A Few Provisional Thoughts on Putin as a Historical Figure

1) Putin was appointed President to succeed Yeltsin in 2000 after the restoration of capitalism in Russia. As a restorationist, Putin has been very successful overseeing the establishment of neoliberalism, albeit limited by the restrictions imposed by the United States and its institutions of imperial control.

2) Putin was keen for Russia to join the imperialist club as an equal and respected member of NATO. The US denied this desire on the part of Putin and the Russian political and economic elite.

Instead, the US has promoted the expansion of NATO with nuclear missiles aimed at Moscow and St Petersburg in a number of countries bordering on Russia.

3) The key aim on the part of the United States in expanding NATO has been to prevent Western Europe and Russia becoming a cooperative economic zone with the possibility of China also joining.  A common economic zone of cooperation between Western Europe and Russia would replace the United States as a power dominating Germany,  France, and other Western European countries.

4) The current invasion of Ukraine appears to be the mirror image of the US invasion of Iraq.  It is to be hoped that it will not be as devastating and brutal as the war waged by the United States against the Iraqi people and that a ceasefire will be declared within the next few days with negotiations and compromise resolving this conflict.

5)  Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has played into the hands of sections of the extremely Russophobic Foreign Policy Establishment in the United States. This has been a victory of this foreign policy establishment of unimaginable proportions. In staging a full-scale invasion and war against the Ukrainian people and government, Putin, has mobilised most countries against the invasion including large section of the international Left.

6)  In applying this crude and brutal policy of a military invasion to prevent the further encirclement of Russia by an aggressive military pact that NATO represents, Putin has displayed the incompetence of an adventurer and an unthinking risk taker, a risk taker who has played into the hands of the Russophobic war-mongers within the American foreign policy establishment.

7)  Putin had the opportunity of applying a sophisticated  diplomatic strategy and approach to separate Germany and France, in particular, with other Western European countries following the lead of these two major European powers.

Germany has  been a vassal state of the United States with no independent foreign policy since the Second World War, and there is little doubt, that Germany was open to increasing economic cooperation with Russia.  Macron, it seemed,  also wanted to decouple from NATO and follow in the footsteps of de Gaulle and  possibly reverse Sarkozy’s decision to rejoin NATO and expand economic cooperation with Russia.

8)  The result of this breathtaking incompetence and brutality on Putin’s part has been the incomparable strengthening of NATO and the strengthening of the US as the dominant world hegemonic power surpassing, it seems, its  hegemonic ideological and military dominance for decades to come when compared to its dominance during the Cold War.

John-Janusz Ebel is the son of Holocaust survivors.  Soon after coming to Australia from Poland, Ebel chose to be a draft resister and activist against the Vietnam War; he also participated in Aboriginal struggles against continued oppression and genocide of Aboriginal people. Ebel has practised as a radical existentialist psychotherapist.