GH Eliason, Distinguished Collaborator
This article serves as the preamble and background to the Ukrainian and Russian sections of the Emigre Super Bloc series.
To make the point many of the citations used in this article will come from Ukrainian nationalist scholarship. There was a brief golden age in Ukrainian nationalist scholarship when the academics actually tried to make sense of things going on in the world. They tried to stay with the facts. After a short time, the 15-year run-up to Euro-Maidan happened. They learned to lie, and afterward to spout off like they were put on really powerful narcotics to try to romanticize and justify the atrocities committed in Donbass.
In a word, they joined their Ukrainian nationalist alumni in what US Secretary of Defense Aston Carter characterizes as the “intellectually decapitated,” which in a much kinder fashion I’ll describe as magically lobotomized.
“It (Ukrainian nationalism) was intellectually decapitated as a matter of deliberate policy during the Stalin years and beyond so that the most able and energetic Ukrainians were either killed or magnetically attracted to Moscow and Russified.” Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Ukraine and Europe,”Fulfilling the Promise: Building an Enduring Security Partnership Between Ukraine and NATO, Ashton B. Carter, Steven E. Miller, and Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, eds., The Stanford-Harvard Preventive Defense Project, 1999, pp. 33-34.” (NOTE: It’s a bit surreal to speak of “Ukrainian Russification” as if we were talking about two historically clear, distinct, and sharply separate ethno-cultural entities when in reality Ukraine was the cradle of Russian nationality itself, and was for most of its life central to and embedded in Russian life, as New England is in the life of the US.—Eds.]
But you see, this time, they don’t have Stalin to blame. It’s a matter of their own policy. This time in a like-minded fashion with their predecessors, they gave up the right to think. Ukrainian nationalism and nationalism in general frowns on real intellectual thought.
“ The nationalists insisted on the primacy of will over reason, action over thought, and practice over theory. Their doctrine of nationalism was[is] infused with aspects of the irrational, voluntaristic, and vitalistic theories…In the place of objective scientific discovery the nationalists propagated myths and favored an ideologically ‘correct’ image of the Ukrainian past. They promoted a cult of the struggle and reverence for national martyrs…”-Ukrainian Encyclopedia
Why does Ukraine claim to be at war with Russia?
What they are at war with in their own minds, and the minds of their handlers, is something completely different and alien to most people’s conception. Ukraine is at war with the idea of a democratic Russia being more successful than they are and shining a light on the disaster of their imported Ukrainian Nationalist form of government.
For them, the Ukrainian civil war is a godsend to cover up the fact that they don’t have the first inkling about how to govern a country. If you look at the above core ideological statements, admitting loss to normal people and not a great power is something they literally can’t do on their own. That would negate the superiority of the Ukrainian nationalist spirit and drive. The West can’t go back and undo what’s been done. The West is stuck with the fact they were sold a stallion and the trailer delivered a gelded pony. [Even so, the West is still the winner so far, as it has spawned a steaming mess on the very lap of Mother Russia and created Syria-like conditions that could be potentially amplified to a larger conflagration, circumstances permitting. After all, the object of US/NATO policy in organizing and supporting the Maidan coup was never the acquisition of a normal colony but a precious war asset to play against Russia and bring about its destabilization, nor was the “salvation of the Ukrainian people” from some manufactured threat of any concern to the Neocon gang and propagandists in Washington, and still isn’t.—Eds)
Of course saying they are at war with Russia has made them feel good about themselves. But how many imaginary invasions are they willing to own up to? The real benefit has been appeasing the Diaspora and keeping the money coming in. Having reported on the war for the past 2 ½ years, including doing invasive passport checks on soldiers across the Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR) in 2014, it’s simply not the case.
For Kiev, legitimacy is wrapped around its founding social contract with the Ukrainian people. When that was broken, its legitimacy was lost. What do I mean?
In 1991 Gorbachev called for a referendum to decide the fate of the Soviet Union which was:
1.(‘Do you consider it necessary to preserve the USSR as a renewed federation of equal sovereign republics, in which human rights and the freedoms of all nationalities will be fully guaranteed?’). Kravchuk, the highest political leader in Ukraine added two other questions to the referendum.
2.(‘Do you agree that Ukraine should be part of a Union of Soviet Sovereign States on the basis of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine?’)
3.(‘Do you want Ukraine to become an independent state which independently decides its domestic and foreign policies, and which guarantees equal rights to all of its citizens, regardless of their national or religious allegiance?’)
The 70.5 per cent support for Gorbachev’s question was not unexpected, but the Ukrainian question received an even higher 80.2 percent, and 88.4 percent voted for independence in Galicia”.-Ukraine: Perestroika to Independence Second Edition Taras Kuzio
According to Kuzio, because of the high percentages of all the answers across the referendum, supporters of every question could claim victory.
One of these three questions represents the conditions that Ukrainians seceded from the Soviet Union with. Since the first two never made it out of the gate, Ukraine as a sovereign government had a social contract based on the response to the third question. This should go down in the history books as the “Great Galician lie.”
According to Ukrainian Nationalist scholar, Taras Kuzio, quoting Melnyk, the head of the UNA executive, the whole matter of independence “wasn’t settled by by democratic forces wanting independence. It was in fact support for authoritarianism and nationalism decided by the higher organs of power in Ukraine. Kravchuk was chosen as president based on his hatred for democracy and Russian democracy in particular.” (RADICAL NATIONALIST PARTIES AND MOVEMENTS IN CONTEMPORARY UKRAINE BEFORE AND AFTER INDEPENDENCE: THE RIGHT AND ITS POLITICS, 1989-1994 Taras Kuzio)
Who were the “higher organs of power in Ukraine” that could ignore the Ukrainian people and decide on their behalf?Once again Taras Kuzio sheds light not only on this but how the road to the Maidan coup and the current civil war was paved. These higher organs of power, for the most part, had never even been to Ukraine. Their families never lived in a country called Ukraine. They make up the Ukrainian emigre leadership. He states—understating the case— that Ukrainian emigres tend to be from Western Ukraine and are more “nationally conscious” and politically radical.
Going further, he states that the emigre groups have considerable political influence, are well financed (guess by who), and have had a strong impact on domestic Ukrainian politics since 1988. Because of this, it has never been a matter of “who” was controlling Ukraine, but what direction they wanted to go in.
The Ukrainian nationalist movement had been divided between a messianic element (OUNb) which would enforce its beliefs using force and OUNm which played down the nationalist cultural card and tried to appeal to the south and east economically to transcend the regional divide.
In Donbass, the OUNm tactic worked. By promising to raise economic conditions so they would be livable, they got the miners’ support. This was the game changer for them. At the same time, they already made the decision that Donbass would be paying for the costs of independence and reform at an inordinate rate. This would happen by dropping wages and living conditions across Donbass and taking the wealth from the industrial region after it was too late to turn back.
Ukrainian Freedom ended up being one of the greatest bait-and-switch games ever played. Like I said it’s the “great Galician lie.”Who was at the head of the Ukrainian diaspora? This is an interesting question because leadership revolved around small groups of people no matter how many groups you look at, political affiliations, or the connections you make in Ukraine, Europe, or America.
From 1986- 2003 the leader of the OUNb was Slava Stetsko. Stetsko gained the mantle from her husband who died in 1986, Yaroslav Stetsko. He was the right hand to Stepan Bandera. Stetsko is the only Axis WWII leader who can claim eventual victory over the Allies even though this trio were responsible for the first Holocaust of WWII. It was the mass execution of over 30,000 Jews at Babi Yar. They starved 3 million war prisoners to death in Ukraine. They tortured and murdered close to ½ million Ukrainians. And they were never tried in court for these crimes.Instead, they financed the radicalization of Ukraine and radical political parties starting before 1989. The biggest influence proved to be bringing back OUNb children groups from the Diaspora. These children groups were still labeled by the CIA as Bandera terrorist groups until the 1980’s. During WWII they planted bombs and murdered civilians that disagreed with Nazi ideology.
In far-flung Nazi strongholds like New York, Boston, Stamford, Philadelphia, Montreal, and Geelong, Australia emigre kids are still taught that Stepan Bandera is a saint to be worshiped and a perfect person that they need to model their lives after. This same Bandera, who committed the crimes listed above strangled cats for fun as a child. Having a sado/masochist bent, he was often found at school torturing himself by slamming his own hand in a door, over and over.
Bandera ordered his followers to rape, torture, and murder men, women, and children as a sign of heroism and dedication to the cause of his nationalism. This is why it is so prevalent today with the Ukrainian volunteer battalions like Pravy Sector, Azov, Donbas, Kiev Rus, or Aidar.- (When Nazi Hands Rock American Cradles GH Eliason)
Even Ukrainian state symbolism which was given by the emigres celebrates this today by integrating the 3 prong pitch fork (trident- 3 tooth) as the national symbol for Ukraine. In WWII, the 3 prong pitchfork was a favorite tool for murder and torture by Bandera’s OUNb and they found it especially useful when used on small children as a torture for parents.
If you think about it, in any other context a child that is taught this was good behavior by adults would probably be removed from the home. Wasn’t there a national outcry for the children of Waco? They weren’t taught this. Before you get too upset, just remember, they are your neighbors, not mine. People like Victoria Nuland grew up in these children’s groups and now set foreign policy regarding Eastern Europe and Russia.
In Stamford, CT how far do you think this could go? “On October 16,2011, members of the 54th branch of CYM “Khersones” in Stamford, CT attended a mass and requiem service in honor of the great Ukrainian hero and freedom fighter, Stepan Bandera…The SUM members and the faithful present that day enjoyed a beautiful and emotional homily about the life and achievements of Stepan Bandera delivered by Reverend Bohdan Danylo, Rector of St. Basil’s Seminary in Stamford.
He instructed the children on how they can model their own lives on Bandera’s by following his example of self-sacrifice and unwavering dedication to his country. Following the homily, Father Bohdan distributed candles to each child which burned brightly during a stirring execution of the prayer “Vichnaya Pam’yat” in honor of the great hero of the Ukrainian nation.”
Ukrainian nationalist scholar, Taras Kuzio goes on to say that CYM was set up in East Ukraine to indoctrinate Donbass children into integral nationalism and Plast was set up in West Ukraine in 1989. Adolf Hitler’s nationalism, like the Ukrainian emigre, is called integral nationalism. “Integral” means you answer to the ideology in every aspect of your life and every decision is checked against the ideology.
The emigres today, regardless of what country they live in hold the same type of Nazi ideology (integral nationalism) Adolf Hitler had for Germany as being more precious than their own lives.
By February 1991 it started to pay off in Ukraine. Radical nationalism exploded among the youth, and Rukh, which was Ukraine’s leading nationalist party attracted them. The youth called for the party to adopt the mythologized version of the OUN ideology. The OUNr (OUNb and m) were supporting the groups financially and ideologically promoting radical nationalism.-(RADICAL NATIONALIST PARTIES AND MOVEMENTS IN CONTEMPORARY UKRAINE BEFORE AND AFTER INDEPENDENCE: THE RIGHT AND ITS POLITICS, 1989-1994 Taras Kuzio)
According to Ukrainian apologist Anne Applebaum -“…rather than acknowledging that nationalism is fundamentally emotional. In truth, you can’t really make ‘the case’ for nationalism; you can only inculcate it, teach it to children, cultivate it at public events.”– Anne Applebaum historian for UCCA history project (Wife of Poland’s Foreign Minister, Radislaw Sikorski
The social contract between Ukraine’s government and the people was broken with Ukrainians before it was put on paper. It was broken during the Orange Revolution. It was broken again during the Maidan coup. The war has been a civil war. The Ukrainian government attacked its people. The Ukrainian government destroyed its legitimacy.
Why is Russia the Greatest Threat to Ukraine?After supporting Kiev, the western world is scared to death of a successful and popular Russian democracy next door. They are scared of a successful Crimea, LNR (Lugansk Peoples Republic), and DNR(Donetsk Peoples Republic). They, along with the rest of the CEE (Central and Eastern European Countries) are afraid that their own people will start to look east in hope of a better life than to the west. If Crimea, LNR, and DNR succeed, the government in Kiev and its emigre handlers are afraid nationalist Ukraine will fail.
Just before Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union, Ukrainian nationalist forces in Ukraine and the Diaspora identified the greatest threat to their take-over project in Ukraine was a flourishing Russian democracy.
“Originally, in 1990, the SNUM-nationalists and the UNS (Ukrainian nationalist groups) espoused “revolutionary nationalism” (the ideology of the emigre OUNr). ..”The enemy of the Ukrainian administration is Russian democracy. The only weapon for it is state independence.” Hence, the UNA believed that Kravchuk’s anathema for Russian democracy would have transformed itself into support for authoritarianism and nationalism within an independent Ukraine, especially as both the UNA and the national communists supported state-based (not ethnic) nationalism and allegiance to independent Ukraine… The vote in favour of independence, which was made by the population of Ukraine, was not the result of the activity of the so-called ‘democratic forces’ (apart from, possibly, in the territory of western Ukraine), but was the result of the turn towards independence of the higher organs of power in Ukraine, as was seen in the election of Kravchuk as president of Ukraine,” claimed Melnyk, head of the UNA executive”(-RADICAL NATIONALIST PARTIES AND MOVEMENTS IN CONTEMPORARY UKRAINE BEFORE AND AFTER INDEPENDENCE: THE RIGHT AND ITS POLITICS, 1989-1994 Taras Kuzio)
This paper by a leading Ukrainian nationalist academic was written almost 10 years before the Maidan coup. It clearly states Ukraine was never intended to be a democracy. The threat to Ukraine was its people wanting the freedoms and protections they would never know in their own country. The greatest threat to a nationalist tyranny was and is having a flourishing democratic government only one border away.
Kuzio’s insertion of Melnyk, the son of Waffen SS officer Andrei Melnyk shows the importance Nazi OUN politics played in the formation of today’s Ukraine even before its independence. Even its flag today is the WWII Nazi OUNb flag.
To reiterate, Melnyk went on to say that the old ruling layer would continue to rule and ruin the country. This happened. The revolution would be two stages and the first would be selling off Ukraine in small bits. This happened. The second part would start when a new generation of administrators, managers and academics appeared. This happened.
The Interregional Academy of Human Resources (MAUP) boasts of providing education for more than 97% of the Ukrainian national government in the decades preceding Maidan. MAUP teaches Bandera nationalist/ messianic ideology.
In the wake of the Orange Revolution, Ukraine has witnessed a substantial growth in organized anti-Semitism. Central to this development is an organization, known as the Interregional Academy of Human Resources, better known by its Ukrainian acronym MAUP. It operates a well-connected political network that reaches the very top of the Ukrainian society. By September 2005, the number of students had grown to over 51,000, in November the same year to 57,000. MAUP is the largest private university in Ukraine, with 57,000 students at 24 regional campuses. (–Pers Anders Rudling Canadian Slavonic Papers/Revue canadienne des slavistesVol. XLVIII, Nos. 1-2, March-June 2006 Organized Anti-Semitism in Contemporary Ukraine:Structure, Influence and Ideology.)
Guiding this decades-long process into hard nationalism while at the same time trying to give it a softer image the OUNb and OUNm were at constant odds with each other. OUNb (USA) wanted direct control, while OUNm (Canada) wanted native Ukrainians to take the reins and just supply guidance. Before Maidan, the OUNb decided to take full control and make the decisions.
The second stage would be an energetic arrival of nationalism in an organized form. This was what Maidan was all about. This happened.
According to Kuzio, a major difference between nationalists and democrats is the question of “enemies.” Liberals are afraid of saying who the enemy of Ukrainian independence is, nationalists name that enemy- Russia.
Hating the enemy is the great unifying element of Ukrainian nationalist society and when a nation loses sight of its enemy it becomes disoriented. Freedom in Ukraine isn’t about liberty and responsibility. It’s based in the permanent politicization of society. Inequality is a fundamental principle of this structure. Only the strong (nationalists) should receive help from the state. Only the nationalists should be able to participate in the government or gain wealth. In Ukraine, prior to Maidan and now in an exaggerated fashion, no Senator or Minister can be tried for any crimes unless the Rada (senate) strips them of their immunity first.
When everything above is compared to even a fledgling democracy with all its faults, which would you choose? Now it’s easy to understand why all Ukrainian nationalists hate Russia and Putin so much.
What Makes Russia the Greatest Threat to Europe and the West?To grasp this we need to get to a good starting point. If we look at US policy during the period of the Soviet Union’s collapse we see two possible policy directions.
The first one is called the Russia-first approach which is known as moderate globalism. The Russia-second approach was viewed as the “Cold War II” or radical globalism.
“The “Russia first” approach stresses that the main threat is a weak Russia because patriotic feelings of offended Russians may lead to extreme nationalism; that is why it is dangerous to try to isolate and weaken Russia. Moscow’s central role in the FSU, where Russia has “vital, special interests,” is recognized by a positive attitude towards “some form of a common market and collective security framework.”
The “Russia first”approach is also based on the arguments that “Russia was the central force in the destruction of the Soviet totalitarian state” and that without democratic Russia there will be no other democratic states. The policy of other new states is sometimes viewed as threatening Russia’s interests”. (-Disintegration of the Soviet Union and the U.S. Position on the Independence of Ukraine. Discussion Paper 9509, Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University Author: Olexiy Haran, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 19931994)
If Russia devolved into a nationalist state the threat of war became exponential. Every other state that was part of the Soviet Union was sure to follow on hard nationalist lines. Today, imagine having to deal with another 22 hard-line nationalist countries that are non-negotiable. That was the real threat to Europe and the West and what they were afraid of.
Nationalism including Ukrainian nationalism today only understands force as a foreign policy. When your politics start with “we are perfect” it always ends with “you are not.”
Two main Russian nationalist groups today are Essence of Time led by Sergey Kurinyan and Alexander Dugin‘s National Bolshevik Front and the Eurasian Movement.
In the words of Alexander Nevzorov, a Russian political commentator, “if we had had Kurginyan and Dugin instead of Putin, there would have been hell for all of us to pay, they would have unleashed a European and World War without a shadow of a doubt, without considering consequences at all. But Dugin and Kurginyan do not have the slightest impact on what is going on in the Kremlin and do not even get coaching there.”(– Sobesednik.ru)
“For Russia, for a Russian person, the feeling of patriotism, the sense of national identification are very important – what is unfortunately being lost in some European countries,” Putin said. “We’ve got that inside of us, in our heart – love for the homeland.” Putin recalled the words of outstanding Soviet Russian scholar Dmitry Likhachev that patriotism drastically differs from nationalism.”Nationalism is hatred of other peoples, while patriotism is love for your motherland,” Putin cited his words.” (-Putin reminds that “patriotism drastically differs from nationalism” TASS April 16)
Why is Russia the Greatest Threat to the USA?Nations get by in the world with the treaties and agreements they sign. Great nations are great because their word is their bond. They are trustworthy. No country they deal with needs to guess where they stand on an issue. The USA manufactured a reputation across the world from the 1950’s through the 1980’s as a country that was trustworthy, despite the fact that during the Cold War I it was the US that repeatedly broke its word, and contrived at all times to advance its hegemonic designs, whether in deed or in spirit, in regard to formal treaties with the Soviets and other parties, which the latter —contrary to Western propaganda—far more scrupulously observed.
Since the 1990s Russia has rightly complained that they had an agreement that NATO “would not expand one more inch to the East” and encroach Russian territory. But did they?
According to the Brookings Institute, the answer is no! NOPE! And no! When Gorbachev was asked why he didn’t have Secretary Baker’s promise written on paper, Gorbachev said the “subject never came up.” (-Did NATO Promise Not to Enlarge? Gorbachev Says “No” Steven Pifer Thursday, November 6, 2014)
That should settle the issue, shouldn’t it? Or should it? Not quite. If the subject of NATO expansion never came up, why is it the stuff of urban legend now? Why would the government of Russia put so much stock on it? And lastly, where are all these journalists and academics getting the James Baker quotes from? That question even includes the Brookings Institute article which refutes the concept.
This subject has been studied by academics over the last decade and a half very carefully. The problem has been most of the information came only from the old Soviet archives about the period. Until recently, the US has kept it under wraps. The George HW Bush library recently released the files from the period and they are devastating to NATO expansion policy.
The latest study, which is inclusive of the previous academic material and answers the questions and speculations the papers put up clearly demonstrates how one sided the US kept the documentation trail. It also shows that Mikhail Gorbachev would rather be called a liar than a fool.
The first premise is whether or not all binding diplomatic agreements are in writing. The answer is no. The qualifier is whether one party gives something substantial for an expected return. In this case, it was the prize of the Cold War, which was Germany “on the other side of the wall.” Whichever side would unite Germany under their politics determined the winner of the Cold War.
Verbal agreements are binding. “In international politics, if private and unwritten discussions are meaningless, then diplomacy itself would be an unnecessary and fruitless exercise…
…Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged, even non-”legally binding” agreements constitute a “necessary tool” of foreign policy. Put simply, explicit and codified arrangements are neither necessary nor sufficient for actors to strike deals and receive political assurances. Moreover, informal agreements and understandings were especially important during the Cold War. The 1962 Cuban missile crisis, for example, was resolved in part through an informal agreement whereby the United States and the Soviet Union each removed missiles near the others territory.” (-“Deal or No Deal? The End of the Cold War and the U.S. Offer to Limit NATO Expansion” Journal Article, International Security, volume 40, issue 4, pages 7-44 Spring 2016 Author: Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson, Former Associate, International Security Program, 2012–2013; Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2011–2012)
Shifrinson goes further to say the assurance called the Kohl/ Genscher (proposed by Germany) proposal became US State Dept. policy. It also guaranteed that NATO’s focus would be changed to political and it would wind down its security activity. The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) would take over those duties and the Soviet Union was welcome to be a part of Europe’s security architecture. [Against whom? What threat? This is never asked. —Eds]
In July 1990 discussions came to a head. “Discussions over the preceding weeks suggested that the Soviet position on Germany might change “depending on steps taken by NATO,” as Soviet leaders sought changes in NATO policy that would allow them “to tell our people that we face no threat—not from Germany, not from the US, not from NATO.”- ibid- (“Notes from Jim Cicconi re: 7/3/90 pre–NATO Summit briefing at Kennebunkport”; and“Memcon from 6/22/90 mtg w/USSR FM Shevardnadze, Berlin, FRG.”)
Throughout all this, the Soviets were dealing with the US the same way they had during the Cold War. Your word is your bond. You keep your promises. Instead, the US was already working—as it long had in regard to other nations and lesser powers— to minimize the impact of its promises in real world application.
“Even before meeting the West German leadership at Camp David in late February 1990, Baker was ebullient over the prospect of reunifying Germany within NATO, noting in the margins of a briefing paper that, relative to the concessions the United States and West Germany would have to offer, “you haven’t seen a leveraged buyout until you’ve seen this one!”
The key to this end, as the paper elaborates was structuring the diplomatic process to create the appearance of U.S. attentiveness to Soviet interests, but actually avoiding a Soviet “veto” and giving Gorbachev “little real control” over the terms of German reunification.”- Ibid. See also Rice, “Preparing for the German Peace Conference.”
How is Russia threatening to the USA? When the Clinton presidency broke with post- Cold War policy it destroyed over 50 years of progress in the relationship between the US and the Soviet Union. When the Clintons started expanding NATO they made the German government, US State Dept. and US presidency liars. On an issue as big as NATO expansion, the US is now an untrustworthy diplomatic partner. On the world stage, Russia can call the US a liar. Russia has called the US a liar. That’s the danger Russia poses to the USA today. (NATO’s Eastward Expansion: Did the West Break Its Promise to Moscow? By Uwe Klußmann, Matthias Schepp and Klaus Wiegrefe)
Why Russia is the Greatest Threat to the WorldThe rest of the world is well aware of these things and it has left the governments of Europe and the US in a bind. Russia has said, in effect, “no more.” Earlier in the article, Ukrainian nationalist academic Olexiy Haran stated that Russia had single-handedly carried out the revolution against the Soviet Union.
George Kennan, the father of US Cold War Policy echoed these thoughts- ”I was particularly bothered by the references to Russia as a country dying to attack Western Europe. Don’t people understand? Our differences in the Cold War were with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime…And Russia’s democracy is as far advanced, if not farther, as any of these countries we’ve just signed up to defend from Russia,” said Mr. Kennan, who joined the State Department in 1926 and was U.S. Ambassador to Moscow in 1952. (-Foreign Affairs Now a Word From X By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN Published: May 2, 1998)
If Russia was the bad guy of the Cold War, just who were they revolting against?
Olexiy Haran points out that “Sergo Mikoyan argues that under Soviet rule Russians were “exploited” more than other nationalities and that a “Ukrainian mafia” controlled the Politburo, and overestimates the role of ultranationalist groups in Ukraine which are by now on the margins of Ukrainian politics. If the United States considers the Caribbean and Central America zones of vital interest, continues Mikoyan, why does America use a “double standard” and not recognize the “special rights” of Russia.” (-Disintegration of the Soviet Union and the U.S. Position on the Independence of Ukraine. Discussion Paper 9509, Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University Author: Olexiy Haran)
Mikoyan is considered by the West to be the most knowledgeable academic on the Cuban Missile Crisis negotiations. While his father was negotiating the crisis from the Soviet side, Mikoyan served as his secretary and recorded the progress.
In 1991, if the Russians were rebelling against a “wild” Ukrainian faction in the Politburo, why was Ukraine rebelling against its own politicians? Why not just take over? This point shows the validity of the Ukrainian nationalist scholars work that is cited above and history has shown some of the limitations. It wasn’t Ukraine that seceded, it was Ukrainian-American emigres that did it for them.
The western world gave Russian president Vladimir Putin the challenge of becoming a moral compass for the world. And he took it. The one thing every country that deals with Russia knows is where they stand with them. When Vladimir Putin gives his word he keeps it. In all their dealings the Russians are seeking peaceful resolutions.
It isn’t peaceful or good times that define a leader. It is how they handle the bad ones. The western world brought the bad to Russia’s doorstep and because of this, Putin may well go down in history as one of the greatest leaders of the last century—and the present one.
For Americans brought up in the afterglow of JFK’s “Camelot” it’s no wonder there is a spark of jealousy because we remember that legacy when Idealism—as far as idealism is able to hold sway in a mature and utterly corrupt imperialist environment— reigned instead of ideology. We remember when it wasn’t Republican or Democrat, ultimately we were Americans. For that we should be jealous of the Russians. Vladimir Putin picked up that ball for Russia where we dropped it for America.
We need to rebuild our own political structures. We need to build our diplomatic corps from scratch, by that I mean actually use real diplomats. We need to rebuild our reputation as a trustworthy partner. America needs to gut and rebuild its intelligence services. The model they switched to isn’t working. Social media, seriously? Most of all America needs politicians worth supporting. When your only choice is between Hitler and Ghengis Khan, who’s the winner? Until then we can bitch that Russia is a threat to the world because they stole our mojo.
“Yes, tell your children, and your children’s children, that you lived in the age of Bill Clinton and William Cohen, the age of Madeleine Albright and Sandy Berger, the age of Trent Lott and Joe Lieberman, and you too were present at the creation of the post-cold-war order, when these foreign policy Titans put their heads together and produced . . . a mouse.
We are in the age of midgets. The only good news is that we got here in one piece because there was another age — one of great statesmen who had both imagination and courage.
As he said goodbye to me on the phone, Mr. Kennan added just one more thing: ”This has been my life, and it pains me to see it so screwed up in the end.”
–Foreign Affairs Now a Word From X By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN Published: May 2, 1998
This article serves as the preamble and background to the Ukrainian and Russian sections of the Emigre Super Bloc series.