The Ukraine War: A Clash Of Cultures



The Ukraine War: A Clash Of Cultures


by David Reavill


The War in Ukraine is so much more than we’re told. I saw that vividly as events unfolded over this past week. On Thursday, reports were that our chief enemy, Vladimir Putin, was to deliver a principal address to the nation. It was equivalent to the President’s annual State of the Union Address.

Many believe that Putin represents all that is evil in the world. We’re told so on nearly a daily basis. And that if I choose to watch his address, I would be placing my soul at risk. But I decided to take that risk. I wanted to see how this man, who was so clearly a threat to civilization, behaved. Would he scream and shout? Would there be riots and demonstrations just outside? Would the audience jeer as they, too, saw his pervasive evil?

So, with some trepidation, I tuned in to the recorded speech. It took only a minute to become accustomed to the translator, and then I was caught up in the seriousness of this historic moment.

It was not a stately setting. There was no Master of Ceremonies direct from the World Wrestling Federation, no moving spotlights,  just a simple podium on an unadorned stage. It was a humble venue for one of the world’s most powerful leaders.

He began, addressing his fellow citizens. And I was instantly caught by how incredibly familiar this address was. His themes were bare, just the kind of thing that we used to hear in this country half a century ago.

He spoke of the formidable might of the Russian Military, and I realized that this was just what Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy said in the middle of the cold War. It was their way of assuring the citizens that everything would be alright. Our country, the United States, could defend itself from the then-Soviet Union.

Still, it was sobering to realize that the competent Russian Military Putin was talking about was preparing to defend its country against us!

Back then, no political speech was complete without “God, Country, Motherhood, and Apple Pie.” It was the standard for every politician who hoped to be elected, as recognizable as the painting American Gothic. The President then broke into a series of themes that were as familiar as Apple Pie because they used to be standard fare for US Presidents. He extolled the Russian family and the next generation, today’s children. Putin put in a less-than-subtle dig at the country that would corrupt its children with social and sexual perversion. He announced that marriage was between a man and a woman in his county.

These were not the words of some raving maniac but the foundational values I was raised on. Just the kind of resuscitation that I repeatedly heard when I was younger. And the values I find so difficult to abandon despite the efforts of the power elites in this country to “reform” me.

Most of those values, of course, came from our nation’s Christian heritage. The basis of the family, raising children, and even civil rights all sprung from Christian doctrine and teaching. The Russian President pointed to the Russian Orthodox Church as the central element in the history and culture of their nation. And Putin was just as adamant in defending the Church.

Just to set the record straight, Putin was not advocating sexual repression. He stated that two consenting adults do their own private business. But he gave the most full-throated defense of traditional marriage we’ve heard. The speech placed him squarely in the political center of the United States 20 years ago.

So that’s Vladimir Putin today, the Monster of Moscow, sounding to my ear entirely reasonable. Perhaps somewhat dated by Woke American standards, but expressing the same themes I heard in this country growing up.

On the other side of this conflict is Ukraine and its President Volodymyr Zelensky. Zelensky was elected President on his very first political campaign. Before becoming a politician, he was an entertainer and TV personality.

In personal and image, the two leaders, Putin and Zelensky, could not be further apart. The former entertainer appears laid-back and super casual. Putin, a buttoned-down” professional, is by training a lawyer, generally seen in a suit and tie. Zelensky, on the other hand, is nearly always seen in his signature sweatshirt and cargo pants.

While the most risque photos of Putin show him with his shirt off during vacation, Zelensky goes far beyond that. In contrast, an entertainer, Zelensky, can be seen on several Internet videos in skin-tight leather with matching spike-high heels. He also had one particular skit, where he devised a most original way to play the piano.

Therein lies a cultural gulf between these two that is as wide as one can imagine. Putin defends the Russian Orthodox Church as a vital cog that holds their culture together. On the other hand, Zelensky has tried to close as many churches as possible, some because they were Russian, but mostly because they were Christian.

As Fox News Host Tucker Carlson put it: Zelensky’s secret police are searching monasteries throughout Ukraine and even convents. They arrested dozens of priests for no reason and violated the Ukrainian Constitution, which no longer has any meaning.”

Church raids and sanctions against senior clergy, it certainly doesn’t sound like Zelensky has heard of the American First Amendment and our concept of freedom of religion.

Speaking of the First Amendment to our Constitution also provides freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press, two more provisions that must have escaped President Zelensky. A couple of months after the War began, Zelensky started a blacklist. Labeling anyone who spoke out against him and his administration a “Russian Propagandist.”

Several Americans appeared on that list, including Senator Rand Paul and Congressperson Tulsi Gabbard for suggesting that we may be spending too much money on Ukraine, military analyst Edward Luttwak for recommending that the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions should be allowed free elections, and Professor John Mearsheimer for telling that NATO has been helping Ukraine since 2014, and thus abrogating the 2014 and 2015 Minsk Peace Agreements.

President Zelensky has a low tolerance for criticism and will use any means to quiet his critics. Only in office for less than four years, he has already outlawed 11 opposition political parties.

A former Television personality, he has little patience for dissenting voices in the media. He began his reign by shutting down five Russian Television Stations. And then combining all remaining Television Stations into one platform. He now controls all of the Television news and information presented to the Ukrainian people.

For the entirety of this conflict, we’ve been told that there is only one issue: Russia invaded Ukraine, and that’s that. There’s nothing more to this War.

Beware of the simple solution, analysis by slogan. As if the only issue here is: “Free Ukraine.” Simple, one-line slogans are never the answer, and they aren’t today. The War in Ukraine is a highly complicated conflict that goes back years.

We see the conflict of totally opposed cultures and militaries unfold before our eyes. On the one hand, the Military of Russia, at War, in part to defend its traditional faith-based culture and country. They hold the same position, expressed by President Putin, that’s not very different from what America once believed.

On the other hand is the new Progressive Culture of the West, led by America. A culture that glorifies chiefly power, wealth, and woke values.

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1 month ago

Ukraine is about so much more and the Government is not telling us everything because Ukraine is really about US Government corruption!

Peter B. Prange
Peter B. Prange
1 month ago

David, David! This is all heresy. No, not Putin. He is the one who is pointing out the heresy of those who would destroy a strong USA. The heresy that says a country does not need a strong traditional family of father, mother as the basic building block of the society; a society that substitutes sexual lust for genuine caring unselfish love, a society that no longer is just.

1 month ago

Putin certainly does NOT sound like a Communist!

John Vieira
John Vieira
1 month ago

Zelensky, first and foremost, IS a CIA ‘plant’….