Monday, December 29, 2014

Putin's Approval Rating v. Obama's

Putin's Approval Rating v. Obama's

by Stephen Lendman

Putin is the world's leading geopolitical leader. Obama is a world-class thug. It shows in their approval ratings.

Despite Russia's economic woes, Putin's remains extraordinarily high. A recent Levada Center poll has him at 85%.

Most Russians want no one else leading them. For good reason. They admire his geopolitical leadership.

The Times named UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage its "Britain of the year." For his "game-changing politics."

He called Putin the world leader he most admires. He's not alone. None match his resolve to end conflicts peacefully. Polar opposite Obama's obsession for war.

Perhaps why his overall approval rating hovers around 40%. Among active duty military personnel it's 15%.

His disapproval rating is 55%. According to a Military Times poll. A resounding denunciation of his rage for war, killing and mass destruction. Among other reasons.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev expressed admiration for Putin, saying:

"I think all of us - Russian citizens - must remember (he) saved Russia from the beginning of a collapse."

"A lot of the regions did not recognize our constitution. There were over a hundred local constitutional variations from that of the Russian constitution."

Gorbachev called Putin's leadership a "historical deed." He knew him before becoming president. Described him as having good judgment and discipline.

Saying Ukrainian crisis conditions must be resolved diplomatically. "All of us are concerned by what is happening in Ukraine - politicians and the public."

"And the fact that our government is supporting the people who are in trouble there, no matter how hard things are at home, it is what always distinguished us."

It's Europe's job to prevent another Cold War, he stressed. "We must to go back to the starting line, from which we began building a new world both in Europe and elsewhere."

"We can and we must stop this whole process, like we did in the 1980s. We opted for de-escalation…"

For German reunification. "And back then it was a lot tougher than now. So why can't we do it again?"

Americans are responsible for current tensions, he stressed. Intoxicated by "triumph." Believing they won the Cold War.

Gorbachev called it good news that Putin "cares about security, defense capability, development of new weapons and modernization of the military."

"We are now well armed. And if necessary we can strike back." New Cold War politics "must be stopped." Before things turn hot.

"(F)ences are being built around us," Gorbachev explained. Pushing the international community against Russia.

Because of US pressure. "We must stop those war-hungry militarists," he said.

"Europe can have a very positive impact on the situation. After all, it must become the locomotive in the creation of the new world."

"But now Europe is being pushed in an opposite direction." Washington does the shoving. Putin is right saying so, said Gorbachev.

Once a bully. Always one. Gorbachev knows from firsthand experience. Russia is in good hands with Putin. The vast majority of its people say so.

Hopefully its military strength will prevent catastrophic war. Its strategic nuclear force is its top deterrent.

According to its General Staff head Deputy Defense Minister General Valery Gerasimov.

"This year, three regiments of the Strategic Missile Force have been rearmed with the new (intercontinental ballistic missile) Yars system," he said.

Replacing an older version used for nearly 50 years. Able to carry up to 10 independently targetable warheads. In response to Washington's offensive missile shield. Targeting Russia.

Four strategic Tu-160 and Tu-95MS bombers were upgraded. Declared ready for duty.

Two high readiness radars were commissioned. In Kaliningrad and Irkutsk. Two more entered experimental duty in Barnaul and Yeniseisk, said Gerasimov.

"Next year both will join active service. All strategic routes of approach - south-western and eastern - have been put under control."

"In the Air and Space Defense force, all brigades have been reformed to air defense divisions."

Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said Russia's Strategic Nuclear Forces added 38 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its arsenal. Including 22 submarine-based ones.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes hostile US actions poisoned relations with Russia for decades.

Citing measures like the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014. Authorizing lethal and non-lethal aid for Ukraine. Run by US-installed fascist putschists.

More sanctions on Russia. At a time rapprochement is needed. Sergey Lavrov calls US/Russian relations "dead." Long before Ukrainian crisis conditions erupted.

America needs enemies. Invented when none exist. No one ever defeated Russia or ever will, Lavrov stressed. Washington is foolhardy for trying.

No matter how often its policies fail, it repeats them with disturbing regularity. Blaming Russia for its own crimes.

Pursuing its hegemonic bullying. Polar opposite Moscow's policies. Wanting peace, not war.

America targets its own citizens. Peace activist Kathy Kelly is a friend. A guest on this writer's Progressive Radio News Hour when her schedule allows.

About to be imprisoned. For opposing Obama's drone wars earlier this year. At Whiteman Air Force Base, MO.

"It's a good time to be very uncompromising" about America's wars, she said.

They're "murderous. (They're) killing civilians." The vast majority of war victims. "And this is certainly true with the drone strikes."

According to UK-based Reprieve, 28 of 29 targeted killings are civilians. Kelly "crossed a line at Whiteman," she said.

One of its squadrons operates weaponized drones over Afghanistan. The epicenter of America's drone wars.

Cold-blooded murder by any standard. Whiteman won't disclose information on its drone operations. Nor will CIA operatives involved.

Americans have a right to know, said Kelly. A right to "seek redress of grievance."

"And having been in Afghanistan, living with young people who are too frightened to go back to visit their own relatives, who see for themselves a future that could be a prolonged, exacerbated warfare, there is a grievance, and we wanted to bring that to the commandant at that particular base."

Washington's military prosecutor disagreed, saying:

"Your honor, Ms. Kelly is in grave need, great need, of rehabilitation." For supporting peace over war.

For opposing mass slaughter and destruction. Kelly puts her body on the line courageously. In harm's way in war zones. At Whiteman against drone wars.

She expects imprisonment in late January. For three months. For protesting war.

Her fourth in federal prisons. She's been "jailed in various county jails and other kinds of lockups more times than (she) count," she said.

No one is more deserving of Nobel Peace Prize recognition. Kelly was nominated three times.

War criminals nearly always win. Obama is Exhibit A. Justice remains denied. America's killing machine goes unchecked.

It bears repeating what other articles stressed. Millions of corpses attest to its barbarity.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

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