This is a clue to Putin’s game rather than his mind or his way of thinking.
When there is no religion, a country and it’s people have nothing else to turn to other than rabid nationalism. That was Hitler’s first mistake. No matter how hard he tried to address it later. It was a turn he couldn’t renegotiate.
Henry VIII, curbed this type of passion or nationalistic fervor by coming up with a state religion guided by laws. Somehow he manage to micro manage every organ of the society by the rule of law – based on freedom, identity and the will of the people rather than his own will as a King. Herod the Great did the same. And now, Mr. Putin.
Henry and Herod were masters of mass publicity, alliance and diplomacy. Mr. Putin is aloof. Capable, yes, but not quite there yet. Like Henry and Herod, Mr. Putin is a builder, a skillful administrator, a defender of territory but not an imperialist.
Moves in the past two weeks have shown that Mr. Putin is after all not a colonizer. An expansionist of a type, maybe. But not the way we have been reported to.
Dig a little here and there and you’ll see that Mr. Putin is well rooted in admin. history and Byzantium techniques. What he has done so far is not too different from James Madison’s 1810 West Florida annexation…with one key exemption – the Presidential claim that West Florida was part of the Louisiana purchase.
We can’t even mention past events in Grenada or Panama because Mr. Putin isn’t even saying, after all the land – Crimea and Ukraine was once part of Russia. So far, he’s left that quipping to others.
Now, could it be because applying (rather than administering) Byzantium tactics allows him to keep towing the line between sovereignty and alliance through indifference means.
One hand, Russians have to be protected and who best do it – people kitted out in winter smocks with no insignia. Legally, you cannot call them soldiers of a type or a kind. You cannot even call them militias because they did not come out shooting, fighting and setting up like Russian volunteers in the battle of Kosare, or any of the former Yugoslav wars.
On the other, you can’t attack him or them because his true soldiers are still massing up for exercise inside Russia, within and around Russian territory of Kaliningrad, and just beyond the Ukrainian border. Like a true Byzantium geek, Mr. Putin will harness the will of the people as the law – while subjecting his own individuality and his own interest to the common goal of all.
In Byzantium, this is ruling as an administrator. Let the professionals manage. Pussy riot and civil disobedience inside a Church comes to mind. They fell foul of the ecclesiastical order and the Church quickly took care of them. Challenging the order of authority is a different thing in Russia and as we have seen, and still seeing, no Russian is willing to send the other to the gaol unless collective.
Two leaders in history – Herod the Great started it. He used it so well he survived to flourish along side Roman rule. Henry VIII used it effectively to build England and it’s navy under the name of reformation. …being cut off from mostly Catholic continental Europe of his time led him to device another way or reaching around the Europe of his time.
Forget about what you might have heard about these two guys in the history class, they are great if not the greatest of nation builders in the history. And did they not build for eternity?
Mr. Putin, doing the same thing now is just being true to the unorthodox root of his people. Whoever comes after him will not be as disciplined and as restrictive.
Imagine if this is all about wine supply and imperialism, rather than Russian security, countries like Moldova and Euro member countries like Bulgaria and Romania would have been gone by now.