On Christmas Day, 1991, the world watched transfixed as Boris Yeltsin
took to the airwaves to announce, “the Soviet Union, as a matter of law
and geopolitical reality, has ceased to exist.” What a Christmas gift!
The dreaded Russian Bear was dead — long live the new Russian
democracy! But democracy never took root in the former Soviet
republic. We won the Cold War, but we lost Russia. What happened?
The immediate post Soviet era was a watershed moment in history, not
unlike the post-WWI and WWII eras. Following the war, the Allies wanted
to make sure they didn’t repeat the mistakes they made after the first
The peace obtained in 1918 lasted just 20 years. The terms of the
Versailles treaty left a vanquished Germany to fend for itself while
bankrupting its economy to pay enormous war reparations. “To the victor
go the spoils,” went the thinking, and as a consequence, the peace
lasted only as long as Germany’s inability to make war.
At the end of WWII, the Allies embarked on an all-out massive effort
to remove the former enemy’s need to make war. To make war, one
needs enemies. At war’s end, the Allies launched the Marshall Plan,
rebuilding the political, social and economic structures of our former
enemies in our own likeness. Germany and Japan soon embraced democracy
and capitalism because they worked — and the evidence was all
around them. Although West Germany was only a fraction of the former
German state, it soon became an economic powerhouse that was the envy of
its neighbors to the east. Japan’s social structure was transformed into
a modern, Western-style culture.
Allied power won the day on the battlefield, but 1919 proved strength
does not win peace, but rather the temporary absence of war. It
was the Allied enlightened self-interest embodied by the Marshall Plan
that won the enduring peace that survived the last 50 years.
In the case of Russia, Western indifference guaranteed democracy’s
stillbirth, just as the Versailles Treaty guaranteed the rise of fascism
in Europe that culminated in a second European war only two decades
later. The Russians are a tough people, toughened more still by years
of communist domination. Not unlike the German people at the close of
both European wars. Despite 10 years of unpaid wages, disease and
despair, they endure stoically. Russian history is a heroic record of
survival under dictatorial brute.
Russians have never experienced anything like democracy. It is a
nation perpetually conquered and oppressed by its own leaders. The
average Russian has come to expect betrayal and empty promises. But the
Russians remembered the Marshall Plan. They were eyewitnesses to the
twinned powers of capitalism and democracy — they had seen the results
blossom in Germany and Japan. They waited patiently for the Western aid
they truly believed would be forthcoming. Instead of aid helping the
average Russian, Western aid was either diverted to continue developing
Russian weapons of mass destruction, or stolen by a handful of
politicians. They see the West giving them the Russian Mafia instead of
economic help. We exported the worst democracy has to offer — crime,
unemployment and corruption, while keeping its virtues to ourselves.
A decade later, we ask ourselves, who lost Russia? According to
Russia Today, it was the United States, and in particular, the Clinton
administration. Russian news services reported a Congressional
committee’s findings that “President Bill Clinton is in large part to
blame for the political and economic troubles that Russia has
experienced for the past
eight years. Further, “the Russians distrust America more than at any time since the end of the Cold War.” It quoted the congressional report’s conclusion that “one of the reasons is the loss of confidence in U.S. advice and the loss of respect for the U.S. position as identified by our association with corruption.”
Russia of 2000 is a political, economic and social mirror of Germany in the 1920’s. It longs for a return to International respect for its brute power. It blames its poverty on Western indifference and corruption. Social forward movement is stalled. It needs an enemy. The bad old days are looking good, by comparison. Unchecked, history threatens to repeat itself.
The Western victors of the Cold War are behaving the same way their grandfathers did in 1919. We didn’t kill the Russian bear; we just wounded it. After the WWI victory, our flawed diplomacy produced a desperate and angry Germany that embraced Hitler and the Nazis. Today, we are producing a desperate and angry Russian that has a momentous place in Bible prophecy concerning the Last Days. Over 2,600 years ago the Prophet Ezekiel predicted this exact scenario would occur in the Last Days. He foresaw a desperate Russia join forces with nations that are now in the Muslim world and launch a war in the Middle East that will escalate into Armageddon. The current situation appears to be right on track.