Putinism at Yale

Hundreds of people attended the talk of one of the chief propagandists of Putinism at Yale. I don’t believe talks should be cancelled because the speaker is a known liar and promotes horrible, vicious ideology. But I wonder why people would want to go. There’s nothing new or fresh in this propaganda. Thanks to Facebook, The Nation, and The National Review, we have already heard it many times.

I wish Putinoids came up with fresher talking points, though. This spiel is getting stale.

35 thoughts on “Putinism at Yale”

      1. \ This is a famous Russian journalist.

        Thanks, loved the article. Can one trust what she writes in general? Is this news site normal?


        1. The website, I don’t know. She publishes in many different places. She’s very talented, that’s for sure. She has spoken very openly against Putin and the regime. This particular article follows Putin’s line on Europe but also contains a dig against Putin’s own policies. Putin criticizes Merkel for her immigration policies but his own are identical to hers.


  1. Umm, I don’t get it. The link takes me to the report about students not mailing absentee ballots because they can’t be bothered to google where to get stamps. What that got to do with Putin and Yale?


      1. Is she Jewish? She looks like it, antisemitic websites mention it, but wiki doesn’t. I understand why she feels the need to hide it in Russia, but it’s a pity.

        \ I like it how she equates Hamas with Putin. It’s a little out there but fun

        I read this great article now in which she proves that “Несложно заметить, что путь, которым идет Россия, — это путь именно страны четвертого мира. Если во времена СССР мы пытались догнать и перегнать Америку, то теперь недосягаемым идеалом и совершенством, к которому надо стремиться, для Кремля служит Палестинская автономия.”




  2. Putting aside the issue of if Posner is saying different things internally and externally – I support the right of Yale students (or any American students) to listen to conflicting viewpoints and decide on their own. I also support the right of the Russian students to be exposed to pro-American, pro-Ukrainian, pro-Chinese, etc viewpoints. The role of the university is to make students think, not socialize them into following the current “party line’ even if that line is more right than the other party line.


    1. I started my post with this. It isn’t about rights. I’m not asking for this to be outlawed. I’m wondering why people need yet another source of the propaganda that they already gear from every outlet, including the curling iron.

      If even The Nation and National Review, which are polar opposites ideologically, publish this identical story about Russia, the market saturation must be close to 100%. I’m not saying let’s outlaw these magazines. I’m wondering how people can hear the same line a million times and not get tired.

      So yeah, everybody has an unalienable right to be a dumbass. What I’m questioning is the dedication to exercising this right that some folks have.


      1. Perhaps deep in their souls those students are not intellectually or even existentially satisfied by the mainstream discourse? Neither Nation nor National Review are something one would consider “mainstream”. Should ask my students (not in the humanities) if they ever heard of either one. And neither MSNBC nor Fox are particularly good at informing anybody about the Russian viewpoint. They are not good at informing anybody about anything, except how horrible their US-internal opponents are.
        Assuming that I am correct, the curious kids are bound to seek for alternative opinions. And if they hear every day that Russia is interfering with the elections, murdering Syrians or Ukrainians or ex-spies or doing some other mischief, and in the same time they are feeling that in general the mainstream media/facebook/twitter discourse kind of lacks substance – they will seek out the opinions of anyone sounding like expert on Russia. This does not make those alternative opinions right.
        Or look at it the other way – you complain about the sorry state of the current progressive discourse all the time. It would be feasible to imagine that there are a lot of kids who perhaps are not able to express their dissatisfaction as eloquently, or their feeling that something is not quite right, or perhaps they do not feel strong enough to endure ostracism due to expressing unpopular viewpoint, or something of this variety. These kids may look for meaning and for ways to change life in weird places…


        1. I’m very glad you are being the optimist here for once. But this is the current progressive discourse: Putin is legitimately upset because the US expanded NATO and betrayed his poor little soul. Ukrainians are all Nazis and deserve it anyway. That’s what American progressivism has to say on the subject.


          1. It is complicated. Briefly – yes, Putin is upset about the West reneging on certain verbal promises given to Gorbachev, but the West could not behave any other way when faced with the Eastern Europe’s “Are you treating us as second-class Europeans and are going to sell us again?”, especially since this question was asked when Russia was not in a position to threaten anybody, and Gorbachev was already a nobody. This does not give Putin the right to interfere in the affairs of his neighbors. But on the third hand, not having this right never stopped other great powers from interfering in the affairs of their neighbors, or even far-away countries. Including – with military force. Geez, these days Estonia is helping France to sort out Mali, of all places… (There was an extremely funny photograph in an Estonian newspaper – Estonian soldiers training before being deployed to Mali… in the snow. 🙂 )
            I do not see the CIA “ih-tam-net” (“they are not there”) somewhere in South America as fundamentally better than GRU “ih-tam-net”. So there is no objectively predetermined “good side” here. People just have to make the best choice they can about who is the greater evil. Hopefully a well-informed choice, but this is very difficult to achieve, for obvious reasons… For most people no conscious choice is ever involved – they just believe their country is right. (In this respect the nation-state is far from being dead.) It is us immigrants (including the Russians in the ex-Soviet Republics who did not physically move) who have to make this choice consciously. And I still feel that this choice is not 100% rational but at least partially a matter of belief, sometimes similar to the religious belief. Or a matter that is partially clouded by good personal experiences here vs worse experiences there. Did you make the choice to be the patriot of Ukraine and the generalized West and not Russia and not DNR/LNR fully consciously, or was it predetermined by you growing up with certain ideas transmitted to you by your parents and then later e/immigrating to the West?


            1. I was born in the heart of the LNR 🙂 but it’s true I couldn’t have possibly absorbed an LNR ideology simply because it doesn’t exist. I absolutely insist that the inhabitants of the Donbass region have no interest in any ideology. As my cousin in Donetsk said the other day, “I have my beer, my ciggies, and my taranka. Life is good. What do I care about anything else?”

              But the question of what I would believe if I were born in Russia, that’s an interesting one. I’m a contrarian, I was brought up to disagree before even finding out what I’m disagreeing with, so I can’t see myself being Krymnash simply because it’s what the majority believes.

              But who knows. You truly can’t say where growing up in a different culture would take you. All I know is that the more I think about it, the happier and more thankful I am that I was born in the USSR. I’m so happy in the simplest daily things in a way that people who never knew the alternative will never be.


            2. As for Putin being upset or whatever, he was super duper enthusiastic about the Baltic states joining the NATO. He was all yes, we will only be happy if Ukraine does the same. He was saying it again and again until his ratings dropped off a cliff. Then suddenly he remembered that he actually wasn’t all that into it.

              The fellow wants money and power because it gives him money. He needed to stay in power so he invented this jingoistic claptrap. And then paid for a campaign that erased from people’s minds what really happened in favor of this story about how he was betrayed by the West.


    1. Facebook is much more infiltrated than either magazine. And Twitter is nothing but a propaganda machine. I’m referencing the magazines only because I’m stunned that they have absolutely identical coverage of this issue. You’ve got to read both to understand the depth of my surprise. I quit reading The Nation because it was such a blatant Putinoid mouthpiece. I pick up its polar opposite magazine, and what do I find? The same thing almost verbatim.


  3. What do you think about this post? Is it as dangerous as he describes?

    Israel’s Russia Problem Is More Dangerous Than You Realize

    Highlights or rather ‘downlights’:

    // Following Syria’s inadvertent downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane while responding to an Israeli airstrike in Syrian territory […] Now, Russia has informed Israel that it plans to give Syria its S-300 anti-aircraft missile system despite previously holding off due to Israeli objections. Russia has also increased its rhetoric against the IDF, claiming that an Israeli pilot purposely used the Russian plane as a shield to cloak his aircraft, and reversing Putin’s initial description of Israel’s role as accidental, now describing it as premeditated.
    If the Syrian military is not only given advanced surface-to-air defenses by Russia, but emboldened by being placed under the Russian military umbrella, the potential for miscalculation is enormous. Syria may believe that it can take chances against Israel of which it would never have previously dreamed, counting on Israeli fear of Russia to restrain any Israeli response. But Israel is unlikely to sit back and let Syria take pot shots at Israeli planes, and it certainly will not tolerate even bolder moves that threaten Israeli territory. One of the most fraught situations in international relations is when one side badly miscalculates what the other side’s response will be to various events, and greater Russian cover for Syria could easily precipitate a clash between Israel and Syria arising out of Syrian miscalculation that spirals out of control and brings both Russia and Iran into the fray.


    1. Good article. The part about there being independent agents in the Defense Ministry who don’t do what Putin tells them is utter bonk. Such people don’t exist. The “contradictory reaction” was completely orchestrated. It’s an old KGB trick, so let’s not fall for it.

      The part about Netanyahu masterfully playing Putin for years is great. Yeah, Bibi has been very adept in that area.

      The danger in Syria is that Russia has nothing but its oil. Russia will keep the conflict alive at all costs.

      Yes, Netanyahu will beg Trump to pressure Putin about this. I honestly hope Trump doesn’t because there is only one price for that Putin will accept: Ukraine. I don’t think it’s a sacrifice worth making because Putin will continue stepping up the conflict in Syria no matter what. It won’t be these missiles but it might be worse ones. And Trump is too impulsive to negotiate it out.

      Conclusion: it’s bad but not as bad as the article makes it sound.


      1. // The danger in Syria is that Russia has nothing but its oil. Russia will keep the conflict alive at all costs.

        Because as long as the war is going on, Syrian oil won’t be sold and thus Russia can sell its oil for higher prices?

        I thought Russia has something to win from calm since I read:

        “In January 2018 the inevitable happened and a significant development for the future of the energy industry in the country with the signing of an energy cooperation framework with Russia. With this agreement, Damascus provided Russia with the exclusive right to produce oil and gas including the right to construct infrastructure, provide energy advisory services, and training of Syrian oilmen.”


        1. It’s more complex. There’s a fight over who’s going to create a pipeline to get oil to China and who’ll control it. There’s the issue of Iran’s oil.


      2. \ The part about Netanyahu masterfully playing Putin for years is great. Yeah, Bibi has been very adept in that area.

        The late Uri kept repeating how Bibi’s (I mean Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu) father told him he would be a good foreign minister but not a good Prime Minister. So, you see at least the first part of this is right.

        Now I feel even surer I did right by voting for him.
        Bibi also knows how to play various parties in the Knesset, the unicameral national legislature of Israel.
        Since we do not have a two party system like USA, every small party gets a voice – often too strong for its size, unfortunately, so juggling it all is quite a feat.


        1. I obviously don’t know much about how he does in the Knesset and I don’t like the fellow but I have to recognize that he’s extremely good at foreign policy. I know only one other person currently in politics who’s as good (in equally difficult circumstances). Also a Jew, by the way. :-))))


  4. \ I like it how she equates Hamas with Putin.

    I just had to share this example of seeing everything through one’s own very special history:




  5. Now I found her политический идеал.

    Он очень прост.
    Государство никогда не должно делать того, что может сделать частный бизнесмен. На федеральном уровне никогда не надо делать того, что можно сделать на уровне региональном. Избирателем должен быть каждый, кто платит хоть на копейку больше налогов, чем получает дотаций от государства. И что ничего не верно само по себе, но все — смотря по обстоятельствам.

    Мое мировоззрение — это либерализм в классическом понимании этого слова, и — прагматизм. Либерал-прагматизм, если угодно.



  6. I do not want to spam with links, but this post let me understand at last what’s going on in Syria better than anything else, including Israeli news which did not give the explanation as well and concisely as here:



    Of course, my understanding is true if she is right here.


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