Before 1990, such a vote would be certain. In those days of
Soviet Union, the Russians advanced many causes of which we
still enjoy the fruits: together with their Cuban allies they
stopped the apartheid tanks in Angola and brought about
Mandela’s release and the creation of a more egalitarian South
Africa. The Russians supported European trade unions and
Communist parties, preventing the onslaught of privatisation,
outsourcing and globalisation. If you had it better before
1990, and you probably did, it was due to this Russian
influence. The Russians supplied the enemies of the Empire
with their cheap and good weapons, and they blocked the
Empire’s attempts to legitimise its aggressions via UN
resolutions. Their planes and their ground-to-air missiles
helped the Vietnamese and the Koreans to win the war. Their
influence and abilities were limited: the Russians never could
compete on an equal footing with the immense power of the West
harnessed by Washington. But they could spike the wheels of
the American Juggernaut, and so they did. The Empire hated
them and wished them dead, and many Western intellectuals
supported this wish.
friend, Russian maverick poet Edward Limonov, wrote a short
story in the 1980s: what would happen if Russia were to
disappear altogether from the face of Earth? The US would
intervene all over the world on massive scale, and capitalism
and imperialism would regain ground lost since 1917 with a
vengeance, he prophesied; and so it has happened: Panama,
Nicaragua, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan were invaded. The
rich grew richer, the middle class shrank,
freedoms were undone on the pretext of a "War on Terror."
The Western Left contributed a lot to this unhappy
development, for Soviet Russia was undone by double perfidy.
In the end, their elites betrayed their masses and privatised
the wealth created by the Soviet people. But before that, we,
the Western Left, had internalized the Evil Empire cliché
and repeated every slogan manufactured by the enemy. We
chanted Let My People Go, and demanded an extra privilege for
Jews, the right to emigrate. We did not care that the
no right to return to their homes, while the Russian Jews
wanted to move into settlements in occupied Palestine. We
supported Russian dissidents, though they hated all we stood
for and considered Pinochet ‘a soft leftist’. We accused
Russians of their
long-gone Gulag, and brought in Abu Ghraib. We condemned
Russians too much, and contributed to their feeling of
isolation, and to the second, fatal betrayal by their
We, good and sincere people, were misled and tricked by the
media machine into an outburst of condemnation against our
only mighty ally. The Western Left did not survive the
collapse: it went into self-destruct mode, and what remains is
represented by the likes of
Tony Blair. All over the Western world, the elites celebrate
their unlimited wealth and luxury, while ordinary people
worse and worse off.
Not only industrial workers: unless you are a CEO you live
worse than you did, and your chances to improve your lot are
worse than they ever were.
But luckily Russia did not disappear forever, though it was a
close call. Boris Yeltsin sold its resources to his cronies
and to Western companies, shelled the Parliament and
transferred media and oil into the hands of Jewish oligarchs.
Yeltsin installed Vladimir Putin, an ex-KGB officer and
would-be Pinochet, with orders to keep the stolen property in
the hands of thieves and the country in the Western grip. Now
it appears that the enemies of Russia miscalculated with this
man. Instead of doing a Pinochet on behalf of the oligarchs,
Putin broke the oligarchs’ grip; he exiled and jailed some
crooked tycoons, and restored a semblance of law and order in
the country. He returned the main TV channels to the people.
My wealthy Jewish acquaintances in Russia tell me that money
does not rule in the country anymore. One can buy comforts,
but not the power.
The oil revenues began to flow into the country, not only to
private coffers in Swiss banks. This revitalised the economy.
The infrastructure ruined by Gorbachev and Yeltsin is being
restored and improved; housing is being built in vast amounts;
the once-degraded army is receiving new hardware; main streets
shine with bright new shops; new and repaired highways with
millions of cars connect villages and cities. The Chechen war
is over; that
republic has been reintegrated into Russia, and its dwellers
enjoy full civil rights. Russian ballet again captures eyes
and hearts. After the total collapse of the film industry in
the 1990s, Russians are again making many movies, even
blockbusters with mass appeal (like The Night Guard) as
well as “festival art”. Obsessive,
guilt-ridden lamentation has given way to new prose and
poetry. Thousands of churches have been refurbished and their
onion domes gilded; all the churches are full on Sundays.
Historically a country of Orthodox Christianity and Sunni
Islam, Russia preserves this tradition, and here the
Christians and Muslims live in relative harmony despite the
efforts of pro-American forces to inject Islamophobia into
Russian hearts. The state TV, taken away from Jewish oligarchs
from PC tyranny, shows a lot of footage of the venerable
grey-bearded Patriarch (the Russian Pope) and the nimble
karate-fighter of a President enforcing the
faith-and-authority tradition of Russia.
mammoth 1500-page-long novel by the Russian painter Maxim
The Drawing Textbook , le dernier cri
of Russian literature, has been received by many readers
as a proclamation of volte-face: Russia’s ideological
subservience to the Mammonite West is over! Kantor does not
stop at condemning comprador capitalists: they were preceded
by comprador intellectuals. Kantor defends Christ from the
humanist assaults: Christianity was betrayed by humanists, in
his view. Kantor is not fond of the new Russian regime: he
regrets that Russia gave up its socialism, and considers 20
years of capitalist development as a flop: “barracks’
socialism was replaced by barracks’ capitalism”. With this
book, a modern War and Peace, Russia’s re-invention is
officially on the way, and this great country with its great
people may yet
turn the tide of history.
is doubtful whether Russia will turn leftwards anytime soon.
But the international activism of adventure-seeking Americans
is not acceptable to
any independent Russian state. Russians are not happy with the
American military bases surrounding Russia, with the
aggressive push of NATO, or
with politically motivated limitations on Russian companies.
The Russians feel that they were cheated 20 years ago, when
the West proclaimed its desire to reach full peace and harmony,
respect the independence of nations. Believing this bull, the
Russian troops left East Europe, but American troops still
lounge in Germany, Italy, Japan;
they advanced into Poland and this summer tried to land in
Crimea, next to the Russian fleet's home base.
Russians left Vietnam, but the
Americans still occupy Okinawa.
Russia’s leaders feel unsafe: since the Soviet Union’s demise,
leaders of independent sovereign states – Noriega, Saddam
Hussein, Milosevic - have been snatched and imprisoned for
denying the will of Washington. Neither is Russian wealth
safe: Russia, like many nations, is obliged to keep its
savings in the bottomless pit of the American economy, but
nobody can collect on these investments yet. Norway invested
all its oil income in the US stock market, and lost all of it;
Swedish pension funds went the same way. If this is the case
with the best friends of the US, what will happen to its
enemies? Iran, Iraq, Palestine lost all their savings by
decisions of the US administration. Moreover,
legal system allows the US
sue foreign states for unlimited amounts. Thus, the families
of victims of the Lockerbie crash received from besieged Libya
a cool ten million dollars per
although the American courts authorise ten thousand times
smaller sums for the victims of American bombings – if indeed
they receive anything at all.
Russia feels unsafe, for the US has invaded other sovereign
countries more often and with greater impunity than Hitler
ever did. This feeling is shared by
less vocal China. “The great issue that divides the U.N. is no
longer Communism versus capitalism, as it once was; it is
preached the New York Times. Its scribe,
James Traub, lists many countries that “abuse their citizens
under protection of sovereignty”. In vain will you look
for the name of Israel, though the Jews killed over a
thousand people in Lebanon, and over 200 civilians last month
in Gaza alone.
The great divisive issue of our times is
somewhat different: whether the US and Israel are the only
sovereign countries, while others have a limited "demo"
version. Why does Israel get away with aggression
now with its sea and air blockade of a sovereign UN member
while peaceful Iran must be censured? Why has Israel been able
to reject all pertinent UN resolutions and yet never had
sanctions applied against it, while Iran is about to be
bombed? Are non-Jews less valuable than Jews? The case of Iran
provides a good opportunity for Russia and China to present a
case for sovereignty and non-interference.
Some of better Soviet policies were embedded in the Christian
ethos of Russia, and the tradition of helping the downtrodden
and the weak, of resisting aggressor is one of them.
Post-Soviet Russia inherited these traditions. But in this
case practical need coincides with the call of compassion.
Unless President Putin views with equanimity the possibility
of being snatched and brought to some American kangaroo court
himself, he may want to contemplate stopping this orgy of
invasions. Iran is a
case of one invasion too far. Iran is a sovereign country; it
did not break international law. Its decision to enrich
uranium is fully within its rights according to the NPT.
Whether they worship Allah or Jehovah is entirely their
internal affair. And by applying its right of veto, Russia
would signal that interference in internal affairs of
sovereign states will not be tolerated and legitimised in the
UN. Russia won’t be alone – China, equally unhappy with US
interference, may support it with its own veto.
The alternative is too much to consider: even if the UN
resolution doesn't refer to sanctions, the US is famous for
its cavalier way of interpreting
UN text. Any condemnation (even a soft one) will be used as
carte blanche for nuking Iran and taking it over; then the
US chain of military bases will run continuously around the
south flank of Russia and China, through Turkey, Georgia,
Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan. "Rebellious"
Ahmadinejad will be brought to Tel Aviv in iron chains, while
the US takes over the oil resources of Iran, and by using Iran
and Iraq oil, undermines
the Russian position in the world economy. Afterwards, under
this or some other pretext, they may confiscate Russia’s
assets, threaten Putin with Ahmadinejad’s fate and return
Russia to its miserable position of Yeltsin’s days. Thus,
using their veto in the Security Council would be a very
prudent and wise step for both Russia and China, especially if
it were accompanied by granting Iran full membership in the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The results of a Russian veto would be
than just postponement of the US assault on Iran: it would
send a strong signal that the end of Pax Americana is nigh.
The “Old” Europe may take it as a cue and regain its
independence, even demanding to remove those vestiges of
WWII, US military bases, from Europe. The “New” Europe may
understand it is out of step, and curtail its pro-American and
anti-Russian partisanship. Japan could demand
end to the
Okinawa. The Law of Nations will rule the world again, instead
of the will of the Pentagon.
And then the time for a new American independence drive will
come, independence of America from its Jewish Lobby. Such a
drive took place in the
revolutionary Russia of the
1920s, when Russian Communists argued about whether they
should go for world revolution, as Trotsky demanded, or for
creating socialism in their own country, as proposed by Stalin
and Bukharin. If their militant activism is rejected,
Americans may discard their neo-Trotskyites, both Republicans
and Democrats keen on spreading their “world democratic
revolution”, in favour of isolationists who prefer building to
spreading. Supporters of spreading – from George W. Bush to
Hilary Clinton – are great friends of Israel. The bipartisan
support of Israel within the US political elites means also
their subservience to the Jewish Lobby. Rejection of the Lobby
may become the single slogan of a new American revolution, of
a new American political party of independence and
non-interference on the
way to creating a
United States the world can live with.
Language editing: Ken Freeland and Roger Tucker