Putin Agonistes: Missile Defense will not be Deployed

It’s been a lot of hard work, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has finally achieved his goal. He’s cleaned up the mess left behind by Yeltsin, put together a strong and thriving economy, and restored Russia to a place of honor among the community of nations. His legacy has already been written. He’s the man who rebuilt Russia. The last thing he wants now is a pointless confrontation with the United States. But how can it be avoided? He understands Washington’s long range plans for Russia and he is taking necessary steps to preempt them. He is familiar with the heavyweights of US foreign policy, like Zbigniew Brzezinski, and has undoubtedly read his master-plan for Central Asia, The Grand Chessboard. Brzezinski’s recent article in Foreign Affairs (a publication of the Council on Foreign Relations), “A Geostrategy for Eurasia,” summarizes his views on America’s future involvement in the region:

America’s emergence as the sole global superpower now makes an integrated and comprehensive strategy for Eurasia imperative.

Eurasia is home to most of the world’s politically assertive and dynamic states. All the historical pretenders to global power originated in Eurasia. The world’s most populous aspirants to regional hegemony, China and India, are in Eurasia, as are all the potential political or economic challengers to American primacy. … Eurasia accounts for 75 percent of the world’s population, 60 percent of its GNP, and 75 percent of its energy resources. Collectively, Eurasia’s potential power overshadows even America’s.

Eurasia is the world’s axial supercontinent. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world’s three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia. A glance at the map also suggests that a country dominant in Eurasia would almost automatically control the Middle East and Africa. With Eurasia now serving as the decisive geopolitical chessboard, it no longer suffices to fashion one policy for Europe and another for Asia. What happens with the distribution of power on the Eurasian landmass will be of decisive importance to America’s global primacy and historical legacy.

So, there it is. The US is moving into the neighborhood and has no intention of leaving. The war on terror is a fraud; it merely conceals the fact that Bush is sprinkling military bases throughout Central Asia and surrounding Russia in the process. Brzezinski sees this as a “strategic imperative.” It doesn’t matter what Putin thinks. According to Brzezinski, “NATO enlargement should move forward in deliberate stages.” The US must make sure “that no state or combination of states gains the ability to expel the United States or even diminish its decisive role.”

This isn’t new. Putin has known for some time what Bush is up to and he’s been as accommodating as possible. After all, his real passion is putting Russia back on its feet and improving the lives of its citizens. That will have to change now that Bush has decided to install a “Missile Defense” system in Eastern Europe. Putin will have to devote more time to blocking America’s plans. The new system will upset the basic balance of power between the nuclear rivals and force Putin to raise the stakes. A confrontation is brewing whether Putin wants it or not. The system cannot be deployed. Period. Putin must now do whatever is necessary to remove a direct threat to Russia’s national security. That is the primary obligation of every leader and he will not shirk his responsibility.

Putin is an elusive character; neither boastful nor arrogant. It’s clear now that western pundits mistook his reserved, quiet manner as a sign of superficiality or lack of resolve. They were wrong. They underestimated the former KGB Colonel. Putin is bright and tenacious and he has a vision for his country. He sees Russia as a key player in the new century, an energy powerhouse that can control its own destiny. He doesn’t plan to get bogged down in avoidable conflicts if possible. He’s focused on development not war, plowshares not swords. He’s also fiercely nationalistic, a Russian who puts Russia first.

But Putin is a realist and he knows that the US will not leave Eurasia without a fight. He’s read the US National Security Strategy and he understands the ideological foundation for America’s “unipolar” world model. The NSS is an unambiguous declaration of war against any nation that claims the right to to control its own resources or defend its own sovereignty against US interests. The NSS implies that nations’ are required to open their markets to western multinationals and follow directives from Washington or accept a place on Bush’s “enemies list.” There’s no middle ground. You are with us or with the terrorists. The NSS also entitles the United States to unilaterally wage aggressive warfare against any state or group that is perceived to be a potential threat to Washington’s imperial ambitions. These so-called “preemptive” wars are carried out under the rubric of the “war on terror” which provides the justification for torture, abduction, ethnic cleansing and massive civilian casualties.

US National Security Strategy articulates in black and white what many critics had been saying for years; the United States owns the world and everyone else is just a guest.

Putin knows that there’s no way to reconcile this doctrine with his own aspirations for an independent Russia but, so far, a clash has been averted.

He also knows that Bush is flanked by a band of fanatics and militarists who plan to weaken Russia, install an American stooge (like Georgia and Afghanistan) and divide the country into four regions. This strategy is clearly presented in forward-planning documents that have been drawn up in Washington think tanks that chart the course for US world domination. Brzezinski is quite candid about this in his article in Foreign Affairs:

Given (Russia’s) size and diversity, a decentralized political system and free-market economics would be most likely to unleash the creative potential of the Russian people and Russia’s vast natural resources. A loosely confederated Russia — composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic — would also find it easier to cultivate closer economic relations with its neighbors. Each of the confederated entitles would be able to tap its local creative potential, stifled for centuries by Moscow’s heavy bureaucratic hand. In turn, a decentralized Russia would be less susceptible to imperial mobilization. (Zbigniew Brzezinski,“A Geostrategy for Eurasia”)

Partition is a common theme in imperial planning whether its called apartheid in Israel, federalizing in Iraq, “limited independence” in Kosovo, or “loose confederation” in Russia. It’s all the same. Divide and rule; undermine nationalism by destroying the underlying culture and balkanizing the territory. This isn’t new. What is amazing, is that Bush’s plan is going forward despite 7 years of uninterrupted foreign policy failures. Hubris and self-delusion have a longer shelf-life than anyone could have imagined.

Putin is surrounded by ex-KGB hardliners who have warned him that America cannot be trusted. They have watched while the US has steadily moved into the former-Soviet satellites, pushed NATO to Russia’s borders, and precipitated regime change via “color coded” revolutions. They point to Chechen war where US intelligence services trained Chechen insurgents through their ISI surrogates in Pakistan — teaching them how to conduct guerrilla operations in a critical region that provides Russia with access to the western shores of the resource-rich Caspian Basin.

1. Michel Chossudovsky has done some excellent research on this little-known period of Russian history. In his article “The Anglo-American Military Axis”, he says:

U.S. covert support to the two main Chechen rebel groups (through Pakistan’s ISI) was known to the Russian government and military. However, it had previously never been made public or raised at the diplomatic level. In November 1999, the Russian Defense Minister, Igor Sergueyev, formally accused Washington of supporting the Chechen rebels. Following a meeting held behind closed doors with Russia’s military high command, Sergueyev declared that:

‘The national interests of the United States require that the military conflict in the Caucasus [Chechnya] be a fire, provoked as a result of outside forces … the West’s policy constitutes a challenge launched to Russia with the ultimate aim of weakening her international position and of excluding her from geo-strategic areas.

In the wake of the 1999 Chechen war, a new “National Security Doctrine” was formulated and signed into law by Acting President Vladimir Putin, in early 2000. Barely acknowledged by the international media, a critical shift in East-West relations had occurred. The document reasserted the building of a strong Russian State, the concurrent growth of the Military, as well as the reintroduction of State controls over foreign capital….The document carefully spelled out what it described as ” fundamental threats” to Russia’s national security and sovereignty. More specifically, it referred to “the strengthening of military-political blocs and alliances” [namely GUUAM], as well as to “NATO’s eastward expansion” while underscoring “the possible emergence of foreign military bases and major military presences in the immediate proximity of Russian borders.” (Michel Chossudovsky, “The Anglo-American Military Axis”, Global Research)

That’s right. There’s been a low-grade secret war going on between Russia and the US for over a decade although it is rarely discussed in diplomatic circles. The war in Chechnya is probably less about “succession” and independence, than it is about foreign intervention and imperial overreach.

The same rule applies to the controversy surrounding Kosovo. The Bush administration and its EU clients are trying to fragment Serbia by supporting an initiative for Kosovo’s “limited independence.”

But why “limited”?

It’s because Bush knows that the resolution has no chance of passing the UN Security Council, so the only way to circumvent international law is by issuing a unilateral edict that is promoted in the media as “independence”. By this same standard, Abraham Lincoln should have granted Jefferson Davis “limited independence” and avoided the Civil War altogether.

Author Irina Lebedeva reveals the real motives behind the administration’s actions on Kosovo in her article “USA-Russia: Hitting the same Gate, or playing the same game?”

The North Atlantic alliance (The US and its EU allies) documents indicate that the bloc aims at the “Balkanization” of the post-Soviet space by way of overtaking influence in the territories of the currently frozen conflicts and their follow-up internalization along the Yugoslavian lines are set down in black and white. For example, a special report titled “The New North Atlantic Strategy for the Black Sea Region”, prepared by the German Marshall Fund of the United States on the occasion of the NATO summit, already refers to Black Sea and South Caucasus (Transcaucasia) as a “new Euro-Atlantic borderland plagued by Soviet-legacy conflicts.” And the “region of frozen conflicts is evolving into a functional aggregate on the new border of an enlarging West.” Azerbaijan and Georgia in tandem, the report notes, provide a unique transit corridor for Caspian energy to Europe, as well as an irreplaceable corridor for American-led and NATO to bases and operation theatres in Central Asia and the Greater Middle East.

Once again, divide and rule, this time writ large for an entire region that is being arbitrarily redrawn to meet the needs of mega-corporations that want to secure “transit corridors for Caspian energy to Europe.” The new Great Game. Brzezinski has called this area a critical “land-bridge” to Eurasia. Others refer to it as a “new Euro-Atlantic borderland”. Whatever one calls it; it is a good illustration of how bloodthirsty Washington mandarins carve up the world to suit their own geopolitical objectives.

Putin has seen enough and he’s now moving swiftly to counter US incursions in the region. He’s not going to wait until the neocon fantasists affix a bullseye to his back and take aim. In the last few weeks he has withdrawn Russia from the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) and is threatening to redeploy his troops and heavy weaponry to Russia’s western-most borders. The move does nothing to enhance Russian security, but it will arouse public concern in Europe and perhaps ignite a backlash against Bush’s Missile Defense system.

Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Masorin also announced this week that Russia will move part of its fleet to Syrian ports where “it will maintain a permanent presence in the Mediterranean. Israeli leaders are in a panic over the announcement claiming that the move will disrupt their “electronic surveillance and air defense centers” thus threatening their national security. Putin intends to go ahead with the plan regardless. Dredging has already begun in the port of Tartus and a dock is being built in the Syrian port of Latakia.

Also, Russian officials are investigating the possibility of building military bases in Serbia and have been invited to discuss the issue with leaders in the Serbian Nationalist Radical Party (SRS) The prospective dialogue is clearly designed to dissuade the US from pursuing its present policy towards Kosovo.

Russia also delivered its first shipment of nuclear fuel to Iran this week which means that the controversial 1,000 watt nuclear plant at Bushehr could be fully operational within three months. Adding insult to injury, Iranian officials announced on Monday their plans to build a second plant in defiance of US orders to halt its nuclear activities.

Also, on Monday, “Russia test-launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile part of a system that can outperform any anti-missile system likely to be deployed” according to Reuters. “The missile was launched from the Tula nuclear-powered submarine in the Barents Sea in the Arctic.”

“The military hardware now on our weapons, and those that will appear in the next few years, will enable our missiles to outperform any anti-missile system, including future systems,” Col.-Gen Nikolai Solovtsov was quoted as telling journalists.” (Reuters)

Bush’s Missile Defense system has restarted the nuclear arms race. Welcome to the new Cold War.

Finally, Russia Chief of Staff, General Yuri Balyevsky warned:

“A possible launch of a US interceptor missile from Central Europe may provoke a counterattack from intercontinental ballistic missiles….If we suppose that Iran wants to strike the United States , then interceptor missiles which would be launched from Poland will fly towards Russia and the shape and flight trajectory are very similar to ICBMs” (Novosti Russian News Agency)

Balyevsky’s scenario of an “accidental” World War 3 is more likely than ever now that Bush is pressing ahead with his plans for Missile Defense. Russia’s automated missile warning systems can be triggered automatically when foreign missiles enter Russian air space. It’s a dangerous game and potentially fatal every living thing on the planet.

To great extent, the American people have no idea of the reckless policy that is being carried out in their name. The gravity of the proposed Missile Defense system has been virtually ignored by the media and Russia’s protests have been dismissed as trivial. But hostilities are steadily growing, military forces and weaponry are being put into place, and the stage is set for a major conflagration. This is every bit as serious as the Cuban Missile Crisis, only this time Russia cannot afford to stand down.

Putin will not allow the system to be deployed even if he has to remove it through force of arms. It is a direct threat to Russia’s national security. We would expect no different from our own leaders.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com. Read other articles by Mike.

24 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. Marcelle Cendrars said on December 21st, 2007 at 8:32am #

    Finally, a worthwhile article. Thanks mucho, MW. This is in line with what Chomsky lists as the top threat to life on the planet. As far as possible action goes (to stop the momentum) I, once again, invite readers to stop putting their energies into the upcoming presidential race –which offers no “likely” candidates to offset the horror delineated in this article– and contact me for another approach at moc.oohaynull@ardnecb. Vote for whoever you want to on the presidential level, but get busy in another realm…if you want to deflate this momentum. Blessings in solidarity, Marcelle Cendrars

  2. Michael Kenny said on December 21st, 2007 at 9:33am #

    The thing to bear in mind about Europe is that Putin is playing exactly the same card as the Iranians have so successfully played until now, namely, Europe’s reluctance to be dragged into any kind of a conflict and its sense of humiliation at being dragged around by the nose by one of its own former colonies. And, of course, the Russians are the most numerous of all the European peoples, so they understand their fellow Europeans instinctively and even better that either Iranians or Americans do! I suspect that all this is an elegant EU-Russia minuet whereby Russia pretends to be the bogey man and the EU pretends to be frightened, the better to draw closer to each other while fobbing off Washington with the “we had no choice” argument.

    The other point is the sheer absurdity of Brzezinski’s underlying thesis that the US (5% of the world’s population) can rule Eurasia (75%!) while not even itself being part of that land mass! It’s a bit like arguing that India can dominate the American continent because the original inhabitants were … well, Indians!

  3. hp said on December 21st, 2007 at 12:11pm #

    Any attack on Iran, by Israel, will be viewed as an attack on Russia.
    I wonder what the back shooting Israelis think about that?

  4. heike said on December 21st, 2007 at 1:07pm #

    There are many holes in your article. Brzezinski is an opinion leader and not a decision-maker. He is strongly critical of Bush policies, and any attempt to link his 1997 FP article with current Bush administration strategy is really stretching things. Of course, Zbig is not trying to suggest that the U.S. rule the world — he isn’t as dumb as you make him out to be. Undermine nationalism? How would the Ahtisaari plan undermine nationalism? Or are you only concerned with Serb nationalism — the same work of art that brought us genocide in the Balkans? If Putin wanted to avoid unnecessary conflict, why did he liken us to the Nazis during his Victory Day speech? That’s a really good strategy to win friends and influence people, isn’t it? Or why does he use the Nashisty (“Putinjugend”) to indoctrinate young people to hate the U.S.? Your idea that the NSS 2002 document implies that we own the world is absurd. Go find a single sentence that allows you to make that statement! Is it the part about preventing our enemies from threatening us with weapons of mass destruction that says we own the world? Or develop programs of cooperative action with other centers of global power?

    You simply accept as fact any arguments set forth by people who can justify your own prejudices. Chussodovsky, for one, is so far away from reality, that he immediately came out with a statement after 9/11 saying that “it wasn’t Bin Laden.”

    I assume you are aware that the German Marshall Fund is neither an agency of the USG nor of NATO. A lot of organizations put their views into print but it doesn’t mean that those views reflect policies of governments.

    Frankly, what you are completely blind to is the alarm that European — especially east European — governments have toward Russian policies. Putin has openly declared that the breakdown of the Soiuz was the worst catastrophe of the 20th century — presumably worse than the 20 million victims of World War II in the USSR and many more millions elsewhere. He openly uses economic weapons to enforce his will on smaller countries, whether banning Polish meat exports as “unhealthy” or sending a Zhdanov-style delegation to Tallinn to demand that the Estonian government resign because it committed the unpardonable sin of interfering in its own internal affairs. Of course, the Russians maintain their military forces in central Asia in countries that don’t want them — one reason for pulling out of the CFE Treaty is to make sure there is no justification for pulling the troops out.

    But it’s always the Big Bad USA. Makes good copy in DV, doesn’t it.

    For readers who want to make their own exploration of the NSS 2002 document:

  5. Mulga Mumblebrain said on December 21st, 2007 at 3:28pm #

    Heike makes an impassioned defense of US aggressiveness. Apparently in the Heike universe it was OK to abrogate the ABM Treaty to attempt to gain a nuclear first-strike capability against Russia. As was noted in the ’80’s, ‘missile defense’ makes no sense against a first-strike against the US. However, if the US strikes first, and unlike the USSR and Russia it has refused to abjure the use of a nuclear first strike, even against non-nuclear powers, its so-called ‘misslie defence’ will have no problem with any Russian missiles that survive. US capabilities for a sneak first-strike have been relentlessly built up, and the Russians are no fools. They can read Foreign Affairs, see the boastfulness of claims that the US is now capable of destroying both Russia and China’s missile forces, and that a new doctrine of ‘compellence’ is replacing deterrence, to the US’s advantage. The Russians know that the US and its surrogates in the National Endowment for Democracy were behind the Georgian, Serbian and Ukrainian election triumphs of Quisling, pro-Western thugs. The Russians can read US strategic doctrine, with which heike seems unfamiliar, and see for themselves that the US intends to dominate space, and, from there, the entire globe. The Russians can study history, unlike heike who apparently specialises in faery stories of Yankee benevolence, and see the relentless drive to global empire from 1776 to this day. They can count the tens of millions of bodies, from El Salvador to Iraq, the ruthless abrogation of treaty after treaty, the relentless drive for nuclear superiority, and the unending lies, mysteriously transmuted to revealed truths in the minds of the likes of heike, and they can draw sensible conclusions. They have seen Russia humiliated by the bibulous Yankee stooge Yeltsin. Who can forget his appalling lie that Yankee POWs were still imprisoned in Siberia, from Vietnam or Korea, I can’t remember which. Yankee Messianism, driven by capitalist greed, bottomless racial contempt for the globe’s untermenschen, leavened with the imbecile viciousness of Christian fundamentalist obscurantism, and, more recently, by the malign influence of that other Messianic racist theocracy, Israel, is undoubtedly the greatest threat to humanity in history. The victims of its insatiable expansionism number in the tens of millions already, but even greater massacres loom. The Yankee Reich hasn’t spent tens of billions on biowarfare in the last thirty years to find a cure for the common cold. Apparently all this unparalleled murderousness impresses heike as proof positive of Yankee nobility and decency. In most of the world it is seen for what it is. Ruthless, racist, totalitarian imperialism, determined to rule the world in perpetuity. Fortunately the Russians have produced a leader with the intelligence to realise that in the Yankee Empire only the basest types are chosen as imperial stooges. Together with the Chinese, and the Indians, if they can produce a self-respecting leadership rather than the current toadies, Yankee aggression can be resisted. If such resistance is successful, the US Reich will implode. Like a cancer it must grow, or die. I rather imagine the US would better serve its people and be less of a threat to the world, if it were broken up into a loose federation of four or five states.

  6. Laure Franges said on December 21st, 2007 at 6:33pm #

    Brzezinky,Kissinger,Wolfowitz,Perle to name but a few,should have all ended up on the gallows like their late comrade in crime Saddam.
    But instead these pseudo Americans receive Nobel prizes and universal acclaim for their genocidal conspiracies and the making of the collapse of the Republic.
    Ignorance,stupidity and greed have prevailed,the people have accepted their gods.The gods will destroy Rome.And when Rome falls,be certain that the above mentionned criminals will be back in their country of origin
    barking their hate of this Republic.

  7. heike said on December 21st, 2007 at 7:03pm #

    My response to MM was censored by the editors. Now you see it, now you don’t. Thank you for your untiring commitment to free speech (for those whose views you favor).

  8. Marcelle Cendrars said on December 21st, 2007 at 8:29pm #

    Am I missing something here? If the people challenging Author Mike really want a response to what they’re putting on the table here…why don’t they write directly to the author and ask for responses to be plugged in here for one and all to digest? VERY long entries are suspect. With a few exceptions perhaps. Generally, they keep readers from being able to zero in on a few digestible points…which can be beneficial to debate in our minds. For me, for instance, I’d like the person above who said something about DV enjoying bashing the U.S. –it being good copy– to make clear WHY the U.S. is NOT considered at least as bad as Nazi Germany…which is something that (that writer points out) Putin invoked. To review: a) ask Author Mike to respond directly and b) respond to my question…in a senttence or two. Best, Marcelle

  9. Sunil Sharma said on December 21st, 2007 at 10:40pm #

    Heike, WTF are you talking about? As far as I know, there was no response to MM from you that I saw in the queue. Maybe you had a lot of abusive language in it that tripped the SPAM ejector. Try posting it again.

    — Sunil

  10. Mulga Mumblebrain said on December 22nd, 2007 at 12:35am #

    Yes, please heike, do defend the indefensible once again. Praise the unpraiseworthy and, whatever you do, never forget to remind us of the West’s ‘moral purity’. That’s the one that always helps me clear my phlegm, for which I am grateful.

  11. Kim Petersen said on December 22nd, 2007 at 6:22am #

    If you respond to the topic(s) being discussed — fine, opposing viewpoints will be respected. But when commenters start on ad hominem tirades, whatever the viewpoint, then these will be censored. It is simple as that.

  12. Lloyd Rowsey said on December 22nd, 2007 at 8:21am #

    Maybe you could let ’em start, KP, but not finish. Presumably DV does not want to be like Z or CounterPunch?

  13. heike said on December 22nd, 2007 at 8:24am #

    Sorry, Mr. P, it’s MM who does the ad hominem tirades. But for you, that’s par for the course, isn’t it? All the ad hominem tirades that are fit to print, right? Shall I send you in what his friends in Adelaide had to say about him? Maybe that’s not fit to print either? Frankly, you should also look at your own writing and see how many ad hominem tirades you are printing.

  14. Marcelle Cendrars said on December 22nd, 2007 at 10:41am #

    Instead of the “I’m right, you’re wrong” syndrome…let’s focus on one digestible point at a time, okay? The idea is to take ideas agreed upon here…and run with them in the real world, yes? We’re not adding comments here for the purpose of establishing our personal rung in the righteous hierarcy, are we? Someone write an article. Good, if it’s something that contributes to our taking action on some level OR learning something very important…that hasn’t be redundantly beaten to death. Okay…then each of us has an interest in, an obligation to chew on it…and help everyone focus on how this or that point is on or off. But the LONG entries –undedited– don’t help. Especially if they’re commentator-centered. Blessings in solidarity, Marcelle P.S. We should very much keep in mind the limited time each reader has, and –in many cases– very limited attention span.

  15. Mulga Mumblebrain said on December 22nd, 2007 at 3:05pm #

    I find it always intriguing, when the record of US/Western murderousness is so well documented, when certain axioms of Western behaviour, eg destruction of democratic governments that do not follow US orders as in Greece, Chile, Nicaragua for starters, the support, often for many years, of utterly brutal dictators, and violent aggression that has killed tens of millions, are an open book, that there is still this obdurate insistence on the Right that the US is the font of all virtue. Here in Australia florid sycophancy to the US is a requirement for political life. Even the tiniest little criticism of our Big Brother, is greeted by Rightwing media (the only sort we have) with abuse. If heike dislikes ad hominem attacks, she ought to try criticising the US or, even more particularly,Israel, in Australia. Criticism of Israel’s behaviour, is automatically decried as anti-Semitism, a familiar tactic. While the editorial and opinion pages are filled with nauseating pap detailing Israel’s infinite morality and ethical purity, and the evil viciousness of the ‘terrorwists’, who are, naturally, to blame for the violence in its entirety, the presence of blogs has allowed a small crack to appear in the edifice of Rightwing Group Think. Naturally the emergence from the gloom of opinions, although shared by most people around the world, that have been thoroughly suppressed and marginalised, has outraged the pro-Israel and pro-US bigots. Like all bullies used to getting their way all the time, resistance from the victims of their ideological and propaganda bully tactics, arouses furious response. All critics of Israel are, by definition, anti-Semites intent on another ‘Holocaust’. Even if the arguments presented are familiar to Israelis or in certain Jewish circles, critics are still the new Nazis. What we are dealing with is, of course, the mindset of the fanatic. No nation is as thoroughly brainwashed in the religion of self-adoration as the US, with Israel not far behind. It takes real courage, which many Yanks and Israelis have managed to display, to state the facts of their countries crimes. Much easier to simply ignore history and the suffering of millions of untermenschen, and batten down the hatches, and simply deny everything and smear the truth-tellers.

  16. Di Eagle an' Di Bear said on December 23rd, 2007 at 1:43am #

    If only those commenting could stop bringing the Nazis into the discussion. The comparisons are overused and tend to cause effective argument to be diluted. Please note:

  17. Di Eagle an' Di Bear said on December 23rd, 2007 at 5:30pm #

    Corrected location:

  18. Lloyd Rowsey said on December 24th, 2007 at 7:58am #

    Gooood Rule, Di Eagle!! Is “Godwin’s Rule” or “Godwin’s Law” referenced at Wikipedia’s “Nazism” page? Or does this sh-t change so fast you couldn’t say?

  19. Mulga Mumblebrain said on December 24th, 2007 at 3:31pm #

    I think Norman Finkelstein’s observation, which was along the lines of ‘If you do not wish to be compared to the Nazis, stop acting like them’, is more apposite. The Nazis have become a convenient distraction. No matter how gross the crimes of the West, no matter how many countries devastated, how many millions slaughtered, how dreadful the incessant racist denigration of the victims, the catchcry is always ‘ How dare you compare us to the Nazis!’. The whole process of self-exculpation by the world’s greatest murderers, destroyers and barbarians is sickening.I’m afraid I’m completely in accord with Finkelstein.

  20. Marcelle Cendrars said on December 24th, 2007 at 7:03pm #

    My problem has nothing to do with ‘the comparison’ on the plane of deeds done by the powers that be, but rather on the plane of what’s NOT done by the commentators and readers here. Or at least…what’s not being talked about being done to counteract the deeds of the U.S. Surely, if one were a compassionate, sensible citizen in Nazi Germany (and aligned against the powers in office and national momentum)…one would be involved in serious resistance. Reasonable assumption? Well, the “disconnect” comes when we take a look at all the non-action oriented talk that goes on…juxtaposed with USer atrocities. — Marcelle Cendrars

  21. Lloyd Rowsey said on December 24th, 2007 at 11:32pm #

    Several months ago Margaret Kimberly (an editor of BAR) stated that when the Chipmunk hits Iran, Americans who do not leave their homes and protest in the streets will be the same as good Germans who did not protest Hitler in the mid-1930’s. I am not of one mind about this, and Mulga, I hope you did not read my compliment to Di Eagle to say that I am. In fact, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ll do when the Chipmunk wakes up one morning and decides it’s time.

    Marcelle. You posted your 7:03 comment almost four hours before I posted a comment to Kim Petersen’s article “Sympathy for the Occupiers” (12.24), but I had not read yours. Perhaps if you read my post you will get some idea of what I think “on the plane of what’s NOT done by the commentators and readers (and editors and writers) here.”

  22. Marcelle Cendrars said on December 25th, 2007 at 8:46am #

    Thanks, Lloyd. If you’re talking about the comment concerning DNow not having resisters on…fine. Did you say more about the dearth of “activity” in general? I added a comment there just now. DNow, as noted, is deficient –to a serious degree (and has been for quite some time)– on several counts. — Marcelle

  23. Lloyd Rowsey said on December 25th, 2007 at 9:06am #

    Marcelle. The post to which I referred you follows Kim’s article of 12.24, pretty near the bottom, at “Lloyd Rowsey said on December 24th, 2007 at 10:51 pm.” I do not find a subsequent comment from you in that thread. Other than a juxtapostion of a couple of words, I don’t believe I can express myself any more clearly than I did in that post. – Lloyd

  24. Marcelle Cendrars said on December 25th, 2007 at 10:06am #

    Happy holidays, one and all.

    Dear Lloyd: Just checked. There IS a comment clocked 8:51, I believe.

    Marcelle Love