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For many decades the West understood the military threat from Russia,
but underestimated the political and economic threat. Today we can see that
every dimension of threat is beginning to emerge; and Western analysts are
waking up, one by one, to the danger.

On Feb. 26 Jane’s Information Group was calling it “the new Russian
offensive.” According to Jane’s, “events of late have shed a disturbing
light on the tactics and possible goals” of Putin’s Russia. Indications are
strong, says Jane’s, that Moscow is trying to undermine the West, “or is
already establishing forward outposts from which it can more effectively
operate against Western Europe’s interests.”

The movement of nuclear weapons from Russia’s mainland to the
Kaliningrad enclave is one indication. Another indication, says Jane’s, is
the fact that “Russian governmental bodies … have been found to be active
in areas” previously abandoned after the Soviet collapse. For example, the
hand of Russia is obvious in the politics of the Slovak Republic. According
to Jane’s, “The Russian influence is still there … having come to terms
with a changed political environment.”

Jane’s report acknowledges that Russian “tactics are being refined.”
Here we find that mainstream analysts are beginning to admit there’s
something disturbing about Russia’s behavior, and something clever in it.
Not recalling the full context of the Cold War, and the methodology by which
the Kremlin alternates periods of crackdown with periods of liberalization,
these analysts still do not see the overall Russian strategy. Even so, they
have seen enough to worry a little.

With regard to the theory that the Soviet collapse was part of a
KGB-engineered perestroika, as explained before the collapse by KGB defector
Anatoliy Golitsyn, some experts are beginning to discuss Russia in terms that
line up with Golitsyn’s thesis. Journalists are beginning to acknowledge the
Communist Party Soviet Union’s role in the movement of wealth out of Russia,
along with the KGB’s role in directing Russian gangsters. Data points that
were once ignored or brushed under the carpet as inconsistent with a bright
new liberal future for Russia, are now being dragged into the open. The Wall
Street Journal’s March 7 International Commentary piece, entitled “Good
Vibrations,” discusses allegations of Russian nuclear testing under the
Arctic. It seems that U.S. analysts are studying tremors from the region,
which suggest testing in violation of longstanding agreements. “This is the
problem with most arms-control agreements,” the mainstream editorial
complained, “they are either unverifiable or unnecessary.”

At long last we read the truth about Russia and arms control.
Treaties and agreements with this country have usually been a waste of time.
Either we do not need the treaties to begin with, or we cannot verify them
when Moscow cheats. The Wall Street Journal has finally understood the
situation, though U.S. policymakers continue to pretend that the mistakes of
the past were not mistakes (which obligates them to commit further blunders).

The United States has signed many agreements with Russia that have
weakened our overall strategic position. We also know that Russian cheating
continues where chemical, nuclear and biological weapons are concerned. They
have cheated on the ABM Treaty and the INF Treaty. They have cheated on the
so-called “weather war treaty” and on promises to keep the Baltic Sea a
nuclear free zone. The Russians cheat as a matter of course, and they do so
according to Lenin’s dictum that “treaties are like pie crusts, meant to be
broken.”

The idea that Russia has secretly (and cleverly) followed a course
hostile to Western interests throughout the 1990s is still far from
acceptance; but hopefully this will change as the Kremlin slowly puts the
Humpty Dumpty of Soviet Empire back together again. Last week a “Pravda”
headline blared, “Russians Would Vote for Reestablishment of the USSR.”
According to an opinion poll, 79 percent of Russians regret the breakup of
the Soviet Union and 72 percent would vote for its return. This is certainly
a wakeup call which signals a future possibility we are ill prepared to deal
with.

Will the West’s leaders recognize their recent mistakes and change
course in time?

William James once wrote that all new ideas go through three stages.
First, the new idea is ridiculed as absurd; second, it is admitted as true
but insignificant; and third, its true importance is admitted even as those
who previously expressed ridicule and contempt claim credit for discovering
it.

One day soon an army of specialists will declare that a new Cold War
has begun. They will date this new Cold War from some significant decision
or action of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In reality, however, the
previous Cold War never came to a proper end. “Strategic disinformation is a
root cause of the current crisis in Western foreign policies,” wrote Golitsyn
in his 1984 book, “New Lies for Old.” “Even those who recognize the dangers
in disinformation cannot conceive that it can be practiced on so grand a
scale and with a subtlety so disarming.”

Politicians and pundits alike forget that their predecessors were
fooled by the Kremlin again and again — about the NEP in the 1920s, the
terror famine in the 1930s, the liquidation of the Communist International in
the 1940s and the denunciation of Stalin in the 1950s. Every decade has
brought a new occasion to soften our stance toward Moscow. In each instance
our extension of credits and technology to Russia has resulted in the
strengthening of an enemy, not in the strengthening of genuine market reforms
or democracy.

To demonstrate this enmity in vivid terms, consider Moscow’s recent
reaction to the Robert Hanssen spy case. Here we have a leading FBI
counterintelligence expert turning traitor and working for Russia. According
to an article by WorldNetDaily’s Toby Westerman, entitled “Moscow warning
against spy probe,”
Russia’s official media says that a deeper investigation
of the Hanssen case could be dangerous to American security interests.
Moscow has said that “no secrets are worth risking the crucial understanding
and cooperation between the two superpowers.”

What understanding could they be talking about?

Perhaps the Voice of Russia is referring to a misunderstanding which
masquerades as an understanding, whereby we continue to finance Russia’s
military build-up as it pretends to continue with market reforms and
democracy. Therefore Russia’s official line is to denounce what it calls
“recurring bouts of witch hunting and spy scandals” in the U.S.

If Russia wants peace, while America is a warmongering country bent on
global domination, then why is Russia giving all possible assistance to an
Arab dictator — Saddam Hussein — who is determined to unleash nuclear
destruction on his neighbors? As leading Western diplomats publicly fret
about the possible incineration of Israel’s urban heartland by nuclear
attack, Russia continues to send Iraq the weapons for protecting Saddam’s
long range missile brigades from air strikes. According to a DEBKAFile
report of March 6, Russia has been working “to accelerate substantial
deliveries to Baghdad of SA-6 anti-air missiles and advanced radar.”

Deceptive as ever, the Russians have attempted to mask this support
for Saddam Hussein by shipping these war materials by way of Belarus, a
former Soviet country that is ruled by a neo-Stalinist. According to the
DEBKAFile, “These largely concealed movements are symptoms of rising U.S.-Iraqi
tensions. …”

Sorry, DEBKAFile, the aforementioned “concealed movements” are
symptomatic of Russian hostility to U.S. interests. Iraq is merely Moscow’s
means to a far greater end. As the world economy continues into crisis and
the Middle East continues to sizzle, do not be surprised if previously
abandoned communist themes reappear.

Last week Pravda seized the Marxist high ground, crowing about the
collapse of currencies and the possible closing of banks. “As the current
wave of financial instability sweeps through the world’s financial markets,”
noted Pravda, “the victims of the modern economic model start to pay the
price of its essential weakness.”

Is communism about to rise from the dead?

“It is not easy,” wrote KGB defector Golitsyn, “to accept that total,
obsessive commitment to world revolution could survive through sixty years
and then be rekindled with fresh zeal.”

The truth is never easy, but danger signs pointing to Russia’s hostile
intentions are all over the map. Let us hope and pray that our leaders in
Washington will chart a new course and avoid further mistakes.

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