The Phaserl


Why Russia Resents Us

by Patrick J. Buchanan, Lew Rockwell:

Friday, a Russian SU-27 did a barrel roll over a U.S. RC-135 over the Baltic, the second time in two weeks.

Also in April, the U.S. destroyer Donald Cook, off Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, was twice buzzed by Russian planes.

Vladimir Putin’s message: Keep your spy planes and ships a respectable distance away from us. Apparently, we have not received it.

Friday, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work announced that 4,000 NATO troops, including two U.S. battalions, will be moved into Poland and the Baltic States, right on Russia’s border.

“The Russians have been doing a lot of snap exercises right up against the border with a lot of troops,” says Work, who calls this “extraordinarily provocative behavior.”

But how are Russian troops deploying inside Russia “provocative,” while U.S. troops on Russia’s front porch are not? And before we ride this escalator up to a clash, we had best check our hole card.

Germany is to provide one of four battalions to be sent to the Baltic.

But a Bertelsmann Foundation poll last week found that only 31 percent of Germans favor sending their troops to resist a Russian move in the Baltic States or Poland, while 57 percent oppose it, though the NATO treaty requires it.

Last year, a Pew poll found majorities in Italy and France also oppose military action against Russia if she moves into Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia or Poland. If it comes to the war in the Baltic, our European allies prefer that we Americans fight it.

Asked on his retirement as Army chief of staff what was the greatest strategic threat to the United States, Gen. Ray Odierno echoed Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, “I believe that Russia is.”

He mentioned threats to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine.

Yet, when Gen. Odierno entered the service, all four were part of the Soviet Union, and no Cold War president ever thought any was worth a war.

The independence of the Baltic States was one of the great peace dividends after the Cold War. But when did that become so vital a U.S. interest we would go to war with Russia to guarantee it?

Putin may top the enemies list of the Beltway establishment, but we should try to see the world from his point of view.

When Ronald Reagan met Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik in 1986, Putin was in his mid-30s, and the Soviet Empire stretched from the Elbe to the Bering Strait and from the Arctic to Afghanistan.

Russians were all over Africa and had penetrated the Caribbean and Central America. The Soviet Union was a global superpower that had attained strategic parity with the United States.

Now consider how the world has changed for Putin, and Russia.

By the time he turned 40, the Red Army had begun its Napoleonic retreat from Europe and his country had splintered into 15 nations.

By the time he came to power, the USSR had lost one-third of its territory and half its population. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan were gone.

The Black Sea, once a Soviet lake, now had on its north shore a pro-Western Ukraine, on its eastern shore a hostile Georgia, and on its western shore two former Warsaw Pact allies, Bulgaria, and Romania, being taken into NATO.

For Russian warships in Leningrad, the trip out to the Atlantic now meant cruising past the coastline of eight NATO nations: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Great Britain.

Putin has seen NATO, despite solemn U.S. assurances given to Gorbachev, incorporate all of Eastern Europe that Russia had vacated, and three former republics of the USSR itself.

He now hears a clamor from American hawks bring three more former Soviet republics — Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine — into a NATO alliance directed against Russia.

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1 comment to Why Russia Resents Us

  • rich

    Bloomberg Tells Michigan Grads They Must Defeat Bernie’s Plan to Jail Wall Street FelonsBy William K. Black
    May 2, 2016 Bloomington, MN

    Michael Bloomberg has just published, in Bloomberg, what he describes as “an adaptation of an address to the University of Michigan’s class of 2016.” Having graduated twice from Michigan, as did our eldest, I was intrigued. Bloomberg’s title was “Here’s Your Degree. Now Go Defeat Demagogues.” What Bloomberg means is that he is frightened that so many young people supported the “Occupy Wall Street” movement and support Bernie Sanders. I’ve written before about Bloomberg, a Wall Street billionaire, and the myths he tries to spread about Bernie. Wall Street elites fear Bernie. They know he won’t take their money, he will end the systemically dangerous banks, and he will imprison their leading felons. Bloomberg’s hate for, and fear of, Bernie is perfectly rational. Why he thinks that Michigan students will take his advice and learn to love Wall Street’s felons is a lot less clear.

    Bloomberg conflates Trump attacking Mexicans as rapists and Muslims as terrorists with Bernie promising to prosecute elite Wall Street felons for their crimes and have the wealthy pay taxes far lower than they paid under President Eisenhower.

    Our country is facing serious and difficult challenges. But rather than offering realistic solutions, candidates in both parties are blaming our problems on easy targets who breed resentment. For Republicans, it’s Mexicans here illegally and Muslims. And for Democrats, it’s the wealthy and Wall Street. The truth is: We cannot solve the problems we face by blaming anyone.

    In context, Bloomberg’s advice to students to “defeat” any elected official who would hold Wall Street’s felons accountable for their crimes is even more incoherent than it appears on its face. Indeed, I will show why this is so in three different contexts.

    The Context of Bloomberg’s Speech

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