Many Westerners have a negative view of Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, because of the unjust portrayal he receives in the Western media. If one were to believe everything they saw in the American media, they would probably think Putin to be a ruthless dictator who was anointed by birth rather than a politician born into a working class family with approval ratings higher than all of his Western counterparts.
Under Putin’s eight-year reign the Russian economy grew every single year, with an overall GDP increase of more than 70%. During the same period, investments rose 125%, industry grew by 76%, and poverty decreased 50%. The average monthly salaries in Russia increased from $80 to $640, and the middle class grew from 8 million people to 55 million.
Analysts have credited these impressive economic achievements to strong macro-management, capital inflows, fiscal policy reform, and rising energy prices (Russia is a large exporter of oil and gas). Putin wisely reintroduced nuclear power and positioned Russia as an energy super power that Europe has come to rely on. He also invested heavily in Russian infrastructure, including pipelines. Among Putin’s accomplishments was the introduction of a 13% flat tax and the reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35% to 24%. As a result, Putin has maintained extraordinarily high approval ratings from the Russian people, winning his second Presidency with 71% of the vote.
Putin’s accomplishments are even more impressive when one realizes that he has had to deal with one of the fiercest mafias in the world. The Russian mafia led by notorious billionaire gangsters, who use dual citizenships in non-extradition countries such as Israel to thwart justice, are responsible for sex slavery, weapons trafficking, drug running, and the rampant corruption that has plagued Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. Putin has consistently risked his life to challenge these gangsters and eventually saw charges brought against many of the criminal oligarchs. Regardless of these challenges, Putin’s administration has consistently maintained a lower incarceration rate than the United States.
The US media routinely questions the integrity of the Russian election process and even mocked Russia for calling the last presidential election with only 25% of vote in; all while CNN and Fox have been calling Republican Primary elections with only 1% of the vote being counted. There is little to no proof that Putin has ever committed election fraud, but there is significant evidence that the American Republican Party has committed several documented cases of voter fraud against Ron Paul.
While Obama was winning a Nobel Peace Prize and perpetrating undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Putin was using every piece of his influence to oppose unjust and internationally illegal wars. In 2003, Western powers used their political influence to invade Iraq, with no credible intelligence of weapons of mass destruction. The war eventually lead to higher oil prices and the murder of one million innocent civilians. Cooler heads in the United Nations like Vladimir’s Russia staunchly opposed the war and doubted the dubious intelligence from his rival leaders. Putin tried to prevent the disastrous Iraq war by vetoing resolutions in the UN, but the powerful Israeli-American lobby, AIPAC, convinced American politicians to invade without UN backing.
Just as in Iraq, Putin staunchly opposed the intervention in Libya, which has also turned out to be a humanitarian disaster. Libya went from an internationally law-abiding country to a fractionalized nation that is being controlled by radical elements. The country’s infrastructure was seriously damaged, and far greater human rights abuses are being perpetrated now than ever took place under Gaddafi.
Now the American-Israeli lobby and mainstream media, are pushing for more undeclared wars in Syria and Iran. Both of which would increase the price of oil tremendously and likely lead to the downfall of the already frail world economy. Even though such an event would increase the price of Russia’s main export, oil, Putin seems to care more about the humanitarian implications of such an intervention than the financial benefits for his nation. As such, Putin used Russia’s seat on the UN security council to veto US backed resolutions on Syria. The blood-thirsty American media immediately condemned Putin as being obstructionist and starting a second cold war, but Putin remained above the petty warmongering and simply instructed the Americans to stop attempting to indulge in their “bellicose itch” to start more wars.
Putin’s business acumen, just foreign policy decisions, and humanitarian leadership should be congratulated throughout the world. If only American Presidents could respect freedom and other nations’ sovereignty like Vladimir Putin, the planet would be a lot more peaceful.