Losing it

One of the things that floors me is how people in the West not only seem to be more susceptible to Putin’s cult of personality, but they actually end up projecting their own values and ideas onto him. This is a topic I’ve dealt with before in this parody article. Or if you prefer a fresh case study, take a look at this idiotic article on an extremely sketchy website. It just so happens that today, shortly after I discovered that article, a friend of mine hit the mother lode of insane bullshit. And I do seriously mean insane. As you shall soon see, the only way the author could be sane is if they are deliberately lying, and to lie on that level would suggest they might be a sociopath, i.e. insane.

Behold, as former-civil-servant-turned-conspiracy-crank Paul Craig Roberts writes an article that displays so much admiration, if not awe of Vladimir Putin, that one gets the impression that Roberts was actually masturbating furiously while writing it. Now there are plenty of other reasons to dismiss Roberts as an insane crank. Here’s the latest, for example. But for the sake of argument I’m only going to deal with his insane love affair with the midget.

No, I don’t plan to debunk this line by line. For one thing, Roberts’ article is basically a short intro with what he claims are Putin’s “remarkable remarks” (brilliant writing there) from a past Valdai forum. But I’m going to highlight one key part because it demonstrates what I’ve been saying about people projecting their ideal onto Putin with no background knowledge of Russia or its president. Here it is right here, in all its tin-foil covered glory:

In my opinion, Putin is such a towering figure that Washington has him marked for assassination. The CIA will use one of the Muslim terrorists that the CIA supports inside Russia. Unlike an American president, who dares not move among the people openly, Putin is not kept remote from the people. Putin is at ease with the Russian people and mingles among them. This makes him an easy target for the CIA to use a Chechnya terrorist, a Jihadist suicide bomber, or the traditional “lone nut” to assassinate Putin.

Alright let me get that assassination prediction out of the way. This was written in 2014. Since then, a Russian politician was gunned down literally about one hundred meters from the Kremlin wall. So far only patsies have been found, with no investigation into who could have ordered it. In the beginning, Russia’s Investigative Committee implicated pretty much everybody but the most likely suspects. According to them, Boris Nemtsov might have been killed by Praviy Sektor, the Ukrainian SBU, or the liberal opposition, all of whom are apparently capable of carrying out such an assassination right next to the Kremlin. See Roberts got it wrong- the evil CIA global conspiracy never targets its enemies. No, they just pay people to stir up trouble and then kill them, thus bringing more people to their cause- oh wait. This never actually happens. But in any case the CIA just keeps doing it. So much for that Putin assassination.

Now let’s get to the meat of this paragraph of incomprehensible stupid. American presidents don’t “move among the people openly,” and Putin “mingles” among the Russian people. Uh…No. No he does not. Putin has photo ops with some ordinary (carefully hand-picked people) from time to time and he does a call in show once a year to take specially planned calls. Other than that, Putin doesn’t even come into the Kremlin very often in recent years. On his third inauguration in 2012 the streets of Moscow were closed off for miles around. It turned out to be all for naught, however, since the thronging crowds failed to appear.

Hell, just look what happens when Putin is allowed to mingle with “the Russian people.”


“Good afternoon sir! I’m going to ask you to stand up and take a seat…right over there.”

And as if that weren’t bad enough, look what happened when Putin later tried to explain himself:

“‘He seemed very independent and serious… I wanted to cuddle him like a kitten and it came out in this gesture. He seemed so nice,’ he said.”

But yeah, mingling. Right.

What I’m getting at here is that the facts mentioned above are all well-known and there are few Kremlin officials or supporters who would even attempt to deny them. Nobody will deny that the Russian Federal Guard Service (FSO), which is tasked with protecting the president much like the American Secret Service, also has another mission which is to scour the country for signs of unrest and smooth them over, particularly before official visits. In fact I recently learned that on at least one occasion when the president was visiting RT’s offices, other workers were effectively locked in their offices for security reasons. And of course, few will deny that the Kremlin pays people to show up for its various rallies and demonstrations. They might deny that threats are used against state workers in order to get them to attend such events, but the evidence that they do is far to great to ignore.

I could go on, citing example after example with link upon link, but I think this will suffice in order to make my point, which is that Paul Craig Roberts basically knows dick about Vladimir Putin, a man whom Roberts seems to worship. There is only one other possibility- Roberts does know more about Putin’s actual routine and yet is deliberately lying about him. Either way it’s bad, but to be honest I think my initial conclusion is correct. Roberts doesn’t know anything about Putin so he basically fills in the gaps with his own ideal fantasy president.

Does the reader appreciate how bizarre this is? Here’s a guy that assumes that any world leader who appears to be on the “mainstream media’s” shit list must be a wonderful, wise, and great leader. He knows nothing about him and yet without even bothering to check he invents a fantasy of this incredibly accessible president who “mingles” openly among his people. He’s just a few steps away from believing in Santa Claus.

This thing totally baffles me because I simply cannot get into the heads of people who do this. I don’t know who the president or prime minister of Indonesia is at the moment. What if I looked them up, and then simply because they are not my country’s leaders, began to project all my political ideals onto them without having visited Indonesia or without even doing cursory research on their background and political history? What if I just decided that they were radical socialists who believed in the same values I believe in, and I explained away the lack of Western media coverage as a hostile media blackout? Would that not be insane?

And yet as I have shown in the past, Westerners, even educated ones like Paul Craig Roberts, do exactly that all the time with Putin. What does it take to sit down, put your ideas into Putin’s mouth, and write a “speech” where the president of a country you obviously know nothing about just happens to feel passionate about the same things you believe in? I mean on some level you have to be conscious of the fact that you’re making this up, right? Or in the case of Paul Craig Roberts, he must be cognizant of the fact that he hasn’t really devoted any time to learning some of the most basic facts about Putin, which are widely available. But then again, I’m sure any article or work that fails to represent Putin as the savior of Russia if not the entire world will be instantly dismissed by Roberts, who knows better than to listen to “presstitutes.”

Still, is there really no pang of doubt? Then again, we’re talking about a guy who believes 9/11 was an inside job, and who believes there are conspiracies behind both the Sandy Hook and Orlando shootings. So uh yeah…He’s lost it. But the scary thing is he’s by no means the only one.

15 thoughts on “Losing it

  1. Mr. Hack

    It’s difficult to know how to react to such people. My initial reaction is to laugh, but then at some point you begin to worry that there are a lot of whackos out there like Paul Craig Roberts…

  2. Rose Regan

    There are a lot of people who do idolize Putin because they believe the PR bull crap from him without looking at the real him. The real him is the person who runs a country that is frequently called Nazi Russia and with good reason. Putin has lifted ideas from Stalin and Hitler’s playbook. Both Stalin/Hitler had a personal guard on a grand scale, Hitler had his Youth Corp and so does Putin. With both dictators, just like Putin, you towed the line and it was an exceptionally brave soul who didn’t. These people who idolize him need to read about him, like “The Man Without A Face” by Masha Gessen. If they took the time to look at an opposing view and actually think they might see thru the PR and realize Putin is a really insecure and dark person who projects this thru his acts. Actions always speak louder than words.

  3. Paul Canning (@pauloCanning)

    1. Roberts is someone I see very often circulated on social media amongst the red/brown/conspiracist circles that also soak up Russian propaganda.
    2. He makes money off this, like Alex Jones, so this is pandering to his audience.
    3. I don’t think it is excessive to look at how the Kremlin – and by which I mean spooks – might be deliberately involved in feeding such circles. One way is to spot what their subject de jour is, such as all coming together over the Scottish referendum, or TTIP, or, now, with Brexit.

    FAR more interested in how come you know him, that sounds like an interesting story!

    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      I used to see his name on Counterpunch I think. I tended to encounter his left-sounding articles, and I found it odd because he worked for the Reagan administration. But then I read about his anti-Semitism and it became clear this guy is just a populist huckster.

      1. Gabriel Gerard

        In your mind, what makes a populist huckster? Is it the fact said populists are apologists for authoritarians like Putin and promote conspiracy theories, or is there more to it?

      2. Jim Kovpak Post author

        I think the huckster label has to do with campaign promises that are basically impossible or insane. Trump spits these out all the time. “Build a wall! It will cost billions? Fine, Mexico will pay for it! Slap a tariff on imports!” Trump’s “policies” consist of these wacky promises to appeal to the lowest common denominator in terms of political literacy. At no time does he suggest that some kind of compromise, reform, or even critical thinking is necessary. Terrorism? Just ban Muslims! That’s another example.

      3. Jim Kovpak Post author

        I always wondered what their deal was. My main memory of them came from the fact that I never seemed able to finish any of their articles. They seem to go on forever in these really tight margins which are a pain in the ass to read.

  4. Vooks

    If he really believes all that about Putin, it means the billions poured into the propaganda machinery are not wasted

    Ever done an article on Russia’s military hardware? I got a buddy who’s addicted to Escobar and he is ever flapping gums about how Russia is lightyears ahead of the world, how Putin is a chess Grandmaster bla bla.

    I nearly fell for this bullshit but I’m caught myself.

    1. Jim Kovpak Post author

      Roberts has been a nutjob for decades now, so it wouldn’t take much propaganda to get him on Putin’s side. He’s one of these enemy-of-my-enemy morons.

      As for the military technology, I usually don’t write much about it here, but what your buddy must learn is that first of all, weapons are only as good as the people operating them, and the Russian army still has a lot of systemic problems. I doubt these will ever be fully rectified either.

      Also, all military technology breaks- period. Nothing works exactly as intended in the sales brochure 100% of the time. And when it breaks, that’s where the human factor becomes very important again. You can also show him videos like these:

      S-300 SAM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rVJM-QPheo

      Latest tank, T-14 “Armata,” breaks down on Red Square:

  5. Vooks

    I know this is a bit off topic but I’ve been trying to discern Russia’s preferred candidate between Clinton and Trump and it seems they cheer Trump.

    The other thing is #Brexit. This I’ve no clue what are their fears or if they are indifferent.

    Please consider these as topics in the near future or briefly comment on the #Brexit motion

    1. Shalcker

      It’s because at least Trump didn’t laugh about deaths of head of state, unlike Clinton. And even said he might get better relations with Russia once (among many other things).

      From TV talk shows it is basically “Clinton -> WW3 (neocons, colour revolutions, repeats of Libya), Trump -> deals where both sides might be respected”

      And I don’t care about Brexit one bit; if leave wins it’s good for eurosceptics, but lots of results of referendums, especially close ones, were ignored in modern EU, or repeated to “vote until you vote right way”.


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