Accuracy in Media

An article titled, “Iraq’s Christians See Putin As Savior,” appeared on the website of The Daily Beast in late June. It was picked up by literally dozens of “news” sites all over the Internet, contributing to the perception that Russia was actually prepared to do something on behalf of these Christians and other minorities.

The article referred to “Russia’s increasingly cozy relationship with Middle Eastern Christians” and included a photo of Putin under a halo.

But when the Christians in Iraq actually needed some help, it was the U.S. and Britain which intervened on their behalf. Humanitarian aid was delivered to the minority religious groups under attack, and air strikes were conducted against the terrorists. Later, France and Australia joined in the effort.

The Christian “Stand Firm in Faith” website asks, “So where is President Putin now that Christians are being wiped out in Iraq?”

“So now Putin keeps his shirt on?” writer Timothy Fountain asked.

The latter is a reference to the many photos of a shirtless Putin. He has been shirtless on a horse, holding a rifle and fishing.

Walter Hickey at Business Insider had published “39 Photos That Prove Vladimir Putin Is The Most Badass Leader In The World.” These photos also showed Putin firing weapons, on a motorcycle, and in a race car.

But this tough guy hasn’t lifted a finger of behalf of persecuted Christians in Iraq.

While some argue with justification that the U.S. effort has not been enough and too slow, I searched the website of the Russian Embassy in Washington to see if there was an announcement of Russia participating in, or offering the delivery of, aid to Christians and others in Iraq—and could find nothing.

There is no evidence that the “international partners” helping Christians and other minorities in Iraq include Russia. Instead, Putin has been trying to sneak “humanitarian aid” into Ukraine, to benefit the Russian terrorists who shot down the Malaysian airliner with nearly 300 passengers.

One can search the Internet and find all kinds of stories about how Putin is not only defending Christians but is supposed to be a Christian himself. A story carried by the Christian Post said, “Putin has long been a supporter of Christianity and Christian values within Russia. He has called for the Church to play a larger role in citizens’ social lives, better religion classes in schools, and television programs emphasizing religious values.”

Some other stories include:

  • “Pope, Putin Summit to Benefit Christians” from Newsmax
  • “Vladimir Putin, Christian Crusader?” from The American Conservative, and written by Patrick J. Buchanan
  • “Putin Policies Aim to Defend Christian Beliefs” from the Liberty Voice blog
  • “Vladimir Putin is a Christian Man” from The Daily Stormer (an anti-Semitic site)
  • “US threatened by Russia’s Christianity” from the Russian Pravda
  • “Russia will develop as democratic state, defend Christian values—Putin” from the Voice of Russia
  • “Putin promises to protect Christianity worldwide” from Russia Today

The Timothy Fountain article noted that “Just over two years ago, Russia’s President received a briefing from Metropolitan Hilarion, the foreign relations representative of the Russian Orthodox Church.” Putin was told, “Every five minutes one Christian was dying for his or her faith in some part of the word.”

After hearing several examples of the persecution of Christians, Putin replied with an offer of help and said, “You needn’t have any doubt that that’s the way it will be.”

It turns out that the source of the report about Putin vowing to defend Christians around the world was Russia Today (RT), the well-known disinformation outlet for Russian propaganda.

Indeed, RT, on February 12, 2012, ran a story headlined, “Putin promises to protect Christianity worldwide,” which stated that “Putin has promised to make the protection of repressed Christians in foreign countries one of his foreign policy priorities…”

This is the story cited earlier about the Russian Orthodox head of External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion, saying that every five minutes one Christian was dying for his or her faith in some part of the world, “specifying that he was talking about such countries as Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan and India.”

According to an RT report of Putin’s meeting with Pope Francis, “The Kremlin announced ahead of the visit that Putin and Pope Francis would focus on the state of international institutions and their ability to respond to crises, as well as the protection of Christian minorities in the Maghreb and the Middle East.”

The Russian Embassy website features news of Russian deliveries of “humanitarian” aid to Syria, but nothing to Christians in Iraq. In Syria, Russia is better known for its weapons deliveries to the Assad regime, a long-time Soviet client state.

Last August, so-called Tea Party leader Judson Phillips had written in The Washington Times that “Putin said world leaders must come together to stop the violent persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Something is wrong when Putin is a greater champion for freedom and liberty than the President of the United States is.”

“While Putin has called for protections for the Middle East’s Christians, Obama has been playing golf,” Phillips wrote last August.

Well, Obama went golfing again, but at least he finally did something on behalf of the Christians in Iraq.

Yes, Obama could have done more, and he should have acted sooner. But Putin has done nothing on behalf of Christians in Iraq—except talk. For some reason, this talk impresses some people in the U.S. who should know better.

In terms of action, Putin is delivering Mi-35 helicopter gunships, Mi-28 attack helicopters and Su-25 fighters to the Baghdad regime. One weapons deal alone is worth $1 billion. But there’s no hard evidence these weapons are being used to help or rescue Christians in Iraq.

In his August 12 column, Pat Buchanan calls Putin a potential ally “in a coalition to contain or crush” the Islamic State terrorists. So far, this potential ally has not reported for duty.

It appears that Putin is more interested in doing weapons deals that make rubles for his regime and his cronies. His halo looks like another KGB deception.

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  • Erudite Mavin

    Good question, why won’t Putin help the Middle East Christians.
    Probably that would be going too far with his shtick being the so called devout Christian.
    Another Potemkin front for the gullible.
    The article mentions “Russia Today” an outlet also for Ron Paul.
    Putin’s major fan club is Ron Paul and the Libertarians.
    The libertarians support Putin and Russia in their invasion and battle with Ukraine

  • disqus_smWiOrvPtd

    It not about Christians. It’s about world government, and creating a regional union in the middle east. An EU style union where all the factions can one day enjoy their own soviet and dialogue to consensus.

    The CFR openly called for a Middle Eastern* Regional Union in June, though no doubt it has been a goal all along. Dare I propose to Cliff that the provocation on the twin towers was a hegelian act to get the U.S. over there? Mr. Kincaid might disagree. Is the embassy in Bagdad, that is said to be a Taj-Mahal, intended to be the beginnings of a future parliament?

    The EU started out as coal agreement after two long and brutal wars. After WWII, European nations were more than willing to trade sovereignty for security. Go into dialogue, dialectic process. One worlders know the power of a prolonged war.

    Once it’s understood that the goal is a Regional Union, these latest events
    create a lot of questions. Obama has appeared as wanting to pull out and implement the process of “dialogue.” At the same time, he has been giving a signal of weakness to Islamists. Perhaps the globalists just want a prolonged war. Perhaps current events coincide with the Mexican border. After all, a North American Union is coming soon to sovereign nation near you.

    Putin is concerned with rebuilding the world’s original Regional Union Soviet. Neither he nor Obama are concerned about the peril of true Christians.

    I know one thing. There is a God that is.


  • Richard Hellstrom Dahr Jamail discusses how the U.S. invasion of Iraq has left behind a legacy of cancer and birth defects suspected of being caused by the U.S. military’s extensive use of depleted uranium and white phosphorus. Noting the birth defects in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, Jamail says: “They’re extremely hard to bear witness to. But it’s something that we all need to pay attention to … What this has generated is, from 2004 up to this day, we are seeing a rate of congenital malformations in the city of Fallujah that has surpassed even that in the wake of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that nuclear bombs were dropped on at the end of World War II.” Jamail has also reported on the refugee crisis of more than one million displaced Iraqis still inside the country, who are struggling to survive without government aid, a majority of them living in Baghdad
    -Depleted uranium (DU) weapons were first used during the first Gulf War against Iraq in 1991. The Pentagon estimated that between 315 and 350 tons of DU were fired during the first Gulf War. During the 2003 invasion and current occupation of Iraq, U.S. and British troops have reportedly used more than five times as many DU bombs and shells as the total number used during the 1991 war.

  • disqus_smWiOrvPtd

    So, what are you trying to say? That you agree with the dialectic process that deceives through dialogue, and not the dialectic that deceives through the actual use of physical force, a la Vladimir Lenin? In other words, it’s not the goal of world government that troubles you, but the U.N. praxis du jour? Because the only two sides of this debate are whether you support, in the carefully guarded words of Bill Clinton, “a more integrated world, where borders are coming down” (plus the ideology that is facilitating it) or the traditional world order of sovereign nations, more or less governed by the free market system. To world government or not, that is the question. Or, to Hegelian Dialectic or not, that is the question.

    Seeing you are listening to Democracy Today, maybe even NPR or PBS, you are likely so deep a tool of the dialectic, that you can’t even see straight.

    I challenge you to think about this. If your leaders reveal to you that they hold people in contempt, then they are quite frankly, trying to tell YOU something.

  • Barbara Levay

    godamm you i hope you and your fucking bastards die along and painful death.this people suffer andyou just shoot your empty rethoric .FUCK AMERICA FUCK GOD.I HOPE PUTIN NUKE US. WE REACHLY DESERVE IT

  • JW

    It’s spelled “richly” you dope, not “reachl”. Go back to your mamma’s basement and wise up.

  • Twila Jeanenne Ramsey

    The Kurds have done more for Christian refugees than anybody.

  • Naira Maxa

    bla, bla, bla!!!!! Putin this, Putin that. Whoever made the mess in Middle east, should take the responsibility for the Christians, and that was not Putin, or Russia

  • Putin took in 1200 Syrian Christians and granted them asylum. Putin’s airforce has also bombed jihadists and enabled the Syrian army to liberate a number of Christian towns and villages in the north of Syria. As far as I can tell Obama has not taken any Christian refugees from Syria at all, but he is taking 10,000 Muslim and LGBT refugees.