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Hysterical Economist Raves About ‘Rogue’ Russia on the Eve of Election

March 15, 2024 (EIRNS)—Coinciding with the beginning of Russia’s elections March 15-17, yesterday the City of London’s The Economist published a hysterical diatribe against Russian President Vladimir Putin titled “The West Must Show Its Enemy Is Vladimir Putin, Not 143 Million Ordinary Russians.” Hyperventilating that the election results mean that Putin will be “anointed as Russia’s ruler for another six years,” as a would-be tsar, the article is really upset that the West has failed to destroy Russia and that colonial control over the nations of the Global South in the emerging multipolar world is a thing of the past.

“Far from collapsing,” The Economist frets, Russia’s regime “has proved resilient.” The election will be “a sham,” but it should serve as a wake-up call because Putin’s “ambitions pose a long-term threat that goes far beyond Ukraine. He could spread discord in Africa and the Middle East, cripple the UN and put nuclear weapons in space.” The West needs “a long-term strategy for a rogue Russia that goes much further than helping Ukraine. Right now, it doesn’t have one.” The unacknowledged admission here is that the Ukraine proxy war hasn’t accomplished the job.

The Economist is certain that Russia is sure to collapse in the coming years because of new “vulnerabilities”—cut off from Western technology, dependent on China, living standards hurt by a militarized economy, etc. Putin will try to shut out Western influence and unite people against “a caricature of American and NATO.” But what about the problem with the Global South? Those nations have been attracted to Russia’s “false narrative” that Putin is saving Ukraine from the Nazis, that NATO is the real aggressor, and that the West seeks to foist its decadent social norms on everyone else.” Why Russia has even “hobbled” the UN Security Council.

It is incumbent on the West to face up to the “global threat” that Putin represents, The Economist intones. If Ukraine is defeated, “attacks on neighboring countries such as Moldova and the Baltics” will follow. What’s an empire to do? First, there must be a military buildup to deter further Russian aggression. Should Donald Trump win this year’s election, the U.S. will become more isolationist, so Europe must spend 3% of GDP on defense. But “the most powerful weapons” the West can use against Russia are its “universal liberal values”—the ones they say defeated the “inhumanity” of the Soviet Union’s totalitarian system. Western diplomacy must make every effort to “counter Russian disinformation across the Global South,” while subverting Russia internally, backing the “forces of modernization and promoting the flow of real news and information into Russia.”