Monthly Archives: September 2006

Dark Stormclouds Over Russia


Over the past few days, La Russophobe has reported on a series of extremely disturbing developments in Russia.

First a paranoid, classically Neo-Soviet report was circulated in the Russian Duma accusing the United States of plotting secretly to destroy Russia and calling for Cold War with the U.S.

Then came news of the Russian military’s intention to declare America its enemy in an upcoming military policy document.

And finally news of an attempted coup d’etat by Russia against the pro-U.S. government in Georgia came out, followed shortly by the disclosure of a spy ring and a major diplomatic incident in which Russia gave sanctuary to a member of the ring and recalled its ambassador for consultations. This news comes only weeks after NATO announced it was entering final negotiations with Georgia to enter the NATO fold.

La Russophobe has been documenting the provocation by Russia of Cold War II for months now, but even she is surpised by the rapid escalation that these events indicate. What’s next? Will Russian troops actually move into Georgia? Will this then justify American troops being used against Russian allies in Cuba and Venezuela?

How can Russians possibly imagine that they can survive a second cold war with the United States, whose economy is ten times the size of Russia’s and whose population is double, when the Soviet Union couldn’t survive the first round with a much larger economy, army and population? Are Russians drunk on oil revenues? Or have they simply given up rationality? Or hope, and are hell-bent on suicide?

Tis true, if she were in Russia now La Russophobe would have to think about suicide seriously. How could she not, seeing the KGB return to power by means of elections so soon after it destroyed the USSR, white-washing and demolishing hundreds of beautiful Russian churches, kiling their priests, and rounding up Russia’s best and brightest for the gulags?

Is this the beginning of the end for Russia as we know it?

Socor on Saakashvili

Reader Jeremy Putley points us to a recent essay from the Jamestown Foundations Vladimir Socor about the unfolding situation in Georgia:

SAAKASHVILI’S U.N. ADDRESS TRANSFORMS DISCUSSION ON POST-SOVIET CONFLICTS

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s September 22 address to the United Nations General Assembly has transformed the terms of international discussion on the post-Soviet “frozen” conflicts. After Saakashvili’s address, hardly any international actors other than Moscow’s ad-hoc supporters could any longer defend Russia’s “peacekeeping” and “mediation” or its prescriptions for political settlement of these conflicts.

Saakashvili’s address has — for the first time in many years at this level — clearly set down the basic parameters for dealing with these conflicts:

1. The conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia are “territorial conflicts,” conducted by Russia against Georgia. Saakashvili outlined the process by which “these regions are being annexed” through military force and handover of Russian citizenship to local residents, directly violating international law. This part of Saakashvili’s speech implicitly underscores the long-ignored change in the nature of these conflicts: from local ethnic conflicts (Moscow-orchestrated in the first place) into a Russian assault on Georgia.

2. All ethnic communities suffer in the secessionist enclaves: the Georgians through ethnic cleansing and denial of native-language education, the others through rule by “sponsors of organized crime, fear, and lawlessness. Such suffering must come to an end.” Implicitly but clearly, the grounds for international humanitarian intervention are shown to exist.

3. “Proxies” underscore Russia’s primary role in the conflict. Saakashvili called attention to the heavy arming of Abkhaz and South Ossetian forces by Russia and frequently held joint exercises of secessionist and Russian forces.

4. Russia’s conduct poses a clear case of aggression: “Few examples are more blatant of a state seeking to annex the internationally recognized territory of another state.” Thus, Russia is shown to challenge the foundations of the international system as well.

5. Georgia holds the right of self-defense based on international law: Saakashvili wondered aloud “whether any members in this great hall would tolerate such intervention on their own soil.” Russia, he noted, expects the international community to accept this situation with regard to Georgia. If accepted, then “lawlessness and indifference to it [become] the new rules of the international game.” The ultimate stake transcends Georgia: “There is a vital interest to reject the unraveling of sovereign statehood.”

6. Resolution of these conflicts must be integrated with the agenda for rule of law and democracy: “The residents of our disputed territories are under a form of gangster occupation. The Rose Revolution and democracy in Georgia will remain unfinished until all citizens of Georgia have the right to participate in the life and decisions of the state.”

7. On their track record, Saakashvili noted, “The inherited peacekeeping frameworks and negotiating formats neither promote peace nor encourage any genuine negotiation.…They have served to perpetuate, rather than resolve the conflicts.” In the course of 12 years, Russia’s “peacekeepers” have failed to facilitate the return of Georgian refugees to Abkhazia. Russian peacekeeping operations have “abused and made a farce of the principles of neutrality, impartiality, and trust.”

8. Georgia calls for international action to “replace and transform the current frameworks for negotiation and peacekeeping in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.” It seeks demilitarization of both areas and the deployment of internationally mandated police units, backed by active engagement of the UN, OSCE, and the European Union. Russia’s ‘peacekeeping’ forces “themselves, by their own choice, not by ours, have in effect annulled their own mandate.” The negotiating formats must be reconfigured to focus on “direct dialogue on the ground between Georgians and Abkhaz, Georgians and South Ossetians” as well as opening the prospect of economic rehabilitation: “Why should our citizens be reduced to such miserable economic conditions?”

9. Thus, Georgia serves notice that it intends to exercise “the sovereign right to request the removal of foreign military forces. We make no secret of our intentions to fulfill this sovereign right and solemn duty.” Saakashvili was alluding to plans by the Georgian government and parliament to issue in October an evaluation of more than a decade of Russian “peacekeeping” and, based on that track record, to demand the termination of those operations.

10. The onus for a peaceful resolution rests not only on Georgia, but on the international community as well: “Let no one ever say that Georgia was not clear as to how it would protect its democracy and its State, let no one ever say that we did not seek to do so by peaceful means alone.…All nations that share these values are willing to sacrifice for them.”

In the run-up to the Georgian parliament’s vote, some governments and international organizations that have over the years grown comfortable with the Russia-created status quo were beginning to discourage Georgia from trying to change that situation. Saakashvili’s UN address — a consensus product of Georgia’s presidency, leading parliamentarians, and its government — has rendered those attempts to protect the Russian-made status quo unsustainable from now on.

Talk about Neo-Soviet! Russia Cuddles up to Cuba!

First Russia inks a deal to supply the crazed America-hating dictator of Venezuela with thousands of assault rifles and attack planes, and now it agrees to provide a bailout to the failing economic of dictatorial Cuba. How Neo-Soviet can you get?? The Associated Press reports:

HAVANA – Russia agreed on Thursday to grant Cuba credit worth $350 million and restructure some of its recent debt during a visit by Russia’s prime minister, officials said. The two countries also signed a military cooperation agreement.

Cuban Defense Minister Raul Castro, who is acting president while his elder brother Fidel recovers from intestinal surgery, gave red-carpet treatment to Mikhail Fradkov, the highest-ranking Russian official to come to Cuba since a visit by President
Vladimir Putin in 2000.

Wearing a gray suit instead of his customary military uniform, Castro escorted Fradkov through the halls of Havana’s Palace of the Revolution, past rows of soldiers playing Cuba’s anthem.
The two met privately and did not speak to the press about the encounter.

But Alexander Bochanov, the press liaison at the Russian Embassy in Havana, said that Russia had agreed to restructure some $166 million of debt acquired in recent years.

The $350 million line of credit will be used to buy Russian goods and services. It is a 10-year loan with annual 4-percent interest, according to Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency, which reported that Fradkov said the credit would be used to help modernize Cuba’s energy sector and transportation system, reconstruct water conservation facilities and railroads, and design and deliver air navigation systems.

Under an ideological and economic alliance that lasted three decades, Cuba once relied on Soviet Union subsidies for about 20 percent of its gross national product. Its economy has since become more self-sufficient, though it now benefits from strong relations with Venezuela, its current leading trading partner.

Bochanov said Raul Castro and Fradkov did not discuss Cuba’s Soviet-era debts with Moscow, which Russian media reports have estimated at more than $20 billion. Havana puts the amount at closer to $11 billion.

Fradkov arrived in Havana late Wednesday as the head of a delegation looking to increase business with Cuba in the aviation, transport and energy sectors.

The group will visit Russia’s pavilion at the International Transport Fair taking place in Havana through Saturday. Fradkov will also go to the island’s Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, and is scheduled to meet Friday with Parliament Speaker Ricardo Alarcon.

Relations between Russia and Cuba chilled after the Soviet Union’s collapse but warmed with Putin’s visit in 2000.

The Caribbean island exports sugar to Russia, as well as vaccines and other products from its advanced biotech industry.

LR on PP

If you are interested in the issue of anti-Americanism in Russia and the resulting cold war climate being provoked by the Kremlin, then check out La Russophobe‘s most recent piece on Publius Pundit regarding the issue, summarizing recent developments, and feel free to comment. Everyone’s thoughts and ideas are important in this time of renewed Russo-American tensions.

LR on PP

Check out La Russophobe’s latest on Publius Pundit regarding the ominous political situation brewing now in Georgia. Following the foiling of a Russia-sponsored coup d’etat against the country’s elected, pro-West government, Georgian police uncovered a spy ring sponsored by Russia and including a number of Russian military officers as participants. It arrested a group of them, but one took refuge on one of the vestigial Russian military bases that still exists, outrageously, on Georgian soil (indeed, in the nation’s capital city). He refused to come out, Georgia blockaded the building, Russia cut off travel visas to Georgians and recalled its ambassador. Russia’s naked, neo-Soviet aggression in seeking to keep control of the former Soviet slaves states before they manage to break free by joining NATO is an international outrage and calls for immediate action by the NATO powers. Russian hypocrisy is truly breathtaking; it has no problem fomenting tumult in parts of Georgia that want to break away and join Russia, but if anyone seeks to assist Chechnya in breaking from Russia then Russians scream to high heaven about Russian sovereignty.

Rakhmankov’s "Phallic Symbol" Article: The Full Text

La Russophobe has posted two items recently about the attempt by Russian authorities to impose a giant fine (it could be more than one year’s average Russian wages) or a jail term (it could be one year at hard labor) on Vladimir Rakhmankov for writing an article satirizing Russian “President” Vladimir Putin. Here’s the full text of his article, in English and in Russia. Remember, if La Russophobe were in Russia she could be hit with a crippling fine or jailed (at hard labor!) for publishing this innocuous material. Scary, isn’t it?

Putin as the Phallic Symbol of Russia

Why do journalists love the the press offices of government departments? Do you think it is because of their effectiveness and authenticity of their factual accounts? No! Journalists love them for their unique ability to perceive crucial turning points in Russian history.

Take, for example, one particularly life-affirming press release from City Hall in the town of Ivanovo. It is an expression of the celebration of life, the roaring of hormones, the joy of spring. It is hymn the the wonders of procreation!

Here it is, verbatim:

There has been a new addition to the family of Prezhvaslky horses in the Ivanovo zoo. These animals are endangered and rarely breed in captivity. However, this already the second foal, that has appeared at the zoo, six years after horses first arrived . The newborn is doing well and still breast feeding, as it will continue to do for nearly half a year before gradually weening itself to adult food. There are also newborns in the fox family, but vistiors will not glimpse them any time soon as they are under the watchful guard of their mothers. Other newborns eagerly antipated include a pony, Volkov lynxes, and many birds (pheasants, peacocks, exotic chickens). A pair of hawks has also settled in to lay for the first time, after residing at the zoo for three years already, and there is hope for a pair of polar owls and eagle owls to begin nesting as well.

And so it came to pass that Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, also found his thoughts turning to reproductive matters, and decided that he himself should become the phallic symbol of the country. And so he issued an edict unto his minions that they propagate themselves and be multiplied, with no exceptions, and further that a clutch of petrodollars be unleashed to reward those found in compliance.

And verily, Putin is remarkably like the phallic symbol of the country – in all senses – and a perfect personification of the national drive to increase the population. Indeed, now it is possible to conceive of a mascot to signify the national effort: the presidential body with his head in the shape of a penis. A new national idea.

Naturally, all the personnages of the oligarchy rushed to thrust themselves verbally into the flow of spermotazoa, shouting “yes! yes! let there be procreation! and with no exception!” Yet there will inevitably be disappointment with the results, since both the phallus and its spermotzoa are symbolic rather than acutal.

And in any case, your average Russian broad is no fool. She knows how to get her hands on various contraceptive methods, so the national rebirth may need to wait years until all those are disposed of.

But the animals of the zoo had no such encumbrances, and they raced to respond to the call of the president without delay, whereas in prior to hearing his edict they had been reluctant to breed in capativity and even in the wild, hence becoming endangered. Lucky were they, then to fall into the clutches of Russian captivity!

The Russian text (if anyone would care to supply a better translation, La Russophobe will be happy to adopt it).

“За что журналисты любят пресс-службы казенных контор? Вы думаете, за оперативность и достоверность изложения того, что в этих конторах происходит? Нет! Журналисты их любят за талант и очень правильное понимание исторического момента! Вот вам неимоверно жизнеутверждающее сообщение пресс-службы ивановской мэрии. Это ж просто какой-то праздник жизни, буйство гормонов и ликование весны. Гимн деторождению! Итак, дословно.

“В семействе лошадей Пржевальского в ивановском зоопарке пополнение. Эти животные занесены в Красную книгу, в неволе размножаются довольно редко. Это уже второй жеребёнок, появившийся в зоопарке спустя 6 лет после того, как там поселились лошади. Новорождённый чувствует себя хорошо, пока питается только маминым молоком. Им он будет питаться около полугода, а потом постепенно перейдёт на взрослую пищу.
Совсем недавно появилось потомство у лис. Лисят пока посетители не увидят, их бережно охраняют мамы. В ближайшее время ожидается приплод у пони, рысей, волков, многих птиц (фазанов, павлинов, декоративных кур). Впервые на кладку яиц сели канюки-курганники. Пара этих птиц в зоопарке живёт уже 3 года. В этом году птицы сами свили гнездо и сделали кладку. Готовятся к размножению полярные совы, филины, неясыти”.

А я то думал, что президент России Владимир Путин просто решил превратиться в фаллический символ страны, выступив с этим полубредовым посланием народу и федеральному собранию: плодитесь и размножайтесь, а то границу защищать некому, а мы вам от нефтедолларов отстегнем по четверти миллиона за каждого второго ребенка, но только не сейчас, когда я президент, а в течение лет десяти, или позже.

Вообще, Путин действительно похож на фаллический символ страны – во всех смыслах. Так отчего же ему было не закрепить этот символизм официально? В послании? Как говорится: уж послал, так послал. Сам на себя, так сказать, всю страну зациклил. Теперь можно смело фигурки соответствующие лепить и продавать – президентская голова в виде головки. Новый народный промысел.

Вся властная и околовластная сволочь, конечно, немедленно изобразила из себя поток сперматозоидов, орущих: да, да, давайте размножаться, а то границу защищать некому. От этого, разумеется, человеческая рождаемость в России не увеличилась, поскольку и фаллос, и его сперматозоиды – не более чем символ. А бабы – они не дуры. Контрацептических средств завались, так что можно и еще десять лет с возрождением нации подождать.

Но вот ивановские лошади Пржевальского, а также канюки-курганники и павлины на призыв президента откликнулись незамедлительно! Заметьте, до этого в неволе они размножаться не хотели. И вообще – в Красной книге находятся. Вот вам и окончательный символизм происходящего. Добро пожаловать в зоопарк!”

On Russophile Hypocrisy

As an American who lived for many years in Europe – and has traveled through Russia and Central Asia – I have to say that most of my fellow countrymen are brainwashed fanatics when it comes to issues of “freedom” and “democracy.”

Guess who wrote that: It was Wally Shedd of the Accidental Russophile, in a comment on the even more extreme Russophile blog “Russian Blog.” Gee, what a suprise. Wally the crazed Russophile thinks that America is a nation of “brainwashed fanatics” except for a few enlightened souls who have managed to travel in Europe and thus purify their brains.

Now, if somebody (La Russophobe for instance) said that Russia was a nation of “brainwashed fanatics,” can you imagine what Wally would say? Oh, he’d scream to high heaven about how La Russophobe is a “hate monger” and an “idiot.” He’d call for patience and understanding where Russia is concerned. He’d say that Russia, which has existed five times longer than America, needs time to perfect its civilization. But where American is concerned? Like all Russophiles of his ilk, labeling America a “nation of brainwashed fanatics” is his idea of scholarship and humanitarianism.

And what is dear Wally’s idea of freedom and democracy? Well, perhaps the author of Russian Blog sums them up best when he writes:

What I find fascinating about American mentality – their notions of democracy and freedom are also ingrained. This is the case even with the most educated, sophisticated and intellectual. This is not the case with Europeans. While Brits or Frenchmen also believe in freedom and democracy they are not religious about it and don’t regard it with enthusiastic devotion. With my English friend I can freely discuss problems of democracy and our disputes are not just normal but they also help to discover something new, change to some extent our views or find compromise. With Americans it’s almost always a missionary talking to a heathen. To treat democracy as just another technical model of effective government organization and freedom as a personal feeling of limitations for self-realization is the same as trampling down on the bible

In other words, Americans are a race of stupid people, who need to be told what “democracy” and “freedom” are by people who’ve studied and thought like humans rather than apes.

You know, the Europeans and the Russians.

Let’s list their “great modern thinkers” shall we? Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Napoleon.

One by one, each of the European nations took their turns trying to enslave the world.

Twice in the last century they have caused their civilization to burst into flames, while the North American continent has remained steadfastly at peace.

America has exchanged power between rival political parties dozens of times without bloodshed under the same constitution since 1870. The governments of modern Europe date to World War II.

And Russia? It offers its people starvation wages, a shockingly short life span, pollution, degradation, corruption, violence, pandemic racism, universal conscription and extinction. This is the country America is supposed to look up to and learn from? Is it possible that in this day and age there are still folks who think so?

Yup. Just call them Russophiles.