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16 April 2014

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Margaret Steinfels

"Very very few Americans even in the elites actually read or studied Marx, Trotsky, Engels or Lenin."

FYI: You may be right about "few" but in my Papist university run by Jesuits, we read Marx and Engels in parts and in a pretty straight forward (non-ideological) manner in modern philosophy. Trotsky and Lenin made appearances in my modern Europe courses. But that was way back in the sixties.

Margaret Steinfels

To all the lightly covert "anonymouses": Unmasking Saker is not my intent. Like most here, I read everything with a cup of salt and between the lines, especially the MSM, etc. In keeping with this practice, I would like to read Saker with a cup of salt, and now I can. So thanks for the info and insights.

William R. Cumming

Thanks Peggy and oddly Catholicism has long been willing to study other religions--the exception Capitalism!

David Habakkuk

Peggy,

There are commonly issues between competing creeds, or competing versions of the same creed, which can sometimes be treated as matters not worth quarrelling over, at other times as reasons for hostility, persecution, and accusations that one’s competitor may actually be satanic. Quite often, the question of whether relative harmony or acute acrimony prevails is a matter of circumstance.

For an example of an Orthodox view of Western Christianity as satanic, one need look no further than one of the greatest of Russian novelists, Dostoevsky. But unsurprisingly many other Orthodox Christians – an example would be Nadezhda Mandelstam – while revering Dostoevsky, repudiated his view of Catholicism.

Like her husband the poet Osip, and also his fellow poet Boris Pasternak, she was a Jewish-Christian – that may have influenced her towards sympathy with Western Christianity. But her reading of Dostoevsky – that he was a great thinker inclined at key points to head over into something close to sheer insanity – seems to me essentially right.

As to the current situation, last December ‘the Saker’, far from suggesting that Russia should intervene in Ukraine, was suggesting that it should wash its hands of the whole place and keep out. The post is interesting in all kinds of ways, among them the clear identification of the Russians as ‘Eurasian’. The conclusion is especially interesting. It reads:

‘One last thing to any Ukrainian nationalist reading the above: please spare me your usual crap about me being an evil Russian imperialist, Asian, Moskal or Mongol. Except for the “imperialist” part, I plead guilty to all the other charges and, like Blok's Scythian, I make no apologies for it.’

The poem by Alexander Blok to which he refers is a classic statement of Russian ambivalence towards the West. These ambivalences have been present at least since the time of Peter the Great – not all that much, actually, has changed.

What the post also brings out is what I take to be a truth that lies in the background of the attitudes of ‘the Saker.’ The current shambles in Ukraine is in substantial measure the product of people with a history of victimhood at the hands of Russia and Germany – in particular Catholic Poles and Jews – collaborating with the heirs of semi-Catholic (Uniate) Ukrainian nationalist collaborators of Hitler in an attempt decisively to ‘de-russify’ the cradle of Russian culture.

As ‘the Saker’ brings out, in a real sense the ‘post-modern’ language used in the West to discuss Ukraine – talk of ‘real democracy’, for instance – is largely an obfuscation. Unfortunately, the notion that we have transcended our pasts is a fiction which commonly takes in those who propagate it. As a result, they are simply unable to contemplate the possibility that they may be raising ghosts from the past with potentially quite uncontrollable consequences.

In my view, Putin is likely to be quite right in thinking that the covert agenda behind all this is actually ‘regime change’ in Russia itself. In understanding his responses, a critical fact is that he is not actually a natural ‘Eurasianist’ at all – but is being pushed away from the ‘Westernising’ instincts which were originally natural to him, towards a ‘Eurasianist’ orientation.

(That Putin should be an instinctive ‘Westerniser’ is hardly so surprising, as he comes from St. Petersburg, the most ‘Western’ of the great Russian cities – indeed, in some ways it is more ‘Western’ than Kiev.)

As to relations with Muslims. People often refer to Putin as a Russian nationalist. It would be more appropriate to refer to him as a Russian statist. Time and again, he has emphasised that the criterion of belonging in community he is trying to construct is neither ethnicity, nor religious affiliation. It is identification with Russian culture and history.

In April 2012, in commemoration of the two-hundredth anniversary of the decisive defeat of Napoleon by Russian armies, a post appeared on the ‘Russkiy Mir’ website entitled ‘Two Hundred Years of Russian Intelligence.’

It was a tribute to the figure who some of us consider a principal architect in the defeat of Napoleon, one of the ‘great commanders’ of European history, the Baltic bourgeois Barclay de Tolly. It was Barclay – Scottish by ethnic origin, German by culture, Lutheran by religion – who created the military intelligence service that allowed him to work the kind of war that Napoleon did not want to fight, and could not afford to fight, and to make him fight it.

(See http://www.russkiymir.ru/russkiymir/en/publications/articles/article0264.html )

So, if bourgeois Lutherans can be Russian heroes, why not Muslims? In fact, one of the pivotal Russian military intellectuals of the post-war period is Mahkmut Akhmetovich Gareyev. Still alive and kicking when I last looked, he really is the 'last of the Mohicans' -- a Tatar calvaryman from Chelyabinsk, who volunteered for the Red Army in 1939. According to Wikpedia, his religion his Sunni Muslim.

The last thing I would want to do is to make a simplistic equation between Putin’s idealistic professions and his actual practice. Those who say that Russia is run on the basis of a corrupt system of ‘crony capitalism’ have a great deal of evidence in support of their case, to put it mildly.

However, there is also another side to this coin. It appears to be the case that people in the West think that the likely alternative to the current Russian regime is the triumph of Western-oriented liberals.

This, it seems to me, is as much fantasy as have been parallel assumptions made in relation to Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc etc etc. In relation to Russia, moreover, there is an element which is even more sinister: the strong suspicion that what many in the West dream of is a return to the happy days of the late 1990s, when the country was largely run by a ‘comprador elite’ – people like Berezovsky and Khodorkovsky. This if a fantasy which can only be held by people who are at once intellectually incompetent and morally contemptible.

David Habakkuk

All,

Slightly, but not so far, off topic. More evidence,this time from Germany, that the sniper shootings on the Maidan on 20 February were not committed by Yanukovich's people, but by John Brennan's little friends.

(See https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=725705100783621&id=161448950542575 )

Fred

David,

It just gets better with every editon of the news. Svoboda and Privat Sektor aren’t anti-semitic – since the ‘revolution’ of course. Now replacing Saddam, Mubarak, Gaddafi, Ahmadinejad. and Assad…. It’s Putin = Hitler!
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/17/jews-ordered-to-register-in-east-ukraine/7816951/

I wonder if we will get a false flag war on Good Friday or will the Administration’s operatives wait until Easter Sunday?

The beaver

Fred

The real story :
http://www.jewish.donetsk.ua/stat.php?topic=news&page=0&id=3704

Google translation will be of help.
Anyways, this story has been spreading like wild fire but it ain't the truth.

Some provocateurs, similar to the skin head episode in the Crimean Tatar Muslim community before the annexation referendum. And then some complain about Pravda :-)

Babak Makkinejad

Islam is not part of the Western Civilization; it cannot be.

Leave things separated out as they are.

Babak Makkinejad

In fact, you are not going far enough in your speculations.

Let us assume for the sake of argument that a covert war is being waged to overthrow the Russian state in its current form - by US, EU, Canada, and Australia.

Furthermore, let us entertain the notion that this war could succeed in state destruction or weakening in Russia, in a similar manner to what has happened since 1995 in Serbia.

So, US, EU, Canada, and Australia would be victors in this war.

Then what?

It is here that Reality will assert itself; Russians will not accept a position similar to Japanese, Germans, Italians, and Koreans with respect to NATO countries and Australia.

They will reassert their national power again.

And we will be back with a much much worse situation in which the Russian State and people - having in effect been shabbily treated by NATO and Australia - will be virulently anti-US, anti-EU, anti-Canada, and anti-Australia.

There would be and could not be a middle ground.

In other words & in my opinion, any success by US, EU, Canada, and Australia in their current efforts against the Russian Federation as her leaders perceive them to be will be a pyrrhic victory.

It would be very analogous to the victory of US-UK against Iran in 1953 - and almost certainly the Russian reaction - in time - would have very similar strategic, religious, and cultural consequences.

William R. Cumming

Babak! Believe what you want but the long "tension" of Islam and the West shaped both Islam and Christianity! Point me materials that believe Asia shaped Islam or Africa! The tension still shapes the West and Islam IMO!

Fred

the beaver,

Yes, that should have been immediately apparent to an average observer, but we did get to see the intense 'fact checking' effort of USA Today..
It is more 'information management' with the intellectual laziness, if not collusion, of the modern American press.

Anonymous

I despair at the lack of sensibility. It is well known that to faithfully reply to an equiry about russian assets in proper coldwarinesque ambiance one must start in a fairy tale manner.

"Once upon a time there was a defector called Stanley..."

Will

Antisemitism is easily bandied about. Any criticism of the AngloZio empire is automatically anti-Semitic. So is also any criticism of the Judea-Samaria settlement enterprise- this is called NEW antisemitism.

I like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's approach
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Hundred_Years_Together

- that the Russians and Russian Jews both take collective responsibility for communism and engage in truth and reconciliation. Of course there was a disproportionate number of Jews in the communist cadres just like today there are in the U.S. NeoCon (as well as the Progressive) crowd. Just a natural consequence of the IQ curve. A 15 point IQ spread results in a huge spread in the outlier. One of every 4 Americans with an IQ over 140 is Jewish.

Good luck finding an English translation of that book.

William R. Cumming

will! There seems to be a growing consensus that there may be at least seven kinds of intelligence in humans.

Babak Makkinejad

You see to be know saying something else: "...Islam and the West", and later "...still shapes West and Islam"

I rest my case - West is not Islam and Islam is not West.

OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,.

William R. Cumming

ALL: To overthrow Putin and change the nature of modern Russia may well have blowback and change the nature of the US and its oligarchs many interlocked with the Russian ones.
That is why I refuse to believe destabilization of Russia is a FP aim of the US. Putin actually helped cover up the US role in privatizing Soviet State assets.

Castellio

WRC, can you source your last sentence? Thanks.

different clue

Does an IQ test test someone's intelligence? Or does it just test someone's ability to take an IQ test?

different clue

It's certainly a FP aim of Zbigniew Brzezinski. For the purpose of dividing Russia into several colonizable sections.
Does his advice carry any weight in government circles?

William R. Cumming

Castello! My source is analysis from those writing about the privatization effort in Russia after the wall fell. The KGB in the middle of that privatization with the design led by someone named Larry Summers on loan from Harvard and others. Many of the Americans were enriched personally by their self-dealing. Mags such as the Harvard Business Review and Economist and newpapers such as WSJ and Financial Times discuss the privatization. But my real sources are friends in the FBI, multilateral orgs housed in DC, and senior accounting officials of major USA accounting firms who actually traveled to Russia in that time frame to set up the books of the privatized or about to be privatized firms. A number of them traveled to Russia over two dozen times in the 90's. One longstanding friend in that group told me personally that it was no use trying to have honest accounting in Russia due to IOC and corruption generally. And he stated US business interests of no help either.

Note that the KGB actually controlled some percentage of business in the Soviet Union just as some other friends suggest to me over 1/3 of the Chinese economy actually held and managed by the PLA!

Try googling Putin world's richest man and see what you turn up!

Fred

WRC,

There was no coverup of the US role in privatization of soviet assets. Any ignorance about the matter is due to lack of effort.

Babak Makkinejad

I tried "Putin world's richest man" on Google and the Bloomberg article came up on top. Which was basically rumor and innuendo.

So, he is the world's richest man and is not using that wealth on a personal level to live in luxury and comfort?

LBJ was living better than him.

I think he actually stated the truth - he is wealthy in that he has a vast amount of power - men who have power are quite willing to live in a hovel - but have power.

They do not need bimbos, luxury goods, and houses and cars - those are trinkets for children compared to "executive power".

Real men have or aspire to power - the rest dissipate themselves in money or hobbies.

William R. Cumming

Excellent analysis IMO!

William R. Cumming

Zbig is an old man and old men still dream!

William R. Cumming

Agree! Including the $30B the US transferred to the Yeltsin crew to assist his campaign!

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