THE OP-ED of Vladimir Putin in the New York Times has come back to bite him in the ass, compliments of an old cold war enemy, Senator John McCain, who uses Pravda today to channel the world’s opinion of the Russian thug.
Too bad McCain’s op-ed isn’t in the original Pravda, but instead in Pravda.ru, founded in 1999 and unaffiliated to the 1912 Communist paper.
An excerpt from McCain’s op-ed is below. It is blunt and toys with Putin’s international reputation and ego, which he exposed to world ridicule in backing Bashar al Assad. It is unlikely to matter in the wider scheme of things, but on dicksmanship, which is the only version of diplomacy Republicans believe in, McCain easily wins this one by stating what everyone knows is true.
Since my purpose here is to dispel falsehoods used by Russia’s rulers to perpetuate their power and excuse their corruption, let me begin with that untruth. I am not anti-Russian. I am pro-Russian, more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today.
[…] President Putin claims his purpose is to restore Russia to greatness at home and among the nations of the world. But by what measure has he restored your greatness? He has given you an economy that is based almost entirely on a few natural resources that will rise and fall with those commodities. Its riches will not last. And, while they do, they will be mostly in the possession of the corrupt and powerful few. Capital is fleeing Russia, which – lacking rule of law and a broad-based economy – is considered too risky for investment and entrepreneurism. He has given you a political system that is sustained by corruption and repression and isn’t strong enough to tolerate dissent.
How has he strengthened Russia’s international stature? By allying Russia with some of the world’s most offensive and threatening tyrannies. By supporting a Syrian regime that is murdering tens of thousands of its own people to remain in power and by blocking the United Nations from even condemning its atrocities. By refusing to consider the massacre of innocents, the plight of millions of refugees, the growing prospect of a conflagration that engulfs other countries in its flames an appropriate subject for the world’s attention. He is not enhancing Russia’s global reputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world.
This post has been updated.