Seventy-Four Years of Soulless Russians
Why are US leaders still stoking hostilities with Russia?
Deeply as I despise Trump, he wasn’t wrong about everything. He was wrong about almost everything, and approached the things he was right about in all the wrong ways. But when it comes to something like the idea that it would be a positive thing to have good relations with Russia, he wasn’t wrong. Whatever his self-serving motivations, and his pathetically obsequious way of going about it, it would be a better thing to count Russia as an ally rather than an adversary.
Biden recently spoke to Putin and later stated that Putin is a killer and that he has no soul. Both are sentiments that have been made by powerful Americans before, from the detestable Bill O’Reilly to the less detestable Hillary Clinton. For decades, from right after World War 2 ended, when the US and Russia were allies and the Russians arguably did the lionshare of beating the Nazis (and suffered far more from the war), Russia has been treated as an enemy. For a long time it was because of the dubious threat of Soviet Communism spreading and overtaking the world, and in recent years they’ve been most consistently castigated for hiring internet trolls to post false, misleading, or accurate but unfavorable information on social media and thus “attacking our democracy.”
Unless there’s actual evidence of agents of the Russian government tampering with our election results or our infrastructure, or some other aspect of US society that is of actual serious consequence, all the catastrophizing exaggerations about Russia attacking our elections or our country as a whole are unjustified, unproductive, and dangerous.
Apart from a great fondness for Dostoyevsky, Tchaikovsky, and Regina Spektor, and an attraction to quite a few women of Russian origin, I don’t have any particular pro-Russian leanings. It has a complex and problematic history and a lot of problems today, like every country. It’s had some truly shitty leaders, like every country. I certainly have no pro-Putin leanings. I believe Putin is a corrupt, malicious, self-serving, smug asshole who is responsible for crimes and violations of human rights committed against his own people and those of other nations. The same can be said of US leaders, and leaders the world over. Fuck Putin and all the rest of them. The US government’s hostile attitude towards Putin and Russia in general is not for the actually valid moral reasons (despite rhetoric proclaiming so, because we have little highground to stand on there), it’s because they’re an adversary. They’re an adversary because they don’t bow to US supremacy, attempting to compete economically and militarily (fights in which they’re drastically outmatched), and in exerting international influence. They can’t beat us, but nor are they easily beaten, and that drives US imperialists crazy.
Russian governments, including its current one, have done terrible things. But to isolate them as being uniquely terrible is disingenuous. Many countries’ governments have done comparable things, including our own.
Our leaders act furious when Russia exerts influence over other countries and annexes adjacent territories, despite the entirety of our land having been stolen, conquered, annexed. From the first thirteen colonies and western expansion, to the Mexican-American war, our seizing of territories like the Philippines, Guam, and Puerto Rico, our perpetual invasions into different countries and our sustained military presence on bases, in the sky, and in the oceans all over the world, we’re really punching down when we revile another country for aggressive expansionism.
Putin’s Russia has killed their enemies and traitors, and so have we. What do people think the CIA is? When Hillary Clinton said that, as a former KGB agent, “Putin has no soul,” she might as well have been saying the same of anyone who’s ever been a member of the CIA, an agency responsible for wars, coups, assassinations, and countless deaths abroad; or the FBI, an agency responsible for similar offenses on US soil; and every other US “defense” and “intelligence” agency. If US leaders want to be honest and say that they’ll do whatever immoral shit is in their interest at the expense of us as citizens and others abroad, that would be one thing, by the hypocrisy and sanctimony of denying their crimes while decrying those of others is absurd.
What is the end goal of demonizing Russia?
Worst case scenario: we end up in a war with them. Not the proxy wars of the “Cold” war that ravaged other nations, but full on war with one another, which at its peak could result in global annihilation.
Best case scenario: I guess with enough sanctions, subterfuge, sabotage, and espionage, we bring down the Russian republic in the way we led the charge in bringing down the Soviet Union. We cause the people of Russia to suffer at greater scale than most of their leaders, install a puppet government for a period, and then when that fails a new movement and leader rises, one perhaps worse than its predecessor, and justifiably embittered at the US for its attacks and interventions.
There is no positive outcome. Acting “tough on Russia” only fuels tensions and ultimately harms both sides.