Putin’s Russia is an Evil Empire
Blogger David McDuff over at A Step at a Time ought to be required reading for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as she tries to guide American policy towards the Evil Empire that is Vladimir Putin’s Russia under a hapless neophyte president.
McDuff points out that Hillary might be seen to have gotten off to a rocky start. Leaving out a crucial “za” from the word “perezagruzka” in a “reset” button she tried to give her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov as a joke, Hillary was made to appear clueless, reminding the world that during the presidential campaign that she had been unable to correctly prounce the Russian President’s last name.
But in fact, however, Hillary’s “mistakes” are leading her down exactly the right path.
The word “peregruzka” means “overload,” not “reset,” and that’s exactly what Russia is doing in its relations with the United States — overloading them with hatred, bile, animosity and aggression — the same traits that characterize Russian policy towards every other nation on the planet (except maybe rogues like Nicaragua and Syria). And there isn’t any reason to know the name of the “president” of Russia, because he no more rules the country than does the nation’s parliament. Both are nothing more than figureheads, rubber stamps for the proud KGB spy named Putin who really holds all the cards.
Meanwhile, as McDuff reminds us, Russia is reaching out towards both Iran and Al Quaeda, America’s two most mortal foes in the world today, directly threatening the most basic U.S. security interests — and doing so at a time when the U.S. president is both new and totally without foreign policy experience or credentials. This makes Secretary Clinton an absolutely vital player in protecting not only the national security of the U.S. but also of the entire free world. It’s somewhat comforting, then, that McDuff also reminds us that the Obama administration is now backing away from reports that it had proposed abandoning the missile defense shield in Eastern Europe in exchange for Russian help with Iran. The administration must have felt rather humiliated when Russian security analysts confirmed that, in fact, even if Russia wanted to help control Iran it has virtually no meaningful leverage with the crazed fundamentalists who rule that rogue state. And in fact, of course, Russia has no desire where America is concerned other than harm and destruction, as Garry Kasparov recently explained in the Wall Street Journal.
In Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the U.S. is confronted by a nation run by the KGB for more than a decade now — something it never had to come close to dealing with at any point during the first cold war. And it faces the fact, perhaps even more daunting, that the KGB has been placed in charge by means of a plebescite, that it seems to enjoy overwhelming support in public opinon polls for measures like its brutal crackdown on critical media and its purge of opposition parties from the parliament. In other words, America faces a Russia which is not only governed by an evil regime but a clan of spy-gangsters, a country that is not victimized by the behavior of those thugs but actively enabling and supporting them as they murder the country’s best and brightest, from Galina Starovoitova to Stanislav Markelov.
And by supporting the likes of Iran and Al Quaeda, Russia is offering a far more blunt and direct threat to Americans than the USSR ever did. Not even when it sent nuclear missiles to Cuba was the Soviet Union supporting such rabidly anti-American maniacs as are found among the muslim fundamentalists, and say what you like about Nikita Khrushchev, at least he wasn’t a career Chekist.
The Other Russia reports that Russian “president” Dima Medvedev has just declared that opposition political groups are not welcome to express their views on Red Square, Russia’s main public gathering place for nearly a thousand years. How, then, is the Kremlin’s policy towards dissent any different now than it was in Soviet times? No different, and if anything its hostility to American values is even more intense.
It’s time the Obama administration realized that, and got down to the business of fighting and winning the new cold war that Russians declared on the U.S. when they chose to be led by the KGB. The fact that Obama was willing to quickly correct his bizarre miscue on missle defense is encouraging, as is Clinton’s forceful reassurance that the U.S. still actively supports NATO membership for both Ukraine and Georgia. Now, it’s time for the administration to begin speaking out against the worst excesses of Russia’s crackdown on human rights and civil society, just as Ronald Reagan did two decades ago. It’s time for Obama to remember that doing so is not only in the best interests of Americans, but of all the people of Russia as well — and of the world.