Vladimir Putin- The West's archenemy, or the West's strongest potential source of help?
Since his rise to power in the early 2000’s, the West has vilified and demonised the figure of President Vladimir Putin. The former Soviet KGB agent is now holding his grip firmly on the presidential throne in the Kremlin, and elections this year project him to win another consecutive term. Despite having been accused of oligarchy, corruption, money laundering, expansionism, Putin, somehow, always appears to come out of the storm politically alive and untouched. If anything, these accusations have made his position stronger, more than ever. Vladimir Putin, the man who gave permission for the butchering of Chechnya, South Ossetia and Georgia, Crimea and the Ukraine is now being ideologically opposed, once again, by an inactive western response to his extravagant expansionist actions. Yet Putin holds another side. A side of a country which has regained respect on the International Stage, after the abrupt presidency of Boris Yeltsin. A country which has grown consistently economically, despite severe sanctions. A country which by 2050 is projected to be the fifth Global Economy. This is the Putin Political Miracle, and yes, despite him destroying the political opposition in his country, many Russians legitimately support him, for his traditional Christian stances. We must remember Russia is still a country tied to the very traditionalist Russian Orthodox Church, and Putin has been highly favoured from that religious support. Nonetheless, with the Syrian Crisis, the menace of terrorism, and a new President in the White House, Putin could serve more as an ally, compared to Trump’s inconsistent Foreign Policy.
We the West, have vilified Russia for decades, now recreating a sort of Cold War sentiment. Putin certainly is not an angel, but most of his actions were indeed provoked by the West. NATO has Nuclear Bases in Turkey, Italy, Poland, the Baltic region and Japan, while Russia is alone. Previously Russia’s main allies were Belarus, and Ukraine under President Viktor Yanukovych. However, since Yanukovych's deposition, the European Union made clear and deliberate requests for entrance in the Union to Ukraine. NATO requested the formation of bases in Ukraine, and, the west stupidly believed Russia would be fine with it. Of course this does not justify the blatant violation of International Law undertaken by Russia, but the West did nothing to avoid this situation. Instead it accentuated such processes.
In regards to Syria, Putin perhaps is the man that could certainly help us. We must understand that our greatest enemies are Al Qaeda and Isis, not Putin and Assad. Instead the West, and in particular the USA, have employed a policy of intervention for the past thirty years, destabilising the Middle East by deposing leaders and replacing them with fictionally democratic puppet states. The result was chaos, destruction and war, only serving as a vacuum for ill intentioned terrorists to prevail. The USA and NATO, did it in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Yemen, in Somalia, Lebanon, and now in Syria. Assad certainly is not a good leader, but attacking him now would be a disaster for the region. Instead Putin proposed to deal with the Assad presidency after the War. The immediate threats come from ISIS, and Al Qaeda. Furthermore, the so called “rebels” in Syria, are nothing more than terrorists themselves. The West doesn’t know anything about them, so let us not make the same mistake as in Afghanistan. By arming the Mujahideen against the Soviets, the West inadvertently formed Al Qaeda. History can teach us more than Gunboat diplomacy.
Instead the West claims to have a moral high ground yet allied themselves with President Erdogan of Turkey, responsible for the bloodbath of Kurdistan, and the repression of liberty. Highly hypocritical, especially after having criticised Assad and Putin. Putin in regards to the Middle East is the man with the correct policy not Trump. Trump’s decisions to increase tariffs and increase Protectionism additionally do not help. Putin instead supports Free Trade. Perhaps we have demonised a potential friend for to long. A potential political and socio-economic ally.