Putin looks into Johnnie’s soul

A most unusual leak has come from the Russian government, and was passed on by Amir Taheri in his column in yesterday’s New York Post. The long and short of it is that President Vladimir Putin during his recent state visit to Iran realized that Johnnie, the president of Iran, is nuts. Well, maybe that’s putting it too strongly. Let’s just say that Putin came to understand that Johnnie is not the kind of leader with whom he can do business. This is very good news, as it means Russia will be less likely to continue siding with Iran against the U.S. on the nuclear weapons issue.

Here’s what Gary Bauer had to say about it in his e-mail, which a reader has forwarded:

Perhaps Putin “Gets It” Now

To say that U.S. relations with Russia have been strained in recent years is an understatement. While many held out hope that Russia might become an ally in the post-Cold War world, the relationship turned chilly as President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, sought to reassert Russian power in the world with a series of provocative gestures, including Russia’s refusal to back tougher measures against Iran. In fact, many observers viewed Putin’s recent visit to Tehran as a public rebuke of the West, as he almost seemed to be encouraging the Islamic Republic’s defiance.

But now there are leaks coming out of the Kremlin that suggest Putin may have left Tehran with a very different attitude. Iranian-born journalist Amir Taheri reports that Putin advisors are now saying that the Russian president was “taken aback” and “had not expected what he heard.” What exactly did he hear? Just consider the following quote from a senior Russian official:

“This was the first time that Putin was talking to senior Islamic Republic leaders in a substantive and focused way. The president found his Iranian interlocutor weird, to say the least. The Iranians mouthed a lot of eschatological nonsense and came close to urging Putin to convert to Islam. It was clear they lived in a world of their own.”

Taheri also reports that both Iranian “president” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave Putin the impression that, “‘they settle matters in the metaphysical space’ and with ‘the help of the Hidden Imam.’” Moreover, the Russian officials said, “The Iranians think they have already won. So intoxicated they appeared with hubris that they did not even ask Putin to help them ward off further United Nations sanctions.”

This is crucial, friends, because according to the Shiite sect that Ahmadinejad follows, the “Hidden Imam,” or Islamic messiah, will only return after an apocalyptic conflagration. Ahmadinejad believes he is fulfilling Islamic prophecy through Iran’s nuclear program!

Let’s hope that after sitting down face-to-face and looking into the eyes of this madman that Putin now understands the threat confronting the civilized world. Remember this report the next time you hear Barack Obama or any other delusional politician suggest that we need to engage the mullahs diplomatically or offer them economic incentives. The last time the world trusted a madman’s signature on a scrap of paper promising “peace in our time,” millions lost their lives.

Robert in Nashville writes:

The story about President Putin’s possible abrupt realization that the fundamental hostility of an Islamic-Shiite, apocalypse-driven culture against his own could no longer be ignored, is possibly huge. Perhaps he realized that Russia could just as easily by the next target on the global non-Islamic target list. Yet liberals, like Obama and Hillary, and neo-cons continue to believe that if we just reason enough with the other, we will eventually come to a common agreement.

This crazy idealism of the universalists, denying plain reality and insisting that really, there IS no “other,” just different understandings and fears (of our own) that are the problem, and which can be addressed by more talks, reminds me of a passage from an old favorite of mine, “The Politics of Cultural Despair,” by Fritz Stern.

He Quotes Moeller Van Den Bruck: “The great danger of idealism lies in the fact that it turns men into fools. It can turn then into honest fools. It can turn them into sanctimonious fools. That is only a difference in degree. The decisive point is that because of all this idealism, and through the extravagant, everyday invocation of the highest ideals, reality may perish.”

N. writes:

A comment in the thread “Putin looks into Johnnie’s soul” referred to a book and author I had never heard of. Dr. Fritz Stern is clearly a historian worth reading. Here is the Wikipedia summary.

Chalk this up as yet another useful thing learned from someone writing in to VFR, proving again what a valuable resource it is.

James W. writes:

Re A-Mad’s soul, that isn’t a soul. That is the absence of a soul.

Glad Vlad saw A-Mad was Bad.

This had puzzled me from the get-go. The Soviets were dangerous, not suicidal, and Vlad is a Soviet man. But playing house with these boys is barbequeing at the gas pumps. It was so nonsensical it made me think he knew something we didn’t, or that we thought we knew something we didn’t.

We did, he didn’t.

Hope this story is not blowing smoke, or smoking blow. Between Pakistan and Iran alone, all this could get out of anybody’s control. That, it seems, is not Vlad’s goal.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 10, 2007 04:10 PM | Send

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