Pat & Vladimir Sitting' in a Tree
And then there's Pat.
Writing in The Post Chronicle on November 30th, Pat Buchanan purported to decry the "blowback" of "Russophobia." With friends like these, Russia needs no enemies.
Buchanan is a former speech writer for Richard Nixon, the only U.S. president ever forced to resign from office in disgrace in all of American history. In this respect, he shares a past with another crazy Russophile apologist, Dmitry Simes (whose employer is actually The Nixon Center -- which ought to be a name only a federal penitentiary could have). We report more about Mr. Simes below. Pat tried to run for president some time ago after being repudiated by the two major parties, and in doing so was even more emphatically rejected by the American voters than by the parties. All the while, he was stealing crucial votes from the Republicans and so helping the left-wingers he supposedly despises come to power, simply to salve his enormous, ponderous ego. He's a racist, a homophobe, an isolationaist lunatic, pure and simple. He's a classic example of the very worst America can be, especially when he's talking about Russia -- a country where he's never lived, whose language he does not speak, whose people he does not know.
If you had to sum up Pat Buchanan in one sentence readily comprehensible to a Russian audience, you'd simply say three words: "He's America's Zhirinovsky."
So naturally, it's no surprise to learn that Pat loves Vladmir Putin. And if you want to know whether Putin is in the right or in the wrong, all you really have to know is that simple fact, that Pat Buchanan is defending him, and then you understand clearly that Putin must be evil incarnate.
In the PC, Pat wrote: "Our next president will likely face a Russia led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, determined to stand up to a West that Russians believe played them for fools when they sought to be friends." Sought to be friends? What affirmative actions did Russia take, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, actions it had a free choice about, to show America that it wanted to be friends? Was Boris Yeltsin's military attack on the Russian Duma one of those actions? Was Russia's refusal to hold a contested election between rival political parties an example? How about when Russia obstructed NATO action in Yugoslavia, was that it? Or was it Russia's maintenance of universal military conscription, the propiska system, and varying admission prices for foreigners at cultural attractions? Since coming to power, what concrete proposal has Russia made to show friendship towards the United States? Russia's current leader is a man who spent his entire life in the KGB actively working to destroy America: What statements has he ever made disavowing that past and indicating he has changed his mind about America?
Pat doesn't give one single shred of evidence in response to any of these questions.
Pat opines: "The hubris of Bill Clinton and George Bush II [Pat actually writes Bush I, but later he say that Bush I and Ronald Reagan had converted Russia into an ally, so apparently it's a typo], and the Russophobia of those they brought with them into power, has been a primary cause of the ruptured relationship. And the folly of what they did is evident today, as Putin's party, United Russia, rolls to triumph on a torrent of abuse and invective against the West." It's really amusing to see people who think they are defending Russia say things that Russians hate far more than Russophobia -- patronization and ignorance. Does Pat really believe that American policy so dominates Russian psychology that they would choose to be governed by a proud KGB spy just to get back at us, whereas otherwise they would reject the KGB? Can he give one single example in all of Russian history in which the Russian people stood up for freedom and democracy on a nationwide basis? Ironically, the only one showing real "hubris" here is Pat himself. In fact, this is exactly the kind of American arrogance and ignorance that makes many in the world hold the U.S. in contempt.
His arrogance reaches fever pitch as he breathlessly declares: "How did we lose a Russia that Ronald Reagan and Bush I had virtually converted into an ally?" It seems Pat really believes that Russians hated America for decades, then lost the Cold War after Reagan called them an "Evil Empire" and suddenly, magically, miraculously transformed themselves into allies. Hmm. Is that what Americans would have done if they had lost the Cold War, just instantly become communists and fallen in love with the Russians who had defeated them, allying against their old friends with Russia? Only the most blockheaded Americans like Pat are capable of "thinking" in this childish, idiotic manner.
If only it were true that Bill Clinton and George Bush II had aggressively confronted Russia during the formative years of the post-Soviet era, before the KGB got power. If this had been done, then Ukraine and Georgia would already be members of NATO and we would not have seen Russia's naked display of imperialism towards those states in recent years. If a clear message had been sent that the West insisted on real democracy, then a true contested election might have occurred in 1996 and Boris Yeltsin might not have been reelected, much less able to anoint a proud KGB spy as his successor. And we might not now be facing a new Cold War.
Pat quotes his beloved Putin thusly:
"Those who oppose us," roared Putin, "don't want our plans to be completed. They have completely different tasks and a completely different view of Russia. They need a weak, sick state, a disoriented, divided society, so that behind its back they can get up to their dirty deeds and profit at your and my expense." Putin is referring to the time of the "oligarchs" of the Yeltsin era, who looted Russia when its state assets were sold off at fire-sale prices.Is Pat unaware that Putin has surrounded himself with a new clan of oligarchs to replace the old? Is he unaware of the fraudulent prosecution of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, stopping him from seeking the presidency as Russia's first real opposition candidate? Is he aware of recent accusations that Putin himself has personally looted Russia's coffers to the tune of billions? Has he really not heard that so-called "Russophobe" George Bush II declared he had "looked in Putin's eyes" and "seen his soul" and declared him "trustworthy"? If that's Russophobia, what did Pat expect -- a French kiss?
You bet he's unaware. Being unaware is Pat's stock in trade.
Can't you just imagine some clueless Russian nationalist freak coming across Pat's little essay and declaring: "Aha! See! We have proof Putin is right!" This kind of thing went on all through the first Cold War until the "mighty" USSR collapsed because of it -- one would have thought that having had that experience would teach Russians a thing or two, but it very obviously hasn't.
Pat simply ignores the rampant electoral fraud that occurred as United Russia came to power. He ignores that on election day less than one-third of Russia's eligible voters went to the polls to support Putin's party. Echoing Neville Chamberlain, he seems to think that the only reason Russia is giving weapons to Hugo Chavez, nuclear technology to Iran, money to terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah and buzzing NATO countries with nuclear bombers without any provocation in kind, is that U.S. presidents didn't say the right friendly words to Russia at the right time -- not because of any latent hatred Russians have for the enemy who defeated them.
America has, in fact, been able to convert former enemies like Japan and Germany into ardent allies. But this only happened after America inflicted a physical military defeat on those countries and reorganized them internally, from the ground up, as it is now doing in Iraq. Because of the recalcitrance and cowardliness of folks like Pat, no such confrontation ever occurred in Russia. Because we listened to treacherous morons like him, we trusted Russia to do the right thing on its own -- and that was exactly what the KGB wanted, because it gave them time to reorganize and recommence the confrontation. Pat's plan totally failed, and now he wants us to do it all over again.
Maybe you see now why Pat got decorated as he did in the photograph at the top of this page?
In a recent interview with Time magazine, Putin stated: "If one looks at the map of the world, it’s difficult to find Iraq, and one would think it rather easy to subdue such a small country. But this undertaking is enormous. Iraq is a small but very proud nation.” It's difficult to describe the blatant dishonesty set forth in this small statement. At the time the U.S. launched its attack on Iraq, the country had one of the top-20 largest military establishments on the face of the Earth, and the U.S. was required to project its power across the Atlantic Ocean, something Russian has never even attempted to do in its entire history. Russia was obliterated in World War I, unable to defend its own contiguous territory, barely survived World War II, and took more than a decade to "subdue" tiny Chechnya, much harder to find on a map than Iraq. Yet, you will not find Putin referring to Chechnya as "very proud nation" but rather only a tiny clan of bandits.
Putin then stated: “We want to be a friend of America. Sometimes we get the impression that America does not need friends auxiliary subjects to command.” Or was that Pat? Kind of difficult to tell them apart, isn't it?
The idea that the malignant little troll, a lifelong KGB spy, or the man who put in him in power, who bombed the Russian Duma into submission, could ever be considered "friends" of the United States is so utterly ridiculous that it could only be conceived by a lame-brained moron of Pat Buchanan's stature.
With "friends" like him, Russia needs no enemies.