Two pairs of articles give profound insights into the state of the new cold war between the United States and Russia.
First, Putin launched a wave of hundreds of Stalin-like raids on human rights organizations including such internationally respected outlets as Amnesty International, Transparency International and Human Rights Watch, as well as the leading Russian outlet Memorial. When questioned, Putin claimed that these were “routine events.” It was an absolutely brazen neo-Soviet lie. In fact, records clearly show that Putin’s actions against the NGOs are totally unprecedented in Russian history. Just as in Soviet times, the Russian government simply doesn’t care about facts and has no respect whatsoever for the people of Russia, much less for other countries.
Then, even as a major article in the Wall Street Journal exposed the “axis of evil” being fomented by Russia across the globe, a shocking story from Reuters reported that there are members of the Obama administration who argue that it would be better to antagonize members of the U.S. Congress than to antagonize Putin. For that reason they want to serve Putin’s interests rather than follow the Magnitsky law and ban Russian human rights offenders from U.S. soil. There’s only one word for such behavior, and that word is treachery. In Russia, they’d surely jail such venal traitors.
If you want to get really deep insight into the way Russians see the world, check out a truly crazy diatribe by Vladislav Inozemtsev, the director of the Moscow-based Center for Post-Industrial Studies, in the Moscow Times. Inozemtsev calls for the U.S. to give Russia “more respect” and to “treat it as an equal.” His hypocrisy is breathtaking, because Russia certainly doesn’t treat countries like Ukraine and Georgia as equals, and he doesn’t call for it to do so. While claiming that Russia should be treated as an equal, he says 100% of the burden for changing the relationship lies on America’s shoulders, a pretty weird definition of equality to say the least. And he ignores the fact that America’s population is double that of Russia and its economy is ten times larger, making it difficult to see exactly how the two countries could ever be considered “equals.” An avalanche of reader comments expose Inozemtsev’s crazy neo-Soviet propaganda for what it is.
Or check out a recent piece in the MT by Georgy Bovt, showing how Russians delude themselves into imagining that China is treating them like an equal when in fact the Chinese see Russia as nothing but a potential vassal state, a lackey, a barrel of oil into which China can dip its pump.
We are right back where we were at the height of the first cold war. Russia is run by the KGB, and it is descending into a truly bizarre world of self-deception and lies,cut off from the truth after wiping out real journalism and real opposition politics. Russia fumes with anti-American hatred and spends money it does not have on arms racing and ideological confrontation. The USSR was driven to collapse by these crazed policies. Russia is asking to meet the same fate.