Streetwise Professor

December 16, 2013

Once a Tool, Always a Tool

Filed under: History,Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 7:46 pm

Tom Friedman has always been an apologist for authoritarians (and worse) who never fails an opportunity to take their side against the US, or against those battling authoritarians.  Which is why longtime readers know that I refer to him as Tool Time Tom, because he’s a complete tool.

Case in point: Face the Nation on Sunday, where he made excuses for Putin and sneered at Ukraine and the Czech Republic (h/t @libertylynx).

Full disclosure: I did not watch Face the Nation.  I had something more important to take care of.  Like cleaning the lint trap on my drier.

Regurgitating Putinprop is somewhat of a change for Friedman: he spends most of his time sucking up to the leadership of the PRC.  But the Putin and China upsuckery share the same roots.

The regurgitation of the NATO expansion meme begs a question: just why-oh-why to the Baltics, Poles, Czechs, etc., want to be in NATO?  To carry out their long-term scheme to overturn the injustice of 1612 and realize their ambition to subjugate Russia?  Hardly.  The exact opposite.  Because they want protection against Russian control.  Putin and mouth breathing Russian nationalists are sore because NATO expansion denies them the imperial control they believe their due.  NATO is a shield behind which eastern European nations grope towards a more humane, civil, democratic, and free future, not a sword aimed at Russia.

But Putin can’t tell the difference.  And either can Tom Friedman.

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  1. I cannot disagree with you about Friedman.

    Along those lines, I hope you don’t mind my posting the following – maybe Friedman will read it (I do have permission of the author – it is a letter to the Wall Street Journal)



    Edward Lucas is as insightful and no-nonsense a commentator as one can hope for in Western media. His piece in your December 11 issue, “How the West Lost Ukraine to Putin” is typical. . . except in one critical respect. He states that EU officials “do [not]understand Russia. They missed the fundamental point about Russian foreign policy: To feel secure, Moscow needs a geopolitical hinterland of countries that are economically weak and politically pliable.” This is a siren song that includes such variations on the theme as Russia’s “fear of encirclement”, its “legitimate interest” in its own “backyard,” it’s “sphere of influence” in the post-Soviet space, etc.

    “To feel secure.” From what? Ukraine, 2.5% its size? Russia always was and remains a predator nation. How else did it become the largest country in the world, commandeering 11 time zones and enveloping the entire third of Asia? In the 1890’s, the Russian General Staff conducted a study of Russia’s military campaigns, concluding that between 1700 and 1870, Russia fought 38 wars. Only two were defensive. The colonial empire expanded by an area equal to The Netherlands. On a daily basis. But this was not an empire (and the Soviet “union” that followed) modeled after the relationship between Holland and Aruba or St. Martin. Entire nations succumbed to mass murder, slave ships, atrocities, death marches, war crimes, homicidal russification, recreational torture, assassinations, genocide of all stripes, plunder, predation, experimental executions, gang rape, stupefying terror, thought crime, forced starvation. Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell collapsed into one, vaporizing scores of millions of souls. All locked in a straitjacket of mendacity, duplicity, treachery, and all masked by the hydraulic pressure of an exquisitely refined dezinformatsia, other-worldly in its enormity and effectiveness.

    Mr. Lucas’ statement thus unwittingly reverses cause and effect, recasting the perpetrator as the victim. But not a syllable has issued from Western media about the genocidal conquest that Russia has enforced on a score of non-russian nations, some for centuries. It is they, the former Soviet republics, including the pivotal one, Ukraine, that require and are entitled to feel secure, to international recognition of their “strategic interests” vis a vis their historic tormentor. After all, but for their quitting the Party, the USSR would not have imploded. Rote repetitions about Russia’s “security” are endlessly pernicious because the West, and most especially America, catalyzes Russia’s own propaganda. We blindly fuel a virtual reality; nothing more than a hologram floating in air. It is all the prime exemplar of what the Frenchman Marquis de Custine wrote in the 19th century after visiting the Third Rome: “Russia denies the facts, makes war on the evidence, and wins.”.

    Victor Rud
    Ridgewood, N. J.
    Past Chairman, Ukrainian American Bar Association
    Former Counsel to US delegate to the Madrid
    Helsinki Accords Review Conference
    Harvard College
    Duke Law School

    Comment by elmer — December 16, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

  2. the faces of EuroMaidan – a few pictures in the freezing cold

    The orange helmets are for self-protection, since government thugs have already brutally beaten the protests.

    The sign in the last picture says:

    “freedom or death” and “you can’t break a free people”

    Comment by elmer — December 16, 2013 @ 9:32 pm

  3. @Elmer-Great letter. Thanks for posting it.

    This “Russia needs secure borders” crap is a Stratfor staple. That’s why I stopped subscribing to Stratfor despite their repeated begging for me to resubscribe after the Hammond hack fiasco.

    Hell, even the Arctic isn’t enough of a buffer for them. They claim they have to control it as well. And then, inexorably, as day follows night, they’ll have to annex Canada, because after all it abuts on the Arctic. And you know what’s south of Canada. . .

    Paranoids are never secure. The Russians squat on their dung pile, and imagine everyone wants to take it from them.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — December 16, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

  4. Maybe not so much an apologist..more like a Sandman (

    No doubt Ukraine needs a deep and fundamental political and economical reform. But how on earth it would be possible to take place under the current gang of “leaders” and… (Chic!) with the Kremlin’s “brotherly” guidance and the Ukrainian population deeply fed up with both?! Reminds me of the old joke: “The surgery was a success, but unfortunately the patient died”…and knowing the state of Russian health care…

    Actually, the very same “prescription” a’la Sutela was open for all the former USSR satellites as well as for the Western democracies when the USSR collapsed in 1991. Fortunately back then there was a common will in the West to incorporate these coutries (with overall population much larger than Ukraine) into
    the spectrum of Western democracies even though the financial cost back then seemed to be even much bigger than now. Geopolitics does not end by
    closing eyes… Or does it, mr Sandman?

    Comment by Dixi — December 17, 2013 @ 8:44 am

  5. re: Russia needs secured borders: I think it was the pseudonymous ex GRU Agent Victor Suvorov who pointed out that by any definition a country is surrounded by something, water,ice or land. Given the Russian paranoia, to have a secure border eventually means having no border at all: everything must be under control. Think of it this way, if the Ukraine is secured, what about the threat to “Russia’s” Ukrainian ally from those revanchist Poles? If the Poles are secured, what about those damn Nazi Germans? Let’s not forget about the threat of France – they burned Moscow! And so on and so on.

    So it has almost always been since the rise of Muscovy, aided I am afraid with Eastern orthodox triumphalism (“Moscow is the Third Rome, there will be no Fourth.”). The failure of pseudo sophisticates to even know the basics of history and the dynamics that generated it is flabbergasting.

    Comment by Sotos — December 17, 2013 @ 9:04 am

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