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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Friday, April 29, 2005


By Dr. Jack Wheeler

"Budapest, Hungary, October 1997. It was a gorgeous fall day, the sun sparkling off the Danube, the domed Royal Palace glinting on Buda Hill, smartly dressed shoppers strolling along the Vaci. Just a few years ago this place had been a fear-ridden Russian colony. Now everyone on the street was chattering away on a cell phone. Back in the Soviet days, only the Nomenklatura – the Communist elite – could get a telephone, and even they were terrified of talking freely.

I was in Budapest speaking to a conference of international business leaders. Another speaker was a Moscow television news commentator well-known in Russia, Boris Notkin. He informed his audience about how humiliated Russians felt, losing their Empire and the Cold War, not winning many medals in the Olympics, and having their Mir space station go belly-up. He warned of a dangerous anti-Americanism emerging among Russians, who resentfully blamed America for their problems.

A gray-haired gentleman with a Central European accent stood up and asked Boris a question: “In addition to their feelings of humiliation and resentment, do Russians have any feelings of remorse for inflicting Communism upon so many countries? After their defeat in World War II, the Germans apologized to the world for being Nazis and for the horrible atrocities Nazism committed. After their defeat in the Cold War, will the Russians ever apologize to the world for being Communists and the equally horrible atrocities Soviet Communism committed?”

Boris looked straight at the man and coldly answered, “No. Russians feel no remorse. They will not apologize.”

This past Monday, April 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed this absence of remorse and refusal to apologize for the genocidal horror perpetrated by Soviet Communism upon so many countries and peoples. In a nationally televised speech to the Russian Federal Assembly in Moscow, he declared that “the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.”

The truth, of course, is that the existence of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century.

It was only because the Germans went through a mea culpa emotional purge of the Nazi poison that they were able to create a prosperous free market democracy. The Russians will never be able to do the same until they can summon the moral courage to say to the world, “We’re sorry.”

Until Russians can take responsibility for their history and stop blaming everyone else for it, they can never overcome it. Until they can admit they created a monstrously evil tyranny, they can never create a morally decent society. Until they can stop yearning for past imperial glory, their former colonies will always hate them, and never trust them.

For these colonies know that the “Soviet Union” was a fiction, a Hollywood-set country that didn’t really exist. What actually existed behind the façade was a Russian Imperial Empire with the secular religion of “Marxism-Leninism” as its ideological justification. The justification may be gone, but the dream of empire has not. This was confirmed by Putin asserting in his speech that “Russia should continue its civilizing mission on the Eurasian continent.”

Continue civilizing? The mass slaughter of millions, the Gulag concentration camps enslaving millions more, imprisoning a score of nations behind the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain – this is civilizing? Ask any Latvian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Pole, Czech, Hungarian, et al, and they’ll tell you Russia’s historic mission has been un-civilizing to the horrific extreme.

Thus Russia remains determined to march resolutely towards cultural and national extinction. Putin may fly off for photo-ops in Egypt and Israel this week, and have George Bush and other world leaders stand next to him in Red Square week after next (commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII) – but it’s all for show.

Because in the meantime, in spite of Russia’s being the world’s second largest oil producer (after Saudi Arabia), of all fifteen now-independent nations that once comprised the Soviet Union, Russia is next to last in current economic growth. Only Tajikistan is lower.

An extremely high-placed source in the Kremlin tells To The Point that capital flight has reached flood levels. The government’s public admission was that $8 billion flew out of Russia last year. “The true figure,” our source said, “is four times that: $32 billion. It will be much more this year.”

So no matter how much Pootie-Poot struts on the world stage or on Red Square, the disintegration of Russia and its influence will continue unabated. Just before he goes to Moscow, Bush will be in Riga meeting with the presidents of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, once “Republics” of the Soviet Union and now members of NATO; just after Moscow, Bush will be in Tbilisi meeting with the president of Georgia.

A central focus of both meetings will be to cooperate on ending the “last dictatorship in Europe,” that of Aleksandr Lukashenko in Belarus by exporting the “Orange Revolution” from Kiev to Minsk. This regime is the last ally of Russia’s on the entire European continent. Think about that. Soon, quite possibly before 2005 ends, Belarus will dump Lukashenko and Russia will be alone in Europe.

Russia doesn’t have to be. All she has to do is apologize. But she can’t. With no apology, there’s no future in Russia. A pure Greek tragedy based on an inescapable tragic flaw in the Russian character. Aeschylus and Sophocles would have understood." (All emphasis mine -HH.)

It should also be noted that with Hitler and Germany, it was a case where Hitler rose to power out of nowhere; unlike that of Stalin, for example, who was every bit as evil as Hitler and actually committed more atrocities than Hitler, but was also a continuation of a long line of despots. Russia has alot more to apologize for than Germany ever did. And for this reason, as demonstrated by Putins' remarks, more to be feared and/or concerned about in the future.



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