Saturday, July 26, 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

 
Large party to honor entry into Army

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
 
Crashes snarl Friday traffic on Interstate 80

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
Abrams to speak at Democratic Club meet

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

 
Fairfield police log: July 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: July 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Share nature’s bounty with others

By Murray Bass | From Page: B10

 
Physical activity may diminish fatigue

By Scott Anderson | From Page: B10, 1 Comment

Weather for Saturday, July 26, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B11

 
.

US / World

Police still investigating after burglar killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 5 Comments

 
What happened? The day Flight 17 was downed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US: Russia is firing across border into Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Large Sandy-struck family splits $20M lottery win

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

California county sues over subdivision slide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
BART station reopens after reported bomb threat

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Wildfire forces evacuation of rural NorCal homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ex-Bell councilwoman gets 2 years for corruption

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Database details California school employee pay

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
California state senator facing additional charge

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

Designer: Bay Bridge bolts don’t need replacing

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

 
Pelvis pix victims must feel trauma to share $190M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Sheriff: 300 homes burned in Washington wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Taiwan plane survivor crawls out, phones dad

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Teams converge on remote site to probe plane crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Former CIA officials can’t see ‘torture’ report

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Same-sex marriage ban struck down for Miami area

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Migrants: Obama urges Latin leaders, GOP to help

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

Ebola outbreak spreads to 4th West African country

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Gaza sides agree to lull but truce efforts stall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

.

Opinion

Top 3 ways to impress an employer

By Deon Price | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons: July 26, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Immersion kindergarten class in jeopardy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

Cheers, jeers for the week of July 20-26, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History for July 26, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes for July 26, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
I’m not attracted to my husband since he’s gained weight

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

.

Entertainment

Sam Raimi announces planned ‘The Last of Us’ film

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Nolan, McConaughey surprise with ‘Interstellar’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Comic-Con gets first look at ‘Mockingjay’ trailer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Bazinga! ‘Big Bang Theory’ writers hit Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Scientists make love, war weapons in ‘Manhattan’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Forces strong during NHRA qualifying at Sonoma Raceway

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Fairfield Expos bats come alive in 13-2 win

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1

Raiders brimming with optimism at start of camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
49ers ready to fill big void for injured Bowman

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Puig, Dodgers go triple-crazy, beat Giants 8-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Horsey in halfway lead at Russian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

7-shot lead for Langer at Senior British Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Furyk, Petrovic, share Canadian Open lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

US rebounds to win twice in International Crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hammel 0-3 for A’s after 4-1 loss to Rangers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment | Gallery

With Nibali in command, Tour is about 2nd place

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
FIFA rejects calls to strip Russia of World Cup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Marshawn Lynch missing as Seahawks camp begins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Dallas Cowboys LB McClain convicted in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Saturday, July 26, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

NASCAR drivers want changes on the schedule

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

Orders for US durable goods up 0.7 percent in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Russian execs fear lasting damage from plane crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Global tensions don’t dent enthusiasm for stocks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Feds probe Dodge Charger alternator complaints

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Towering worry: Small holes cause big jitters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
McNuggets pulled from sale in HK after meat scare

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

US to evaluate Impala air bag performance

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Family feud sparks revolt at grocery store chain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Fast food workers prepare to escalate wage demands

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Obituaries

Pamela Dixon

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Mary Bell Scrivner Sanders

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Arturo Montenegro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Mary Spingola Stagnaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
.

Home Seller 07/26/14

Real estate transactions for July 26, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: HSR2

Citation Northern offers new Madison Lane homes

By Barry Eberling | From Page: HSR2

Average US 30-year mortgage rate at 4.13 percent

By The Associated Press | From Page: HSR2