by Andrew Korybko
The 70th anniversary of Victory Day in Moscow was monumental for a few primary reasons (Shoigu’s solemn reverence, Russian-Chinese friendship ), not least among them the fact that it symbolized the utter death of any Color Revolutionary hopes the West may have still been harboring from the early 2000s. The patriotic resistance on display didn’t subside when the record-setting parade ended, but instead was uplifted to epic proportions during the march of the Immortal Regiment when families paid tribute to their loved ones that served in the war. This emotional outpouring of historical memory saw over half a million people take to the streets in Moscow alone, including President Putin , demonstrating that the Great Patriotic War was truly the great equalizer in transcending ethnic and social lines and unifying Soviet society. It’s critical to emphasize the national solidarity that the Victory Day commemorations provoked because it’s precisely this feeling of widespread inclusive patriotism that is the most effective defense against Color Revolutions today.
The author recently wrote about the US’ utilization of historical memory as a postmodern weapon, but it’s necessary to revisit a few of the main points for the context of this article. In sum, the US deep state apparatus realizes that the myriad patchwork of memories (oftentimes contradictory to one another) stretching across Eurasia provides fertile ground for cultivating modern-day divisions between partners. If the countries of Eurasia can remain decisively divided due to the ghosts of the past, then the transcontinental integration plans promoted by Russia and China would come to naught, and consequently, the US could indefinitely prolong its hegemony over Eurasia by continuing to roost in key perches. The most notorious application of this strategy is the US’ support of extreme Ukrainian nationalism and Fascist-era memory in its quest to turn the country into a bastion of anti-Russian hate, but the assistance it’s providing to Japan’s remilitarization project against China is also a case in point.
Russia and China may have difficulty in countering the misleading historical narratives that the US is weaving into the minds of impressionable Ukrainians and Japanese owing to the unipolar mainstream information dominance underway in those countries (and the outright censorship that’s ongoing in Ukraine right now), but they have a lot more success and flexibility in defending against this perversion of historical memory within their own domains. Each of these two Eurasian anchors is multicultural, and thus, inherently vulnerable to the weaponization of information and historical memory spread by subversive media campaigns (through both traditional and online media) and intelligence-front NGOs.
While these two Resistant & Defiant states have taken proactive measures in countering this threat before it’s exploited out of all sense of control, there will always remain the possibility that certain far-reaching historical episodes could perpetually be summoned to detract from national unity-building efforts. In the case of Russia, this is the Stalinist period, while for China, this is the Great Leap Forward and the Great Cultural Revolution. The US’ intention is to provoke anti-government unrest that’s more inclusive than the identity-based destabilization that specifically targets national minorities, and in many cases, the frequent campaigns (none of which appear to have any realistic chance at succeeding) are nothing more than experimental test measures designed to procure intelligence on counter-strategies and audience reception in anticipation of a more serious forthcoming offensive.
Be that as it may, the latest Victory Day commemorations proved that the US is pursuing a failed strategy that will definitely not succeed against Russia even in its wildest of dreams. 9 May, 2015 resolutely demonstrated that Russian citizens from all social classes, races, religions, political dispositions, and backgrounds are capable of naturally coming together to celebrate their country and retain its proper historical memory. The emphasis here is on the natural, organic part of the commemorations, in that the audience’s cheering of the military parade and participation in the Immortal Regiment was completely voluntary and something that they did on their own prerogative.
Contrast this innate patriotism and its visible mass expressions with the forced and artificially constructed nature of Color Revolutions, which need to be cooked up abroad and meticulously groomed throughout their life cycle. Whereas the manifestations all throughout Russia on 9 May enjoyed full popular support, Color Revolutions only garner the illusion of such support, since nifty perception management techniques are a must in order to trick the target audience (both domestic and abroad) into believing that the movement is much more popular than it truly is. An apt comparison is to associate last weekend’s events with an organic vegetable and Color Revolutions with their GMO counterpart; they both look real, but only one is natural while the other required years of research and development in order to perfect, and even then, it’s still fake to the core and an abomination to nature (no matter how it looks on the outside).
What Russian citizens demonstrated all across their country on 9 May (and what they unite in understanding together with their Chinese counterparts) is the absolute opposite of what the US has in mind for overthrowing the Russian government, and as such, it actually serves as the perfect antidote for countering Washington’s plans. The historical armor mentioned as the title for this sub-section thus refers to organic patriotic-historical manifestations on par with those witnessed in Russia last weekend that reinforce national unity and reject the false and antagonistic narratives. Depending on the event, this could more than compensate for any unfortunate historical incidents that risk being regularly exploited by provocateur forces (e.g. the Stalinist period). Taking it a step further, historical armor can be fortified by proper patriotic education in schools and the establishment of supportive NGOs, and when these three combine with the occasional patriotic-historical manifestation, the resultant effect can cleanse the country of any negative aftereffects from failed Color Revolutionary initiatives.
The Lessons Of History
Russia and China are immune from the US’ Color Revolution intrigues provided that they continually practice the patriotic-historical regimen of proper school education, supportive NGOs, and regular manifestations. The same, however, cannot be as easily said for states that don’t have as unified and long of a legacy as these two large civilizations. While all countries have their own history and a lot to be proud of, many of them have arbitrary borders sometimes not even of their own making or unrepresentative of their ideal vision of stability (e.g. most former colonial states). In these cases, there absolutely needs to be a unifying ideology capable of bringing together the disparate parts of society, both physically (in terms of demographics) and historically (in terms of memory).
The reason that Syria succeeded in repelling the Color Revolution attempt unleashed upon it in 2011 (which subsequently transformed into an Unconventional War that continued to push the failed regime change goal) was because of the civilizational and political solidarity of the Syrian people. The country, while being geographically small, is disproportionately rich in history and has always been a cosmopolitan place. Additionally, the vast majority of its citizens understand and respect the modernizing and stabilizing force that the Baath Party has been during the tumultuous post-independence period, ergo their support for the legitimate authorities and widespread rejection of the (mostly foreign-imported) Color Revolutionaries. Had there not been considerable and sincere domestic support for the Syrian authorities among the overwhelming majority of the population, the government would have collapsed a long time ago and the people would not have continued to fight and die for over four years in trying to save their cherished secular civilization-state.
Syria is a great example of a small country that successfully resisted the Color Revolution offensive unexpectedly thrust upon it, but Ukraine represents its opposite – a moderately large country that failed in repelling the regime change revolution. The reason this happened is precisely because it had no unifying ideology with which to incorporate the disparate people caught in its arbitrary borders after 1991. Be it the Russians, Hungarians, Ruthenians, Crimean Tatars, or even Ukrainians themselves, no actual group definitively felt satisfied in Ukraine. While the minorities were (and still are) consistently clamoring for their rights and increased representation, the majority Ukrainians weren’t happy with the power they were allotted and continued to want more. Under such contradictory conditions, when the governing apparatus that somewhat impossibly held everything together for over two decades was violently vanquished by nationalist urban terrorists, the largest minority stakeholder in Ukraine, the Russian population, decided to throw in the towel and secede from the failed state.
Looking back on it and incorporating the lessons articulated in this article, it didn’t have to be that way at all. The territory of Ukraine is host to the magnificent civilizational legacy of Kievan Rus, and instead of behaving divisively and chauvinistically per their characteristic inferiority complex vis-à-vis Russians, the Ukrainians could have celebrated this common heritage and used it as a bridge for building better relations with their neighbor. After all, the Russian Federation is the latest successor state to the ancient entity that the territory of modern-day Ukraine gave birth to, and it would make absolute sense for both fraternal nations to have moved as close as possible in the post-independence years. For example, Ukraine could have used its shared civilizational heritage with Russia as a springboard for possibility creating its own Union State format like that between Russia and Belarus. Sadly, however, Ukrainian leaders didn’t see it this way, and thus, Russia’s well-intentioned outreaches all throughout the post-independence period were largely rejected or exploited for the personal gain of Ukraine’s oligarchy. Therefore, when the US was ready to strike at the heart of Eastern Europe using its latest asymmetrical regime change tactics, it unsurprisingly encountered scant significant resistance and was able to succeed in both instances.
Historical memory is alive today, and instead of being some kind of fossilized concept locked away in a library, it’s an active concept that’s tangibly manifested on streets all across the world. In some cases, it’s passive and being promoted without any political consideration whatsoever, but more often than not, the trend has been for proponents to recognize the influence it has on the minds of millions and to adapt accordingly. The US has begun militarizing history in order to achieve its geopolitical objectives, while Russia, China, and Syria have traditionally used their histories as bastions of defense for their civilizations. The postmodern struggle between historical falsification and manipulation led by the US versus the stalwart defense of proud and unifying historical facts as embodied by the aforementioned three actors is only now beginning to play out.
As such, it’s forecasted that repeat scenarios of the ‘historical destabilization’ that was witnessed in Ukraine, for example, will soon become the new fifth column norm in opening the gates for further information (“pro-democracy”) infiltration and its consequent regime change-oriented objectives. While Russia and China are at the forefront of the ‘vaccination’ program against this ‘historic disease’ spread by US information agents, smaller states such as Syria and Ukraine will continually remain the targets of this accelerating warfare trend, despite Washington having achieved vastly different results in each case. The Syrias of the world will succeed in their defiant resistance (but likely pay the price for their patriotism) while the Ukraines will crumble into pieces or descend into a dystopian hyper-authoritarian nightmare. Conclusively, the question that similarly positioned states on the Eurasian chessboard should be asking themselves is whether they’re capable of defending their history like Syria or if they would pathetically capitulate like Ukraine.