Monday, March 1, 2010

No, Art -- The Russians Aren't Coming

If I run just a
little harder, I think I can get it....

"Believe it or not, the world-wide terrorism and growth of communism, both in Latin America and Africa, are linked to Russia," wrote Art Thompson (or, more likely, whoever had the unfortunate task of transcribing his video monologues and rendering them into semi-coherent prose) in a March 1 essay. "It is a fact that without Russia, the whole system would collapse. We are fighting the wrong enemy."

So -- if Russia is the focal point of global evil, how do we take the "fight" to the Russians?

"We do not need to go to war with Russia or China to stop these things," Thompson -- or his amanuensis -- assures us, thereby tacitly acknowledging that someone in Appleton is reading what appears in this space. "All we need to do is stop foreign aid that assists the process, make foreign policy decisions based on these facts, and particularly treat Russia for what she is, not as an ally in the War on Terror."

The vague recommendation that the U.S. "make foreign policy decisions" based on the assumption of an active and growing Russian strategic threat takes in quite a bit of territory, much of it bellicose and counter-productive. But the only substantive suggestion here simply won't work, since Washington is dependent on foreign aid from Moscow (as well as Beijing, Tokyo, and Riyadh), rather than the reverse. It is Russia, not the U.S., that can use foreign aid -- in this instance, by purchasing or dumping T-bills -- as leverage.

Russia under the siloviki is more capitalist than the United States is in the post-Bush II era. It is also much less militaristic: As the dreaded Putin observed three years ago, Washington's military spending is twenty-five times that of Russia.

Furthermore, Moscow doesn't seem in much of a hurry to upgrade its strategic arsenal. Putin recently announced that it would develop a new generation of strategic bombers, but they most likely won't be added to the fleet until 2025. In similar fashion, Russia's T-50 stealth fighter won't go into production until 2015 at the earliest -- decades after the U.S. unveiled its own model.

Clearly the Russians have better things to do than piss away their money on military hardware they don't need. If only the same could be said of the deranged people in Washington....

Tell me again: In what sense is the world threatened by
Russian hegemony?

Washington isn't satisfied merely to spend our own nation into oblivion in pursuit of global military hegemony. Washington's Commissar for International Aggression Robert Gates recently berated the Europeans for their supposedly inadequate commitment to military Keynesianism.

What makes Washington's martial profligacy genuinely remarkable -- and entirely unsustainable -- is the fact that it is being subsidized by the same Russian and Chinese governments Art Thompson believes to be at the center of the global communist terror conspiracy.

Perhaps their scheme is to continue underwriting military socialism in Washington until our economy collapses. Whether or not that's their plan, that's the likely near-term result of Washington's current course of action.

Moscow and Beijing, along with other nations, are working to end what they consider to be Washington's unnatural global dominance in favor of a more "multi-polar" arrangement. Since Washington, in the original constitutional scheme, isn't supposed to be in a position to dominate anyone, anywhere, I fail to be terrified by the prospect of "multi-polarity."

Sure, it would be terrible in theory to live in a world in which either Moscow or Beijing, or both in collaboration, exercised hegemony. But we presently live in what has to be considered at least the equally terrifying reality of Washington's global hegemony, which is rapidly curdling into undisguised despotism.

Ironically, Russia's emerging generation of anti-Communist conservatives have a much better understanding of the contemporary freedom struggle than that displayed by the entrenched Cold War gerontocracy running the JBS.

In Russia today, "
Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago is required reading in schools for 11th graders," notes Russian writer Stanislav Mishin (who could be described as the Russian equivalent of a Pat Buchanan-style nationalist conservative). "All the brutality of the Soviets and the crimes that were committed will be in the minds of our children for generations. Where is any review [in American schools] of the crimes that Wall Street committed when it sponsored and set up those same Communist Marxists or Hitler's Fascist Marxists? No where. Where is the admission of the massacres that the American army committed in the independent nation of the Confederate States? No where, nor anything of the terror bombings of German cities or anything else of that nature. You will never hear anything on these from those NYC/DC blabber heads who love their Wall Street and think that genociders like Sherman were bully."

(Interestingly, Solzhenitsyn has been blithely dismissed by Jack McManus, who insists that he wasn't a genuine "enemy of Soviet barbarism"; it's difficult to see how McManus -- an individual who has suffered nothing for his contributions, such as they are, to the freedom fight -- can judge those made by a man who survived Stalin's gulag and suffered greatly for his efforts to rally Western civilization against the barbarism of both the Soviets and their Western allies.)

Mishin observes that under the reign of President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin -- who are supposedly pursuing totalitarian rule -- Russia has a flat income tax --
"and not the 30% or so suggested by those American conservatives but at 13" -- and a top corporate tax rate of 24% "compared to the American Federal rate of 36% and additional state rates." There is also a far greater diversity of opinion in the Russian media than one finds in the American "free" press.

What about foreign aggression and revolutionary subversion? Aren't Putin and his comrades to blame for promoting terrorism, as the ever-vigilant Art Thompson would have us believe?

Well, not so much.

"Who invaded over 30 nations in less than 200 years?" Mishin quite reasonably inquires. "Who has fought over 6 wars since 1991: Iraq followed by 10 years of bombing them, Somalia, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, while engaging unofficially in Somalia, Kenya, Yemen, Pakistan and the Philippines? Who waxes and screams for full invasions of Iran, Yemen, Pakistan, Venezuela? Who threatened to bomb our ships and come in and defend the Chechen Islamics? Who sponsored revolutions in Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus (failed), Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan (failed), Moldova (failed)?"

(Helpful hint for Art Thompson: No, the answer isn't "the Soviets," by which you presumably mean the Russians.)

Mishin, to his credit, is a genuine patriot who is willing to admit when the government ruling his country is wrong, which is why he objects to Moscow's aid to radical Islamic regimes in "Iran, Syria and Sudan and will happily see it stopped." But first, he continues, why doesn't Washington "set the example when they cut off Pakistan, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Turkey-held N.Cyprus, Yemen, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, PLA, Albania, Bosnia, Indonesia and the illegal entity of Kosovo? As well as America feeding such nice groups as the Chechens, while backing every Saudi Jihad there ever is or ever will be, never mind that you created, along with the Saudis, the Islam International that now murders tens of thousands of non-Muslims each and every year. All that blood is on the hands of the DC elites and the fools who back them."

As if issuing a specific rebuke to Thompson for his monomania regarding Russia's supposed support for "world-wide terrorism," Mishin concludes: "All those dead Christians are on or should be on your collective consciousness, but we are the great enablers of Islamic Jihad?"

Mishin's very informative and poignant essay, like an earlier one lamenting America's descent into unalloyed corporate socialism, was published in Pra
vda -- no, it's not that Pravda; the Bolshevik newspaper of that name was shut down a long time ago. In any case, we're left with this all but imponderable irony: We can get a much more reliable view of the contemporary source of Soviet-style mayhem and misery from Pravda than we can from the ill-informed and delusional fool running the John Birch Society.

Addendum: Who are the real Chekists now?

In his harangues about the supposed Russian threat, Mr. Thompson never neglects to mention that Vladimir Putin is a chekist -- a product of the Soviet/Russian security organs, which began as the Cheka before becoming known as the OGPU, NKVD, KGB and now the FSB. This is true, of course, and troubling -- to those who are in some sense threatened by the government Putin helped to create.

Eric Margolis, a writer who has forgotten more about Soviet and Russian affairs than Art Thompson will ever permit himself to learn, recalls that during the Stalin-era terror, Soviet secret police induced those accused of various offenses, including those designated as "terrorism," by threatening the families of the accused.

In 1936, "the Soviet courts changed the law to permit the arrest of children over 12 years," recalls Margolis. "That gave the NKVD a potent lever for getting parents to confess under threat their children would be jailed and disappear."

Margolis points out that a supposed "terrorism expert" who worked in the Bush administration boated that exactly the same Soviet method was used to exert leverage against Afghan immigrant Najibullah Zazi, who recently confessed to a terrorist plot against New York City. "We also learn that CIA interrogators menaced suspects with an electric power drill," he continues.

This shouldn't surprise us at all, given that John Yoo, the legal architect of the Bush administration's Sovietesque torture policies, has explicitly endorsed the idea that the president can order the sexual torture of children in order to compel their parents to submit, confess, or do whatever else government agents require of them.

For all of this, we're supposed to believe that the real threat emanates from Moscow, rather than Washington, D.C.....


Anonymous said...

And now the hopelessly irrelevant JBS is rolling out this spring a new speakers tour titled "Stealing the American Dream" - How Illegal Immigration Affects You! (The letters for the add are in red white and blue no less).
In an effort to appeal to the most base and Nativist elements of our "culture" it is clear the leadership in Appleton is further committed to the old tired mantra that all of the USA's problems are a direct result of the brown people to our South. What a joke _ I thought this bullshit would end when the housing bubble imploded and our fragile eggshell economy began to bust apart. Apparently not. Xenophobic paranoia appears to be alive and well in Appleton these days.

William N. Grigg said...

Anonymous, you make a sound point; let me add to it.

Appleton still lists Chris Simcox in its Speakers Bureau, despite the fact that the Minuteman Corps recently folded its tents.

The MC's decision was prompted out of "liability issues," at least some of which are rooted in the role played by Shawna Forde in the murder of two people (including a 9-year-old girl), as I've previously described in this space.

There are also lingering legal issues from Simcox's fraudulent fund-raising efforts, supposedly intended to fund a border fence (something else I've mentioned previously).

Wind the tape back to October 2006: Appleton canned me because, among other things, I warned that immigration was a tangent to the most important threats -- economic collapse and the rapidly coalescing police state.

To justify my firing Appleton concocted the rationale (post facto, of course) that the JBS was vulnerable to possible "liability issues" because of my blog.

Now that the economy has collapsed and the police state is a tangible reality, the group Appleton took in its continuing embrace has folded because of liability issues arising out of a hideous murder, the corruption of its founder (and featured JBS speaker), and probable concerns over the possibility of further legally troublesome behavior from people in its ranks.

Think of this for a second: Appleton wants people to think that I'm a potential liability because of what I write, but they're comfortable in associating with the likes of Simcox and Forde, the former of whom defrauded people and the latter of whom is plausibly alleged to have murdered a nine-year-old girl.

I think there's something more than just poor judgment, opportunism, and bad priorities at work here. But even if I'm wrong in my suspicion, the poor judgment, opportunism, and bad priorities remain.