Is Putin the ‘Preeminent Statesman’ of Our Times?

As the Western world kills thousands in the Yemen (10,000 in the last year beneath a rain of British bombs), in the Ukraine (10,000 Ukrainian citizens in the last two years), in Syria (by ‘moderate’ terrorists with Western arms) in Mosul (over 300 civilians murdered and many more maimed in March alone by US warplanes), and aggressively builds up its forces in Estonia to threaten Russia, the silence of the United Nations in New York astounds. Here are the views of an American Republican, Pat Buchanan:

Is Putin the ‘Preeminent Statesman’ of Our Times?


Thursday – March 30, 2017 at 8:35 pm

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By Patrick J. Buchanan

“If we were to use traditional measures for understanding leaders, which involve the defense of borders and national flourishing, Putin would count as the preeminent statesman of our time.

“On the world stage, who could vie with him?”

So asks Chris Caldwell of the Weekly Standard in a remarkable essay in Hillsdale College’s March issue of its magazine, Imprimis.

What elevates Putin above all other 21st-century leaders?
“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 Ataturk had done in Turkey in the 1920s. Out of a crumbling empire, he resurrected a national-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.”

Putin’s approval rating (at 85%), after 17 years in power, exceeds that of any rival Western leader. But while his impressive strides toward making Russia great again explain why he is revered at home and in the Russian diaspora, what explains Putin’s appeal in the West, despite a press that is every bit as savage as President Trump’s?

Answer: Putin stands against the Western progressive vision of what mankind’s future ought to be. Years ago, he aligned himself with traditionalists, nationalists and populists of the West, and against what they had come to despise in their own decadent civilization.
What they abhorred, Putin abhorred. He is a God-and-country Russian patriot. He rejects the New World Order established at the Cold War’s end by the United States. Putin puts Russia first.

And in defying the Americans he speaks for those millions of Europeans who wish to restore their national identities and recapture their lost sovereignty from the supranational European Union. Putin also stands against the progressive moral relativism of a Western elite that has cut its Christian roots to embrace secularism and hedonism.

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The U.S. establishment loathes Putin because, they say, he is an aggressor, a tyrant, a “killer.” …Yet…what has Putin done to his domestic enemies to rival what our Arab ally Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has done to the Muslim Brotherhood he overthrew in a military coup in Egypt?

What has Putin done to rival what our NATO ally President Erdogan has done in Turkey, jailing 40,000 people since last July’s coup — or our Philippine ally Rodrigo Duterte, who has presided over the extrajudicial killing of thousands of drug dealers?

Does anyone think President Xi Jinping would have handled mass demonstrations against his regime in Tiananmen Square more gingerly than did President Putin this last week in Moscow?

Much of the hostility toward Putin stems from the fact that he not only defies the West, when standing up for Russia’s interests, he often succeeds in his defiance and goes unpunished and unrepentant.
He not only remains popular in his own country, but has admirers in nations whose political establishments are implacably hostile to him.
In December, one poll found 37 percent of all Republicans had a favorable view of the Russian leader, but only 17 percent were positive on President Barack Obama.

There is another reason Putin is viewed favorably. Millions of ethnonationalists who wish to see their nations secede from the EU see him as an ally. While Putin has openly welcomed many of these movements, America’s elite do not take even a neutral stance.

Putin has read the new century better than his rivals. While the 20th century saw the world divided between a Communist East and a free and democratic West, new and different struggles define the 21st.
The new dividing lines are between social conservatism and self-indulgent secularism, between tribalism and transnationalism, between the nation-state and the New World Order.

On the new dividing lines, Putin is on the side of the insurgents. Those who envision de Gaulle’s Europe of Nations replacing the vision of One Europe, toward which the EU is heading, see Putin as an ally.
So the old question arises: Who owns the future?

In the new struggles of the new century, it is not impossible that Russia — as was America in the Cold War — may be on the winning side. Secessionist parties across Europe already look to Moscow rather than across the Atlantic.

“Putin has become a symbol of national sovereignty in its battle with globalism,” writes Caldwell. “That turns out to be the big battle of our times. As our last election shows, that’s true even here.”

Hopes for the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) Diocese in the British Isles and Ireland

55 years ago, in 1962, St John of Shanghai left London and our local ROCOR diocese with these prophetic words: ‘I entrust you to the care of St Alban, your Protomartyr’. This was indeed the case, for St John was succeeded by two elderly and ill bishops who spoke little English, and then for thirty years the Diocese had no resident bishop. With just occasional visits to the small London parish, the result was that the Diocese nearly died out. Everything changed in March 2016, when the parishes of the Diocese, in profound crisis, one by one asked for direct pastoral care from His Grace Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) and a young and dynamic assistant bishop in the USA, who at once saw the enormous frustrated potential and were in favour of venerating St Alban and all the local saints. This was effectively a ROCOR Brexit. (Moreover, with pressure from ROCOR in England, in March 2017 St Alban was at long last officially included in the Russian Orthodox calendar by the Synod in Moscow).

With a stream of new clergy and two more priests to come shortly, with, for the first time in its history, representatives in Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Cornwall, the Anglo-Celtic Orthodox Diocese of the Isles is at last moving forward. This is to be affirmed on 13 May with the first Diocesan pilgrimage to St Alban in St Albans, just as St John wanted 55 years ago. With support from new bishops, the once exhausted clergy and people of the Diocese are now looking to the future. In the Eastern half of England, with four priests (none of them Russian), two of them looking after the new parishes in Norwich and Bury St Edmunds and two in Colchester, and perhaps another priest and deacon to come, we can now at last look to catering for the vast and still unmet pastoral challenges in the region. Massive immigration from Orthodox Eastern Europe over the last twelve years has created a huge pastoral crisis, which official Orthodox representatives have failed to deal with.

True, the untrained, former Anglican clerics of the Antiochian jurisdiction, which has no ethnic constituency or liturgical or other tradition, has picked up mainly modernistic and unChurched immigrants who do not confess, but has not for the most part been able to Church them. The Balkan jurisdictions have shown little interest in pastoral care for their own economic refugees. The Russian jurisdictions also. One, until recently obsessed with the centralizing, inward-looking cult of a dead man and false ethnic problems, which together created a very harmful schism, is almost infrastructure-less as a result of a total lack of vision. The other, also once London-centred, long paralysed by a dead and inward-looking nationalistic cult of the past and unwilling to implement the missionary activity that would have taken place if it had not become nationalistic, has also lacked any sense of reality and hope for the future. A lack of vision always means a lack of mission. ‘Let the dead bury the dead’.

Cut free of the deadwood of the past, all is now possible, at least for ROCOR. What are our next targets after the new parishes of St John of Shanghai in Colchester (Essex), St Alexander Nevsky in Norwich (Norfolk) and St Edmund in Bury St Edmunds (Suffolk)? It is to set up five more viable communities, faithful to the uncompromised Orthodox Tradition of the Russian Church, but fully open to the native languages and peoples in the eastern half of England in:

1. Cambridgeshire – Ely / March/ Wisbech, dedicated to St Audrey.
2. Kent – Canterbury, dedicated to Christ the Saviour.
3. Yorkshire – York, dedicated to Sts Constantine and Helen.
4. South London – Croydon, dedicated to St John of Kronstadt.
5. North London – St Albans, dedicated to St Alban.

Outside the East, we also see possibilities.

6. Scotland, where there is a great need to incorporate the rich and pure Gaelic Orthodox Tradition of Mary, Columba and Brigid into the Church.

7. Cornwall, the peninsula of ancient Celtic saints, born out of the Egyptian monastic tradition of Orthodoxy, dedicated to St Antony the Great.

These seven targets are very modest: ultimately, beyond them there are many, many other places that need looking after, from Sussex to the Midlands and the North-East. Our ultimate aim is to own one permanent church and one trained priest, that is, to have liturgical centres, in each county of each of the four countries in the Isles, with at least four in London. At least continuing with these seven targets after the first three would start to reverse the disastrous decades of backward-looking and inward-looking indifference, abandonment and neglect. At least this would be a beginning. The long backlog of candidates for the clergy, who have been patiently waiting for years, are now being ordained. But there is far, very far, to go, after the four wasted decades in the battle for survival against all the odds. It has been the wait and weight of a lifetime.

After a Century of Demonic Possession

Destiny exists. In Christian language it is called God’s Will. God’s Will exists not just for individuals, but also for whole nations. Whole nations receive a calling to do God’s Will. Such is the case for Russia. Its calling came as part of the process of 2,000 years of Christian history. This history began with Christ and went through two great events. The first, after nearly 300 years of persecution and martyrdom, was the proclamation of the future St Constantine as the first Christian Emperor, on 25 July 306 in York in Britain. The second was the martyrdom of the future St Nicholas II as the last Christian Emperor to date, on 17 July 1918 in the very centre of Northern Eurasia. By his martyrdom he united East and West, becoming the personal embodiment of the double-headed eagle. His martyrdom marked the start of a century of demonic possession, during which the Christian Empire was abolished.

Between St Constantine and St Nicholas, the centre and capital of the Christian Empire was transferred from distant European Rome, become provincial, to the Eurasian New Rome (Constantinople) and from there, after its sacking by the West in 1204 and the East in 1453, to the Third Rome (Moscow). By 1453, having passed through the dark crucible of aggressive Western ‘crusades’ and the Eastern Tartar yoke, Russia was ready to accept its Divine destiny as the defender of Christendom against heretics and infidels alike. For over 500 years it lived for Christ, despite setbacks, weaknesses and further Western assaults, until the fateful year of 1917, when it was betrayed. 100 years on from then nearly all now understand that huge and tragic mistake of accepting the illusory Western ideology of Marxism in 1917 with its utterly false promise of paradise on earth, which at once turned into hell on earth.

Today, however, Russia, through repentance for its delusion and through the restoration of Orthodoxy, is on the path once more to its inevitable destiny. True, Russia faces once more, just as in 1917, Western-funded and Western-orchestrated dissidence by greedy and corrupt oligarchs (who, ironically, camouflage their real power-grabbing aims under the mask of being against corruption). For them Russia is simply to become another nationalistic state, like so many others in Western Europe, which, as the provincials they are, they idolize. Russia has, they say, no multinational and international, that is, no Imperial, vocation. This is exactly what the West (the self-appointed ‘international community’, in fact a tyrannical, anti-international ghetto) wants Russia to be reduced to.

The West fears the spiritual power of Russian Orthodoxy, its Christian Civilization and values, its call to the Risen and Living Christ against the dead Western Mammon. This comes at a time when the European Union, the Fourth Reich, in the words of the notoriously Russophobic British Foreign Minister Johnson, is in chaos. This collapse comes as a result of its hubris in imposing the euro, its open Muslim immigration policy (refusing to solve the problems at source), and Brexit, which itself is the result of the two above policies. At the same time, Roman Catholicism, the medieval ancestor of the centrally-controlled EU tyranny, is also in chaos, under a Pope who appears to be a liberal humanist rather than a Christian, that is, an anti-people (anti-populist, in his own words) Pope.

While Brexitland UK is refusing to pay the EU for indulgences in what is a Second Reformation, 500 years after the first one, a magnificent Russian church of All the Saints is being raised up in Strasbourg, the capital of the EU. (https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=eglise+russe+strasbourg&rlz=1C1CAFB_enGB663GB665&espv=2&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjOyuz9uYHTAhWkD8AKHXTCCmMQ_AUICCgD&biw=1024&bih=470). It is a symbol of the rise of Russian Orthodoxy in the spiritually degutted Western tip of Northern Eurasia, as its local Orthodox saints are being included in the Russian Orthodox calendar. It means that all Russian Orthodoxy in Continental Europe, already 80% of the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe, will come under the direct jurisdiction of Moscow. It leaves the Anglosphere under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. This is the Will of God, not of man.

The Battle for the Soul of the Anglosphere

The term Anglosphere has come to be used to mean the English world, what old people used to call the White Commonwealth and the USA. Roughly it means the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Arguably, it could also include parts of South Africa and countries such as Ireland. The Anglospere in terms of power and finance is by far the most important part of the world, the part that others either copy or else fear, either admire or detest. Clearly, by far the most important part of this Anglosphere is the USA. Great Britain ceased being ‘Great’ a long time ago, but in fact the USA is today’s ‘Great’ Britain, as it continues the same policies as Great Britain did in its time of worldly glory, 100-200 years ago, only with all the power of modern technology.

Churchill accurately predicted that Britain would always prefer the USA (‘the ocean’) to mainland Europe. I remember a conversation in a famous French School of Management 25 years ago, when a Frenchman asked me why the UK was so ‘anti-European’ (= by which he meant anti-European Union – what he mistakenly believed to be a French project), as the UK is geographically not in Africa or Asia, but clearly in Europe. I answered simply that geography had nothing to do with it; blood is thicker than water, British people sent their Christmas cards to the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, not to mainland Europe. At that point a German businessman in the class spoke the truth to the discomfort of the Frenchman (and also of many Englishmen), saying that for Germans of his generation Britain is simply ‘the front end of the USA’.

All this is politics, history and geography. But I mention it because it was not always so. Once the English, although politically weak and small in number, had saints and their main export was holiness. All this was over 1,000 years ago. Here then is the battle for the soul of the Anglosphere. To begin to return to that holiness or to continue as now, not just in England, but also to lead the Anglosphere gradually towards that, that is the question. A return is impossible? Probably that is so. After all, why have so few English-speaking (and also in general Western) people joined the Orthodox Church and then actually become Orthodox? Because they reject the depth of repentance vital after 1,000 years of layer after layer of heresy. Self-justification is much easier. But it is not enough to take a Greek name: being a Hellenophile is not Orthodoxy. What is necessary is the cleansing of souls that have been polluted and corrupted by an anti-Orthodox mentality and world-view and then to return to the saints.

The chances of our victory in the battle for the soul of the Anglosphere are minute. But that does not mean that some individual reparation is not possible and if many individuals were to choose this path, then surely there is still hope. Once, the Reformation, separation from Rome, led to excommunication. This led to the Tudor trading conquest of the world through pillage and tyranny. Brexit, separation from the Treaty of Rome, is leading to economic excommunication. This could lead to some new spiritual insight, some return to the holiness of the ancient past. Our God is the God of wonders.

An Autobiographical Note

Archpriest Andrew Phillips was born in 1956 into a family that has lived for centuries on the Essex-Suffolk border in the East of England. He began teaching himself Russian when he was twelve. Following early experience confirmed by reading, he was finally allowed to join the Russian Orthodox Church in 1975. After obtaining an M.A. in Russian in Oxford and working in Greece, he went on to study Russian Orthodox theology in Paris. In 1988 he wrote a first book about the Church in early England and this was followed by five other books on Orthodox themes. After many years spent serving the Russian Orthodox Church in France, Portugal and then England, as senior priest of the Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland of the Church Outside Russia he has since 2008 been rector of the multinational St John of Shanghai Orthodox Church in Colchester, which he founded. Located in his native town, this is the centre of the East of England Orthodox Church trust, which is under the Church Outside Russia and includes a church in Norwich and a community in Bury St Edmunds.

Married with six adult children, serving in one of the largest Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe and working to establish missions from it throughout the East of England, where he travels extensively to isolated families and visits Orthodox in prisons, he also teaches, translates, broadcasts and writes for the website www.orthodoxengland.org.uk, where he especially promotes the veneration of the saints of Western Europe. His work strives to reflect in English the integral Russian Orthodox view of the world. He follows the restoration of Church life in Russia very closely and is a frequent visitor to the Russian Lands. Some of what he writes has been translated and published on websites and in booklet form in Russia and several other countries. He is a member of the Patriarchal Commission for the Diaspora, the representative for Western Europe of the Missionary Department of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, a member of its Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court and of the Theological Committee of the Orthodox Bishops in the British Isles and Ireland.

Russian Church will include more Western saints in its calendar

Orthodoxy in the West will revive. There’ll be Orthodoxy in Britain and Ireland, in France and Germany, in Holland and Spain and in America, too! Every language and nation will have Holy Orthodoxy. This is the charge laid upon our Russian emigration for our repentance.

St John of Shanghai

Moscow, March 27, Interfax – The Russian Orthodox Patriarchate will continue to include the names of the saints venerated in the early West in its calendar.

“This process is not completed, it has only started,” said the head of the Synodal Department for External Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, on the Church and the World programme on the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

As was reported, in early March the Patriarchate included in its calendar St. Patrick and 15 ancient saints glorified in the countries of Europe before the schism of 1054. St. Patrick the Enlightener of Ireland was among them. It was decided that he would be commemorated on 30 March according to the secular dating system.

According to Metropolitan Hilarion, these saints were included at the request of the many Russian Orthodox dioceses in Western Europe.

“There are also other Western saints whom I hope will also soon be included in the calendar of our Church,” said Metropolitan Hilarion.

He explained that the main criterion for including the name of the saint in the calendar is veneration of the saint in a certain locality. Besides this, this saint should have lived before the schism of 1054, “as everything that happened afterwards belongs to the separate history of the Orthodox Church and Catholicism.”

The hierarch noted that it was important that the person had not participated in struggle against Orthodoxy, “as happens with certain Western religious figures.”

He also said that he would not interpret the inclusion of Western saints in the Russian Orthodox Church calendar as a step towards drawing closer to local Church reality,” said the Metropolitan.

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=13661

Civil War in the USA

The division in the USA continues. On the one hand, there are the old neocons, who represent the Western military-industrial complex with its latest massacres of yet more thousands of civilians in Mosul and the Yemen and need to slander Russia as a’threat’ to justify their huge war budgets. The CIA hackers always accuse others of hacking. On the other hand, there is President Trump, no saint, but certainly a pragmatist, who wants and desperately needs to make deals with the real world, outside the ethnocentric fantasies of the neocons, for whom always ‘West is Best: Divest the Rest’.

This division is reflected in Russia. Here the Western neocon elite and its media lackeys sponsor the corrupt oligarchs and their leader Prime Minister Medvedev, opposed by President Putin, who enjoys 85% of popularity among the public. Medvedev represents the unprincipled Euro-Atlanticist cosmopolitan elite with its money, money, money ideology. But the President represents the multinational peoples that make up the Russian Federation. Medvedev is, essentially, a neocon, whereas the President represents the people. It is no coincidence that just as Medvedev’s police were arresting anti-corruption demonstrators, President Putin, in effect the leader of the Russian National Party, was meeting Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French National Party and the leading candidate in the French Presidential race. Europeans together against the Western neocon elite.

Nobody knows the future, but we pray that the lesser evil will win the day.

On the Liberation of the Three Romes

Introduction: On Reversing Historic Injustices

Life is unfair. Life is full of injustices, both for individuals and for whole nations. No doubt, many examples come to mind, both personal and from history. On a national level, only in recent times, we can think of terrorist outrages, like that a few days ago in London, but we can think also of the unjust fates of Serbia, Iraq and Syria over the last generation. Or we can think back to the unjust outcomes of the First and Second World Wars. And we can think of more distant historic injustices, like colonialism, the first example of which took place in England 950 years ago after 1066, and many other examples.

For us, however, the greatest terrorist outrage and injustice, costing the lives of tens of millions, unbalancing the whole world and causing a Second World War and then a potentially nuclear Cold War, was the coup d’etat which took place in Russia exactly 100 years ago through the treachery of its elite and overseas meddlers and destroyers. As a result, for 100 years we have been in exile, whether physical, as in the case of subjects of the former Russian Empire, or spiritual, as in the case of all other Orthodox, who have suffered because of that treason that caused the fall of that Empire, our spiritual protection.

The Liberation of the Third Rome and the Restoration of Imperial Rus

For 100 years we have fought for the righting of that injustice, carried out by overseas evildoers and internal traitors. And so we have fought for our existential rights as Christians, the possibility to be with Christ, for the restoration and liberation of that Empire, the Third Rome, the Centre, the last remaining bastion of Christianity in the world. At first, deprived of the Centre, all we could do was preach the Faith, in its integrity, and work for a worldwide, if tiny, Empire, formed of oases in the desert, and only distantly hope for the coming Tsar, in faithfulness to our motto, ‘For the Faith, the Tsar and Rus’.

However, by Divine Providence and human repentance, since 2000 the Russian Federation has largely been liberated and voices have also been raised there in support of our Civilizational values, won by spiritual warfare, the worldwide Rus that we have worked for and for the coming Tsar. Only recently, among many, many others throughout the Russian Orthodox world, Metropolitan Benjamin of Vladivostok and Bishop Mitrofan of Severomorsk and Umbinsk have spoken of the inevitability of the restoration of the monarchy in at least the Russian Federation. Bishop Mitrofan has summed up our feelings in this way:

‘The Emperor is the litmus test on the basis of which we can verify if people have been cured of the poison of the 20th century or not…it is precisely the name of Nicholas II which is the test to see to what extent people have been cured and to what extent they are still sick’. Vladyka explained why people react less violently to scoundrels like Napoleon and Hitler than to the Tsar, saying that: ‘We are speaking of sacral, mysterious matters, of the destinies of the world, whether human history is to continue or to end, will there be another who restrains evil now or will there be no-one to restrain evil?…’.

‘On this cause stands resistance to the final attack of the power of the prince of darkness over humanity….If this cause is from men, it will fail all by itself, but if it is from God, then take care that you do not become apostates….We are doing God’s work, we are withstanding and resisting, in us beats the faith that Russia does have a future, that there will be a Tsar. There will be! We feel this in our hearts and there is nothing that can be done against it because this is God’s Work. Amen’.

http://ruskline.ru/news_rl/2017/03/22/v_nas_betsya_vera_v_to_chto_u_rossii_budet_car/

Conclusion: The Liberation by the Third Rome of the Second and First Romes

If the Third Rome is restored, then its first task will be to liberate others, notably liberating the Second Rome from its fall into spiritual decadence, which has led to its disincarnate philosophizing, freemasonry, ecumenism and modernism. This we clearly saw at its 2016 meeting in Crete, which was boycotted by the Third Rome and all the spiritually free. Such liberation by the Third Rome will lead to the spiritual restoration of the Greek Orthodox world, much, but by no means all, of which has fallen so far from spiritual purity and is losing its soul to the prince of this world through Westernization.

Its second task will be to liberate the First Rome. This is a far greater task. This is not a matter of reversing the fall into spiritual impurity of a hundred years ago, but of the gradual but inevitable fall from Christ of a thousand years ago by the rejection of the Holy Spirit in favour of the things of men, of man-invented structures and ideology. However, this is the source of long-standing worldwide injustices and the world cannot survive unless they are righted. For men this is impossible, but we trust in the mercy and righteousness of the Just Judge, Who will do this Himself, if we should fail to do it in His Name.