Those Were the Days
We remember so clearly those heady days after the Berlin Wall fell, when so many of us rushed to Russia, secure the belief that her best days lay ahead and wanting to be a part of it, to help any way we could.
Those were the days my friend!Now they seem not like days, but like pipe dreams. Crack pipe dreams.
We thought they'd never end!
We'd sing and dance, forever and a day!
We'd live the life we'd choose, we'd fight and never lose!
Those were the days, oh yes, those were the days.
Yesterday, a page turned and suddenly we are back where we were before the wall crumbled. In fact, things might just be worse. When the wall fell, the KGB didn't have anything like the direct grip on the formal halls of power in the Kremlin such as it has now. They were far more circumspect. Now, there's no point in even attempting to discuss the actual results even as far as turnout is concerned, since it's already been proven that the data being reported by the Kremlin is bogus, virtually all international observers having been excluded from the process.
Once again, we hear a drumbeat of propaganda from the Russia apologists, those who would subvert our security by calling for hesitation. When Putin came to power, we were told that his shocking allegiance to the KGB was a minor matter, that he would not attempt a crackdown, that he was an enlightened man. We waited, and we saw that crackdown unfold before our eyes. Now, we are being told that it is irrelevant that Dmitri Medvedev has come to power in one of the most shamelessly rigged large-scale "elections" in world history, and irrelevant too that his KGB Svengali remains in power as his prime minister. Will we wait again, to see what new horror this atrocity will visit upon us?
For any clear-eyed observer, it's hard to imagine how the outlook for Russia could be gloomier. We've said for years now that we'd have much preferred to see Vladimir Putin remain in power in 2009 than to allow a proxy to take his place, because remaining in power would signal that he doesn't yet have sufficient control to make him comfortable with a proxy -- in other words, that he recognizes vulnerability. But now he has allowed Dmitri Medvedev, an utterly unqualified sycophant, to assume the nominal reins of power whilst he remains as prime minister, and this is a darkest omen for Russia's future, indeed.
Russians have voted to continue a government whose primary characteristic has been provocation of the Western world, the onset of a new cold war identical to the one that bankrupted and destroyed the USSR. They've voted to allow a proud KGB spy to remain as prime minister of the country while allowing his personal proxy to assume the nominal duties of "president" of the country. They've created, in other words, a neo-Soviet state.
As the Washington Post noted:
Washington's estrangement from the Kremlin became evident this week as Bush and both remaining Democratic presidential candidates publicly expressed uncertainty about the would-be Russian leader. Asked to name him during a presidential debate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), stumbled over the pronunciation. "Um, Med-Medvedova -- whatever," she finally said, mangling the name in a way that, in Russian, would identify the new president as a woman.
Bush the next day had the name down but, by his own admission, not much else. "I don't know much about Medvedev, either," he said at a news conference. "And what will be interesting to see is who comes to the -- who represents Russia at the G-8, for example. . . . It will help, I think, give some insight as to how Russia intends to conduct foreign policy after Vladimir Putin's presidency. And I can't answer the question yet."
At the same time as Russians have authorized this international provocation, they've also approved a horrifying domestic crackdown, which has included aggressive efforts to deny visa access by critical outsiders. In short, a new Iron Curtain has descended across the continent, and another mysterious neo-Soviet figure has been thrown up in our faces to preside over it, just like Putin back in 1999.
Sunday's elections, of course, were a classic neo-Soviet charade. First Vladimir Putin wiped out every single legitimate rival candidate for the Russian presidency and then, since nobody would want to vote in a non-election, he alternatively bribed and threatened his own people to do so. As the capper, even the laws governing the election themselves were rigged in the Kremlin's favor. The Telegraph asked: "Has Russia got a New Stalin?" The Independent simply called it a "farce" -- and Andrei Illarionov agreed.
The only silver lining in all this jaw-dropping horror was that the world's media was incited to put forth a raft of coverage exposing Putin's fundamentally fraudulent governance. Even the bookmakers were appalled as even the Kremlin itself admitted the pandemic fraud it was engaging in. Outside observers, like Transparency International, called the process itself "corrupt."
Writing in Yezhedevny Zhurnal Illarionov has stated:
Any expectation of support – even just moral support – for a Russian civil movement from the political leaders and governments of the West is without basis. For many Western leaders, the current regime inIn other words, Putin is our fault too. The press coverage was far too little, far too late, and not accompanied by forceful action on the part of our leaders, who have chosen to stick their heads in the sand just as they did at the time of the Bolshevik revolution and during the Stalin era, leaving our children to pay the price for their recalcitrance.
is more convenient, comfortable and pleasant than its opponents would be. Western leaders have accumulated considerable experience in cooperating with and supporting authoritarian regimes in Russia Pakistan, Egyptand . The establishment of civil rights, legal order and democracy are matters for the Russian people themselves. Saudi Arabia
Today, we lead with a translation by a Russian critic of Putin who compares Putin to Hitler and is now facing imprisonment for doing so. What more perfect response to the "election" of Putin's proxy ruler Dmitri Medvedev over the weekend could we possibly make? But tomorrow, the world needs to begin waking up to the reality that we are facing a new cold war with neo-Soviet Russia, a country that should more properly be called "KGBland."
All those who believed, when the Berlin Wall fell, that the people of Russia were as much victims of the Soviet government as we were in the West, all of us have been betrayed by those same Russian people. Now, we can only conclude that, all along, they supported and approved the imperialistic, militaristic, aggressive and provocative actions of the Politburo, and that since the Berlin Wall fell they've simply been biding their time, waiting for a chance to continue the battle.
And now they have it.