Re: Civilizations: Chuck vs. Mikhail
- Comment on Chuck Weis's
and Mikhail Ramendik's reply
I am glad to see that there are people like Chuck
in US who, despite of the apparent lack of personal
encounter with Russia, have not allowed their human
intuition to be mislead by the Russian and Western media,
and are able to make independent conclusions.
My compliments to you, Chuck!
Mikhail's comments (besides their neo-racist flavor,
one of numerous "innocent immoralities" of post-soviet Russia's
mentality) are just a part of a large scale Russian
efforts to mislead the West that Russia is ``democratic'',
``human'', ``white'', and even a ``part of Europe''
opposing the evil ``Muslim Khalifat'', etc.
The reason is simple. Russia(n state) wants to keep its imperial
might and the population of not free people who are trained
and always ready to follow the call from the Kremlin, as
the Chechen war exemplifies. Those two components are
essential for keeping the means of Russian traditional tendency
to ``conquer and assimilate'' (under whatever pretext)
intact. Western money and Russian chauvinism and unfreedom are
important for Russia's rulers.
Without its imperial might (diplomatic, political, economic,
military) and without the obedient, dependent, poor,
chauvinistic population which never knew what the law and the
personal freedom really mean, the Russian state would loose
its only potential to dictate to the world (the Europe at least)
its understanding of what is ``kindness'' [which the Chechen
orphans are sent to the Russian military schools to learn]
and ``dictatorship of law'' (a la Putin), or what is ``statehood''
and ``democracy'' (a la KGB and a corrupted elite of descendants
of bolshevics-communists, Red/Soviet Army, Gulag and KGB officers,
and of legalized thiefs), or what is ``civilization'' (a la new
``white'' Russians), or ``where is Kremlin'', and what one should
think of the place of Great-Russia in the world, or how the true
Europeans like gen. Shamanov should live (or be killed otherwise)...
What Mr Ramendik is not telling to the List is a wave of feelings of
Russian superiority which is common to the present day youth in
(a remarkable success of KGB-conducted propaganda of the 90-es!).
I have enough often contacts with the educated Russian people to
this chauvinistic trend. West is universally viewed just as a stupid
enough source of the money.
To get them is the only reason to ``cooperate'' with the West.
European (Asian as well) values are either missundersttod
(c.f. Mikhail's comments) or despised and neglected. What does it
mean in a long term run, when Russia will reestablish its
military and economic might in a decade or two, depending on
how short-sighted post-Clinton US and its allies will act?
Russia cannot reach the present Western living standards even
in several decades, but it is able to become a military threat
as early as in ten years. What one can expect from the country
then? In this sense I see a ``conflict with the West'',
which Chuck mentions, almost unavoidable. The West most likely
will have to pay its price for neglecting Chechnya today.
Those, the specifically ``educated'' population, and the nuclear
power, are the only two arguments of Russia for its ``superpower''
ambition. That is why, to preserve them,
Russia still has one of the highest military
budgets in terms of the GDP percentage, and replaces the truly
democratic reforms with a mimicking of the democratic institutions.
The plot is that a naive European or American
when hearing about Russian ``constitution'', ``president'',
``parliament'', ``elections'', ``independent courts'', and the
``civil freedoms'' would think that they are ``the same'' as in his
own country while they are essentially different and have a little
to do with the institutions having the similar name here. Most
important is that their place and a role in the Russia society
can be changed and relatively easily manipulated according to
the Kremlin's and KGB's design. The same has been taking place
in Soviet Union, but that time the West was not so debauched by
the easy money made in/with Russia to believe this.
I would only disagree with Chuck that ``the United States Government
is in a difficult position concerning Chechnya, and it is taking
a position similar to the position it adopted towards the war
between Iran and Iraq: aid both sides ...'' In fact, the position
of the US Government is based on a (still unrealized)
hope that the Chechens could be finished fast and without too much
noise so that the ``business as usual'' (sorry for repeating this
Ms. Albright's quote) could continue. This is a highly cynic,
immoral and, in fact, short-sighted and politically impotent
Another important point of Chuck, is that Russia's actions
stimulate Islamic fundamentalism. Unfortunately, there is too
much truth in it. I am afraid this is even a part of Russia's
policy - to make the West feel that it needs Russia to defend
it from Islam. The profit is clear - easier ``integration'' (in fact,
penetration) into Western institutions, Western golden rain on the
Russian economy, especially its military-industrial branch,
and the subsequent weakening of both sides: the West and the Islamic
world which traditionally has much closer ties with the West
than Russia. Russian racist and chauvinist mentality (also seen
on the list) would be very supportive to such policy which,
in fact, is also one of Russia's (and Soviet) imperial tools.
Just remember the history of Georgia's ``voluntary joining''
to Russian Empire: first Russians made a military agreement to help
Georgia to defend itself against Persia, then the Russia army
entered the country while making clear to the Persians that
it won't interfere and waiting until Persians destroy the Georgian
army, and then there was none to defend the Georgian sovereignty.
Now, two centuries after these events, a Russian on the list
sincerely claims that Georgia joined Russia voluntarily.
This is how Russian historical myths are created and propagated,
and how great-Russian ``peaceful'' policy is implemented.
Hope to continue later,
- If you were considering what entities will play an important
role in future conflicts, how would you evaluate the following news
"Putin indicated that the Russian military must be prepared to handle
domestic threats, such as rebels in Chechnya, and external ones -
such as international terrorism and a perceived threat from the
Also, how would you interpret the statement:
``Today, the military factor is vital above all for preserving
stability in the country, for ensuring its peaceful and progressive
development,'' Putin told top military and security officers during a
meeting in the Kremlin. ``The defense capability should be a priority
of our state.''?
In addition, Afghanistan has proven to be an important power
that is affecting Russian and US policy. Twenty years from now, what
role will the ideology of Jihad play among hundreds of thousands of
people who have seen their loved ones killed by the Russian Army? Is
Russian brutality in Chechnya creating a population base for Jihad
that will affect world politics for 2 - 3 generations or will Chechen
youth develop into loyal citizens in a prosperous Russian territory?
Or will there be no Chechen youth who live to remember their loved
ones so there is no social consequence of the current Chechen
conflict to consider for the future?
I believe that Russian militarism and the social results of the
present conflict in Chechnya will play important roles in future
conflicts. I personally don't see any good coming from the two, and
social and economic planners must debate the logical results.
I am certain that I am one of many in this newsgroup who value
your input on these issues, Mikhail, since I feel you contribute to
understanding of Russia, its leaders, and its culture.