As I set my foot on the American soil, I was delighted to read Professor Gary Saul Morson’s outstanding review of Solzhenitsyn’s “March 1917”, the third and last part of Solzhenitsyn’s majestic “The Red Wheel” trilogy about Russia’s downfall, finally published in the US.[i] “In Russia, history is too important to leave to the historians,” writes Morson. “As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn explained in his 1970 Nobel Prize lecture, literature transmits “condensed and irrefutable human experience” in a form that “defies distortion and falsehood. Thus literature . . . preserves and protects a nation’s soul.”
In truth, the Horrorcost of the Bolshevik totalitarian rule for the Russians, Ukrainians, Jews, Muslims, Christians and all Non-Bolsheviks by far exceeds anything what the accolades of the Jewish Holocaust during WWII could master. Above all, it was not the Germans exterminating Jews and other “racial inferiors” during a fierce war, but Jews and Russians killing Jews and Russians—and all other—deviant from the Party Line. The bosses of the GULAG, often Jewish, were killing the “Trotskists,” “Zionists” and other former comrades because the “party line” kept on changing. This made Vasily Grossman ( 1905 –1964), a Soviet (Jewish) writer, wander in his proscribed novel Life and Fate (1960): Was Marxist “class struggle” morally superior to the Nazi race war? Grossman’s novel waited twenty years before being published in 1980 abroad.[iii]
Most recently, Dmitry Bykov, the famed Russian poet and literary critic, speculated that “Hitler would have won over more in the USSR if he'd dropped the Antisemitism.” Remarkably, after a huge “patriotic” uproar, the lawyers decided that Bykov’s remarks do not constitute “disrespect for society” or “profanity against Russia’s military glory.” It was a huge victory for the freedom of speech in Putin’s Russia. Bykov was also off the hook for “rehabilitating Nazism,” disappointing those who were convinced that Bykov had crossed the line. (Meduza, 5 March 2019).[iv] An admirer of Solzhenitsyn, Bykov wrote a brilliant article about the failure of modern Russian nationalists to understand either Solzhenitsyn or Dostoevsky.[v]
On March 29 I had a breakfast with Jon Utley in Washington Harbor. The publisher of The American Conservative, Jon has been a peace-maker and my personal friend since the 1990s. In 2005, I helped him find out what happened to his Russian father Arkady Berdichevsky, a Soviet trade mission official, who was arrested alleged for “Trotskitst” sympathies in Moscow in 1936 when Jon was 2 year old. He got a “light” 3-year sentence. But then all correspondence with Freda Utley, Jon’s mother, stopped. As it turned out, Arkady was sent to a GULAG camp in Vorkuta, re-tried there for organizing a hunger strike and sentenced to die. We found a general location of mass executions site where he was executed along with hundreds of others in March of 1938. You may want to read my article about Jon[vi] or see Documentary: Return to the Gulag: Jon Utley’s Search for His Father.[vii]
Learning of my forthcoming trip to California, Jon Utley asked me to give his warmest to Ron Unz, who preceded him as the publisher of The American Conservative and now publishes The Unz Review, one of the best alternative web-zine in the country.
On March 29, I visited the Library of Congress to hand a number of books to Grant Harris, a former graduate student of mine at the Monterey (now Middlebury) Institute of International Studies and now the head of the LOC’s European Division. Several books were from a Russian professor and Solzhenitsyn scholar from Krasnoyarsk University whom I had met during Solzhenitsyn’s Centennial Conference at Northern Vermont University in September 2018.
[ii] (“Solzhenitsyn’s cathedrals” by Gary Saul Morson | The New Criterion. Vol. 37, No. 8 / April 2019).
[iii] About Grossman’s novel read https://www.thenation.com/article/maximalist-vasily-grossman/
The above is from the article “Russia’s Mission” by Professor NICOLAI N. PETRO, my former colleague at the Monterey (now Middlebury) Institute of International Studies. He has been one of the most perceptive and honest observer of Russia-US relations. He sees “Russia’s Mission” in President Putin’s efforts to engage his NATO opponents in “civilizational realism” in the hope to “forge a new and more ‘congenial’ world order”. (NOV 14, 2018).[i]
Arriving at San Francisco on March 30, I called Ron Unz. Upon receiving Utley’s greetings from Washington, he kindly invited me and my daughter Vera for a lunch at Jing-Jing Chinese restaurant in Palo Alto. Based on a number of his articles, including the one stressing the support of Jewish American bankers for the Bolshevik revolution, I had already welcomed him as one of RAGA authors.[ii] ().
Now in front of me sat an introspective, polite, almost shy man eager to listen and understand rather than talk and blame anyone. We agreed the surest way for the United States to survive as a viable democracy and a beacon of hope for the downtrodden is not to force “democracy” on others but start by respecting their sovereignty. Domestically, let people of different persuasions engage in a friendly dialog. Be they Conservative or Liberal, Right or Left, Capitalist or Socialist—as long as they eschew violent, vile and offensive means of propagating their ideas—all are welcome.
[i] Petro’s article https://jia.sipa.columbia.edu/online-articles/russias-mission
It just crossed my mind that one of Jon Utley’s close associates, the Austrian philosopher Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909 – 1999) suspected, as the ancient Greeks did, that DEMOCRACIES have the tendency to degenerate into a mob rule and tyranny. His self-description as a "conservative arch-liberal" may sound self-contradictory, but actually is not. The best ways to preserve the foundations of civil order in the world is not forcing “democracy” on the “benighted” nations but rather, while respecting their sovereignty, show them the advantages of liberal attitude toward censorship and human rights. A polyglot who mastered several languages, Kuehnelt-Leddihn exerted considerable influence on the conservatives in the USA. See Lee Congdon’s article “Kuehnelt-Leddihn and American Conservatism”.[ii]
The conservatives, like Utley, Kuehnelt-Leddihn or Unz should not be confused with their opposites, the aggressive and dogmatically pro-Zionist Neo-Cons. According to Wikipedia, the ascendance of the Neo-Cons in US foreign policy has to do with The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a think tank founded in 1997 in Washington by William Kristol and Robert Kagan under the motto: "American leadership is good both for America and for the world."[iii]
However, in a bold 2006 article “The Israeli Lobby” (later a book, The Israeli Lobby and US Foreign Policy) Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt traced the origin of anthe Neo-Cons to an earlier event. In 1996 a group led by Richard Perle submitted to Benjamin Netanyahu, the then Prime Minister of Israel, a report titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm. The insisted on a new approach to solving Israel's security problems in the Middle East via a propaganda campaign to emphasize Israel’s affinity with "Western values." The report pushed an aggressive policy, including the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and dismantling of Syria by proxy warfare. Thus, at least since 1996, the US global strategy has been in alliance with and—some would say—subordinated to Israel’s security needs as perceived by the right wing Zionists.
My next appointment was an April 5, 2019 radio interview with Dr. Kevin Barrett about Solzhenitsyn, Gandhi, and Peace in the World https://kevinbarrett.heresycentral.is/tag/vladislav-krasnov/ Kevin is an American dissident and former university professor who lost his job for sticking to the “irreverent” view that 9/11 was an inside job for mobilizing public opinion in favor of US military offensive in the Middle East, North Africa, and vis-à-vis Russia. My interview followed that with Richie Allen, a popular Irish radio show host opposing censorship in UK. [iv]
The key note for my own 2nd hour interview- Listen HERE - with Kevin was Solzhenitsyn’s prophetic utterance:
There is no need to text the radio voice. But a brief overview might save your time. Kevin and I started with my book Russia Beyond Communism: A Chronicle of National Rebirth written when I was still professor of The Monterey Institute. Appearing just before the end of the USSR in 1991, the book was not only predictive of--but also aimed at preparing both American and Russian public opinion for-- the emergence of a New Russia. In fact, I presented a copy to Boris Yeltsin right after he had squashed the August 19, 1991 Communist coup attempt and replaced the Red Flag of Communism with Russia’s national tricolor.
Solzhenitsyn was also important as I employed his polyphonic method in selecting authors of different persuasions. In the subtitle I used “National”, not “nationalist”, rebirth. This is because “nationalist” smacks of possible xenophobic and chauvinistic tendency which Solzhenitsyn and the majority of my authors deplored. If they were “nationalist”, it was only in a positive sense of adhering to the best of national traditions. The majority of my authors favored a national, now I would say identitarian alternative to Communism--that is restoring Russia’s traditional pre-1917 national identity, her historical roots, religious beliefs and customs--to replace the official Marxism-Leninist ideology which by 1991 seemed to have fallen into a coma. Having returned to Russia in 1994, Solzhenitsyn refused to support Boris Yeltsin and the “shock therapy” reforms that brought the country on the brink of anarchy and civil war. Only with the 1998 ascent of Yevgeny Primakov as Prime-Minister and then Vladimir Putin as President did Solzhenitsyn feel reassured that Russia has regained its national sovereignty.
During these post-Soviet years I found myself in agreement with Solzhenitsyn’s dissatisfaction with Yeltsin’s government. Having moved from California to Washington DC, I founded the Russia & America Good Will Association (RAGA.org) to help overcome an enormous cultural gap between the USA and post-Soviet Russia still plagued by the vestiges of Soviet mentality. My chief advantage was the familiarity with both, plus my ability to travel back and forth, as well as across the States, often as a contract interpreter for the USDS.
As RAGA president, I tried to help A New Russia get on her feet.
* In March 1998, published in The Washington Post a paid ad with the greeting to Russia’s Prime-Minister Yevgeni Primakov when he turned his plane back when the US had started bombing Yugoslavia;
* In March 1999, wrote an Open Letter to Bill Clinton protesting US interference in Russian reforms; it was signed by over a hundred American experts http://www.raga.org/news/raga-open-letter-to-clinton;
* In 2001, warned “Don’t Count Russia Out,” in a polemical article welcoming Vladimir Putin’s assertion of Russia’s sovereignty; http://www.raga.org/dont_count.html
* In 2008, I wrote a comprehensive article Did Shock Therapy Help Russia?, describing the collusion between of the Gaidar-Chubais group in Russia and the Harvard clique of Andrei Shleifer and Jonathan Hay, who got the contract on doing reforms in Russia without competitive bidding. As the two got involved in illegal investments, Harvard University was forced to pay the largest penalty in its history. In my research I was greatly helped by Janine Wedel’s book Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe, 1989-1998.[i]
* Then came “Obama’s Perestroika Challenge: US & Russia”, by W.George Krasnow, 7 January 2009, insisting on “Abandoning the fantasy of U.S. unipolar world domination and recognizing Russia's legitimate national security concerns” among other recommendations;[ii]
* When President Obama failed to reset US-Russia relations and continued George Bush’s policy of confrontation, I engage him in a letter exchange suggesting that, instead of vain demagogic efforts to spread “democracy” throughout the world, the USA should, first of all, honor the right of each nation for “sovereignty”.[iii]
In 2014 my book was published in translation, Новая Россия. От коммунизма к национальному возрождению. [iv] In its Preface Professor Aleksei Lyubimov, the editor of a Duma magazine[v] and member of the Diplomatic Academy, recommended the book as “balanced and dispassionate”. He also praised it for offering a number of different, even opposing viewpoints, “for calling for societal consolidation, and a civilized dialog and polyphonic interaction between the Westernizers and Slavophiles, the advocates of free market and socialists, Orthodox Christians, Muslims and Jews. In his opinion, the whole world needs to cooperate with independent, free, prosperous and peace-loving Russia”.
My book was the last of a series of four publications undertaken by the Center of Contemporary Russian Studies which Dr. Nicolai Petro and I founded around 1988 at the Monterey Institute. We deliberately used “Russian” to challenge numerous Soviet Studies think-tanks across the States. As soon as Mikhail Gorbachev proclaimed glasnost’, that is a degree of freedom long suppressed in the USSR, we felt that the Communist Utopia will not last long. We felt that US academic establishment needed to prepare for a New Russia for which the recovery of its historical, cultural, and spiritual identity was essential. That’s why the book was dedicated to the Millennium of Russia’s baptism in the year 1988. I did not expect that the millions of Soviet atheists would overnight confess Jesus Christ. Nor did I expect that the New Russia would abandon secular freedom of conscience. But I expected that all its citizens, whether Christian, Muslim or Jewish, would feel free to confess their convictions.
The main thrust of the book was antithetical to that of Professor Richard Pipes (1923-2018) who once headed Russian Center at Harvard. The difference was that while we in Monterey looked upon Russia’s re-emergence with a hope, Pipes felt that the USSR must be feared precisely because it retained too much “Russianness” from its past. In a sense, my book was the extension of my 1979 debate with Pipes in The Russian Review in the USA and Encounter magazine in UK. See “Richard Pipes’s Foreign Policy Strategy: Anti-Soviet or Anti-Russian?”[vi]
In his writings Pipes entirely dismissed the influence of Marxist-Leninist ideology on the behavior of Soviet leaders. Moreover, he failed to see how powerful pro-Communist and pro-Marxist forces outside the USSR, including “Cultural Marxism” and “Catholic Marxism,” were facilitated Soviet strategy throughout the world.
In fact, one of the reasons for the West’s current hostility toward Russia today is the failure to recognize during the Old Cold War that Communism was not just a Russian, Chinese or Cambodian event, but a common, West-centered, affliction of humankind with the virus of violence. It was advertised as the most effective, quick, scientifically “required” cure of all injustices of the world. I call it “West-centered” because Lenin and his Bolsheviks always prided themselves that their Marxist ideology was based on the ideas of French Revolution, German philosophy, and British labor movement. But the “Russian proletariat” was called upon to spread these Western ideas for the sake of world revolution. As to the terror of French Revolution, its degeneration into Napoleon’s wars of conquest, Lenin dismissed as non-consequential. Thus the October Revolution of 1917 was driven by the desire of the Bolsheviks to re-play the French Revolution and be more “Western” than the West.
The prominence of Jews in the Bolshevik leadership, a taboo topic for many years, has been lately elucidated by a number of authors, especially by MARK WEBER.[vii] Ron Unz himself shed light on the assistance to the Bolsheviks from Jewish donors from overseas.[viii]
What remains overlooked is that the Bolsheviks, whether Jewish, Russian or Latvian, were largely deracinated individuals who were hardly representative of their ethnic or religious group. Karl Marx himself, though from rabbinical families on both sides, was baptized and acted as an ardent Christian in his youth. But then, denouncing “everyday Jews” as misers and blood-suckers, he turned into fanatical atheist and God-fighter. His denunciation of all religions as the opiate of the people is well-known. Anti-religious fanaticism of the Russian Bolsheviks was just as stark. Lenin was as much an anti-Christ as Trotsky anti-Moses if not anti-Yahweh.
One might say that the totalitarian tendencies of early Bolsheviks were inspired less by Lenin’s mixed Jewish and “Mongolian” or Stalin’s “Asiatic” Georgian background, but rather by the complex of inferiority they felt vis-à-vis the West. The brutality of their early Soviet regimes largely stems from the desire to surpass the West in the most “progressive” Western idea of a violent world revolution as a short-cut to a socialist paradise on Earth. The Bolsheviks succeeded in surpassing the anti-clerical and anti-Christian ardor madness of the French Revolution. Professor Talmon was right in tracing “The Origines of Totalitarian Democracy” to the French Revolution. According to the book-selling site, Jacob Leib Talmon[ix] (1916 –1980) was Professor of Modern History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He studied the genealogy of totalitarianism, arguing that political Messianism stemmed from the French Revolution, and stressed the similarities between Jacobinism and Stalinism. He coined the terms Totalitarian Democracy and Political Messianism.
“The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy” was first published in 1952, re-published in 1986. I read it some thirty years ago while working on “Russia Beyond Communism”. But the book did not become dated. If anything, it is even more relevant now. As the book-sellers say, This study is an attempt to show that concurrently with the liberal type of democracy there emerged from the same premises in the eighteenth century a trend towards what we propose to call the totalitarian type of democracy. These two currents have existed side by side ever since the eighteenth century. The tension between them has constituted an important chapter in modern history, and has now become the most vital issue of our time.
In my dialog with Kevin Barrett I argued that the issue is especially inflamed now when the USA and its allies declare themselves so much in love with democracy that they eagerly impose it on any country, allegedly, for its own benefit.
Unfortunately, in our propensity to denounce all “the reactionary,” “arch-conservative” and “rightists” defenders of status quo while bathing in the self-satisfying glory of all-atoning “progressivism” we forget that the defining watershed of modern age was the Bolshevik coup-d’état in October 1917 which lead to the longest totalitarian rule in history. If the Oliver Cromwell revolution and civil war turmoil in England lasted two decades (1642- 1662), the French Revolution just ten (1788-1999) and then degenerated into Napoleon’s dictatorship and wars of conquest, the October1917 Revolution in Russia drugged on for nearly 73 years (1917-1991).
Alas, it distinguished itself not just by unusual longevity but also by its counter-productive result as it ended with re-introduction of capitalism it vowed to destroy. It was counter-productive in achieving the goals it set: the liberation of working people, first in Russia and then the rest of the world, from exploitation and abuse by capitalists, money bags and the latter day imperialists. It did expropriate the capitalists and other money bags in Russia in 1917-1919. But when the Communist party rule evaporated at the end of 1991, socialist economy was quickly replaced, often by former Party functionaries, by crony-capitalism just like in the US, except the taxation in Russia is not progressive and anti-monopoly laws against the oligarchs are largely ineffective.
The Bolsheviks were right in never calling their revolution “Russian” because they conceived it as the beginning of world revolution and knew that its essence was rather anti-Russian.
Toward the end of the hour Kevin and I discussed my translation into Russian of John Andre Morrow’s book:
Six Covenants of the Prophet Muhammad with the Christians of His Time: The Primary Documents[x]
Dr. John Andrew Morrow (Imam Ilyas ‘Abd al-‘Alim Islam) is a Métis Canadian Muslim scholar who embraced Islam over thirty years ago at the age of sixteen. He has studied the Islamic sciences for over three decades at the hands of both traditional Muslim scholars as well as Western academics. He completed post-doctoral studies in Arabic in Fez and Rabat and considers Morocco to be his second home. He worked as a university professor for two decades, retiring from teaching after reaching the rank of Full Professor. He has authored a vast body of work, including over one hundred academic articles and thirty scholarly books.[xi]
Intrigued by early Muslim-Christian cooperation, John discovered it was based on a number of the Prophet Mohammad’s early agreements with Christian communities. One such Covenant, with the Christians of St. Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, had been known in Tsarist Russia. But in the atheist USSR, historical record of Muslim-Christian cooperation became a non-issue. Agreeing with John that anti-Christian attitudes of Islamist extremists, such as the ISIL (Daesh), do not reflect the mainstream Muslim tradition, I translated John’s booklet to Russian and had it posted on a Russian site.[xii] Later my friend from Azerbaijan had it translated into Azeri.
Diverse authors and publications:
*--On Thursday March 28, Dan Lieberman, a good friend of mine for many years, a journalist, playwright, and, sometimes, a tennis partner, treated me with lunch downtown Washington. Dan is a tireless publisher of Alternative Insight. And “Alternative” it really is! Dan never fails to challenge US policy toward Russia, as well as its subservience to Israel’s interests in the Middle East. This time he was especially upset with The New York Times publishing an Oct. 19, 2018 article by Adam Goldman, "Justice Dept. Accuses Russians of Interfering in Midterm Elections," which Dan finds erroneous. His attitude to the Mainstream media is articulated in his article The Media is the Mischief
*--My Californian son-in-law Sammy presented to me Thomas Cowan’s book, Human Heart, Cosmic Heart: A Doctor’s Quest to Understand, Treat, and Prevent Cardiovascular Disease. [xiii]I read the book on the Aeroflot flight back to Moscow. I find Dr. Cowan’s argument compelling, especially since it is buttressed not just with careful medical research, but also with the anthroposophist philosophy of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) with its holistic approach to all sources of knowledge: heart, blain, and soul.
*--John, my lawyer, whom I have known since mid-1990s when he registered RAGA.org, has always delighted me with his broad interest in Russian arts, ballet, music, and architecture. During a coffee break with him I was pleasantly surprised that it was he who emailed to me Gary Saul Morson’s profound review article about Solzhenitsyn that made me so happy on the first day in America. It seems, the academic establishment here begins to recognized that by writing The Red Wheel, (including March 1917), Solzhenitsyn created a credible non-Communist version of Russian history distinct from both Russophobic and pro-Marxist mainstreams.
*--Another associate from Solzhenitsyn’s Vermont Conference suggested I read a book on russophobia by a Swiss journalist. I am happy to recommend it to all RAGA readers: Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria by Guy Mettan.[xiv] “Why do the USA, UK and Europe so hate Russia?” wonders the book seller rephrasing Mr. Mettan. “How it is that Western antipathy, once thought due to anti-Communism, could be so easily revived over a crisis in distant Ukraine, against a Russia no longer communist? Why does the West accuse Russia of empire-building, when 15 states once part of the defunct Warsaw Pact are now part of NATO, and NATO troops now flank Russian borders ...”
It is one thing when a Russian like me or Putin complains about russophobia, but to hear it from outstanding journalist in Switzerland, the oldest republic in Europe, known for its neutrality and tri-lingual peaceful co-existence is a lesson to all who aspire to a membership in a civilized world, and that includes Ukraine!
*--An exceptional book from Eastern Europe is GRAND DECEPTION: The Killing of William Browder” by Alex Krainer. Alas, it is NOT carried by the foremost book-seller in the world, Amazon.com. As Krainer explains, “My book, published only last month (August 2017), was starting to get some traction and in its first four weeks gained very positive reviews from readers (seven 5-star reviews and one 4-star review). That’s when Browder’s legal counsel Jonathan M. Winer stepped in. He contacted CreateSpace and demanded that my book be delisted alleging that it contained defamatory content. CreateSpace promptly obliged, suppressing the book and instructing me that I needed to, “work with the disputing party until a resolution is reached.” [xv]
Now Krainer’s book Grand Deception: The Browder Hoax may be purchased here.[xvi] The book seller explains: “Suppressed and banned by the CIA's supplier, Amazon, “The Grand Deception: The Browder Hoax” is a highly intelligent, frank and entertaining take-down of one of the biggest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the US public and the world – The Magnitsky Act. Krainer’s study of Bill Browder’s book and actions is a riveting, unflinching expose of one of this decade’s big hoaxes.”
If Mettan is a neutral Swiss, Krainer hails from Monte Carlo, Monaco. Moreover, born in Rijeka, Croatia, he is supposed to be hostile to Russia. But he is not because he is belongs to The Truth Alliance and proudly proclaims: “We aim to inspire public debate and open minds for a dialogue. We reject false “truths” telling that we need to be afraid and “protected” and that the “other” needs to be demonized and, ultimately, killed or otherwise destroyed. We reject lies and propaganda for those who deny us our own dignity and our own humanity.”
It is easy to see in this a challenge to the New World Order, more specifically, to “The New American Century” proclaimed by the Neo-Cons in 1996. I hope this challenge will be sustained by, first and foremost, the peoples of Eastern Europe who, like the peoples of Russia, have carried the main brunt of Communist totalitarianism. Most appropriately, Krainer quotes Václav Havel, the dissident Czech writer who went to the office of president virtually straight from his prison cell. “Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our being as humans, and the catastrophe toward which this world is headed — be it ecological, social, demographic, or a general breakdown of civilization — will be unavoidable.” Not for nothing, Havel was called a “Czech Solzhenitsyn”. “The catastrophe” Havel feared is now even more imminent than in his time and it can hardly be avoided without Alex Krainer’s The Truth Alliance as long as the US and its European allies vilify Russia.
There was a disappointment on my trip too. Next day after my arrival at Washington on March 25, Benjamin Netanyahu was to speak at the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) meeting at the Walter E Washington Convention Center. The JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace), of which I am a non-Jewish member, called for a rally to protest against Netanyahu’s belligerent and uncompromising attitude toward Palestinians.
At least, since Mearsheimer’s and Walt’s 2007 book The Israeli Lobby and the US Foreign Policy, I have been acutely aware of the problem. That’s why some years ago I joined the JVP as a genuine pro-peace human rights organization favoring a compromise between the Jews and Palestinians in Israel and elsewhere. I have admired JVP’s Non-Violent tactics, including participation in BDS actions against Israel across the USA. This time I responded to JVP’s call to protest against Netanyahu’s appearance in Washington as I hoped to meet JVP Washington area members. However, I saw none: either I was a bit late or they called off the protest as Netanyahu failed to appear sending instead a youTube pep talk. The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank called Netanyahu's pep talk “a knife in the heart of the U.S.-Israel relations”.[xvii]
Well, my disappointment was soon compensated by JVP appeal to Madonna to cancel her appearance at Eurovision contest to be held next month in Israel. As the JVP newsletter says, “...Israel shouldn’t even be hosting Eurovision in the first place. The core values of the contest – inclusion, diversity and unity – are the polar opposite of Israel’s unequal laws, apartheid roads and numerous human rights violations.”
Choose Freedom: Boycott Eurovision, Madonna!
[v] Lyubimov http://www.pvlast.ru/glavred/
[vi] Krasnow vs Pipes Debate https://www.jstor.org/stable/128605?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents. Also The Russian Review vol.38, no.2, 1979; also the Encounter (April 1980).
[vii] See Weber’s article “The Jewish Role in the Bolshevik Revolution and Russia's Early Soviet Regime. Assessing the Grim Legacy of Soviet Communism.” http://www.unz.com/pub/jhr__the-jewish-role-in-the-bolshevik-revolution-and-russias-early-soviet-regime/
[viii] See his “The Bolshevik Revolution and Its Aftermath,” 8/27/2018.
[x] Morrow’s book https://www.amazon.com/Covenants-Prophet-Muhammad-Christians-Time-ebook/dp/B00VTWYERS
[xiii] Thomas Cowan https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30006169-human-heart-cosmic-heart
[xiv] Guy Mettan https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34237648-creating-russophobia
[xvi] Alex Krainer https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JabbaQ Price: $14.99 USD. Words: 79,970. Language: English. Published: September 2018.
[xvii] Dana Milbank https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-republicans-chutzpah-at-aipac/2019/03/26/21c12356-4fff-11e9-a3f7-78b7525a8d5f_story.html
“Why So Much Fuss About A Conference In North Carolina?”
APRIL 24, 2019 By LARA FRIEDMAN
The attacks on the UNC-Duke conference—alongside continuing efforts to pass laws defining criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism—demonstrate that, although the president clearly has something else in mind when he talks about protecting free speech on campus, the truth is that campus free speech, when it comes to Israel, is very much under attack today—by those who want to shut down all criticism of Israel.[i]
About Julian Assange’s predicament
The best comment on Julian Assange’s dangerous predicament was by Caitlin Johnstone, “The Prosecution of Julian Assange Is Infinitely Bigger Than Assange” Caitlin Johnstone Tue, Apr 23, 2019
'They’re trying to win this fight against Assange in brutal fashion to ensure that they win all future fights as well'
Caitlin adds… “The other day I published a massive mega-article attacking the major smears about Assange I’ve encountered. There are 27 of them in total so far, and I’ll be adding more soon. This mountain of smears exists because instead of paying attention to the world-shaping dangers I just outlined which threaten to make it impossible to oppose the leaders of the US-centralized empire who are marching us towards either extinction or dystopia, people are babbling about Assange’s personality, or whether or not he cleaned up after his cat while at the embassy.” [ii]
Personally, I cannot add much about the Assange case to what I have already said about Ed Snowden. To Defect or to Integrate? The USA vs Edward Snowden.[iii] Unless the US learns to integrate peaceful dissent and welcome dissidents to open public dialogue, it will disintegrate and go the way of the USSR.
The Notre Dame Cathedral and Russia
Then there was the Notre Dame Chathedral fire. It may need some time before we could put it in a proper perspective. The best comment I have seen so far was by Charles Mills who writes for the same conservative, but not dogmatic site Fitsgeral Griffin Foundation, where I also write. “The blood of martyrs is still there to water Paris, but it will not do so as long as official and Paris-run France persists in glorifying Bastille Day, the Tricolor, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" and the Marseilles as national symbols, not as symbols of the Terror”, writes my FGF colleague. Read Notre Dame de Paris by Charles G. Mills.[iv]
Although I am not as “Catholic” as Charles is, and am not as familiar with French history, I see his point as I do know that the French Revolution inspired the October Revolution in Russia where the Bolsheviks tried hard to surpass the French Revolutionary in their anti-clerical and anti-Christian fervor.
In 1931, led by Lazar Kaganovich (1893-1991), one of Stalin’s Jewish henchmen, the Bolsheviks blew up the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, the largest church building in Moscow. In a tragic irony of history, this Cathedral had been erected as a sacred memorial to the defeat of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. Napoleon’s aggressions against the established order of Europe were born out of the God-fighting spirit of the French Revolution whose ideals of Equality, Brotherhood, and Liberty Napoleon also betrayed.
Remarkably, one of the first major construction projects in Moscow after the fall of the atheist USSR was rebuilding the destroyed and desecrated Cathedral of Christ the Savior. This was not an easy task because the previous building was not just destroyed, but its foundation was dug out to make a huge public swimming pool under open sky. One way or another, currently the Cathedral serves as the spiritual center for all of Russia where the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church presides over the liturgy during major events of Russian religious history.
It appears then that, after having suffered the greatest persecution of Christians since Nero, Russia rebounded and restored its spiritual health while retaining a secular state with freedom of conscience for denominations. The question is whether France and other countries of Europe can successfully guard and preserve the spiritual heritage of Western civilization without taking into account Russia’s newly gained spiritual experience?
[i] Lara Friedman https://lobelog.com/why-so-much-fuss-about-a-conference-in-north-carolina/#more-48412
[ii] Caitlin Johnstone https://russia-insider.com/en/prosecution-julian-assange-infinitely-bigger-assange/ri26841
[iii] Krasnow http://www.raga.org/news/to-defect-or-to-integrate-the-usa-vs-edward-snowden
[iv] Charles Mills http://fgfbooks.com/Mills-Charles/2019/Mills190419.html
Can Zelensky Make Ukraine Great Again? April 22, 2019
Is the ouster of Petro Poroshenko a turning point in Ukraine's crisis or just another disappointment? By Nikolas K. Gvosdev.[i]
Outgoing Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko is to be commended for presiding over an election that was generally free and fair and, more importantly, in accepting the outcome. Privately, however, he may be breathing a sigh of relief that he will not have to take responsibility for some of the major decisions Ukraine is facing—decisions which will prove to be difficult and unpopular.
His successor, comedian Volodomyr Zelensky, fits squarely in the mold of anti-establishment populist candidates who have been winning elections all throughout Europe—and his attractiveness as a presidential candidate for having played one on television carries echoes of how Donald Trump’s public persona in The Apprentice likewise helped to boost his presidential prospects.
...Zelensky is going to find he won’t have much of a honeymoon—either within Ukraine or with Ukraine’s main foreign partners and its key rival. How much leeway he will get remains to be seen—and it is way too premature to determine whether his election marks a turning point in Ukraine's crisis or another disappointment.
Nikolas Gvosdev is professor of national security studies at the U.S. Naval War College and the former Editor of the bi-monthly foreign policy journal, The National Interest. Wikipedia
US decision on Golan Heights violates UN Security Council resolutions – Putin. Published 8-04-2019
The US’ decision to recognize Tel Aviv's sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights region violates UN Security Council resolutions – a position that Moscow has already made clear, Russia's president said.
The US’ decision to recognize Tel Aviv's sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights region violates UN Security Council resolutions – a position that Moscow has already made clear, Russia's president said.[ii]
The Orchestration of Russiaphobia Is The Prelude To War.
April 22, 2019 | By Paul Craig Roberts
…The Russian government’s naive and gullible response to Washington played into Washington’s hands. By responding to Washington’s orchestrated Russiaphobia as if it were some kind of mistake based on bad information, the Russian government allowed Washington to keep the process of demonization alive and thereby contributed to the ongoing demonization of Russia. If, instead, the Russian government had denounced the demonization of Russia as Washington’s act of preparing Americans for war with Russia and had taken a belligerent rather than a complaining stance, the realization that Washington’s policy had serious cost would have spread throughout the US and Europe and voices would have arisen against Washington’s dangerous and reckless policy. Today in place of the uniformity of voice against Russia, there would be dissent opposing Washington’s irresponsible provocations.[iii]
RUSSIA’s KULTURA TV channel
The most significant event in Russia right now is on a state supported KULTURA TV channel. It is a multiple one-hour series program called Propovedniki (Evangelists).[iv]
It is about the suppression of dissent in the USSR and Soviet bloc countries within the officially allowed but unofficially controlled and abused Christian Orthodox Church. So far I have seen four documentary programs: about Archpriest Alexander Men, Professor Sergey Averintsev, Archpriest Paul Adelheim, and Metropolitan (of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro) Amphilohie (Radovich).
The three Russians were not political dissidents, but they held the light of spirituality alive in a country where Marxist-Leninist materialism was the ruling ideology. Archpriest Men helped hundreds of Soviet intellectuals return to Christianity by preaching and writing books distributed by samizdat in overseas editions. He also helped Alexander Solzhenitsyn hide a GULAG manuscript. However, in 1990 he was assassinated, and his assassin was never found. Archpriest Pavel Adelheim himself spent three years in the GULAG camp where one of his legs had to be amputated due to abuse by the guards. He was assassinated in 2013 by a lunatic who came to him for a “cure”. Sergei Averintsev was university professor and a world authority on Byzantine, but secretly he served as a reader in a parish that attracted many Soviet intellectuals.
Metropolitan Amphilohije started his spiritual assent in Communist (and officially atheist) Yugoslavia. He studied in several seminaries abroad. Once when he was in Greece he met Solzhenitsyn whom he awarded a special personal cross for his devotion to truth. Metropolitan Amphilohije still devotes his mission to the unity of Slavic and non-Western peoples against the encroachments of the materialistic West. See his extensive interview THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IS STANDING IN THE WAY OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER. [v]
There are more documentaries about modern evangelists to be shown on Russian TV channels for there were many martyrs in the USSR who held the hope for Russia’s rebirth alive. However, Russian TV channel is secular and does not engage in religious proselytizing. It has been running a number of programs devoted to the remembrance of the events of Russian history that were distorted or silenced during the Soviet period. A number of programs are devoted to cultural achievements and events—in arts, music, movies, and theater--in all countries in the world, from Japan and China to ancient Egypt and modern Europe. In view of Western sanctions against Russia, the current emphasis on strengthening cultural ties with Asian countries, especially India, is understandable. TV Channel Kultura, for instance, has run for several months an Indian production of the ancient Indian epic “Sita and Rama”.
Russia’s Outreach to India—and the World
Not all efforts to strengthen cultural ties with foreign counries, especially non-allied countries of the East, are sponsored by the government. Dr. Leo Semashko of St. Petersburg, a peace activist, has created Global Harmony Association (GHA) 15 years ago entirely on his own. Now he is an Honorary President because he entrusted the leadership to its current President Dr. Subhash Chandra of India. But Leo remains active, always trying to build a global outreach. On the GHA’s masthead there are the winners of Nobel Peace Prize Dr. John Avery of Denmark and Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland, GHA Vice-Presidents Susana Roberts of Argentine, Surendra Pathak of India, Delasnieve Daspet of Brazil ; and Ayo Amale, GHA Africa President.[vi]
A couple of years ago Leo, upon reading some of RAGA Antidote newsletters, Leo invited me to join the Global Association which I gladly did. No doubt, similarity of our backgrounds helped. I graduated from Moscow State University in history; he went to graduate school in philosophy of the same university. Both of us got fed up with Marxism-Leninism and became dissidents. Both of us have felt a great attraction to Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of Non-Violence. When the GHA president declared the year of 2019 “Gandhi World Year”, Leo invited me to submit something to honor Gandhi’s 150th anniversary. Which I did, by writing Mahatma Gandhi and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Two Giants Who Blessed the 20th Century.[vii] Learning of my participation in the Vermont conference on Solzhenitsyn’s Centenary in Spetember 2018, the GHA site posted also my article “Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s Relevance Today”.[viii]
Yesterday, April 26, 2019 I went to the English Language Club of Moscow to hear the lecture by Dr. Leena Sareen of India about Economic Development of India. She teaches Theory of Intercultural Communication at the Department of Psychology of Moscow Region State University and has 10 years of experience in multinational companies as a coordinator between Russia and India. It was interesting to learn that out of India’s 1,364 million people 666 million use the internet, and 126 million of them use English. Now I am even more proud that some of my articles found their way on the site of my email pal and friend Sandhya Jain.[ix]
HAPPY EASTER GREETING--from Bethlehem, Palestine
In conclusion I am glad to transmit a HAPPY EASTER GREETING from Bethlehem, Palestine. It is authored by Dr. who describes himself as follows
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor, Founder, and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
I have been receiving Mazin’s elucidating newsletter for quite some time and pasted them on my FB page. A Christian Palestinian of mixed origin, he celebrates Easter twice, according to both Gregorian (as in the USA) and Julian (as in Russia) calendar. In 2014 I was fortunate to visited Israel/Palestine on a Russian Orthodox pilgrimage tour, and seeing Bethlehem was one of the highlights.
There is no need to relate Dr. Qumsiyeh’s whole letter. You could read it by clicking the links. But the few lines describing the Easter Hope of the Palestinian people are in order:
We aspire to a certain future when refugees are allowed to return and all people of all religions live in equality and justice. Jerusalem/Bethlehem will then become a true light unto the world. We are grateful that there has been tremendous growth of actions by civil society around the world to push for human rights and justice in this “Holy Land”. This has included some really significant actions for boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) from Israel in the same way we did with Apartheid South Africa. Palestine will rise from the ashes like a Phoenix. We believe indeed in a resurrection!
Reading these lines, remember how in 1974, after being thrown out of the USSR, Solzhenitsyn predicted that he and his books will return to a free Russia. My American colleagues did not take him seriously and some thought he was mad. Was it because they did not believe in a Resurrection? END
[i] Nicholas Gvosdev https://nationalinterest.org/feature/can-zelensky-make-ukraine-great-again-53677
[iv] Evangelists https://tvkultura.ru/brand/show/brand_id/62714/
[vi] Global Harmony Association https://www.peacefromharmony.org/
[vii] Gandhi and Solzhenitsyn https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=884
[viii] Krasnov, “Solzhenitsyn’s Relevance Today” https://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=864
W George Krasnow (http://wiki-org.ru/wiki/Краснов,_Владислав_Георгиевич)
Peace and Justice to the World.
миру мир и благоволение в сердцах
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