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Reply #4: The outcry over the state of the Russian military began before Bush II. [View All]

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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-16-08 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. The outcry over the state of the Russian military began before Bush II.
It was there in the early '90s. Along with extreme humiliation and anger that places like Georgia didn't properly respect all the Russian narod had done for them and left them.

"Traitors." "Treachery." "Backstabbing."

Not all Russians think this, by far. Those that immigrate are less likely to think this way; but only "less likely", albeit quite a bit less likely.

A hard core of nationalists do think this way, for all the worst kinds of reasons--"lesser peoples" and that kind of rot. They deny facts, if necessary. Katyn' never happened (I use the Russian form, sorry); many deny the Molotov-von-Ribbentrop pact ever happened. Some believe Stalin was imposed by evil American-European internationalist Jews to punish the Russians and torment them; others believe that the West had a pact with Hitler to punish the Russians, and that's why "we" let Hitler kill Russians, and only interfered once it became clear that the Russian juggernaut had to be stopped.

Some believe it because they dislike "instability", with democracy and uncontrolled liberties being "chaos" (they see eye to eye with the Sa'udis on this point) and in need of being "shepherded"--since they obviously can't run the show themselves. They need a "strong hand" to run things, vol'nost'--one of the Russian words for 'freedom', only sometimes has a positive connotation, often has a wild connotation. "Svoboda"--another word for "freedom"--can be managed. Not only are the Poles and Georgians wild and ungoverned, but they "infect" good Russian areas like some contagion.

Others believe in Russian hegemony and imperialism because of economics--the US's invasion of Guatemala, redux (and defended by "progressives" critically thinking with no facts to base thought upon). It's a kind of Monroe Doctrine, one that "we" can accept because ... I'm not sure why.

Pragmatics seldom enters the equation. Usually people try to find a principle, and I'm not sure there is one that isn't mercenary and tedious.

In any event, Poland's behavior can be seen as motivated by the treatment Russia gave it in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. The tsar's treated it as a their province, with things run in Russian in Warsaw; Lenin had a huge problem with Poland's desire to stop being Russian, and countenanced Budyonnyi's rampage there. The loss of the provinces was a sore point, but they were powerless to do much about it in some cases. When you've lost Siberia and Central Asia and the Ukraine and need to take them back, you focus on core priorities. Poland wasn't "core". And when the USSR *could* do something about it, it was too weak to deal with the Baltics and E. Europe. They had to settle for the Caucasus, the tsar's' old stomping grounds. The Baltics and Poland were *too* free. Then again, they were occupied before Hitler opened the E. front, in 1940. Something usually overlooked--they were occupied to "protect" their populations and make them more "stable", first by having military bases, then an outright occupation.

Stalin lusted after Poland, and had no problem stabbing it in the back in the name of Slavic filial solidarity (as though Stalin were Slavic, right?), then making the country stand up and move West after the war a hundred miles or so to get revenge on Germany. Of course, the ground Poland got had been stripped of everything useful by the Russians, and the Poles were to leave things behind for the Russians. But it was for the Poles' own good. Really. (Ahem.) Khrushchev wasn't nice to Poland in '56, neither was Brezhnev. Putin's buddy, Lukashenka, treats ethnic Poles in Belorus' like a 5th column in the lands they've lived on for centuries.

And they're supposed to *like* Russia? Poland's dislike for Russia is a new thing, existing only after 2001? Russia's behavior--long term, and accompanied by seething on the part of many in the 1990s (note: pre-Bush II) and calls for revanchement--is due to *?

I want to believe, really. I want to. Maybe if you club me over the head with a big stick a few dozen times it'll help.
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