The latest tensions between the EU and Russia over Greenpeace’s stunt in the Arctic only confirmed a fact which nobody really bothers denying anymore: Western political and financial elites absolutely hate Vladimir Putin and they are appalled at Russia’s behavior, both inside Russia and on the international scene. This tension was quite visible on the faces of Obama and Putin at the G8 summit in Lough Erne where both leaders looked absolutely disgusted with each other. Things got even worse when Putin did something quite unheard of in the Russian diplomatic history: he publicly said that Kerry was dishonest and even called him a liar.
While tensions have reached some sort of climax over the Syrian issue, problems between Russia and the USA are really nothing new. A quick look at the recent past will show that the western corporate media has been engaged in a sustained strategic campaign to identify and exploit any possible weaknesses in the Russian “political armor” and to paint Russia like a very nasty, undemocratic and authoritarian country, in other words a threat to the West. Let me mention a few episodes of this Russia-bashing campaign (in no particular order):
- Berezovsky as a “persecuted” businessman
- Politkovskaya “murdered by KGB goons”
- Khodorkovsky jailed for his love of “liberty”
- Russia’s “aggression” against Georgia
- The Russian “genocidal” wars against the Chechen people
- “Pussy Riot” as “prisoners of conscience”
- Litvinenko “murdered by Putin”
- Russian homosexuals “persecuted” and “mistreated” by the state
- Magnitsky and the subsequent “Magnitsky law”
- Snowden as a “traitor hiding in Russia”
- The “stolen elections” to the Duma and the Presidency
- The “White Revoluton” on the Bolotnaya square
- The “new Sakharov” – Alexei Navalnyi
- Russia’s “support for Assad“, the (Chemical) “Butcher of Damascus”
- The Russian constant “intervention” in Ukrainian affairs
- The “complete control” of the Kremlin over the Russian media
This list is far from complete, but its sufficient for our purposes. Let me also immediately add here that it is not my purpose today to debunk these allegations one by one. I have done so in this blog many times the past, so anybody interested can look this up. I will just state here one very important thing which I cannot prove, but of which I am absolutely certain: 90% or more of the Russian public believe that all these issues are absolute nonsense, completely overblown non-issues. Furthermore, most Russians believe that the so-called “democratic forces” which the Western elites support in Russia (Iabloko, Parnas, Golos, etc.) are basically agents of influence for the West paid for by the CIA, MI6, Soros and exiled Jewish oligarchs. What is certain is that besides these small liberal/democratic groups, nobody in Russia takes these accusations seriously. Most people see them exactly for what they are: a smear campaign.
In many ways, this is rather reminiscent of how things stood during the Cold War where the West used its immense propaganda resources to demonize the Soviet Union and to support anti-Soviet forces worldwide, including inside the USSR itself. I would argue that these efforts were, by and large, very successful and that by 1990s the vast majority of Soviets, including Russians, were rather disgusted with their leaders. So why the big difference today?
To answer that question, we need to look back at the processes which took place in Russia in the last 20 years or so because only a look at what happened during these two decades will allows us to get to the root of the current problem(s) between the USA and Russia.
When did the Soviet Union truly disappear?
The official date of the end of the Soviet Union is 26 December 1991, the day of the adoption by the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union of the Declaration № 142-Н which officially recognized dissolution of the Soviet Union as a state and subject of international law. But that is a very superficial, formal, view of things. One could argue that even though the Soviet Union had shrunk to the size of the Russian Federation it still survived within these smaller borders. After all, the laws did not change overnight, neither did most of the bureaucracy, and even though the Communist Party itself had been banned following the August 1991 coup, the rest of the state apparatus still continued to exist.
For Eltsin and his supporters this reality created a very difficult situation. Having banned the CPUS and dismantled the KGB, Eltsin’s liberals still face a formidable adversary: the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation, the Parliament of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, elected by the Congress of People’s Deputies of the Russian Federation. Nobody had abolished this *very* Soviet institution which rapidly became the center of almost all of the anti-Eltsin and pro-Soviet forces in the country. I cannot go in all the details of this legal nightmare, suffice to say that the Supreme Soviet presented itself as the “Russian Parliament” (which is not quite true) and that its members engaged in a systematic campaign to prevent Eltsin to implement his “reforms” (in hindsight, one could say that they tried to prevent Eltsin from ruining the country). One could say that the “new Russia” and the “old USSR” were fighting each other for the future of the country. Predictably, the Supreme Soviet wanted a parliamentary democracy while Eltsin and his liberals wanted a presidential democracy. The two sides presented what appeared to be a stark contrast to most Russians:
1) The Russian President Eltsin: officially he represented Russia, as opposed to the Soviet Union; he presented himself as an anti-Communist and as a democrat (nevermind that he himself had been a high ranking member of the CPSU and even a non-voting member to the Politburo!). Eltsin was also clearly the darling of the West and he promised to integrate Russia into the western world.
2) The Supreme Soviet: headed by Ruslan Khasbulatov with the support of the Vice-President of Russia, Alexander Rutskoi, the Supreme Soviet became the rallying point of all those who believed that the Soviet Union had been dissolved illegally (which is true) and against the will of the majority of its people (which is also true). Most, though not all, the supporters of the Supreme Soviet were if not outright Communists, then at least socialists and anti-capitalists. A good part of the rather disorganized Russian nationalist movement also supported the Supreme Soviet.
We all know what eventually happened: Eltsin crushed the opposition in a huge bloodbath, far worse than what was reported in the Western (or even Russian) media. I write that with a high degree of confidence because I have personally received this information from a very good source: it so happens that I was in Moscow during those tragic days and that and I was in constant contact with a Colonel of a rather secretive special forces unit of the KGB called “Vympel” (more about that below) who told me that the internal KGB estimate of the number of people killed in the Moscow Oblast was close to 3’000 people. I can also personally attest that the combats lasted for far longer than the official narrative clams: I witnessed a very sustained machine gun battle right under my windows a full 5 days after the Supreme Soviet had surrendered. I want to stress this here because I think that this illustrates an often overlooked reality: the so-called “constitutional crisis of 1993” was really a mini civil war for the fate of the Soviet Union and only by the end of this crisis did the Soviet Union really truly disappear.
In the days preceeding the tank assault against the Supreme Soviet I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with supporters of the President and the Supreme Soviet. I took the time to engage them in long conversations to try to find out for myself what each side stood for and whether I should side with either party. The conclusion I came to was a rather sad one: both sides were primarily composed of ex- (or not ex-) Communists, both sides claimed that they were defending democracy and both sides accused each other of being Fascists. In reality both sides were in reality very much alike. I think that I was not the only person to feel that way in these days and I suspect that most of the people of Russia deeply felt this and ended up being really disgusted with all of the politicians involved.
I would like to share one more personal anecdote here: these tragic days were personally quite amazing for me. Here I was, a young man born in a family of rabidly anti-Soviet Russian emigrés, who has spent many years fighting to Soviet system and, especially, the KGB. And yet, ironically, I ended up spending most of my time in the company of a Colonel of a special forces unit of the KGB (how we met is a long story for another post). Even more amazing for me was the fact that for all our differences, we had the exact same reaction to the events taking place before our eyes. We both decided that we could not side with either party engaged in this conflict – both sides were equally repugnant to us. I was in his apartment when he received a call from the KGB headquarters ordering to show up at a location downtown to prepare a special forces assault against the “White House” (that was the street nickname of the Russian Parliament building) – he refused to obey, told his bosses to get lost, and hung up. He was not alone in that decision: just as in 1991, neither the Russian paratroopers nor the special forces agreed to shoot at their own people (others, supposedly “democratic” forces showed no such scruples). Instead of obeying his bosses orders, my new friend took the time to give me some very valuable advice about how to safely get a relative of mine out of Moscow without getting shot or detained (being a native Russian speaker with a foreign passport was not a very safe thing in these days).
I wanted to retell this story here because it shows something very important: by 1993 a vast majority of Russians, even exiled emigrés and KGB special forces Colonels, were deeply disgusted and fed up with both parties to this crisis. In a way, one could say that most Russians were waiting for a THIRD force to appear on the political scene.
From 1993 to 1999 – a democratic nightmare
After the crushing of the opposition by Eltsin’s thugs, the gates of Hades truly opened for Russia: the entire country was taken over by various Mafias and the vast natural resources were pillaged by (mostly Jewish) oligarchs. The so-called “privatization” of the Russian economy created both a new class of multi-millionaires and many tens of millions of very poor people who could barely survive. A huge crime wave overtook every city, the entire infrastructure of the country collapsed and many regions of Russia began actively planning their secession from the Russian Federation. Chechnia was allowed to secede from the Russian Federation after a grotesque and bloody war which saw the Russian military back-stabbed by the Kremlin. And throughout these truly hellish years, the Western elites gave their fullest support to Eltsin and his oligarchs. The only exception to this love-fest was the political, economic and military support given by the Anglosphere to the Chechen insurgency. Eventually, what had to happen did happen: the country declared bankruptcy in 1998 by devaluing the Ruble and defaulting on its debt. Though we will never know for sure, I firmly believe that by 1999 Russia was only a few steps away from completely disappearing as a country and as a nation.
The legacy left by the liberals/democrats
Having crushed the opposition in 1993, the Russian liberals acquired the complete freedom to write a new constitution which would perfectly suit their purpose, and with their typical short-sightedness they adopted a new Constitution which gave immense powers to the President and really very little to the new Parliament, the Russian Duma. They even went as far as abolishing the post of Vice-President (they did not want another Rutskoi to sabotage their plans).
And yet, in the 1996 Presidential elections the liberals almost lost it all. To their horror, the Communist Candidate Gennadi Zuiganov won most of the votes in the 1st round, which forced the liberals to do two things: first, of course, they falsified the officials results and, second, they passed an alliance with a rather popular Army General, Alexander Lebed. These two moves made it possible for them to declare that they had won the 2nd round (even though in reality Ziuganov won). Here again, the West fully supported Eltsin. Well, why not? Having given Eltsin full support for his bloody crackdown on the supporters of the Supreme Soviet, why not also support Eltisin in a stolen election, right? In for a dime, in for a dollar.
Eltsin himself, however spent most of his time drinking himself to death and it soon became rather clear that he would not last very long. Panic seized the liberal camp which ended up committing a huge mistake: they allowed a little-known and rather unimpressive bureaucrat from Saint Petersburg to replace Eltsin as Acting President: Vladimir Putin.
Putin was a quiet, low key, competent bureaucrat whose main quality appeared to be his lack of a strong personality, or so did the liberals think. And, boy, was that one big miscalculation!
As soon as he was appointed, Putin acted with lightening speed. He immediately surprised everybody by becoming personally involved the the 2nd Chechen war. Unlike his predecessor, Putin gave all the freedom to the military commanders to wage this war as they wanted. The Putin surprized everybody again when he made a truly historic deal with Ahmad Hadji Kadyrov to bring peace to Chechnia even though the latter had been a leader of the insurgency during the first Chechen war.
Putin’s popularity soared and he immediately used that to his advantage.
In an amazing twist of history, Putin used the Constitution developed and adopted by the Russian liberals to implement a very rapid series of crucial reforms and to eliminate the power basis of the liberals: the Jewish oligarchs (Berezovksy, Khorodkovsky, Fridman, Gusinsky, etc.). He also passed many laws destined to “strengthen the vertical power” which gave the Federal Center direct control over the local administrations. This, in turn, not only crushed many of the local Mafias who had managed to corrupt and infiltrate the local authorities, it also rapidly stopped all the various secessionist movements inside Russia. Finally, he used what is called the “administrative resource” to create his United Russia party and to give it the full support from the state. The irony here is that Putin would never have never succeeded in these efforts had the Russian liberals not created a hyper-Presidential Constitution which gave Putin the means to achieve his goals. To paraphrase Lenin, I would say that the Russian liberals gave Putin the rope to hang them.
The West, of course, rapidly understood what was going on, but it was too late: the liberals had lost power forever (God willing!) and the country was clearly being taken over by a third, previously unseen, force.
Who really put Putin into power?
That is the $10’000 question. Formally, the official answer is straightforward: Eltsin’s entourage. Still, it is rather obvious that some other unidentified group of people managed to brilliantly con the liberals into letting the fox inside their hen house.
Now remember that the pro-Soviet forces were comprehensively defeated in 1993. So this was not the result of some nostalgic revanchists who wanted to resurrect the old Soviet Union. So no need to look to the this camp who, in fact, has mostly remained opposed to Putin to this day. So who else then?
It was an alliance of two forces, really: elements of the ex “PGU KGB SSSR” and a number of key industrial and financial leaders. Let’s take then one by one:
The first force was the PGU KGB SSSR: the foreign intelligence branch of the Soviet KGB. It’s official name was First Chief Directorate of the Committee of State Security of the USSR. This would be the rough equivalent of the British MI6. This was beyond any doubt the most elite part of the KGB, and also its most autonomous one (it even had its own headquarters in the south of Moscow). Though the PGU dealt with a number of issues, it was also very closely linked to, and interested by, the the world of big business, in the USSR and abroad. Since the PGU had nothing to do with the KGB’s most ugly activities such as the persecution of dissidents (that was the role of the 5th Directorate) and since it has little to do with internal security (that was the prerogative of the 2nd Chief Directorate), it was not high on the list of institutions to reform simply because it was not hated as much as the more visible part of the KGB.
The second force which put Putin in power was constituted by young people coming from key ministries of the former Soviet Union which dealt with industrial and financial issues and which hated Eltsin’s Jewish oligarchs. Unlike Eltsin’s oligarchs, these young leaders did not want to simply pillage all the resources of Russia and later retire in the US or Israel, but they did want Russia to become a powerful market economy integrated into the international financial system.
Later, the first group would turn into what I call the “Eurasian Sovereignists” while the second one would become what I call “Atlantic Integrationists” (please see here and here for an explanation of these terms). We could think of them as the “Putin people” and the “Medvedev people”.
Lastly, it should not be overlooked that there is, of course, a third force which threw its full support behind this Putin-Medvedev tandem – the Russian people themselves who have, so far, always voted to keep them in power.
An absolutely brilliant formula but which has now outlived its shelf life
There is no doubt in my mind that the idea to create this “tandem” has been nothing short of brilliant: Putin would cater to the nationalists, Medvedev to the more liberally oriented folk. Putin would get the support of the “power ministries” (defense, security, intelligence) while Medvedev would get the support of the business community. Putin could scare the local authorities into compliance with the orders from the federal center, while Medvedev would make the US and EU feel good at Davos. Or, let’s put it this way: who would be against the Putin & Medvedev duo? Diehard supporters of the Soviet Union, rabid xenophobic nationalists, rabid pro-US liberals and Jewish exiles. That’s pretty much it, and that ain’t much.
By the way – what do we see in today’s opposition? A Communist Party catering to those nostalgic of the Soviet era, a Liberal-Democratic Party catering to the nationalists, and a pretty small “Just Russia” party whose sole purpose appear to be to take votes off the other two and coopt some of the rabid liberals. In other words, Medvedev and Putin have basically eliminated any type of credible opposition.
As I have mentioned in past posts, there are now clear signs of serious tensions between the “Eurasian Sovereignists” and the “Atlantic Integrationists” to the point that Putin has now created his own movement (the “All-Russia People’s Front“, created by Putin in 2011 (again, for background on that please see here and here).
Having looked at the complex processes which ended up creating the Putin Presidency in Russia, we need to look at what took place in the USA during the same time period.
In the meantime – the US gets Neoconned
Unlike the Soviet Union which basically disappeared from the map of our planet, the USA “won” the Cold War (this is not factually quite true, but this is how many Americans see it) and having become the last and only real super-power the US immediately embarked on a series of external wars to establish its “full spectrum dominance” over the planet, especially after the events of 9/11 which deeply transformed the nature of the US society itself.
Sill, the post 9/11 society has its roots in a far more distant past: the Reagan years.
During the Presidency of Ronald Reagan a group which later become known as the “Necons” made a strategic decision to take over the Republican Party, its affiliated institutions and think tanks. While in the past ex-Trotskyites had been more inclined to support the putatively more Left-leaning Democratic Party, the “new and improved GOP” under Reagan offered the Neocons some extremely attractive features:
1) Money: Reagan was an unconditional supporter of big business and the corporate world. His mantra “government is the problem” fitted perfectly with the historical closeness of the Neocons with the Robber Barons, Mafia bosses and big bankers. For them, de-regulation meant freedom of action, something which was bound to make speculators and Wall Street wise guys immensely rich.
2) Violence: Reagan also firmly stood behind the US Military-Industrial complex and a policy of intervention in any country on the planet. That fascination with brute force and, let be honest here, terrorism also fitted the Trotskyite-Neocon mindset perfectly.
3) Illegality: Reagan did not care at all about the law, be it international law or domestic law. Sure, as long as the law happens to be advantageous to US or GOP interests, it was upheld with great ceremony. But if it didn’t, the Reaganites would break it with no compunction whatsoever.
4) Arrogance: under Reagan, patriotism and feel-good imperial hubris reached a new height. More than ever before, the US saw itself as not only the “Leader of the Free World” protecting the planet against the “Evil Empire”, but also as unique and superior to the rest of mankind (like in the Ford commercial of the 1980s: “we’re number one, second to none!”)
5) Systematic deception: under Reagan lying turned from an occasional if regular tactics used in politics to the key form of public communication: Reagan, and his administration, could say one thing and then deny it in the same breath. They could make promises which were clearly impossible to keep (Star Wars anybody?). They could solemnly take an oath and than break it (Iran-Contra). And, if confronted by proof of these lies, all Reagan had to do is to say: “well, no, I don’t remember”.
6) Messianism: not only did Reagan get a huge support basis amongst the various crazy religious denominations in the USA (including all of the Bible Belt), Reagan also promoted a weird can of secular Messianism featuring a toxic mix of xenophobia bordering on racism with a narcissistic fascination with anything patriotic, no matter how stupid, bordering on self-worship.
So let’s add it all up:
Money+violence+illegality+arrogance+deception+Messianism equals what?
Does that not all look very, very familiar? Is that not a perfect description of Zionism and Israel?
No wonder the Neocons flocked in greater and greater number to this new GOP! Reagan’s GOP was the perfect Petri dish for the Zionist bacteria to grow, and grow it really did. A lot.
I think that it would be reasonable to say that the USA underwent a two-decades long process of “Zionisation” which culminated in the grand 9/11 false flag operation in which the PNAC-types basically used their access to the centers of power in the USA, Israel and the KSA to conjure up a new enemy – “Islamo-Fascist Terror” – which would not only justify a planetary war against “terrorism” (the GWOT) but also an unconditional support for Israel.
There were also losers in this evolution, primarily what I call the “old Anglo camp” which basically lost control of most of its domestic political power and all of its foreign policy power: for the first time a new course in foreign policy gradually began to take shape under the leadership of a group of people which would in time be identified as “Israel Firsters”. For a short time the old Anglos seemed to have retaken the reigns of power – under George Bush Senior – only to immediately loose it again with the election of Bill Clinton. But the apogee of Ziocon power was only reached under the Presidency of George W. Bush who basically presided over a massive purge of Anglos from key positions in government (especially the Pentagon and the CIA). Predictably, having the folks which Bush Senior called “the crazies in the basement” actually in power rapidly brought the USA to the edge of a global collapse: externally the massive worldwide sympathy for the USA after 911 turned into a tsunami of loathing and resentment, while internally the country was faced with a massive banking crisis which almost resulted the imposition of martial law over the USA.
In comes Barak Obama – “change we can believe in!“
The election of Barak Obama to the White House truly was a momentous historical event. Not only because a majority White population had elected a Black man to the highest office in the country (this was really mainly an expression of despair and of a deep yearning for change), but because after one of the most effective PR campaigns in history, the vast majority of Americans and many, if not most, people abroad, really, truly believed that Obama would make some deep, meaningful changes. The disillusion with Obama was as great as the hopes millions had in him. I personally feel that history will remember Obama not only as one of the worst Presidents in history, but also, and that is more important, as the last chance for the “system” to reform itself. That chance was missed. And while some, in utter disgust, described Obama as “Bush light”, I think that his Presidency can be better described as “more of the same, only worse”.
Having said that, there is something which, to my absolute amazement, Obama’s election did achieve: the removal of (most, but not all) Neocons from (most, but not all) key positions of power and a re-orientation of (most, but not all) of US foreign policy in a more traditional “USA first” line, usually supported by the “old Anglo” interests. Sure, the Neocons are still firmly in control of Congress and the US corporate media, but the Executive Branch is, at least for the time being, back under Anglo control (this is, of course, a generalization: Dick Cheney was neither Jewish nor Zionist, while the Henry Kissinger can hardly be described as an “Anglo”). And even though Bibi Netanyahu got more standing ovations in Congress (29) than any US President, the attack on Iran he wanted so badly did not happen. Instead, Hillary and Petraeus got kicked out, and Chuck Hagel and John Kerry got in. That is hardly “change we can believe in”, but at least this shows that the Likud is not controlling the White House any more.
Of course, this is far from over. If anything the current game of chicken played between the White House and Congress over the budget with its inherent risk of a US default shows that this conflict is far from settled.
The current real power matrix in the USA and Russia
We have shown that there two unofficial parties in Russia which are locked in a deadly conflict for power, the “Eurasian Sovereignists” and “Atlantic Integrationists“. There are also two unofficial parties in the USA who are also locked in a deadly conflict for power: the Neocons and the “old Anglos imperialists“. I would argue that, at least for the time being, the “Eurasian Sovereignists” and the “old Anglos” have prevailed over their internal competitor but that the Russian “Eurasian Sovereignists” are in a far stronger position that the American “old Anglos”. There are two main reasons for that:
1) Russia has already had its economic collapse and default and
2) a majority of Russians fully support President Putin and his “Eurasian Sovereignist” policies.
In contrast, the USA is on the brink of an economic collapse and the 1% clique which is running the USA is absolutely hated and despised by most Americans.
After the immense and, really, heart-breaking disillusionment with Obama, more and more Americans are becoming convinced that changing the puppet in the White House is meaningless and that what the US really needs is regime change.
The USSR and the USA – back to the future?
It is quite amazing for those who remember the Soviet Union of the late 1980 how much the US under Obama has become similar to the USSR under Brezhnev: internally it is characterized by a general sense of disgust and alienation of the people triggered by the undeniable stagnation of a system rotten to its very core. A bloated military and police state with uniforms everywhere, while more and more people live in abject poverty. A public propaganda machine which, like in Orwell’s 1984, constantly boasts of successes everywhere while everybody knows that these are all lies. Externally, the US is hopelessly overstretched and either hated and mocked abroad. Just as in the Soviet days, the US leaders are clearly afraid of their own people so they protect themselves by a immense and costly global network of spies and propagandists who are terrified of dissent and who see the main enemy in their own people.
Add to that a political system which far from co-opting the best of its citizens deeply alienates them while promoting the most immoral and corrupt ones into the positions of power. A booming prison-industrial complex and a military-industrial complex which the country simply cannot afford maintaining. A crumbling public infrastructure combined with a totally dysfunctional health care system in which only the wealthy and well-connected can get good treatment. And above it all, a terminally sclerotic public discourse, full of ideological clichés an completely disconnected from reality.
I will never forget the words of a Pakistani Ambassador to the UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva in 1992 who, addressing an assembly of smug western diplomats, said the following words: “you seem to believe that you won the Cold War, but did you ever consider the possibility that what has really happened is that the internal contradictions of communism caught up with communism before the internal contradictions of capitalism could catch up with capitalism?!“. Needless to say, these prophetic words were greeted by a stunned silence and soon forgotten. But the man was, I believe, absolutely right: capitalism has now reached a crisis as deep as the one affecting the Soviet Union in the late 1980s and there is zero chance to reform or otherwise change it. Regime change is the only possible outcome.
The historical roots of the russophobia of the American elites
Having said all of the above, its actually pretty simple to understand why Russia in general, and Putin in particular, elicits such a deep hatred from the Western plutocracy: having convinced themselves that they won the Cold War they are now facing the double disappointment of a rapidly recovering Russia and a Western economic and political decline turning into what seems to be a slow and painful agony.
In their bitterness and spite, Western leaders overlook the fact that Russia has nothing to do with the West’s current problems. Quite to the contrary, in fact: the main impact the collapse of the Soviet Union on the US-run international economic system was to prolong its existence by creating a new demand for US dollars in Eastern Europe and Russia (some economists – such as Nikolai Starikov – estimate that the collapse of the USSR gave an extra 10+ years of life to the US dollar).
In the past, Russia has been the historical arch-enemy of the British Empire. As for Jews – they have always harbored many grievances towards pre-revolutionary Tsarist Russia. The Revolution of 1917 brought a great deal of hope for many East-European Jews, but it was short lived as Stalin defeated Trotsky and the Communist Party was purged from many of its Jewish members. Over and over again Russia has played a tragic role in the history of the Ashkenazi Jews and this, of course, has left a deep mark on the worldview of the Neocons who are all deeply russophobic, even today. Somebody might object that many Jews are deeply grateful for the Soviet Army’s liberation of Jews from the Nazi concentration camps or for the fact that the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize Israel. But in both cases, the country which is credited with these actions is the Soviet Union and not Russia which most Ashkenazi Jews still typically associate anti-Jewish policies and values.
It is thus not surprising that both the Anglo and the Jewish elites in the US would harbor an almost instinctive dislike for, and fear of, Russia, especially one perceived as resurgent or anti-American. And the fact is that they are not wrong in this perception: Russia is most definitely resurgent, and the vast majority of the Russian public opinion is vehemently anti-American, at least if by “America” we refer to the civilizational model or economic system.
Anti-American sentiment in Russia
Feelings about the USA underwent a dramatic change since the fall of the Soviet Union. In the 1980 the USA was not only rather popular, it was also deeply in fashion: Russian youth created many rock groups (some of them became immensely popular and still are popular today, such as the group DDT from Saint Petersburg), American fashion and fast foods were the dream of every Russian teenager, while most intellectuals sincerely saw the US as “leader of the free world”. Of course, the state propaganda of the USSR always wanted to present the USA as an aggressive imperialistic country, but that effort failed: most of the people were actually quite fond of the US. One of the most popular pop group of the 1990s (Nautilus Pompilius) had a song with the following lyrics:
Good bye America, oh
Where I have never ever been
Take your banjo
And play for my departure
Your worn out blue jeans
Became too tight for me
We’ve been taught for too long
To be in love with your forbidden fruits.
While there were exceptions to this rule, I would say that by the beginning of the 1990 most of the Russian people, especially the youth, had swallowed the US propaganda line hook and sinker – Russia was hopelessly pro-American.
The catastrophic collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the West’s total and unconditional backing for Eltsin and his oligarchs changed that. Instead of trying to help Russia, the USA and the West used every single opportunity to weaken Russia externally (by taking all of Eastern Europe into NATO even though they had promised never to do so). Internally, they West supported the Jewish oligarchs who were literally sucking out wealth out of Russia live vampires suck blood, while supporting every imaginable form of separatism. By the end of the 1990s the words “democrat” and “liberal” became offensive curse words. This joke of the late 1990s is a good example of these feelings (Notice the association between liberalism and Jews):
A new teacher comes into the class:
– My name is Abram Davidovich, I’m a liberal. And now all stand up and introduce yourself like I did …
– My name is Masha I liberal …
– My name is Petia, I’m a liberal …
– My Little Johnny, I’m a Stalinist.
– Little Johnny, why are you a Stalinist? !
– My mom is a Stalinist, my dad is a Stalinist, my friends are Stalinists and I too am a Stalinist.
– Little Johnny, and if your mother was a whore, your father – a drug addict, your friends – homos, what would you be then in that case? !
– Then I would be a liberal.
Notice the association between being a liberal and Jews (Abram Davidovich is a typical Jewish name). Notice also the inclusion of the category “homosexual” in between a whore and drug addicts and remember that when evaluating the typical Russian reaction to the anti-Russian campaign waged by western homosexual organizations.
The political effect of these feelings is rather obvious: in the last elections not a single pro-Western political party has even managed to get enough votes to make it into the Parliament. And no – this is not because Putin has outlawed them (as some propagandists in the West like to imagine). There are currently 57 political parties in Russia, and quite a few of them are pro-Western. And yet it is an undeniable fact that the percentage of Russians which are favorably inclined towards the USA and NATO/EU is roughly in the 5% range. I can also put it this way: every single political party represented in the Duma is deeply anti-American, even the very moderate “Just Russia”.
Anti-Russian feelings in the USA?
Considering the never ending barrage of anti-Russian propaganda in the western corporate media one could wonder how strong anti-Russian feelings are in the West. This is really hard to measure objectively, but as somebody born in Western Europe and who has lived a total of 15 years in the USA I would say that anti-Russian sentiment in the West is very rare, almost non-existent. In the USA there have always been strong anti-Communist feelings – there still are today – but somehow most Americans do make the difference between a political ideology that they don’t really understand, but that they dislike anyway, and the people which in the past used to be associated with it.
US *politicians*, of course, mostly hate Russia, but most Americans seem to harbor very little bad feelings or apprehension about Russia or the Russian people. I explain that by a combination of factors.
First, since more and more people in the West realize that they are not living in a democracy, but in a plutocracy of the 1%, they tend to take the official propaganda line with more than a grain of salt (which, by the way, is exactly what was happening to most Soviet people in the 1980s). Furthermore, more and more people in the West who oppose the plutocratic imperial order which impoverishes and disenfranchises them into corporate serfs are quite sympathetic to Russia and Putin for “standing up to the bastards in Washington”. But even more fundamentally, there is the fact that in a bizarre twist of history Russia today stands for the values of the West of yesterday: international law, pluralism, freedom of speech, social rights, anti-imperialism, opposition to intervention inside sovereign states, rejection of wars as a means to settle disputes, etc.
In the case of the war in Syria, Russia’s absolutely consistent stance in defense of international law has impressed many people in the USA and Europe and one can hear more and more praise for Putin from people who in the past has deep suspicions about him.
Russia, of course, is hardly a utopia or some kind of perfect society, far from it, but it has taken the fundamental decision to become a *normal* country, as opposed to being a global empire, and any normal country will agree to uphold the principles of the “West of yesterday”, not only Russia. In fact, Russia is very un-exceptional in its pragmatic realization that to uphold these principles is not a matter of naive idealism, but a sound realistic policy goal. People in the West are told by their rulers and the corporate media that Putin in an evil ex-KGB dictator who is a danger for the US and its allies, but as soon as these people actually read or listen to what Putin actually says they find themselves in a great deal of agreement with him.
In another funny twist of history, while the Soviet population used to turn to the BBC, Voice of America or Radio Liberty for news and information, more and more people in the West are turning to Russia Today, Press TV, or Telesur to get their information. Hence the panicked reaction of Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the US outfit overseeing US media directed at foreign audiences, who declared that “we can’t allow ourselves to be out-communicated by our enemies. You’ve got Russia Today, Iran’s Press TV, Venezuela’s TeleSUR, and of course, China is launching an international broadcasting 24-hour news channel with correspondents around the world“. Folks like Isaacson know that they are slowly but surely loosing the informational battle for the control of the minds of the general public.
And now, with the entire Snowden affair, Russia is becoming the safe harbor for those political activists who are fleeing Uncle Sam’s wrath. A quick search on the Internet will show you that more and more people are referring to Putin as the “leader of the Free World” while other are collecting signatures to have Obama give his Nobel Prize to Putin. Truly, for those like myself who have actually fought against the Soviet system it is absolutely amazing to see the 180 degree turn the world has taken since the 1980s.
Western elites – still stuck in the Cold War
If the world has radically changed in the last 20 years, the Western elites did not. Faced with a very frustrating reality they are desperately trying to re-fight the Cold War with the hope of re-winning it again. Hence the never ending cycle of Russia-bashing campaigns I mentioned at the beginning of this post. They try to re-brand Russia as the new Soviet Union, with oppressed minorities, jailed or murdered dissidents, little or no freedom of speech, a monolithic state controlled media and an all seeing security apparatus overseeing it all. The problem, of course, is that they are 20 years late and that these accusations don’t stick very well with the western public opinion and get exactly *zero* traction inside Russia. In fact, every attempt at interfering inside Russian political affairs has been so inept and clumsy that it backfired every single time. From the absolutely futile attempts of the West to organize a color-coded revolution in the streets of Moscow to the totally counter-productive attempts to create some kind of crisis around homosexual human rights in Russia – every step taken by the western propaganda machine has only strengthened Vladimir Putin and his the “Eurasian Sovereignists” at the expense of the “Atlantic Integrationist” faction inside the Kremlin.
There was a deep and poignant symbolism in the latest meeting of the 21 APEC countries in Bali. Obama had to cancel his trip because of the US budget crisis while Putin was treated to a musically horrible but politically deeply significant rendition of “Happy birthday to you!” by a spontaneous choir composed of the leaders of the Pacific Rim countries. I can just imagine the rage of the White House when they saw “their” Pacific allies serenading Putin for his birthday!
Conclusion: “we are everywhere”
In one of his most beautiful songs, David Rovics sings the following words which I want to quite in full, as each line fully applies to the current situation:
When I say the hungry should have food
I speak for many
When I say no one should have seven homes
While some don’t have any
Though I may find myself stranded in some strange place
With naught but a vapid stare
I remember the world and I know
We are everywhere
When I say the time for the rich, it will come
Let me count the ways
Victories or hints of the future
Havana, Caracas, Chiapas, Buenos Aires
How many people are wanting and waiting
And fighting for their share
They hide in their ivory towers
But we are everywhere
Religions and prisons and races
Borders and nations
FBI agents and congressmen
And corporate radio stations
They try to keep us apart, but we find each other
And the rulers are always aware
That they’re a tiny minority
And we are everywhere
With every bomb that they drop, every home they destroy
Every land they invade
Comes a new generation from under the rubble
Saying “we are not afraid”
They will pretend we are few
But with each child that a billion mothers bear
Comes the next demonstration
That we are everywhere.
(you can listen to the song by clicking here)
These words are a beautiful expression for the hope which should inspire all those who are now opposing the US-Zionist Empire: we are everywhere, literally. On one side we have the 1%, the Anglo imperialists and the Ziocons, while on the other we have the rest of the planet, including potentially 99% of the American people. If it is true that at this moment in time Putin and his Eurasian Sovereignists are the most powerful and best organized faction of the worldwide resistance to the Empire, they are far from being central, or even less so, crucial, to it. Yes, Russia can, and will, play its role, but only as a normal country amongst many other normal countries, some small and economically weak like Ecuador, other huge and powerful like China. But even small Ecuador was “big enough” to grand refuge to Julian Assange while China seems to have asked Snowden to please leave. So Ecuador is not that small after all?
It would be naive to hope that this “de-imperialization” process of the USA could happen without violence. The French and British Empires collapsed against the bloody backdrop of WWII, while did the Nazi and Japanese Empires were crushed under a carpet of bombs. The Soviet Empire collapsed with comparatively less victims, and most of the violence which did take place during that process happened on the Soviet periphery. In Russia itself, the number of death of the mini civil war of 1993 was counted in the thousands and not in the millions. And by God’s great mercy, not a single nuclear weapon was detonated anywhere.
So what will likely happen when the US-Ziocon Empire finally collapses under its own weight? Nobody can tell for sure, but we can at least hope that just as no major force appeared to rescue the Soviet Empire in 1991-1993, no major force will attempt to save the US Empire either. As David Rovic’s puts it so well, the big weakness of the 1% which rule the US-Ziocon Empire is that “they are a tiny minority and we are everywhere“.
In the past 20 years the US and Russia have followed diametrically opposed courses and their roles appears to have been reversed. That “pas de deux” is coming to some kind of end now. Objective circumstances have now again placed these two countries in opposition to each other, but this is solely due to the nature of the regime in Washington DC. Russian leaders could repeat the words of the English rapper Lowkey and declare “I’m not anti-America, America is anti-me!” and they could potentially be joined by 99% of Americans who, whether they already realize it or not, are also the victims of the US-Ziocon Empire.
In the meantime, the barrage of anti-Russian propaganda campaigns will continue unabated simply because this seems to have become a form of psychotherapy for a panicked and clueless western plutocracy. And just as in all the previous cases, this propaganda campaign will have no effect at all.
It is my hope that next time we hear about whatever comes next after the current “Greenpeace” campaign you will keep all this in mind.
Saker, this for your enlightenment, just in case if you did not know.. Don t misss understand, you are on the right path.
please make time
@R: thanks A LOT! I have heard many very very good things about Sheikh Imran Hosein both from Russia and from France where he is very respected in the opposition to the current political regime in France. I know that he made an excellent impression on a lot of Russians too. I have never taken the time to listen to one of his presentations, so I will listen to this with with GREAT interest (probably tomorrow).
Many thanks for this pointer!
Brilliant post wall to wall. I completely agree with your presentation and excellent analysis, completely. Vlad is my Hero. I laugh and think of you everyday when I listen to the Western Media talk about Russia, Putin and other linked world events…..it makes me think of old Soviet Pravda….
Best, and have a great well deserved vacation,
Wonderful analysis, and a great essay. For the first time in years I am becoming a little bit optimistic.
Did you compose this before,during or after your diving?
Speaking of diving, how was it?
Began a list of edits for you, but almost all are tiny, such as “Is is quite amazing” instead of “It is”
or, under the bolded words:
In the meantime – the US gets Neoconned
‘series’ – not ‘serious’
As they were mostly tiny I deleted the list, besides, why sweat the small stuff? And…didn’t even know if you would appreciate it.
The article was a lot of material to take in for 6 am on a Sunday morning and much to comment on. I will pick one.
“This is really hard to measure objectively, but as somebody born in Western Europe and who has lived a total of 15 years in the USA I would say that anti-Russian sentiment in the West is very rare, almost non-existent.”
Anti-Russian sentiment certainly isn’t what it used to be here in the USofA, but look how easy it was for the American people to swallow that Russia was the aggressor in the 2008 South Ossetia War.
Believe it will be quite some time before the American people can be
objective about Russia.
This is a wide ranging and brilliant piece. There is much food here both for discussion and thought. I should say that overall I agree with it strongly.
There is much more I could say but as it happens I am for the moment rather pressed for time. I hope to come back later with some more detailed comments. However there is one point of historical data I do want to share with you, which concerns the reasons for Putin’s rise to power.
I come from an old Greek political family and I have connections with the Greek diplomatic service. In 1999 there was more than usual discussion between Greeks and (some) Russians at official levels because of shared anger at the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia.
Basically, what I was told by a diplomatic source in Moscow (whose identity I cannot disclose) is that in the spring of 1999 a power struggle was underway between Yeltsin and Primakov with Yeltsin looking for reasons to stand for an unconstitutional third term for the Presidency and antagonistic to Primakov who had been forced on him by the Duma and who had connections with both the KPRF and Lyzhkov.
What precipitated the final crisis of Yeltsin’s regime was Yeltsin’s dismissal of Primakov and his decision to give implicit support to the NATO attack on Yugoslavia. Yeltsin did this because he needed western support if he was to carry out the constitutional coup necessary to stand again for the Presidency. These steps provoked a furious reaction from within the security services and the army’s General Staff who following a series of complex manoeuvres involving people like Stepashin eventually forced Yeltsin to appoint their chosen candidate Putin as Prime Minister and as his effective successor in return for an agreement that he would be given a pardon once he stepped down. The famous advance by the military on Pristina was intended as a warning to Yeltsin, who was not informed of it. Putin had previously positioned himself as a potential successor and had indicated where his allegiance lay by prominently celebrating the birthday of the former Soviet leader and KGB chief Yuri Andropov.
In other words there was essentially a coup by the security agencies, which was however carried out in a strictly constitutional way. Berezovsky was not involved.
I heard all this of course at second and third hand so I cannot absolutely vouch for its truth. However it seems to me in accordance with the known facts. It is also by the way consistent with your own analysis.
@Alexander:What precipitated the final crisis of Yeltsin’s regime was Yeltsin’s dismissal of Primakov and his decision to give implicit support to the NATO attack on Yugoslavia. Yeltsin did this because he needed western support if he was to carry out the constitutional coup necessary to stand again for the Presidency. These steps provoked a furious reaction from within the security services and the army’s General Staff who following a series of complex manoeuvres involving people like Stepashin eventually forced Yeltsin to appoint their chosen candidate Putin as Prime Minister and as his effective successor in return for an agreement that he would be given a pardon once he stepped down. The famous advance by the military on Pristina was intended as a warning to Yeltsin, who was not informed of it. Putin had previously positioned himself as a potential successor and had indicated where his allegiance lay by prominently celebrating the birthday of the former Soviet leader and KGB chief Yuri Andropov. In other words there was essentially a coup by the security agencies, which was however carried out in a strictly constitutional way. Berezovsky was not involved.
VERY interesting. Let’s compare notes. As far as I know:
Primakov was always very close to the PGU which he formally headed from 1991-1996. He was also categorically opposed to the NATO attack on Yugoslavia.
As far as I know, the decision to move the Russian paratroopers to Pristina was made by a small informal group of high ranking military officers from different parts of the military. My understanding is that they wanted to force the Kremlin to send reinforcements by air to these Paratroopers and thereby prevent a NATO occupation of Kosovo. Frankly, this move was heroic, for sure, but also naive, misguided and rather risky (if the Russians could easily punch through an air corridor over Eastern Europe, what would they do to pass through air space controlled by NATO?). As far as I know the security services were not involved in this decision.
Andropov was always very popular in the ranks of the KGB and even more so, in the ranks of the PGU who always appreciated him for his refined intelligence and sophistication.
Berezovsky was the key man who really ran the Kremlin in the last years of the Eltsin Presidency. He would be the prime target of any coup, constitutional or not.
So all my info jives nicely with yours, with the possible exception of the exact reasons for the Russian move to Pristina.
What I totally agree with is your characterization of the succession of Eltin by Putin as a “coup carried out in a strictly constitutional way”. This is typical of the PGU way of doing business (in contrast to the somewhat more, shall way say, “romantic” or “impulsive” way the move to Prisina was made by some very sincere but not too cautious elements of the military).
Thanks a lot for a VERY interesting comment!!
Please keep them coming. Kind regards,
There’s another few further points I want to make. Again apologies if I do so in a hasty way:
1. The US political class and their fellow travellers in Europe as you correctly say fundamentally misunderstand what happened in Russia/USSR between 1985-1999. The events they see as their “victory over Communism” were simply part of Russia’s natural historical evolution of which the Soviet period was just a part. In my opinion the Cold War far from causing the USSR’s collapse actually delayed the course of Russia’s historic evolution and prolonged the existence of the Soviet system beyond its natural span by making the transition to a fully democratic society in Russia far more difficult and problematic in ideological terms than it would have otherwise been.
This view is of course controversial. However the usurpation by western elites (and their east European fellow travellers) of credit for democratic changes in the USSR/Russia which were entirely the result of actions by the Russian people themselves and which were in no sense “forced” on them by outsiders in the west should not be.
2. This mistaken belief in a western “victory” that never happened has had an utterly debilitating effect on political thinking and policy in the US and in the west. It has encouraged the US to treat Russia as a “defeated country” (which it is not) whilst at the same time making all but impossible objective discussion and analysis in the US and the west of its own problems. Again I am going to be controversial and say that the fanatical adherence to liberal and free market solutions even as their inapplicability to many problems becomes ever more obvious looks every bit as ideologically dogmatic as was true in the USSR – in fact even more so since the ideological premises on which they are constructed are not even admitted to be such. The inability to come up with a critical analysis or answer to the 2008 financial crisis is an illustration of this as is (in the absence of debate on substantive questions) the obsessive over emphasis given to such lifestyle questions as gender issues, gay rights etc.
3. That the problems of US society today are actually far more intractable than those of society in the USSR. In spite of the problems caused by the Cold War the USSR was on a clear democratising trajectory from at least 1953. The accumulated resentments that built up in Soviet society from the 1960s were in part because of the slower than natural pace of this. Political and social evolution within the US is by contrast unthinkable and has ground to a complete stop. Certainly reforming the US Constitution and the capitalist system (which together have come to give the US its entire definition) is inconceivable. Historically societies that cannot find new answers to new problems are societies in profound crisis and we are coming very close to that situation in the west.
4. Lastly, you are absolutely right in putting your finger on the centrality of the 1993 crisis in understanding Russia today. One of the reasons why the liberals in Russia today are such an utterly marginal and discredited force is precisely because they forfeited in 1993 their credibility as “democrats”. Until they face up to this fact and accept responsibility for what happened to Russia in the 1990s when they were in charge and explain what in future they will do different the Russian people will not trust them again if they ever do.
@Anonymous0748: Did you compose this before,during or after your diving?
Right after. I wrote that on Friday afternoon.
Speaking of diving, how was it?
The ocean was too rough, so we went to the Phil Foster Park in Riviera Beach. Not much coral, but lots of beautiful fish :-)
And…didn’t even know if you would appreciate it.
I appreciate it VERY MUCH. I am always pressed for time, and I type really fast. And let’s be honest – my writing is a mess and I make tons of mistakes :-( So yes, I am very grateful for your help! I will make the corrections as soon as I am done typing this reply.
but look how easy it was for the American people to swallow that Russia was the aggressor in the 2008 South Ossetia War.
Yes. BUT!! a) they really did not have ANY other info and b) they might have believed the lies of the GOP/Saakashvili propaganda, but that still did not result in any anti-Russian feelings. Somehow the corporate media is just not succeeding in making Americans hate Russians, and I would say that this is a testimony to an immense American quality: Americans are not inclined to hate others. They might fear them because the media tries so hard to terrorize the population, but they don’t hate. Frankly, I think that most Americans don’t even hate Muslims even though Muslims are now clearly at the very top of the corporate propaganda’s hate list. Here, in Florida, I see plenty of rednecks, crackers and hicks, but I also see a lot of Muslim women in traditional Islamic dresses and they seem to feel safe (though I am sure they do occasionally encounter the inevitable moronic bigot). My experience with Americans is that they are very welcoming people.
it will be quite some time before the American people can be
objective about Russia.
That goes both ways, of course. The beautiful thing here is that if we get rid of stupid and useless imperial ideological biases, there is absolutely NOTHING objectively opposing the Russian and American people. I have great hopes that TV channels like RT and any other form of direct contact between the people will go a long way to simply bypass the corporate imperial propaganda.
Cheers and thanks!!
@Alexander:apologies if I do so in a hasty way
HAHA! That is the way I do *everything* these days so, please, no apologies needed :-))
The events they see as their “victory over Communism” were simply part of Russia’s natural historical evolution of which the Soviet period was just a part.
This is a very complex topic. Probably because of my background (I come from an old family of Russian military officers which left Russia after the Civil War) I see this somewhat differently. For my “Russia” proper died somewhere between 1917 and 1946, at least in a cultural sense. After 1946 a new nation appeared which I call “Soviet”. And nowadays, we have what I call a generation “new, post-Soviet, Russian” which was born after 1991. I am not sure that any of that is a natural historical evolution. For example, I clearly see some common features between the Russian and Orthodox ethos and some elements of Soviet Bolshevism, but I believe this commonality is similar to the one between healthy body tissue and a malignant tumor (they do share a very similar DNA, though with some crucial – and fatal – differences). My views on this topic are also probably influenced by my very traditional Orthodox faith which brings me to the inevitable conclusion that Russia has stayed from its true and essential path since at least Peter I if not before. All this is to say that as an “old” pre-1917 Russian (by culture and upbringing, of course, not by age!) I see no continuity or succession between the old Russia and the modern post-1917. This saddens me a lot, but I accept that the historical Russian nation went the way of many other nations before it: it disappeared and made place to other ones. I am probably one of the last of my breed (-: good thing that nobody wants to put me in a zoo with a sign “almost extinct” :-)
. One of the reasons why the liberals in Russia today are such an utterly marginal and discredited force is precisely because they forfeited in 1993 their credibility as “democrats”
Absolutely true. And add to this the absolutely disgraceful and pathetic 8 months rule of the Masonic “democratic” regime of Kerensky in 1917 which only managed to create complete and total chaos and you will see why words like “democrat” are used as insults. Some people even use the word “dermocrat” (дермократ) which is composed of “dermo” which in Russian means “shit” and the “krat” of “kratos” meaning: shit in power.
Still, I think that most Russians do want what we associate with real democracy: freedom of speech, protection from abuse, rule of law, etc. Their distrust is towards the pro-Western parties which call themselves “democratic” and get their money from the US Embassy, not towards the idea of people-power (народовластие).
Kind regards and many thanks again.
Damn you Saker! I had work to do and then you post this epic piece! I could not stop reading! ;)
Perhaps another reason why the Western elite hate Russia so much is that evidence suggest that Western Globalist powers had planned onto turning Russia into a failed state who’s sole purpose was to provide resources as part of their “New Order”.
I recently watched a documentary called “The Unknown Putin” in which it is described that something like 70% of Russia’s oil revenue was being diverted offshore via product sharing agreements passed into law by Western advisers in the privatisation era. These product sharing agreements included metal, gas and many other resources too, but these same advisers also deindustralised the country by closing down a whole host of essential industries like tool engineering, electronics, machine building and many others.
Towards the end of the video it mentions a US plan that was discovered to nuke about 300 Russian cities (I think this is the SIOP?)
Thankfully, it never happened thankfully, but according to the narrator these 300 Russian cities correlated with the locations of those same industries the “reformers” later closed down.
This may just be a coincidence, but perhaps the Western elites had designs on bringing down the Soviet Union all along?
One very last comment for the moment on the subject of Russian elections. This stems from a personal conversation with one of the heads of the OSCE election monitoring team in 2000 at a hotel in Maida Vale. I don’t remember this man’s name but it should be easy to find. My memory of him is he was Italian.
This conversation happened shortly after Putin’s first round victory in the 2000 Presidential election, the loser being of course Zyuganov. The OSCE monitors had given the election a reasonably clean bill of health (this was of course before Putin became the monster he is now), just as they had done with the parliamentary elections in 1999 (which the Medved party won) and the grotesquely fraudulent Presidential elections of 1996 which Yeltsin “won”.
I pointed out to this person that all of these elections had been marred by irregularities and the election in 1996 was obviously falsified. I also pointed out that the same had been true of elections that had been held in Croatia. He replied that it was “utopian” to expect elections in countries like Russia and Croatia to conform with best standards. Provided the essential “form of an election” was respected (those were his precise words) “progress was being achieved” and it would be wrong to cast doubts on any election results.
In reply I pointed out to this person than he would not be making such comments if the elections had been won by the Communists. He did not deny it but changed the subject.
As I was myself a party to this conversation I can vouch for its truth. I will leave it to others to draw whatever conclusions they wish from this conversation in the light of what has happened to reports from international monitors of Russian elections since this conversation took place.
“Having said all of the above, its actually pretty simple to understand why Russia in general, and Putin in particular, elicits such a deep hatred from the Western plutocracy: having convinced themselves that they won the Cold War they are now facing the double disappointment of a rapidly recovering Russia and a Western economic and political decline turning into what seems to be a slow and painful agony.”
It runs deeper than that. Essentially, once the US had settled the Civil war and expanded to the Pacific, they looked for possibilities for further expansion, especially in Asia. And early on they identified Russia, with which the US had traditionally had distant but friendly relations, as a country that would likely oppose US economic and political influence in Asia. Read “The Imperial Cruise” for how Russophobic president Theodore Roosevelt laid the foundations for the Russo-Japanese war.
It suffices to say that US Russophobia did not get started in 1917.
Apart from this point, this is a very insightful and comprehensive essay on the grounds of US-Russian tension. Thank you.
@Anonymous1054: something like 70% of Russia’s oil revenue was being diverted offshore via product sharing agreements passed into law by Western advisers in the privatisation era.
I think that this is a VERY conservative figure. Some sources think that all 100% of the oil revenue was sent abroad and the fact is that the state had NO money left at all. One of the first things Putin did was to stop that when he created a reserve fund with the proceeds of oil/gas sales.
it mentions a US plan that was discovered to nuke about 300 Russian cities (I think this is the SIOP?)
True. But the Soviet had their own, similar, plan. Having such a plan does not, per se, prove ill will or an intention to attack. Far more obscene and disgusting were the other Western plans to attack the Soviet Union (http://orientalreview.org/2010/04/22/britain-planned-to-attack-ussr/) including the British plan “Operation Unthinkable” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Unthinkable) which was prepared while Britian and the US were supposed to be ‘allies’ of the Soviet Union…
perhaps the Western elites had designs on bringing down the Soviet Union all along?
I don’t believe that. The Western elites put the Bolsheviks in power and they had a vested interest in keeping the Soviet system in place for as long as possible simply because they knew that this system was chocking the real human and economic potential of Russia and the Russian people. This is one of the reasons I don’t believe that the West has “won a the Cold War”. What the West *did* succeed in doing is keeping Russia in a “straitjacket” or a “cage” from 1917 through 1999, which is a remarkable achievement, IMHO.
@Alexander: well, I know about these so-called “observers”. I will be blunt here. In my experiences these observers are a mix of:
a) idiots in junior positions
b) loyal doubleplusgoodthinkers in medium positions
c) intelligences officers in the key executive positions
d) political figures at the very top to add “credibility” and “gravitas” to it all
Maybe my view is heavily biased by what I know about OSCE “observers” and “monitors” in Chechnia, but I personally know of professional intellligence officers who took a sabbatical off their full time jobs to go and “observe” the Russian forces in Chechnia.
Personally, I think that Russia should kick out all and any “observers” and “monitors” from any NATO or EU country. Maybe my views are too extreme on this topic as I admit that I would also prefer to see Russia out of the Council of Europe, its Parliamentary Assembly or the European Court of Human Rights. Why? Because I get the feeling that the EU politicians have only one way to try to put some hair on their chests: to bash Russia. After all, what are EU politicians? the prostitutes who run the US colony of Europe for Uncle Sam. So Russia should treat with the Americans – they are real interlocutors – and not with their puppets. My disgust with the EU and its politicians really is immense…
So yes, of course, they will lie through their teeth to declare ANY election they like as clean, and ANY election they do not like as “fraudulent”. Look at how they backed the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine (now that was a clear coup!). Man, don’t get me started – I hate, really HATE, EU politicians :-)
@rkka: first, I have to say that I do not disagree with any of what you wrote; i just decided to keep pre-1917 Russia out of the already very long post. There is a point I want to pick up though:
Read “The Imperial Cruise” for how Russophobic president Theodore Roosevelt laid the foundations for the Russo-Japanese war.
My understanding is that the cause of the Russo-Japanese war was the unwillingness of Nicholas II and his Minister Witte to yield to the threats made by American Jews who essentially demanded that all limitations placed on Jews in Russia be lifted. Having failed to intimidate Russia, the Jewish bankers then engaged in a massive operation to a) fund the Japanese military and b) subvert Russia from within. Trotksy was one of their key agents of influence, by the way. This version was also confirmed to me by a member of an aristocratic Japanese family who was closely connected to the traditional circles of power in Japan. This book http://www.amazon.com/Wall-Street-Bolshevik-Revolution-Capitalists/dp/190557035X seems to address these topics, though I have not read it myself so I cannot vouch for it.
And if we look further in the past, we see that Jews have always hated Russia which, after all, destroyed the Khazar Empire and wish pushed back the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth which resulted in a catastrophe for Jews: they used to be the folks in charge of persecuting the Orthodox Church on behalf of the Papacy and exploiting the Ukrainian peasants on behalf of the Polish nobility, and they suddenly found themselves a unprotected minority surrounded by very resentful Ukrainians. Add to this the fact that Stalin won his struggle against the Trotskists and you will see why American Neocons simply hate Russia with a passion…
Many thanks and kind regards,
Thank you for this very interesting article and the comments. I have two points :
1) American politics are seen here as beeing imperialist but American people not.Russian politics are not seen are imperialist but its people yes.
2) Our govnmt is very friendly with Putin and Medvedev. People see Putin as a dictator but they believe he is good for Russia and not too bad for Russians. Of course, a people’s democracy would be better !
Lots of Russians travel and live in Europe and they behave as “Russia über alles”. I personnally avoid them when I am going on vacation as they are so disgustingly rude, without any manners, especially men. In Spain, they are building whole villages to be by themselves “all Russians”. They don’t mix. In muslim countries, such as North Africa, Turkey, Egypt where I go for diving, (one cannot dive with Russians – there are separate clubs !) All the entertainment is done in Russian, blond belly dancers, etc… but of course, they have plenty of money and young North African boys are delighted with the beautiful blue-eyed girls…. very easy. Some hotels owners are not so pleased because of the dammages.
An ugly picture which may not please you.
@Josi:An ugly picture which may not please you.
LOL! This picture of the Russian tourist as being worse than the seven plagues of Egypt combined is quite accurate, if not for most, then at least for many Russians. Actually, Russians in Russia are becoming aware of that, and the TV shows are full of drunk Russian tourists causing fights in airplanes or creating scandals when they are not served fast enough: check out this “charming” lady:
(the video is delicately entitled “Russian cunt in Turkey”…)
This is on par with what I have observed from British tourists in Andalusia or German tourists in Gran Canaria. If nowadays there are German tour operators which offer their clients “Russian free” resorts, then I can tell you that the Swedes had “German free” condos in Las Palmas.
What would you expect from a population which was born in thoroughly immoral Soviet Communism (which nobody took seriously) only later to live through the years of even MORE immoral Eltsin “democracy”? That kind of behavior, along with alcoholism, drug use, violence (Russian road rages are now famous world wide), abortions, corruption, etc. I think of it as the “progressive package”. This will only change if/when the Russian society develops a new set of moral and ethical values which people will believe in.
But again, there is nothing unique about that. You speak of Muslim countries. Just take a look at how lapsed ex-Muslim Arabs behave not only at home, but abroad. One short trip to a suburb of Lyon, Paris or Marseille really shows it all.
Again, this is the “progressive package” which I why I dislike all secularist regimes so much – they literally corrupt the people. Religious regimes can be good or bad, but at least most of them try to elevate the human being above the amoeba, whereas progressive secular regimes tell their people “do whatever you want, there is no right and wrong, there is only your freedom and the pursuit of happiness”.
Do you know that while officially something like 70% of Russians identify themselves as “Orthodox Christians” only a tiny percentage in the 1-5% tops is actually religious?
So no, I am not surprised one bit by a picture which I know all too well.
Cheers and kind regards,
Saker, are you familiar with Dmitri Orlov, and his collapse scenario for the US visavi the USSR?
Great essay. I have to say your description of Russia fits my terribly uninformed intuition. I hadn’t realized things were so bad in 1993. I was lecturing in Moscow in 1995 and things were grim. I also knew a colonel in the KGB who I think must have been in Putin’s division. He later became minister in charge of Chechen Itsa. Ihad dinner with him and his wife in their apartment on the south side of Moscow in 1987, and he struck meat the time as one of the ‘modernizers.’
I’m curious to know what you think the role of Gaidar was in the Eltsin phase of disintegration. I spoke with some anti-putin academics at the Gaidar conference ladt January, and they seemed genuinely afraid of a return to a dictatorship. They are solidly Russian nationalists so I think no longer infected by the American ‘dream.’
I agree with you one hundred percet about Khodorkovski.
Fascinating insight into Russia– greatly appreciated.
@FkDahl:are you familiar with Dmitri Orlov Yes, I heard one of his lectures and I can only fully agree with most of what he says. He is one amongst many other who see uncanny parallels between the Soviet Union under Brezhnev and the USA under Obama. Still, I think that for the USA Orlov looks at the worst case scenario of a rapid collapse followed by a complete breakdown of the society. This is only one amongst many possibilities and one which not only most Americans would want to avoid, but also most of the planet. But globally I completely agree with him and for the need for folks like him to issue urgent warnings to try to wake up those zombies who naively think that the USA can go on forever like it does today. At the very core there is one truth which very few Americans are willing to look at: Capitalism is simply *unsustainable* and it can only lead to a crash.
@Knut: before I answer you have have to begin with a disclaimer. Even though I know the Russian liberal/democratic crowd in exile (USA, Germany, France, etc.) rather well, I have no personal contacts with their counterpart in Russia. I have to admit here that a truly loathe Russian liberals/democrats and every time I see them on TV or the Internet a feel the urge of smashing their faces with a brick or something heavier. Folks like Novodvorskaya, Kovalev, Latynina, Khakamada, Gudkov, Pozner, Navalnyi, Iavlinski, Nemtsov and the rest of them simply turn my stomach. The only Russian democract/liberal whom I respect is Venediktov who is actually sincere and, unlike the rest of them, he is a *real* pluralist (Russian democrats/liberals are the most bigoted, arrogant and intolerant folks I have ever met). All this is to say that my reply about Gaidar is not from personal experience and comes with a very strong bias. As far as I know, Gaidar is one of the most loathesome individuals in the Eltsin administration. He was marginally more intelligent than most of them, but that hardly makes him an honorable person. He – with Chubais and Berezovsky – where the true power behind Eltsin and they are all traitors to their country. I cannot conceive of anybody remotely associated with Gaidar being called a “nationalist”. As for their mantra about a dictatorship in Russia – what is their evidence?! The reality is that under Putin and Medvedev Russia became far MORE democratic. As for the Constitution – sorry guys! – THEY are the ones who wrote it, not the security services. No, what they really fear is that Russia will become a sovereign country again, at which point these guys will have three options: emigrate to the UK, US or Israel.
But you are probably correct about your ex-KGB: many folks in the KGB felt that the Soviet Union would collapse long before it actually did (they had access to the real info, and they were very smart and well educated) and a lot of them became very real reformers and modernists.
Kind regards and thanks to both of you for your comments!
Wasn’t going to comment (not in the mood today), but I had to congratulate you on an excellent piece.
On the question of capitalism being unsustainable yes it almost certainly is. Of course apologists for capitalism will argue that yes there are recurrent crises and recessions but that is because capitalism is a dynamic system which innovates and is based on creative destruction to quote the Austrian economist Schumpeter. There have been depressions such as the Long Depression of the 1870s and the Great Depression of the 1930s but so far the system has always been able to recover – often with a lot of state intervention in the so called free market.
Historically that’s true but capitalism is a system that demands permanent growth to survive and you cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet. Global Warming may prove to be an existential crisis for capitalism although it’s possible that the more apocalyptic predictions are exaggerated. More serious in my view is Peak Oil. The economy ever since the Industrial Revolution has been dependent on ever greater consumption of fossil fuels and there is a growing consensus that we are at the point where half the planet’s reserves of oil may have been exhausted. What’s left will be ever more expensive to extract.
However innovative and ingenious future scientists and engineers may be unless we can find an alternative energy source with the same or comparable EROEI (energy return on energy invested) then the capitalist system may be doomed. And much as we may dislike capitalism this may not be anything to rejoice over as the process of collapse could be catastrophic leading to wars, destitution, mass migration of peoples and the rise of fascism in some parts of the world.
Some people claim that fast breeder nuclear reactors may be the solution. Maybe. But if not we could be in very deep trouble.
“I don’t believe that. The Western elites put the Bolsheviks in power and they had a vested interest in keeping the Soviet system in place for as long as possible simply because they knew that this system was chocking the real human and economic potential of Russia and the Russian people. “
@VINEYARDSAKER: Yes that makes sense and they have also done the same to the people in the West (perhaps to a lesser extent) by forcing manufacturing to move off shore and other destructive economic policies.
What you say about the Trotskyite Jews hating Russia I think runs a lot deeper than you describe and extends to white/European people in general. It probably could be true for any group of people that doesn’t give Jews exactly what they want.
You have pointed out in the past, the Jews are highly racially sensitive. Jews (or at least many of the ones who have power today) have very painful memories of ethnic tensions that often resulted in them being forcibly evicted from host societies, not just in Russia, but from many other countries over the last 2000 years. Most of these host societies just happen to be white and these experiences have shaped their world view, in which they see the white man as an “oppressor” and a “bully” who must be kept down in order for Jews to live safely in the world.
Jews have long memories, (perhaps because their high level of ethnic cohesion and the great lengths they have always gone to to preserve their culture). They hold grudges, sometimes even for thousands of years, yet are somehow blind to the fact that their own parasitic and destructive behavior (often at great expense to their host) is the cause of much of the friction that inevitably results.
Similar hatred applies to many other nations, ethnic groups, and religious groups that are not favorable to Judaism and Jewish behavior not only Russians.
@Robert: I would not be overly worried about Global Warming, or Peak Oil.
Facts suggest Global Warming is a Globalist scam to levy an extra tax burden on the developed nations of the West.
There is plenty of evidence to back this up: That Al Gore’s famous movie “An Inconvenient Truth” was produced by Hollywood Jews, the denouncement of Michael Mann’s “hockystick graph” by reputable scientists and the scandal known as “Climategate” where emails reveal discussions between him and other top climate scientists struggling with what they should present to the public in the IPCC report to account for the discrepancies with more honest studies.
The Kyoto Protocol unfairly targeted only the US and industrialised nations, but left out developing countries like China and India who are major polluters.
For many years Al Gore pushed hard for an international climate treaty and in 1998 President Clinton signed the Protocol, which would have obliged the United States to reduce its emissions by at least 5 percent below 1990 levels. It would have crippled the US economy, but fortunately the US Senate saw sense and unanimously voted not to ratify it.
The whole affair has eerily similarities to the de-industralisation of Russia by Western advisers in the 90’s.
As for Peak oil, I believe this is simply scaremongering. The US has kept it’s own oil mines dormant and has been relying on Saudi oil for decades.
According to F William Engdahl, even the whole concept of “fossil fuel” is Western disinformation and oil is actually “a-biotic” and wells in fact replenish themselves.
Also check out: http://peakoildebunked.blogspot.com.au/
I did not have any customers this morning, so there was enough time to read.
A very informative article. You put in a lot of effort, time, and feeling into this. And I was educated by reading it.
I knew the gist of things. for instace, the fact that it would have been people from the intelligence who would have put Putin there. People who were well informed, concerned for Russia’s future, and had the power to pull the right strings. But your article and you are better informed, and know the actual people involved.
From what I observe, the United States survives on pillaging the resources of others. They lasted so long on Saudi crude, the first Gulf war got them another ten years, then Iraq, and now probably Iran will get them another 10. They put sanctions on these gulf oil states and corner energy for themselves. Then when they are done with one, or exploited it enough, they move on to the next secured/sanctioned emirate.
I don’t feel optimistic, because I feel most people are fools. And eventually with enough money, propoganda, and cunning the 1% will defeat Putin and what he stands for. If not now, then somewhere down the line. And the reason for this is their determination to corrupt and get their way. The people on the other side, in this case Putin’s side, will last one generation and the next will be conned.
For instance I read somewhere that during Tsarist purges of the then oligarchs, a 3/4th of Russia’s wealth was controlled by 8-9 men, most of them Jewish. And then just before Putin, the cycle had repeated itself.
The other side is much more determined and lives in another world, where the rest of us are just cattle.
Great post, Anonymous. 100% concur.
Anonymous, peak oil is a fact here in Russia. There is no such a thing as abiotic oil, that would be an unicorn with sweets coming from the rear end. There is only one large oil field left in Russia. And oil coming from it will not be cheap because it is not easily accessable.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trebs_and_Titov_oil_fields
If you pay attention you will see that governments are actually aware of the problem and kind of preparing. Mostly in military sense but there also other trends like using gas as fuel for public transport and investing in railways.
And yes, as our dependency on oil is great, so will be a depth of the crisis to come.
Also please note, that Arctics is getting increasingly important due to the truth you are trying to deny – the climate change
“My understanding is that the cause of the Russo-Japanese war was the unwillingness of Nicholas II and his Minister Witte to yield to the threats made by American Jews who essentially demanded that all limitations placed on Jews in Russia be lifted. Having failed to intimidate Russia, the Jewish bankers then engaged in a massive operation to a) fund the Japanese military and b) subvert Russia from within. “
I do not deny that aspect, but identify another, which is that President Theodore Roosevelt was encouraging the Japanese government to impose a Japanese “Monroe Doctrine” for Asia and encouraging the Japanese opposition to Russia that eventually produced the sneak attack on Port Arthur, and greeting the attack itself with great enthusiasm:
Elihu Root to TR-“Was not the way the Japs began the fight bully?”
TR to his son- “I was thoroughly well pleased with the Japanese victory, for Japan is playing our game.”
Certainly for the US government, and not just Jewish bankers, 8 February 1904 was certainly not a date that shall live in infamy. Setting Japan against Russia was part of an imperial project to reinforce the US position in Asia. As Senator Albert Beveridge put it after a tour of Manchuria: “There is but one agency which might dislodge the Russians from Manchuria, the sword-like bayonets of the soldiers of Japan, the warships of Japan, the siege guns of Japan…” Im Beverigge’s view, it would be Japan that would open Manchuria as America’s next “Wild West” by pushing Russia out of it.
@rkka: very interesting explanation, thanks! I was not aware of that view at all. thanks for the interesting comment!
Have you written anything about Anna Politkovskaya?
@Mindfriedo: probably, but if I did it must have been in the comments section, not in a post. Basically, she got killed by Chechens who were angry at her, not by the Kremlin. Cheers!
Thanks, found this one today:
I really enjoyed your blog and have shared it, However, your paragraph on Barack Obama is seriously wanting. Let me assure you that
1-) Neocons only on the surface were removed from power and indeed still operate “in the shadows”. They were the ones pushing for a war with Syria (along with their AIPAC “Israel first” buddies); its the American people who finally pushed back to prevent it.
2-) Barack Obama has “gifted” more money to the nation of Israel than any other POTUS, and has indeed surrounded himself with Zionist Jew leftist advisors. Valerie Jarrett, Rahm Emmanuel and George Soros are 3 off the top of my head.
3-) He is also purging the military in high positions of power and replacing them with Zionist Jews.
Saker, what do you make of the information from defectors like Anatoliy Golitsyn in regards to the inner KGB and the outer KGB? Given the globalist creation of the Bolshevik revolution is it that far fetched to think that by any means necessary the globalists will implement their agenda of global communism? I guess I wonder if you think that the scenario altered with Putin?
@Charles:what do you make of the information from defectors like Anatoliy Golitsyn in regards to the inner KGB and the outer KGB?
I have to tell you that I am mostly very skeptical about most of the information coming from defectors. I have met quite of few of them myself and here is what I usually observed:
a) they usually try to magnify their (former) rank, access to information, position, etc.
b) they often have a great deal of difficulty coping with their situation.
c) they often defected because of private problems and not ideological issues.
d) with time, they often run out of real information to pass on, so they start making up stories to stay relevant.
There are exceptions to these rules, but most fall in all four of these categories.
All this is to explain why I am very skeptical about what Golitsyn had to say. I have never heard anything about an “inner KGB” versus an “outer KGB”. The body which oversaw the KGB has the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Politbureau. Of course, the KGB had its own counter-intelligence and security directorate and the part of the KGB which was in charge of external intelligence tended to be very separate, in particular the part dealing with illegals. But an “inner KGB”, no, never heard of that. Sorry :-)
The west is currently under the sway of lunatics! The USA is just a disgusting country now.
My my Saker, your opus was quite a read, it took me two days! I had to stop aplenty. So it took me a lot longer to finish. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope another piece like this happens soon.
I am more and more leaning towards learning Russian. I’m already learning the basics but I believe that I have become, thanks to Putin a Russophile.
Your background is somewhat similar to mine. Much of what you say, is on point.
Muy, muy bien
a good article that articulates well russia as she has developed since the end of communism
You blow my mind! KamNam who pops in and out every now and then said I should check you out, something about similarities.
Your piece on Russia is excellent
I read some the other day and some today
(home renos, sigh…my back is killing me)
Your personal connections add a wonderful touch to the entire post!
The Magnitsky case is really something else
Myself and two other bloggers worked on a giant piece about that one. At another blog.
Khodorkovsky : jailed for loving liberty
My how quickly he signed his shares over to one of the Rothschild….
I think there are at least a couple of posts on that fellow at my place
I am still waiting for the narrative to turn on the Boston Marathon false flag…
We have witnessed countless times the creative narratives presented as ‘truths’
So, somehow that is going to be turned into something Russia did.
There were little tidbits dropped here and there at the time
Your use of ‘liberal’ can you clarify how you are using the word?
Are you talking market liberals?
As in the “liberalization of markets”?
Or are you talking the self-labelled/defined ‘left’ I associate with gun control?
It would help me understand what you mean by the term liberal
Because liberal means so many things, to so many people.
“@Robert: I would not be overly worried about Global Warming, or Peak Oil.
Facts suggest Global Warming is a Globalist scam to levy an extra tax burden on the developed nations of the West”
Yes, FACTS DO INDEED SUGGEST THAT!
I am not yelling. I get so frustrated when I put something up at my place about the absolute scam involved in the AGW myth
And do you know what the accusation is always
“You must get money from the oil companies”
Well there you have it.
Shoot the messenger
If that is the best the cultists can come up with it shows how absolutely lame the whole case is for AGW. Which reeks of elite control of the ‘human resources’ and Agenda 21
But, hey lets pretend our governments really care, right?
Rant over and apologies for the OT
@Penny:Your use of ‘liberal’ can you clarify how you are using the word?
Good point. I should have made that clear. In this context I use the word “liberal” in the current Russian meaning of the world. Nowadays “liberals” and “democrats” in Russia are those who are hopelessly pro-US and who want Russia to follow the US model. These guys usually deeply russophobic (they are constantly pissed at the masses of the people who do not want to agree with their views and vote for them), they have no problem getting money from the West, and all they do is criticize and complain, criticize and complain, criticize and complain, criticize and complain and criticize and complain some more. They never EVER make any kind of constructive proposal. Nor do they ever manage anything bigger than a small propaganda campaign. These are usually quite wealthy folks, often from old Communist families, who love to organize meetings and make grand statements.
This definition has obviously nothing to do with the otherwise noble ideals of liberalism or democracy, and I should have made that clear.
Many thanks and kind regards,
Communism is an ideal that has yet to work. That doesn’t mean it won’t work or shouldn’t. Capitalism, consumerism, egoism are too strong;as Commandate Fidel has pointed out: Socialism doesn’t even work in Cuba. Don’t forget Capitalism has had a head start of several centuries.
Terrific essay, Saker. You’ve left us all with much to think about, and also provided some fascinating information that I, for one, was unaware of. I’m hoping you will do some additional essays along the same subject, to keep the discussion alive. Usually, once an essay falls too low on the page the discussion peters out. I’d sure like this one to continue !
Thank you for your explanation of what a “liberal” in Russia means. As already observed, the drift and corruption of terminology is maddening enough here in the US, and the Russian versions add yet another dimension to the insanity.
What I’d like to know about Russian “liberals” – in the pro-US fashion- is why? Why would anyone look at the US in its current state and say “yeah, that’s an ideal to aspire towards!” Do they also say “Aw, I wish we had an ally like Israel” ? Why would anyone admire this? Do they not understand what’s really happening or do they know and choose to be disingenuous about it?
I have a Russian pen pal whom I correspond with from time to time. He’s a strong admirer of Thomas Jefferson, as am I. He doesn’t seem to have any illusions that the US these days is keeping with that tradition. Is this what the Russian pro-US faction is? Do they admire the US Constitution but perhaps not realize that we’ve tragically strayed from it?
@Sky:What I’d like to know about Russian “liberals” – in the pro-US fashion- is why?
OMG! You have no idea how complicate that question is. There have been many many many volumes written (in Russian) about that. You may have given me the idea for another long article, though I need to think about that. The short answer to your questions is that being pro-US for Russian liberals has less to do with the USA and much more to do with a mix of a complex of inferiority (feeling of inadequacy) and superiority (superior to the “normal” Russians who don’t feel inadequate). Sounds crazy? It is. Sorry, that is the best I can do. But I will try to come back to that (very interesting and very important) topic.
What would be the educational and economic status of so-called liberals in Russia?
By the way, does Kasparov actually have any support in Russia? Would these liberals actually think he’s good?
fyi, pepe escobar was plugging this post on FB… congrats!
can you do a separate post on the issue of “Jewish oligarchs”?
one of pepe’s followers on facebook raised questions about this term.
@Anonymous0327:What would be the educational and economic status of so-called liberals in Russia?
Typically middle-class, not the poor, not the rich either. They are products of the Soviet intelligentsia, they have college degrees and they view themselves as the intellectual elite of the country.
By the way, does Kasparov actually have any support in Russia? Would these liberals actually think he’s good?
He is one of the most famous of these liberals and they love him. But that’s only 5% of the population, tops.
@Anonymous0850:can you do a separate post on the issue of “Jewish oligarchs”?
A *lot* has been written about them, not only in Russia, but also in Israel where they trigger very mixed feelings. Frankly, I don’t want to dwell too deep into them simply because I don’t think that they deserve that much attention. They were part of a *system* which deserves scrutiny – the Eltsin years – but they were only part of a bigger whole. Also – most of them are either exiled, or dead, or in jail. Their era is over. Mind you, there are plenty of other oligarchs in Russia today, but they play by Putin’s rules and they pay their dues (kind of, not really, but this is slowly changing also), and at the very least they are not US and UK agents. They know that to stay rich and alive they need to play by a different set of rules, and they do. The really interesting topic would be to research the *current* oligarchs and their role/position in the society. I will think about that.
Kind regards and thanks to both of you,
All societies suffer from crises and collapse. The US suffers a major crisis every 80 to 100 years since the beginning of the last crisis period. The last crisis period ran from 1925 to 1945. The next one goes from 2005 to 2025.
Russia suffered a collapse in 1991. However, Putin managed to pick up the old pieces and put Russia back together. There is a problem though. Russia suffers from the same old problems of rigidity and corruption. Russia will have to suffer another major collapse because of these problems.
China suffers from the same problems too – rigidity and corruption. It’s in trouble too.
So the US, Russia and China are all in trouble. Let’s add the EU and Japan to the list too.
With so many countries in trouble, we have entered the age of upheaval. I wouldn’t rule out economic collapse and/or war affecting many players. Russia and the USA might very well be at war before you know it. Hasn’t Russia hinted at nuclear retaliation for western interference in the Middle East? The US dodged that bullet one time, but what about the next time?
I imagine you know who Mikhail Khazin is. His take on Putin’s rise to power is slightly different from yours. Basically, he says that Putin was essentially hired by the elite to act as an arbiter in their conflicts, to balance the various factions and their interests. Implicit was the acceptance that those who did not play by the rules would be excluded from the game, hence Khodor, Bereza, Gusya, etc.
He also claims that Putin’s third term is now a mandate from the Russia people to purge the elite. It seems the Eurasianists are making their move; Putin has apparently put the process in motion of purging the Atlantacists. Khazin ties in some recent events to his theory and recommends anyone under the “roof” of the libs, Chubais, Voloshin and the like to start looking for a new roof.
@Anonymous06:32:I imagine you know who Mikhail Khazin is.
Putin was essentially hired by the elite to act as an arbiter in their conflicts, to balance the various factions and their interests
Yes, except that I believe that adding Medvedev into the mix and put a “tandem” into power was the way chosen by various factions to “balance” the interests of various groups and, basically, to get the Eltsinoids to agree to the deal.
He also claims that Putin’s third term is now a mandate from the Russia people to purge the elite.
He is 100% correct. Putin’s power base is now the people, not just a faction in power.
It seems the Eurasianists are making their move; Putin has apparently put the process in motion of purging the Atlantacists
Absolutely, but he cannot go too fast without triggering a revolt, so he goes at this step by step there, contrary to what the Western media says, he does not have absolute power in Russia. Yes, he has a mandate from the people, but there are still powerful interests he has to take into account.
Quite fascinating, is it not?
Interesting commentary, but unfortunately a conflation of class warfare issues with neocon-ism. The two are not the same.
Equally the conflation of the convenience of 9/11 towards US Presidential power expansion/civil liberty abrogation with the possibility that said event was planned.
@anonymous0950: the conflation of the convenience of 9/11 towards US Presidential power expansion/civil liberty abrogation with the possibility that said event was planned.
Planned it was. It is just not possible to deny that any more:
It was my understanding that all three buildings fell at free fall speeds, not just WT7. Do I have that right?
If explosives were involved that would involve a timed sequence of bombs planted at regular intervals would it not? Rigging the timing so that the buildings collapse at free-fall speed the bombs/explosives would need to trigger with an insane amount of precision. Would it not?
I am a bit skeptical of the popular Steven Jones thermite/thermate theory and there are some shady events in Jones’ past that ring alarm bells.
Even though it is quite bizarre on the surface I’m leaning towards Dr Judy Wood’s work. It seems a very good question when she asks where did all the rubble go? You’d think there would be tons of steel spread out for at least one street block, or else the collapse of the twin towers would stop a dozen or so floors up from ground level, but the towers were completely obliterated to ground level with hardly anything left.
Regardless of which theory is right (if any at all), the collapse of the twin towers was like no other in history, though WT7 looked like a standard controlled demolition.
@anonymous12:02:It was my understanding that all three buildings fell at free fall speeds, not just WT7. Do I have that right?
As far as I know WTC1 and WTC2 fell at “near” free fall speed but not quite. However, the free fall speed of WTC7 was measured AND ADIMTTED BY NIST.
I am a bit skeptical of the popular Steven Jones thermite/thermate theory and there are some shady events in Jones’ past that ring alarm bells.
Well, its not his theory. I don’t like the guy one bit. In fact, I can’t stand him. But he is only a reporter, the thermite theory has been established by scientists, not Jones.
though WT7 looked like a standard controlled demolition.
Absolutely no doubt about that.
Russia, Do NOT let Israel, England and the other members of the criminal gang against Syria fool you with a few gas contracts. What they are offering you is similar to narcotics, and they ONLY wish you evil. When Russia was weak and Chechnya’s terrorists were trying to separate from Russia, all these Western countries and Israel were calling the terrorists freedom fighters and were hoping Russia would split. All these intentions are still valid. Soon, you will be able to export all the gas and oil you want to Asia. Deceit, greed and hyposcrisy are profound qualities in the character of the Western society.
nice blog saker-
but real enemy of russiaans is one and onloy one nation-english race. the parasitic england is the main evil in this world.
england is running a WW3 agasint all non anglo nations ofociurse it needs american arms for that.
Gulf war plotted by witch thatcher, first iraq war by criminal tony blair-this syrian by english rat
only when wars become unpopular the english stoptaking credit for that nd let blame b placed on Jews
and stupid people including hitler blamed jews while it was all along the english parasites who loot.
england lives off protection money from the international criminals whoget asylum in england 4 money.
biggest money laundering is done by the english race in london calling it service industry
anglophile kissinger promised british controlled gulf monarchies protection run by the british -usa.
all plots r done by the evil english race-read dumas interview-they pass the blame2 jews if turned unpopular.
Cecil von Renthe-Fink is a mere footnote in the pages of history. A Prussian aristocrat who joined the Nazi Party in 1939, Renthe-Fink however has a claim to fame. In August 1943, he drafted a memorandum proposing a European economic union with a common central bank and currency. But there was a caveat – if the new union was to be a success, Britain must be kept out because according to the German diplomat it was “the continent’s ancient enemy”.
Today several nations, especially Russia, would agree with that assessment. With 66,000 of its nationals on the run from justice, and a large number of them having found asylum in Britain, Russia is the most affected by Britain’s policies.
England as pirate rogue state today and yesterday.
Just as Britain is the save heaven for all kinds of wanted top political and financial criminals.
==60% of the UK’s GDP is financial fraud, dabbling in stolen money from the third world with help of british approved dictators in those nations.-otherwise humanitarian bombing is coming your Way!
Money laundering is the business of English race-they never graduated from the piracy days.
Don’t forget that Putin jailed Khodorkovsky, one of the many Oligarchs who had raped Russia’s resources after Glasnost, nationalised his oil and gas fields and paid off the debts of the Russian Federation in 5 years. Just before his arrest Khodorkovsky wired all his money to Jacob Rothschild who runs the corrupt City of London, without proper financial regulation, so that 60% of the UK GDP is fraud.
The British are one of the most Russophobic and Slavophobic nations on the planet, and they provide safe harbor to “oligarch” crooks, terrorists, extremists, traitors and other criminals on the lam from Russia and many other countries, protecting them from justice.
The modus operandi of Britain is to make country and regions unstable and install british stooge with explicit instruction to bring the money -looted ones -to Britain from where it is not going to go anywhere else.
Some oligarch Jews (like thee criminal U.K.-based fugitive oligarch Boris Berezovsky)
were the stooge of British in Russia and they brought so many ill gotten money to uk. So did the Kuwaitis-who brought 4 billions of pounds within a week of first Iraq war problem in august 1990 -so has continued the massive loot of the rest of the world by the English .race through this money protection racket . It is money protection racket in the sense that those eliete’s money is protected only when it is made to be lodged in British London banks. The witness, who appeared on the Rossiya channel with his face hidden and was referred to as Pyotr, accused 61-year-old Berezovsky of killing Alexander Litvinenko because the former security officer knew how the exiled tycoon had obtained political asylum in Britain in 2003. This thief boris berezosvky is a terrorist as well who calls for violet end to Putin-the president who is one of the most loved of his countrymen compared to any in the world.
As someone said “We live in a world where criminals are good guys and patriots are villains: where Berezovsky is a liberal “human rights” activist and Putin is a moral monster.” that putin who is one of the most popular leader of any in the world.
say even if Russia destroys usa then if Britain or rather england is allowed to exist then the english parasitic dog race will ,by very parasitic nature, will try to disrupt Russia or other countries’ existence. therefore instead of attacking usa or poland it is best policy of Russia to attrack and destroy to the whole of england which must be evaporated to a rubble.
That is what explains influx of foreign money to London and how London has overtaken new York in stock market. Forget about service industry -british are the most ill mannered race what service can they provide except protection racket on back of american arms? Britain is looting even usa. Through it is usa which has worked hard (through illegal invasions ) to make other countries unstable so that Britain can get money from protection of stooge elites of those countries..
the modus operandi of Britain is to make country and regions unstable and install british stooge with explicit instruction to bring the money -looted ones -to Britain from where it is not going to go anywhere else.
Very good incisive essay and a pleasure to read. However you portray the Jewish actors invariably in the negative light which does not enhance your credibility. Meanwhile Putin funds the Federation of Jewish Communities in Russia, drastically increases the budgetary allocation to the Jewish Autonomous Area in Russia and is regarded by many as philosemitic. What does Putin understand that you don’t?
@anonymous0315:you portray the Jewish actors invariably in the negative light which does not enhance your credibility
Oy vey! Oy Gevalt! Crimethink alert!!!
As a policy I don’t usually answer such idiotic “straw-man” accusations, but since I know that there has been a huge increase in my blog’s readership I will make an exception today and answer it.
For one thing, I did not portray “Jewish actors” but “Jewish oligarchs”. I could, of course, have mentioned very positive Russian Jews like Alexander Gordon or Vladimir Soloviev or Alexander Hinshtein. The problem is that none of them are oligarchs. None of them are key people in the politics of the Kremlin. None of them played a key role in the past 20 years. So why would I mention them? Just to “balance out” the others? No?
Oh, I see, I would not have had to “balance” anything if I had not mentioned that most of the oligarchs were Jews. But why not mention this, if that has had a DIRECT consequences on their capability to harm both Russia (oligarchs) AND the USA (Neocons). You want me to refrain from mentioning the fascinating fact that the tiny tribe which causes immense harm in BOTH superpowers is one and the same? Why not? This is an absolutely fascinating phenomenon, especially since these two branches (US and Russian) closely work together (via actors such as Berezovsky).
I guess my main beef with your “argument” is that it implies that writing about a factual truth can weaken my credibility. I happen to have the exact opposite point of view: calling a stone a stone ENHANCES my credibility.
What does Putin understand that you don’t?
If you had the capacity to think logically you would understand that your question is absurd. If you ask ME what Putin understands and that I do *NOT* you are asking what Rumsfeld would call a “unknown that we do not know that we do not know” – so how could I possibly know?
What YOU don’t understand is that Putin runs a country, and I run a blog. We have different goals and different constraints. And Putin is neither anti-Semitic nor philo-Semitic. And neither am I, by the way. That very way of not only framing an issue but actually assessing the world is totally out of fashion outside the corporate Ziomedia. This is the blogoshere, dude, get over it. We don’t have doubleplusgoodthinking editors and board members to censor us and we don’t give a fuck about self appointed censors who think that they can beat us into silence with idiotic accusations of anti-Semitism.
I will tell you what Putin and I have in common. We live in a mental world which, unlike yours, is not Judeo-centric. We don’t think that the most important issue in the universe is how one relates to, or speaks about, any one tribe, especially not the one which makes such ridiculous demands of universal genuflection before it. We consider Jews as “just people” and being “just people” we reserve the right to like, or dislike, them, to write about them with the same freedom as we would write about any other group. The fact that THEY are engaged in some medieval form of narcissistic tribalism composed of a nauseating mix of racism, self-worship and Messianism is THEIR problem, not ours. Our entire system of reference is different and free from this sort of sick crap.
And if you cannot cope with it – go back to the corporate media. There you will find your comfort zone.
Finally, don’t bother engaging me any more on that crap. Or rather, you can post whatever you want – unlike the corporate media I do not engage in censorship – but don’t expect me to reply. I have better things to do.
Thank you for your reply to my earlier comment about the “liberal” Russians. Very interesting, and I hope you do write an essay on the subject. I really want to understand this, and you’re the one who can explain it! Is this phenomena sort of like what we see with some types of American socialists who use the hallowed “European model” for their fanciful Utopia? From my experiences with them, they fit a similar profile to your description of the Russian “liberal.” They’re usually middle to upper middle class, well educated and consider themselves quite cosmopolitan and worldly. They have a deeply submerged inferiority complex due to their misfortune in being born amongst the usual crass knuckle-dragging Americans, and insist that the “Europeans” are far more evolved and should properly be our role models in most everything.
I went to Europe once, a long time ago, and I enjoyed it. I like the history of all the countries, and all the cultural differences between them. I have a hard time thinking of “Europe” as a cultural or political monoculture. It seems unnatural, but that is precisely what the “European model” appears to aspire towards. Some perverse idealists have been busy turning all those countries into a Euro Blob- a congealed mess that nobody with any taste or appreciation for cultural history could possibly like. But many of the American “liberals” think highly of it, and imagine this to be a clear sign of their sophistication.
Are the Russian “liberals” a similar psychological type to this? How would you describe their attitude towards “Europe” and the US- similar? Is one considered more esteemed than the other?
Oh, and thank you for standing up to the Orwellian thought crime police in reply to that recent comment. You run a very nice, intelligent and thoughtful discussion of relevant topics here, and I’m so glad you don’t let people like that bully you.
@Sky: They’re usually middle to upper middle class, well educated and consider themselves quite cosmopolitan and worldly. They have a deeply submerged inferiority complex due to their misfortune in being born amongst the usual crass knuckle-dragging Americans, and insist that the “Europeans” are far more evolved and should properly be our role models in most everything.
SPOT ON!!!! You hit the psychological bullseye here.
You are also quite correct – there is no such thing as a single European model. I was born there and spend most of my life there, and I know it really well – its very diverse and not unified at all, except in the sick my of cosmopolist politicians like, say, Jacques Attali who considers nations as “motels to sleep in” in the way to his world government with, dare I mention that, its headquarters and world capital in Jerusalem.
There is the Nordic Europe, the Germanic Europe, the Latin Europe, the Celtic Europe, the Central Europe (Rumsfeld’s “New Europe” – a sad assembly of wannabe colonized US serfs), etc. etc. This is one of the reasons the EU is falling apart – its way too big. De Gaulle had some really interesting ideas about Europe, like his concept of “l’Europe des Patries” or Europe of nation states which he saw could even stretch from the Atlantic to the Urals, but now his ideas are largely forgotten. Too bad really. A small core of key European countries could have formed a “Europe of nation states”, but now its too late.
I am amazed how your description of some American socialists fits the Russian liberals…
There might be something really worth looking into here!
Thanks and kind regards,
The US government, or many parts of it, are for sale, including the Israeli Lobby. But to ascribe that power, that just about any lobby can purchase for itself, to a cabal of Jews in league with some Jewish conspiracy in Russia, turns this article into some pretty sleazy, same old/same old claptrap, that is not only inaccurate, but repulsive.
The world has a stake in throwing off the chains of American plutocracy, but anyone who goes around pushing an updated version of the Protocols of Zion isn’t doing this “movement” any favors.
“Quite fascinating, is it not?”
Indeed, it is. One of the many reasons I choose to live in Russia is that there is rarely a dull moment. Constant change, even for the worse sometimes, is better than illusory stability.
Another thing I find interesting about Khazin’s Russia analysis is how he ties it into a larger struggle among global elites, with two groups he nominally labels “Rockefellers” and “Rothschilds”, vying for different models of the global economy. The Atlanticists belong to the Rockefellers, who wish to see a US-centric model built around the dollar and financial institutions like the IMF and World Bank, while the Rothschilds (Eurasianists) envision the world breaking down into multiple currency zones (dollar, LatAm, Yuan, Euro, Ruble). He says the Rothschilds have made strides recently, not only in Russia, but in the US as well. This was particularly evident with the defeat of Summers as head of the Fed.
Khazin is an economist and views the world through this lens. Also, he goes to pains to explain that the labels he gives these two groups are nominal, i.e. not actual Rothschilds and Rockefellers. I once received a completely independent confirmation of one of the main media players in this game, and their views, and have since payed much more attention to what he says.
Btw, your characterization of the Russian liberals is spot on. I share your opinion of them, including Venediktov, who is the only one with any intellectual integrity. Prokhanov has called him a genius and he may be right about that. Despite Echo’s liberal bent, it is my go to local news source, especially for my weekly Prokhanov/Schevchenko/Khazin fix. I listen to the libs, too, at least for as long as I can stand it.
Btw, congrats on your recent success and recognition. I enjoy your blog quite a bit, even though I don’t exactly see eye to eye with you on a host of subjects. You’re a little crazy (I hope you take that as the compliment it is intended as).
Well, unlike you Putin understands
that without the Jews Russian defense technology will lag with predictable consequences for Russia’s long term prospects especially vis-s-vis China. He probably knows that Jews received 22% of all the Nobel Prizes in Science while being a tiny fraction of one percent of the world population. Whether you like it or not In terms of IQ various estimates put the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews at between 112 to 117 versus the Russian average of 96. Pursuant to the laws of statistical distribution only a very small percentage of Russians(or for that matter Americans) will have the 130 IQ generally seen as required to be a competent engineer, whereas a significant percentage of the Jewish population will have that much or more. That also explains why Jews rise to the top in most any movement at most any historical point in roles that may be perceived as positive or negative. Putin has largely succeeded in stemming the Jewish emigration. Ironically he also needs to prevent the intermarriage which probably will end the Jewish presence in Russia (and the US) within a few generations excepting the useless hassidic religious freaks. More intriguing is the large investment into the Jewish Autonomous Area (current Jewish population is only 5% of it) – it appears that he anticipates a large scale return of the Russian Jews from the post-collapse US and is preparing a place for them.
@Anonymous0343:Venediktov, who is the only one with any intellectual integrity. Prokhanov has called him a genius and he may be right about that. Despite Echo’s liberal bent, it is my go to local news source, especially for my weekly Prokhanov/Schevchenko/Khazin fix.
Venediktov is, I really believe, an *honest* true liberal and his liberalism comes out of his kindness and decency. He is not an ideological nazi like 99.999999% of the Russian liberals. You probably know that even folks like Putin and Shevchenko really like him. Speaking of Shevcheno – he is one of my favorite commentators and his views and mine a very very close. The one big, huge, difference between us is that he accepts the Moscow Patriarchate as the true Russian Orthodox Church and I do not (but let’s not go there now). But other than that, his brand of Left/socialist economics but Orthodox Christian ethics is very close to mine. That is what Alain Soral calls “la gauche du travail la droite des valeurs” or the the Left of labor/economics and the Right of values/ethics. Its also amazing that Putin, Sevchenko and Venediktov can all work together to fix all the (numerous) wrongs of Russian society. And, like you, I listen to Shevchenko every week on Ekho and on the Russkaia Sluzhba Novostei.
Prokhanov is, by all accounts, a sincere guy. I just cannot stand him. Sorry. Too much pathos, too much gravitas, too much hyperbole. And, frankly, too many really silly statements. But have you ever seen him and Zhirinovski at the “K Barieru” show screaming at each other for over an hour? Totally hilarious :-))
You’re a little crazy (I hope you take that as the compliment it is intended as).
OMG YES! Of course! Not only do I plead guilty to the “charge”, I also very much take it as a compliment. Besides, does the Scripture not say “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise” (1 Corinthians 3:18)? Besides, by Russian standards I am rather reasonable I think, LOL!
Anyway, thanks for your post and please stay in touch!
Is it too fanciful to think that some American “socialists” and Russian “liberals” share a common origin (Galitia?)? Where else can you find such “American” names like Joffe, Lourie, Axelrod?
Wow, Saker. you have a eugenicist about!
Lucky you ;)
@Penny: haha! you are 100% correct. and that is also the best proof that these folks are “are engaged in some medieval form of narcissistic tribalism composed of a nauseating mix of racism, self-worship and Messianism”. He is also factually wrong. The Russia defense industry is booming, now that it got rid of all that parasitic ballast which was holding it down. The best way to see that is to take the most complex platforms imaginable: nuclear attack submarines and 5th generation multi-role fighters. Russia is now producing the Yasen class nuclear multipurpose attack submarine and the PAKFA/T-50 5th generation multirole combat fighter. So I don’t know what our little eugenicist is smoking, but mostly these types actually believe their own propaganda :-)
As I said many many many many times on this blog – ain’t no such thing as a smart racist. He just proved it again.
And, Penny, special BIG THANKS!!!! to you as you are the one who told me that you would enjoy reading full length piece (the one which ended up having such a big success). So, Lady Penny, I bow to you in deep gratitude and I will forever remain in your debt :-)
Wow, I don’t know what to say?!
First let me address this
” these folks are “are engaged in some medieval form of narcissistic tribalism composed of a nauseating mix of racism, self-worship and Messianism”
hammer meet nail!!
strike hard and sink!
“And, Penny, special BIG THANKS!!!! to you as you are the one who told me that you would enjoy reading full length piece (the one which ended up having such a big success). So, Lady Penny, I bow to you in deep gratitude and I will forever remain in your debt :-)”
I am happy to have been the source of encouragement/inspiration/whatever?
It does make me feel pleased. :)
All that said, the work was done by you And finally after all your years of working away???
That’s a very good thing.
Make the most of it
Thank You and Cheers!
Here’s what I think happened.
Last year when I saw the reports that Prince Bandar had been assassinated was when things moved into a different gear. Instead Bandar went under to coordinated the Syria rebels probably as part of a group of others but he was the lead dog. He spent his time coordinating, bolstering and perhaps spent time on the ground in Syria. This was part of trying to bring Iran down and was interlaced with a number of other objectives (there were some pipeline objectives as well as other local things (Kurds, Iraq, Sunni/Shite stuff). I believe the Saudi led group generally consisted of Qatar, Israel, Turkey and elements of the French, US and UK Intelligence agencies.
Now bringing down Assad was just chugging along and things were generally moving according to plan but it was to slow for the Saudis and other players as well. Assad was holding in because of with the help from the Iranians, Russia and Hezbollah. But the Saudi group had a backup plan. It was the false flag chemical attack, They spent a lot of time, money and manpower getting this together. But they needed to back the Russians off because the Russians wouldn’t swallow that kind of BS. So Bandar went to Russia to give the facts of life to Putin.
Now Putin has a different point of view. He went through the Jihadi problem in Chechnya and Dagestan once and sure as Hell doesn’t want to go through this again. If Syria falls the eventual cascade back will be on his doorstep before he knows it. He also has the Sochi Olympics coming up and he knows this will be a prime target to show him as weak and ineffectual. Also Syria is important because of the Tartus base. I’m sure that Bandar probably promised that Putin could keep that base after the Assad’s overthrow but that could become iffy if Russia starts having problems again in the southern Caucuses. Putin knows it was Saudi money and extremists that caused him the original problem in Chechnya so he’s not feeling very friendly to the Saudis to start with.
Now here’s where I think there was a turn. I think Bandar either purposely or by miscalculation uttered something that really riled Putin. Maybe some hints of the false flag chemical attack were hinted at with the point being the this was not something Putin could stop, so he better cut a deal. Perhaps the threat from Bandar to turn the loose the Chechens on Sochi was it, perhaps there was something else by itself or in combination. Putin probably smiled and then decided to emasculate this son of a bitch.
After Bandar left, Russia started to put things into place where Russia would bet it all on stopping Assad from going down. Ships were sent. Weapon systems were put into play. Intelligence assets were kicked into high gear. When the false flag chemical attack was staged, The Saudis sat back and pushed the Americans to do their work for them as the bigger plan called for. But the Russians, through the back channels, told the US that they had the means and the will to fuck them good on this and if necessary go to the next level on this. At this level you don’t want or need to make big vocal threats which can force your opponent to lose face and need to escalate. The Russians wanted this to roll back (they benefited greatly, of course), but this is how the game is played. The Americans didn’t expect this and were put in a quandary. Obama had to find a way out and the Russians were able to find him a way to get off his high horse. Two ways to get off the high horse, climb down gracefully or the big asshole falls out of the sky. In my view this time it was a combination of the two.
to be continued
So the Americans (and FUKUS) backed down. Putin rubbed their nose in it a bit (Times Article) but not enough to really piss of the American leaders who mattered.
But the Saudi led group were furious. They felt they had been stabbed in the back by the US and weren’t happy with the Russians as well. But this is still playing out. Putin is not done with the Saudi led groups. Whatever pissed Putin off is serious enough that he intends to smack them hard. And the Saudi led group knows it. But now Obama is on a different road (perhaps even thinking of a Nixon goes to China equivalent vis a vis Iran) and will not cover their back. I think the Saudi led groups are probably actually scared, as well as mad as hell. They knew the Russians would do whatever they had to but Obama was supposed to play his role. Now, the Saudi group can’t really do something really bad to Russia but they will try to do something bad to Obama. But their options are somewhat limited. It’s one thing to have the Russians pissed off at you but having the Russians and the Americans pissed off at you is a different kettle of fish. But I don’t think the Saudi led group is really thinking straight.
And here’s where things may get out of hand.
Militarily probably not much going to happen. Assad is going to roll back the Takfiris over time. The Takfiris will go back to where they came from generally. The boomerang is going to come back. To bad for the idiot who threw the boomerang in the first place.
But economically there is more to “play” with so to speak. The western economic system is vulnerable. There are a lot of powers (Investment banks, central banks and governments) that are really so over extended that they are asking for trouble. It’s one thing to have a small guy make a wrong move here, but if a big guy makes a wrong move at this time we could see a massive cascade of trouble hit and nobody knows where this will end up. Economically, a 1914 moment where within four years a lot of old players were swept from the board. But since the systems are so tightly knit now, this could happen very quickly.
Not the end of the world (I hope) but the end of the financial world as we know it.
@Anonymous1121:Now Putin has a different point of view. He went through the Jihadi problem in Chechnya and Dagestan once and sure as Hell doesn’t want to go through this again. If Syria falls the eventual cascade back will be on his doorstep before he knows it.
Absolutely. And its not only Putin. A pretty large consensus has emerged in Russia which basically says that “Assad kills the liver-eaters there so we don’t have to kill them here”. The only ones who disagree are the fringe lunatic minority who still considers itself pro-US. Everybody else, and that something in the 90%-95% range agree that this is the dynamic.
Also Syria is important because of the Tartus base.
I think that this is an over-stated argument. Tartus is a “nice to have” but not a “need to have” resupply option for Russia. Remember that Tartus is far from being a real big naval base with the ability to support full-scale military operations. I think that Tartus matters more in a political sense than in a military sense, and the best proof of that is that Tartus played a negligible role, if any, in the deployment of the Russian naval task force off the coast of Syria.
Putin probably smiled and then decided to emasculate this son of a bitch.
Yes, that would be pure Putin. I am delighted that you see his way of operating :-)
But the Russians, through the back channels, told the US that they had the means and the will to fuck them good on this and if necessary go to the next level on this. At this level you don’t want or need to make big vocal threats which can force your opponent to lose face and need to escalate. The Russians wanted this to roll back (they benefited greatly, of course), but this is how the game is played. The Americans didn’t expect this and were put in a quandary
I have exactly the same feeling but I have no proof for this. What I do know is that the Russians had a lot in place to make a threat of some type, but what that threat was I don’t know. But my instincts tell me exactly what you are hypothesizing here: some very real threat was made very very discreetly with plenty of “plausible deniability” (as the CIA would say) around it and it caught that imbecile Obama totally off guard at which point panic hit Washington. I wonder if we will ever find out.
So the Americans (and FUKUS) backed down. Putin rubbed their nose in it a bit (Times Article) but not enough to really piss of the American leaders who mattered. But the Saudi led group were furious. They felt they had been stabbed in the back by the US and weren’t happy with the Russians as well. But this is still playing out.
Yes, hence the Saudi hissy-fit at the UNSC: they know that they have been left hanging by the White House and that their entire strategy has collapsed.
Militarily probably not much going to happen. Assad is going to roll back the Takfiris over time. The Takfiris will go back to where they came from generally. The boomerang is going to come back. To bad for the idiot who threw the boomerang in the first place.
My feeling also.
But economically there is more to “play” with so to speak. The western economic system is vulnerable
Yes, but Obama backing down on Syria is a better option for the western economic system than a full scale war in the Mediterranean with God only knows what kind of possible moves by Hezbollah, Iran and Russia.
Now that the crazies have been pushed down, at least for a while, let’s hope that the world can resume the task of *slowly* and *carefully* getting rid of the petro-dollar.
Many thanks for your post and kind regards,
semi-relevant, but thought you’d enjoy. from about 9:00 min in to about 18:00.
@Anonymous: please add the missing link ;-)
Saker said: “Planned it was. It is just not possible to deny that any more:”
Unfortunately your view is not shared here. While I agree that 9/11 was quite convenient, the so called evidence I have seen is at best circumstantial.
To assume that the literal hundreds of people that would need to be involved in killing over 3000 of their fellow citizens would not talk is not believable.
To assume that the intelligence apparatus should have known of the plot – despite the massive cuts engendered during the Clinton Administration – equally not believable.
And let’s not forget – the use of airplanes as weapons isn’t even new. Tom Clancy wrote about it long before 2001.
All the other ridiculous assertions: thermite, free fall, etc have all been thoroughly disproven. Thermite: when you take a 1000 foot+ tall building and collapse it, along with a largely aluminum plane, you’re going to get a large quantity of iron+aluminum dust. Zero cred.
Free fall: when you destroy the structural integrity of a building which has a very delicate mix of structural balance and strength, the resulting collapse is very easily at free fall speeds – especially given the utter ridiculousness of Youtube timing, i.e. that relying on an internet video for accurate timing calculations is completely laughable. An internet video is not the same as a professional recording; there is an entire litany of entry points for errors starting with the initial video recorder, continuing to the perspective and start point determination difficulties due to the external view and extending to the automatic modifications youtube adds, and continuing to whatever editing may have been deliberately introduced. I suggest to look at other examples of sudden collapses like the Delpht fire.
From my view, I am much more convinced by the theory that the WTC building contractors skimped on materials leading to a much reduced structural strength. Thermal calculations also show that the jet fuel fires would be more than sufficient to raise temperatures enough to degrade structural steel strength – not melt but weaken. The weight of 20 floors of WTC above said impact point/fires then comes into play.