Before this evenings article, we have to turn to the essential parts of Ezekiel 38-39
The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of[a] Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him 3 and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of[b] Meshek and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 5 Persia, Cush[c] and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6 also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.
7 “‘Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. 8 After many daysyou will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. 9 You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.
17 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: You are the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel. At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. 18 This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord. 19 In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. 21 I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. 23 And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am theLord.’
39 “Son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of[a] Meshek and Tubal. 2 I will turn you around and drag you along. I will bring you from the far north and send you against the mountains of Israel. 3 Then I will strike your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand. 4 On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals. 5 You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord. 6 I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coastlands, and they will know that I am the Lord.
The reasons to identify the land of Magog as Russia are too numerous to quote here, but key points involve the fact that we know the descendants of Noah (as mentioned above, in the manes given in the first verses of Ezekiel 38) settled in modern day Russia. We also know that from Jerusalem, the "far north" gives a direct line to Russia.
Is Gog the current leader of Russia?
Today, you don't really need an eloquent scholarly or journalistic disquisition to understand what is happening in Putin's Russia. Just look at the facts. There are so many of them, and they come so fast and furious as to make your head spin. It's actually getting pretty easy to argue that, on many fronts at least, Russian dictatorship is worse now than it was in Soviet times. Then, as now, what the Kremlin is doing to its own people is even worse that what it is doing to those outside Russia.
Russia is again ruled by an arbitrary, insular, murderous, yet often almost comical dictator for life, just like Leonid Brezhnev and his ilk. Except that at no point during the Soviet dictatorship did a proud KGB spy like Vladimir Putin ever get handed so much power for so long. Even in Soviet times, it was understood how dangerous that would be.
The evidence shows that Russia's last parliamentary election was rigged shamelessly, just as in Soviet times. But that doesn't mean that a free election would result in positive change for Russia. Had the election not been rigged, the evidence shows that the Communist Party would have won a landslide victory and now hold Russia's purse strings. So now, we can no longer believe that Russian people are as much victims of their government as we are. Now, we must confront the reality that they are collaborators.
What's more, the Kremlin is aggressively and with impunity purging from parliament any member who shows even the slightest reluctance to rubber-stamp its initiatives. One member, after being ousted from his party for criticizing the Kremlin, was recently accused of treason and threatened with arrest just for visiting the United States. And local politicians like governors and mayors are coming in for the same treatment. The most outspoken governor just had his offices raided by masked goons in clear signal that he must not challenge Putin.
Russia is shamelessly conducting a show trial of Sergei Magnitsky that is in no way different from the kind they carried out in Soviet times, except that not even the USSR was bold enough to use a corpse for a defendant, as it is now doing in Magnitsky's case.
Russia is reviving the obscene Soviet system known as the "propiska," which prohibits a Russian from moving from one city to another without the Kremlin's permission and allows Russian police to stop any person at any time and demand his papers, arresting him if he lacks proper documentation. Except that now, again, the evidence shows that the people of Russia support this move.
Russia is conducting "meticulously staged" public demonstrations of support for the regime, in which those who appear to demonstrate have been paid a hefty salary by the Kremlin to do so. That regime controls every single second of national broadcast television, from which the vast majority of Russians get most of their news, and it has no trouble selling these sham demonstrations as real to a nation of lemmings. Through TV, the Kremlin routinely lies to the Russian public, giving them an entirely different worldview from that of people who are actually informed.
Russia is aggressively reviving the Soviet system of "education," which is better known as indoctrination. This includes homogenized history texts for kids that are nothing more than propaganda. The country is increasingly divided between "net citizens" who have access to the internet and "TV citizens" who don't. The latter increasingly exist in a world of their own, just like Soviet citizens always did, cut off from real information from cradle to grave.
And the Kremlin is engaged in open warfare against its netizens. Russia is in the midst of a furious crackdown on the internet. It is authorizing the KGB toeavesdrop on Skype conversations without a warrant. It is banning websites outright, including even YouTube and social networking sites. Sometimes the results are hilarious, as when the Kremlin recently banned itself. But most of the time they are terrifying; netizens like the three artists from the Pussy Riot collective have ended up behind bars for extended periods.
An anecdote sums up the state of affairs in Putin's Russia tellingly.
Pavel Astakhov is the "Children's Ombudsman" under Putin, a fire-breathing nationalist who has led the charge to ban Americans from adopting Russian babies, branding us as a nation of bloodthirsty child-killers. The consequences for American families' hearts and pocketbooks are devastating. His vicious propaganda campaign cares little for facts: on Twitter, for example, he falsely accused the adoptive parents of Max Shatto of murdering their Russian child.
But tireless Russian bloggers recently outed Astakhov. He's spent considerable time living in the USA and once called it his "second motherland." When his wife needed to give birth, he fled Russia for the French Riviera, believing Russia unsafe for such purposes. But Russians, the majority of the country, who have no internet access, know nothing about this, since Russian TV did not report it. This left Astakhov so sure of his position that he wrote an open letter to a leading opposition radio station and actually taunted its operators.
He stated that he and Putin had "discussed everything about the blog posts and Twitter hubbub over my words, my life and my interests. And we had a good laugh."
Putin is now legally entitled to remain in the Kremlin until 2024, meaning he'll have held power for almost 25 years (including the four years during which his figurehead president Dmitri Medvedev pretended to rule and Putin's year as prime minister under Yeltsin). Brezhnev maintained his grip on power for only 18 years, a feeble effort compared to Putin. As such, Putin believes he can act with absolute impunity.
And who is to say he's wrong? Russia's weak opposition movement has disappeared completely in the face of determined pressure from Putin, and world leaders like Barack Obama remain disturbingly silent in the face of Putin's revanchism. Silent, that is, or worse.
The world just learned, for example, what Obama meant when he whispered to Medvedev about his ability to be more flexible with Putin after the election. He has just announced the unilateral withdrawal of a key element of the missile defense plan for Eastern Europe, giving Russia a concession without demanding anything in return.
A good neo-Soviet laugh, indeed.