Today: 19.06.2018
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The West is still letting Putin run wild.

If anyone needed further proof of Vladimir Putin’s malevolence, the last 10 days provided chilling examples. His agents attacked a Russian defector and his daughter with nerve agent on British soil, leaving them in critical condition. Then Putin claimed that “Jews” might have been behind the meddling in US elections. His warplanes continued slaughtering civilians...
Time: 19:04     Date: 12.03.2018
Last US News - Opinion: The West is still letting Putin run wild. NY Post 24 - US News

His warplanes continued slaughtering civilians in Syria, too, but no one cares about that.

Over the weekend, Putin flashed his Russian-nationalist side, the bigoted-strongman persona that appeals to the Alt-Right here and to neo-fascists in Europe. Smirking, he suggested that the cyber-attacks on the 2016 US elections might have been staged by Ukrainians, (Muslim) Tatars, or “Jews, just with Russian citizenship.”

Guess they were taking a break from poisoning wells and snatching Christian babies . . .

Within Russia’s shrunken Jewish community, the initial outrage was over Putin’s suggestion that Jews could never really be Russians. Globally, he reminded us all of Russia’s ferocious tradition of anti-Semitism.

The czarist secret police, the Okhrana, didn’t create “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” but seized on the forgery and insured wide dissemination of what may be the most successful propaganda work in history, a Big Lie about a global Jewish conspiracy still resonant in the Middle East and beyond.

Czarist Russia also gave us the term “beyond the pale,” which referred to the Pale of Settlement, the swathe of the Russian Empire in which Jews were permitted to live (although the Pale offered no protection from pogroms). The first great wave of Jewish immigration that enriched the United States in so many ways originated from those realms of torment.

Then came the Soviets. Several leading Bolsheviks were secular Jews, struggling, in their view, to build a better world. As soon as he came to power, Stalin, a failed seminarian (he retained the bigotry but not the faith), started killing them. And he didn’t stop killing Jews until he died.

Stalin’s successors then persecuted the Jews who remained in the creaking USSR (including executions on trumped-up charges). Many more came to the West, after diplomacy opened the gates.

Now we have Putin, and the indestructible myth of the “good czar.” Not long ago, an Israeli friend tried to convince me that Putin was different and well-disposed toward Jews. Yet, even leaving aside his tirade this weekend, Putin’s second most important domestic ally — after his security services — is the Russian Orthodox Church, which has a long history of virulent anti-Semitism.

Once again, Putin showed us who he is, for anyone willing to see.

Dozens of UK citizens were collateral damage, suffering various degrees of poisoning. Putin didn’t and doesn’t care.

Why did he do it? The short answer’s “because he could.” With the US president unwilling to criticize Putin by name, UK Prime Minister Theresa May was left to respond Monday with bureaucratic rhetoric Putin will laugh off: “The government has concluded it was highly likely Russia was responsible.”

But there also are two practical — and deeply alarming — reasons why Putin ordered that nerve-agent drive-by now. First, he was sending a message to any potential double agents that Russia would kill them — and their families — no matter where they might find refuge or how long it might take.

The second reason, though, is the one that should jerk us awake: Putin was warning the likes of Paul Manafort and others associated with the Trump campaign that they need to keep their mouths shut about their Russian ties — or face the consequences.

Even if the poison-gas attacks on Syrian children don’t move us, Putin’s willingness to order mob hits within NATO-member states should get our attention.

We’re faced with a brilliant thug who, despite serious missteps, has overmatched two US presidential administrations and may have tragic influence over a third. Instead of fighting him off, we’re fighting among ourselves.

What the world needs in order to contain Vladimir Putin is American leadership. And there’s none in sight.

Ralph Peters is a former US Army Foreign Area Officer for Russian affairs.

Opinion

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Opinion

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Living

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Business

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Metro

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Sport

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