solely by self-interest.
In a television interview with Russia Today, Putin condemned the Iranian government’s principled stance against Zionism, stating that “Iranian threats made towards [Israel] are absolutely unacceptable and counterproductive,” citing the falsely translated “wipe Israel off the map” quote attributed to Ahmadinejad. When challenged on the falsity of that quote, Putin retorted: “It doesn’t matter.”
As shown in the previous section, Putin is himself very sympathetic to Israel, going so far as to characterize Israel a “special state” whose struggle he “supports.” One caveat to make here is that Putin is not as fanatical as Netanyahu and other Jewish extremists in his ambitions for Israel, but he does shake hands and cooperate with such malcontents. Never does he condemn them. But he has scolded Iran for staunchly rebuking them and the criminal regime they direct.
So we can see Putin’s support for Iran begins and ends on the business front. Putin knows that the Iranian regime is not going anywhere absent a foreign invasion or engineered coup. And provided that Iran is a major client for Russian nuclear power technology and arms, Putin is inclined to have cordial relations with any government in Tehran, whether it is pro-Zionist (think the Shah) or anti-Zionist. Philosophically speaking, Putin is at odds with the Islamic Republic, and would probably favour an Iranian government less keen on ethical opposition to Zionism and Israeli imperialism. But business is business, and Putin doesn’t let the ideological leanings of his clientele get in the way of it most of the time.
Ditto with Syria. Russia has a naval base on the Syrian coast and has many profitable military contracts with Damascus. Despite this, however, Russia sat on the sidelines for four years as Western/Israeli/Saudi-sponsored insurgents and terrorists have overrun Syria, destroying much of the country. Some portray Russia’s aggressive mediation that led to Syria’s compliance in surrendering its chemical weapons arsenal in 2013 as a victory for Syria insofar as it dissuaded the West from conducting airstrikes against Damascus which they were gearing up for at the time, using the WMD pretext to justify it.
This could be viewed from a different angle though. By relieving Syria of its chemical weapons, Russia has (intentionally or unintentionally, it’s hard to tell) strengthened Israel’s position. Israel has long sought to disarm all of its regional rivals of any weapons systems that could challenge Tel Aviv’s military superiority and monopoly on Middle East WMDs, and thereby deter Zionist aggression. So in that sense, Russia has helped Israel. Instead of spearheading the initiative to have Syria abandon its chemical weapons, Russia could have established a military presence in Syria’s key cities to discourage a Western assault, or at the very least sent in enough anti-aircraft artillery necessary for President Bashar al-Assad’s forces to combat Western warplanes. But that’s not what Moscow did.
In recent weeks we have seen Russia push forward a military buildup in Syria as the Assad regime is fighting for its life. Why didn’t Russia do this in 2011 or 2012 just as the trouble began? Why now and not earlier on when Assad had a much stronger position than he does today? Why did Russia sit on its hands as 200,000 Syrians perished and large sections of their country fell to ISIS control? What one could take from this is that Russia is not truly committed to the Assad regime or the ‘Axis of Resistance’ of which Syria is an integral part. In fact, according to a former Finnish diplomat, Russia secretly offered the West a deal in 2012 where they would jointly oversee Assad’s departure from power. The West rejected it thinking Assad would fall in a matter of months, and perhaps not wanting Russia a voice in choosing Assad’s successor. A Washington Post article reports:
“Finnish diplomat and Nobel laureate Martti Ahtisaari suggested that there was a moment early on during Syria’s hideous war when a political solution could have been thrashed out. Ahtisaari claims that in February 2012, when the conflict had claimed under 10,000 lives, Russia’s envoy to the United Nations outlined a peace plan that could have led to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s exit from power.”
So the Russians have been double-dealing this whole time, posturing and maneuvering against Assad behind the scenes, while publicly championing him. The Kremlin would not be that upset if Assad fell, so long as the regime to replace his is not hostile to Russia. Therefore, Russia’s support of Assad, insofar as we take the sincerity of it at face value, cannot be attributed to an ideological impetus, but rather economic, as with Iran and every other country that Moscow ostensibly “supports.”
In a recent meeting with Netanyahu, Putin reassured the Israeli imperialist that the Russian military buildup in Syria wouldn’t affect Tel Aviv’s security. Putin told Netanyahu that the Assad regime, hated by Israel for its principled support of the Palestinians and the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, was “too busy” battling insurgents to confront Israel in any significant way. The two leaders agreed to coordinate military operations and share information over Syria. So Putin is carefully navigating through this situation, managing as he usually does to maintain contacts and relations with all sides.
This economically oriented pragmatism on the part of Putin undermines the fantasies about him harbouring anti-Zionist ideas or pursuing an anti-Zionist agenda in the Middle East. The Russian economy is heavily reliant on its defense industry, which employs between 2.5 and 3 million people and makes up 20 percent of manufacturing jobs in the country. Russia is the second largest arms exporter in the world following the United States. Moscow made a record $15 billion in weapons sales in 2012, and hopes to increase that to $50 billion a year by 2020. In addition to selling military equipment to Iran and Syria, Russia also deals out to and has strong relations with pro-Western, pro-Zionist collaborationist regimes like India, Egypt (under dictators al-Sissi and Mubarak before him), Kuwait, the UAE, Jordan, Turkey and even the reprobate Saudi Arabia.
From a purely realist point of view, so long as Russia’s economic interests naturally align with those of Syria, Iran and other principled countries which, for idealistic reasons, heroically oppose international Zionism and fight against it, then that can be considered a net positive for the cause.
However, while Putin’s reserved and balanced approach to the Middle East is superior to the West’s destabilizing and destructive impact on the region, it is not deserving of the unfettered praise and adulation that it garners from some sycophantic quarters of the “truth movement” and “alternative media.” Especially considering the non-idealistic impetus behind his alignment with certain anti-Zionist countries and the duplicitousness that accompanies it.
Russia and Israel also share a common concern to perpetuate the official mythology surrounding the Second World War and the Holocaust narrative. As part of the Allied Powers, the Soviet Union played an integral role in formulating the victors’ “good war” historiography, and Russia under Putin seeks at all costs to uphold that fabled version of events.
It was the Soviet Union after all which created and promulgated many of the lies about Germany’s wartime concentration camps, many of which came under Soviet control after the war, and were thus subject to Soviet fabrications (such as the fake “gas chamber” in Auschwitz’s main camp) designed to incriminate their defeated German foes.
In 2014, Putin undertook an Orwellian mission to stamp out skeptical viewpoints about the Holocaust and Stalinist Russia’s “benevolent” and “heroic” contribution to the Second World War. At a meeting with Jewish religious leaders mentioned earlier, Putin consulted with them “on means of dealing with anti-Semitism, Holocaust deniers and preventing historical revisionism.” Following through on his promise to curtail historical revisionism, Putin’s government passed a new law in 2014 making it illegal to question the farcical Nuremburg Trials verdict on the Holocaust (six million, gas chambers, etc.) as well as to “spread false information” about the Soviet regime’s brutal wartime tactics and activities. The same year Russia also forwarded a bizarre UN resolution “condemning attempts to glorify Nazism ideology and denial of German Nazi war crimes,” whilst it concurrently (and hypocritically) just approved a law making it a crime to criticize or even suggest that the Soviet regime did bad things during its conflict with Nazi Germany.
In 2012, Putin participated in the construction of a monument in the Israeli city of Netanya honouring Jewish veterans who fought in the Soviet Red Army during World War II. In a speech for the unveiling ceremony, Putin said the monument “reinforces my feeling of respect for the Jewish people, for Israel.” The monument will “remind us of how heroic the generation of the Second World War was.” He said the Holocaust was one of the most “black and tragic pages in the history of mankind” and how it is “impossible to make peace with what the Nazis perpetrated.” To ensure that Nazi ideology remains a thing of the past and the skewed Russian-Jewish war narrative continues to be believed, Putin stressed his desire to “preserve the conclusions of the Nuremberg Trials” – evidently by criminalizing skepticism towards the dubious findings of that show trial, as many European countries have also done. Putin then credited the Soviet Union for “saving the world” during the war, neglecting to mention the much greater atrocities committed by Stalin’s Red Army and NKVD secret police, who butchered and raped millions, spearheading far worse and larger scale misconduct than the grandest myths of German-Nazi barbarity.
As revisionist Paul Grubach succinctly put it:
“One can now plainly see why Putin would outlaw Holocaust revisionism: it is a direct threat to the ideology that ‘justifies’ and ‘legitimizes’ his government and political agenda. Indeed, a Revisionist repudiation of the Holocaust ideology would allow another reappraisal of the crimes, atrocities, genocide and oppression committed by the Stalinist regime. The end result of such historical revisionism would be the demolition of a pillar of Russian patriotic ideology, and the worldwide realization that Stalinist Communism was more oppressive and evil than National Socialism.”
Putin’s characterization of his present conflict with Ukraine as a rekindled Soviet-style crusade against Nazism is further corroboration of his strong ideological alignment with Jewish-Zionist interests on that issue. Grubach noted how the Kremlin:
“needs to use the Holocaust as an ideological weapon against those non-Russian ethnic groups (such as the Ukrainians) that backed the Germans during WWII and are presently in conflict with Russia. We saw this in the recent conflict in the Ukraine. Russia’s Ukrainian opponents were depicted by Russian officials as ‘rampaging neo-Nazis’ who wanted to ‘create a new Auschwitz.’”
While it is true that the US was heavily involved in egging on the Ukrainian uprising that ousted the pro-Russian Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych in early 2014, Putin’s response to it – supporting violent pro-Russian separatist rebels (many of whom are communists) in the Eastern parts of Ukraine – has been just as invasive and destructive as Washington’s meddlesome input. And his aggressive resurrection of Soviet atrocity propaganda from World War II showcases his purely opportunistic and devious approach to issues affecting the Russian image.
Shared Hatred of Muslims
Israeli and Russian politics strongly intersect in their shared hatred of Muslims and aversion to affording them any human rights beyond being subordinated subjects of their respective empires.
When Russia struck a five year military contract with Israel in 2010, Russia’s defense minister said that “our views on many modern challenges are close or coincide” with Israel’s anti-Muslim impulses. Specifically, the minister stressed, Russia and Israel see eye-to-eye on “Islamic terrorism.” The Israeli politician and former general Ehud Barak remarked: “Israel follows closely the situation with terrorism in Russia’s North Caucasus, because both Russia and Israel are under the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.”
Russia’s historical enmity towards the Muslim peoples of the North Caucasus region – Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia and other areas – presents a significant point of commonality between Moscow and the anti-Muslim imperial regime in Tel Aviv. After suffering nearly a century of Russian abuses under the Czars who conquered Chechnya in 1858, the entire Chechen population was deported to the Siberian Gulag slave camps by Stalin in 1944, where many thousands died. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the Chechens understandably mobilized for independence, only to be ferociously crushed by Moscow in two bloody wars waged in 1994 and again in 1999 (under Yeltsin and Putin respectively).
During these savage wars of aggression, the Kremlin inflicted mass terror bombing upon the civilian population of Chechnya. Various estimates put the Chechen death toll for the two wars at around 200,000, including tens of thousands of children. “We will kill [Chechen rebels] even in the toilets,” Putin said in 1999, emphatically rejecting any peaceful dialogue with Chechnya’s separatist-oriented leadership.
Putin’s political career was very much predicated on his hardline militaristic response to the Chechen rebellion against Moscow’s iron rule in the Caucasus. Putin effectively modeled his military incursions into Chechnya on Israel’s violent tactics in the occupied Palestinian territories. “Parallels between Russia’s conflict with the Chechens and Israel’s struggle with the Palestinians have resonated strongly with the Putin administration,” noted Mark N. Katz in his Middle East Quarterly article entitled “Putin’s Pro-Israel Policy.” Katz highlighted how the Israeli regime endorsed Russia’s human rights violations in Chechnya, loudly supporting Moscow’s belligerent approach to dealing with the rebellious Chechens. Israel’s fanatical Zionist leaders Natan Sharansky, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak all “[spoke] approvingly of Moscow’s Chechnya policy.”
Ehud Barak, a credibly accused war criminal, is an especially big fan of Putin, often repeating the Russian leader’s infamous “we’ll get the terrorists on the toilets” quip during his political campaigns in Israel. An hour after the Twin Towers were hit on 9/11, Barak appeared on international television and immediately tried to mobilize global public opinion behind Israel’s imperial agenda, calling for a “global war on terror” led by “the United States, the UK, Europe and Russia.” Putin is “highly committed to the struggle against terror,” Barak added, imploring the Russian president to join the US-Zionist crusade to annihilate the Muslim world.
Barak’s wish was Putin’s command. A 2001 ABC special interview with Putin revealed his initial embrace of the fraudulent US-Zionist-Neocon “war on terrorism.” “Putin has pledged support to [US] President George W. Bush in the war against terrorism,” reporter Barbara Walters noted in the introduction, specifying that Russia allowed the American military to use its airspace to prepare military operations against Afghanistan. The special also disclosed that Putin was the first world leader to call President Bush after 9/11. Later in the interview Putin described Bush as a “solid partner” whom “we can do business with.”
All of this harmony has some Zionists optimistic about the future of Russian-Israeli relations. The rapport between the two countries “may be heading to a beautiful friendship if not the beginning of love,” wrote a Zionist commentator for the American Thinker website. Another pro-Israel columnist for The Week opined that Russia should take over from the US as “Israel’s global defender.”
Skeletons in Putin’s Closet
In 2011, Putin was asked about theories that the 9/11 attacks were organized and executed by criminal elements of the American government as an inside job. Putin said the suggestion is “complete nonsense” and “impossible” without offering a coherent explanation as to why that scenario is improbable. He based his rejection of the false-flag nature of 9/11 entirely on the emotional inference that governments wouldn’t dream of “killing their own people” in that manner. Being intimately familiar with the bloody legacy of Bolshevism in Russia, he should obviously know better.
It is quite strange that Putin, otherwise at odds with Washington these days, would want to protect the Americans on this issue. But it begins to make more sense when one factors in similar suspicions leveled against Putin in his early political career.
Putin’s meteoric rise to prominence in Russia is largely owed to a series of bombings that swept across the country in September of 1999, which Putin – who, following his stint as chief of FSB intelligence, had just been appointed as prime minister by Boris Yeltsin and sought to succeed him as president – immediately seized upon to initiate the second war with Chechnya in less than a decade. Nearly 300 Russian civilians were killed in four separate apartment blasts that month. Much like the American-Zionist modus operandi following 9/11, within days of the explosions Moscow began pointing fingers at Chechen rebels without any evidence or a sufficient investigation into the events.
Matters became complicated when, about a week after the fourth apartment blast, a curious incident in the Russian city of Ryazan put the focus squarely on the Kremlin as the hidden hand behind the wave of terror attacks. Three Russian FSB intelligence officers were discovered to have planted a bomb in the basement of an apartment block in that city.Initial police reports all said it was a real bomb with a real detonation device attached to it. The FSB agents responsible for planting the bomb were arrested trying to flee the city, after a Ryazan telephone operator detected a strange call from Moscow (later proven to have originated from FSB headquarters) directing the operatives on how to escape unnoticed. But the Kremlin quickly conceived a ludicrous cover story claiming the whole matter was just a harmless “security exercise” and that the bomb was fake – despite not telling the local police anything about this “exercise” – and then silenced local officials and residents who insisted otherwise. The incident sparked Russian journalists and investigators to have a second look at the previous blasts in other Russian cities.
The botched Ryazan attack and the sophistication of the earlier blasts as well as their convenient timing, all lend credence to the theory that rogue elements in the FSB – the main Russian intelligence agency – were behind the deadly attacks. From a cui bono (who benefits?) standpoint, the Russian regime and Putin most of all were the clear beneficiaries of the attacks, whereas the Chechen separatists were put at a huge disadvantage because of them. And in much the same way that 9/11 was used by Bush and the Zionist-Neocons as a catalyst for preplanned wars, the Russian disaster was wielded as Putin’s political trump card to solidify his grip on power (he swiftly became president) and propel his otherwise questionable foreign policy. Putin ordered major air strikes on Chechnya’s capital Grozny the day after the FSB-planted Ryazan bomb was discovered. He then commented that the Russian public was “reacting correctly to the events taking place in our country today. … [N]o sympathy for the bandits. This is the mood for fighting them [the Chechens] to the very end.” There’s nothing quite as useful as a national tragedy to corral the public behind the agenda of a corrupt regime.
Independent journalists, questioners and principled Russian lawmakers began rummaging through the evidence surrounding the apartment bombings, finding the FSB’s story of Chechen culpability to be built upon a façade of lies and flimsy innuendo. As the FSB’s hand behind the attacks became clearer, Duma Deputy Sergei Kovalev established an independent fact-finding commission into the events, but Putin quickly derailed it and his government refused to cooperate with its inquiries. Two key members of the commission – MPs Sergei Yushenkov and Yuri Shchekochikhin – were both murdered (one shot dead, the other poisoned) in 2003. That same year Otto Latsis, an intrepid investigative journalist and participant on the Kovalev panel, was badly beaten up. The assailant took his address book containing his journalistic contacts and sources. He later died in a suspicious car accident in 2005. Mikhail Trepashkin, a former FSB officer turned lawyer who began working with the Kovalev commission, was arrested by Kremlin authorities in 2003 and jailed for four years on trumped up charges of possessing illegal firearms and “revealing state secrets.”He had just uncovered information that the basement of one of the bombed out buildings had been rented by an FSB officer named Vladimir Romanovich and was about to present his explosive findings in court. The Russian parliament also twice rejected a motion to officially investigate the Ryazan incident and a Russian court upheld the FSB’s decision to deny the Kovalev commission access to original documents relating to its fabled “terror exercise” in that city.
Alex Rodriguez of the Chicago Tribune noted that anyone who probed too deeply into the apartment attacks ended up “jailed, jobless or dead.” Are we supposed to believe that the incredibly suspicious deaths and imprisonment of all of these prominent individuals seeking the truth about the apartment bombings is a coincidence? Is the Kremlin’s concerted campaign to hinder any kind of independent investigation into their foreknowledge of and direct involvement in the 1999 attacks the kind of behaviour we would expect from a regime that has nothing to hide? No, it is the prototypical demeanor of a regime riddled with guilt.
All Putin could conjure up in response to the allegations made against him and the FSB was this bit of contrived bewilderment:
“What?! Blowing up our own apartment buildings? You know, that is really…utter nonsense! It’s totally insane. No one in the Russian special services would be capable of such a crime against his own people. The very supposition is amoral.”
The former FSB officer turned whistleblower, Alexander Litvinenko, published a book in 2002 (co-authored by Russian-American historian Yuri Felshtinsky) titled Blowing Up Russia arguing convincingly that rogue FSB elements, led by Putin, staged the apartment bombings. Four years later, while living in exile in London, Litvinenko died a horrid death shortly after being poisoned with radioactive polonium-210. His book is banned in Russia and any copies of it caught entering the country are immediately confiscated and destroyed. Litvinenko’s work was carried on by John Dunlop, a senior fellow emeritus at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, who compiled his own extensive research about the 1999 attacks in a book entitledThe Moscow Bombings of September 1999: Examinations of Russian Terrorist Attacks at the Onset of Vladimir Putin’s Rule, which arrives at the same conclusion as Litvinenko.
Putin’s Russia continues to wage a merciless ‘hidden war’ against Chechens, Dagestanis, and especially Ingushetians, hundreds of whom are routinely “disappeared” by Russian security forces, then viciously tortured and killed. Meanwhile, Putin is constantly moralizing about “the Nazis” and “Islamic extremism,” and tells us the former’s overstated war crimes are ‘unforgivable’ and that the latter ‘cannot be negotiated with.’
I say we apply that same standard to Putin himself. His psychotic blitzkrieg in Chechnya – the ruthless killing of tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children under his orders – is an inexcusable offense. The very strong prospect that Putin and the FSB leadership orchestrated the 1999 Russian apartment bombings as a false-flag, in order to achieve public consent for the aforesaid transgression against the people of Chechnya and elevate Putin to his proverbial seat of power that he continues to covet today, also cannot possibly be overlooked.
No matter how much “support” he gives to Syria or Iran today, the fact is that Putin and his FSB henchmen, in all likelihood, conspired to murder in cold blood nearly 300 of their own citizens (including children) as they slept in their beds, and used it as an excuse to kill tens of thousands more innocents who did not deserve to die or suffer as they did. Knowing this, how can anyone with a conscience possibly support, let alone revere or lionize, such a cold, calculating madman?
On the question of criminal Zionism, Putin again fails to impress. Self-serving to a fault, Putin and his authoritarian regime will never truly confront Israel in any meaningful way. As long as Putin is in power in Russia, Tel Aviv can breath easy that their status as Middle East hegemon will remain the way it is for a long time to come.
I don’t for a second think looking to Russia to ‘save the day’ is wise, nor will it prove fruitful. Putin will inevitably disappoint all of these anti-Zionists who presently worship him because he is not what they believe him to be. Let’s hold Putin to his own feigned moral standards by calling out his many crimes and failings, instead of fawning at his feet like star-struck suckers.