Putin is a psychopath and, once upon a time, he was our psychopath.
Matt Taibbi, who is regularly painted as a Putin-apologist because he didn’t buy the Russiagate garbage, was in Russia as a young, gonzo reporter when Putin’s rise began. Taibbi has written a great, depressing history of this time. It is paywalled, but anyone who is gagging on Western sanctimony and hypocrisy should read it. It begins,
The president of the Council of Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, made an extraordinary statement over the weekend. “Just days ago much of the world was focused on the unwanted prospect of regime change in Ukraine,” he tweeted. “Now the conversation has shifted to include the possibility of desired regime change in Russia.” Senior Brookings Institute fellow Benjamin Wittes was even more explicit:
For anyone expecting me to be outraged about this — I am, after all, almost daily denounced as a Putin-lover and apologist, so surely I must want the Great Leader to stay in power forever — I have to disappoint. If Vladimir Putin were captured tomorrow and fired into space, I wouldn’t bat an eye.
I would like to point out that we already tried regime change in Russia. I remember, because I was there. And, thanks to a lot of lurid history that’s being scrubbed now with furious intensity, it ended with Vladimir Putin in power. Not as an accident, or as the face of a populist revolt against Western influence — that came later — but precisely because we made a long series of intentional decisions to help put him there.
Read it all. And then scream.