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Spengler

The Russians Think We’re Wrecking the World on Purpose

March 19th, 2013 - 1:09 pm

“In Russia, most analysts, politicians and ordinary citizens believe in the unlimited might of America, and thus reject the notion that the US has made, and continues to make, mistakes in the [Middle East]. Instead, they assume it’s all a part of a complex plan to restructure the world and to spread global domination,” writes Fyodor Lukyanov on the Al Monitor website today. Lukyanov, who chairs Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, laments what he derides as a “conspiracy theory.” Nonetheless, he reports, President Vladimir Putin and the Russian elite think that the United States is spreading chaos as part of a diabolical plot for world domination:

From Russian leadership’s point of view, the Iraq War now looks like the beginning of the accelerated destruction of regional and global stability, undermining the last principles of sustainable world order. Everything that’s happened since — including flirting with Islamists during the Arab Spring, U.S. policies in Libya and its current policies in Syria — serve as evidence of strategic insanity that has taken over the last remaining superpower.

Russia’s persistence on the Syrian issue is the product of this perception. The issue is not sympathy for Syria’s dictator, nor commercial interests, nor naval bases in Tartus. Moscow is certain that if continued crushing of secular authoritarian regimes is allowed because America and the West support “democracy,” it will lead to such destabilization that will overwhelm all, including Russia. It’s therefore necessary for Russia to resist, especially as the West and the United States themselves experience increasing doubts.

It’s instructive to view ourselves through a Russian mirror. The term “paranoid Russian” is a pleonasm. “The fact is that all Russian politicians are clever. The stupid ones are all dead. By contrast, America in its complacency promotes dullards. A deadly miscommunication arises from this asymmetry. The Russians cannot believe that the Americans are as stupid as they look, and conclude that Washington wants to destroy them,” I wrote in 2008 under the title “Americans play monopoly, Russians chess.” Russians have dominated chess most of the past century, for good reason: it is the ultimate exercise in paranoia. All the pieces on the board are guided by a single combative mind, and every move is significant. In the real world, human beings flail and blunder. For Russian officials who climbed the greasy pole in the intelligence services, mistakes are unthinkable, for those who made mistakes are long since buried.

From a paranoid perspective, it certainly might look as if Washington planned to unleash chaos. The wave of instability spreading through the Middle East from Syria is the direct result of American actions. I wrote yesterday in Asia Times Online:

Syria’s Sunni majority started an insurgency against the minority Alawite government of Basher al-Assad in response to the ill-named Arab Spring uprisings in North Africa. America’s abrupt dismissal of its long-ally Hosni Mubarak and the ascendancy of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood emboldened Syria’s long-suffering Sunni majority to stake its claim to power. Like Mubarak, the Assads suppressed the Muslim Brothers, but far more viciously, leveling the Sunni town of Hama in 1982 with casualties estimated at between 20,000 and 40,000.

Western policy thus provoked Syria’s civil war. The prospect of a Sunni fundamentalist regime in Egypt under American patronage, the emergence of the ”Sunni Awakening” in Iraq during the Petraeus ”surge”, and the victory of Western-backed Sunni jihadists over Libya’s Gaddafi, gave Syria’s Sunnis little choice. America’s fecklessness with respect to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, moreover, gave Saudi Arabia and Turkey strategic reasons to fund and arm various branches of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood.

In this tightly scripted tragedy, America’s blundering provided the impetus for each step, except, of course, for the blundering of the European Union. The Europeans forced Assad to undertake agricultural reforms among the conditions for a new trade treaty, forcing tens of thousands of small farmers off their land in the Sunni Northeast of the country, into tent cities around Damascus.

Iran responded to the Sunni insurgency in the obvious way, by sending Revolutionary Guard regulars as well as its Lebanese-based Hezbollah auxiliaries into Syria to fight for its ally, the Assad regime. Iran’s involvement prevents the loosely organized insurgent coalition from toppling a minority regime.

The depleted ranks of the regular Syrian army will be replenished with Iranian soldiers or surrogates. The Alawite regime will continue to commit atrocities in order to convince its own base as well as the Syria’s Christian, Kurdish and Druze minorities that they must fight to the death because Sunni vengeance would be horrible. Saudi Arabia will continue to filter jihadists and weapons into Syria and Turkey will continue to provide logistical support.

Could the Americans really have been such idiots?, the Russians ask. Of course we could. George Bush and his advisers actually believed that we were going to bring democracy to Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. The Russians understood matters differently. Fyodor Lukyanov writes:

In the summer 2006, when then-President George W. Bush came to St. Petersburg for a summit of the “Big Eight,” an interesting dialogue took place between him and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a news conference. Bush drew attention to the challenges posed by democratic freedoms, especially freedom of the press, in Russia — and then noted that things had gotten much better in Iraq. Putin immediately responded, “Well, we really would not want the kind of democracy they have in Iraq.” The room filled with applause, and not everyone heard Bush’s response: “Just wait, it’s coming.” What Bush had in mind was increased stability in Iraq, but it sounded more ominous: you’ll see, democracy will be brought to you as well…

If the Russians sound mad, consider this: there is another substantial body of opinion that sees an evil conspiracy behind American blundering in the Middle East, and it votes for Ron Paul and Rand Paul. I am not suggesting that Sen. Rand Paul is a paranoid, I hasten to clarify: I have never met the man and don’t presume to judge his state of mind. But his popularity stems in no small measure from conspiracy theorists who think that the U.S. government really is planning to criss-cross the continental United States with killer drones and pick off American citizens on their home soil. A lot of the same people think that America invaded Iraq on behalf of the oil companies (who would make a lot more money if Iraq were zapped by space aliens) or by the Israelis (who never liked the project from the outset). A fair sampling of such paranoia gets posted on the comments section of this site.

Thus we have the strangest pair of bedfellows in modern politics, the Russians and the rubes. Try to explain to them that George W. Bush was a decent and well-intentioned man without a clue as to the consequences of his actions, and they will dismiss it as disinformatsiya. Tell them that the New York Times and the Weekly Standard both believed in the Arab Spring as the herald of a new era of Islamic democracy, and they will see it as proof of a conspiracy embracing both the Democratic and Republican establishments. How, the paranoids ask, could two administrations in succession make so many blunders in succession? It stretches credibility. I wish it were a conspiracy. The truth is that we really are that dumb.

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Top Rated Comments   
The Russians were able to put a Walter Duranty at the NYTimes and an Alger Hiss to help build the UN from our State Dept. As well as Harry Dexter White, who was in the Treasury Dept. and primarily designed the World Bank and IMF.

And this...was while we purportedly had a government that was not teeming with radical leftists who adore and idolize Mother Russia and Father China.

Obama's KNOWN past, includes Bill Ayers, the Socialist Scholars Convention, the Midwest Academy, the New Party, Rashid Khalidi, Ali Abunimah, Carl Davidson, Don Warden, and Frank Marshall Davis.

So, these Russian "chess players" who are now "afraid" of where Obama is taking America...why? Has he turned Maoist and become convinced by Anita Dunn and Tom Friedman?

Are they trying to destroy the world economy by forcing the Middle East to implode, thereby ruining the petro industry, while simultaneously applying a tourniquet to the production of our own natural resources, under the phony guise of the "global warming" hoax?

Our DOJ is littered with radical leftists and we only know that because of Christian Adams, Hans Von Spakovsky and now... the OIG report.

What about State? The CIA? Treasury?

To suggest that the poor Russians and little Vladdy P are so terribly confused by what we are up to...boggles the mind. The "little Suzy Jumprope" routine might fly if they believed we were now in bed with the Chinese. Or that Valerie Jarrett had made Iran our secret partner...which would explain our inexplicable stance there.

But, to suggest that THIS administration is not overrun with treasonous leftists in light of the information culled from the Venona Project, is laughable on its face.

What is Russia afraid of? A Cloward-Piven strategy used not just on America and the West...but on the world economy?

A One World Socialist movement (OWS) that topples Europe first, the Middle East second and America, Russia and China in the end? Then what?

George Soros as king? Obama as Ruler for Life? Sharia as the state religion? Maybe the "chess players" can tell us at least the end game.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's hard to disagree with the idea that both recent American administrations were wrong in the way they did things, although with each it was for different reasons.

Bush certainly appears to have been the well-intentioned goof and the other guy is definitely criminal on many levels but also seriously incompetent and irresponsible. (See Heinlein's/Occam's shaving apparatus).

As for the Paulians, well, Bill Donovan probably had it right when he suggested that, on some level, 'if you're not paranoid, you don't have all the facts.'

Thankfully, there are places like this (and a few others) where informed opinion can be read in well written essays by individuals with excellent sources.
That, and high calibre personal weapons are some small comfort in these trying times.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I find the premise of this essay to be a bit difficult to process. An old KGB master such as Putin does not have a dossier on Obama and his political bent? His friendship with Rashid Khalidi, his admiration of Edward Said?

Putin does not know of John Kerry's Winter Soldier forays into the bosom of the enemy?

He is unaware of Chuck Hagel and his inclinations? Or Robert Malley and Hamas?

And, for all that is this current administration...the Russian hypersensitive eyes and ears cannot pick up the distinctions and differences with the aforementioned and those holding similar titles in Republican administrations? Really?

Hmmm.

As for Rand Paul, if he is the isolationist nut his father is, he will have the same impact. Right now, he is a non-factor in global geopolitics.

America may be war weary, but a large part of that is based upon an actual conspiracy, not a theory. The US media, Hollywood and academia actively conspire to drive morale into the ground when a Republican is at the helm.

They coverup a Benghazi. Are the Russians blissfully unaware of the impact of a poisoned information stream? Really?

If all this is true about what the Russians "truly" believe, then I'm not so certain that the dullards we ought to be scoffing at, are the one "playing Monopoly".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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The DVD by Joel Gilbert, "Dreams from my Real Father", shows the depth to which Obama is tied to a long history of Russian-Communist influence in the US. Frank Marshall Davis was a CPUSA member and mentor for Obama.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Disraeli
. Frank Marshall Davis was a CPUSA member and mentor for Obama.
.............
Judging by pictures I've seen of Davis, his daughter and Obama--plus some of the porn--I'd say Davis was likely Obama's father.--which would make Obama a US citizen --but one with a totally invented life story.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Unconfirmed reports of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s shooting highlight chaos in country
Assad was supposedly shot by his Iranian bodyguard Saturday night, with at least one website saying he had been ‘assassinated.’ But other online updates by Arab and Israeli media say the report was untrue.
Comments (3)
I'm seeing these reports in several places

By Erik Ortiz / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, March 24, 2013, 3:35 PM

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/rumors-assad-shooting-highlights-syria-chaos-article-1.1297939#ixzz2OV0EGzM4
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

Unconfirmed reports of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s shooting highlight chaos in country
Assad was supposedly shot by his Iranian bodyguard Saturday night, with at least one website saying he had been ‘assassinated.’ But other online updates by Arab and Israeli media say the report was untrue.
Comments (3)
By Erik Ortiz / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, March 24, 2013, 3:35 PM

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/rumors-assad-shooting-highlights-syria-chaos-article-1.1297939#ixzz2OV0EGzM4
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think the Russians are on to something. The left has to destroy this nation and the world financial system in order to rebuild it in their desired image and control. There is nothing new about this concept and it has in fact always been the left's MO !
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why not humor the Russians , and allow them to continue believing that what the American government does to implement it's foreign policy is deliberate.
The Presidunce and his administration support the Muslim brotherhood , and has taken a direct hand in the collapse of government in Egypt , Syria ..... and they have not yet thrown up their hands and hollered done !
The same creatures are going to hand Afghanistan back to the Taliban .
And only incidentally , are mucking around with our Constitution , continuing the fine progressive tradition of destroying rights .

Validate your 2nd Amendment Rights . Carry .
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The late Frank Zappa liked to say that "it's not getting any smarter out there." I never know what to say to people anymore. Catholics who don't believe in Catholicism; teachers who don't believe in facts or history or science or good writing; human resources people who seem to almost want the least experienced with the weakest work ethic; politicians who smirk at intelligent questions; desolate, broke, devasted cities like Detroit getting hundreds of millions of dollars to build a kiddie ride along a wasteland of commerical real estate. We really aren't a very intelligent country anymore. Or to be more precise and down to earth - - we have lost the knack for sense. And Mayor Dave Bing said after yet another bloody weekend in Detroit, "we no longer value human life." And that's the real tragedy. We don't care about anything and certainly not about one another. The rot is deep and the republic is starting to visibly wobble from the weakened foundations of family, church, school, you name it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Tons of information from the early progessive movements (Fabian) of the early 1900's. Problem is, we became so spoilded, no one cared to pay attention.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The destruction of the World is a by-product of the "Fundamental Transformation of America". I'm sure there was no planning involved. LMAO!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As a fan of Occam's Razor and a card carrying American Rube, I'm having a hard time understanding why Mr. Spengler believes the structural incompetence of the Leviathan American government apparatus and the malicious intent of the current crop of leftist ideologues holding the reins of power are somehow exclusionary?

While I ponder the statistical probability that the elite chessmasters in Russia have come to the same conclusions as the paranoid rubes that inhabit the hinterland I would simply note that I will await the explanations sure to come from our intellectual betters to soften the landing for the millions of Americans that continue to suffer the nosedive that are the results of the ideological assault on the foundations of American Exceptionalism.

I also expect a similarly empathetic exposition for the little Israeli girl to help her cope with the garroting of her parents and brothers while she cowered hiding below her bed by those who feel morally empowered by the 'bungling' of the message that this administration propagates in the powder keg AKA the Middle East.

I'll admit, that will be more difficult that the intellectual exercise to comment of the imprint of her shadow on the concrete wall of her apartment after the Iranians do what they continue to threaten they will do at their first opportunity.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
. “The fact is that all Russian politicians are clever. The stupid ones are all dead. By contrast, America in its complacency promotes dullards."
---

DPG is a modern Mencken. Always worth reading.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The Alawite regime will continue to commit atrocities in order to convince its own base as well as the Syria’s Christian, Kurdish and Druze minorities that they must fight to the death..."

There's one problem with that statement... Syria's "base" doesn't need convincing b/c they are on the side of the Alawite regime. And thousands of witnesses have testified that those "atrocities" were not committed by Alawites, but by foreign terrorists, terrorists armed by the U.S, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and who'd have thought, our old friends the Russians, who don't wanna be late for the party.

This is not "conspiracy theory," just truth. And the truth is there is no revolution or "civil war" in Syria, as Syrian's see it-- just war.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
His base is bailing out.

At the present time, his absolute got-to guys are Iranian fanatics.

His Damascus crew is sending their wives and children to the coast.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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