Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Strong and the Weak

In my column on Antiwar.com today, I argue that:

It is difficult, perhaps even impossible, to communicate with someone so obsessed with managing the perceptions of reality that they've become incapable of recognizing reality altogether. In the Bizarro World of the Atlantic Empire, the bombing of Serbia was humanitarian, the invasion of Iraq was defensive, the occupation of Afghanistan was democratic, and the separation of Kosovo was legal – while the Russian intervention to neutralize the Georgian army and save the Ossetians from ethnic cleansing was "aggression" befitting Hitler or Stalin.

...[to Emperors current and potential] it doesn't actually matter what Russia does – whatever anyone but America (and its "allies") does is by definition evil.

One wonders if they quite understand this in Moscow. And what will happen once they do.


The best proof for my claim came from Daniel Fried, a high-ranking U.S. "diplomat" in charge of relations with Russia. Fried has fabricated reality before, in regard to Kosovo. Now he's at it again, telling today's Washington Post that "being angry and seeking revanchist victory" is a sign of a weak nation. Right, Russia is weak for slapping around an American client state that thought it could provoke it with impunity?

There's rich, there's utter nonsense, and then there's Daniel Fried.

Fried whitewashes a decade of abuse - pillaging of the country by American "transition" experts and domestic oligarchs; propping a corrupt Yeltsin regime; expanding NATO; sponsoring "democratic revolutions" in Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus (failed); even trying to organize a quisling opposition in Russia itself ("Other Russia") - as an effort to "encourage Russia's integration with the wider world." He says "This is a good thing. It was the right set of policies." Tens of millions of Russians beg to differ.

In the words of the WaPo reporter, "Fried said the administration is determined to prevent Russia from claiming a new sphere of influence in the Caucasus." Right, because Russia has no right to influence anywhere, especially not on its borders. But the U.S. can invade countries halfway across the world, because the U.S. "sphere of influence" is the world. Does he seriously think anyone outside the NATOsphere will buy this nonsense? Do his bosses?

This sort of drivel is proof positive that Washington simply doesn't get it. The U.S. didn't "win" the Cold War so much as the USSR lost it. In 1991, there was a golden opportunity to actually walk the walk, to show the world that "freedom" and "democracy" weren't just a guise for the latest round of power politics. Instead, people like Fried, Albright and Holbrooke got drunk on power and decided to rule the world. Their Bushean successors went a step further and declared it was their divine right to do so.

They may all still believe every lie they've told their nation (and themselves), but there are facts that no amount of wishful thinking can change. It isn't Russia that's in trouble, it's the United States.

4 comments:

Timothy Post said...

Just found your blog and I'm glad I did.

Keep up the great writing!!!

Philobiblos said...

This was comment on the Fried piece in the Washignton Post; there are convergences in our thinking about this
Mr Fried's is a metamodern critique of Russia, i.e. the facts become irrelevant since this is his personal "narrative," or at best the narrative of an arrogant, dangerously wrong and downright ignorant US policy.

The facts are immutable: a certain group in Washington decided over a decade ago that Russia was "easy pickings," thus they began increasingly to impugn that country's historic security cordon and areas with which it had historic ties and interests:

First it was the Baltic countries joining NATO (something that could be justified because these countries had been victims of Stalinist predators);

then came the bullying policy against the sovereign nation of Yugoslavia, in an unholy alliance of the US, al Qaeda and Iran in Bosnia (the blowback from that gave the Islamic terrorists whom we had supported the sense that they can hurt us);

then it was US support for the Chechen terrorists (who committed terrible atrocities in Russia), only that policy bit us in the behind with 9/11 (unfortunately those we backed were allied with those that hated us...);

then the seizure of Kosovo, a province of sovereign Serbia, and its arbitrary declaration of independence (ruled by underworld figures whom our State Dept formerly had labeled "terrorosts"). In a fit of childish arrogance the Administration claimed that this did not constitute a precedent (unfortunately for Georgia we gave the Russians the legitimacy to intervene, on the basis of "what is good for the goose is good for...");

then the Administration's impressarios orchestrated the "rose" revolution in Georgia and the "orange" revolution in the Ukraine, areas in Russia's "soft underbelly," to borrow a metaphor;

then the transparently false issue of basing in Poland and the Czech Republic the anti-missile defense "against Iran" was put on the table, and now appears to have been signed.

In short, as the law says "res ipsa loquitur," i.e. the facts speak for themselves, so the cheap characterizations such as Mr Fried's constitute childish excuses for his and his group's conceptual failures regarding the Russia policy. He was in the forefront in the Bucharest NATO summit of the failed (thankfully...) US effort to admit into NATO the meta-Nazi rump state of "Macedonia" (sic), as well as the effort on behalf of the Ukraine and Georgia.

This failed bureaucrat, is passing a cheap judgment on Russia a state with a thousand-year history, which is recovering after a seventy-odd year nightmare under a tyrannical system, drawing on vast cultural, intellectual and even religious resources.
Today's Russia has been a paragon of restraint and balance. Hopefully people will emerge in Washington who will understand the obvious, i.e. that all sides will gain on many levels if a system again is created that is based on a respect of reality (not or deranged fantasies), or to put it another way, on mutual respect.
8/28/2008 5:22:39 AM

Todd said...

Great writing. It appears critical thinking like this only exists on the internet. Unfortunately, too few people are willing to read critical writing online, leaving Daniel Fried and associated propagandists to keep the world living with an upside down understanding of reality.

Keep Up the Good Work.

Thank You.

1389 said...

I keep seeing and reading the blatherings of the misinformed, who incorrectly claim that "Russia" lost the Cold War. I'm glad you pointed out that the USSR lost the Cold War. These people fail to understand that the USSR was not Russia, but rather a totalitarian government that brought great harm to Russia, to its other subject nations, and to the world.

While the Soviet Union clearly lost the Cold War, it is by no means clear that the U.S. "won" it. In the long run, the real "winners" will be the Russian people.