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„ Under the spreading chestnut tree I sold you and you sold me."

Reader comment on item: A Critical Moment For Turkey
in response to reader comment: "Fool Me Once, Shame On You; Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me!"

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Jun 6, 2007 at 07:54

Dear Mariana ,

Thank you very much for your thorough and thoughtful analysis . Again , what you write about the state of the nation sounds really alarming and dismal . The American power elite seems to have become aristocracy in all but name – exclusive , estranged from the people , squandering the nation's resources , corrupt , unaccountable . It is at the core of the present problems and if nothing changes radically much evil awaits the country.

I'd like you , dear Mariana , to see my remarks below in the similar context . They don't result from any malice or anti-Americanism whatsoever. On the contrary, I am for America, wish it all the best . I do know that if something bad happens to it, all the world will suffer immensely as a result .

The difference between a flatterer and a friend - to my mind – is that a friend helps define and correct what is wrong and what harms the friend . A flatterer doesn't do that because he is interested in perpetuating the wrong thing and in harming the "friend" for his own benefit. So please , read what follows as words of someone who is not a flatterer but who would like to be seen as a friend (not a "friend") .

">> Yes, these are very serious reproaches . But perhaps the Russians also have some serious doubts and counter-charges ? The US didn't treat the Soviet Union fairly and rationally ."

> This I get not at all. Russia's becoming part of the Civilized World should not require the American Teat for success; rather, they need to better manage the resources of their rich homeland, and mostly, reorder their priorities. Already, we're paying for and subsidizing their space program, paying their scientists who have not gone over to Iran , N.Korea, and anyone else with $$ opposing us. At the same time, they use their own fungible funds to strengthen and increase the grip of KGB and rearm Military, nationalize industry, shut-down independent media, and export assassins to the Civilized World [to intimidate dissenters], just like the old Stalinist USSR.

I admit you're right on this point .

But as to „independent" media , still they seem to depend on many biased sponsors outside Russia. When I hear on radio Liberty a eulogy of the Chechen "dissenters" , I can't but think of Beslan and Budionnovsk. Even at the time of those mass kidnappings there were some "independent" media that tried to blame the Russians for the horrors of traditional Chechen banditism . Kidnappings were something most common during the old Chechen independence and the Dudayev era . But the "independent" media somehow preferred to ignore history and blame the victims . I wonder what sort of "independence" of the media it is then ?

">> The US didn't treat the Soviet Union fairly and rationally . First , the US allied itself with radical Islam to defeat the Soviet 40th army in Afghanistan."

> And the USSR had the right to invade, destroy and occupy Afghanistan...because...?

Cold war logic , you know. I try my luck in the Bay of Pigs , you try yours across the Pamir . Both parties played the game, didn't they ?

> Invasion and occupation by the 40th Soviet Army was not a picnic by the lake for the tens of thousands they brutalized and or killed, or the hundreds of thousands of Afghans who were forced to flee their homes and country into exile.

As long as the Soviets stayed , Kabul was intact and the civil war which was responsible for the worst atrocities and destructions was kept under control. With the advent of mercenaries from the Arab world and modern American weapons overflooding the countryside the war assumed its total and uncontrolled dimension with more terror and retaliations . Remember the Russians were not so stupid and used troops preferable with Tadjik and Usbek background in Afghanistan to accomodate the Afghans. But it didn't help much against Osama bin Laden and his ilk .

> Why would you try to make this outrageous Soviets behaviour sound like a benign, legitimate undertaking?

Compared to US-backed Mujahedeens the Soviets behaved benignly , didn't they ? I've never heard they had ever played Buzkashi (sort of polo) with cut-off heads of their POW-s as was the case with the Mujahedeens who used to do that with the Soviet POWs' heads.

> Putin in Prague has just explicitly threatened another Cold War and Arms War." He's not getting things all his way all the time, so he's going to throw bombs?

And what would you do in his position ? Greet the missiles in Poland which we here in Poland don't need or want at all ? Thank the US for creating two Moslem states on the Balcans - Bosnia and Kosovo ? Shake the president's hands and be grateful for his supporting of the UCK terrorists who specialized in blowing churches and kidnapping Orthodox clergy ? The US is responsible for expelling Orthodox Christianity from its cradle in Kosovo and making Bosnia a bridgehead of Wahhabism . If there is anyone who should thank the US for these „gifts" it is no doubt the Saudi king and his Wahhabi entourage . This honeymoon with Islam on the US side is a sheer folly ! Two new Afghiansitans have been created in Europe. The US will harvest the fruit of its mad acts.

">The result was 9/11. Then they cheated Gorbachov - the only politician I've ever trusted...and supported all the centrifugal forces to break up the USSR to get rid of its competitor. Gorbachov was betrayed not only by Yeltzin but also by his Western "friends". Then the intrigues in the Caucaus to get hold of Baku and in Central Asia, military missions to Georgia ."

> Hearing this from you saddens me more than I can express. THIS DID NOT CAUSE 9/11!

No ? The US supported radical Islam to expel the Russians from Afghanistan. Islamists did the assigned job with American stingers and other modern weapons . But they had their own agenda and started a civil war which brought the most radical faction (Taliban) to power . All this happened with American support. Now the Mujahedeens turned against their benefactors of yesterday and one of their organizations (al-Qaida) paid them back with 9/11. Wasn't it so ?

> Gorbachov's genius was in understanding that centrifugal forces and Soviet brutal mismanagement of resources, peoples, and the economy for 70 years, were inevitably {finally} catching up to them. His "opening" was designed to be like all the prior Soviet "openings," but Yeltsin [with a lot of help from Reagan, the Pope] and enough Freedom seekers among his own people, wrested the process from his hands, accelerating the timeline and redirecting his "initiatives" to "serious reforms."

I don't think your analysis, dear Mariana, is correct. Gorbachov was sincere in his efforts to reform the USSR without ruining and destroying it . He was an honest and responsible man . He failed because the US wanted no Soviet Union at all . They wanted a weak, divided set of small states in lieu of the old big USSR . It was the well known "divide and rule" policy . Hence the US support for all centrifugal forces - even if meant that a factory in Armenia which produced chains for saws made in another factory in Latvia would both be ruined . Even if most radical Islamist forces in Central Asia should be unleashed with a resulting civil war in Tajikistan .

Yelstin was an incompetent drunkard and a thug that used tanks to smash the parliament under the eyes of the entire world (3.10.1993). He stole more money than all the thieves Russia has ever had . Some estimates say that the economic losses Russia suffered during the Yeltzin era were greater than the losses Russia had suffered during WW II . He allowed wild corruption and crime to flourish , he deceived pensioners , workers , intelligentsia , the military , all except his family that he made rich . Under his regime life expectancy declined dramatically . And you call it „serious reforms" ?

">> I have never heard a single condemnation from the US of the discriminatory treatment of Russian minorities in the post-Soviet states - Latvia with c. 50% non-Latvians gave them no right to vote and no citizenship . Estonia did the same with c. 30% of Russians living there... , Yet , the West blamed the Russians , not the new oppressors whom it protects ."

> Again, the Soviets intrigued and occupied the Caucuses, murdered and subjugated their peoples, confiscated their lands, businesses and resources for the greater good of the "ethnic Russians" they infiltrated to repopulate, exterminate and rule over the indigenous populations. These Russians delegitimized the languages and cultures of these countries, forced collectivization, nationalized private industries and properties [as they did with their own Kulaks].

> There's history here, Ianus.

What history is it , dear Mariana ? The Caucasus and Central Asia before the advent of the Russians were delacerated by never-ending bloody wars and banditism . I have told you a few things about the Chechens before . The Cherkess were not better. When the Russians came and put an end to their robberies and kidnappings they emigrated en masse to Turkey and they were settled in Bulgaria where they continued their traditional „way of life" . They were responsible for the Bulgarian horrors which triggered the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878 . These atrocities for the first time in history made even the Brits ( the Ottomans' tradtional godfathers ) consent to the Russian intervention to stop the extermination of the Christian Bulgarians .

You can't imagine what those regions looked like before the Russians stopped the endemic lawlessness reigning there . Instead of history anti-Russian propaganda is spread across the West . As you rightly hinted referring to the US citizens , the West lives in a largely unhistorical worldview . They don't read historical books . What for ? They think they are so clever that they have escaped that boring useless past !

What would have happened to the Amernians if the Russians had not intervened in the Caucaus ? As to the Baltic region it was an artificial German creation after 1918. Russia conquered it from Sweden during the Great Northern war at the beginning of the 18th century.

> Just as you fervently opposed the deliberate occupation, division and polarization of Cyprus by Turkey; the USSR ate all of "Eastern Europe," treated native populations barbarously, flagrantly disregarding even a modicum of Human Rights with impunity.

Come on ! Turkey is a scourge of Europe. Russia broke that scourge and pushed Moslem Turkey far away from Europe. You should appreciate the role of Russia in taming and breaking Islam in Europe and in the Caucasus instead of repeating anti-Russian slogans invented by Chechens , Cherkess and other Moslems frustrated by the Russians . If you weaken Russia you strengthen Moslems. Do you really want that ?

Here in Poland the Russians are hated by some nationalist intellectuals. the latter will never tell you that the Russians gave the Polish serfs liberty and land which belonged exclusively to the nobility that lost much as a result of that . It happened in 1863 . The Russians abolished slavery in the newly acquired Moslem terrotories , stopped Moslem banditism , including the worst of them all - the Chechen terrorism . Small wonder the Chechens and their ilk are angry.

> And what had these captive peoples done to deserve this?

Captive people ? You should live for a year in the Caucasus to see what sort of people you have to deal with ! The best place I might suggest would be some villages in Dagestan or on the frontier between Nagorno Karabakh and Aserbaidjan.

> Simply, Russia wanted to "secure [read annex] it's Near Abroad."

In most cases , it was an enslaved or endangered nation that turned to Russia to protect them against more powerful Moslem neighbors . It was the case with Georgia that was protected against Turkey. The Armenians survived only thanks to the Russian protection . Probably you forgot the pogroms of Armenians in Baku at the end of the Gorbachov era or the intrigues of the Turks in Aserbaidjan and in Central Asia to reinforce Islam and Pan-Turkish ideas there ?

> They accomplished and maintained this annexation with impunity, using the most brutal and violent means at their disposal, and they remained, largely unhindered for 50 years.

As long as the Soviets stayed in the Caucasus , no wars were raging there. That was very much for the people living there . The moment they left , the old story began anew. And of course the Soviets were to blame. Who would dare criticize the "freedom-loving and self-determining" nations ?

> Now these Commissars and their privileged families expect to keep their illegitimate status as "overseers," the properties they confiscated, while demanding to be loved, honoured, and afforded the very rights and "equitable treatment" they forcefully denied their victims in their own countries.

What is someone's medicine is someone else's poison , dear Mariana. In the Caucasus or Central Asia you have the choice either between a strong overseer or a permanent war . You don't have a choice between good and evil , democracy and totalitarianism. This beautiful theories have a very limited applicability indeed. W hat happened in the „liberated" Afghanistan when the Soviet overseer left , happened also across the former USSR when the Russians were expelled . Sad but true. The Soviets were bad , but still better and more equitable lords than the former emirs and sheikhs in Central Asia and Chechen tayp (clan) lords .

> The realization that sixty years after the forced conquest of the Caucuses, the majority of these "squatters" refused to learn or use the local languages,

How many Americans speak Navaho or any other exotic native dialects ? There are several hundred languages in the Caucasus and they are so complicated that you'd have to spend several years to be able to understand any single of them basically . And what gain would you have from it ? Any rational Russian person would rather learn English or German instead of Kabardian or Azari.

> insisted in living in and maintaining [de facto and de jure] ethnic Russian communities, were uninterested in becoming Estonian, Lithuanian or Latvian but rather deliberately remaining "Russians," says it all.

No, it doesn't , dear Mariana . Can you realize how much hate and contempt for all things Russian is hidden behind all these formalities to acquire a Latvian or Estonian citizenship , to deprive the Russians of their identity. The Latvians or Estonians will never treat a Russian as equal even is he or she happens to know their language and their distorted history-books ( where the SS Division „Estland" or „Lettland" or „Galizien" is a heroic unit fighting for liberty ) .

> Their hearts are with "Mother Russia;" it is to Mother Russia they whine and moan about their plight, and it is obviously in Mother Russia that they belong.

And what do you know about the hearts of the Latvians e.g. ? Do you know how many of them are anti-semites , how many served in the Nazi extermination camps and SS and police units ? Ask any Jew and he'll tell you where a Latvian's or a Lithuanian's heart belongs. Understandably enough , this isn't well-advertised in the Western media where the new oppressors are given a privileged treatment and undeserved amnesty at the expense of the old oppressors . I myself wouldn't rather prefer to identify myself with "Mother Russia" than with "Stepmother Latvia" with such a dubious record of hers.

> The "new oppressors" who are being "protected" by the West, are the indigenous peoples whose countries are under discussion.

„Indigenous people" ? Lithuanian peasants were made aware of their nationality by Polish and German linguists and ethnographers in the 19th century. They were ruled by totally Polonized nobility. Anyway , they treat the Polish minority near Vilnius not better than their Russian minority. Latvians and Estonians were just illiterate peasants ruled by German aristocracy who left due to the Soviet-Germany treaty of 1939 before being persecuted and largely expropriated by the nationalists . They fully discovered their „nationality" after the Kaiser German troops occupied these regions in 1917-1918 . As the Germans had not enough personnel to run the Baltic provinces they created local administrations which with the collapse of Germany and Russia took over . Had it not been for the German Freikorps the Bolsheviks would have easily re-occupied the Baltic states in 1919.

> Russians unhappy with having to give up their ill-gotten status and some abusively ill-gotten gains, need use their 60 years experience to go home to "improve Russia" the same way they "improved the Caucuses."

Don't jump to conclusions , dear Mariana. Russians are no Moslems and improved the Caucasus by liquidating Moslem states and weakening Islam all along , building churches there . Now look at the Americans ! They „improve" Europe by creating Islamic states here ! The Russians deserve some respect for their efforts . I observe with horror the ongoing Islamisation of Europe and how America contributes to it .

As to the Russians' homeland it is where they were born and grew up. By expelling them , no one is going to win. Least of all the Baltic states that now so gaily destroy Soviet World War II memorials and build their own to their local antisemites and SS fighters .

> As for Chechnya and Georgia. USSR replacing their government with Russian Viceroys or ethnic puppets has no legitimacy; and the deliberate subversion of the elected President Schevardnadze, is utterly indefensible. This man had previously represented USSR as Foreign Minister, is known to us all, and is no more gangster or terrorist than the rest of the Russian government.

Do you remember Gamsahurdya and the Gerogian civil war ? There is enough powder inside Georgia to blow the republic without a single Russian match. The main problem there is lack of control from above and traditional Caucasian feudal mentality . It led to permanent wars in Gerogia after 1991 – against South Osetia and against Abkhasya and the civil war under Zvyad Gamsakhyrdya , to corruption , banditism and all things Georgia had been notorious for during its days of independence .

> I guess Ianus, in this, I'm basically Reaganite. I believe that those countries and peoples the USSR forcibly dominated and held behind the "Iron Curtain" for 50 years, have a right to self-determination without Russian interference.

Sure , but do they have a right to make use of this right to deprive those who were born there of any rights ?

> Russia has screwed-around with these peoples one way or another for many hundreds of years, and they'd been seriously restive for 15-20 years before the long overdue, inevitable "break-up."

Lithuania was heavily subsidized by Moscow. Lithuanian communists enjoyed a privileged status within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union . The same can be said about all those most rabidly anti-Russian ‘new democracies". By the way , in Latvia e.g. they hate not only Russians . They dislike even Poles.

> That Russians themselves are [like frogs swimming in a pot of warm water over a high flame] calmly accepting re-conquest, confiscation and inevitable collectivization by the KGB. In time, this will redound to their everlasting shame; they've made their bed and it will be a long time before Americans will be interested to take another bite of this apple.

I admit Russia is a rotten state. But you've said America is rotten too. This inner structural failure must get its expression in foreign policy as well.

> >...I do believe that esentially Russia and the US share the same civilization,..."

> This comparison of yours, I reject utterly. Neither Russians nor Soviets were raised with the American Constitution or Bill of Rights; THEY DO NOT BELIEVE THEMSELVES ENTITLED to Liberty, Freedom, Right to own arms, Worship [or Not] unhindered in any manner they choose, and to elect their own [albeit, feckless] Representatives, according to one [approved] set of rules and laws.

As to common civilization I meant Christianity and Enlightenment . Both Russia and the US share this principal Eurpean heritage. It is only about this that I was speaking.

Now with all respect I have towards the Amercan way of life , I find the right to carry arms quite questionable . If you had our (Middle European or Russian) history , you'd know why. Arms are there not only to make their producers rich , but to be used . Here they were massively used and we thank you for this „right". (Again someone's medicine is someone else's poison.)

And as to „freedom and liberty" it is a nice but a tricky slogan. We've had extreme social conflicts here and know ad nauseam that the soft talk of „freedom" is most useful where something else is meant . Just like democracy turned out to mean „oligarchy" , so „freedom" turns out to mean „freedom for wrong people" . By „wrong people" I mean those who have riches dubiously acquired and whose cultural and intellectual level reminds of that of some „heroes" of popular soap operas produced in Hollywood . They have freedom to make the world around them in their own image. And this is a nasty and hateful world indeed !

> Russians and Soviets have never believed that they are "... Endowed by their Creator....to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness..." They went from a Theocratic Monarchy to Secular Monarchy masquerading behind a fictional "Supreme Soviet" and "Polit Bureau," and {they} in all cases expected Benefits and Blessings to come down from a privileged minority, above.

Well , if you think what problems the Russians had to cope with during their 1000 years of history , if you think of the vastness of the land masses they had to cross and make secure , of numbers and savage character of their enemies around , then you should probably be less categorical in your judgements , dear Mariana . The American historical experience you're referring to is a trifle compared to what the Russians had to get through .

Still , the Russians remained a Christian nation , stopped and pushed back the Islamic monster and would have almost wiped it out in Europe had it not been for the ignorant and selfish West that saved the sick man on the Bosporus from certain ruin and thus prepared a delayed ruin for itself .

Troubles in Russia will help no one . Demanding that Russia play the game only according to the wrongly defined interests of the West will bring chaos across Eurasia and nothing else . It happened so in 1917 and in 1991 . Chaos in Russia may be in the interest of the West , but isn't in the interest of Russia and all those who happen to live near Russia or appreciate a few Russian things like the Russian intelligentsia that I respect highly.

To put it in a different way – It's bad to be with Russia . It is worse to be without Russia.

> Americans chose to come here to become "American,"
carving lives out of the wilderness [read J.F. Cooper's "The Last of the Mohicans"], with little or NO involvement from an earthly "authority" [until, alas, the recent perversion and over-reach of government], believing for the most part that they/we should be left alone to make our own way, "do our lives" and raise our children. It is American "Leadership's" disrespecting, disregarding, and ignoring these fundamental beliefs held by Americans [constituents who elected them], that have ignited the growing discomfort, "murmurings" and rage: the Immigration bill has simply become "the spark."

Sorry , but the Wild West stories sound rather unconvincing in my ears. They show a lawless , violent and brutal society where the difference between a freedom-loving type and a ganster type is often invisible. Again it's an experience that can't be generalized.

And corruption and abuse of power in American public life has a long and "glorious" tradition , if I remember Tweed Boss' story well .

">... [US & Russia] face the same implacable enemy of their common civilization - Islam..."

> While this is certainly true where terrorism for the revivification of the Caliphate by Militant Islam is concerned, it's obvious that Putin and his cohorts do not consider this sufficient cause to diminish their hostile, aggressive behaviour vis a vis his own people, his former [Near Abroad] prisoners or "the West." Putin continues advising, arming, providing technical assistance to, and exporting forbidden items in trade to Iran , encouraging AhmediNejad's Nuclear program, and shielding them from even the pitiful US, UN, EU sanctions and consequences of their persistent, flagrantly contumacious behaviours. The anti-missile system to Poland is a result of this threat Russia/Iran pose to the West.

So why not proclaim openly Russia and Iran the enemy ?

In my opinion Russia is using Iran against the US in the spirit of the game played by her adversaries as well . Once it was the US that mobilised Islam against teh Soviets . Now Russia is doing that against the US . Under the spreading chestnut tree I sold you and now you sold me.

The bad guys are on both sides. The tragic thing is only that both sides are going to lose if they continue to befriend and arm the wrong ‘ally' that hope to cheat them all and rule alone .

> As for putting this anti-missile system in Turkey, you yourself have posited some of the best arguments I've seen against this.

Sure . But here in Poland I know no one who is really afraid of Russia . And people just sneer when told we are threatened by Iran. , let alone North Korea ! No one buys that nonsense! Instead they are concerned that now that we are going to install the ‘shield' we will just become the real target !

> Putin does not consider himself part of the West except insofar as he can derive credits, recognition and benefits from distracting and deceiving us. He explicitly rejects Freedom and Liberty for either his own people or those he coerces into Russia's orbit. Anyone who convinces himself otherwise, is ignoring past and present history and events, and deluding himself.

So choosing between open enemy -Russia and hidden enemy ( Saudi Arabia and Turkey) the US will prefer the latter of course ? This way the US will commit a fatal mistake . It gets more and more islolated and behind its back a huge anti-American coalition is building up – Islam +Russia+ China. The US is unable to deal with a single of these threats , how will it be able to face the combined force of them all , if they really one day decide to join forces and strike ?

> > Islam has ALWAYS won its jihads through the hands of the infidels themselves. It is strong through the weakness and civil wars prevailing in the dar-al-harb."

> About this, time will tell and we shall see. mariana

This is a historical statement , dear Mariana . I know not a single victory in Islam's history which was achieved by Moslems alone. Starting from Mohammed himself who was assisted by Jews from Medina , through conquests in Persia , the Byzantine East , Spain , Turkey . You have everywhere the same pattern . Moslems' success was ALWAYS due to defectors , useful idiots , kafirs' quarrels and envy .

So I'd rather say that time has already shown this . And I can only hope that we'll learn from that historical experience and not repeat fateful mistakes which turned out to be the undoing of great civilizations and proud nations.

All the best , Ianus


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