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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

St. Arnaud the Brave Rushes to Help Poor Little Russia

Arnaud de Borchgrave (pictured) is the "editor at large" of the two main media enterprises owned by the wacko Sun Myung-Moon's Unification Church, namely United Press International wire service and The Washington Times newspaper. Of late he has been, it is perhaps not surprising, outed as a major crackpot. In his younger days he was a significant international correspondent for Newsweek magazine who apparently went plumb loco some time in later life, and in that respect appears remarkably similar to Alexander Solzhenitsin. Thus, it is not surprising to see both Solzhenitsin and de Borchgrave spring valiantly to the defense of poor, innocent little Russia, victim of what de Borchgrave calls "beating up on Russia" in an article for the "World Peace Herald," whatever that is (well, another wacko subunit of McMoon Inc.). This is what the defense of Russia has come to, literally the bottom of the barrel.

Citizen de Borchgrave states: "Russia's historical interest in its 'near abroad' -- i.e., the former inner empire of Soviet republics -- is comparable in many ways to America's much more recent interest in its own near abroad, namely Canada and Mexico. Both these countries can recite dozens of examples of U.S. bullying. To ask Russia to forget about its near abroad is tantamount to urging Moscow to commit an unnatural act, to self-destruct." He fails to notice that Russia was already self-destructing long before the U.S. dared to ask it to do so by freeing its slave states.

Citizen de Borchgrave ignores the aid and comfort Russia has provided to mortal American foes Iraq and Iran.

He chooses to overlook the pandemic of race violence sweeping the country.

He feels no need to notice Russia's horrific war in Chechnya.

To him, it's unworthy of mention that Russia's population is plummeting, that it has restored the Stalin anthem or that Foreign Policy magazine has just declared it a failed state.

In fact, as far as Citizen Arnaud is concerned, it's just plain silly to mention ANY facts which might possibly be incovenient.

In the classic style of a crazed Russophile, he claims that America cannot complain about Russian faults (or indeed take action to protect its national security from Russian encroachment) until it achieves perfection itself, and he muddles the facts a bit whilst doing so: "Under the USSR, Soviet republics were inextricably tied to Moscow. Each had its own economic specialty; none was economically independent. Intentionally so. Canada and Mexico are similarly inextricably entwined with America. Washington's former lumber dispute with Canada and Moscow's recent banning of Moldovan wine and Georgian mineral water, while not comparable economically, have similar geopolitical roots. Both Washington and Moscow know how to throw their economic weight around." In other words, Canada is a slave state of America just like Ukraine was a slave state of Russia? Umm . . . OK, if you say so Arnaud. For Arnaud, Russia's energy blackmail tactics against Ukraine were merely "klutzy."

Arnaud also claims: "Deeply resented in Russia is the way the United States pushed in 1991 for instant political democracy and market economics to replace communism cold turkey. This led to history's biggest plunder." Well. But the reason the United States thought it was so urgent to move quickly on decentralization of power was that maybe, just maybe, if given the chance Russians might freely elect a proud KGB spy who would start to turn the clock back faster than you could say Ivan Robinson. After all, stranger things have happened, especially in Russia. And if that should happen, it was thought, better to get as much decentralization in place as quickly as possible, so at least it would slow down the rebuilding of the ne0-Soviet Union a bit.

Arnaud reveals: "Putin's poll ratings are consistently in the 70 percent range (Bush's are now down to between 30 percent and 40 percent, while Cheney's are hovering in the teens)." Indeed. However, La Russophobe believes that the poll numbers for North Korea's dictator are also quite high, and in fact Stalin had wonderful poll numbers throughout his regime. Some people might actually say that Putin becomes more credible the lower his poll numbers get, and vice versa. But those people are only interested in annoying little things like democracy and historical fact.

Returning to the Russophile's tried-and-true defense numero uno, attack America, Arnaud concludes that in America: "Six out of ten youngsters between the ages of 18 and 24 could not find Iraq on a map of the world. Half of U.S. teachers are likely to quit within the first five years because of low salaries and poor working conditions. Over 50 percent of the U.S. prison population of 2.1 million is black. The litany is long. But it should teach us that when we live in a glass house, with full transparency, we should ease up on the brickbats."

Low salaries for teachers, huh Arnaud? Well, the average salary for a U.S. high school teacher is $48,805. Do you know what it is in Russia, Citizen Arnaud? You certainly didn't care to mention it in your wonderful, thoughtful analysis if you do. So La Russophobe will: $2,400. Let's increase that, by all means, using "purchasing power parity," to $4,800. In other words, the American teacher is paid, under the rosiest possible scenario from the Russian standpont, ten times more than her Russian counterpart. That being so, dare we wonder what quality of education Russia is dishing out these days? BUT WAIT!!! No need to wonder, we can just ask a Russian, Georgy Bovt by way of La Russphobe.

But according to Arnaud none of that matters, because Russia doesn't need to change until America is perfect. And if Russia ceases to exist in the meantime? Arnaud the Oracle does not care to say (his head does look quite like a crystal ball, you have to admit that). Russia, however, (and Arnaud, for that matter) can feel free to criticize and attack America no matter what. Isn't that convenient?

Throughout his entire "argument" Arnaud does not mention one single substantive achievement of Russia which could justify more respectiful treatment. He completly ignores the fact that Russians treat Ukraine and other former Soviet slave states exactly the way they complain the U.S. treats them.

In other words, Arnaud is a true Russophile for the ages.

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