Oliver Stone, Putin aficionado

Oliver Stone, Fidel Castro

Oliver Stone, as we’ve observed, has long been an outspoken fan of Fidel Castro. But it turns out that he’s a broad-minded kind of guy. He doesn’t just love far-left tyrants.

Last September, during a visit to Moscow, where he was making a documentary about Edward Snowden, he gave an interview to a Russian government newspaper, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, in which he declared that Vladimir Putin – who is generally counted as a bully of the right, not the left – also enjoys his esteem.

The editors of Rossiyskaya Gazeta made no effort to conceal their delight at Stone’s praise for their überboss – and at Stone’s virulent comments on America. Calling the interview “extraordinary,” they announced that they “agree wholeheartedly with most of what he says.”

Oliver Stone

Certainly, Stone didn’t breathe a single word that a Putin puppet might want to protest. The U.S., he charged, “is on…the path of war and aggression….world domination is the goal.” He faulted the Western powers for not shuttering NATO after the Cold War: “It was a defensive alliance to protect Western Europe; it has since become an offensive alliance.” He called NATO’s admission of 13 former Soviet states “a nightmare” for Russia, and supported what he described as Putin’s protection of his country’s “core geopolitical interests.”

In Stone’s view, America is brutally aggressive and warlike; Russia isn’t. While the U.S. “is invasive and pushing constantly the limits of patience of Russia,” the notion of Putin’s Russia as aggressive is a media lie. Americans are naive: we “never experienced war….And as a result we don’t respect war and what it means. We go and bring harm to others….We will not understand war until it happens to us….history’s karma will come around and punish the American people.” By contrast, “Russians have such a terrible experience” of war and thus respect it. After all, the Soviets “saved the world from Hitler” – a favor for which Americans have always been insufficiently grateful. (“American bankers and the rich,” he griped, “have always hated Russia, hated communism.”)

Vladimir Putin

Stone lauded Putin for having introduced a “new authoritarianism” that “gave Russians [a] sense of certainty, consistency and pride back.” He said: “I certainly admire Putin as a strong man.” Asked about another strongman, Joseph Stalin, Stone offered the observation that Uncle Joe had “a fantastic and grand personality.”

Otherwise he said nothing, either positive or negative, about the murderer of fifty million people.

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