Misconceptions about Russia

The main misconception is the idea that the Russians are somehow responsible for the misdeeds of the Soviet Union. For example Carl Gershman, a leading neocon puts it this way: “Former Soviet states stand up to Russia. Will the U.S.?” The implication here is that Russia stands for the Soviet Union.

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Zbigniew Brzezinski writes: “Russia, until recently the forger of a great territorial empire and the leader of an ideological bloc“. [emphasis added] 1) Well, no. Two thirds of the Bolshevik leadership were non-Russians. “When Lenin and Dzerzhinsky first established the Cheka they recruited widely among Poles, Letts, Jews and other non-Russians among the Soviet population.” 2) “… by far the most overrepresented group were the Latvians, consistently and successfully cultivated by Lenin as the Praetorian Guard of the Revolution … 52.7 percent of all Cheka senior officials, and 54.3 percent of all Cheka commissars …”.3) The heads of Cheka later renamed NKVD were subssequently Felix Dzerzhinsky (Polish), Vyacheslav Menzhinsky (Polish-Russian), Genrikh Yagoda (Jewish), Nikolai Yezhov (probably Jewish), Lavrentiy Beria (Georgian). Lenin had mixed ancestry. Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin born Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jugashvili was a Georgian. “Only once before had he spoken on the radio, and listeners were startled to hear the harsh Georgian accent he had never been able to shake off.” 4) “The meeting of the Politbureau began by Stalin reading out the agenda. After that he often talked for hours with Beria in Georgian. Nobody understood what they were saying. Then he announced in Russian the resolution to be adopted. Everybody agreed. End of meeting.” 5) So why do we not blame the Georgians for all the crimes of the Stalinist era? Jews were particularly active among the Bolsheviks. The founder of Marxism was Jewish. Four of the seven members of Lenin’s politbureau were Jews. 6) The communist parties of Poland and Hungary that Stalin imposed upon the respective countries after WWII were almost exclusively Jewish. 7) In the context of the Ukrainian crisis there are sometimes attempts to blame the Russians for the holodomor (Ukrainian famine) in 1932 – 1933. But the chief architect of this horror was Stalin’s henchman Lazar Kaganovich, a Jew. There are of course reasons why many Jews became radicalized. More importantly not all Jews were Bolsheviks. It would not be acceptable to blame the Jews for the crimes of communism. But why is it acceptable to blame the Russians? The Russians suffered under communism just like everyone else.

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Both Marx and Engels were Germans and fiercely anti-Russian. Karl Marx hated Russia just like the post-trotskyist neocons hate her today. So did the Marxist, German Social Democratic Party, which voted for war credits in 1914. The German General Staff transported Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders from Switzerland to Petrograd in a sealed railroad car in order to disrupt the Russian war effort. If anything the Bolshevik revolution was an anti-Russian uprising.

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It was the Russian Khruschev who exposed Stalin’s crimes and ushered a period of relative democracy. It was the Russian Gorbachev who dismantled communism. It was the Russian Yeltsin who dissolved the Soviet Union.

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Brzezinski further asserts that the Soviet Union was “Russian-dominated”. 8) This is a preposterous allegation. I do not know if Brzezinski could possibly be this ignorant or if it is rather a deliberate misinformation. The Soviet Union was not a Russian empire, it was not based on any ideology of Russian supremacy. The Russians did not have any privileged position. The peripheral republics were better supplied with consumer goods than Russia. Brzezinski does not explain how the Cossacks reached Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Angola, Ethiopia, and how exactly the Russians subjugated the communist parties of Western Europe.

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The only reason for the Cold War with the Soviet Union was its communist ideology. NATO even has the defense of the free market as one of its objectives. But today Russia does have a free market. You could argue that Russia is more capitalistic than the U.S. as Russia has had a flat tax since 2001. In any case Russia is not waging any crusade against capitalism, and is not sponsoring any Marxist insurgents anywhere.

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In Zbigniew Brzezinski’s in The Grand Chessboard you will find the following nonsensical sentence “as a consequence of of the Soviet Union disintegration, Russia’s frontiers had been altered most painfully”. But Russia was only one of fifteen Soviet Republics, and its boundaries were not altered any more than e.g. the frontiers of Kazachstan. The word ‘Marx’ or ‘Marxist’ does not even appear in the index. It is all about empires. Although we were locked in a life and death ideological struggle against communism since WWII, it has been suddenly and completely forgotten. We are in effect told that it has been a struggle against the Russian Empire all along.

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According to this bizarre interpretation the demise of communism in the Soviet Union and its successor states was a non-event. Yet we won the Cold War. If it was a non-event what did we win? We broke up the Soviet union? How so? We outspent Russia on military equipment! There are about 150 countries around the globe all of which spend less on the military than the U.S., yet they are not breaking up. And if we won the Cold War why does it need to continue?

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Former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates says in his recently published memoir: “When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, [Defense Secretary Dick Cheney] wanted to see the dismemberment not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world.” Apparently Mr. Cheney is completely unaware that for half a century we were fighting Communism; it was a fight against the Russian Empire. But even then the Russian Empire no longer exists?! The fight is based on the assumption that Putin wants to restore it. Is this paranoia or disinformation? The idea to destroy Russia fits well with the neocon plans for global domination – “benevolent [yeah, right] global hegemony and Project for the New American Century.

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So that is the objective. It is obvious that whoever is the President of Russia will be demonized. The idea is to encircle and isolate Russia, and to surround it with radar stations. They are pursuing the same policy towards China. Yet on March 9 President Obama called the Chinese President Xi Jinping and ordered him to isolate Russia. The White House is not saying much how it went.

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The idea that we “won” the Cold war is also a misconception. The truth is that communism had run its course and spent itself. The utopian paradise on earth it promised did not materialize even after seventy years, and it eventually sank in. There were dissidents, including Russians such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He must be turning in his grave seeing what the Americans are doing to his country! We have not won anything. In fact we lost the decisive battle – the Vietnam war. And where are the Vietnam War peaceniks now? They think they are the ones who defeated the Soviet Union! Now they just need to finish the Russians off. If any external factor caused the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union it was China, more precisely the split between the USSR and China. (The Chinese communists were expected to follow orders from Moscow and failed to do so.) Communism was no longer a monolith, it became apparent that it does not automatically result in brotherhood between nations; in fact, two nominally communist countries could be deadly enemies – end of utopia.

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1Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, BasicBooks, 1997, p. 96

2Tolstoy, Stalin’s Secret War, Expose of his crimes against the Russian people, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1981, p. 62

3Yuri Slezkine, The Jewish Century, p. 175

4Tolstoy, p. 237

5Tolstoy, p. 29

6Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique, Preager, 1998, p. 95

7MacDonald, p. 99

8Brzezinski, p. 89


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