Forget 'Evil' Putin - We
Are The Bloodthirsty Warmongers
By Peter Hitchens
December 23, 2014 "ICH"
Mail" - This
is a time of year for memories, and the ones
that keep bothering me are from my
childhood, which seemed at the time to be
wholly happy and untroubled.
Yet all the adults in my life
still dwelt in the shadow of recent war.
This was not the glamorous, exciting side of
war, but the miserable, fearful and hungry
My mother, even in
middle-class suburban prosperity, couldn’t
throw away an eggshell without running her
finger round it to get out the last of the
white. No butcher dared twice to try to
cheat her on the weights.
Haunted all her life by
rationing, she would habitually break a
chocolate bar into its smallest pieces. She
had also been bombed from the air in
Liverpool, and had developed a fatalism to
cope with the nightly danger of being blown
to pieces, shocking to me then and since.
I am now beset by these
ingrained memories of shortage and danger
because I seem surrounded by people who
think that war might be fun. This seems to
happen when wartime generations are pushed
aside by their children, who need to learn
the truth all over again.
It seemed fairly clear to
me from her experiences that war had in fact
been a miserable affair of fear, hunger,
threadbare darned clothes, broken windows
and insolent officials. And that was a
victory, more or less, though my father (who
fought in it) was never sure of that.
Now I seem surrounded by
people who actively want a war with Russia,
a war we all might lose. They seem to
believe that we are living in a real life
Lord Of The Rings, in which Moscow is Mordor
and Vladimir Putin is Sauron. Some humorous
artists in Moscow, who have noticed this,
have actually tried to set up a giant Eye of
Sauron on a Moscow tower.
We think we are the
heroes, setting out with brave hearts to
confront the Dark Lord, and free the saintly
Ukrainians from his wicked grasp.
This is all the most utter
garbage. Since 1989, Moscow, the supposed
aggressor, has – without fighting or losing
a war – peacefully ceded control over
roughly 180 million people, and roughly
700,000 square miles of valuable territory.
The EU (and its military
wing, Nato) have in the same period gained
control over more than 120 million of those
people, and almost 400,000 of those square
Until a year ago, Ukraine
remained non-aligned between the two great
European powers. But the EU wanted its land,
its 48 million people (such a reservoir of
cheap labour!) its Black Sea coast, its coal
and its wheat.
So first, it spent £300
million (some of it yours) on anti-Russian
‘civil society’ groups in Ukraine.
Then EU and Nato
politicians broke all the rules of diplomacy
and descended on Kiev to take sides with
demonstrators who demanded that Ukraine
align itself with the EU.
Imagine how you’d feel if
Russian politicians had appeared in
Edinburgh in September urging the Scots to
vote for independence, or if Russian money
had been used to fund pro-independence
Then a violent crowd (20
police officers died at its hands, according
to the UN) drove the elected president from
office, in violation of the Ukrainian
During all this process,
Ukraine remained what it had been from the
start – horrendously corrupt and dominated
by shady oligarchs, pretty much like Russia.
If you didn’t want to take
sides in this mess, I wouldn’t at all blame
you. But most people seem to be doing so.
There seems to be a
genuine appetite for confrontation in
Washington, Brussels, London… and Saudi
There is a complacent joy
abroad about the collapse of the rouble,
brought about by the mysterious fall in the
world’s oil price.
It’s odd to gloat about
this strange development, which is also
destroying jobs and business in this
country. Why are the Gulf oil states not
acting – as they easily could and normally
would – to prop up the price of the product
that makes them rich?
I do not know, but there’s
no doubt that Mr Putin’s Russia has been a
major obstacle to the Gulf states’ desire to
destroy the Assad government in Syria, and
that the USA and Britain have (for reasons I
long to know) taken the Gulf’s side in this.
But do we have any idea
what we are doing? Ordinary Russians are
pretty stoical and have endured horrors
unimaginable to most of us, including a
currency collapse in 1998 that ruined
millions. But until this week they had some
If anyone really is trying
to punish the Russian people for being
patriotic, by debauching the rouble, I
cannot imagine anything more irresponsible.
It was the destruction of the German mark in
1922, and the wipeout of the middle class
that resulted, which led directly to Hitler.
people nowadays like to compare Mr Putin
with Hitler. I warn them and you that, if we
succeed in overthrowing Mr Putin by
unleashing hyper-inflation in Russia, we may
find out what a Russian Hitler is really
like. And that a war in Europe is anything
So, as it’s almost
Christmas, let us sing with some attention
that bleakest and yet loveliest of carols,
It Came Upon The Midnight Clear, stressing
the lines that run ‘Man at war with man
hears not the love song which they bring.
Oh, hush the noise, ye men of strife, and
hear the angels sing’.
Or gloat at your peril
over the scenes of panic in Moscow.