Saturday, August 30, 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

Clarksburg family rolls with times

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Fresh, fruity, summer and fall Delta pitstops

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1

Saving the Gakuen: A bit of history tucked away in Clarksburg

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Old, new collide in Freeport

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1

Vacaville honors top crossing guards

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
 
 
State lifts Solano moth quarantine

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Gallo subsidiary wins bid for Winterhawk Winery

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B10 | Gallery

Green Valley teachers get wet for a good cause

By Susan Winlow | From Page: B12

 
The Leaven helps reach at-risk kids

By Murray Bass | From Page: B12

No plea as suspect in Suisun slaying appears in court

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Weather for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B13

.

US / World

Man is guilty of murder after his dogs kill woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
California teacher reprimanded for sending tweets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

N. California officer accused of beating woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
California appeals teacher tenure ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Lawmakers pass first California groundwater rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
Lawmakers send gun restraining order bill to Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California marijuana grow stole reservation water

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

 
Feds critical of California twin tunnel project

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

California mentally ill inmates get special units

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
1K-pound alligator caught in Alabama sets record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Manatees may lose endangered species status

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Marathon bombing suspect: Delay trial until 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Border Patrol agent fires at armed militia member

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Westerners linked to extremist groups in Syria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Rescuers locate 20 of 24 trapped in Nicaragua mine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
At heart of Syria fears, extremists returning home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Experimental Ebola drug heals all monkeys in study

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
.

Opinion

Cheers, jeers for the week of Aug. 24-30, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Changing election dates: Dems seek more domination

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A11

Zombies are not for fun

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 3 Comments

 
.

Living

Today in History: Aug. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Our irresponsible sister is getting the house and mistreats Mom

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes: Aug. 30, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

Ex-Myanmar beauty queen accused of stealing crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Cee Lo Green enters no contest plea in drug case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Chris Brown due back in DC court for plea hearing

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Fire destroys house on late author Clancy’s estate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Chelsea Clinton quits as NBC News reporter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Daughter: Joan Rivers is in ‘serious condition

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Hip-hop moves as strong force for Michael Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
.

Sports

 
No. 11 Stanford set to open season vs. UC Davis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

After eventful offseason, Northwestern meets Cal Bears in opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended by NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JC women’s soccer: Solano kicks off season with 0-0 draw

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Raiders face decisions at QB heading into opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Prep volleyball: Vacaville Christian falls to D-I power Davis

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Palmer opens with a 63 to lead in Boston

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Pernice, Bryant share Champions Tour lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

I.K. Kim increases Portland Classic lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
A’s fall back in AL West, blanked by Angels

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Posey goes 5 for 5 in 6 innings, Giants rout Brewers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Errani’s ‘cottage cheese’ serve tops Venus at Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Tony Stewart back at the track, looking to heal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Jerry Lee Trammell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Florence Virginia Boes

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Darrell D. Stevens

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Lois C. Clark

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Hazel Gertrude Wamsley

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
.

Home Seller 08/30/14

Real estate transactions for Aug. 30, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2