Sept. 30—President Vladimir Putin today gave what is arguably the most important speech given by a Russian leader since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. It was a coruscating, unwelcome but necessary “wake up call” to the trans-Atlantic world. Various commentators described it as “a definitive break with the West,” although it could equally as well be termed a reassertion of the power of reason in opposition to the imperial “rule of law,” which, far from being “democratic,” is a throwback to the worst period of the Byzantine Empire, and the “in country” excesses of colonial rule in the Congo. Putin’s extensive remarks have caused reactions of white-hot hatred, of stunned awe, of deep consternation, of grudging admiration and wild enthusiasm. An analysis of the entirety will have to occur over the next days, but some things should be indicated.