[Marxism] Patrick Buchanan on Why Putin is hostile

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Oct 23 08:17:31 MDT 2007


Why Putin is hostile
Posted on Tue, Oct. 23, 2007

Putin's hostile course, the lead editorial in The Washington Times of
Oct. 18, began thus: ``Russian President Vladimir Putin's invitation
to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Moscow is just the
latest sign that, more than 16 years after the collapse of Soviet
communism, Moscow is gravitating toward Cold War behavior. The old
Soviet obsession -- fighting American imperialism -- remains
undiluted. . . .

``(A)t virtually every turn, Mr. Putin and the Russian leadership
appear to be doing their best in ways large and small to marginalize
and embarrass the United States and undercut U.S. foreign policy

The Washington Times pointed to Putin's snub of Robert Gates and
Condi Rice by having them cool their heels for 40 minutes before a
meeting. Then came a press briefing where Putin implied that Russia
may renounce the Reagan-Gorbachev INF treaty, which removed all U.S.
and Soviet medium-range missiles from Europe, and threatened to pull
out of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, whereby Russia moved
its tanks and troops far from the borders of Eastern Europe.

Mending fences with China, Iran

On and on The Times indictment went. Russia was blocking new
sanctions on Iran. Russia was selling anti-aircraft missiles to Iran.
Russia was selling weapons to Syria that found their way to Hezbollah
and Hamas. Russia and Iran were talking up an OPEC-style natural gas
cartel. All this, said the Times, calls to mind ``Soviet-era

Missing from the prosecution's case, however, was the motive. Why has
Putin's Russia turned hostile? Why is Putin mending fences with
China, Iran and Syria? Why is Putin sending Bear bombers to the edge
of U.S. airspace? Why has Russia turned against America? Putin's
approval rating is three times that of George Bush. Who restarted the
Cold War?

To answer that question, let us go back those 16 years. What happened
in 1991 and 1992? Well, Russia let the Berlin Wall be torn down and
its satellite states be voted or thrown out of power across Eastern
Europe. Russia agreed to pull the Red Army all the way back inside
its border. Russia agreed to let the Soviet Union dissolve into 15
nations. The Communist Party agreed to share power and let itself be
voted out. Russia embraced freedom and American-style capitalism, and
invited Americans in to show them how it was done.

Russia did not use its veto in the Security Council to block the U.S.
war to drive Saddam Hussein, an ally, out of Kuwait. When 9/11
struck, Putin gave his blessing to U.S. troops using former republics
as bases for the U.S. invasion.

U.S.-financed ventures

What was Moscow's reward for its pro-America policy?

The United States began moving NATO into Eastern Europe and then into
former Soviet republics. Six ex-Warsaw Pact nations are now NATO
allies, as are three ex-republics of the Soviet Union. NATO
expansionists have not given up on bringing Ukraine, united to Russia
for centuries, or Georgia, Stalin's birthplace, into NATO.

In 1999, the United States bombed Serbia, which has long looked to
Mother Russia for protection, for 78 days, though the Serbs' sole
crime was to fight to hold their cradle province of Kosovo, as
President Lincoln fought to hold onto the American South. Now America
is supporting the severing of Kosovo from Serbia and creation of a
new Islamic state in the Balkans, over Moscow's protest.

While Moscow removed its military bases from Cuba and all over the
Third World, we have sought permanent military bases in Russia's
backyard of Central Asia.

We dissolved the Nixon-Brezhnev ABM treaty and announced we would put
a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Under presidents Clinton and Bush, the United States financed a
pipeline for Caspian Sea oil to transit Azerbaijan and Georgia to the
Black Sea and Turkey, cutting Russia out of the action.

With the end of the Cold War, the KGB was abolished and the Comintern
disappeared. But the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House
and other Cold War agencies, funded with tens of millions in
tax-exempt and tax dollars, engineered the ouster of pro-Russian
regimes in Serbia, Ukraine and Georgia, and sought the ouster of the
regime in Minsk.

We blew it

At the Cold War's end, the United States was given one of the great
opportunities of history: to embrace Russia, largest nation on Earth,
as partner, friend, ally. Our mutual interests meshed almost
perfectly. There was no ideological, territorial, historic or
economic quarrel between us, once communist ideology was interred.

We blew it.

We moved NATO onto Russia's front porch, ignored her valid interests
and concerns, and, with our ''indispensable-nation'' arrogance,
treated her as a defeated power, as France treated Weimar Germany
after Versailles.

Who restarted the Cold War? Bush and the braying hegemonists he
brought with him to power. Great empires and tiny minds go ill

©2007 Creators Syndicate

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