Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Samantha Power Really Needs A Vacation Or (Better Yet) Permanent Retirement.

When one will write the real history of  the 20th and early 21st century, as long as this person would maintain even rudimentary scholarship and objectivity, one will have to stress one of the major history's truisms--scale and proportions matter a great deal. In fact, they define how history unfolds. In this respect, US Ambassador  to UN Samantha Power is a great demonstrator of a major reason (one of several) for why the United States found herself in the position it is today. This is not a good position, to put it mildly. In her last (yesterday) press-conference in UN Security Council, during her incoherent babbling about Russia, Power repeated the old and fundamental myth of American politics of the last 70 years. 

And here is the issue: each time I hear, from many corners, that United States "defeated" "communism" (remember this? "You lost, we won") or, let alone, that US defeated Nazism (Fascism, etc.), I am forced to ask a question. The question is: have anyone in US political class ever tried to claim credit for Sunrises (and Sunsets) or for change in the seasons, you know--to issue a medal "For Changing Summer Into Autumn"? Each time when I hear that somebody "defeated Soviet Union", I try to recall desperately when was the parade of "victors" held on the Red Square? The degree of idiocy of the US elites' post-Cold War triumphalism is astonishing. It is especially noticeable against the background of contemporary Russia trying to stem the flow of all those "liberated" nations into Russia, and here we are talking about millions upon millions people. So much for the "liberty". What is also strange about those claims is that the ability of Russian Federation to annihilate most of the world on the eve of dissolution of USSR didn't change after its dissolution. Obviously, the fact that multicultural empires do not live long, and that is how (primarily) Soviet Union collapsed, is beyond the grasp of people like Power and US political and "intellectual" strata she is the product of. Yes, US did "help" somewhat but metaphysical and material rot of the so called "communism" had very little to do with the United States, whose, accidental material wealth of the second half of 20th Century was based primarily on the outcome of WW II in which the Soviet/Russian contribution to victory in it against Nazism, Fascism, what have you, is overwhelming, both in blood and treasure. 

Yes, Power gets to it too in her press-conference and does this, now traditional, lip service to Russian sacrifice, but denying Russian people any agency is a traditional pseudo-intellectual shtick of US "elites" who are desperate for any kind of meaningful "victory". Well, here is the opinion of the man who was and is close to Russia's political top and he, actually, knows Russia inside-out.

The statement of Cold War "victory" flies out of the window once one gets closer to real Soviet History of 1970s and 1980s and understanding of what country that was--the insights neither CIA (yeah, right) nor Soviet "dissidents" (most of them discredited) could and can provide. Russians didn't "surrender" in Cold War, they, as it turned out today, naively thought that the better way was possible and extended "hand of friendship to US. This hand has been slapped away".  Or, putting it in layman's lingo, Russians got screwed over and those who BSed naive Russians proclaimed themselves "victors". Now, former influential Congressman Curt Weldon exclaims in desperation: how did we get here, meaning disastrous relations with Russia. Obviously Weldon conveniently "forgets" how NATO moved to Russia's borders (because US was a Cold War "victor") and how American advisers and firms did their utmost to place an alcoholic and West's door mat Yeltsin into Kremlin (all on Weldon's Congressional "watch"). 

US "hacking" Russia's elections in 1996. 

Yeah, Russians, certainly, must exhibit a very warm feelings towards US "diplomacy" whose only task was and is to lecture Russians on how to do things right, that is how the US defined "right". That is what Power and US "elites" (most of them) represent. It doesn't matter that their triumphalism and false sense of entitlement have no foundation in real life, and those few years in 1990s of controlling Russia's "elites", who would sell their own mother for the grant from US NGOs and would follow just about any insane policy "advice" from their American curators were the acts of high treason towards Russian people. As long as United States was able to re-write the history, it was all good. 

American post-Cold War triumphalism is a love child of American exceptionalism which is one of the pillars of American founding. This exceptionalism is not unique, Russians themselves had this "exceptional" thing going for them for a century or three, so had British with their empire "on which the Sun never sets". So were Germans, we all know where this led to. All great nations, and American are a great nation, have this exceptional streak. But American messianic exceptionalism really overdid it, big time. It was a very specific way it overdid it. As Alexis De Tocqueville wrote in his masterpiece "Democracy In America" (Chapter 16)All free nations are vainglorious, but national pride is not displayed by all in the same manner. The Americans in their intercourse with strangers appear impatient of the smallest censure and insatiable of praise. The most slender eulogium is acceptable to them; the most exalted seldom contents them; they unceasingly harass you to extort praise, and if you resist their entreaties they fall to praising themselves. It would seem as if, doubting their own merit, they wished to have it constantly exhibited before their eyes. Their vanity is not only greedy, but restless and jealous; it will grant nothing, whilst it demands everything, but is ready to beg and to quarrel at the same time. If I say to an American that the country he lives in is a fine one, “Ay,” he replies, “there is not its fellow in the world.” If I applaud the freedom which its inhabitants enjoy, he answers, “Freedom is a fine thing, but few nations are worthy to enjoy it.” If I remark the purity of morals which distinguishes the United States, “I can imagine,” says he, “that a stranger, who has been struck by the corruption of all other nations, is astonished at the difference.” At length I leave him to the contemplation of himself; but he returns to the charge, and does not desist till he has got me to repeat all I had just been saying. It is impossible to conceive a more troublesome or more garrulous patriotism; it wearies even those who are disposed to respect it (c). 

Most of American "elites" live by this rule, it is the thing which makes them tick, it is their clockwork, and with the events of the 20th Century the vanity of American exceptionalism reached a feverish pitch. So much so, that American "elite" started to directly steal and deform history. One of manifestations of such a global brainwashing is the fact that most West Europeans today believe that it was the United States which won WW II. The results of such a mythology are an unmitigated disaster, whose embodiment Samantha Power is--arrogant, badly educated, boastful and completely detached from the reality. She is also a fanatic Russophobe. I specifically emphasize here American "elites", those hordes of humanities "educated" offsprings of American coastal well-off class and of Ivy League degree mills. I know American people, met thousands of them and have a deep love and respect to those folks but very many (not all) representatives of the American "intellectual" class is another matter altogether. But it is this "intellectual" and moneyed class who writes the history books and owns media. And the march of American exceptionalism and triumphalism seemed unstoppable by late 1990s. That is for those who didn't know the history. Things changed dramatically in the last 3-4 years and those, yet again, who knew the history and had background could see this change coming afar, I anticipated this, hence this blog. That is those who were not American "intellectual" class--a distinction which needs to be worn with pride today. A Departure of Samantha Power, who is an embarrassment to the highly regarded  profession of a diplomat coincided with the wholesale epiphanies by this very American "intellectual" class, that one can lie only for so long, eventually the truth will emerge through empirical evidence. 

I wrote about Harlan Ullman's partial sobering--it is partial since he continues to repeat the idiocy about Russia "invading" Ukraine, as an example. Good luck building your conclusions and argumentation on the sand, yet again. Then Professor of Strategy from  Naval War College Nicholas Gvozdev got the ball rolling and yesterday he continued with his, finally dawning realization that this very "intellectual" elite pretty much knows nothing about Russia. He offers to rethink American "assumptions" on Russia. No, Mr. Gvozdev "rethinking" assumptions which were a result of a failed American "scholarship", shoddy, if not mostly fraudulent, Russia's "academe" and, in the end, falling into the trap of own, extremely false and arrogant narrative, is not possible at this time. Gvozdev, after making a hodgepodge and very weak argument, calls for: at the end of the day, however, whatever position on Russia wins out should be rooted in analytically rigorous and dispassionate analysis (c). 

I have some news for Nicholas Gvozdev: a "dispassionate" analysis is impossible at this time in the United States because very many of those "analysts" either comprehend or feel that once the "dispassionate" analysis starts, one has to completely throw American exceptionalist and triumphalist mythology out of the window. It kills American messianic narrative and brings to the fore the issue of scales and proportions--the factor which American Samantha "Powers" want desperately to ignore for a simple reason, they know, even if by gut feeling only, they will come out losers.  Hence Russophobia. The United States needs a complete overhaul of its corrupt "academe" and revival of a real Russian Studies field, which would be led not by some insane neocon (Pipes) or irrational Russophobe such as Brzezinski, let alone clownish hack such as Macfaul--the damage they did to Russian-American relations and scholaship is vast--but with people who actually bothered to study and understand the subject of their interest. In the end, as even yesterday's piece by Gvozdev shows, without understanding Russian culture, which is immense, and Russian warfare, both of which are two sides of the same coin, any attempt to "study" Russia in the way she was "studied" for the last 70+ years will end up precisely where they ended up today for the United States--on the brink of war with the nation which will not "stand for the cost" when it fights on its own land. Mr. Gvozdev better start his "cost" analysis with studying a real history of WW II. This is a good primer.

As Father Robert Tobias wrote in his remarkable "Heaven On Earth, A Lutheran-Orthodox Odyssey": When of late in this (American) culture we turned our eyes to divine epiphanies, we perceived only two-dimensionality, not great depth. Perhaps that was provisionally inevitable in a culture dominated by two-dimensional television, movies, billboards, cameras and sports events. (c)  I have a suggestion for those who really want to perceive a real depth--start with dispassionate study of the Soviet WW II and after history, and not just of GULAG. But most importantly--in this century of global communications and travel, go to Russia, and not Moscow or St.Petersburg only, go talk to Russian people, especially those who are in their 40s and 50s (they run the country) and see for yourself why Russia seeks peace, not war and why, after 1000+ years of her history, she will never again fight on her own land. Have a epiphany.       


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