Monday, November 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Is Putin truly the villain?

By
From page A11 | March 21, 2014 |

“The defiant Parliament of Crimea set out on a perilous confrontation course with Kiev on Friday by adopting a constitution that in effect declares the restive Black Sea peninsula independent from Ukraine.” Thus reported Los Angeles Times journalist Mary Mycio, in her May 21, 1994, article.

The crisis in Crimea and Ukraine is not new, but longstanding and complex.

Our Washington politicians seem determined to pick sides in every conflict around the globe, Libya, Egypt, Syria and now Ukraine. Perhaps they have watched too many old Westerns where good guys are – good; and the bad guys wear black.

In the real world of geo-politics, there are no men in white hats, but only those wearing various shades of grey. Is the provisional Ukrainian government the good guys, even though it includes leaders of Svoboda, Right Sector and other neo-Nazi parties? Is Russian President Vladimir Putin truly the man in black?

Whenever Russia acts in a way our Washington politicians do not like, they shout from the rooftops, “Putin is trying to restore the Soviet Union.” After all, there is no blacker hat than the Soviet dictators of the past.

The Soviet Union was rabidly atheist and anti-Christian. I know this first-hand, because I smuggled thousands of Bibles to Christians in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Republics before the Iron Curtain fell. Twice all churches in the Soviet Union were closed, under Joseph Stalin and Nikita Khrushchev, and priests and ministers were killed or imprisoned. Millions of Christians were sent to the gulags or murdered during the 70 years of Soviet dictatorship.

When I first visited Moscow in 1985, a city of 10 million people, the communist authorities only allowed 42 Christian congregations to officially operate in Moscow; and only one Jewish synagogue was allowed to officially function.

Today, the Christian church in Russia has undergone a tremendous revival and rebirth. More than 300 congregations now function in Moscow, and there are plans to build many more. Tens of thousands of churches have been built or restored in Russia since the fall of communism. Three out of four Russians currently profess faith in Jesus Christ.

Vladimir Putin is not anti-Christian, an atheist or a communist. He was baptized as an infant, frequently attends church services, including at the newly built Sochi cathedral just before the Olympics, and is pushing for the Christian Church to have increasing involvement and influence in Russian government and culture, particularly in the area of education.

These things do not make Putin a good guy. It does however, illustrate that he has a very different agenda than the communist dictators of the past.

Putin is a Russian nationalist. He is not trying to revive communism or to rebuild the Soviet Union. His stated goal is to restore Russia’s power and security. Putin’s goals and actions may not be compatible with Ukrainian, European Union or U.S. interests, but that does not necessarily make him a movie villain, either.

Russia is not our enemy, and neither is Ukraine. Besides, we need Russia’s help to maintain sanctions and pressure on Iran and North Korea. They are the real black hats.

The Rev. Dan Molyneux is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Fairfield. Reach him at pastordanmolyneux@yahoo.com.

The Rev. Dan Molyneux

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 8 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • PornacMarch 21, 2014 - 6:15 am

    I guess the Vatican will be annexing parts of Italy soon.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • patrickMarch 21, 2014 - 3:21 pm

    Vatican is a tiny (the smallest in the world) country located entirely within the city of Rome, Italy. thy have no interest in increasing there territory.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterMarch 21, 2014 - 7:37 am

    Thank you, Pastor Dan, for giving some context to recent events. Perhaps if our "leaders" cared more about OUR country than pleasing international bankers and the military-industrial complex, we might be made to appear wearing "black hats" by the world corporate media and intelligentsia. You know the pre-flight instructions to the passengers on a plane? The attendants advise that when the oxygen masks fall that you need to put yours on first so that you can then help others. Our country needs to right itself first before we even think about helping others around the world... and I'm not just talking about money... our morals, ethics and treatment of one-another needs fixed first.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • UnabashedProgressiveMarch 21, 2014 - 7:52 am

    I'm curious; what is meant by "the intelligentsia?"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • UnabashedProgressiveMarch 21, 2014 - 7:49 am

    Moreover, the United States' global swagger is based, in part, on spreading the gospel of democratic self-determination---something the citizens of Crimea did at the voting booth. Now, because of new Cold-War-style fears, that particular characteristic of free peoples does not apply to the ethnic Russians and Rus speakers in Ukraine who wish to ally themselves with their historical brethren. What is happening in Crimea is not an example of potential appeasement; it is, essentially, a population saying, "We'd rather live next door with our cousins."

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • patrickMarch 21, 2014 - 3:34 pm

    Crimea voted in1990 to join Ukraine. now they voted to join Russia. what would you do if you had 30,000 Russian troops watching your vote? the leader of north Korea received 100% of the vote. now that is an extremely popular man.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensMarch 21, 2014 - 11:24 am

    Obama is a horribly weak hated leader serving yet to be identified masters. By contrast, Putin is a strong wildly popular Russian nationalist who seems to have annexed what has always been Russia's----Crimea and the shipyards at Svestapol! Where do think Russian Navy ships are built at? Duh! Along comes ignorant Obama who just lost the war on terror and now by diplomatic failure wants to resserrect the cold war that we already won and paid for! Keep Putin and get rid of the traitor Obama! How may we help to that noble end?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • RickSteeleMarch 27, 2014 - 7:11 pm

    Well, at least we know who Ge

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Cadets raise cash to help wounded Air Force veteran

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Solano cities gather for Thanksgiving meal

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

Holiday boutiques in full swing

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Food Addicts group sets Thanksgiving Day meet

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Local government board schedules meeting

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Turkey Trot returns Thanksgiving Day

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
Holiday tree-lighting events begin

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
.

US / World

3 months after Napa quake, recovery rolling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US looking past Ebola to prepare for next outbreak

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

Anxieties mount as Ferguson waits on grand jury

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Thief suspect falls through ceiling, leaves phone

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

1 killed, dozens injured in California bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

 
San Jose police arrest man after airport chase

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Surfer missing off beach south of San Francisco

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Crew blasts off for International Space Station

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

US tells Iran to consider nuclear talks extension

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Damage worse than thought in Japanese earthquake

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Joey Chestnut devours turkey to win eating contest

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Strong quake in west China kills 5; 54 hurt

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Boy with fake gun dies after shot by Ohio officer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

 
Israeli Cabinet moves to define Israel as Jewish

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Former DC Mayor Marion Barry dies at 78

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Islamic State group recruits, exploits children

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Giffords rides in Tucson cycling event

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Suicide bomber kills at least 45 Afghans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Some 30 horses die in stable fire outside Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Health care M&A leads global deal surge

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

.

Living

Community Calendar: Nov. 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Nov. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Horoscopes: Nov. 25, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

My sister-in-law expects me to pay her for damages, but she won’t pay me

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

 
Horoscopes: Nov. 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

.

Entertainment

List of winners of the American Music Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
1D, Katy Perry win big at American Music Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

‘Mockingjay, Part 1′ opens with $123 million

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

TVGrid Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
.

Sports

 
Speights scores 28 as Warriors hold off Thunder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Hyde scores go-ahead TD, lifts 49ers past Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Federer leads Swiss past France for Davis Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Hamilton answers Rosberg in style to clinch title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Revs win 2-1 at Red Bulls in East final 1st leg

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sarvas puts Galaxy past Seattle 1-0 in West opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
First lady attends Princeton women’s hoops game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Stacy Lewis sweeps 3 biggest LPGA awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
UCLA honors Robinson, retires No. 42 for all teams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Katy Perry to perform at Super Bowl halftime show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NFL roundup: Seahawks roll past Cardinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Athletics acquire 1B Ike Davis from Pirates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Leslie “Esi” Gros

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Jack I. Johnson

By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

Dorothy Pouge Arnold

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Arthur Irving Weiner

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

.

Comics

Blondie Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword Nov 25

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baldo Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
For Better or Worse Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C. Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Dilbert Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Bridge Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Crossword Nov 24

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7