Russian smart bombs, wayward Russian cruise missiles, and ultimately Russian troops aren’t the only things sweeping the Middle East. As reported by Ivan Plis of the Daily Caller news portal on Oct. 12, 2015, the folk hero image of Russian President Vladimir Putin may be old hat back in Mother Russia, but the cult of Vladimir is sweeping across the Middle East faster than the invading Mohammedan armies of old.
In what some have likened to a Shi’a scimitar arching from Mt. Kuh-e Taftan in southeastern Iran, across the width and breadth of Iraq, to the western Syrian port city of Tartus on the Mediterranean coast, Putin-mania is all the rage in the Middle East. As reported, photos of Syrian billboards have been making the rounds on Twitter depicting the Russian leader standing shoulder to shoulder with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. As caption reads, “Men who do not kneel to anyone but God.”
But highway billboards and Twitter aren’t the only place Putin’s face is plastered. A popular video entitled “Iraqi Thacah 2015” has various still images of Putin set to the tune of a patriotic Iraqi song. But still photos juxtaposed to popular ditties isn’t where Putin-mania ends. The Lebanese news website Tayyar.com recently resurrected a video clip of a 2002 Russian pop hit entitled “A Man Like Putin” complete with Arabic subtitles.
Little heed was apparently paid to traditional Islamic Shari’a Law regarding covering up the womenfolk as not to tempt the males of the species. The variety show featuring a number of comely young women not only singing the praises of Putin, but also showing enough flesh to send an ISIS terrorist into a screaming rage.
But what may be the height of Putin worship would be the rap homage, “I Go Hard Like Vladimir Putin”. Performed by the duo known an A.M.G., the two “expats from Africa. K. King, who’s from Zimbabwe via London, and Beni Maniaci, from Kenya, both moved to Moscow in the early 2000s to study medicine in Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad). After finishing school, the two settled in Moscow to ‘build foundations and make connections,’ as King puts it.”
The two were interviewed by the pop culture website Vocative.com, when K. King was asked for the backstory regarding their tribute to Putin. “You see, in black culture, in Africa, most kids grow up without a father figure or a hero. And so we grew up on legends of real living people. If people from where I grew up in Zimbabwe know my history, they would say, ‘I wanna be serious like K.King.’ So we were thinking, ‘We wanna go hard.’ But like who? [Snaps fingers.] Like Putin.”