The Regime in Washington is the only government asserting the supposed right to carry out summary executions anywhere on the face of the globe, so we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that it also claims the right to impose “sanctions” on foreign citizens who publicly criticize it. On March 11, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added Russian academic Alexander Dugin to its roster of “individuals and entities to be sanctioned over Russia’s interference in Ukraine.”
This decree means that any property belonging to Dugin that is within reach of the Soyuz (aka the country formerly known as the United States of America) is subject to forfeiture, and US citizens who do business with the professor will face criminal prosecution under the Trading with the Enemy Act.
What did Dugin – a so-called “mad professor” who will inevitably be portrayed on film by Russell Crowe -- do that merits this designation? He holds no government position, nor is he the chieftain of a private criminal syndicate. Dugin, an outspoken Russian nationalist, has been depicted as a species of terrorist – the intellectual leader of a “revisionist” movement in Russia.
It is his use of the written and spoken word that provoked the outrage of the Trotskyites controlling Washington’s war-making apparatus. Dugin’s heretical rejection of Washington’s imperial rule-set made him “one of the most dangerous people on the planet,” according to noted geostrategic analyst Glenn Beck.
In other words, Dugin – a citizen of a country with which the United States is not formally at war – was targeted for economic punishment as a thought criminal. He should consider himself fortunate that he hasn’t yet been targeted for a drone strike.
According to the OFAC, sanctions against Dugin and a dozen other figures were necessary in order to “hold accountable those responsible for violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
If that were the objective, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s name would be at the top of the index of proscribed persons. A little more than a year ago, some might recall, Nuland was caught in the act of plotting to unseat Ukraine’s elected president and install a junta that would take dictation from Washington and the IMF.
Nuland has apologized to EU leaders about whom she made disparaging remarks during the intercepted phone call with US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt – thereby acknowledging the authenticity of the recording. She has never apologized, to say nothing of being held accountable, for her role in violating “Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
It appears that those in charge of the Regime, like their Soviet forebears, employ “Aesopian language” in their public pronouncements about foreign policy, much as Soviet ruler Leonid Brezhnev did in the September 1968 address outlining the doctrine that bore his name.
“Without question, the peoples of the socialist countries and the Communist parties have and must have freedom to determine their country’s path of development,” explained Brezhnev in a sentence pregnant with the word “however.”
“Any decisions they make, however” – there it is! – “must not be harmful either to socialism in their own country or to the fundamental interests of other socialist countries…. Whoever forgets this in giving exclusive emphasis to the autonomy and independence of Communist parties is guilty of a one-sided approach, and of shirking their internationalist duties…. The sovereignty of individual socialist countries cannot be set against the interests of world socialism and the world revolutionary movement.”
On this principle, Brezhnev insisted, the August 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, in which hundreds were killed and a reformist government was destroyed, was not a violation of that country’s “socialist sovereignty,” but rather an enhancement thereof.
The ruling elite in Washington and the EU see developments in Ukraine in the same light. The coup that ousted the country’s elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, was a responsible exercise in “internationalism”; the plebiscite that led to Crimean secession, by way of contrast, was an offense against the “world revolutionary movement” that must be punished through mass bloodshed.
Brezhnevite language was recited by US Commissar for War Chuck Hagel during a surrealistic speech last October in which he claimed that the US and NATO “must deal with a revisionist Russia – with its modern and capable army – on NATO’s doorstep.”
Rear Admiral John Kirby was given the unpalatable task of defending Hagel’s statement when asked about it by AP reporter Matt Lee.
“Is it not logical to look at this and say – the reason why Russia’s army is at NATO’s doorstep is because NATO has expanded, rather than Russia expanding?” a composed and visibly disgusted Lee asked of Kirby, whose twitchiness and flop sweat summoned inevitable comparisons to Nathan Thurm, the pathologically dishonest lawyer played by Martin Short.
“I think that’s the way President Putin probably looks at it – it is certainly not the way we look at it,” oozed Kirby by way of a non-reply.
“You don’t think that NATO has expanded eastward towards Russia?” Lee wearily persisted.
“NATO has expanded,” Kirby grudgingly admitted, before trying to deflect the conversation toward Russia’s supposed transgressions.
“It wasn’t NATO that was ordering tons of tactical battalions and army to the Ukraine border,” Kirby declared.
|...Kirby's Spirit Animal, Nathan Thurm.
“I am pretty sure that Ukraine is not a member of NATO – unless that’s changed,” Lee pointed out, while trying, without success, to get Kirby to admit the obvious fact that “You are moving closer to Russia and you’re blaming the Russians for being close to NATO.”
Kirby began his exercise in baroque double-speak saying that Russia’s “intentions and motives” displayed an effort to call back “the glory days of the Soviet Union.” He ended by accusing Russia of aggression by moving troops within its own borders in response to US-abetted violence within a neighboring country.
There is nothing novel about Soviet-grade semantic engineering of this kind by a Pentagon spokesliar. In a November 2005 press conference, Donald Rumsfeld, who at the time was Chief Commissar for Aggression and Occupation -- or, as the position is more commonly known, Secretary of Defense – described what he called an “epiphany” regarding the resistance to the Regime’s humanitarian errand in Iraq.
“This is a group of people who don’t merit the word `insurgency,’ I think,” Comrade Rumsfeld pontificated. “I think that you can have a legitimate insurgency in a country that has popular support and has a cohesiveness and has a legitimate gripe. This people don’t have a legitimate gripe.”
This, too, was a familiar theme in Brezhnev-era official cant: Once the forces of “progress” have taken control of a country, all resistance is “counter-revolutionary,” because nobody could have a legitimate grievance.
How, then, were the Iraqi guerillas to be described, since the term “insurgents” was forbidden? Shortly before leaving for a scandal-abbreviated term as head of the World Bank, Rumsfeld’s deputy Paul Wolfowitz employed the orthodox Marxist expression “forces of reaction” to describe those ungrateful Iraqis who had taken up arms against the radiant forces of democratic liberation.
Language of this kind has a familiar odor to Russian nationalists like Dugin, who displays no nostalgia for the Soviet Union into which he was born in 1962.
“We distinguish between two different things: the American people and the American political elite,” Dugin explained a year ago in a “Letter to the American People on Ukraine.” “We sincerely love the first and we profoundly hate the second.”
“The American people [have their] own traditions, habits, values, ideals, options and beliefs that are their own,” he continues. “These grant to everybody the right to be different, to choose freely, to be what one wants to be and can be or become. It is a wonderful feature. It gives strength and pride, self-esteem and assurance. We Russians admire that.”
Unfortunately, Dugin continues, the American political elite have their own version of the Brezhnev Doctrine under which respect for “diversity” is limited by the “international obligations” imposed by the Empire.
“The American political elite, above all on an international level, act quite contrary to [American] values,” Dugin asserts. “They insist on conformity and regard the American way of life as something universal and obligatory.”
Most Americans, Dugin correctly surmises, “sincerely think that the Russian nation was born with Communism, with the Soviet Union. But that is a total misconception. We are much older than that. The Soviet period was just a short epoch in our long history. We existed before the Soviet Union and we are existing after the Soviet Union.”
Ukraine, from Dugin’s perspective, is defined by a “multiplicity of identities,” the most important of which, to him, is Kiev’s role in the “genesis” of the Russian people. Eastern and western Ukraine, he contends, is historically and culturally part of “Greater Russia.” Contemporary Kiev and the western section of the country are more congenial to the West.
Apart from the ideological demands (and crony capitalist interests) of Washington and the EU, there is no reason why Ukraine cannot peacefully devolve into two or more political entities. The alternative is continuing, and escalating, the US-abetted civil war that increasingly appears to be a preliminary round in what could become a direct military conflict between Washington and Moscow.
“We have no thoughts of, or desire to, hurt America,” Dugin insists. “You want to be free. You and all others deserve it. But what the hell are you doing in the capital of ancient Russia, Victoria Nuland? Why do you intervene in our domestic affairs?... Any honest American calmly studying the case will arrive at the conclusion: `Let them decide for themselves. We are not similar to these strange and wild Russians, but let them go their own way. And we are going to go our own way.’”
Merely to suggest such a non-interventionist posture, Brezhnev’s disciples in Washington would object, is to “shirk our internationalist duties.”
“The American political elite has another agenda,” Dugin correctly observes. It is “to provoke wars, to mix in regional conflicts, to incite the hatred of different ethnic groups. The American political elite sacrifices the American people to causes that are far from you, vague, uncertain, and finally very, very bad…. They lie about us. And they lie about you. They give you a distorted image of yourself. The American political elite has stolen, perverted and counterfeited the American identity. And they make us hate you and they make you hate us.”
Dugin offers an alternative approach:
“Let us hate the American political elite together. Let us fight them for our identities – you for the American, us for the Russian, but the enemy in both cases is the same, the global oligarchy who rules the world using you and smashing us. Let us revolt. Let us resist. Together. Russians and Americans. We are the people. We are not their puppets.”
Sober and responsible people might find elements of Dugin’s worldview – and some of his past associations -- troubling or even repellent while finding his prognosis of current affairs to be sound and compelling.
One need not endorse what Dugin would like to build in his own country in order to appreciate the truths he tells about the people who are orchestrating a war that could destroy both our country and his. And the means used to criminalize Dugin for giving voice to impermissible thoughts is irrefutable proof that Washington, not Moscow, is home to the true heirs of Lenin’s totalitarian vision.
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Dum spiro, pugno!