Dear TBR Reader and Supporter:
For decades the United States was in a virtual state of war with the Soviet Union. Daily we were told by the frantic press that the Commies were going to drop nuclear weapons on America. School children were instructed in how to hide under their desks so as to avoid being incinerated by the nuclear shock blasts. Air raid siren tests blared every Wednesday. Who could deny the fact that the Soviet Union was the most dangerous enemy America had ever faced?
History has revealed that some of the threat from the USSR was very real. One crisis in the 1960s was spurred by the Soviet Union’s desire to place nuclear warheads and missiles on the island of Cuba—or anywhere in the Western hemisphere—to counter the missiles pointed at them. And, we have learned, on several occasions, due mostly to mistakes in communication, the United States and the USSR came close to launching nuclear weapons at each other.
But with the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, most of us believed a new era in relations between Russia and the United States was soon forthcoming. After all, when you look at it, America and Russia have much in common and have a shared history as allies in war. In World War I, U.S. troops were sent to fight the Bolsheviks. In World War II, though most nationalists objected to it, the Russian people and American soldiers teamed up to defeat the Axis. Even going back to the American Civil War, Russia made a strong statement of solidarity with the United States by sending her fleet to American shores in support of the North against the meddling of the British and French in fomenting further bloodshed by promising troops and more money to the South to keep the war going. Of course the motives of the Russians in this case were altruistic, while the French and Brits were driven by the powerful banking houses of Europe who wanted to cash in on the bloody conflict.
Also in common, the United States and Russia are large, mostly Christian, still mostly white nations with huge deposits of valuable natural resources still ready to be exploited in vast wilderness spaces.
But something has gone wrong.
Russia is still our “enemy,” according to the plutocrats, kleptocrats and cryptocrats who really call the shots—and control the media. In nearly every newscast we hear what a threat Russia is to U.S. national security and what a monster its leader, Vladimir Putin, really is. It’s Russia vetoing U.S. efforts to place sanctions on Syria. It’s Russia who is thwarting U.S. efforts to cripple Iran. It’s Russia that is countering U.S. efforts to control the Eurasian nations on Russia’s edge.
Those awful Russians! That despicable Putin!
In fact, today, President Vladimir Putin is one of the most reviled politicians in the West.
But we disagree. Look at the facts. Few leaders worldwide have maintained such high levels of popularity. Putin’s political and economic successes are too startling to be debated. From his appointment as vice president on New Year’s Eve of 1999, Putin has assisted in the rebuilding of a shattered country in 13 short years. With high rates of economic growth, military and police reform, and a concerted attack on official corruption, Putin has become a trusted populist leader, and a significant figure in global nationalism, non-alignment and multipolarity.
Now we finally have a book that counters the Western propagandists. Russian Populist, by my friend, Dr. Matthew Johnson, attempts to synthesize the basic political views of Putin. It does not deal much with policy, but rather, it centers around the ideas that drive Putin and his reform plans in both domestic and foreign policy.
Contrary to some Western pundits, Putin came to power with a very specific set of philosophical goals in mind—much of which is now part of the Russian political scene. Western politicians, drowning in debt and public cynicism, envy Putin’s consistent popularity with the Russian populace. And Russia itself seems poised to create a counterrevolution in world politics and against the dreaded “American exceptionalism,” which is really just bald-faced imperialism. Russia under Putin has engaged in a consistent policy of state nationalism that has derailed the more radical plans of “globalization” in the West.
So here it is, the one book that will help explain why “they” hate Putin and why we here at TBR wonder if his nationalist policies—implemented in America—could turn the clock back to the day when the U.S. was respected around the globe as the champion of the underdog; when we resisted calls from others for foreign intervention in nations that pose no threat to American security and we were a financial powerhouse poised for the future.
Some here at TBR, I daresay, wish Putin were running for U.S. president. Find out why in this new book.
—John Tiffany, TBR Assistant Editor
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