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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Annals of Neo-Soviet Propaganda: Pathologically Unable to Tell the Truth

The Moscow Times reports on the ever more paranoid, ever more pathological, ever more neo-Soviet insanity going on within the Kremlin walls these days:

When Alexander Sibert told President Vladimir Putin that former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had said Siberia held too many resources for Russia alone, Putin dismissed the statement as "political erotica." Albright might have found "political fantasy" more appropriate. Putin said he was not aware of the comment, Albright denies ever making it, and no one else seems able to provide any evidence that she did. But this hasn't stopped Putin and others from attributing these thoughts to foreign figures who they say wish Russia harm.

Sibert, 70, a mechanic who works at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Novosibirsk, brought up the purported statement in a question during Putin's annual call-in show last month. "I know some politicians entertain such ideas in their heads," Putin replied, adding that Russia was able to and would protect its natural resources.

The only problem is that Albright, who is now a principal at the Albright Group strategic management and lobbying firm, denied through a spokeswoman that she ever entertained the idea. "I did not make that statement, nor did I ever think it," she said.

On Tuesday, Sibert was unable to provide a source for the alleged quote, or even a guarantee that he had heard it. "I don't know. I might have made a mistake," he said by phone from Novosibirsk. "But I don't think I did." Sibert said he was not instructed in any way to ask his question on the call-in show but that the event's organizers were aware of its content. And he remains convinced that the idea he raised was an accurate one. "The question I asked is just the tip of the iceberg," he said.

More of that iceberg was visible Sunday, during celebrations for People's Unity Day.

At an event on Red Square, Robert Shlegel, an activist with the pro-Kremlin Nashi youth group, raised the issue again. Putin, in a veiled reference to the United States, described some world leaders as having "just lost it" because of Russia's wealth in natural resources. Shlegel said Tuesday that he didn't know whom Putin meant but that opposition movements like The Other Russia were playing into the hands of the country's enemies because they were weakening the country. As for the elusive statement, he said Albright had made it during an interview with Alexei Pushkov on the "Postscriptum" news analysis program in 2005. "The president's words could hardly have been unfounded," Shlegel said.

But Oksana Yanovskaya, editor in chief of "Postscriptum," said Tuesday that Albright was never interviewed on the program and that Pushkov had just cited a statement that he had seen or read somewhere else. "I am absolutely sure there was no interview," she said, although she added that Pushkov had met Albright at some event. Yanovskaya said she had called Pushkov, who was out of the country, on Tuesday and that he couldn't remember where he had seen the quote. "Many people were citing it back then," Yanovskaya said.

In perhaps the strangest part of the story, there are those who argue that it doesn't matter what Albright said -- they know what she was thinking.

Boris Ratnikov, a retired major general who worked for the Federal Guard Service, said in a December 2006 interview with government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta that his colleagues, who worked for the service's secret mind-reading division, read Albright's subconscious a few weeks before the beginning of the NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia in 1999. Albright, who as secretary of state played a major role in the lead up to the attacks, was one of the main targets of Russian criticism of the bombing campaign. Apart from her "pathological hatred of Slavs," Ratnikov said "she was indignant that Russia held the world's largest reserves of natural resources." On Tuesday, Ratnikov, 62, said he hadn't been part of the mind-reading experiment but had worked as an analyst on the data produced by his colleagues in the study. He said the mind-reading process involved using a picture or some other image of the person under study. "By tuning in on her image, our specialists were able to glean these things," he said.

Others say you don't have to be a mind reader to understand that some outsiders would like to lay their hands on Russia's wealth. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday that he was not sure which outside forces Putin was referring to on Sunday or whether the Albright quote was authentic. He did say, however, that it was "obvious that Russia had ill-wishers" that don't like the revival in the country's assertiveness and are irritated by its newfound economic power and global weight.

Alexei Sidorenko, coordinator for the society and regions program at the Carnegie Moscow Center, said that although the alleged quote had been making the rounds in Russian on the Internet since 2005, his center had been unable to find any mention of it in the English-language media. He said conjuring the image of an external enemy to mobilize the population and deflect attention from domestic issues was nothing new in politics, and the fact that Albright was no longer in government meant she had no official channels through which to respond. "The Kremlin's entire political strategy at present rests on consciously created myths, and they are beginning to dominate the agenda," Sidorenko said.

6 comments:

Misha said...

Some people claim that Russia has been seriously wounded by the demise of the USSR and the splitting of the old Soviet Union into 15 separate and independent republics. While there may be some truth to this, it is also important to understand that historically the real strength of Russia has always come mostly from the territory which presently comprises only the territory of the modern Russian Federation. When the Germans went on the march during the 2nd World War, they almost immediately took over the Baltic States and Eastern Europe. The entire area of Ukraine also fell to Germany rather easily, up to and including the city of Kiev itself. Indeed, some Ukrainian nationalists even joined forces with the Germans to fight against Russia (a crime for which many were deported by Comrade Stalin after the war). But the real center of Russia's defeat of Germany did not come from any of these peripheral regions of the USSR. Instead it came from the heart and soul of the nation we today call the Russian Federation. The Germans had even managed to advance all the way to the outskirts and suburbs of Moscow itself, before they were stopped cold and driven back out of Russia, village by village and swamp by swamp. Russia, then as now, has the benefit of having an almost limitless strategic depth, which is brought about by the vast eastern portion of Russia, the lands in the Ural Mountains and further east, in Siberia. Indeed it was the timely arrival of wave after wave of fresh Russian troops from Siberia which eventually stopped the German onslaught cold in its tracks and then promptly reversed it. It is a foolish mistake to underestimate Russia's power and its war making abilities. If the West wanted to attack Russia, would it really be counting on the contributions of the Ukrainians or the Latvians in that effort? Probably not. And likewise Russia did not count on their contributions for the defense of the Motherland either. Nor did having those nations in the camp of the enemy, as happened early on in the German invasion, thwart the inevitable Russian response.

While European culture and European ideas have deeply influenced Russia, she is not uniquely a European nation. It is a serious mistake to interact with Russia as if it was only one nation sitting at the table of European nations. The vast majority of Russian land and a good fraction of its people are located east of the Ural Mountains, in that vast expanse of Russia which lies not in Europe but in Asia. It is not for nothing that the double-headed Eagle on the Russian Coat-of-Arms has one head looking West and one head looking East. Russia is in Europe and part of Europe, but at the same time she is also in Asia and part of Asia. Russia straddles both continents and in Russia there is a confluence of both cultures.

For centuries Russia suffered under the onslaught of the Tartar Mongol Hordes, the famous Golden Horde which ravished the "Ros" lands and drove the Ros population from its former capital in Kiev, up to the north, to the environs of present day Moscow. After centuries of war the Great Princes and Czars of the Muscovy Principality were able to wage concerted warfare against Russia's enemies and gather the lost lands of Russia back together once again, which was truly a glorious and happy time for all the people of Russia!

The centuries of Mongolian influence in Russia have left their mark on Russia's culture and population, through generations of intermarriage. As Napoleon famously said, "Scratch a Russian and you will find a Tartar". Russia is not "just another European nation" that sits at the table of such nations. Russia is its own civilization, its own people, and its own great culture.

It is impossible for the average Westerner to understand the deep attachment of the Russian soul to the Russian Motherland. Most Westerners tend to be rather cosmopolitan drifters, who will not and cannot attach the allegiance of their hearts to the land and the country where they were born, or at least not in the same way that the Russian does. People move around for jobs and various other reasons, and they think little of it. But in the traditionally peasant Russian society, the people are deeply connected to Russian land, and inseparable from it. Through all the centuries of wars, revolutions and other tumults, the one constant element in Russian life and culture is the constancy of the Russian land. Whatever else the people may have lacked, the land was something that could never be taken away from them. No matter what atrocities and injustices the land might witness, she was always ready to forgive every sin, absorb ever tear and offer forth her fecundity anew to the people yet again.

For the true Russian there can be no greater punishment than banishment from one's Motherland. There can be no fate worse than to be cut off from one's own land and one's own people, cut off from glorious Mother Russia. Indeed exile was the punishment most often employed by the Czars and the Communists to get rid of dissidents, and it was the cruelest of all punishments they could have inflicted. No matter how comfortable a Paris or London café may be, and no matter how sophisticated the conversation in such places might be, the fact still remains that a Russian abroad is never more than an alien and a wanderer. He is nothing without his beloved people and his land. A Russian can wander the whole world over, and see and experience many new things. But a Russian is never truly "home" until his feet are planted back on Russian soil. Only the Motherland, with her vast open expanses, offers to her children the mending of old wounds, the forgiveness of everything, and the true chance for a new beginning.

It happens often enough that the more "sophisticated" people in the West disparage the Russian people and culture, viewing them as somehow "inferior" to what the West has on offer. Misguided Westerners often view the historical backwardness of Russia as some “proof” of Russia’s perpetual deficiency and her eternal inferiority to the other countries of the world. But truth is really the opposite. Russia's “backwardness” and “poverty” are only apparent. In truth the Russian land is so vast that she has never required her people to expend the energy that other lands have demanded from their people, simply for them to make a living. People do not begin to "build up", as in the most extreme case of modern skyscrapers, until they have first exhaust every possibility of "building out". After all, what technology would one required in the Garden of Eden, where the land pours forth her bounty gratuitously? Mother Russia never has and never will run out of new places for her children to “build out” into. Of all the lands in the world, Russia offers her sweetness to her people on the most agreeable terms, and Russian culture and family life are the richest in the whole world. Many have tried through the ages, but no one will ever take the Russian land away from her people.

Alex said...

"And likewise Russia did not count on their contributions for the defense of the Motherland either."

Tactical mistakes by the NAZIs, such as not securing supply lines etc. was the major reason for their failure in USSR, the NAZIs killed far more Russians than Russians killed NAZIs, if their supply lines had been secured (and they had not split their forces), their factories making new equipment not destroyed by the western allies, the story would have been very different. When is Russia going to pay back the war debt to the USA?


"It is not for nothing that the double-headed Eagle on the Russian Coat-of-Arms has one head looking West and one head looking East."

It's a Byzantine symbol you idiot, it is not Russian, simply stolen from Byzantium - Russians are so poorly educated about their country they do not know the origins of even the most basic symbols of State.

"he vast majority of Russian land and a good fraction of its people are located east of the Ural Mountains"

Less than 10%.

"Russia is its own civilization, its own people, and its own great culture."

Russia is like a schizophrenic.

"Many have tried through the ages, but no one will ever take the Russian land away from her people."

The Persians said the same about their empire, the Romans after them, the Russian empire will collapse for the simple reason, Russians are dying out, the civilisation is failing and failing badly, and it is 100% due to the Russian people and their culture.

misha said...

Alex wrote: ” [The Russian coat-of-arms, with its double-sided eagle facing east and west is] a Byzantine symbol... it is not Russian, [it was] simply stolen from Byzantium…”

It is true that the Russian Coat-of-Arms
originated in Byzantium, as you said. However, using that statement to “refute” what I said displays a certain ignorance of the knowledge of the deep historical connection between Russia and Byzantium.

The form of Christianity practiced in Russia is Russian Orthodox Christianity, which is really a form of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, which was the Christianity of the Byzantine Empire.

After the fall of the western half of the Roman Empire (Rome) in 476 AD, the center of the Empire (and Christianity) was moved from Rome to Constantinople (Istanbul in modern day Turkey). There the Byzantine Empire continued to flourish and prosper for another 1000 years, until 1453 when the Ottoman Turks (Muslims) finally succeeded in sacking Constantinople and imposing Islamic rule over Turkey.

During that time Constantinople was referred to as the “New Rome” as it became the seat of the Roman Empire after the fall of old Rome. It achieved a high level of culture and civilization (much higher than in the West at the time, which had suffered the barbarian invasions that destroyed old Rome).

The Byzantine Church (Eastern Orthodox) undertook many missionary activities and sent missionaries throughout the eastern part of Europe, Russia, the Balkans, etc. It was Byzantium that brought its brand of Christianity both to Serbia and further north to the vast lands of Russia.

The Russian Czars early on took on the responsibility of being “defenders of Christianity” and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

When the Ottoman Turks finally sacked Constantinople in 1453, imposing Islamic rule on the city, and changing all the beautiful churches there into mosques, Moscow was proclaimed as the new center of Byzantine Christian culture. The exact title that the Russian Czars adapted for Moscow was “The Third Rome”. (The first Rome was Rome itself, in modern Italy; the second Rome was Constantinople, at the head of Byzantium, and now the third Rome would be Moscow.) One does not have to be in Moscow long to see that the strongest architectural influences are provided by the many ancient churches and monasteries in the city.

Prior to the arrival of Byzantium in Russia, the Russian language was a spoken language only, with no written form. Two monks, St. Cyril and St. Methodius were early missionaries to the Russian lands, and they invented the Russian alphabet (Cyrillic alphabet), in order to teach Russians the Christian scriptures in their native language.

Virtually the whole of Byzantine culture and learning was transferred to Moscow (the “third Rome”), before Constantinople fell to the Turks.

“The double-headed eagle was adapted by [Russian Czar] Ivan III after his marriage with the Byzantine Sophia Paleologue whose uncle Constantine was the last Byzantine Emperor. The double-headed eagle was the official state symbol of the late Byzantine Empire, both East and West” (Source: WikipediaDOTorg)

So what you said is true, that the double-headed eagle on the Russian Coat-of-Arms was the symbol of the Byzantine Empire before it became a symbol of Russia. But what I said is also true, in that the symbol itself symbolizes the crossroads of East and West. This symbol is perhaps even more appropriate for Russia than it was for Byzantium, as Russia truly spans between East and West (between Europe and Asia) to an even larger degree than Byzantium did.

I stand by what I posted, the essence of which was that Russia is both a European (western) and an Asian (eastern) nation, and has been from its inception. The double-headed eagle on the Russian coat-of-arms is a fitting representation of this reality, with one head facing east and the other west.

The essential point of what I wrote is that one makes a mistake by viewing Russia as simply another European nation, which sits at the table of such nations. One who fails to comprehend the massive influence of the East on the Russian state and culture (and even in Russian DNA) fails to grasp something essential to understanding Russia. Russia's vast Asian reserve gives Russia a strategic depth in war which no other nation has. While it is true that Russia has never hand much of a Navy, for use projecting state power far abroad, it largely has not needed a navy, as Russia is a land power, and she has a virtual ocean of land in her backyard. This is an ocean which Russians have become quite adept at navigating.

As I wrote, it was Stalin's ability to move most Russian war industry east of the Ural mountains (entire factories were picked up and moved east by rail), and Stalin's ability to bring wave after wave of fresh Russian troops from Siberia, which sealed the fate of Adolph Hitler's quite impressive army in Russia.

Anonymous said...

Albright, who as secretary of state played a major role in the lead up to the attacks, was one of the main targets of Russian criticism of the bombing campaign. Apart from her "pathological hatred of Slavs," Ratnikov said "she was indignant that Russia held the world's largest reserves of natural resources."

He said the mind-reading process involved using a picture or some other image of the person under study. "By tuning in on her image, our specialists were able to glean these things," he said.

Who would ever believe something so ridiculous?

Artfldgr said...

Misha... burying yourself deeper to get out of a point that was wrong is typically soviet.

however, when the csars were eliminated and such, ALL the links with that past were severed. only false russian ego ties back to it to inflate itself, but the russia that came after destroyed all that.

shall i start to list out the purges of the churches? i already posted the german ones... and should i point out how the kremlin took over the religious leadership and turned it?

your assertion that it represents east and west is WRONG...

what it was used for was to present the new state as a ligitimate heir of the old one. that it could pretent that its forceful and not rightful usurping of power under the guise of lies (as not one of the promises have ever been fulfilled), needed ligitimacy.

The essential point of what I wrote is that one makes a mistake by viewing Russia as simply another European nation, which sits at the table of such nations. One who fails to comprehend the massive influence of the East on the Russian state and culture (and even in Russian DNA) fails to grasp something essential to understanding Russia. Russia's vast Asian reserve gives Russia a strategic depth in war which no other nation has. While it is true that Russia has never hand much of a Navy, for use projecting state power far abroad, it largely has not needed a navy, as Russia is a land power, and she has a virtual ocean of land in her backyard. This is an ocean which Russians have become quite adept at navigating.


give me a break.. did someone cue the music?

russia is a psychopathic nation... because the leadership is all psychopathic/sociopathic.

it has a deep foundation in pragmatism and no limits that the west doesnt understand, because the west believes in positive values!

russia leadership has done whatever SEEMED expedient to their ends whenever and whateer they wanted that they could get away with.

grasping and understandin the essential russia is easy... all one has to do is have experience dealing with sociopaths, and compulsive liars.

thats their mentality... say whatever to get whatever you want... and have no remorse for whatever the outcome. keep no promises unless its advantageous to do so, break any the second its not. always deal in secret and lie in public, as that gives you and advantage. and never operate from morals, or any other limiting thing, as those are weaknesses.

whats there to understand?

its not that the west doestn undersatnd, its that the west doesnt want to believe that psychopathic states are actually like this and they dont change unless some outside force does it.

as far as your commentary as to its massive reserves, etc.

those are strategically meaningless... as japan, who has much less reserves could wup russia. why? because they dont look at vast mountains with innificient processes and potentials and dream of things coming out of them.. they actually do it..

about all the good reserves do is give you lots of rocks to throw... it wasnt americas deep reserves that did the work, it was the fact that it could MAKE SOMETHING FROM THEM...

it was Stalin's ability to move most Russian war industry east of the Ural mountains (entire factories were picked up and moved east by rail), and Stalin's ability to bring wave after wave of fresh Russian troops from Siberia, which sealed the fate of Adolph Hitler's quite impressive army in Russia.

it was not stalins ability to do that... it was stalin that started the damn thing in the first place. if stalin said, no to poland and said no to hitler, hitler AND stalin wouldnt have had wwii, and stalin woudnt have had to murder sop many people to move factories from the people he was plotting with!

stalin didnt care about the russian people... he just trew them wasted at the germans... it it wasnt for the winter, the germans would have slaugtered them ALL and used them for fertilizer.

it was his acts that with hitler led to the the deaths of 12 million in the camps... and of more than 23 million russians, and later millinos in the gulags...

the only point i will agree with is that the two headed bird does fit them... but not for the false reasons you say... for russian leadership only cares about the pramatism in symbologies usefulness to control (whcih is why they went flip flop on religion, and nationalism during wwii - they were losing wihtout them).

the two headed face has a history going back even farther...

gemini... two faced...

[and if you dont think that such have a sense of humor in labeling themselves correctly, then dont look at the symbol for the socialist communist fabian society! they are sociopaths, they get a kick out of this kind of game!!!!!]

that is what they are... that is what they have been since 1917 when all values other than their own were eliminated... and the ones left were only maintained for abuse.

Misha said...

The Coat of Arms for the city of Moscow is a portrait of St. George the Dragon Slayer. St. George is the patron saint of Moscow. The image of St. James slaying the dragon is also reproduced in center the Coat of Arms for the Russian Federation, which is the double-headed eagle. The eagle is looking east and west, to symbolize that Russian civilization and culture spans across both Europe and Asia.