American Elephants


How to Think About Vladimir Putin, President of Russia. by The Elephant's Child

In Imprimus, the free monthly publication of Hillsdale College, always interesting, Christopher Caldwell, senior editor at The Weekly Standard, takes on “How to Think About Vladimir Putin.” He stresses that he is not telling anyone what to think about the Russian President, but only how to think about him. In a period when the Democrats are just sure that Putin intervened in the election to defeat Hillary Clinton with the cooperation of Donald Trump, this is what fuels the fury. If Hitler were conveniently still alive they would be sure he was trying to defeat Hillary too. But I found this piece fascinating, and a corrective I needed.

Vladimir Vladimirovich is not the president of a feminist NGO. He is not a transgender-rights activist. He is not an ombudsman appointed by the United Nations to make and deliver slide shows about green energy. He is the elected leader of Russia—a rugged, relatively poor, militarily powerful country that in recent years has been frequently humiliated, robbed, and misled. His job has been to protect his country’s prerogatives and its sovereignty in an international system that seeks to erode sovereignty in general and views Russia’s sovereignty in particular as a threat.

By American standards, Putin’s respect for the democratic process has been fitful at best. He has cracked down on peaceful demonstrations. Political opponents have been arrested and jailed throughout his rule. Some have even been murdered—Anna Politkovskaya, the crusading Chechnya correspondent shot in her apartment building in Moscow in 2006; Alexander Litvinenko, the spy poisoned with polonium-210 in London months later; the activist Boris Nemtsov, shot on a bridge in Moscow in early 2015. While the evidence connecting Putin’s own circle to the killings is circumstantial, it merits scrutiny. …

When Putin took power in the winter of 1999-2000, his country was defenseless. It was bankrupt. It was being carved up by its new kleptocratic elites, in collusion with its old imperial rivals, the Americans. Putin changed that. In the first decade of this century, he did what Kemal Atatürk had done in Turkey in the 1920s. Out of a crumbling empire, he rescued a nation-state, and gave it coherence and purpose. He disciplined his country’s plutocrats. He restored its military strength. And he refused, with ever blunter rhetoric, to accept for Russia a subservient role in an American-run world system drawn up by foreign politicians and business leaders. His voters credit him with having saved his country.

Here’s the whole article, do read the whole thing, you’ll be glad you did. And you might consider subscribing to Imprimus. It’s free and informative.



Anti-Semitism Arises in Donetsk, Ukraine. Not from the Ukrainian Government, but Who? by The Elephant's Child

This was not Ukrainian government’s doing, but the source is unknown. The Ukrainian government is trying to find the source.

Pro-Russian militants have taken over government buildings in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk. Jews emerging from a synagogue there were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee — “or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” according to Ynet News, Israels largest news website.

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The leaflet was written in Russian and had Russia’s two-headed eagle on it, and distributed by masked men outside the Donetsk synagogue after Passover prayers. the region is home to about 17,000 Jews. It was signed by Denis Pushilin, as chairman of Donetsk’s temporary government. Pushilin has reportedly denied responsibility for them. The leaflets are not any official order, but they weren’t just scrawled on a sign either.

Ugly. The White House should respond in the harshest terms. The president said “there will be consequences,” and went on to claim another million for ObamaCare.



The World’s Dictators Support Obama by The Elephant's Child

When Governor Romney criticized President Obama’s “Apology Tour,” and quoted Obama’s apology for “dictating to other countries,” he gave one of the most memorable lines of the debate: “America does not dictate to other nations.  America has freed other nations from dictators.”

Oddly enough, in spite of all the apologies, from Moscow to Caracas to Havana, real dictators with long records of enmity towards the United States are endorsing Barack Obama for president.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, after his own rigged re-election declared “If I were American, I would Vote for Obama. He is my candidate.” This was his second endorsement in a week, and then he went off  on his plans to increase Venezuelan socialism.

Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuba’s ruling chief Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother, told CNN “As a citizen of the world I would like for Obama to win. Obama deserves a second chance and he needs greater support to move forward with his projects which I believe come from the heart.”

Vladimir Putin, once and still president of Russia said “Obama is a genuine person who really wants to change much for the better,” in what the Moscow Times said was widely viewed as his most direct endorsement of Obama. He’s apparently waiting till after the election when Mr. Obama “can be more flexible.”

That prominent gathering of dictators, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights warned Americans that a vote for Mitt Romney was “a vote for torture,” an “indirect” endorsement of Obama.

The Gulf Times, a newspaper closely allied with the autocratic rulers of Dubai endorsed Obama, significant because the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a part, was found to be financing “Promised Land,” a Hollywood film starring Matt Damon with the mission to discourage fracking in the U.S. which would cut back on U.S. consumption of Gulf oil.

Chinese cash has been illegally flowing into Obama’s campaign coffers through the Chinese website  Obama.com.

There was a sudden declaration reported by Iran’s mullahs last weekend of “peace talks” soon to be held if Americans vote for Obama — which Obama denied.

Nations that regard America as an enemy prefer a weak America that they can manipulate. That’s just the way the world works.




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