November 22, 2017
MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey
The “Russians Did It!” Canard is Alive—Like Frankenstein’s Monster, It Won’t Go Away
I have written so much about the “Russians Did it!” narrative over the past ten months or so, that I am surprised that I’ve not been summoned by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Clinton-donating investigative attorneys or minions of Senator Richard Burr’s senate committee to find out if I have received any fat money transfers from some Kremlin bank for services rendered! I exaggerate, of course. But the simple fact is that, without doubt, the topic Russia and its supposed “meddling in our elections” has become an incendiary centerpiece in American domestic politics, not just an issue of our foreign relations.
Actually, I began researching current Russo-American relations and the nature of post-Soviet Russia for a number of years beginning in the late 1990s. I recall coming across University of Virginia professor Allen Lynch’s superb study, Vladimir Putin and Russian Statecraft, back in 2011. It was an eye-opening account, based on years of serious investigation, research and analysis by a specialist in Russian history. It wasn’t a leftist screed or brittle propaganda, just a straightforward and evenhanded examination of the man that so many Leftists and establishment “movement (neo) conservatives” and their organs of opinion have come to warmly hate.
Then there were works by my friend James Madison University professor Lee Congdon on George Kennan, and Professor John Garrard’s impressive study, Russian Orthodoxy Resurgent, and Professor Michael Stuermer’s Putin and the Rise of Russia, not to mention the favorable observations of the Reverend Franklin Graham and Patrick Buchanan. These were sources of impeccable integrity and solid scholarship, authors I trusted and whose observations were credible.
Why, then, was it that so many so-called “conservatives” seemed to detest that man in the Kremlin? Why the continuing—and totally false—accusation that he “continues to be a KGB agent” (per John McCain) when that charge has been totally debunked? (Lynch, p.34) Why the belief that he coddles “oligarchs” and has “enriched himself at the expense of Russia”? (Lynch, pp. 33, 35) Why the continually trotted out trope that “he wants to restore the Soviet Union,” when, once again, that quote and such accusations are easily disproven (See , New York, 2000, pp. 165-190)? Are these only leftover remnants of a worn-out ideological Cold Warrior anti-Communism that somehow has metamorphosized into genuine Russophobia—even after the final, ignominious death throes of Soviet Communism in August 1991 (in which Putin, ironically, had been a critical player)?
Much of the answer, certainly for the internationalist-minded Neoconservatives, had to do with their fervent ideological commitment to a zealous and imperious American globalism and a belief in what they termed (to employ Charles Krauthammer’s phrase) “universal human rights, equality and liberal democracy.” And that template, that model, they asserted, was universally and everywhere applicable, no matter a country’s history or traditions, or legitimate capacities for American-style democracy. In his volume, The Closing of the American Mind, Allan Bloom summed this view up succinctly: “And when we Americans speak seriously about politics, we mean that our principles of freedom and equality and the rights based on them are rational and everywhere applicable.” And any country—“those who do not accept those principles”—will be “forced…to do so,” a process Bloom calls an “educational experiment.” (See Paul Gottfried, War and Democracy, p. 110)
Since 2016, in particular since the Clinton campaign, its surrogates and the Mainstream Media decided on the convenient “Russians Did It!” strategy to both explain away an incompetent presidential campaign’s failings (See the revelatory book, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, by Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen) and to use the same line of assault to undermine, possibly unseat President Trump, the American Left has, as if on the “Road to Damascus,” been converted lock-stock-and-barrel to an even more vigorous—and unhinged—Russophobia than that professed by the Neocons. And the sight of so many former apologists for Soviet Communism in an incestuous relationship with supposed “conservatives” on the object of their shared hatred is truly remarkable.
Of course, although sharing a common object of their loathing—a common “Russians Did It!” narrative—the Neocons and more openly Leftist voices make different uses of the meme and have different reasons for doing so: either those evil Russians were colluding with Trump to defeat Clinton, or those evil Russians were actually in league with the Clintons to get American uranium and have a major voice in American business. Either way, the “Russians Did It!” template is maintained…with the John McCains and Lindsay Grahams in the Republican leadership being joined by fearsome Marxist Democrats to insist that “America has been attacked,” and that we need to take strong and offensive action…even military measures. McCain even seems to lust after armed conflict. The times are darker, says former McCain foreign policy advisor and zealous Neocon anti-Trumper, Max Boot, “than any time since Munich in 1938!”
Perhaps we should all go out and feverishly dig backyard bomb shelters like some of our neighbors did back during the Cuban Missile Crisis or the shoot down of Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 spy plane in 1960? Better, perhaps we should all go back and re-watch that 1997 black comedy of political deception and attempted distraction, “Wag the Dog”?
What is apparent is that both the Neocon punditry and their political epigones in the GOP, and the American Left and their voices in the media and Democratic Party, are essentially a Janus-faced manifestation of an intense hostility—and fear—of a post-Communist, nationalist and increasingly conservative and religious Russia. It is a Russia that refuses to take dictation from the international Deep State, that has expelled the minions and NGOs [non-governmental organizations] controlled by George Soros, that has rejected both the economic tutelage of and subservience to Bruxelles, Wall Street and Washington, that has “restricted” the freedom of homosexual activists and proselytization (obviously a violation of “human rights”), that refuses same sex marriage, and that has in large part returned to its traditional religious Orthodox faith.
Against the onrushing forces of globalism and of what is dishonestly and fraudulently called “liberal democracy,” that Russia cannot—must not—be allowed to stand.