By Paul Craig Roberts and guest contributors
11 July 2022
Putin: “The West Has Already Lost”
“The West, which once proclaimed the principles of democracy such as freedom of speech, pluralism and respect for other opinions, is now degenerating into the exact opposite – totalitarianism. These include censorship, media closures and arbitrary treatment of journalists and public figures.
“This prohibition practice extends not only to the information space, but also to politics, culture, education, art – to all areas of public life in western countries. And this model – the model of totalitarian liberalism, including the infamous cancel culture, the ubiquitous prohibitions – they want to impose on the whole world.
“But the truth and the reality is that people in most countries do not want such a life and such a future. . . . Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. What can I say? Let them try. . . . They should understand that they have already lost with the beginning of our military operation, because its beginning also means the beginning of the fundamental collapse of the American-style world order.” — Vladimir Putin, President of Russia
Putin on the West:”They have already lost”
At a meeting with the faction leaders in the Russian parliament, Putin made a speech that contained many important statements. July 8, 2022 3:40 p.m
In his meeting with the faction leaders of the parties in the Russian parliament, President Putin made a short speech that contained many interesting statements, which is why different media outlets set very different priorities in their headlines. RT-DE, for example, headlined “Putin: The West wants to beat us on the battlefield – Let them just try” – while the Spiegel headline was “Putin on the war in Ukraine – ‘We haven’t really started yet’.”
In his speech, Putin mainly thanked the Russian parties and their deputies for their parliamentary work and reiterated that while Western sanctions against Russia are causing some difficulties, they are not all that effective and can safely be considered a failure because they obviously did not achieve their goal of crushing the Russian economy.
I translated the part of Putin’s speech that deals with the most quoted statements by Putin in the media. That part is about geopolitics, the causes of today’s conflict in Ukraine, which is actually a conflict between the West and Russia (and not the other way around), which is being fought on Ukraine’s back after the West has made Ukraine an anti-Russian outpost, making armed conflict virtually inevitable.
Putin points out that the conflict began more than 20 years ago, when NATO’s relations with Russia under Yeltsin were officially good. After taking office, as is well known in Russia, Putin proposed to the USA under President Clinton that Russia be admitted to NATO and thus create a common security architecture in Europe. However, the US did not want to talk about this.
This was followed by the cancellation of the ABM treaty under US President Bush Junior and the announcement of the construction of US missile defense systems in Europe, which are clearly aimed at Russia and are not a defensive but an aggressive system. If this is new to you, you can find out why here —https://www.anti-spiegel.ru/2019/warum-die-us-raketenabwehr-kein-defensives-sondern-ein-offensives-waffensystem-ist/?doing_wp_cron=1657377078.0776860713958740234375 .
As a result, relations between the West and Russia deteriorated more and more and when Russia finally clearly reminded of its red lines in 2021 and ultimately demanded mutual security guarantees from the West, which the West rejected , the further path was mapped .
I have translated the geopolitical part of Putin’s address so that you can see and put into context the passages quoted in the media.
(Start of translation):
The so-called collective West, led by the United States, has been known to be extremely aggressive towards Russia for decades. Our proposals for an equal security system in Europe were rejected. Missile defense cooperation initiatives were rejected. Warnings about the unacceptability of NATO enlargement, particularly at the expense of former Soviet republics, were ignored. The very idea of Russia’s possible integration into this very NATO alliance at a time when relations with NATO appeared to be untroubled seemed absurd to its members.
And why? Because they just don’t need the existence of a country like Russia, that’s why. That is why they supported terrorism and separatism in Russia, internal destructive forces and the “fifth column” in our country. All of which received and still receive the unconditional support of the collective West.
We are told today that we started a war in Donbass, in Ukraine. No, he was unleashed by that same collective West by organizing and supporting the unconstitutional armed coup in Ukraine in 2014, and then encouraging and justifying the genocide of the people of Donbass. It is precisely this collective West that is the direct instigator, the culprit of what is happening today.
If this West wanted to provoke a conflict in order to move on to a new stage in the struggle against Russia, to a new stage in the containment of our country, then it can be said that it succeeded to a certain extent. Both the war has been unleashed and the sanctions have been imposed. Under normal circumstances, that would probably have been difficult to achieve.
What do I want to point out? They should understand that they have already lost with the beginning of our military operation, because its beginning also means the beginning of the fundamental collapse of the American-style world order. This is the beginning of the transition from liberal globalist American egocentrism to a truly multipolar world. A world that is not based on selfish rules that someone invented for themselves and behind which there is nothing other than the quest for hegemony, not on hypocritical double standards, but on international law, on the true sovereignty of peoples and civilizations, on their Willingness to live their historical destiny, their values and traditions and to build cooperation based on democracy, justice and equality. And you have to understand that this process can no longer be stopped.
The course of history is inexorable, and attempts by the collective West to impose its new world order on the world are doomed to failure.
At the same time, I would like to say and emphasize: we have many supporters, also in the United States itself and in Europe, and even more on other continents and in other countries, and there is no doubt that they are growing.
Even in countries that are still satellites of the United States, there is a growing realization that the blind obedience of their ruling elites to the overlord does not usually serve their national interests, but often radically contradicts them. Ultimately, they must take into account the increase in this mood in society.
Today, they, the ruling elites, are increasingly manipulating the public consciousness. The Western ruling classes, which are supranational and globalist in character, have recognized that their policies are becoming increasingly remote from reality, common sense and truth, and have begun to employ overtly repressive methods.
The West, which once proclaimed the principles of democracy such as freedom of speech, pluralism and respect for other opinions, is now degenerating into the exact opposite – totalitarianism. These include censorship, media closures and arbitrary treatment of journalists and public figures.
This prohibition practice extends not only to the information space, but also to politics, culture, education, art – to all areas of public life in western countries. And this model – the model of totalitarian liberalism, including the infamous cancel culture, the ubiquitous prohibitions – they want to impose on the whole world, try to impose it on them.
But the truth and the reality is that people in most countries do not want such a life and such a future and in reality they are not striving for formal and decorative but for substantial, real sovereignty and are just tired of having to consider themselves extraordinary, to get on their knees and abase themselves, and to serve American interests to their own detriment.
Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. What can I say? Let them try. We have often heard that the West wants to fight us “to the last Ukrainian”. This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but it seems that things are going in that direction. But everyone should know that by and large we haven’t started anything serious yet.
We do not refuse peace negotiations, but those who refuse should know that the further we go, the harder it will be for them to come to an agreement with us.
(end of translation )
Russia means business
Western politicians and media should read this address carefully. You don’t have to agree with Putin, but you have to understand that this is the Russian point of view. Russia sees itself at war with the collective West. The West is fighting against Russia with all the means (weapons, sanctions, money, media, diplomacy) that are also used in a war. The only thing stopping the West from intervening with its own soldiers is the threat of nuclear war.
The Ukraine is only the unfortunate pawn of the West , which has been prepared for this role since 2014 and with which the West has provoked Russia for so long (Maidan coup 2014, arms deliveries, construction of NATO bases, etc.) until Russia’s protection of its own security interests saw no other choice than to take military action. In early February 2022, the West rejected the security guarantees proposed by Russia in December 2021 and even refused to talk about them.
Now Russia is no longer willing to negotiate big with the West because the West has betrayed Russia too many times.
Russia has largely written off the West as a reliable interlocutor. Above all, the EU, which – even to its own detriment – has submitted to the USA in blind obedience, is no longer taken seriously in Russia. Why talk to the vassal if he can’t make any decisions anyway?
But Putin also said something very clearly, which is now being heard more and more often in Moscow: If the West doesn’t want to talk, then it won’t. The West, as many Western politicians openly say, wants a decision to be made on the battlefield rather than at the negotiating table? Russia doesn’t want that, but if the West insists, so be it, they can have it.
The longer the conflict lasts, the more Russia’s demands will grow. If Russia initially only wanted the explicitly anti-Russian government in Kyiv to be replaced by a neutral government, the situation is already different today. Since Kyiv broke off all negotiations at the end of March, large areas of eastern and southern Ukraine will fall to Russia. Since Kyiv does not want to talk, Russian passports have already started to be issued there, and referendums on the areas’ accession to the Russian state are only a matter of time. On this change in Russian goals and the reasons for I have already reported.
Putin’s statement that “the further it goes, the more difficult it will be for them to come to an agreement with us” should be seen not so much as a warning to Kiev, but as a warning to the West itself, especially the EU, to understand. Should the EU – if only for reasons of self-preservation – want to talk to Russia about relaxing the (for the EU itself) suicidal sanctions at some point, Russia’s counter-demands are likely to increase with every day that the EU stays on its current course.
The view of the people of Russia
I just had a meeting with some Russian media representatives in Moscow and one of them told me the following in a private conversation: “The difference between the West and us is that the West just doesn’t want to lose, but we are ready if necessary to die for our country.”
This formulation describes the mood I am currently experiencing in Russia very well. Most Russians see themselves at least fighting – if not at war – with the West. For the vast majority of Russians, the “values” that the West claims to stand for are bogus. What kind of freedom of the press and freedom of opinion can one speak of in the West when censorship is constantly being tightened there ? What human rights do the West babble about while running Guantanamo at the same time? The list of examples of the West’s obvious double standards has grown incredibly long.
And even the pro-Western youth in Russia, who were on the streets for Navalny just over a year ago, now support the decisions of their government in a very large majority. The Navalny people were certainly against the Russian government, but not against Russia herself. With Facebook explicitly allowing calls for violence against Russians , with the West supporting a regime in Ukraine whose representatives openly call for the murder of Russians – including women and children – and so on, the West has dropped its mask and lost all credibility with most of its former supporters among young people in Russia.
Most of Putin’s former opponents in Russia are now seeing that Putin was right in his mantra-like declarations that the West is not against Putin but against a prosperous, strong and self-confident Russia as such. And in one thing, Putin’s opponents around Navalny and other radicals always agreed with Putin’s supporters: They all wanted a strong, prosperous and self-confident Russia. They argued about the path to that goal, not the goal itself.
Since the West is now openly showing that this is exactly what it doesn’t want and is fighting against it, many of the people who called for Putin’s ouster a year ago suddenly support him.
Comment by PCR: Clearly, Putin understands the situation and is confident of Russia’s ability to deal with an imploding West. So why did he tolerate for 8 years Washington’s buildup of Ukraine’s military, and why does he continue to supply energy to NATO countries that are supplying Ukraine with weapons that kill Russian soldiers? Is it a case of Putin’s peaceful hopes transcending reality?