033100 [WND] Marching to Putin's drum
- Marching to Putin's drum
In celebration of Vladimir Putin's election, a Russian
nuclear submarine launched a missile from the
Barents Sea. The missile successfully struck its
target in Kamchatka, thousands of kilometers to
the east. Three hours later another Russian
submarine launched a missile from the Sea of
Okhotsk, which successfully hit its target at the
Nos testing ground 7,000 kilometers to the west.
With this symbolic fanfare, the Russian military
acknowledged its warlike leader, Vladimir Putin.
But the election was a mere formality, and Putin
was far from "the people's choice" that Sunday's
voting would suggest. His popularity was
engineered by Kremlin intrigue, through the clever
manipulation of media images, and by a contrived
war in Chechnya.
The whole presidential election, in fact, was
stage-managed from behind the scenes. It was
managed so that Putin, a career KGB officer and
former chief of the secret police, would be officially
confirmed in his new appointment as head of state
in the world's largest country. But the Russian
public wasn't the only target of this manipulation.
Consider the recent statement of German
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who said on Monday
that Putin's election was good news for Europe.
Schroeder believes that Putin is Germany's friend,
and German businessmen generally agree. Since
early January Moscow has been engaged in a
peace offensive -- a charm blitz, full of promises
and good intentions. The world's leading
economists do not know this, but Russia's chief
export is hope laced with poison. The West, in its
turn, imports billions of dollars of this hope.
Nearly a third of Russia's foreign debt is owed to
the Germans. Therefore, if the Germans want to
recover their money, if they want to escape feeling
depressed, they need to increase their imports of
poison-laced hope. "I assume that there is a
chance that the Chechen conflict will now be
resolved," said the German chancellor, hopefully.
Schroeder further said that Germany was "satisfied"
with Putin's election. This, he admitted, was "good
for Russia's capacity to act." But there is no reason
for Schroeder to be satisfied with a KGB officer,
who spent his career working against Germany.
Nonetheless, Schroeder hopes to build a strategic
partnership with Russia. In this arrangement the
Kremlin will provide gas, oil, and metals while
Germany provides technical know-how and
advanced machine tools.
Russia's military industry will thereby reach a new
In a telegram of congratulations to the new Russian
president, Schroeder said, "We must use the
strategic partnership that exists between us, more
than ever, for the good of people in both our
states and for the cause of European security."
But the Germans aren't alone in this delusion.
Prime Minister Lionel Jospin of France, who has
been drifting ever leftward, also favors closer ties
to Moscow. While most of Europe embraces an
allegedly subdued version of socialism, Jospin has
increased the number of Communists in his "pluralist
Left" coalition from three to four. He also increased
the number of Green radicals in order to reinforce
his government's "capacity for action." (For some
reason, the inclusion of Communists and KGB
officers invariably increases one's capacity for
While openly acknowledging the crimes of the
Marxist past -- the atrocities of the Communist
east -- the French left continues to follow Marx.
And whatever reservations they feel about Vladimir
Putin's KGB past, they are willing to embrace him.
French President Jacques Chirac, who is not a
socialist, cannot resist the general trend. On the
one hand Chirac is suspicious of the Kremlin's
continued control of the Russian economy, yet he
patiently listens to excuses from a parade of
Russian emissaries. "We cannot reform because of
X, Y and Z," they say. And Chirac seems to agree,
after all, that Russia needs a "strong hand."
The problem, of course, is that Chirac is going to
be increasingly pressured to embrace Moscow. If
the French prime minister strengthens France's ties
to Putin, which he is likely to do, and if the
Germans move in that direction, Chirac will be
And what about Britain?
Prime Minister Tony Blair is a man who stays ahead
of the curve. What he lacks in common sense he
makes up for in energy. Therefore it is not
surprising that he embraced Vladimir Putin long
before Sunday's election. Blair visited Russia earlier
this month, effectively endorsing Putin as the
West's candidate. Blair explained the situation in
the following terms: "Given what Russia's been
through and given the economic task of
reconstruction, it's not surprising (Putin) believes in
a Russia which is ordered and strong but also
democratic and liberal too." Blair further stated that
the West could "do business" with Putin.
Although the Kremlin denies planning any foreign
trips after Putin's inauguration, the Russian
president is thought to favor Britain as the first
place for a visit. According to Boris Makarenko of
the Center of Political Technologies, Putin is likely
to visit London before he visits Berlin. In fact, Putin
probably sees Britain as a "bridge into Europe."
As a trained KGB officer who speaks German and
English, Putin knows the basics of one-on-one
manipulation. He knows that Britain and Germany,
even more than France, are critical gateways to
success if Russia is to break NATO into fragments
and replace it with a Europe that stretches "from
the Atlantic to the Urals" -- a Europe dominated by
Moscow. This is an arrangement which Soviet
leaders Mikhail Gorbachev and Eduard
Shevardnadze often talked about.
Those who put their hopes on Russian democracy
need to look at what has happened. Short-sighted
European leaders like Schroeder and Blair are
walking into a fatal trap. Putin is a Communist, a
veteran of the "sword and shield" of the Communist
Party Soviet Union. According to the Wall Street
Journal on Monday, Putin privately refers to himself
as Russia's anti-Gorbachev. He also describes
himself as "a successful product of a Soviet
citizen's patriotic education." He is the first Russian
politician since the Soviet collapse to openly praise
the KGB, refusing to say a word about the torture
and misery it inflicted on the Russian people.
According to a Feb. 20 New York Times story by
Michael Wines, Putin arranged for a special
ceremony at entrance 1A of the old KGB
headquarters on Dec. 20. The ceremony involved
the restoration of a bust and plaque honoring the
late Soviet ruler and spymaster Yuri V. Andropov.
Actions speak louder than words. Putin's actions
tell us that he is a Soviet person with Soviet
thoughts and feelings. As Communist
revolutionaries battle for control of Colombia, as
they trample down the people of Africa, as they
arm themselves in China for an assault on Taiwan,
the anti-Gorbachev appears in Russia. Is anybody
Representative Chris Cox, who heads a special
working group on Russia for the speaker of the
House, was in Russia on Sunday to watch the
elections. Some say that Mr. Cox is the smartest
man in Congress. But even an intelligent man can
be trapped into a foolish way of talking. Such has
become obligatory with regard to Russia. On
Sunday Cox said, "I hope that the United States
and Russia can (fill in the blanks with whatever
nonsense you like)."
Cox offered lip service to the errors of Schroeder,
Jospin and Blair. He said that Russia and America
"are no longer posing a threat to each other." He
said that "we must depart from the habit of
regarding bilateral relations between the Russian
Federation and the United States through a prism
of national security problems."
But Russia has thousands of nuclear missiles, and
they aren't aimed at Venezuela. In recent years
Russia has violated a number of treaties -- not the
least of which involves the production of biological
weapons, the proliferation of nuclear and missile
technology to rogue states like Iran, and blatant
violations of the ABM treaty. But the catalogue of
hostile Kremlin actions count for nothing in the
warped group-think of Western leaders. These are
people who live on pure unadulterated hope.
Vladimir Putin's election is not an occasion for
wishful thinking. Instead, his election is an occasion
for strengthening our own defenses. But no
Western politician has dared to connect all the
dots, and until such a politician emerges we will
continue to march toward destruction.
J.R. Nyquist is a WorldNetDaily contributing editor
and author of 'Origins of the Fourth World