Home / Putin to Western elites: Play-time is over. Probably the most important political speech since Churchill's “Iron Curtain” 1946 speech. Russia sees the outbreak of global war as almost inevitable, is prepared for it, and is continuing to prepare for it.  
Image of Putin to Western elites: Play-time is over. Probably the most important political speech since Churchill's “Iron Curtain” 1946 speech. Russia sees the outbreak of global war as almost inevitable, is prepared for it, and is continuing to prepare for it.

Make sure to read the full transcript at the link.

Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn't get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. (For your convenience, I am pasting in the full transcript of his speech below.) Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946.


The Russian blogger chipstone summarized the most salient points from Putin speech as follows:

  1. Russia will no longer play games and engage in back-room negotiations over trifles. But Russia is prepared for serious conversations and agreements, if these are conducive to collective security, are based on fairness and take into account the interests of each side.

  2. All systems of global collective security now lie in ruins. There are no longer any international security guarantees at all. And the entity that destroyed them has a name: The United States of America.

  3. The builders of the New World Order have failed, having built a sand castle. Whether or not a new world order of any sort is to be built is not just Russia's decision, but it is a decision that will not be made without Russia.

  4. Russia favors a conservative approach to introducing innovations into the social order, but is not opposed to investigating and discussing such innovations, to see if introducing any of them might be justified.

  5. Russia has no intention of going fishing in the murky waters created by America's ever-expanding “empire of chaos,” and has no interest in building a new empire of her own (this is unnecessary; Russia's challenges lie in developing her already vast territory). Neither is Russia willing to act as a savior of the world, as she had in the past.

  6. Russia will not attempt to reformat the world in her own image, but neither will she allow anyone to reformat her in their image. Russia will not close herself off from the world, but anyone who tries to close her off from the world will be sure to reap a whirlwind.

  7. Russia does not wish for the chaos to spread, does not want war, and has no intention of starting one. However, today Russia sees the outbreak of global war as almost inevitable, is prepared for it, and is continuing to prepare for it. Russia does not war—nor does she fear it.

  8. Russia does not intend to take an active role in thwarting those who are still attempting to construct their New World Order—until their efforts start to impinge on Russia's key interests. Russia would prefer to stand by and watch them give themselves as many lumps as their poor heads can take. But those who manage to drag Russia into this process, through disregard for her interests, will be taught the true meaning of pain.

  9. In her external, and, even more so, internal politics, Russia's power will rely not on the elites and their back-room dealing, but on the will of the people.

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Now this is interesting.

After reading the full speech and the Kremlin's emphasized quotes, it's not clear that the summary points above reflect what he said. Not being able to speak Russian, it might be that this is what was said between the lines. Statements like "However, today Russia sees the outbreak of global war as almost inevitable, is prepared for it, and is continuing to prepare for it. Russia does not war—nor does she fear it." in #7 don't seem to be implied anywhere in his speech. However, it's also not unreasonable to assume that people who are familiar with Putin and understand the language of politics (sometimes referred to as bullshit) interpret these words as the correct takeaway.

It's still an incredible speech and, unlike anything from the mouths of US politicians, comes across as sincere. Paul Craig Roberts is correct when he says "It is about time a world leader denounced the thuggish neocon regime in Washington." Here's the video with an English translation if you want to watch:

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I was just reading The Chickenshit Lobby Is Mad As Hell – but just how mad are they? where Justin Raimondo wrote this:

What’s surprising is how Netanyahu, in a speech to the Knesset, took the opportunity to answer his critics in the Obama administration: "Netanyahu angrily insisted he was ‘under attack simply for defending Israel,’ adding that he ‘cherished’ Israel’s relationship with the US."

The famously combative Israeli Prime Minister went on to say:

"When there are pressures on Israel to concede its security, the easiest thing to do is to concede. You get a round of applause, ceremonies on grassy knolls, and then come the missiles and the tunnels."

Bibi, who spent many years in the United States, is surely cognizant of what his "grassy knoll" reference connotes. You can argue it was just an infelicitous phrase, or that Bibi was referring to himself, not Obama. Maybe so. But what if, say, an Iranian official, even a low-ranking one, had said such a thing? The uproar would be deafening. And so the question must be asked: was Bibi threatening the President of the United States?

If we take seriously Goldberg’s depiction of the poisoned relationship between Bibi and Obama, the possibility can’t be completely dismissed.

I think this adds credence to the idea that Putin might be sending messages "between the lines" that astute observers understand. Reading what Netanyahu said, to me, it sounds like he was threatening Obama with the grassy knoll reference. I think Putin is doing the same thing. I think you also need to take into account not just this speech but his other actions and words. For example, from the press I've read (if you can believe anything in the press anymore), he was the one who de-escalated the situation in Ukraine (and thank goodness he did, as I think the US government is clearly looking to pick a fight). Also, Putin has said this: "We hope that our partners will realize the recklessness of attempts to blackmail Russia, will remember the risks that a spat between major nuclear powers incurs for strategic stability." Next to officially issuing a formal declaration of war, I don't see much nuance in that statement.

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A reasonable assessment. But if someone is going to summarize a speech, it should be limited to the points made in the speech. Pundits can then analyze various statements across multiple speeches and summarize the overall (nuanced) points to take away (and Raimondo is exceptional at this). Judging from the English translation, the bullet points above just don't seem to reflect a summary of what Putin said in this speech.

I do agree with the title: this is a very important speech similar to Churchill's Sinews of Peace speech. How sad that Churchill's words don't cause people to reflect:

On the other hand, ladies and gentlemen, I repulse the idea that a new war is inevitable; still more that it is imminent. It is because I am sure that our fortunes are still in our own hands and that we hold the power to save the future, that I feel the duty to speak out now that I have the occasion and the opportunity to do so. I do not believe that Soviet Russia desires war. What they desire is the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines. But what we have to consider here today while time remains, is the permanent prevention of war and the establishment of conditions of freedom and democracy as rapidly as possible in all countries...

If we adhere faithfully to the Charter of the United Nations and walk forward in sedate and sober strength seeking no one's land or treasure, seeking to lay no arbitrary control upon the thoughts of men; if all British moral and material forces and convictions are joined with your own in fraternal association, the highroads of the future will be clear, not only for our time, but for a century to come.

The US government and the puppeteers who pull the strings want war, and lots of it. They also want indefinite expansion of their power and doctrines, the land and treasure of others, and control over everyone's thoughts. Supporting this direction, the Western media is in demonization mode (another great article by Raimondo). To appropriate Raimondo's words, "anyone capable of the least amount of objectivity will have to concede" the evidence supports this all beyond doubt.

Putin is no saint. He uses words like "justice" and "objectivity" in his speech, but probably defines them much differently than I would. However, he is to be commended for postponing war in Ukraine. It remains to be seen whether or not he prevented it. I wonder if he's feeling lonely.

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In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. - Carl Sagan

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