Countering Putin
Russia Needs to Learn the Value of Human Life

The MH17 tragedy is the latest sign among many that the Putin regime views individual human lives as expendable. It is up to the West to make clear to Russia that such actions will exclude it from the civilized world.

Published on: July 25, 2014
David Satter is a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute, an associate of the Henry Jackson Society in London, and an advisor to Radio Liberty. He is the first American journalist to be expelled from Russia since the Cold War.
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  • ShadrachSmith

    Russia Needs to Learn the Value of Human Life

    I say the same thing about Islam.

    • Bruce

      I was going to post something similar until seeing yours. There is much disregard for human life in the world. This author acts shocked that people are finally figuring this out about Putin. That’s about as shocking as the fact that Yasser Arafat had a disregard for human life. Some things are just givens.

  • Dan Greene

    The US unleashed a war in Iraq that has killed hundreds of thousands of people to this point. It has also worked to foment a civil war in Syria–not to build democracy but only to eliminate an ally of Iran. Some estimates assert up of two hundred thousand killed in this conflict.

    We have wiped out entire cities with incendiary and atomic bombing campaigns. But somehow, we are in the position to lecture the world on the value of life.

    Amazing how many repellent hypocrites there are writing for The American Interest.

    • LocalHero

      My view as well. Well put.

  • Duperray

    US has no right to claim this, because they continuously trigger wars in the world for decades. The world wa sbetter when US was isolationist. Can someone name one single war US triggered which ended up into a more stable local situation?
    Of course some other countries for 35 years after 1945 also triggered wars, but for past 34 years only US continues.
    They arrogance prevents them even to realize that all these wars backfired: About international policies, they are as naïve as a new born baby.
    Look a minute to present Ukraine crisis; Which are so far, the “benefits” for US?
    1- Blach Sea will not becaome a NOTO sea,
    2- After 23 years of no cooperation with China, Russia – trying to enter in the West sphere – understood that US never had any intent to cooperate with; Thence, Russia switched its foreign policy targets and developed an impressive string of major successes: Gas & Siberia resources deal with China (a new major gas formidable competitor in China seas), BRICS central development bank (out of US control), Central Asia cooperation sphere to soon mirror EU size but out of US control,
    3- South America joined China-Russia massive influence growth, massive BRICS nuclear energy development while US EPA scaremongers do whatever illegally possible to oust this resource…..

    UK is far more human, and despite I am not british, I admire them. They triggered one – Falklands – and won it.

    There is only one war US consistently win, hypocrisis and disinformation.
    Why? Because leftists everywhere in the world are liars, wanting to take all wealth and dooming rest of people to only work, pay and shut up. Dems are rich blind, dumb leftists

  • BobSykes

    Repellent hypocrites and liars.

    There is no shoot down without the coup that was engineered by the US/EU. Obama, Merkel, Cameron, Hollande, Van Rompuy, Barroso and Rasmussen are even more responsible for the shoot down than Putin.

    Satter suffers from the mass hysteria and psychosis that has seized the American and European Ruling Classes. Their foreign policy is unintelligible in rational terms. Everywhere they go they generate chaos, violence, terror, economic collapse and then they walk away leaving the natives in misery: Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq (twice), Afghanistan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria and now Ukraine.

    And then the American drone killings. An official but secret government department nominates people for murder. There is no due process, no independent investigation of charges, no possible defense. A true Star Chamber. The list of nominees goes to Obama and he chooses. Then the CIA/DOD using a Hellfire missile to kill the victim and in the process kills dozens of innocent bystanders. Hilter’s horrors are unique in the degree of their extreme violence, but Obama and he share the same bureaucratic, well-thought out, machine-like approach to killing.

    Obama claims the right to kill American citizens on his say so without trial and has done so. Please explain how Obama is not a murderer, a literal serial killer. And he has the enthusiastic support of nearly all members of Congress. There may be dissenters, but apparently they fear for their very lives and the lives of their families if they speak.

    There are monsters in the world. Obama and Satter and the other writers commenting for Meade on the Ukraine are some of them.

    • NoBigGovDuh

      Who supplied the missile and who pulled the trigger. It was not on purpose but giving half a weapon system to quickly trained rebels was a recipe for a disaster.

      • paulsailor64

        not to support Putin but the Ukrainians use the same system. I expect we will find that the rebels looted it from a Ukrainian base they overran.

      • LocalHero

        It was shot down by a Ukrainian jet, not a Russian missile system.

    • nebanesc

      Point is, to take as much as you can, to avoide casualty’s. Anyway if it happen than yuo must take responsibility for casualty’s. This is the difference between civilized & uncivilized people.

      This is the difference between America policy & Russia policy, Israel policy & Hamas policy

      • The US doesn’t always take responsibility for atrocities it commits

        • Andrey


  • John Tyler

    “…..Russia Needs to Learn the Value of Human Life…..”

    No they do not.
    For 1000 years Russia has existed to support their ruling elites and the average Ivan and Ivana have been the used to support that effort; they are expendable mules.
    Even their “revolution” of 1917 served to install leadership more repressive and far, far more bloodthirsty than any of the Czars.
    And Russia still exists and today exerts more influence in world events than any time in the last 25 years ( as a result of the criminally negligent energy policies of Europe and the USA.) .
    The Russian economy needs ONLY to provide for the ruling elites; just as it has done for 1000 years. That’s it. The well being of the people is irrelevant. The Russian elites value only their own lives, and history has proven this strategy works jjust fine 99.9% of the time.

    As an aside , Castro and Kim Jong have observed the Russian model, and have employed it very successfully in their own prison nations; to their own selfish benefit.

    • EllenO

      A sensible and incisive response to a naive and fatuous article.

  • NoBigGovDuh

    The US doesn’t value the lives of most of it’s own population. Only the lives of the privileged are valued.

  • Corlyss

    Boy! The penchant here at VM for risible pompous-a*s*sedness seems to know no moderating bounds.

  • TRE

    Barack Hussein Obama licks Putin’s boots. With such a weak American president, there’s no way to counter-balance Putin’s displays of power (and possibly mass murder).

    Additionally, overburdened by the economic and influence draining impacts of socialism and energy dependence on Russia, the European Union may not have enough “say” to pressure Putin back into civilized leadership.

    If America had a strong president, we would have already restored the USA as the energy resource for the world and the EU would have their power back… and with other restorative actions, the USA could also return to the world stage as true champions for freedom and natural human rights for all.

  • paulsailor64

    It is equally plausible that the missile launcher was originally Ukrainian and was looted from a base overrun by the rebels.

  • You have never had Russian history. Why would they start now?

  • Nuno Vinha

    i understand that you are a conservative rigth-wing magazine, ok, no problem, it’s a free country, but you let this kind of vomit to be publish just because it´s anti-putin? dont you feel a bit ashamed that publishing this kind of half-baked rhetoric you have justified all the 9/11 theories, really, don’t you see the slippery slope? are you mad, or plain dumb…

    • Andrey


  • Andrey

  • Andrey

    Please tell me one good reason for that Putin would be advantageous to have shoot down civilian aircraft. If the U.S. imposes sanctions to hurt the Russian economy in opportunities to business relations with the Western world, these restrictions really must have negative consequences. Is Russia would be doing itself harm herself? Where is the logic?

  • Who says there’s such a thing as a ‘civilised world’ in the first place? And what is the criteria to be in it, may I ask?

    • Andrey

      From the American point of view the civilized world is the U.S. citizenship or politician allied with NATO countries 🙂

      • Yes, even if you’re a dictator

        • Andrey

          If Putin subject to the sovereignty of Russia under the American democracy (read American imperialism), it would be the best guy in the world. 🙂

          And since this is not the case, the Americans hands of its satellites (Ukrainians) will shoot down civilian aircraft and blame Putin!

    • Andrey

      Rest assured, if you support the political decisions in Washington that you are in the civilized world 🙂

    • nebanesc

      This is same old communist story about multiculturalism, ethical relativism…. bla, bla.

      • Andrey

        Rubbish is never eternal.

  • Andrey

    The expert found on fragments of the Boeing 777 fuselage the holes from heavy machine gun (aircraft cannon).

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