(Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped) (by Garry Kasparov)
When the Soviet Union finally bit the dust, and the new Russia elected itself a vodka-swilling party animal (Boris Yeltsin) as President, who could have foreseen that a mere few years later, an obscure KGB Lieutenant, a colourless unknown, would assume power, and rise to the status of absolute dictator after the style of that chap Hitler?
Well this fellow, Garry Kasparov, did. He has suffered for it, certainly, but in the face of ignorance, cowardice and corruption, he is a valuable Cassandra to remind us what President Vladimir Putin is up to.
Kasparov, the world number one chess player for 20 years, lives in New York (where hopefully he has a lot of light on him, reducing his chances of bumping into a poisoned umbrella, sipping tea laced with polonium or finding himself locked in a suitcase). It would be safe to say he votes Republican (he’s an unreconstructed Reagan fan) yet he excoriates democratically (Bush and Obama both get short shrift).
The book is a polemic, essentially, but so debased is the West’s understanding of the new strategic paradigm, a necessary one.
Kasparov writes with the precision, clarity and conviction of someone who knows his mind and his quarry. Some quotes suffice to see the sense on show here:
“In 1987, Gorbachev said he wanted to build …”socialism with a human face”, to which I responded that Frankenstein’s monster also had a human face. Communism goes against human nature and can only be sustained by totalitarian repression.”
Russia’s “pseudo-democracy…includes elections with predetermined outcomes and every television channel with a slightly different position on how very well Putin is handling everything.”
“…whether they admit to it or not, half of the nations in the Middle East have rejected a push for nuclear weapons to match Israel’s because of America’s long shadow. It is difficult to see that restraint lasting very long if President Obama continues to meet Russian military aggression with weak sanctions, worthless negotiations, and expressions of deep concern.”
“On Iran, on Syria, and then again in Ukraine, Obama outsourced his foreign policy to Putin and, by so doing, he crippled the power of the office he holds in ways that will outlast his White House tenure for years.”
“War comes from weakness, not strength.”