Russia is an Evil Empire
Displayed at the left you see a photograph of Shiri Negari, who was murdered on Tuesday, June 18th, 2002, by a Palestinian suicide bomber on her way to work. She was 21 years old.
Blogger Michelle Malkin took this photograph while participating in a protest against the visit by crazed Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Columbia University in New York City for a speaking engagement; the lunatic was in town to address to the U.N. General Assembly at its opening ceremonies.
Shiri speaks from the grave in this image, attending the protest in spirit to remind those gathered that she, too, would have liked to address the students at Columbia, but was prevented from doing so by terrorists from Hamas who were funded by Iran's government, which is led by Ahmadinejad -- who in turn has called for a holy war against Israel wiping it off the face of the earth. All of the NATO allies are now furiously arrayed against Iran and, amazingly enough, France's new president is leading the charge to impose draconian sanctions to keep Iran in line. If France is willing to take action, you know that Ahmadinejad is just as extreme as he can possibly get.
One might well ask: Where does Ahmadinejad get the brazen hubris necessary to confront the overwhelmingly more powerful team of the United States and Europe in this haughty, contemptuous manner? His nation, alone, is far too puny to work up such suicidal pathos (look how easily the U.S. destroyed the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq). There's a clear answer: He gets it from Russia, and specifically from Russia's dictator Vladimir Putin. It is no overstatement to say that Russia is the real root cause of turmoil in the Middle East.
And make no mistake: turmoil in the Middle East is directly in Russia's interests. Even if it doesn't actually undermine U.S. security, it still creates the conditions of uncertainty which tend to keep international oil prices inflated, and those prices are the Kremlin's lifeblood. By supporting terrorist and rogue regimes in the Middle East, Russia not only gets the chance to vent its pathological hatred of America and her values, but more importantly supports the only pillar of its economy. Peace and stability in the Middle East are the last things Russia wants.
Recently, we published a drawing depicting Putin and Ahmadinejad as lovers, and the two truly are birds of a feather. Ahmadinejad is cracking down on Iran's universities, seeking to purge them of all secular influence, while Putin is developing the maniacal "Nashi" youth cult in Russia. Ahmadinejad denies that Iran has any homosexuals, and hence can't be accused of persecuting them, while Putin jokes about rape in front of a diplomatic delegation. Ahmadinejad says the Jewish holocaust never happened, and Putin says Stalin wasn't really so bad after all. Both are shutting down newspapers and arresting or killing journalists at breakneck speed, and centralizing their power whilst crushing local government. One could go on for days listing the barbaric outrages taking place in these two countries and pointing out their similarities; it's almost impossible to decide which one is a greater affront to democracy, almost as if they are engaged in a sickening pas de deux, the Fred and Ginger of atrocity, barbarity and vulgarity.
And the two are very literally in bed together where hatred of America, Europe and Western values are concerned. Recently, the U.S. military confirmed that Iran is providing missiles to the Islamic terrorists in Iraq which are being used to kill Americans on the ground there. While these particular missiles apparently came to Iran by way of North Korea, Putin's Russia is also providing Ahmadinejad's Iran with the technology it needs to develop nuclear energy, which Iran hopes will be the basis for its obtaining a nuclear weapon. Faced with the threat of Western attack should a bomb become possible, Iran has also obtained a missile defense system from Russia to thwart such an attack. Russia has continually refused to cooperate with Western moves to sanction Iran, providing it with the diplomatic cover it needs to continue killing American soldiers in Iraq as it seeks to exercise imperial control over that troubled nation.
And we must not forget that Russia is doing far more than making common cause with Iran in order to foment turmoil and instability in the Middle East. It is directly supporting Hamas itself, as well as Hezbollah and Syria, with diplomatic protection, weapons and lots of cold hard cash. And Russia's hostility is not limited to the Middle East; it is also providing weapons and diplomatic support to the crazed dictator Hugo Chavez in Venezulea, and seeking to cooperate with the abusive, anti-democratic communist regime in China.
The ironies are almost overwhelming, of course. You can't get any more anti-Muslim than Russia's conduct of its war against Chechnya, and there is zero tolerance for dark-skinned non-Orthodox people in Slavic Russia, yet the hyper-Islamic Ahmadinejad and the ultra-Orthodox Putin both have no problem abandoning their supposed core values and ignoring this fundamental hostility in the short term (just the same way that it was easily possible for Stalin to enter into a secret pact with Hitler selling out Europe). Although these kind of alliances between rogue nations always lead ultimately to their destruction (both Hitler's Germany and Stalin's USSR were obliterated), in the short term the new Evil Empire means a great deal of trouble for the West if it is allowed to fester and grow. Immediate action is needed to prevent this from happening. A new Ronald Reagan must step to the forefront, and the upcoming U.S. presidential elections are the ideal place to start looking for her (or him).
It's time to give up the ridiculous, childish and arrogant idea that the only reason Iran and Russia are keeping company together is that our misguided policies have driven them together. The idea that by "engaging" these two regimes we could "convince" them to stop desecrating the globe with their barbarism is a flight of fancy, the easy way out, too good to be true. It's oh-so-comforting to imagine that we are so powerful that if we only say the right magic words, all our enemies will turn into friends, or at least harmless bystanders, that we don't have to fight -- and this is exactly what our enemies want us to think. They want us to drop our guard, "engage" them with meaningless rhetoric and allow them to consolidate, manipulate and destroy.
It was not kind words of understanding that brought down the USSR, it was direct confrontation. And it was simply insane for us to believe that simply because it had been defeated the USSR would slink away into the recesses of history, never to be heard from again. Would we have become happy communists if the USSR had won the cold war? Of course not. And Russia has not abandoned its fundamental hostility to our values or its desire to rule the world with its own brand of what's-good-for-you. It simply bided its time waiting for the chance to lash out, and rising oil prices have made it think (quite wrongly) that the time has come.
It was possible for us to turn Japan and Germany into friendly, democracy-respecting nations because we physically gutted their leadership and obliterated them militarily. No such thing happened in Russia after World War II, and today the "president" of the country is a proud KGB spy who spent most of life trying to destroy our democratic friends in Germany. As long as Putin and his ilk hold power in Russia, that nation will remain devoted to our destruction by any means possible. They are a mere shadow of their former might, and so the only way they can make serious trouble for is is by getting us to drop our guard. And so that is what they are endeavoring feverishly to accomplish.
That Vladimir Putin, presiding over a nation which loses up to 1 million from its population every year due to demographic crisis, and works for an average wage of $3/hour, would think he has the time and energy to spare to make common cause with one of the world's most despised despots, antagonizing the entire world into a cold (and perhaps hot) war, and that nobody within Russia would seriously challenge his doing so, is clear proof of the depth and breadth of Russia's abiding hatred for the West and its total inability to act rationally in the face of it. And what else should we expect from a man who spent his entire life in the KGB, learning not merely to hate the West but to destroy it by any possible means. Do we really believe he simply woke up, as if from a dream, when the USSR collapsed and abandoned his life's work? If so, we deserve to suffer for our stupidity, hubris and insularity.
We must fight back, and we must do so now. There are those who argue that it was wise to give Ahmadinejad the opportunity to speak at Columbia, since it helps to elicit his crazy views and lay them before the world, helps us to better understand how to deal with him. This is pure nonsense. Ironically, Columbia's own president said, introducing Ahmadinejad as a speaker: "You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated. Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator. When you come to a place like this it makes you simply ridiculous." So much for respectfully allowing him to speak and eliciting his views! As David J. Feith & Jordan C. Hirsch of National Review put it:
It is naive to ignore the uses to which Ahmadinejad will put his invitation. Over the past years, Ahmadinejad's confrontational rhetoric and policies have resulted in diplomatic isolation and economic hardship for Iran. These developments are unpopular among Iranians. It is beneficial to Ahmadinejad and his regime, then, if he can claim to the Iranian people that his leadership is not hurting their country. If he can demonstrate that he is treated abroad as a respected leader, he will be better able to counter his critics at home. Columbia's invitation thus gives political assistance to Ahmadinejad.By allowing Ahmadinejad to speak, Columbia has enabled his dictatorship and increased his power, not diminished it. The same happened when Putin was invited on Larry King. It would be one thing to extend such invitations if we were actively engaged in combat with our enemies, but we are not. As Anne Applebaum wrote in the Washington Post: "it was deeply naive to imagine that the Iranian president would enter into a 'vigorous debate' with students who were deploying their 'powers of dialogue and reason,' as Columbia University President Lee Bollinger stated before the event, or that he would answer the appropriately aggressive questions Bollinger put to him." Applebaum points out that Columbia didn't even insist on an exchange whereby Ahmadinejad would allow a strongly anti-Iranian Westerner to address a large group of students at one of Iran's most prestigious universities -- much less is Columbia devoting its resources to figuring out ways we can remove this maniac from his seat of power and oppression.
We must not do the same with Vladimir Putin, it's his only hope of defeating us with only the feeble resources of the neo-Soviet Union at his disposal. We have to stop asking for it -- or we're going to get it. Right between the eyes.