Putin and the Second Great Patriotic War
March 29, 2014 § Leave a comment
For Vladimir Putin, a short and victorious ”small war” in Ukraine is not enough. Putin needs a credible narrative to emerge as the saviour of the world, not merely as the conqueror of Ukraine.
The spectre of fascism, with all its historical connotations, is being invoked to establish a sufficiently plausible image, however rickety, of Ukraine and other former Soviet satellite states as a hotbed of aggressive nazism. The ostentatious rise of nazism gives Putin the historic right to intervene at his leisure. Who can argue against the corpses of 25 million Russian dead in the Great Patriotic War and the 6 million jews slaughtered by Hitler? This backdrop gives Putin the nonassailable right, nay, it provides him the imperative obligation, to act decisively. He is free to prosecute Russia’s Second Great Patriotic War.
If the West does not recognize this imperative it is because they are blind to the threat of nazism, or even rotted to the core by nazism already. Indeed, the failure to act against nazism is an act of aggression in itself!
Armed with this logic, and bolstered by the circular argument that Ukraine is non-governed by an illegal junta that Russia does not recognize, Putin is free, in his own mind, to roll over Ukraine with all the might of holy Russia.
However, Putin is not so dumb as to believe his own propaganda. It is only that, propaganda to lead the world to believe and accept the Russian version. If he can get the world to waver for just a day or two the millions of dollars and untold man hours of propaganda has been worth it, for by then Ukraine will be his.
No, Putin will not smash, burn and pillage Ukraine – not more than necessary. He wants its infrastructure and its serfs intact. He wants the pipelines to keep pumping gas into Europe once the western weaklings overcome the shock of assault and return to craving cheap Russian energy. He wants to tread carefully so that the world is not overly offended by war crimes but has sufficient reason to hail him as the liberator of Ukraine, liberator of the west!
Putin doesn’t want to kill too many Ukranians in the process – preferably none at all. He will want them to lay down their arms against Russia and induce them to scour their own ranks of purported nazi collaborators, such as is already happening in Maidan Kyiv. The West is of course sensitive to fascism and can easily be diverted to this purpose, spilling time, obfuscating the real issue, helping Putin. The hunt for real and imagined nazis can be prolonged ad infinitum. Putin’s goal, common with every Machiavellian ruler, is to divide and conquer.
Putin’s biggest asset in the Second Great Patriotic War is the brush and paint bucket. Paid thugs and Russian special forces operators have been busy daubing swastikas for cameras to record. By this token the stupid brutes of the Ukranian Right Sector unwittingly play straight into Putin’ hand by stampeding through Kyiv and by their bullying appearance in general.
War against Nazism is Putin’s bid, not only as an excuse for annexing Ukraine under the nose of impotent Western powers but as a vehicle for re-establishing the former Soviet Union (and more) as the vaunted Eurasian empire. Anyone who disagrees with that is a hitlerite apologist and outright opponent.
How can the West stop this rotten excuse from permeating? Looking inward and trying to rid Ukraine and the West from any and all evidence of fascist/neo-nazi presence is nigh impossible and only serves to support Kremlin’s game plan. Denouncing and combating the rise of fascism at home and abroad has been a Western mandate since the 1930’s, yet it will never be enough to satisfy Putin.
Exposing the Russian and Ukranian thugs engaged in neo-nazi maskirovka ops, exposing the Russian homeland neo-nazis and Putin’s alleged ties to neo-nazi organisations has proven inconclusive. Such exposures have drowned in Russian propaganda, Russian cointelpro and in the vortex of unfolding events on the ground.
Painting Putin as the new Hitler – Putler – is counter-productive as the claim cannot be proved any more than Putin can prove that Ukraine and the West is ridden by nazis above and below. The spectre of nazism and associated accusations is utterly useless except for mud-slinging. It cannot be used to stave off impending assault in Ukraine on the same token as it cannot be used as a justification for aggression or pre-emptive measures.
There is but one thing that can stop Putin from extending his vision and that is to speak the only language he understands – the language of power, expressed as military might, on the ground, where it matters. There is no way around it. There will be blood.