Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Putin to Western elites: Play-time is over

[По-русски]

Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn't get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. (For your convenience, I am pasting in the full transcript of his speech below.) Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946.
In this speech, Putin abruptly changed the rules of the game. Previously, the game of international politics was played as follows: politicians made public pronouncements, for the sake of maintaining a pleasant fiction of national sovereignty, but they were strictly for show and had nothing to do with the substance of international politics; in the meantime, they engaged in secret back-room negotiations, in which the actual deals were hammered out. Previously, Putin tried to play this game, expecting only that Russia be treated as an equal. But these hopes have been dashed, and at this conference he declared the game to be over, explicitly violating Western taboo by speaking directly to the people over the heads of elite clans and political leaders.

The Russian blogger chipstone summarized the most salient points from Putin speech as follows:

1. Russia will no longer play games and engage in back-room negotiations over trifles. But Russia is prepared for serious conversations and agreements, if these are conducive to collective security, are based on fairness and take into account the interests of each side.

2. All systems of global collective security now lie in ruins. There are no longer any international security guarantees at all. And the entity that destroyed them has a name: The United States of America.

3. The builders of the New World Order have failed, having built a sand castle. Whether or not a new world order of any sort is to be built is not just Russia's decision, but it is a decision that will not be made without Russia.

4. Russia favors a conservative approach to introducing innovations into the social order, but is not opposed to investigating and discussing such innovations, to see if introducing any of them might be justified.

5. Russia has no intention of going fishing in the murky waters created by America's ever-expanding “empire of chaos,” and has no interest in building a new empire of her own (this is unnecessary; Russia's challenges lie in developing her already vast territory). Neither is Russia willing to act as a savior of the world, as she had in the past.

6. Russia will not attempt to reformat the world in her own image, but neither will she allow anyone to reformat her in their image. Russia will not close herself off from the world, but anyone who tries to close her off from the world will be sure to reap a whirlwind.

7. Russia does not wish for the chaos to spread, does not want war, and has no intention of starting one. However, today Russia sees the outbreak of global war as almost inevitable, is prepared for it, and is continuing to prepare for it. Russia does not want war—nor does she fear it.

8. Russia does not intend to take an active role in thwarting those who are still attempting to construct their New World Order—until their efforts start to impinge on Russia's key interests. Russia would prefer to stand by and watch them give themselves as many lumps as their poor heads can take. But those who manage to drag Russia into this process, through disregard for her interests, will be taught the true meaning of pain.

9. In her external, and, even more so, internal politics, Russia's power will rely not on the elites and their back-room dealing, but on the will of the people.

To these nine points I would like to add a tenth:

10. There is still a chance to construct a new world order that will avoid a world war. This new world order must of necessity include the United States—but can only do so on the same terms as everyone else: subject to international law and international agreements; refraining from all unilateral action; in full respect of the sovereignty of other nations.

To sum it all up: play-time is over. Children, put away your toys. Now is the time for the adults to make decisions. Russia is ready for this; is the world?

Text of Vladimir Putin’s speech and a question and answer session at the final plenary meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s XI session in Sochi on 24 October 2014.

It was mentioned already that the club has new co-organizers this year. They include Russian non-governmental organizations, expert groups and leading universities. The idea was also raised of broadening the discussions to include not just issues related to Russia itself but also global politics and the economy.

An organization and content will bolster the club’s influence as a leading discussion and expert forum. At the same time, I hope the ‘Valdai spirit’ will remain – this free and open atmosphere and chance to express all manner of very different and frank opinions.

Let me say in this respect that I will also not let you down and will speak directly and frankly. Some of what I say might seem a bit too harsh, but if we do not speak directly and honestly about what we really think, then there is little point in even meeting in this way. It would be better in that case just to keep to diplomatic get-togethers, where no one says anything of real sense and, recalling the words of one famous diplomat, you realize that diplomats have tongues so as not to speak the truth.



We get together for other reasons. We get together so as to talk frankly with each other. We need to be direct and blunt today not so as to trade barbs, but so as to attempt to get to the bottom of what is actually happening in the world, try to understand why the world is becoming less safe and more unpredictable, and why the risks are increasing everywhere around us.


Today’s discussion took place under the theme: New Rules or a Game without Rules. I think that this formula accurately describes the historic turning point we have reached today and the choice we all face. There is nothing new of course in the idea that the world is changing very fast. I know this is something you have spoken about at the discussions today. It is certainly hard not to notice the dramatic transformations in global politics and the economy, public life, and in industry, information and social technologies.

Let me ask you right now to forgive me if I end up repeating what some of the discussion’s participants have already said. It’s practically impossible to avoid. You have already held detailed discussions, but I will set out my point of view. It will coincide with other participants’ views on some points and differ on others.

As we analyze today’s situation, let us not forget history’s lessons. First of all, changes in the world order – and what we are seeing today are events on this scale – have usually been accompanied by if not global war and conflict, then by chains of intensive local-level conflicts. Second, global politics is above all about economic leadership, issues of war and peace, and the humanitarian dimension, including human rights.

The world is full of contradictions today. We need to be frank in asking each other if we have a reliable safety net in place. Sadly, there is no guarantee and no certainty that the current system of global and regional security is able to protect us from upheavals. This system has become seriously weakened, fragmented and deformed. The international and regional political, economic, and cultural cooperation organizations are also going through difficult times.

Yes, many of the mechanisms we have for ensuring the world order were created quite a long time ago now, including and above all in the period immediately following World War II. Let me stress that the solidity of the system created back then rested not only on the balance of power and the rights of the victor countries, but on the fact that this system’s ‘founding fathers’ had respect for each other, did not try to put the squeeze on others, but attempted to reach agreements.

The main thing is that this system needs to develop, and despite its various shortcomings, needs to at least be capable of keeping the world’s current problems within certain limits and regulating the intensity of the natural competition between countries.

It is my conviction that we could not take this mechanism of checks and balances that we built over the last decades, sometimes with such effort and difficulty, and simply tear it apart without building anything in its place. Otherwise we would be left with no instruments other than brute force.

What we needed to do was to carry out a rational reconstruction and adapt it the new realities in the system of international relations.

But the United States, having declared itself the winner of the Cold War, saw no need for this. Instead of establishing a new balance of power, essential for maintaining order and stability, they took steps that threw the system into sharp and deep imbalance.

The Cold War ended, but it did not end with the signing of a peace treaty with clear and transparent agreements on respecting existing rules or creating new rules and standards. This created the impression that the so-called ‘victors’ in the Cold War had decided to pressure events and reshape the world to suit their own needs and interests. If the existing system of international relations, international law and the checks and balances in place got in the way of these aims, this system was declared worthless, outdated and in need of immediate demolition. 


Pardon the analogy, but this is the way nouveaux riches behave when they suddenly end up with a great fortune, in this case, in the shape of world leadership and domination. Instead of managing their wealth wisely, for their own benefit too of course, I think they have committed many follies.

We have entered a period of differing interpretations and deliberate silences in world politics. International law has been forced to retreat over and over by the onslaught of legal nihilism. Objectivity and justice have been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. Arbitrary interpretations and biased assessments have replaced legal norms. At the same time, total control of the global mass media has made it possible when desired to portray white as black and black as white.

In a situation where you had domination by one country and its allies, or its satellites rather, the search for global solutions often turned into an attempt to impose their own universal recipes. This group’s ambitions grew so big that they started presenting the policies they put together in their corridors of power as the view of the entire international community. But this is not the case.

The very notion of ‘national sovereignty’ became a relative value for most countries. In essence, what was being proposed was the formula: the greater the loyalty towards the world’s sole power centre, the greater this or that ruling regime’s legitimacy.

We will have a free discussion afterwards and I will be happy to answer your questions and would also like to use my right to ask you questions. Let someone try to disprove the arguments that I just set out during the upcoming discussion.

The measures taken against those who refuse to submit are well-known and have been tried and tested many times. They include use of force, economic and propaganda pressure, meddling in domestic affairs, and appeals to a kind of ‘supra-legal’ legitimacy when they need to justify illegal intervention in this or that conflict or toppling inconvenient regimes. Of late, we have increasing evidence too that outright blackmail has been used with regard to a number of leaders. It is not for nothing that ‘big brother’ is spending billions of dollars on keeping the whole world, including its own closest allies, under surveillance.

Let’s ask ourselves, how comfortable are we with this, how safe are we, how happy living in this world, and how fair and rational has it become? Maybe, we have no real reasons to worry, argue and ask awkward questions? Maybe the United States’ exceptional position and the way they are carrying out their leadership really is a blessing for us all, and their meddling in events all around the world is bringing peace, prosperity, progress, growth and democracy, and we should maybe just relax and enjoy it all?

Let me say that this is not the case, absolutely not the case.

A unilateral diktat and imposing one’s own models produces the opposite result. Instead of settling conflicts it leads to their escalation, instead of sovereign and stable states we see the growing spread of chaos, and instead of democracy there is support for a very dubious public ranging from open neo-fascists to Islamic radicals.

Why do they support such people? They do this because they decide to use them as instruments along the way in achieving their goals but then burn their fingers and recoil. I never cease to be amazed by the way that our partners just keep stepping on the same rake, as we say here in Russia, that is to say, make the same mistake over and over.

They once sponsored Islamic extremist movements to fight the Soviet Union. Those groups got their battle experience in Afghanistan and later gave birth to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The West if not supported, at least closed its eyes, and, I would say, gave information, political and financial support to international terrorists’ invasion of Russia (we have not forgotten this) and the Central Asian region’s countries. Only after horrific terrorist attacks were committed on US soil itself did the United States wake up to the common threat of terrorism. Let me remind you that we were the first country to support the American people back then, the first to react as friends and partners to the terrible tragedy of September 11.

During my conversations with American and European leaders, I always spoke of the need to fight terrorism together, as a challenge on a global scale. We cannot resign ourselves to and accept this threat, cannot cut it into separate pieces using double standards. Our partners expressed agreement, but a little time passed and we ended up back where we started. First there was the military operation in Iraq, then in Libya, which got pushed to the brink of falling apart. Why was Libya pushed into this situation? Today it is a country in danger of breaking apart and has become a training ground for terrorists.

Only the current Egyptian leadership’s determination and wisdom saved this key Arab country from chaos and having extremists run rampant. In Syria, as in the past, the United States and its allies started directly financing and arming rebels and allowing them to fill their ranks with mercenaries from various countries. Let me ask where do these rebels get their money, arms and military specialists? Where does all this come from? How did the notorious ISIL manage to become such a powerful group, essentially a real armed force?  



As for financing sources, today, the money is coming not just from drugs, production of which has increased not just by a few percentage points but many-fold, since the international coalition forces have been present in Afghanistan. You are aware of this. The terrorists are getting money from selling oil too. Oil is produced in territory controlled by the terrorists, who sell it at dumping prices, produce it and transport it. But someone buys this oil, resells it, and makes a profit from it, not thinking about the fact that they are thus financing terrorists who could come sooner or later to their own soil and sow destruction in their own countries.

Where do they get new recruits? In Iraq, after Saddam Hussein was toppled, the state’s institutions, including the army, were left in ruins. We said back then, be very, very careful. You are driving people out into the street, and what will they do there? Don’t forget (rightfully or not) that they were in the leadership of a large regional power, and what are you now turning them into?

What was the result? Tens of thousands of soldiers, officers and former Baath Party activists were turned out into the streets and today have joined the rebels’ ranks. Perhaps this is what explains why the Islamic State group has turned out so effective? In military terms, it is acting very effectively and has some very professional people. Russia warned repeatedly about the dangers of unilateral military actions, intervening in sovereign states’ affairs, and flirting with extremists and radicals. We insisted on having the groups fighting the central Syrian government, above all the Islamic State, included on the lists of terrorist organizations. But did we see any results? We appealed in vain.

We sometimes get the impression that our colleagues and friends are constantly fighting the consequences of their own policies, throw all their effort into addressing the risks they themselves have created, and pay an ever-greater price.

Colleagues, this period of unipolar domination has convincingly demonstrated that having only one power centre does not make global processes more manageable. On the contrary, this kind of unstable construction has shown its inability to fight the real threats such as regional conflicts, terrorism, drug trafficking, religious fanaticism, chauvinism and neo-Nazism. At the same time, it has opened the road wide for inflated national pride, manipulating public opinion and letting the strong bully and suppress the weak.

Essentially, the unipolar world is simply a means of justifying dictatorship over people and countries. The unipolar world turned out too uncomfortable, heavy and unmanageable a burden even for the self-proclaimed leader. Comments along this line were made here just before and I fully agree with this. This is why we see attempts at this new historic stage to recreate a semblance of a quasi-bipolar world as a convenient model for perpetuating American leadership. It does not matter who takes the place of the centre of evil in American propaganda, the USSR’s old place as the main adversary. It could be Iran, as a country seeking to acquire nuclear technology, China, as the world’s biggest economy, or Russia, as a nuclear superpower.

Today, we are seeing new efforts to fragment the world, draw new dividing lines, put together coalitions not built for something but directed against someone, anyone, create the image of an enemy as was the case during the Cold War years, and obtain the right to this leadership, or diktat if you wish. The situation was presented this way during the Cold War. We all understand this and know this. The United States always told its allies: “We have a common enemy, a terrible foe, the centre of evil, and we are defending you, our allies, from this foe, and so we have the right to order you around, force you to sacrifice your political and economic interests and pay your share of the costs for this collective defense, but we will be the ones in charge of it all of course.” In short, we see today attempts in a new and changing world to reproduce the familiar models of global management, and all this so as to guarantee their [the US’] exceptional position and reap political and economic dividends.

But these attempts are increasingly divorced from reality and are in contradiction with the world’s diversity. Steps of this kind inevitably create confrontation and countermeasures and have the opposite effect to the hoped-for goals. We see what happens when politics rashly starts meddling in the economy and the logic of rational decisions gives way to the logic of confrontation that only hurt one’s own economic positions and interests, including national business interests.

Joint economic projects and mutual investment objectively bring countries closer together and help to smooth out current problems in relations between states. But today, the global business community faces unprecedented pressure from Western governments. What business, economic expediency and pragmatism can we speak of when we hear slogans such as “the homeland is in danger”, “the free world is under threat”, and “democracy is in jeopardy”? And so everyone needs to mobilize. That is what a real mobilization policy looks like.

Sanctions are already undermining the foundations of world trade, the WTO rules and the principle of inviolability of private property. They are dealing a blow to liberal model of globalization based on markets, freedom and competition, which, let me note, is a model that has primarily benefited precisely the Western countries. And now they risk losing trust as the leaders of globalization. We have to ask ourselves, why was this necessary? After all, the United States’ prosperity rests in large part on the trust of investors and foreign holders of dollars and US securities. This trust is clearly being undermined and signs of disappointment in the fruits of globalization are visible now in many countries.  

The well-known Cyprus precedent and the politically motivated sanctions have only strengthened the trend towards seeking to bolster economic and financial sovereignty and countries’ or their regional groups’ desire to find ways of protecting themselves from the risks of outside pressure. We already see that more and more countries are looking for ways to become less dependent on the dollar and are setting up alternative financial and payments systems and reserve currencies. I think that our American friends are quite simply cutting the branch they are sitting on. You cannot mix politics and the economy, but this is what is happening now. I have always thought and still think today that politically motivated sanctions were a mistake that will harm everyone, but I am sure that we will come back to this subject later.

We know how these decisions were taken and who was applying the pressure. But let me stress that Russia is not going to get all worked up, get offended or come begging at anyone’s door. Russia is a self-sufficient country. We will work within the foreign economic environment that has taken shape, develop domestic production and technology and act more decisively to carry out transformation. Pressure from outside, as has been the case on past occasions, will only consolidate our society, keep us alert and make us concentrate on our main development goals.

Of course the sanctions are a hindrance. They are trying to hurt us through these sanctions, block our development and push us into political, economic and cultural isolation, force us into backwardness in other words. But let me say yet again that the world is a very different place today. We have no intention of shutting ourselves off from anyone and choosing some kind of closed development road, trying to live in autarky. We are always open to dialogue, including on normalizing our economic and political relations. We are counting here on the pragmatic approach and position of business communities in the leading countries.

Some are saying today that Russia is supposedly turning its back on Europe – such words were probably spoken already here too during the discussions – and is looking for new business partners, above all in Asia. Let me say that this is absolutely not the case. Our active policy in the Asian-Pacific region began not just yesterday and not in response to sanctions, but is a policy that we have been following for a good many years now. Like many other countries, including Western countries, we saw that Asia is playing an ever greater role in the world, in the economy and in politics, and there is simply no way we can afford to overlook these developments.

Let me say again that everyone is doing this, and we will do so to, all the more so as a large part of our country is geographically in Asia. Why should we not make use of our competitive advantages in this area? It would be extremely shortsighted not to do so.

Developing economic ties with these countries and carrying out joint integration projects also creates big incentives for our domestic development. Today’s demographic, economic and cultural trends all suggest that dependence on a sole superpower will objectively decrease. This is something that European and American experts have been talking and writing about too.


Perhaps developments in global politics will mirror the developments we are seeing in the global economy, namely, intensive competition for specific niches and frequent change of leaders in specific areas. This is entirely possible.

There is no doubt that humanitarian factors such as education, science, healthcare and culture are playing a greater role in global competition. This also has a big impact on international relations, including because this ‘soft power’ resource will depend to a great extent on real achievements in developing human capital rather than on sophisticated propaganda tricks.


At the same time, the formation of a so-called polycentric world (I would also like to draw attention to this, colleagues) in and of itself does not improve stability; in fact, it is more likely to be the opposite. The goal of reaching global equilibrium is turning into a fairly difficult puzzle, an equation with many unknowns.
So, what is in store for us if we choose not to live by the rules – even if they may be strict and inconvenient – but rather live without any rules at all? And that scenario is entirely possible; we cannot rule it out, given the tensions in the global situation. Many predictions can already be made, taking into account current trends, and unfortunately, they are not optimistic. If we do not create a clear system of mutual commitments and agreements, if we do not build the mechanisms for managing and resolving crisis situations, the symptoms of global anarchy will inevitably grow.


Today, we already see a sharp increase in the likelihood of a whole set of violent conflicts with either direct or indirect participation by the world’s major powers. And the risk factors include not just traditional multinational conflicts, but also the internal instability in separate states, especially when we talk about nations located at the intersections of major states’ geopolitical interests, or on the border of cultural, historical, and economic civilizational continents.

Ukraine, which I’m sure was discussed at length and which we will discuss some more, is one of the example of such sorts of conflicts that affect international power balance, and I think it will certainly not be the last. From here emanates the next real threat of destroying the current system of arms control agreements. And this dangerous process was launched by the United States of America when it unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, and then set about and continues today to actively pursue the creation of its global missile defense system.

Colleagues, friends, I want to point out that we did not start this. Once again, we are sliding into the times when, instead of the balance of interests and mutual guarantees, it is fear and the balance of mutual destruction that prevent nations from engaging in direct conflict. In absence of legal and political instruments, arms are once again becoming the focal point of the global agenda; they are used wherever and however, without any UN Security Council sanctions. And if the Security Council refuses to produce such decisions, then it is immediately declared to be an outdated and ineffective instrument.

Many states do not see any other ways of ensuring their sovereignty but to obtain their own bombs. This is extremely dangerous. We insist on continuing talks; we are not only in favor of talks, but insist on continuing talks to reduce nuclear arsenals. The less nuclear weapons we have in the world, the better. And we are ready for the most serious, concrete discussions on nuclear disarmament – but only serious discussions without any double standards.

What do I mean? Today, many types of high-precision weaponry are already close to mass-destruction weapons in terms of their capabilities, and in the event of full renunciation of nuclear weapons or radical reduction of nuclear potential, nations that are leaders in creating and producing high-precision systems will have a clear military advantage. Strategic parity will be disrupted, and this is likely to bring destabilization. The use of a so-called first global pre-emptive strike may become tempting. In short, the risks do not decrease, but intensify.

The next obvious threat is the further escalation of ethnic, religious, and social conflicts. Such conflicts are dangerous not only as such, but also because they create zones of anarchy, lawlessness, and chaos around them, places that are comfortable for terrorists and criminals, where piracy, human trafficking, and drug trafficking flourish.

Incidentally, at the time, our colleagues tried to somehow manage these processes, use regional conflicts and design ‘color revolutions’ to suit their interests, but the genie escaped the bottle. It looks like the controlled chaos theory fathers themselves do not know what to do with it; there is disarray in their ranks.

We closely follow the discussions by both the ruling elite and the expert community. It is enough to look at the headlines of the Western press over the last year. The same people are called fighters for democracy, and then Islamists; first they write about revolutions and then call them riots and upheavals. The result is obvious: the further expansion of global chaos.

Colleagues, given the global situation, it is time to start agreeing on fundamental things. This is incredibly important and necessary; this is much better than going back to our own corners. The more we all face common problems, the more we find ourselves in the same boat, so to speak. And the logical way out is in cooperation between nations, societies, in finding collective answers to increasing challenges, and in joint risk management. Granted, some of our partners, for some reason, remember this only when it suits their interests.

Practical experience shows that joint answers to challenges are not always a panacea; and we need to understand this. Moreover, in most cases, they are hard to reach; it is not easy to overcome the differences in national interests, the subjectivity of different approaches, particularly when it comes to nations with different cultural and historical traditions. But nevertheless, we have examples when, having common goals and acting based on the same criteria, together we achieved real success.

Let me remind you about solving the problem of chemical weapons in Syria, and the substantive dialogue on the Iranian nuclear program, as well as our work on North Korean issues, which also has some positive results. Why can’t we use this experience in the future to solve local and global challenges?
What could be the legal, political, and economic basis for a new world order that would allow for stability and security, while encouraging healthy competition, not allowing the formation of new monopolies that hinder development? It is unlikely that someone could provide absolutely exhaustive, ready-made solutions right now. We will need extensive work with participation by a wide range of governments, global businesses, civil society, and such expert platforms as ours.

However, it is obvious that success and real results are only possible if key participants in international affairs can agree on harmonizing basic interests, on reasonable self-restraint, and set the example of positive and responsible leadership. We must clearly identify where unilateral actions end and we need to apply multilateral mechanisms, and as part of improving the effectiveness of international law, we must resolve the dilemma between the actions by international community to ensure security and human rights and the principle of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of any state.

Those very collisions increasingly lead to arbitrary external interference in complex internal processes, and time and again, they provoke dangerous conflicts between leading global players. The issue of maintaining sovereignty becomes almost paramount in maintaining and strengthening global stability.

Clearly, discussing the criteria for the use of external force is extremely difficult; it is practically impossible to separate it from the interests of particular nations. However, it is far more dangerous when there are no agreements that are clear to everyone, when no clear conditions are set for necessary and legal interference.

I will add that international relations must be based on international law, which itself should rest on moral principles such as justice, equality and truth. Perhaps most important is respect for one’s partners and their interests. This is an obvious formula, but simply following it could radically change the global situation.

I am certain that if there is a will, we can restore the effectiveness of the international and regional institutions system. We do not even need to build anything anew, from the scratch; this is not a “greenfield,” especially since the institutions created after World War II are quite universal and can be given modern substance, adequate to manage the current situation.

This is true of improving the work of the UN, whose central role is irreplaceable, as well as the OSCE, which, over the course of 40 years, has proven to be a necessary mechanism for ensuring security and cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic region. I must say that even now, in trying to resolve the crisis in southeast Ukraine, the OSCE is playing a very positive role.

In light of the fundamental changes in the international environment, the increase in uncontrollability and various threats, we need a new global consensus of responsible forces. It’s not about some local deals or a division of spheres of influence in the spirit of classic diplomacy, or somebody’s complete global domination. I think that we need a new version of interdependence. We should not be afraid of it. On the contrary, this is a good instrument for harmonizing positions.

This is particularly relevant given the strengthening and growth of certain regions on the planet, which process objectively requires institutionalization of such new poles, creating powerful regional organizations and developing rules for their interaction. Cooperation between these centers would seriously add to the stability of global security, policy and economy.  But in order to establish such a dialogue, we need to proceed from the assumption that all regional centers and integration projects forming around them need to have equal rights to development, so that they can complement each other and nobody can force them into conflict or opposition artificially. Such destructive actions would break down ties between states, and the states themselves would be subjected to extreme hardship, or perhaps even total destruction.

I would like to remind you of the last year’s events. We have told our American and European partners that hasty backstage decisions, for example, on Ukraine’s association with the EU, are fraught with serious risks to the economy. We didn’t even say anything about politics; we spoke only about the economy, saying that such steps, made without any prior arrangements, touch on the interests of many other nations, including Russia as Ukraine’s main trade partner, and that a wide discussion of the issues is necessary. Incidentally, in this regard, I will remind you that, for example, the talks on Russia’s accession to the WTO lasted 19 years. This was very difficult work, and a certain consensus was reached.

Why am I bringing this up? Because in implementing Ukraine’s association project, our partners would come to us with their goods and services through the back gate, so to speak, and we did not agree to this, nobody asked us about this. We had discussions on all topics related to Ukraine’s association with the EU, persistent discussions, but I want to stress that this was done in an entirely civilized manner, indicating possible problems, showing the obvious reasoning and arguments. Nobody wanted to listen to us and nobody wanted to talk. They simply told us: this is none of your business, point, end of discussion. Instead of a comprehensive but – I stress – civilized dialogue, it all came down to a government overthrow; they plunged the country into chaos, into economic and social collapse, into a civil war with enormous casualties.

Why? When I ask my colleagues why, they no longer have an answer; nobody says anything. That’s it. Everyone’s at a loss, saying it just turned out that way. Those actions should not have been encouraged – it wouldn’t have worked. After all (I already spoke about this), former Ukrainian President Yanukovych signed everything, agreed with everything. Why do it? What was the point? What is this, a civilized way of solving problems? Apparently, those who constantly throw together new ‘color revolutions’ consider themselves ‘brilliant artists’ and simply cannot stop.

I am certain that the work of integrated associations, the cooperation of regional structures, should be built on a transparent, clear basis; the Eurasian Economic Union’s formation process is a good example of such transparency. The states that are parties to this project informed their partners of their plans in advance, specifying the parameters of our association, the principles of its work, which fully correspond with the World Trade Organization rules.

I will add that we would also have welcomed the start of a concrete dialogue between the Eurasian and European Union. Incidentally, they have almost completely refused us this as well, and it is also unclear why – what is so scary about it?

And, of course, with such joint work, we would think that we need to engage in dialogue (I spoke about this many times and heard agreement from many of our western partners, at least in Europe) on the need to create a common space for economic and humanitarian cooperation stretching all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.

Colleagues, Russia made its choice. Our priorities are further improving our democratic and open economy institutions, accelerated internal development, taking into account all the positive modern trends in the world, and consolidating society based on traditional values and patriotism.

We have an integration-oriented, positive, peaceful agenda; we are working actively with our colleagues in the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and other partners. This agenda is aimed at developing ties between governments, not dissociating. We are not planning to cobble together any blocs or get involved in an exchange of blows.

The allegations and statements that Russia is trying to establish some sort of empire, encroaching on the sovereignty of its neighbors, are groundless. Russia does not need any kind of special, exclusive place in the world – I want to emphasize this. While respecting the interests of others, we simply want for our own interests to be taken into account and for our position to be respected.


We are well aware that the world has entered an era of changes and global transformations, when we all need a particular degree of caution, the ability to avoid thoughtless steps. In the years after the Cold War, participants in global politics lost these qualities somewhat. Now, we need to remember them. Otherwise, hopes for a peaceful, stable development will be a dangerous illusion, while today’s turmoil will simply serve as a prelude to the collapse of world order.

Yes, of course, I have already said that building a more stable world order is a difficult task. We are talking about long and hard work. We were able to develop rules for interaction after World War II, and we were able to reach an agreement in Helsinki in the 1970s. Our common duty is to resolve this fundamental challenge at this new stage of development.

Thank you very much for your attention.

45 comments :

Helix said...

Geez! A politician talking sense! What's the world coming to?

Sadly, I've learned by listening to my own politicians (USA) that what they say has only random correspondence to either the truth or what they will actually do.

Maybe Putin is different.

Phil Espin said...

I watched the video and read the transcript. Putin came across as an honest man exasperated by the lawless shenanigans perpetrated by and from the USA. I realise its dangerous to take what politicians say at face value and its sensible to judge them by their deeds and not their words.

He has shown admirable restraint in eastern ukraine and I believe him when he says he is not interested in extending a new soviet type empire, which is the most dangerous charge being levied in the western media. He is not a new Hitler and needs to do more to speak over the heads of western politicians to western people.

The more westerners ( I'm in UK) see him and listen to what he actually says the better.

Doug Darrah said...

Thanks for posting that, Dmitry. Before this post, Paul Craig Roberts (at http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/10/25/vladimir-putin-leader-moral-world-paul-craig-roberts/) was the only "Western" person to make note of Putin's speech in the news I allow myself to follow.

The blackout related to the Sochi speech is because Putin is the world's leading statesman, and he is absolutely reviled here for that. (And, yes, the words are VERY strong, and forthright, and simply don't parse easily to the criminal political class of the West.) Putin hasn't restored my faith in politics, but he's definitely wearing the white hat in that strata of human civilization, and his example puts all the others--PARTICULARLY in the West--to shame.

votechriswalker said...

Do we know if Putin wrote this speech?

Anonny Moose said...

This was widely reported in New Zealand, and we absolutely got the context and intention.

Maybe if you live in the US, the speech didn't make a ripple, but America is not the world, and there are free-thinkers and responsible media in other parts of the world.

Banastal said...

awesome speech! How can anyone not like Putin?!

Mister Roboto said...

I think you have a word missing in item number seven of the summary: I'm guessing it should read "Russia does not want war -- nor does she fear it."

As for number ten, the only way I can see that happening is for the inevitable to happen sooner rather than later: Namely for the USA to break up into smaller constituent nations, and the first of the breakaways is likely to be the Old South AKA Dixie.

ed boyle said...

I have been thinking lately of what I lrned about CIA and US history from books recommeded by paul craig Roberts: zinn's usa history, brothers(dulles brothers),and udo ulfkotte's 'bought journalists' in german. I also read some web sites, history of bilderberger, trilateral commission, council on foreignrelations.

Essentially what you have here is a web of organizations set up across all western nations to recruit and control the elites in a sort of 'masonic lodge'. They are controlled from the top level, no not usa president, rather banking bosses like Rockefellers, etc. The goal is very clear, NWO, global takeover. We see how the NGOs are also part of this network, financed abroad by CIA, soros, etc. to promote color revolutions.

I read this speech on saker's blog and posted link to a book from 2009 listing all elite members of usa cfr, tlc, etc. 15000 names. In ulfkotte's book he had lists pages long rofgerman press people in 'Atlantic Bruecke',etc. connected to usa elite.

what one needs is a'deep state'wiki or deep state news. One could name all the organizations, theirconnection to one anothers, current and past memberships and past histories and current activities along with a list of literature on the various topics, press, banking,indusry, cia mi5, etc. A wiki could be multilingual as french,german, usa, british all have own branches controlling own elite for western imperial grand plan.

Essentially this is history behind history, back room style. The problem is that,for usa press, politicians, as I understood from Ulfkotte it is illegal to belong to an organization which undrmines or goes against usa govt., a secret lodge with loyalties over and above usa, only beholden to itself. This is the situation. Many discussed situation post 9/11 as a 'putsch'with patriot act,etc. but I think that the govt. , if it ever really existed, is just a fig leaf for a few trillionaire families who pull the strings using banks, military industrial complex, bought up press, cia, nsa, NGOs, etc. globally.

One can ask if Russia or China play the power game differently or if they are just learning thatsuppression is bad, more effective and subtle is cooptation of elites, propaganda, infotainment for masses. This view would be realistic. It is unlikely that true democracy could succeed. Everything is just backroom dealing. The people revolt and get crumbs(read zinn). Communistic dictatorship worked , as did early capitalism in the fast development phase of industrialism. Now, without growth or significant techno
ogical renewal, the zero sum game has led to a staic class situation, feudalism, with elite living in an ideological bubble, as putin sees it. Every society has to renew itself from below. If upper class is static, wit static goals it will, accordingto Toynbee, collapse. This is happening in the West. In Russia upper class were wiped out twice in last century. In west they rule from behind curtain.

Seamus Padraig said...

@ed boyle:

"...what one needs is a'deep state'wiki or deep state news..."

There is already something similar to what you're describing, ed. It's called WikiSpooks ("An encyclopedia of deep political structures and events"). Take a look: http://wikispooks.org/

Edward Ulysses Cate said...

First, thank you for posting this. Much appreciated. Second, let's not forget that in order to get where he is now, Putin has to be a sociopath. That said, I suspect he's drawing a line that he's not going to put up with being played by other sociopaths. Look out below when sociopaths go at each other. Since sociopaths have no empathy nor conscience, the collateral damage will be great. We have been warned.

Wendy Martin said...

Kudos to Putin for speaking out. Yes, he knows this cannot continue and millions are counting on him to help bridge the gap where this super power, the United States, can be stopped from bullying around the whole world. It must end or it will only get worse. Plus the petro dollar having to share an equal currency elsewhere will alleviate much. The BRICS nations know this. Take away the petro dollar and the playing field sufficiently changes.

Wendy Martin said...

It's ugly and many Americans are ashamed, including myself, while we live in an affluent society and the world suffers. It's just not right. And change the laws for corporations where they have to pay their rightful due and where they cannot exploit third-world countries, make better laws and enforce them. Greedy people won't change until they have to, so let the common law courts make them do right.

crazeyspivey said...

I wish Putin had brought up the shooting down BY UKRAINE and the lies spewed forth by Washington accusing Russia. Hands-down proof that Washington and Ukraine was trying to frame Russia for this dirty false-flag event. Russia has the evidence and should stand up and rightly accuse the criminals in Washington and Ukraine.

Go Putin! Getty Up, Hi Ho Silver, Away!

Roacheforque said...

I suppose the only criticism I could make is Putin's reference to "interdependence". I prefer "mutual benefit".
It is true that in my social circles, Putin is demonized, much like the jews were in Nazi Germany, and while I do not FEAR to contradict those statements, but see no sense in arguing against the US ministry of propaganda, and its hold on the many non-rational thinkers who so egregiously outrank the independently thinking few. Change, at all levels and layers is assured.

Phil Butler said...

Bravo, I've not read or written a more exacting and meaningful piece concerning where our world is. Putin, by mine and millions of people's estimation, is the only world leader in decades who truly is for his people.

My applause for your having captured the essences of his most recent speech. The world needs serious leadership.

Always,
Phil

Andrew Ma said...

If someone had posted this and not mentioned it was Putin/Russia, they would say this guy is spot on about the world...

Very poignant points that any country really should take to heart. We all want what's best for our people, but not at the cost of everyone else.

mindspringyahoo said...

Funny how Putin, unlike the nazis absorbed into the US State Department, doesn't squeal about Jews building houses, or the need for liberating the disciples of WWII nazi hajj amin al husseini.

These are US propaganda practices. Jews with a clue, Jews that support Israel like myself have far more respect for Putin than the lying backstabbers running the US government.

* said...

re
' Seamus Padraig said...

@ed boyle:

"...what one needs is a'deep state'wiki or deep state news..."

There is already something similar to what you're describing, ed. It's called WikiSpooks ("An encyclopedia of deep political structures and events"). Take a look: http://wikispooks.org/
-------------------my response----
I don't trust Wikispooks as a reliable source any more. They have deliberately 'disappeared' a lengthy and informative article on NED (National Endowment for Democracy) - essentially a front for CIA and other agencies...

see: https://wikispooks.com/wiki/National_Endowment_for_Democracy

Note an empty page.... For the actual truth, detailing the dirty tricks, the overthrows of successive governments, and the sponsorship via so-called 'NGO's' of what is, in essence, US sponsored terrorism...you have to look elsewhere...

But even then, see:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Talk:National_Endowment_for_Democracy

Even at Sourcewatch - the 'real' history page of the NED has been removed, supposedly 'for review': see firstly -
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=National_Endowment_for_Democracy

(And to read the REAL page, you have to click on the 'discussion' tab. Clearly Wikispooks and Sourcewatch are potentially being used as covert data collection/propaganda outlets of US intelligence agencies.
I would recommend that visitors to ClubOrlov's excellent blog, take copies of the real history of the NED before it is entirely 'disappeared' from the Internet.)
Again, for the record: see: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Talk:National_Endowment_for_Democracy

Enrique Fernandez said...

Great speech the will be no new world order.. Putin is a savior of the world, thanks god, but still the Us economic is going down, that's why they need a war and a new world order was the excuse to install a new monetary system where of curse the United states will be the master of finances that way they got the world on their feet, once again thanks Putin, thanks China, Iran, Syria and all those player who say NOT to the few mad men in Washington.
also I like to see few countries going down like the Saudies, Jordans the Cuban Castro regime the Colombian just to mention few, who had play for long time in favor of the US to be drowned in their sewage waters and pay for the criminal acts they had commited against their own people.

Unknown said...

Great speach

frank sayre said...

Putin comes across as a man with many faces and as politicians are apt to do they talk around a subject, which I guess they have to.. for diplomacy sake. To get to the point and as I see things, Putin is letting the oligarchy that is attempting a take over of power, called "the new world order" that he will not cater to its dictates, also known as a "go jump in an ocean" policy. There is a side of Putin that is truth, a side to listen to, a side to be aware of.

CCK said...

100 years ago a british politician Balfour suggested to the American embasador that they together should start a war with Germany. The horrified american was told that it was 'to maintain their countries' standard of living'.

History show that they succeeded to do more than that. They got the Russians n French to do the dirty job and thereby also lost their economic vitality along with Germany for decades. The Anglo Saxons got to keep their standard of living for 100 years more.

The british through their colonial experience knew that the best thing for them is when everyone else destroy each other while they sit back n waited for the right moment to get in ie colonise their target.

Today is no different. The hope is the rest of the world learns that lesson and refrain from playing to their tune.

Men that do not know history will forever be boys - Tacitus

CCK said...

When they go start wars and revolutions in foreign lands covertly or overtly, to win or succeed is not the only object.

If they succeed their cronies listen to them on sell everything to them as recompense. Otherwise, the victim countries are destroyed for decades anyway and will sooner or later be selling everything on the cheap to them.

Either way they profit...

V. Arnold said...

The utter demise of U.S. diplomacy before our very eyes is stunning and the rise of a genuine statesman in the name of Russian president Putin is very timely.
The world sorely needs some serious leadership.

Peter Terry said...

It is unfortunate that this speech was not more widely reported in the US media...what Putin says here makes sense. When George Bush was President and Americans were acting like bullies, Democrats and other progressives condemned him and his neo-con buddies as fascists and imperialists. But during the years that Barack Obama has been President, when Americans have acted like bullies, Democrats and other progressives have all too often sought to depict the act as a necessary evil at worst or even as a positive good! The conversation shifted to whether the process followed was optimal, and did not engage with the question of whether unilateral American bullying is right or wrong. Apparently when a Republican President is a bully it is bad and when the Democratic President is a bully it is good. I, for one, would agree with Mr. Putin, that American bullying is not bringing us any closer to global stability and peace, that it is actually having the opposite effect.

Sabretache said...

Quoting '*' : Friday, October 31, 2014 at 12:23:00 PM EDT above.

I don't trust Wikispooks as a reliable source any more. They have deliberately 'disappeared' a lengthy and informative article on NED (National Endowment for Democracy) - essentially a front for CIA and other agencies...

see: https://wikispooks.com/wiki/National_Endowment_for_Democracy

Note an empty page.... For the actual truth, detailing the dirty tricks, the overthrows of successive governments, and the sponsorship via so-called 'NGO's' of what is, in essence, US sponsored terrorism...you have to look elsewhere...

But even then, see:
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Talk:National_Endowment_for_Democracy

Even at Sourcewatch - the 'real' history page of the NED has been removed, supposedly 'for review': see firstly -
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=National_Endowment_for_Democracy

(And to read the REAL page, you have to click on the 'discussion' tab. Clearly Wikispooks and Sourcewatch are potentially being used as covert data collection/propaganda outlets of US intelligence agencies.


As the webmaster of the Wikispooks site I take exception to your damaging and deeply uninformed comments.

Wikispooks is a crowd-sourced project with a very small contributor base. It's genesis and info about those responsible for it are readily available to anyone prepared to look. They hardly fit the profile of spooks - though, as someone well versed in the ways of our Imperial Masters, I accept that we can all be made an offer we CANNOT refuse by them - and that emphatically includes YOU.

I have personally authored over 5,000 of its pages in the past 4 years, but I can't do it all all. I am doing no more than trying to make hidden and suppressed information available to a wider audience in encyclopedic and semantic format, nothing more. I do it purely as a therapy for the cognitive dissonance generated by 70 years of living under an increasingly absurd, deeply Machiavellian and Orwellian system. I pay for it out of my own meagre resources and I resent being tarred as a possible spook by simpletons - if only because it makes it that much more difficult to attract good authors/editors.

No pages have been "deliberately 'disappeared'" as you put it. They simply haven't been created - YET.

And not, unlike ANY other wiki site I know of, Wikispooks publishes weekly backups of the entire site and makes 3 generations of them available for public download so you can publish your own branch/version of it if you feel up to the considerable work involved.

Rhisiart Gwilym said...

Yes, historic speech, marking a major change in world politics. Three points:

1) VVP seems to suggest that the official cospithirry about 9/11 is correct, rather than the false-flag explanation that is now pretty well established beyond reasonable doubt to a good level of scientific evidence, by the dedicated work of the principled volunteer investigators. I take it he must know, as so many of the powerful around the world now seem to accept, that it really was an inside job. So - slightly equivocal language there, in his one mention of that matter.

2) The Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt appears to have been chosen by Egyptians in a genuine democratic election, however much one might regret their preference. The subsequent military coup was surely not democratic. Does VVP really commend that sequence as a wise, fortunate piece of practical politics?

3) I've seen suggestions that VVP is essentially a rather conservative politician. Fair enough; that's acceptable. More worrying, though, is the apparent absence in the speech text itself, and in the Q&A session afterwards (which is also available with English voice-over now on YT) of any mention of the global geophysical/ecological crises; those all-encompasing crises of which the stalwart group of really deep clearseers speak constantly; the Greer, Orlov, Heinberg, et al deep penetrators. Since it's becoming unmistakable that these emergencies, which I usually tag as the SGCs, the Synergising Global Crises - climate shift, the Sixth Extinction, human population overshoot, and so on - are going to overwhelm all other geopolitical considerations, it's to be hoped that VVP already has some inkling of them, and will be up to speed on their implications as soon as possible.

But all that said, this is indeed an epochal speech. A marker of the end of the US's brief period as the one big, unchallenged bully on the block; and a signal that - yes indeed, just as many have been suggesting - it's getting unmistakable that the US's practical power to bully and dictate is now falling apart. High time too.

postpeakmedicine said...

A very interesting speech. It got zero airtime here in Canada. I searched the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) website, which is the main Canadian news outlet, and it does not appear to have been reported here at all.

Energy Flow said...

THE CRINMINAL AND AWFUL BATISTA REGIME WAS SENT OUT IN 1959 BY GREAT REVOLUTIONARIES, AND THE NASTY CRIMINAL MIAMI CUBANS ATTACK CUBA. CUBA IS A GREAT PEACEFUL NATION THE USA SHOULD RECOGNIZE AND ACCEPT.

jwl said...

Excellent.

Rhisiart Gwilym said...

Dmitry, what's that sexist tosh 'Boycott American Women' doing on a website like this. Really insulting to all women everywhere. Moronic daydreams of arrested-development fourteen-year-old boys in men's bodies. Sure, lots of us think like that secretly, no matter how well-intentioned we may be. But we don't cry it up as the right way to be.

And what has it to do with VVP's crucial speech?

Syd Walker said...

@Sabretache

I'm glad you saw the negative comment about Wikispooks posted above - and even more pleased that you replied to it.

I find Wikispooks a very useful resource. Thank you for producing it.

Sabretache said...

Further to my Wikispooks-related diatribe above, for which I apologize if it appears OTT to some, I'd like to suggest that there is an aspect of Putin that no one seems comfortable exploring but which has potentially momentous implications, viz: His long-standing relationship with Chabad Lubavitch and its current most senior member the Russian Chief Rabbi, Berel Lazar.

I further suggest that the world Jewish Orthodox hierarchy, through its many powerful Russian adherents, also has a hitherto largely unexplored (....complex web of WWII taboos) influence on the Putin Kremlin apparatus.

Troy Sanchez said...

Good to see this-Australian media has also gone on the anti-Russia offensive. It is not worth our while to make Russia "the other side". Russia has enough problems within and does not need a fight like the one USA and Australia want to start. The USA et al need to learn that crapping in someone else's nest doesn't mean you have uncrapped in your own.

Sabretache said...

@ Syd Walker above.

Thanks Syd. Much appreciated

edomsthorn said...

I would like to reblog this to my web site in its entirety. May I?

rapier said...

Russia can say the game has changed but saying it does not make it so. Until there is a genuine crisis, probably economic, in the close orbit of American power and its financial system,then nothing has changed.

Kristiina said...

Chillingly accurate. Equally chilling that even here in the neighbouring country (Finland) the mainstream media has not posted a translation of the speech. Obviously, it makes too much sense, so has to be suppressed. Plotting war and murder for fun and profit is so much more interesting than figuring out mutual agreements on how to deal with the challenges we are facing. Individually, as nations and as species, we are confronted with vast challenges right now. And the majority respond with whipping up delusions in giant scale. Truly a strange time. I don't think the old solutions are possible anymore. We're sailing on uncharted waters, and there's no map or lighthouses that can be trusted. We're on our own resources. A good place to be.

Mister Roboto said...

Frankly, I'm not sure how a comment about "boycott American women" got approved on a post about the leader of Russia ushering in a new era in his country's diplomacy. (And it really is about time a world power got in the face of the American Empire and said, "You ain't the boss of us!") But as long as we're going there, then I would offer, this well-written counterpoint that describes the Men's Rights Activist moral sewer that produces such a mindset.

jwl said...

Interesting other report on this here:
http://www.salon.com/2014/11/07/the_new_york_times_doesnt_want_you_to_understand_this_vladimir_putin_speech/

kaimiddleton said...

Dmitry: Any new thoughts on this now that a year has gone by?

Jeff Chiacchieri said...

From a historical perspective when an established leader speaks directly to the people over the heads of elite clans and political leaders. we the people will connect and not want to think its all part of the same plan we want changed (NWO). If he has actually decided to not go along with the globalists world government plan for real, the globalists would welcome world war, and if its a false flag it will serve the same purpose. The globalists care nothing about “the people” or the planned collateral damage ahead for world government. The issue of primary concern for the globalist plan to succeed now requires keeping the dominance of the energy sciences. And I am sure Putin understands this And “energy” to globalists is recognized as the key to all activity on earth needed to control all humans including natural science, natural energy and social science. And its important to understand economics is the study of the sources and control of social energy. And since economics is bookkeeping, mathematics is the primary energy science for the globalist plan. So the globalist's and their plan remains in control simply because the public is kept ignorant of the methodology of the bookkeeping. To a globalist science is nothing more than a means to an end. The means is knowledge. The end is control. The globalist plan has been a complete success to privately wage a quiet war against the American public with the objective of permanently shifting the natural and social energy (wealth) of the many into the hands of a few to be used for the globalist plan for world control for world slavery.

IMHO when implying all extensive objectives of social control incorporated in the world government plan, that by design, require the destruction of America,to conquer all “the people” of the world it becomes much easier to put together the "disjointed" dots! This is a world history and globalism roadmap to world government laying out the U.N.’s role in destroying America, and their stated global goals to “end poverty, climate change, and injustice.” globally which is anything but
that!
Part 1 http://docdro.id/kF7AqjO
Part 2 http://docdro.id/29U7vlt

Bevin Chu said...

Thank god there are at one or two "national leaders" who are not completely insane.
One being of course Vladimir Putin. The other being Xi Jinping.

Esmaiil Fotoohi said...

I was so impatiently waiting for this warning on the part of President Putin. The West is taking advantage of the oriental patience of Russia, just like a spoilt child taking advantage of his or her patient parents.

Keith Rodgers said...

For those not in the know...

I like many for over 5 decades have been constantly told (Propagandized) that the Russian's were coming. Where are they?

This would include but not limited to the billions of dollars soaked out of the American taxpayers to build the fortifications of the Military that were never needed.

As a side note: If you look at all the Countries bombed by the USA since the end of WWII you'd know Russia isn't the issue. As well as Crime in America, full prisons, sex, corporate America and that it is a joke that anyone would want to impose (Our Way Of Life) on anyone else in the world?