Things have been hectic on the personal front so Your’s Truly hasn’t been keeping up with things as much as he’d like. Still, things are popping up all over. Looks like we got a Trayvon Martin redux in the works in the Show Me State. Then the great Semitic Squabble of Gaza seems like it’s never going to end. Fret not: Monomakhos is endeavoring to write something magisterial about both issues in due time.

There is some good news however. The Neocons who are forever banging the war drums against Russia appear to have lost some steam. As in the Great Syrian war fever of last summer, the facts seem to tell another story. Putin is playing it cool and not rising to their bait. General Winter should bring his troops into play soon enough and the Ukrainians who have been sold a bill of goods by the EU will have plenty of time to commiserate their lot when the heating bill arrives. That’s all to the good.

So how are things going for the Russians on the Ukrainian front? Pretty good considering how Putin is pulling his punches. Volunteers from other countries are pooring into Ukraine and fighting on the side of the rebels. You can read this for yourself here:

Now, I realize politics makes strange bedfellows and as an avid right-winger myself, I cringe at the thought that some leftists are helping the rebels because of past failures but if you take the time to read this article carefully, you will notice that many of the volunteers come from areas you wouldn’t expect, i.e. Georgia and Chechnya. Kind of makes you wonder if we got the whole story about these countries and their supposed antipathy to Russia. At any rate, we should pause and carefully consider what our interests in Ukraine really are.

Or is it possible that like many people of Indo-European stock they recognize a strong man when they see one? Certainly the heterogeneous West with its devotion to “diversity” and the raw sewage that passes for “culture” have many traditional people scratching their heads. If unAmerica is the future then many are saying “thanks, but no thanks.”

In the meantime, we should sit back and ponder the fact that Putin is not an unreconstructed Communist nor are the Russian people longing for the glory days Marxist-Leninism. If anything, Putin is what we would call in the West a man of the Center-Right –a free marketeer with some cronyism thrown in. Maybe not as full-throated a Reaganite as I would like but definitely not an American-style Progessive. This of course will send shivers down the spine of our favorite transgendered Bolshevist who still thinks that odious mountebanks like Pete Seeger, Paul Robeson and Lillian Hellman were people of integrity but that’s his problem. Not ours. And certainly not Vlad’s.


  1. Andy Shotz says

    The truth is that Putin is as dangerous as Hitler was. He should be eliminated. He is a liar, a mass murderer and needs to be relieved of duty. The ROC/ROCOR has become a political arm of Putin. BEWARE Orthodox Christians everywhere!

    • you lie……………..Andy Shotz

    • Well…very fair that Putin is dangerous, but enough with the Hitler comparisons-Hitler was a sociopathic killer. Putin did take Crimea, and the world considers it unlawful-long way from sociopathic.

      The best thing would be if the pipeline had a problem.

      It might.

      • Jim of Olym says

        Don, truth is that Crimea wanted to be Russian by a large majority! Putin didn’t ‘take it’, it saw the opportunity and voted to go Russian. do you have a problem with that?

        • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

          “A large majority ” of just what, exactly? Tatars? I don’t think so.

        • Mendeleyev says

          Yes, I do have an issue with that. Russia was a prime signatory to the Budapest agreement: Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons and Russia along with several others vowed to respect and protect the modern day territorial boundaries of Ukraine.

          Vova lied when he claimed that all those little green men were local defense volunteers who’d purchased tanks, helicopters and Grad rocket launchers at the Army surplus store down on the corner. He lied when he said that Russia’s military was not involved. He lied about the election: the Crimean parliament was raided and tossed out one evening and the next day a “new” and pro-Russian parliament was constituted. So much for Crimea being a democratic change.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Mendeleyev, this is true. However it is also true that Bush 41 made a promise to the Russians that NATO would not encroach any further east after the collapse of the Soviet Union. We not only went east, we tried to get Georgia into NATO. Broken promises all the way around.

            • Bishop Tikhon Fitzgerald says

              And John Wilkes Booth did some bad stuff, too. I don’t see how Bush is relevant to the continuing Anschluss by Putin. Of course secret admirers of Adolf may find the blood coursing through their veins to be accelerated by the wonderful Jihad of Putin.

          • Crimea was a democratic change, just not one in keeping with the Ukrainian constitution. But neither was the coup which violently deposed an elected and never-legally-impeached president. Putin has lied or misrepresented perhaps about several things. The fact is that there is an economic/military conflict going on over there and the biggest lies were that the Maidan uprising was a self-generated phenomenon and that the coup was somehow a democratic revolution. Putin, to the extent that he is being less than candid, is justified in that he is fighting a war which everyone but the American public and parts of the European public seems to appreciate.

            Coups – the violent overthrow of a legitimate government – are not democratic revolutions. And how did all those people in the Maidan manage to remain there month after month? Was it only the unemployed who demonstrated? I think not. Western politicians were appearing there, egging them on with lemonade, cookies and a hell of a lot more than that.

    • Godwin’s Law strikes again!

    • Antonio Arganda says

      Godwin’s Law on the first comment. Taht must be some kind of record. By the way, Andy, you are full of it.

  2. The truth is that Putin Obama is as dangerous as Hitler was. He should be eliminated. He is a liar, a mass murderer and needs to be relieved of duty. The ROC/ROCOR liberal church has become a political arm of Putin Obama. BEWARE Orthodox Christians everywhere!

    There, fixed that for you, Andy.

    • The continued comparison of leaders to Hitler is extremely unfair to the memory of those killed by Hitler. Hitler killed fair young women who disagreed with him politically…he was a sociopath. And for your own credibility Basil, I suggest you recant out of respect for those killed by the Third Reich and arianism.

      • See below, Dan.

      • Michael Bauman says

        In this case neither Putin nor Obama have yet descended to the level of Hitler. Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot however exceeded him. Here’s the problem: When a leader uses tactics that Hitler used to manipulate the people and achieve power what is one to say? Hitler pioneered the mass use of some tactics, particularly the BIG LIE which almost everyone uses now.

        It is stupid to invalidate someone’s argument just because he compares a particular leader or tactic to Hitler. That gives pols too much of a pass, IMO. Granted, if the reference is just to rile emotions it is a useless ad hominum.

        • In any method of counting, Pol Pot did not exceed Hitler. If you use exaggerated statistics for Stalin and Mao, then they beat Hitler, unless you blame WWII on Hitler, in which case he wins at any rate. Even if you take high-end figures for Stalin and Mao but make them per annum of year ruled, then Hitler still wins.

          Marxism-Leninism is an ideology crudely subjugating humanity to long-term historical goals – leading to mass murder. German-style National Socialism is occultic at its core and actively celebrates death and the advertises symbols of death. America is neither but moving somewhat in the direction of the latter’s darkness, in my view, when we see elements of the military embracing skulls, bones, and SS symbols.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Not to mention young men and women by the millions covered with erotic and gothic tatoos……

    • You tell em’, Basil,

      No need to apologize for turnabout-fairplay.

  3. Andy Shotz says

    Russian president Vladimir Putin lives his life in the ceaseless glare of the world’s regard. At work and on holiday, he is surrounded by a loyal gaggle of Kremlin pool journalists, TV cameras and photographers. Russia’s nightly news bulletins invariably lead with news of his daily activities. Yet he has succeeded in keeping his immediate family out of the spotlight with a fanatical thoroughness worthy of a KGB special operation.

    No confirmed photographs exist of Putin’s two daughters, 29-year-old Maria, nicknamed Masha, and 28-year-old Ekaterina, known as Katya, as adults. The girls attended a university in Russia under false names; even their classmates were unaware of their real identity.

    And when, in the aftermath of the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17, a Dutch tabloid claimed that Masha was living in the Netherlands with her Dutch partner, packs of reporters and protesters who flocked to her alleged residence were unable to find her—or anyone who knew her. Pieter Broertjes, mayor of Hilversum, Netherlands, called for Masha to be deported (he later retracted the statement), and Ukrainian protesters picketed outside the luxury apartment block where they were said to have lived. But the couple were long gone—if they were ever really there at all.

    Newsweek Magazine

    The veil of secrecy that surrounds the Putins is rigorously enforced by the Kremlin. Journalists who violate the taboo of reporting on the private life of Russia’s first family are dealt with swiftly and summarily. In 2008, when the liberal newspaper Moskovsky Korrespondent reported that Putin was planning to marry a rhythmic gymnast named Alina Kabayeva, the editor was forced to resign within hours. According to fired editor Grigory Nekhoroshev, the paper’s proprietor, Evgeny Lebedev—a billionaire financier who owns the Evening Standard and The Independent in London—initially promised to stand by his journalists before receiving a call from “a senior figure from the presidential administration.” Lebedev took the hint, and Moskovsky Korrespondent never appeared again.


    Asked about his relationship with Kabayeva at a press conference in Sardinia, Italy, Putin made it abundantly clear that inquiries into his private life were off-limits. “I am, of course, aware of the cliché that politicians live in glass houses,” Putin said, “but even in these cases, there must be some limits.… I always disliked people who go around with their erotic fantasies, sticking their snot-ridden noses into another person’s life.” Then–Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi, who was standing beside Putin, jokingly pretended to shoot the Russian journalist who had asked the question.

    The message couldn’t be more clear. “Putin is an extremely private person,” says one former Kremlin pool reporter, who now works for a state-owned news agency and asked not to be named. “We would gossip with his aides all the time, of course. But the family was never discussed.… It was an unwritten rule. The family life of the first person [Putin] was always kept secret.”

    In three years working in the Kremlin pool and traveling extensively with Putin between 2009 and 2012, the journalist saw Putin’s then-wife Lyudmila just once and his daughters never. German documentary filmmaker Hubert Seipel, who was given unprecedented access to Putin in 2010 and 2011 for his award-winning film Ich, Putin, spent hundreds of hours with the Russian leader—but he, too, never saw Putin’s children. One explicit condition of Seipel’s access was that he would not reveal anything about the Russian leader’s private life. “He is very sensitive, and I promised him not to expose very much about his family,” Seipel said after the film’s premiere.

    Only the barest details of Putin’s family life have been officially confirmed. He met his future wife, Lyudmila, an Aeroflot stewardess, through mutual friends in 1980. They went on a blind double date to a theater in 1980; she told an interviewer in 2000 that Putin was “poorly dressed” and “very unprepossessing. I wouldn’t have paid any attention to him on the street.” But Putin persisted, and they married in 1983.

    Masha, born in Leningrad in April 1985, was named after Putin’s mother. Katya was born in August 1986 in Dresden, Germany, where her father was on assignment for the KGB. Both girls attended the German-language Friedrich Haass German International School when they moved back to Moscow in 1996, and they then went to St. Petersburg State University, where Masha studied biology and Katya majored in Asian studies.

    The girls have given only one interview—when their father was appointed acting president in 2000 after the ailing Boris Yeltsin resigned from his post in Putin’s favor. The transcript, published in a collection of interviews with Putin, his family and friends called First Person: An Astonishingly Frank Self-Portrait by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, is a snapshot of the Putin family just as they entered the bubble of power and anonymity they have inhabited ever since.

    In the book, 14-year-old Katya complains that they have been taken out of school—now teachers come to the family home to teach her. “We have guards when we go to the movies,” Katya told journalists Nataliya Gevorkyan, Natalya Timakova and Andrei Kolesnikov, who interviewed the family at their dacha.

    “There’s a guy who sits there watching the movie, but I think he’s guarding us at the same time,” said Katya. “Usually, we don’t even notice the bodyguards. Even when we go somewhere with our friends, they stay nearby, but they try not to get in the way. We’ve called them over to drink coffee with us a thousand times, but they don’t want to.”

    Katya says she “flipped out when I heard that Papa was going to become acting president. When Mama told me this, I thought she was joking. Then I realized that she wouldn’t joke about such a thing.”

    Lyudmila says she “cried for a whole day” when she heard the news of her husband’s appointment, “because I realized that our private life was over.” Already, the girls saw their father “more often on television than at home. But he always goes in to see them, no matter what time he gets home,” Lyudmila said. “He really loves the girls a lot. Not all men treat their girls as lovingly as he does. And he spoils them. I’m the one who has to discipline them.” The journalists asked if the girls could wrap Papa around their little fingers. “Nobody can wrap Papa around their little finger” was Lyudmila’s reply.

    As for their career plans, “Masha pronounces the English word management very seriously, and Katya says that she’d like to be a furniture designer,” Lyudmila said. The girls enjoy skiing; their favorite film at the time was The Matrix. They like nice clothes, and they are “very slim.” That was in 2000—the last public word Putin or his wife ever spoke about their children.

    In the 14 years since, the girls’ lives have been enveloped in secrecy—broken very occasionally by unsubstantiated rumors. In 2002, the girls were reported to be holidaying in Sardinia with Berlusconi’s daughter Barbara. In 2010 a South Korean paper reported that Katya was about to marry the son of a Korean admiral who had been posted to Moscow.

    The same year, Masha’s reported boyfriend, Jorrit Faassen, an executive of Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom and Stroytransgaz, a pipeline manufacturer, hit the headlines when it was reported he had been assaulted by the bodyguards of a banker, Matvei Urin, in a road rage incident in central Moscow. The Kremlin’s revenge was swift: Urin’s business was dismantled and Urin jailed for fraud. Masha and Faassen couple left Russia soon after and began living a quiet life in Voorschoten, Netherlands, a suburb of The Hague.

    One explanation for why Putin is so fanatically protective of his daughters is that he spent much of his early career in the courts of two wildly dysfunctional political families—that of his first post-KGB boss, St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak, and later that of Boris Yeltsin. The behavior of Sobchak’s wife, Lyudmila Narusova, and his daughter, Xenia, “disgusted Putin and undermined the team,” says Ben Judah, author of Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love With Vladimir Putin. “They were seen with unseemly people, they attended parties with Mafia figures. Their tawdry behavior horrified him.”

    Later, Putin saw how Yeltsin was also strongly manipulated by his two daughters and their hangers-on—the so-called Yeltsin family, which included oligarchs Boris Berezovsky and Roman Abramovich. “So much of Putin is about being different from Yeltsin,” says Judah. “He remembers the shameless family politics of [Yeltsin’s son-in-law Valentin] Yumashev and Berezovsky and is determined to avoid the same fate.”

    In addition to keeping his daughters out of the spotlight, Putin is keeping them out of politics—partly for their own good, partly for his. Putin’s fellow strongmen in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have both run into problems with their politically ambitious daughters.

    The disappearing Putin daughters speak volumes about the kind of country Russia has become under his rule. Putin has never stood for a competitive election, so he has never had to parade his family before the media like Western politicians. And since there’s no political opposition, there is no one to call him out on the hypocrisy of championing family values while keeping his family deep in the shadows. Irene Pietsch, a German friend of Madame Putin, says Lyudmila’s marriage was loveless. “He doesn’t drink or beat me up,” Pietsch says Lyudmila told her. But he is “a vampire who has sucked the juices out of me.”

    Putin has made bringing Russia’s media under strict Kremlin control a key plank of his rule—meaning that no mainstream media organization in Russia has ever dared to investigate the first family. Even when Putin announced a “civilized divorce” from Lyudmila in June 2013, state television dutifully reported the story for a day—then dropped all mention of the former first lady as though she had never existed.

    She’d spent 30 years in the shadows. After the divorce, all mention of Lyudmila was erased from the Kremlin website, and she was relegated to utter obscurity. By law she could be entitled to up to half of Putin’s official salary of $102,000—but no details of the divorce settlement have been made public. Putin has created a Russia where people can, just like in the old days, simply be Photoshopped out of history.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Fascinating info. But curious as well: don’t you think his hyper-privacy regarding his daughters might be due to concerns about their safety? That’s what it looks like to me.

      • I’m sure he is doing his family a favor by keeping them out of the spotlight. His ex-wife, if she were being deprived in the least, could emigrate and tell her story and secure a very comfortable living in the process. Does anyone doubt tha?. Or the fact that the Church allows divorce? One might recall the swirl of swill around the Bush girls as “reported” by the media.

        As to his affairs, without real evidence the only thing really demonstrated by gossiping about them is antipathy toward Putin for other reasons – high school rumor mongering.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Agreed. All this talk about Putin’s hyper-secrecy is special pleading.

          • Timothy Wearing says

            Putin’s Long-Term Plans For The Crimea And Ukraine

            Having reported from the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008, I have spent the years since then warning against Putin’s feral expansionism. Anyone making half an attempt to link the dots would have predicted the events in Ukraine. Too many Western journalists treated the relentless bullying of Saakashvili’s pro-Western Georgia as somehow dissociated from the mind of Putin, most notably the KGB-style dirty tricks that led to the electoral triumphs of the pro-Kremlin party under the oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili. Putin’s current conduct in Crimea had to happen sooner or later. Indeed, in a Jan. 23 column I argued that he deliberately destabilized Ukraine and that the next steps would likely involve a Russian intervention.

            Putin may be a clever opportunist but he’s above all a predictable long-term strategist. He has devoted his waking hours to reversing the outcome of the Cold War in every action, from rebuilding Russia’s armed forces to realigning the near abroad to meddling in the Middle East. We in the West have acted as if each of his power grabs came as a shock and a surprise, each an isolated incident. Now we are debating the possible responses to the Crimea, when the proper response lies a long way behind us in the form of a renewed Cold War strategic vigilance, one that should never have abated. With a predatory Putin prowling the world, we’ve had no business dawdling in Afghanistan for thirteen years, or any business invading Iraq and driving up oil prices for Putin’s benefit.

            Our first concern is and always was the integrity of the West. If we cannot protect our own civilization, or even name it as such, we have nothing to offer others. It’s time to re-order our mental map of priorities and re-view our threat topography with the Kremlin in the forefront. And that includes the ‘impartial’ stance of our media with its endless acknowledging of ‘legitimate’ Russian ‘interests’. Why does the domination of reluctant populations add up to a legitimate interest, however many centuries have gone into it, especially if you’re not offering any benefits other than fraternity with Russian imperialism, as if that were a virtue in itself. Just how much have the Tatars or the Chechens benefited from such an association?

            That’s what the Georgians and Ukrainians can see more clearly than much of our media, whose single infusion of historical context involves counting ethnic Russians and how much more it all matters to the Kremlin than to us. In point of fact, the Crimea housed mostly Tatars until Stalin purged them en masse during World War II. That’s how much such strategic places matter to the Russians – you know how deeply they care by their readiness to commit genocide, as has happened to the Chechens three times in two centuries. Putin is no anomaly. Gorbachev was the anomaly. Putin falls directly in line with Russian policies since Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, on into the Stalinist decades.

            What about the future? Putin will gauge the consequences before his next act. Pundits have pointed out how the markets have already given him a severer jolt than diplomacy ever will. So he will let matters cool and pursue the Abkhazia plan which means loosening the Crimea-Kiev bond over time and integrating regional Russian Black Sea ties while quietly making the environment hostile to the Tatars again because they’re pro-Ukrainian. He will build up the navy base thereby creating an autonomous economy, one that will do business directly with Russia and the ethnic Russian industrial zone of Donetsk. Kiev will find itself increasingly bypassed.

            In effect, Putin will try to reduce ethnic Ukraine into a rump without its strategic limbs by eroding them away, much as he has done with Georgia. The EU and the West will have to choose between pouring funds into a resource-poor Kiev or making money out of Russia’s natural resources. He will not do any of this too blatantly. He will create a Crimean regional parliament dominated by Russian stooges and he will let mafias brutalize Ukrainian patriots there and around Donetsk. One or two naval officers who don’t hand over their ships to the Russian fleet will be found dead while others will perforce defect. Meantime, Germany and Eastern Europe will find itself awash in new Russian pipelines pumping in cheap oil and gas. And if all this goes his way, further east in the Caucasus other plans will click into place. Azerbaijan will find itself pushed into the Kremlin geosphere, no doubt through some provocations with Armenia, and ultimately Georgia will stand isolated, until it too gives in.

            That’s where the game is headed. What happens in the next weeks or months matters little if we don’t face up to the long-term threat.

            • You know, it is really not moving to bring up Georgia as an example of how evil Putin is. All of us who were paying attention and are not hard-core Russophobes saw that Georgia went into Tskhinvali and attacked the Russian army and local population. Putin (or, technically Medvedev) sent in tanks a few hours later.

              I was in Europe at the time and saw these events in their proper sequence. The Russian invasion occurred in the morning here and overnight in the US. I checked the American news when it would have been morning there and … I saw Fox News use THE VERY SAME FOOTAGE of the Georgian invasion, that all of us saw on European news before Russian tanks came in, shown with the caption of “Russia invades Georgia”. They reported on it as if there were an unprovoked attack.

              Seeing that blatant manipulation in real time woke me up to a lot of realities. But some people just love to be conned because it is a lot more comfortable to sit in the chair in their living room and hate on the Russkies, Chinese, and Moozlimz for anything and everything … while they watch Fox (in which the Saudi royal family is heavily invested) and vote for politicians who enriched China through “free trade” and read pseudo-intellectual neocons whose parents and grandparents were Bolsheviks.

            • Cheap oil and gas?!?!? What a crime! And … what about the ever increasing “geosphere” of the US? All this says is, “The US should rule the world, and anyone the US might see as competition should be crushed.” Yawn … Superpatriots … how very boring …

            • Evil Russia! How dare they step out and try to covet a part of the “geosphere!” Everyone knows that whole ball belongs to the World Police Force, and ONLY the World Police Force! Of all the nerve!

            • So says Forbes, Timothy Wearing! Isn’t that a financial rag? Think maybe someone’s “investments” might be “threatened?” And … Cheap oil and gas?!?!? What a crime! A stop must be put to it! Yes! Take care of Russia, get a pro Western government in, and break it into 100 tiny countries, each of which could be the “beneficiary” of Western “development” of their resources!

    • American media should be just as respectful of American politicians’ families as the Russians are of Putin’s family. Focus on the policies and the politician. Leave the family alone. Of course then there would be no news to feed the beast

    • So what? Most of this reads like you are disappointed you do not have lurid details of Putin’s sex life or sexy photos of his daughters from the paparazzi.

      Maybe you’ve been trained to think the sick is normal?

  4. Peter A. Papoutsis says

    Statement by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the Present Violence in Iraq

    Aug 13, 2014

    The recent wave of violence against innocent families and children in Iraq has rendered the world shocked and horrified. We will not remain indifferent or silent before such irrational persecution, cultural intolerance and appalling loss of life, especially when it is caused by religious hatred and racial hostility.

    The targeting of tens of thousands of Christians (including Arameans, Chaldeans, and Assyrians) and other religious minorities (including Turkmens, Yazidis, and Kurds) can never be justified in the name of any religious creed or conviction.

    What we are witnessing before our eyes in Iraq is the uprooting not simply of a religious minority – in this case the Yazidis, whose very existence is being threatened – but of an entire civilization. The victimization and extermination of women and children, as well as of the elderly and disabled, for any reason whatsoever – much more so in the supposed name of religious conviction – is a repudiation of our own future. Such calamity and cruelty of adherents to one religion can never be defended by cowardly and falsely invoking another religion. Such brutal acts are categorically unacceptable and unjustifiable before both God and humankind.

    Violence never is pacified by violence, and hatred is only overcome by tolerance. Knowing that true and lasting peace only comes to pass through genuine encounter and dialogue, we call upon religious leaders and political authorities in this wounded region to promote conversation to resolve dispute, and to support peaceful means to overcome conflict.

    We implore the same of all leaders in other parts of the world, especially in Gaza and Israel, in order that those conflicts, too, may not further escalate at the expense of more human life. It is precisely for this reason that, at the invitation of Pope Francis, we gathered in Rome for an interfaith summit of peace with Presidents Peres and Abbas last June.

    The situation in Iraq is especially critical. The humanitarian predicament is more urgent than ever. Our response must be immediate and tangible. Therefore, we appeal to every responsible organization and every person of good will – beyond any support through perpetual and persistent prayer – to assist with material and humanitarian resources so that these innocent victims may no longer endure hunger, suffering, and death.

    It is our wholehearted hope and fervent prayer that the God of love – worshipped by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike – may prevail over the false idols of fanaticism and prejudice. May the compassionate Lord grant peace to all.

    At the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the 13th of August, 2014

    • Patrick Henry Reardon says

      His All-Holiness declares, “Violence never is pacified by violence, and hatred is only overcome by tolerance.”

      This is the kind of raw nonsense we have come to expect from that source.

      • “Violence never is pacified by violence”
        Those who stood up to German and Japanese aggression in WWII and subsequently guided those roundly defeated, abject nations to model international citizenship might beg to differ with His All-Holiness. Of course the ideology must be overcome, but first it must be defeated on the battlefield. To expect the Islamic death cult known as ISIS/L or IS to melt in the face of tolerance is idiocy of the highest order.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        Yes, that’s what Chamberlain and Halifax, among others, had to say…..

      • Engaged observer says

        Exactly, Father Patrick.

        It’s this same type of nonsense that we heard from our American President on Wednesday, when he assumed his role once again of “Comforter in Chief” (and I’m not referring to the Holy Spirit) instead of Commander in Chief (the role he should be assuming). The American reporter had just been beheaded on video by the Islamic State. The President delivered a very passive speech, stating, among other things, that “people like this ultimately fail.”

        How exactly do “people like this” fail? Is it by magic? Do we just wait it out until they “fail,” even if that takes 100 or 500 years? It’s so ridiculous. I cannot understand how he gets away with such passivity.

        “People like this” fail because others stand up to them and make them fail! The Allies vanquished in World War II because we stood up to the Axis powers and defeated them. If we had passively stood by, would they have failed? Patriarch Bartholomew is incorrect. The violence unleashed on the world by the Axis powers was pacified with violence.

        Likewise, whether we like it or not, the violence being unleashed by the Islamic State will only be pacified with violence. The Islamic State will not conform to Western-imposed “international standards of behavior” simply becuase we ask them to.

        Our American President makes Neville Chamberlain look like Winston Churchill.

        Whenever I hear speeches coming from the White House these days, all I expect to hear is raw nonsense.

      • Michael Bauman says

        What is going on in Iraq is not just mere hatred but psychopathy run rampant. Psychopaths do not respond to reason or tolerance. In fact such acts only embolden them in the exercise of their psychopathy. They must be stopped with greater force.

      • Isa Almisry says

        I can believe hatred is only overcome by love, but tolerance? I don’t see that anywhere in the Gospel.

      • Glad to see that I’m not the only one out there who thinks that encyclicals and statements from the EP are typically a lot of pabulum and mush.

      • You know, it is probably just a veiled rebuke to those who would use ISIS as a pretext for a Western intervention not actually aimed at destroying Islamic fundamentalism, but aimed at taking out the remaining Christian-friendly régimes in the region.

    • Seems the “fervent prayers” to the “same God of Love that Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike all
      worship” had little effect … All political bla, bla, bla. Only thing “surprising” is not another mention of Halki … But, apparently, Patriarch Bartholomew and his pal, Barack Obama have that one “covered!”

  5. Sean Richardson says

    The fact that Russia is casting envious eyes on what used to be their breadbasket should not be an issue of surprise. Russia, politically and ecclesiastically has long coveted the Ukraine. That we are surprised by this is the real wonderment.

    • Antonio Arganda says

      News flash! Ukraine IS Russia. Coveting? Like the US covets Appalachia.

    • That’s funny. Ukraine is much more dependent on Russia than vice versa. Hence the observation that neither the West nor Russia can afford to “win” in Ukraine. It is not Ukraine’s “wealth” that Russia covets. Not even its “breadbasket”. Virtually the entire eastern part of the country is a) dependent on Russia’s defense industry for its livelihood and b) the most economically productive region of the country.

      As winter approaches, I suspect that the Ukrainians will become more reasonable in their relationship with Russia.

  6. For the thumbs downers:
    Obama: supports “live birth” abortions.
    Putin: pro-life.
    If a political leader is to be judged by how they would like the most vulnerable in their society to be treated then I rest my case: Obama is a greater danger to humankind than Putin (not that I think he “should be eliminated”, mind you).

    • Andy Shotz says


      Legal abortions in the U.S. came into law in 1973-74 under Pres. Nixon, a Republican. Obama supports the “Laws of the United States” which are made by Congress. If you want to end ‘abortions,” have Congress vote to do so and then re-argue it in the Supreme Court. As far as Abortion is concerned in RUSSIA & Putin, it is a matter of fact that Russia conducts more abortions than any other nation on earth and has for 50 years. Get your facts straight!

      • George Michalopulos says

        That’s hardly fair. Neither the Congress nor President Nixon passed a law legalizing abortion. Abortion-on-demand was created by judicial fiat in Roe vs Wade. Anybody who has a competent understanding of American Constitutional law knows that there are three co-equal branches of government in these United States.

        In a better world, any law passed by Congress (and thoroughly vetted by its various committees) and then signed into law by the President would be –and should be–Constitutional. The Supreme Court would be that branch of government tasked only with adjudicating harms to individuals either from other individuals and/or parties or by the government itself. It would have no legislative or executive powers at all.

        • Daniel E Fall says

          I think the point is the same. It is hardly fair to compare Obama’s vote on abortion to Hitler and then give a pass to all the other legislators of the last 40 years.

          And as ugly as abortion is…it has very little to do with the topic of Putin.

          In the shadows of a room; women will terminate their pregnancies if they don’t want them regardless of your utopian fantasies. The only difference between a Republican or a Democrat’s position on the matter is the Democrat realizes the futility of the subject and the Republican hopes for an utopian ideal. Obama is a relatively weak President and his vote on the matter essentially reflects the recognition of the futility of the abortion battle in the courts. Crediting Obama as Hitler for a vote the Courts would never change is pretty much the same cake.

          • Obama is the most radically pro-abortion occupant of the White House ever. As a senator, he voted AGAINST the partial-birth abortion ban. Now how sick is THAT??

            • Daniel E Fall says

              Actually, Obama has basically said no one should ever be pro-abortion-see his 2008 campaign third debate quote. I attest very few Americans are pro-abortion. This is just language used by the anti-abortion crowd-to suggest if you aren’t with us than you must be exactly the opposite. And the fund raising works out much better if you polarize the situation. Rather than promoting motherhood, for example, as the Wichita folks attempt, Pro-Life billboards all over try to guilt women into carrying their child to term-this billboard works to get the pro-life financiers onboard better than a billboard of a mother holding a child, for example. However, if you have ever known a woman who is planning to have an abortion-she really doesn’t give a darn about the child and the billboard campaign is sort of farcical. These women don’t want to be mothers first. If they didn’t have a dual purpose; promoting motherhood would be all they did. But their billboards are better at bandwagoning….

              Obama voted against the bill that tried to prevent an abortion that failed procedurally when the woman had requested an abortion. Now, this is pretty sick stuff-you and I can agree…cuz who wants to go there at all? Obama basically tried to vote as he interpreted the Roe v Wade decision and that is all he did-I won’t even suggest that is what he ought to have done-just what he did. If abortion is legal and if it procedurally fails-then what? It suddenly becomes illegal because it failed? Lots of ifs…

              And he tried to work to find common ground between those that oppose and those that accept Roe. Part of that is an expensive education initiative to prevent teenage pregnancy which most conservatives would not appreciate either.

              The constant comparison to Hitler over Obama’s voting on abortion is really unfair. If you chastised him for voting as the courts directed-I’d be in full agreement, and that is not really how a lawmaker should act.

              • Dan,

                This is not a quibble with your post – only a comment on how utterly nonsensical statements like…

                “No one should ever be pro-abortion”

                ..are when coming from the lips of those who support it. Similar to this is President Clinton’s…

                “Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.”

                The question that demands an answer is WHY? If abortion is a necessity and/or a social good in the eyes of its supporters, why should no one ever be pro-abortion? And why should it be rare? Is there any other necessity or social good of humanity that should be eschewed or that ought to be rare? If it is necessary it should be encouraged, and if it is good it certainly shouldn’t be rare.

                Statements like these betray the moral bankruptcy of the politicians who make them. They know full-well that abortion is evil, yet they defend it under the guise of “settled law” that cannot be changed (or even mitigated) under any circumstances whatsoever, conveniently forgetting that Plessy v. Ferguson was “settled law” that supposedly couldn’t be changed.

                • Daniel E Fall says

                  I respect your post Brian.

                  I don’t agree that abortion being a safe medical procedure makes the lawmaker morally bankrupt. And I don’t agree Obama is comparable to Hitler because he interpreted prior law and voted that way.

                  Women will have abortions regardless of whether you and I deem it evil. I don’t wish to get into a debate with you about the goodness of it; it is awful. The necessity is that it is safe. Just because it might be necessary for us to bomb ISIL to keep us safe doesn’t mean it is good and military force should be rare. A horrible analogy in some ways, but in others; accurate.

                  There is nothing disingenuous about Americans wanting fewer abortions. It is disgusting.

                  • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                    Mr. Fall, all the parsing, rhetorical gymnastics, and sophistry in the world cannot justify any abortion at any time as “safe”–for the unborn child who is brutally and / or casually destroyed. That is an intrinsic evil, which no Orthodox Christian may countenance, whether you or anyone choose to “deem” it otherwise.

                    • Very true.

                      Why does it pain those vehemently opposed to abortion when those mostly opposed voice that opinion?

                      Women can willfully end their pregnancy. There is no rhetoric, parsing, or sophistry.

                      The will to be a mother is absent. Here, again, there is no rhetorical flourish. And the missing will is what is so sad, and labeling it evil means very little to these women. It means more to those who are already righteous enough to see it rightly.

                      And the law only served abortion’s sick promotion; this is true. But in the hearts and minds of these women; it is okay because they do not wish to mother.

                      And the challenge to convince women to mother cannot be won in the way you wish.

                      My four year old demands my help. Regards.

                    • One more thing Priest Webster…

                      …from the moment at which my wife is accused of abortion for the contraception method she employs, I am at that moment no longer willing to be on the side of those that say they are fighting for the unborn…it becomes disingenous.

                      And that has happened here.

                    • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

                      Re: “And the challenge to convince women to mother cannot be won in the way you wish.”

                      Mr. Fall, such persuasion is only a secondary objective. The immediate, critical imperative is to save unborn children from the “pro-choice” decisions of their derelict biological mothers and the accessories to atrocity in the various medical, political, and journalistic professions. And that duty entails legislation, judicial decisions, and other political means of preventing abortions, the “hearts and minds of these women” notwithstanding.

                      As the esteemed moral philosopher Alasdair MacIntryre opined in his classic work, After Virtue, in 1986, in a clever twist on Carl von Clausewitz’s dictum about war, “Modern politics is civil war carried on by other means.” Twenty-eight years later the war over unborn children still rages. Millions of human lives are at stake each passing year. There can be no compromise and no substitute for victory.

                    • I say the challenge is primary Fr. Webster; we can disagree, but make sure you speak to a few women who have had abortions. They put themselves first and justify it as a timing issue. And they are overwhelmed by the notion of pregnancy; let alone motherhood. They don’t care about your labels. And the law largely serves the irresponsible, which gives it even more purpose (as if the law itself breathes). But I can find the law disgusting regardless of what anyone wishes to suggest otherwise-forgive my grammar-I must sleep.

                    • Mr Fall,

                      Your concern for the circumstances and internal psychology of a women considering an abortion (often in cahoots with the father or other family member’s) is misplaced. It does not justify a “safe” killing (which you erroneously label a “medical” procedure). Being poor, down on your luck, scared, angry, or any other fill_in_the_blank circumstance or sin does not justify killing unborn children ever (never ever ever).

                      You seem to imply that you do or have done some abortion counseling (perhaps I am misreading you here). If you do, PLEASE STOP. Educate yourself in basic Christian anthropology, moral hierarchy, and how that relates to modern understandings of morality and psychology. Any decent priest can point you in the right direction…

                    • Christopher-don’t be ridiculous and stop being such a fool, arse, etc. I gave the most fundamental underlying reason women choose abortion and you discount it. And talk about taking presumption to the nth degree. I have never counseled women nor wish to, but I will suggest to you; ditto, unless they are Orthodox or wish to.

                      Let me try it again.

                      They don’t want to be mothers. Can’t get that?

                    • Mr. Fall says:

                      “They don’t want to be mothers. Can’t get that?”

                      Oh I get that – and so do all the other posters. However, I don’t put the same emphasis on it, or rather I put it in it’s proper place. You put it exactly where a modernist/secularist/Christian materialist (or “liberal” Christian) put’s it, which is exactly the wrong place.

                      Like all persons with unexamined modernist presuppositions, you overemphasize the internal psychology of someone who is sinning or about to sin (in this case, about to kill their child). Because they *feel* this way, then it must be right/true or at least acknowledged as “legitimate”, “authentic”, etc. I *feel* like I love my same sex partner, thus society (and soon the Church) has to recognize that and allow me to “marry” said partner. I *feel* like my life is not worth living, thus society has to recognize (and soon the Church) my “right to die”. I *feel* like I am not ready for a child or it was forced upon me (in the case of rape/incest, etc.), thus society (and soon the Church) must recognize my “right” to a “safe medical procedure”.

                      The Gospel, the Truth of Christ and his Church, are in no way modern. The Truth of God does not recognize my alleged “right” to feel this way. Quite the opposite. My own anger, lust, pride, etc. may have a very strong emotional content, but they are not to be treated primarily on that level, and it is to be acknowledged that these feelings are “wrong” and the result of sin.

                      As a matter of law and morality even in a diverse culture such as ours, “feelings” are not given the high ground in most cases. If I become angry with my neighbor for some offense I don’t demand society recognize my “right” to feel this way and recognize my “right” to assault my neighbor in retaliation!

                      As Christian’s, we have to be very clear about all this in our own minds, hearts, preaching, counseling, etc. You, Mr. Fall give too much away when you say things like:

                      “I don’t agree that abortion being a safe medical procedure makes the lawmaker morally bankrupt.”

                      That’s EXACTLY what it does! It even does so on non-Christian grounds, as there is plenty of support for not killing unborn children in all sorts of world views (e.g. the world view that would say “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” )

                      In the end, only by listening to demons does one get from “They don’t want to be mothers. Can’t get that?” to the willful killing of unborn children as a “safe medical procedure”…

                    • Christopher-none of you approach my points well.

                      I am advocating for the promotion of motherhood where it is clearly absent. And all you wish to do is tear down my points.

                      So be it.

                      Continue to live in a fantasy world where all women wish to mother and the law’s reach goes through the uterine wall, or in the perspectives on reality you’ve created demonizing the rational; finding no middle ground of points from even those who find abortion abhorrent in an ever spinning whirlpool of self righteousness.

                      Everytime the answer on abortion is not to make it illegal; those vehemently opposed discount it. You would probably make more impact on the world with a Mom’s are great bumper sticker, but of course that wouldn’t do too much for you in the circle.

                    • Mr. Fall,

                      As St. Paul describes in yesterday’s reading, the truth of God is not “rational”, or one “perspective on reality” among many. It is not about “self righteousness” but simply “righteousness” and you certainly can understand the difference.

                      However, when you say things like “the law’s reach goes through the uterine wall” you reveal several things. You reveal that you accept certain modernist premises about rights of mother vs rights of her unborn children. Indeed, you can’t even get yourself to talk about the human life, the human soul of an unborn child – instead wanting to talk about the “uterine wall” as if that somehow trumps said life.

                      “Everytime the answer on abortion is not to make it illegal” This is the crux of the matter and reveals the inner contradiction of your thinking and philosophy. You are perfectly happy to make other sins illegal, and to accept that society and it’s laws have a place in relation to these sins. If I said “the answer to slavery is not to make it illegal” or “the answer to anger is not to make bodily assault on my neighbor illegal” you would rightly disagree with me. Strangely, (and quite irrationally), you hold that the answer to abortion is not to make it illegal. While it must be said that the criminalization of certain sins is not the whole answer, and sometimes not even an important aspect of the answer, it most obviously is part of the answer. When it comes to blatantly harming and physically killing another human being (particularly defenseless children), criminalization is even a very important part of the answer of living in a just and peaceful society.

                      In the end, you simply don’t hold to a traditional Christian understanding of what it means to be a human being (anthropology). This is quite common. The latest Pew research shows that RC’s approve of abortion and homosexualist “marriage” to a GREATER degree than the general population! For us Orthodox, we disapprove of such admonitions to only a slightly lessor degree than the general population. Is this the clergy’s fault for not teaching basic Christian anthropology? Perhaps that’s part of it, but really it’s our own fault for swallowing too much of the cultural soup in which we live. It’s hard, REALLY HARD is it not, to ignore the world, the chattering of the demons, and get this right? To have the mind of Christ, we must try…

        • Andy Shotz says

          The point being, if one wants to change the “legalization of abortion,” Congress must pass a law outlawing it and then defend this decision in the Supreme Court. The arguments “for” legalization in 1973 are flawed and it needs to be re-argued. Again, the President of the United States must uphold the laws of the United States. In 1973, Nixon should have been more vocal against the legalization.

        • James Denney says

          The legality of unborn baby-killing should be a matter for the individual states to decide. The congress and SCOTUS should stay out of it.

          • George Michalopulos says

            Even better. We would be better off –and more free–if we got back to the notion that we are a confederation of several co-equal States. It’s time to retire the 14th Amendment (and 16-21 while we’re at it) and get back to true republican self-governance.

            • Michael Bauman says

              We are free as we need to be if we keep our eye single on God. Everything else will fall into line then. If we put anything else before God, chaos follows

          • Daniel E Fall says

            The concept of states having individual rights to govern is fundamentally flawed. If state A had a law that made marriage to a 9 year old girl legal, but state B made it illegal; there is nothing that would stop the state B pedophiles from moving to state A. And that is just one example!

            The number of state laws that would be fairly practiced in one state and not fairly practiced in the next door state could be immeasurable. Perhaps it would be okay to reverse the Kennedy’s interpretation and use of the commerce clause and have segregation on a per state basis?

            There are serious problems with state self governance; not to mention the states are defended as a union.

            • George Michalopulos says

              Now you’re veering awfully close to Natural Law.

            • Michael Bauman says

              Mr. Fall, so the proper wisdom to make laws in a smaller community that fails is somehow magically overcome by increasing the size of the community and the distance from the governed?

              The examples of unjust, unreasonable laws forced on the people by a central government in the name of justice, fairness and consistency is legion. Law always fails. It does lead to a perfect world. At best it is a restraint against evil but human beings in our perversity always find ways to indulge our passions don’t we?

              No, your path is the path of tyranny. Laws made according to the will of the powerful, for the powerful, by the powerful so that the powerful will not perish.

      • Much of that abortion culture in Russia is the legacy of the atheistic Soviet years, Andy (what excuse does the US have?). Although they too have to deal with established laws and the contrary views of elected representatives, between them Putin and Medvedev have made strenuous efforts to curtail that culture, which has resulted in a decline in abortion numbers, actions which are in distinct contrast to Obama’s efforts to advance the abortion culture in the US. In any case, abortion in Russia is only legal up to 12 weeks. Now, tell me, which leader best protects the values of Christian civilisation?

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        “Legal abortions came into law…under…Nixon, a Republican.” This is pure disingenuous weasel-wording. As George points out, it was the Supreme Court that did this by fiat. Neither Nixon nor the Congress had anorything to do with it.

        What is the reason for this kind of propagandistic sleight-of-hand?

      • Engaged observer says

        “As far as Abortion is concerned in RUSSIA & Putin, it is a matter of fact that Russia conducts more abortions than any other nation on earth and has for 50 years. Get your facts straight!”

        You need to acknowledge the truth that since the fall of the atheist Soviet state 25 years ago, the number of abortions in Russia has drastically decreased, thanks primarily to the resurgence of an active faith in Russia and to the Orthodox Church in Russia. The Orthodox Church in Russia has worked tirelessly to reevangelize Russian people, to encourage alternatives to abortion, to build orphanages, etc. The abortion rate has fallen drastically compared to what it was in Soviet times.

        Indeed, if Putin is interested in a “resurgent Russia,” which I’m sure he is — as American world leadership role has voluntarily retracted, some nation or group of nations is going to take America’s former place of leadership in the world — Putin wants a higher birth rate. He wants more Russian people.

      • Andy,

        That’s nonsense. Roe v. Wade was decided in January 1973. Nixon was the president but he had no part whatsoever in it. A few states already had legalized abortion but Roe forced the rest of the states to allow it.

        Regarding Russia, trajectory is the key. The Soviet Union had legalized abortion and that legacy is still present in Russia. However, the ROC is vehemently opposed to it and attempting to get legislation passed to restrict it. Moreover, the government and many medical practitioners have been discouraging it for some time now. The reasons have to do with population decline as well.

        That will take time. But, of course, the fact that it is still a serious problem in Russia does not mean that it is not a serious problem here. The American people, at any time they chose, could have passed a constitutional amendment allowing the legislatures to regulate or ban abortion, or, Congress could have removed jurisdiction from the federal courts to decide the issue of abortion, or, the American people could have religiously voted only for conservative Republicans who vowed to overturn Roe in primaries and elections for President and in Senate races. Any of those things would have solved the problem.

        It is the conscious, chosen, moral failure of the American people that we still have abortion on demand and we will be judged for this holocaust of the unborn all the more harshly because of the fact that we have a representative government and the power to stop it was in our hands.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Russian conducts more abortions that any one else because of the communist indoctrination and the despair it produced. It will take several generations for that to be reversed. As George notes—Nixon had nothing to do with Roe vs Wade.

        All of the judicially discerned ‘rights’ are part of the ‘penumbra of the Constitution’ that apparently only the prophets of the most high secular culture can discern.

        There are even pro-abortion folk who agree that the Roe vs Wade decision was based on faulty reasoning and ought to be over turned.

        “Facts” are such a slippery thing really. They prove nothing in and of themselves. Facts become facts only after data is examined, certain data is selected as more significant that other data and then evaluated based upon the assumptions of the person(s) doing the evaluation.

      • Under Putin, Russia has restricted abortion considerably and the abortion rate has come down. The rate was so high in the USSR because there was very little artificial contraception available (not because Soviets were rabbits in their sexual habits compared to Americans and cared so much less about having children). I think it would be a stretch to call Putin pro-life, but Russia does have more pro-life laws than the courts permit in the US.

        Obama, by comparison, supports apparently zero restrictions – abortion until birth, a policy uniquely Canadian and American, with the Swedes and Brits approaching it (with 20+ week limits). A 10 or 12 week limit is normal for Europe.

        I will add for all the commenters here who think Stalin killed 100000000000000000000000 people but who also think abortion is literally the same as murder, well, abortion was largely illegal from 1935-56.

  7. Reductio at hitlerum in the first post. A record, wow !

    • Antonio Arganda says

      Godwin’s law at work.

    • As someone who reads what he is given to read,i.e. mass media,I would say (to the untrained eye)that the Ukraine will only be exploited by the EU,but Putin wants to utilize the vast resources of that region for the GOOD OF ALL. P.s.Hitler was a puppet and product of an already existing wave of ………To compare him with Putin is stupid.To compare him with Obama is accurate.

  8. Carl Kraeff says

    It is easy to favorably compare Putin to Obama, Pete Seeger, Paul Robeson and Lillian Hellman. What irks me is a favorable comparison to the greatest US President in my lifetime, Ronald Reagan. I would think that a loyal citizen of the United States of America would not so adore Vladimir Putin, who has positioned himself as an adversary of this country. This is going too far, this is descending to the level of Leftists who have turned to loving world government and humanity rather than their country. Shame.

    • George Michalopulos says

      It’s all a matter of context, Carl. No leader today compares favorably with Reagan (whom I consider to be a celestial being that guides the sun on its course through the heavens) but Putin has dramatically opened up the markets in Russia and allowed the Ricardian “animal spirits” to run (perhaps a little too) wild. Russia hasn’t had this flourishing an economy since the pre-Great War days under Nicholas II.

    • Carl,

      The problem is that America has assumed the role of “the evil empire” now that the Soviet Union has been dissolved. That may seem like a strong statement, but from the Christian moral perspective, it is perfectly defensible.

      Democrats and Republicans at the national level have joined forces in order to export progressive liberal values, by force or economic coercion, to the rest of the world. Progressive liberal moral values include feminism, abortion on demand, the normalization of homosexuality, the destruction of the patriarchy wherever it is found and the marginalization and repression of the Church.

      That, like it or not, is the American agenda for the world. It is the effect of our policies, besides enabling Islam (which is counter-intuitive but an obvious and objectively verifiable unintended consequence).

      That is the real shame.

    • Antonio Arganda says

      “An adversary of this country?” An adversary of the international neo-liberal oligarchy does not make one an opponent of this country unless you consider the two things coterminous.

    • Hilarious! When’s the Canonization?

  9. Dn Brian Patrick Mitchell says

    Russia has long coveted Ukraine? For a very long time, Russia and Ukraine were one body. Does the body covet its members?

    • George Michalopulos says

      Well said.

    • Daniel E Fall says

      Does the bread long for the crumb that fell from it?

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      Ah yes, in the golden age, when prince was in accord with prince, war and strife were unknown, concord was the watchword between hierarchs and autarchs, and the lion laid down with the lamb.

      When was that, exactly?

    • Another thumbs up that went down inexplicably

    • Tina Hovsky says

      Yes, the Russian people and Ukrainian people are cousins, but so are the Arabs & Jews. Remember, Cain & Abel from the beginning. Historically, the Ukrainians are the REAL Kievan Russ people descended from Viking blood and mingled with Mongol. The Russians of Moscow always considered themselves superior being more European and sophisticated from the “city” while Ukrainians were considered “country bumpkins.” Yet, it was the Muscovites who fell into Communism while the Ukraine resisted. After Stalin’s purge and murdering of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, they never trusted the Muscovites again. Thus, the Ukraine became more & more independent of Moscow. And here we are today! Do you EVER think the Palestinians will ever trust the Jews again? Murdering right-wing peoples will only defeat themselves.

      • Johann Sebastian says

        They should take it up with Tbilisi, then. Stalin was, after all, a Georgian.

      • I know Kievan Rus’ brought in a Swedish royal family – but the people themselves were Slavic, not Nordic. In no way were they Vikings. Nordic blood you will find most in St Petersburg or another old centre of Slavic Christianity – Pskov.

        Ukrainians have been/are comparably considered as country bumpkins, but this is because the population of the Ukraine is much more rural than most of European Russia – lots of agriculture. This is precisely why they were less drawn to Communism. You know, after the October Revolution, they held one election – the Communists lost with about a quarter of the vote … but 80-90% in large Russian cities! The cities, however, only held a small proportion of the population, so the winners were the Socialist Revolutionaries, not any sort of White or Kadet faction, and these did by far the best in the Ukraine.

        The supposed anti-communism of Ukrainians is, however, overstated. They were slow to embrace it because there were not many ‘proletarians’ in the country, mostly peasants. Parts of the country always resisted it, but not all or most. After WWII, some resistance to Soviet power continued until the 50s, but only really in far-Western Ukraine, which was recently acquired and has a more Austro-Hungarian identity.

        After the fall of the USSR, the Communist Party of the Ukraine was initially closer to power than the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, controlling the parliament in the late 90s and probably winning the presidential election in 1999, save obvious fraud from the sitting incumbent.

        Anyway, the gist of my point is that any attempt to define a ‘Ukrainian’ political identity has turned out to be quite murky. In late 19th century Russian censi, Ukrainians were quite numerous and held the majority in many cities of modern-day South Russia. But this was an identity closer to Russian – the Little Russian – who speaks a dialect somewhat mutually intelligible. There were Ruthenians near the Carpathian Mountains – they spoke a truly different language and had a unique history (being Eastern Catholic, etc.). The Eastern part of the informally Ukrainian lands was Russified and eventually the Ruthenian identity was largely abandoned and Ruthenians and Eastern Poles from the Lviv ara tried to claim they were the true Ukrainians and spoke the real Ukrainian language. Traditional Ukrainians (the cultural heirs to Gogol) have been squeezed in the process and some are choosing to be anti-Russian while others feel targeted by the Westerners.

        But I guarantee you that this insane Banderovite ideology that insists 100000000000000000000000 people were intentionally starved by Stalin and that regular Russians are somehow responsible for this to the point that they allied with Hitler – this ideology will never triumph and could only win a battle or two as a proxy for Western liberal globalists. Either the Pravy Sektor-types will get killed on the battle field or will be killed after winning the battle by those funding their cause.

        • Johann Sebastian says

          Thomas Sm. said:

          “There were Ruthenians near the Carpathian Mountains – they spoke a truly different language and had a unique history (being Eastern Catholic, etc.).”

          We were Eastern Catholic because we were forced into the Union by the Poles. And our language was actually less Polonized than the Galician “Ukrainian” dialect.

          There is a reason we call ourselves RUSyn and not Ukrainian.

    • Carl Kraeff says

      Like George said in his rely to my post: “It’s all a matter of context.” What you said may have been true “for a long time,” but at this time, it is not true, as you should know. So, why the slick-willie manipulation of the facts? Are you one of those folks who tend to disbelief in the rape of a country unless four men of your convictions are present?

  10. Michael Bauman says

    Here is another irony: the US having to back Assad to fight ISIS although just such a scenario was easily seen as a likely outcome when the whole thing started, i.e., backing Assad (a bad guy) to keep the jihadist psychopaths from taking over. Even before when we helped foster the Orwellian named “Arab Spring”.

    Either Obama is an Islamist or just plain stupid.

    • Daniel E Fall says

      Actually, McCain suggested we arm the rebels. The only problem was there were two factions of rebels and we might have armed ISIS. And backing Assad would have been really popular-siding with Putin..and a guy who used chemical weapons. The problem was there was no way to win in Syria. If you supported Assad; you were siding with Russia and chemical assaults on the masses; if you sided with the non-ISIL rebels; ISIL might have got your weapons.

      Obama chose to do nothing. Doctors first rule is first do no harm. I think Obama took that route in Syria. Ain’t saying it was right, but this is better than arming the rebels which was what McCain wanted us to do..

      • I agree Mr. Fall – in this case Obama was smarter than McCain. Not surprising, given that neither the euro-socialists (democrats) nor the neocon wing of the republicans (McCain being a primary example) have a clue as to the situation in Syria or middle east in general…


    Incidentally, for anyone actually open to the truth, here is a nice little rundown of why the “Maidan Revolution” was actually an illegal coup d’etat by someone who supports Kiev and characterizes the coup as “just”.

    It was simply a lawless act of aggression which Russia should not be expected to accept.


    Film about American Orthodoxy from the MP.

  13. In other news. The western media has swung into full propaganda mode by blaming the rise of ISIS soley on Assad. I wonder if the Whitehouse writes the stories for them?

    • Isa Almisry says

      Asad? it’s the idiots like Senator McCan’t and Hussain in the White House who supported his opposition who created ISIL.

  14. Timothy Wearing says

    Why Won’t Putin Help Middle East Christians?
    Cliff Kincaid — August 22, 2014

    An article titled, “Iraq’s Christians See Putin As Savior,” appeared on the website of The Daily Beast in late June. It was picked up by literally dozens of “news” sites all over the Internet, contributing to the perception that Russia was actually prepared to do something on behalf of these Christians and other minorities.

    The article referred to “Russia’s increasingly cozy relationship with Middle Eastern Christians” and included a photo of Putin under a halo.

    But when the Christians in Iraq actually needed some help, it was the U.S. and Britain which intervened on their behalf. Humanitarian aid was delivered to the minority religious groups under attack, and air strikes were conducted against the terrorists. Later, France and Australia joined in the effort.

    The Christian “Stand Firm in Faith” website asks, “So where is President Putin now that Christians are being wiped out in Iraq?”

    “So now Putin keeps his shirt on?” writer Timothy Fountain asked.

    The latter is a reference to the many photos of a shirtless Putin. He has been shirtless on a horse, holding a rifle and fishing.

    Walter Hickey at Business Insider had published “39 Photos That Prove Vladimir Putin Is The Most Badass Leader In The World.” These photos also showed Putin firing weapons, on a motorcycle, and in a race car.

    But this tough guy hasn’t lifted a finger of behalf of persecuted Christians in Iraq.

    While some argue with justification that the U.S. effort has not been enough and too slow, I searched the website of the Russian Embassy in Washington to see if there was an announcement of Russia participating in, or offering the delivery of, aid to Christians and others in Iraq—and could find nothing.

    There is no evidence that the “international partners” helping Christians and other minorities in Iraq include Russia. Instead, Putin has been trying to sneak “humanitarian aid” into Ukraine, to benefit the Russian terrorists who shot down the Malaysian airliner with nearly 300 passengers.

    One can search the Internet and find all kinds of stories about how Putin is not only defending Christians but is supposed to be a Christian himself. A story carried by the Christian Post said, “Putin has long been a supporter of Christianity and Christian values within Russia. He has called for the Church to play a larger role in citizens’ social lives, better religion classes in schools, and television programs emphasizing religious values.”

    The Timothy Fountain article noted that “Just over two years ago, Russia’s President received a briefing from Metropolitan Hilarion, the foreign relations representative of the Russian Orthodox Church.” Putin was told, “Every five minutes one Christian was dying for his or her faith in some part of the word.”

    After hearing several examples of the persecution of Christians, Putin replied with an offer of help and said, “You needn’t have any doubt that that’s the way it will be.”

    It turns out that the source of the report about Putin vowing to defend Christians around the world was Russia Today (RT), the well-known disinformation outlet for Russian propaganda.

    Indeed, RT, on February 12, 2012, ran a story headlined, “Putin promises to protect Christianity worldwide,” which stated that “Putin has promised to make the protection of repressed Christians in foreign countries one of his foreign policy priorities…”

    This is the story cited earlier about the Russian Orthodox head of External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion, saying that every five minutes one Christian was dying for his or her faith in some part of the world, “specifying that he was talking about such countries as Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan and India.”

    According to an RT report of Putin’s meeting with Pope Francis, “The Kremlin announced ahead of the visit that Putin and Pope Francis would focus on the state of international institutions and their ability to respond to crises, as well as the protection of Christian minorities in the Maghreb and the Middle East.”

    The Russian Embassy website features news of Russian deliveries of “humanitarian” aid to Syria, but nothing to Christians in Iraq. In Syria, Russia is better known for its weapons deliveries to the Assad regime, a long-time Soviet client state.

    Last August, so-called Tea Party leader Judson Phillips had written in The Washington Times that “Putin said world leaders must come together to stop the violent persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Something is wrong when Putin is a greater champion for freedom and liberty than the President of the United States is.”

    “While Putin has called for protections for the Middle East’s Christians, Obama has been playing golf,” Phillips wrote last August.

    Well, Obama went golfing again, but at least he finally did something on behalf of the Christians in Iraq.

    Yes, Obama could have done more, and he should have acted sooner. But Putin has done nothing on behalf of Christians in Iraq—except talk. For some reason, this talk impresses some people in the U.S. who should know better.

    In terms of action, Putin is delivering Mi-35 helicopter gunships, Mi-28 attack helicopters and Su-25 fighters to the Baghdad regime. One weapons deal alone is worth $1 billion. But there’s no hard evidence these weapons are being used to help or rescue Christians in Iraq.

    In his August 12 column, Pat Buchanan calls Putin a potential ally “in a coalition to contain or crush” the Islamic State terrorists. So far, this potential ally has not reported for duty.

    It appears that Putin is more interested in doing weapons deals that make rubles for his regime and his cronies. His halo looks like another KGB deception.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Don’t you think Putin has his arms full in Ukraine? (Hmmm, come to think of it, doesn’t it make sense for the EU to instigate anarchy in Ukraine so that Russia is preoccupied?)

      Anyway, the Obama and Cameron had to be dragged kicking and screaming into their tepid military actions against ISIS. And let’s not forget, we created ISIS.

      • Tim R. Mortiss says

        George, why do you ascribe every bad thing that happens either in the Middle East or eastern Europe to the US?

        From the Left or the Right, it’s always America’s fault…..

        • George Michalopulos says

          I see your point, but not really. I think that Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan kept things on an even keel for the most part. However with Clinton and Bush II, they seemed to succumb to the blandishments of the Neocons, who assured them that the average Arab was eager to live under some form of republican rule. That only unstabilized that area of the world. With Obama, it’s gone one step (or more) further. The constant alignment of US interests with Sunni allies.

          It’s funny, but ever since Clinton, whenever there has been a fissure between Orthodox nations and Islamic ones, the US invariably takes the side of the Islamic ones. I don’t know if there’s a s reason for this pattern but I suspect there is.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            You must know that almost nobody in this country knows what Orthodoxy is, much less what an “Orthodox country” is. This is true at all levels of society.

            What is a reasonable genuine count, non-inflated, of Orthodox believers in this country?

            Imagining that any policy decision has anything to do with “anti-orthodoxy” is just another way in which we imagine that Orthodoxy has some impact or known presence here.

            • That’s right, Tim. Since Orthodoxy (and religion more generally) is important to those who read this blog, we think that others must think the same way we do and that policymakers are guided by religious identity. False!

            • It does and does not have to do with Orthodoxy.

              It is an attack on Orthodox civilisation and keeping a lid of the renaissance of independent, viable Orthodox states. Croatia and Slovenia are practically in the German sphere of influence, Serbia never was. Bosnia and Albania were never important, just used to turn on the Serbs. Kosovo is also just a tool, a hub of the international drug and sex trades, and now a hopping ground for Western intelligence services as well. Using the Chechens against the Russians, riling up the Catholic West Ukrainians to attack Orthodox East Ukrainians – this is all true. Attacking the Orthodox in the Middle East – there Orthodoxy has always been a bulwark of Arab Nationalism/Ba’athism, which is the real target of American and Israeli strategy.

              The motive, however, is not theological, not pro-Islamic. Right now, Shi’a Islam is also under attack (in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia), but really this is related to Iran’s relative strength and independence.

              In a sense, mainstream Sunnism is also under a Western-sponsored attack by Salafis. I can only assume the point here is to break up large power centres and keep the populations poor and undeveloped, i.e., not a threat even at a regional level, much less internationally. Break the countries up into warring tribes and clans obeying medieval versions of Shari’a law.

              So, yes, I think the Orthodox are under attack, but no, I don’t take it too personally. If the Catholics behaved more independently of Western financial power structures, they’d also be under the gun (and I guess they are in the Middle East).

        • George Michalopulos says
          • Johann Sebastian says

            …waiting for someone to proclaim an Orthodox Tsardom to counter the Islamic Caliphate. Fight fire with gasoline.

        • Why do you take that personally as if you yourself identify with the US government and take responsibility and/or credit for everything it does? You don’t have any influence over American foreign policy and have no reason to obscure criticisms of it with the Fox News-style line of “Why are you blaming America first?”

          Either you can make a counter-argument or you can’t.

          • Tim R. Mortiss says

            Well, there has to be an argument, not just an assertion, before one can counter-argue…..

            By the way, I’ve never watched Fox News in my life. I keep tabs on it from my liberal friends; they seem to love to watch it to stoke their own indignation, and are always describing its outrages!

      • Come on! It’s not impossible for a powerful country like Russia to do two things at once, is it?

      • Johann Sebastian says

        It’s more like “keep Putin’s hands tied in Ukraine” so that ISIS can continue to massacre Christians in the Middle East. That is, after all, what the West wants–the eradication of Orthodoxy, whether it be in Russia or the Middle East.

    • What do you mean? Putin is helping Assad and ISIS controls about a third of Syrian territory (mostly empty desert, at least)! If Putin bombed Iraq, I am sure this would be received very poorly in the international media and UN Security Council.

      Russia is doing the most to advocate for Middle Eastern Christians. They’ve taken in a large number of Syrian Christians.

      • That’s true. I see stories almost everyday on Russian Orthodox sites about Russian assistance to Christians in the Middle East and their expressions of gratitude for the same. Of course, if you’re anti-Russia, none of that registers.

  15. Andy Shotz says

    ” And let’s not forget, we created ISIS.”

    George, where do you come up with this stuff? You certainly have a skewed view of church & world events. The U.S. did not create ISIS. These radical Islamists have been operating for many years. The idea of a Caliphate isn’t new. These people are nothing more than murdering thugs who have completely distorted Islam for their own purpose. Sure, their current leader was once in U.S. custody and they have stolen military equipment from the Iraqi army that we left behind, however, the U.S. did not create them. Assad has been fighting them for years and they have achieved serious military prowess in the last several years – from who? Where? Certainly not the U.S. Iran? Russia?

    • “The U.S. did not create ISIS”

      —Who funds ISIS? THE SAUDIS! Who can snap their fingers and tell the Saudis to knock it off? The US! Whence did they get their arms? Apparently, partly from the US (perhaps indirectly, but deliberately). Who trained them? They have veterans of previous Islamist conflicts (especially out of Eastern Libya where they were probably trained by US special forces) and some were trained in Jordan last year (by US special forces).

      The US does actively give weapons to the Syrian rebels, which includes ISIS. Do you really believe they only provide “non-lethal” assistance to “moderate, non-Islamist” rebels, who number only maybe 5-10% of the fighters and lose most all of their battles?

      “The idea of a Caliphate isn’t new”
      —Sure. In modern times, the Saudis, who bankroll ISIS, fancy themselves the natural home of the Caliphate and are angling to control the whole Middle East. The Turks seem to want to recreate the Ottoman Caliphate and are largely allied with Muslim Brotherhood bankrolled by the Qataris. But these are all NATO-aligned.

      So why do you oppose Putin so much? The Russian-Iranian-Syrian alliance is the only one standing up for Christians in the Middle East.

      “Sure, their current leader was once in U.S. custody and they have stolen military equipment from the Iraqi army that we left behind”
      —(a) Don’t you find it strange so many radicals once in US custody get released to become violent Islamist radicals working for the same goals as Western foreign policy? Ex-Afghan Pres. Karzai called Bagram Prison “a Taliban-making factory” . Was Guantanamo an ISIS-factory? At least a Libyan-rebel factory that later fed ISIS and al-Nusrah Front? Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (formerly Al-Qa’ida itself) had also been in US custody. Before he fought Americans, afterwards he fought with them!
      The neocons themselves point this out sometimes, even though they basically set up this policy, but they only call it out to embarrass Obama and infer he is “soft on terrorism”. In fact, at worst he is one of them, at best he is trapped by their shenanigans.

      “Assad has been fighting them for years and they have achieved serious military prowess in the last several years – from who? Where? Certainly not the U.S. Iran? Russia?”

      —I am not sure I understand this. I read it five times, and, the best I can tell, you are pointing out that Assad is fighting ISIS (true) then questioning how ISIS has become formidable (okay), but then flatly dismissing the US as a culprit while suggesting Iran or Russia.

      If this is true, do you know how insane this is?!? The US is trying to overthrow Assad and gives weapons and training to terrorist groups fighting the Syrian government (and killing Christians, for whatever it matters). How could you blame this on Iran and Russia who are Assad’s allies?

      I hope this simply needs clarification, otherwise you might be too programmed to be debated.

  16. Andy Shotz says
  17. Some points, if I may …

    1. “So how are things going for the Russians on the Ukrainian front? Pretty good”

    —I wish this were so, but I am afraid nothing much points in this direction. The rebels have continually lost ground for two months after initial grand successes. The difference appears to be that, although much of the Ukrainian army continues to refuse to fight against its own countrymen, Ukrainian oligarchs (mostly the Israeli criminal Kolomoisky and ex-Yanukovych supporter Rinat Akhmetov) have bankrolled private militias consisting largely of ideological fanatics. The West seems now to be supplying the Ukrainians with arms to replace what they’ve lost in the war. In response, whatever Russia is doing is not sufficient.

    Of course, Putin may have a trick up his sleeve, but he is starting to get flak at home for doing nothing to prevent a slaughter of civilians in Luhansk.

    2. “Now, I realize politics makes strange bedfellows and as an avid right-winger myself, I cringe at the thought that some leftists are helping the rebels because of past failures”

    —If your implication is that some of the new International Brigades are Communists, that’s true, but the situation is quite complicated. Most old-school Communists and about half of the Trotskyites in Europe back Russia in geopolitical conflicts (the other half of Trots are virtually neocons and claim every Western-backed overthrow of a govt is a “workers’ revolution”). But most all European nationalists also back Putin. Even in Poland and Hungary, if you go far enough Right, they are pro-Russian in the Ukrainian conflict.

    And why not? All these groups have in common opposition to Atlanticism, the European Union, and German-style Nazism, represented by the banderovtsy ruling the Kievan streets. The Novorossiiskie republics themselves are largely of Russian paleoconservative inspiration, constantly referencing Orthodoxy and adopting Russian imperial symbols. At the same time, they have technically leftist economic policies (not that it matters at this point) and are backed by the organised Communists. Great! The Kiev régime which attacks Moscow Patriarchate churches and kills Communists on the street is not an option.

    3. “If anything, Putin is what we would call in the West a man of the Center-Right –a free marketeer with some cronyism thrown in”

    —Maybe a man of the centre-right in Gaullist France of 50 years ago, but he is off the political map of the contemporary United States. He is a European conservative and the Kremlin itself has various court factions. Most commentators think these can be combined crudely into two – the liberals and the siloviki. The liberals are not liberal in the sense of wanting freer elections but mainly in economic terms and are a little more conciliatory to the West. The siloviki want a post-Soviet geopolitical strategy and more State control over the economy but not necessarily with any socialistic goals (only the survival of the State). Putin was originally considered to be in the former camp but has veered steadily into the latter, while Medvedev is part of the former (they are constantly trading positions to preserve balance and unity among the factions).

    The liberal faction is formally more Reaganite but it is not the one to support, for it is the faction based in corrupt oligarchic clans! The factions are currently fighting over the proper strategy for reacting to Western sanctions. Beyond a return to the anti-Soviet strategy of trying to cut off Russia’s access to international capital, the sanctions are aimed particularly at Russian oligarchs’ financial interests (those who are still in Russia, if you keep your money in London or Spain or Israel, you’re okay). They are lobbying for capitulation basically while the nationalists want to take the short-term hit of economic isolation and simply develop parallel financial structures with other BRICS nations. Putin is stuck in the middle. If Russia chooses and manages to pull off the latter strategy, in the long-run it could considerably weaken the Federal Reserve and pave to way to genuine multipolarity in the world, which would be beneficial to us American citizens.

    “This of course will send shivers down the spine of our favorite transgendered Bolshevist who still thinks that odious mountebanks like Pete Seeger, Paul Robeson and Lillian Hellman were people of integrity”

    —You know, from the old Communist movement, the scummiest of the scum became pro-capitalist and “responsibility to protect for humanitarian reasons” loyal imperialist liberals. This is true for both West and East Europe, even to some degree in the Middle East. Of the rest, the hard-core Stalinists, who hardly exist in the West at all, have largely made peace with Christianity and they have their own story whereby many of the purges and certainly the most violent attacks on the churches in the 30s were led by Left Oppositionists within the KPSS. One might not believe this, but it is at least indisputable that the Church, restored to prominence in 1941, was strengthened until purged again under … Khruschjov and the “reformists”. Of course, the neo-liberal direction of some ex-Communists might be seen as being more true to Marxian historical materialism, and its intellectual wing (**Chris Hitchens is the most prominent example**) certainly said so. The neo-Stalinists, however, were always religious in their own way, with a sort of of Worldly Trinity, sacred hymns, martyrs, saints, moral codes, and the like.

    • Tim R. Mortiss says

      You must have to keep all of this on a chart on the wall! 😉

      I do get the anti-Nazi part; all can agree on that!

      How wise my forefathers were to found their nation on an island, and then on a separate continent…..


    Pat had another good one about Obama’s security guarantee to Estonia delivered during his recent visit.