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A Foreign Policy of Russophobia

Hopefully, Russians realize that our House of Representatives often passes thunderous resolutions to pander to special interests, which have no bearing on the thinking or actions of the U.S. government.

Last week, the House passed such a resolution 411-10. As ex-Rep. Ron Paul writes, House Resolution 758 is so “full of war propaganda that it rivals the rhetoric from the chilliest era of the Cold War.” H.R. 758 is a Russophobic rant full of falsehoods and steeped in superpower hypocrisy.

Among the 43 particulars in the House indictment is this gem: “The Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Georgia in August 2008.”

Bullhockey. On Aug. 7-8, 2008, Georgia invaded South Ossetia, a tiny province that had won its independence in the 1990s. Georgian artillery killed Russian peacekeepers, and the Georgian army poured in. Only then did the Russian army enter South Ossetia and chase the Georgians back into their own country.

The aggressor of the Russo-Georgia war was not Vladimir Putin but President Mikheil Saakashvili, brought to power in 2004 in one of those color-coded revolutions we engineered in the Bush II decade.

H.R. 758 condemns the presence of Russian troops in Abkhazia, which also broke from Georgia in the early 1990s, and in Transnistria, which broke from Moldova. But where is the evidence that the peoples of Transnistria, Abkhazia, or South Ossetia want to return to Moldova or Georgia?

We seem to support every ethnic group that secedes from Russia, but no ethnic group that secedes from a successor state. This is rank Russophobia masquerading as democratic principle.

What do the people of Crimea, Transnistria, Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Luhansk, or Donetsk want? Do we really know? Do we care?

And what have the Russians done to support secessionist movements to compare with our 78-day bombing of Serbia to rip away her cradle province of Kosovo, which had been Serbian land before we were a nation?

H.R. 758 charges Russia with an “invasion” of Crimea. But there was no air, land, or sea invasion. The Russians were already there by treaty and the reannexation of Crimea, which had belonged to Russia since Catherine the Great, was effected with no loss of life. Compare how Putin retrieved Crimea, with the way Lincoln retrieved the seceded states of the Confederacy—a four-year war in which 620,000 Americans perished.

Russia is charged with using “trade barriers to apply economic and political pressure” and interfering in Ukraine’s “internal affairs.” This is almost comical. The U.S. has imposed trade barriers and sanctions on Russia, Belarus, Iran, Cuba, Burma, Congo, Sudan, and a host of other nations.

Economic sanctions are the first recourse of the American Empire.

And agencies like the National Endowment for Democracy and its subsidiaries, our NGOs and Cold War radios, RFE and Radio Liberty, exist to interfere in the internal affairs of countries whose regimes we dislike, with the end goal of “regime change.”

Was that not the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, along with John McCain, prancing around Kiev, urging insurgents to overthrow the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych? Was Nuland not caught boasting about how the U.S. had invested $5 billion in the political reorientation of Ukraine, and identifying whom we wanted as prime minister when Yanukovych was overthrown?

H.R. 578 charges Russia with backing Syria’s Assad regime and providing it with weapons to use against “the Syrian people.”

But Assad’s principal enemies are the al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, and ISIS. They are not only his enemies, and Russia’s enemies, but our enemies. And we ourselves have become de facto allies of Assad with our air strikes against ISIS in Syria.

And what is Russia doing for its ally in Damascus, by arming it to resist ISIS secessionists, that we are not doing for our ally in Baghdad, also under attack by the Islamic State? Have we not supported Kurdistan in its drive for autonomy? Have U.S. leaders not talked of a Kurdistan independent of Iraq?

H.R. 758 calls the President of Russia an “authoritarian” ruler of a corrupt regime that came to power through election fraud and rules by way of repression. Is this fair, just or wise? After all, Putin has twice the approval rating in Russia as President Obama does here, not to mention the approval rating of our Congress.

Damning Russian “aggression,” the House demands that Russia get out of Crimea, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Transnistria, calls on Obama to end all military cooperation with Russia, impose “visa bans, targeted asset freezes, sectoral sanctions,” and send “lethal … defense articles” to Ukraine.

This is the sort of ultimatum that led to Pearl Harbor.

Why would a moral nation arm Ukraine to fight a longer and larger war with Russia that Kiev could not win, but that could end up costing the lives of ten of thousands more Ukrainians?

Those who produced this provocative resolution do not belong in charge of U.S. foreign policy, nor of America’s nuclear arsenal.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book “The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.” [1] Copyright 2014 Creators.com.

19 Comments (Open | Close)

19 Comments To "A Foreign Policy of Russophobia"

#1 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 9, 2014 @ 1:19 am

The plot thickens.

Though I have to admit that I supported preventing further genocide in in Kosovo, something even the Russians noted was beyond the pale.

#2 Comment By Artur On December 9, 2014 @ 8:25 am

Not bad.
As I can see not all americans lost their heads despite western propaganda.

#3 Comment By Friend On December 9, 2014 @ 9:25 am

boldly and truthfully

#4 Comment By Thinker On December 9, 2014 @ 9:41 am

Someone waked up. Others will do it late on.

#5 Comment By c matt On December 9, 2014 @ 10:34 am

H.R. 758 calls the President of Russia an “authoritarian” ruler of a corrupt regime that came to power through election fraud and rules by way of repression.

They could cut n paste that and replace Russia with USA, and it pretty much sums up the GOP anti-Obama political rhetoric over the past six years. So, no worries Vlad, the GOP says that about the US’s own President on a nearly daily basis.

#6 Comment By steve in ohio On December 9, 2014 @ 4:45 pm

Who were the ten courageous “no’s”?

#7 Comment By ADL On December 9, 2014 @ 5:29 pm

I don’t much understand the practical purpose of ‘House Resolutions’ other than as a communal way for our national blowhards to vent knowing that it’ll make no difference to national policy yet refusing to indulge in such venting could lead to an embarrassing 30 second commercial come re-election day.

I agree, a thoroughly preposterous exercise, this HR 758.

On the other hand, I hope that this silliness doesn’t distract us from the fact that Putin is a loose cannon and becoming increasingly reckless as his state budget that keeps the regime happy continuous to lose a major funding source.

And like he told the EU Commission president a couple months back, his army could control Kiev in a couple weeks if he wanted.

#8 Comment By Miles Pilkington On December 9, 2014 @ 10:15 pm

Buchanan is rather prejudiced in his views, so much so, I daresay no one from a former eastern block country would take this analysis seriously. Ossetia and Abkhazia never “won their independence” from Georgia in the early 1990s any more than the “Donetsk People’s Republic” has won its independence from Ukraine. What fantasy. In answer to his question, “what have the Russians done to support secessionist movements”: a whole lot more than the US has done, even in the Kosovo case. But why should Kosovo be relevant? The argument from hypocrisy is truly the lamest of all. There’s plenty of it on the Russian side in any case. More fantasy: that McCain and Noland orchestrated the Maiden. Pure poppycock. Another: that Yanukovych should still be in power because he was democratically elected. Point of information: he was democratically impeached. Then the final whopper: that keeping the Ukrainians unarmed will save lives. This from a man who argues that gun control laws make citizens less safe? Recent anti-war protests in Russia would suggest that the Russian populace has very little stomach for too many Cargo 200 shipments. The sooner the Ukrainians can get the Russians to that tipping point the more peace there will be in that poor part of the world.

#9 Comment By Dmitri On December 9, 2014 @ 10:23 pm

Bravo!!!

#10 Comment By libertarian jerry On December 10, 2014 @ 1:53 am

As history shows,Pat,when the economy is in a depression as,despite the rhetoric,America is now experiencing the politicians take us to war to take our minds off of our economic woes. America is now searching the world looking for “dragons to slay.” I only hope that our blowhard political “leaders” don’t make a miscalculation and incinerate the world in a nuclear holocaust.

#11 Comment By Markus On December 10, 2014 @ 8:30 am

An empire “needs” its enemies, especially in bad economic times.

#12 Comment By John Sobieski On December 10, 2014 @ 8:30 am

This analysis is flawed in terms of historical fact–we should be forgiven if we were to assume that he got all his from Russia Today– and in terms of attitude–Russia is given every benefit of the doubt, while those who oppose Russia are given none. It is worth remembering that the Russophobia he decries originates in those countries which are right next door to Russia and know it very well.

#13 Comment By Kevin Kendall On December 10, 2014 @ 9:07 am

There is no way the Russians would attack the US Pearl Harbor style as they know they would be annihilated in a week.

It’s one thing to argue that it’s in the US’s best interest not to get involved with the Ukraine situation, quite another to argue that it’s in Ukraine’s best interests to stand down. No Ukrainians would take that message seriously. They’ve been fighting the Russians since long before NATO came along, and they’ll be fighting them long after it’s gone.

#14 Comment By Peter On December 10, 2014 @ 10:42 am

A brilliant piece! Concise and all to the point. Thank you, Mr. Buchanan. So how can one confront the truth spoken? With bold lies, of course, there is no other alternative. I am looking at Miles Pilkington’s comment and marveling at it: he just states things as he pleases, no regard for reality and known facts (my favorite one is about president Yanukovych having been democratically impeached). Oh well. What can I say – thank you, Mr. Buchanan, again, for your voice of reason.

#15 Comment By Miles Pilkington On December 10, 2014 @ 11:55 am

@Peter
I fail to see how what I’ve stated is essentially contrary to fact. But allow me to correct my sloppy use of the word “impeachment.” Yanukovych’s government collapsed; he, the speaker, the interior minister, and several important Party of Regions MPs fled the country with no intention of returning; the Rada resolved that he had unconstitutionally stopped fulfilling his presidential duties; and they called for early elections. All perfectly democratic, legal, and orderly. Or at least as democratic as it gets in the USA.

#16 Comment By Chick Dante On December 10, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

To Steve in Ohio: You can Google the courageous ten who voted against this idiotic resolution but you will find among them both Alan Grayson (D-Orlando), Walter Jones (R-North Carolina) as well as eight other Democrats and Republicans. Good for them!

I regularly criticize Pat Buchanan but not this time. He is right on it. The article, which could have been much longer, failed to mention that the Crimeans voted by a margin of 97% to re-cede sovereignty to Russia while the media, for the most part, continues to (out of laziness or otherwise) repeat the lie that Russia “took” Crimea.

H.R. 758 has gotten little play in the media and less scrutiny for its blatant dishonesty and hypocrisy. I, for one, have concluded that the collapse of the 4th estate may be due to the collapse of the business model which makes publishers, editors and reporters hyper-sensitive to retaining declining subscribers by never being provocative. If so, they have chosen to become irrelevant, instead.

#17 Comment By Majumder On December 10, 2014 @ 1:51 pm

“Those who produced this provocative resolution do not belong in charge of U.S. foreign policy, nor of America’s nuclear arsenal.”

Sir,

Did America’s nuclear arsenals win Cuban missile crisis?

After reading your essay, a question comes to my mind!

Are American Congress-men and -women out of mind or just mind of out?

The fact is: During 60 years of so-called “Cold War” — from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan — American government avoided any kind of armed escalation into actual Hot War with the U.S.S.R.

Now, after wasting FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS in Iraq and Afghanistan within a decade, are American legislators still hell-bent on going to proxy-wars with Russians?

Unbelievable!!!

#18 Comment By Miles Pilkington On December 11, 2014 @ 10:30 pm

@Chick Dante
Would the US peacefully give up southern California if 97% of the local populace voted to “re-cede” sovereignty to Mexico? I don’t think so.

#19 Comment By John G On January 17, 2015 @ 7:10 am

A rare intelligent article on “the West’s” relations with Russia. The Ukraine has always been part of Russia (except for a few Polish and Slovak bits in the west).
I can’t fathom why we are so vile towards Russia. Having just read a book on the first year of the Great War (1914), when Russia was our ally, I noted the hostility to Russia even then. Russia did all the heavy lifting against both Napoleon and Hitler. Our hostility/jealousy seems to go back to the Crimean war and the US has inherited it from the British and French. I think it must be based on envy of Russia’s vast land mass and resources and a desire to maintain a technology gap – presumably (currently) with a view to arms sales and control of energy projects.
It’s a shame the West doesn’t thank Russia for keeping the International Space Station going. Having visited Russia several times I can assure any reader that it is a gracious, friendly, culturally most advanced country and bears no resemblance to the rubbish we are constantly served in our press. I don’t believe we have anything to fear from the Russians. They’d like to be our friends. The Cold War should be over, not being rekindled by “the West”. As Australian I was mortified by our prime minister’s extraordinary insults to the Russian president. And I voted for him!