Writing in the Washington Times, functionary of Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church, Russophile sociopath Edward Lozansky (that’s him, standing proudly under a Russian flag on his website, you probably don’t want to know what he’s, Napoleon-like, reaching for with that right hand) spews forth a line of propaganda that might just as well have been written by the Kremlin. And you know what? Maybe it was.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice got it exactly right when she recently described the U.S.-Russian connection as “a big, complicated relationship.” Americans’ recent disappointments should not obscure the fact that the relationship is in transition. We have seen heightened rhetoric and missteps by both sides in recent months. The result is a “cold peace,” as Rep. Alcee Hastings, chairman of the Helsinki Commission, recently told the World Russian Forum. But if we keep our perspective — a potentially difficult challenge as presidential campaigns get under way in both countries — the bond can grow better still by building on what is right instead of obsessing over what is wrong.
LR: Edward Lozansky is president of “American University” in Moscow. He has a vested personal interest in America not disengaging in Russia, but rather in plonking down money in the country and employing the graduates of his “university,” a vested interest he doesn’t declare to the reader. Part of such money goes right into his pocket. Russia is providing massive quantities of weapons to arch American foe Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, nuclear technology to arch American foe Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran, financial support and diplomatic cover to anti-American terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah, and seeking to undermine America’s strategic alliance with Europe. Notice how this despicable propagandist doesn’t mention any of those facts in this sickening, self-serving diatribe?
As seen through American eyes, Russia is falling short on the promise of democracy. But, for the people of Russia, the degree of openness and opportunity they enjoy today is without precedent. As a Russian by birth and an American by choice, my heart is pulled toward both views. I shared the euphoria of both countries when the Soviet flag came down nearly 16 years ago, and I understand why some have been disheartened over perceived setbacks since then. But I know that both countries have reaped significant fruits from Russia’s evolution in the post-Soviet era. And I am convinced that greater benefits lie ahead if Americans can replace the rose-colored glasses of 1991 with the clear lenses of reality and build on the elements that bind the two countries together.
LR: Ask Anna Politkovskaya how “open” and full of “opportunity” Russia is. Ask Alexander Litvinenko. Ask Galina Starovoitova, or Sergei Yushenkov, or Yuri Shchekochikhin, or Mikhail Trepashkin, or Mikhail Khodorokovsky, or Nikolai Girenko, or Paul Klebnikov, or Viktor Yushchenko, or Andrei Kozlov. If you can’t, because they’ve been murdered or locked away in a neo-Soviet gulag, just ask La Russophobe. What do you think the 1 million people lost from Russia’s population last year due to murder, fire, disease, poverty and a host of other social ills would say about how “open” and full of “opportunity” their society is? You’ll have to ask them, because “University President” Lozansky sure won’t do it for you. That’s because he’s the scum of the earth.
2007 marks the bicentennial of diplomatic relations between the two countries — a tie cemented when future president John Quincy Adams arrived in St. Petersburg to present his credentials to the czar’s Imperial Court. Through wars, hot and cold, and even frightening moments of nuclear brinksmanship, diplomacy has been a consistent and positive force. Even during this period of “cold peace,” U.S. government agencies continue to work closely with the Russians on nuclear proliferation issues, counterterrorism, narcotics and money laundering. A recent State Department report cited U.S.-Russian cooperation against terrorism as “one of the pillars of the bilateral relationship.”
LR: Do you notice how this lying, villainous sack of garbage doesn’t mention the numerous State Department reports, documented on La Russophobe, which condemn profligate Russian human rights abuses, especially in Chechnya, right along with every other major international human rights organization under the sun? Do you notice how he doesn’t give one single specific example of how Russia has reduced America’s risk of terrorism by destroying some of its enemies? Do you notice how he fails to mention that Russia is itself accused of perpetrating a war of cyber-terrorism against tiny Estonia and spreading nuclear contamination through London — to say nothing of blowing up apartment buildings in Moscow in order to whip up hysteria in support of war in Chechnya?
Commercial ties are older still, dating to 18th-century fur trading between Russians and Americans in the Pacific Northwest. The economic connections have grown exponentially in the past decade-and-a-half as a reborn Russia embraced the power of the marketplace after seven decades of communist failure.
LR: And now he tries to change the subject. He wants you to forget all about Russia’s abuse of its own population and its threats to American national security in exchange for a bribe. He thinks that’s just how shallow, stupid and greedy the average American is, and like a typical neo-Soviet Russophile stooge he wants to play you for a fool. You should be outraged at this insult to both your character and your intelligence, if you’re an American.
• Foreign investment in Russia, including $11 billion by American companies, nearly doubled in 2006 to $28.4 billion.
• U.S. exports to Russia climbed by 20 percent last year to $4.7 billion. Russian exports to the United States totaled $19 billion in 2006, a 30 percent increase from the year before.
• American business of every sort — from candy to cars — now operate in Russia. Among the pioneering companies: Coca-Cola, Alcoa, Boeing, Proctor & Gamble, Ford, and General Motors. Some business alliances even extend to outer space.
• American businesses in Russia are making money at an astonishing pace. Two-thirds of U.S. companies in Russia are meeting current sales targets and 97 percent expect continued sales growth during the next three years.
LR: $11 billion? That’s $36 per American and $18 per Russian. Do you notice how he makes no attempt to place this figure in context with American investment in other countries? Gee, LR dares to wonder why. Could it be because that would make this $11 billion figure look like the meaningless drop in the bucket that it is — since, just for example, the U.S. invests $300 billion in Mexico and $100 billion in Japan (Mexico has 1/3 fewer people than Russia, so it’s getting 40 times more investment from the U.S. per capita than Russia is)? Do you notice that he doesn’t care to mention Russia’s eviction of the U.S. from Russia’s energy market, which it has nationalized, most recently the Shtokoman gas fields, or its arrest of pro-US businessmen like Mikhail Khodorkovsky? Since when is “meeting current sales targets” indicative of “making money at an astonishing pace”? Notice how he doesn’t care to discuss profits and losses in dollar or percentage terms? Guess why. Notice how he doesn’t care to mention that study after international study has shown the Russian economy to be fundamentally corrupt and unreliable, among the worst performing industrial economies in the world when judged by any yardstick of civilization.
Profits by themselves do not guarantee good relations. As important is the ability of commerce to promote friendship, spread ideas, including democracy, and advance openness in society. Historians, former government officials and students of culture generally agree that commercial ties helped push communism out of Eastern Europe in the 1990s by introducing American concepts of competition and freedom. Today, surveys show that by a margin of 75 percent to 47 percent, Russians employed by U.S. businesses have a more favorable view of the United States than those who work for Russian firms. It appears that as Russians get to know America better they feel better about it.
LR: Is it just La Russophobe, or do 75% and 47% add up to 123%? Do you notice how he doesn’t care to define the term “more favorable”? Maybe it means that these Russians favor killing Americans quickly and mercifully, whilst the others want to do it slowly and painfully. When was the last time you heard about a group of America-employed Russians demonstrating against the Kremlin sending AK-47s and attack aircraft to anti-American lunatic Hugo Chavez?
Does Russia’s 16-year-old democracy match America’s? Of course not — and how could it given that the United States has been at it for more than 400 years since the first colonists set foot in the New World? Have there been occasional setbacks or missteps? Of course. Like any teenager, a 16-year-old democracy will get some things wrong. But, as someone who lived and suffered under a communist dictatorship and who spends these days a good portion of the year in Russia, I assure you that this country is far freer than at any time in its history. I see freedoms today that were unthinkable in Soviet times: freedom to travel, start a business, join a political party of your choice and practice one’s faith.
LR: Please correct La Russophobe if she is wrong, but hasn’t Russia been trying to develop its nation far longer than 400 years? Did America, at any time in its history, elect a proud CIA field operative who abolished local elections and was accused of ordering a litany of political murders to prop up his regime? Wasn’t Russia “far freer than at any time in its history” just after Lenin came to power, having abolished the Tsar? Wasn’t it “far freer than at any time in its history” right after it abolished slavery? Notice how Lozansky doesn’t care to remind you want happened right after that?
In 2008, both countries will choose new presidents. Candidates in each nation will be tempted to prove “toughness” by focusing on disappointments and division in U.S.-Russian relations. But the candidates with the clearest vision will see that deeper ties and closer engagement is the best way to strengthen democracy and common prosperity for the benefit of both Russians and Americans.
LR: That’s just great. By this logic, we would have given Hitler and Stalin a chance to recover from their own “disappointments” (come to think of it, listening to folks like Neville Chamberlain, that’s exactly what we did do). But let’s take this nutjob on his own terms. OK, fine. Now let’s see Lozansky publish an article in a Russian paper with a circulation equal to that of the Washington Times and castigate Russians who criticize Americans, calling on them to stop giving assistance to American enemies, stop attacking Americans, and start cooperating with us. Let’s see him give lots of “data” about how well America is doing and how much Russia has to gain from good relations with the United States, and how any Russian leader to fails to recognize this is lacking in “clear vision.” Think he plans to lecture Russians on the fact that Americans provide one third of their foreign investment and should be treated like the valuable customers they are? Don’t hold your breath waiting, dear reader, don’t hold your breath.
To read more about Lozansky’s manifold perfidies, check out this article on Johnson’s Russia List from last year. Apparently, the “American University” which he claims in his credential is not the same as the “American University” in Washington, D.C. (LR can find no such indication on the latter’s website), yet Lozansky makes no effort to avoid confusion (and the nefarious Times makes no effort, either — a shameful display to be sure, but then the Reverend Moon is not known for his high standards of journalism). Moreover, La Russophobe can find no record of Lozansky’s institution having been accredited by any American authority of any kind. If it has none, then it’s name would be fraudulently misleading. Further information from readers on this topic would be appreciated.
Not hard to understand why Russians would take a dim view of Americans if they base their attitudes on a wacko like this one right here.