Last RAGA Newsletter Antidote 28 of July 6 had a link to my Russian translation of Ambassador Chas W. Freeman's June 9, 2016 talk U.S. Policy and the Geopolitical Dynamics of the Middle East. It can be switched back to the English original.
RAGA posting attracted the attention of Jonas Alexis, the author of two scholarly books and regular contributor to the site Veterans Today. He engaged me in a series of wide-ranging interviews. Below are some glimpses.
1. Israel, the USA, Russia, and Vladimir Putin: Interview with Vladislav Krasnov (Part I) By Jonas E. Alexis on July 11, 2016
Alexis: In a recent article published by RAGA, Chas Freeman, who served in the United States Foreign Service and the State and Defense Departments, argues that: “The United States needs to wean Israel off its welfare dependency and end the unconditional commitments that enable self-destructive behavior on the part of the Jewish state.” Do you agree with him?
Krasnov: Yes, I do. Ambassador Freeman’s illustrious and varied career in the State and Defense Departments, in the Pentagon, etc., made him a natural candidate in 2009 at the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency to chair the National Intelligence Council, which merges intelligence from sixteen U.S. agencies into National Intelligence Estimates.
It was very unfortunate that his promotion was blocked by the Israeli lobby which could not stand his criticism of Israel.Thus, the country was deprived of the BEST INTELLIGENCE it needed to sail in the turbulent waters of global politics. This was bad for the US, the Middle East, Europe, and Russia.
Read more http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/07/11/israel-the-united-states-russia-and-vladimir-putin-interview-with-vladislav-krasnov-part-i/
2. Alexander Solzhenitsyn: Truth Can and Will Destroy the New World Order and Satanism
By Jonas E. Alexis on July 14, 2016
"Solzhenitsyn did as much as anyone to end the Communist experiment in Russia"
Krasnov: We know that US Ambassador William Joseph Burns did meet with Solzhenitsyn in 2008, just a few months before the writer passed away. Here is what was reported:
“According to Burns, Solzhenitsyn positively contrasted the eight-year reign of Putin with those of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, which he said had ‘added to the damage done to the Russian state by 70 years of communist rule’. Under Putin, the nation was rediscovering what it was to be Russian, Solzhenitsyn thought.”
Alexis: Do you agree with Solzhenitsyn’s assessment of Putin?
Krasnov: Yes, I do. Moreover, I think Solzhenitsyn would have been pleased with Putin’s performance SINCE 2008, even though Burns was right to point out that “the writer’s praise for Putin wasn’t unqualified.” Solzhenitsyn was a man who could not be subservient to anyone.
Alexis: Did you meet either Solzhenitsyn or Putin?
Krasnov: I never met Putin. As to Solzhenitsyn, although I met him only once, I corresponded with him for many years and during late 1990s, when he moved back to Russia in 1994. I talked to him on the phone every time I came to visit Russia.
3. Alexander Solzhenitsyn on Russian-Jewish Relations and Ukraine. July 28, 2016
Krasnov: ...as I said in our earlier interview, there was no reason for the US to take sides in a conflict among Ukrainian citizens, many of whom want to speak Russian and be friends with Russia. We should have shown in Ukraine the same patience, perseverance and Good Will as we have shown toward the national issues in the UK, Belgium, Spain or Canada.
Alexis: You seem to be well informed about Ukraine, but have you written about it?
Krasnov: Yes, I did visit Ukraine both under the USSR and after it became independent. In 1955 I took part in archaeological digging for ancient Greek colonies in the Crimea. In late 1950s I was a member of an ethnological field research team studying national self-awareness in Western Ukraine. In 1996 I served as an interpreter for a US team exploring ways for improving security of Ukrainian nuclear-power stations. More than once I visited the Crimea. As soon as the current conflict flared up, I hurried to write “What the West Missed about Ukraine.”
Alexis: From what I see, we in the US missed a lot, not just about Ukraine, but about Russia as well. We seem to be more interested in name calling than facts. What do you think about the Zionist-controlled media calling Putin the “new Hitler”?
Krasnov: It’s a shame. First they were shouting “Heil Hitler” to Milosevic, then Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qaddafi, Bashar Assad, and now to Putin. Such persistent and systematic name calling is a classic example of psychological warfare and covert operation. It’s just diversionary tactics. It works only to inflame passion and vacate reason.
One of these interviews was picked up in India which, as you know, is a BRICS member.
4. Solzhenitsyn: Truth can and will destroy the New World Order and Satanism - part II
Jonas E Alexis & Vladislav Krasnov
14 August 2016. http://vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=4040
Alexis: I remember that one of the battle cries of Soviet dissidents was the demand for glasnost, meaning giving “voice” (glas) to any subject on which Soviet leaders put a taboo.
Krasnov: Exactly so. That’s why while writing my book, Russia Beyond Communism: A Chronicle of National Rebirth, I tried to give a voice, an opportunity to speak to every brave and cogent Soviet intellectual or expat dissident who, not being satisfied with Gorbachev’s schemes to save Communism, called for a Russian future BEYOND Communism, a future which could not be gained unless Russia recovered its thousand years deep national roots, including its Christianity.
In fact, I was not so much an author but rather a conductor of a polyphonic choir against the endless monotonous Communist tune. Solzhenitsyn was one of those voices, but his main influence was that I consciously translated his literary strategy into Russia’s spiritual quest for a future BEYOND Communism.
The timing of my interviews coincided with the 8th anniversary of Solzhenitsyn's death in Moscow on August 3, 2008. It's wise to review his writings related to East-West relations, especially the prophetic Harvard Commencement speech on 8 June 1978. Here are some highlights:
<<In our Eastern countries, communism has suffered a complete ideological defeat; it is zero and less than zero. But Western intellectuals still look at it with interest and with empathy, and this is precisely what makes it so immensely difficult for the West to withstand the East...
But should someone ask me whether I would indicate the West such as it is today as a model to my country, frankly I would have to answer negatively. No, I could not recommend your society in its present state as an ideal for the transformation of ours. Through intense suffering our country has now achieved a spiritual development of such intensity that the Western system in its present state of spiritual exhaustion does not look attractive....
Therefore, if our society were to be transformed into yours, it would mean an improvement in certain aspects, but also a change for the worse on some particularly significant scores. It is true, no doubt, that a society cannot remain in an abyss of lawlessness, as is the case in our country. But it is also demeaning for it to elect such mechanical legalistic smoothness as you have. After the suffering of many years of violence and oppression, the human soul longs for things higher, warmer, and purer than those offered by today's mass living habits, introduced by the revolting invasion of publicity, by TV stupor, and by intolerable music.>>
Now we know that Solzhenitsyn was prescient that Western assumptions in 19991 that post-Soviet Russia would happily surrender to US global domination proved wrong.
These days Russia marks the 25th anniversary of the Soviet coup d'état attempt by a group of members of the Soviet Union's government to take control of the country from Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. Boris Yeltsin who was then President of the Russian Federation managed to squash the attempt, and his victory effectively meant the end of nearly 73-year long Communist rule.
The putsch attempt coincided with the First Congress of Russian Compatriots on August 18-30, 1991, in Moscow. For me personally it was a great event which I witnessed at close range as I was invited as a participant among over 400 "White Russians" from dozens of countries of Russian diaspora. In fact, this Congress was the beginning of re-unification for all Russians regardless of their political, ideological or religious convictions since Lenin expelled "bourgeois" Russian philosophers in 1922. It was the end of ideological civil war that Soviet government had conducted against all other non-Marxist-Leninist Russians of different persuasion. In our delegation there were descendant of former White Army officers, offsprings of the Romanov dynasty, clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church Overseas, exiled dissidents and human rights activists. I represented the Congress of Russian Americans, an ethnic organization created in 1973 to preserve Russian heritage in the US.
After Boris Yeltsin emerged victorious on August 22 he addressed our gathering in the Palace of Conventions in the Kremlin. First he announced, to a hearty applause, that the Russian national tri-color was to replace the Red Flag of Communism. Then he thanked us for keeping the spirit of Russian culture alive in exile. Finally, he promised that a new post-Communist Russia will re-constitute itself as a great, prosperous, free, and peaceful country. I was among several Russian emigrees to thank him for his anti-Communist, but very patriotic speech. I managed to get on stage to shake his hand and give him my freshly printed new book, Russia Beyond Communism: A Chronicle of Russian Rebirth, saying that it contained "a script for New Russia's development". He cordially shook my hand saying he was pleased that both of us were natives of the same Perm region. Some members of the American delegation took a snap shot of the event (see attachment) and gracefully sent me a copy when I was back in California.
Now the book is available in Russian Новая Россия: от коммунизма к национальному возрождению. I gave a copy of it to my friend at the Library of Congress (see a photo attachment)
Although Mr. Yeltsin was unable to fulfill his promise to create a great and proud independent Russia, which was partly due to US heavy meddling in the neo-liberal shock therapy reforms in Russia, he certainly gave Russia a healthy push away from the bankrupt Communist system. Remarkably, the opening of the Congress of Compatriots on August 19, 1991 coincided--perhaps timed to coincide--with the great Russian Orthodox Feast of the Transfiguration (Преображение Господне) to inaugurate the transformation of the USSR to Russia.
Russians are not the only ones who insist on the uniqueness of their civilization. Just take a look at the writings of Kerry R Bolton who hails from New Zealand. He reminds us that as early as 1930s there was a German writer who claimed for Russia a special role in the world.
This Super-Popular German Writer Predicted Russia Would Inherit The Earth (Spengler). By Kerry Bolton, Sat, Aug 13, 2016 |
<<‘Wait, the time will come when ye shall learn what the orthodox Russian faith is! Already the people scent it far and near.....’
Beyond Spengler and religious differences, "a recent comment by an American visitor to Russia, Barbara J. Brothers, as part of a scientific delegation, states something akin to Spengler’s observation: The Russians have a sense of connectedness to themselves and to other human beings that is just not a part of American reality. It isn’t that competitiveness does not exist; it is just that there always seems to be more consideration and respect for others in any given situation.">>
One does not have to agree on everything with either Spengler or Bolton, but when I looked for the latter online, I found an earlier article by him that is just as pointed.
Spiritual Roots of Russo-American Conflict, by Kerry R Bolton, August 14, 2015
<<The rivalry between the USA and Russia is something more than geopolitics or economics. These are reflections of antithetical worldviews of a spiritual character. The German conservative historian-philosopher Oswald Spengler, who wrote of the morphology of cultures as having organic life-cycles, in his epochal book The Decline of The West ...wrote of Russia in terms similar to the ‘Slavophiles’. Spengler, Dostoyevski, Berdyaev, and Solzhenitsyn have much of relevance to say in analyzing the conflict between the USA and Russia. Considering the differences as fundamentally ‘spiritual’ explains why this conflict will continue and why the optimism among Western political circles at the prospect of a compliant Russia, fully integrated into the ‘world community’, was so short-lived.>>
By the way, I recommend the above Foreign Policy Journal (FPJ) as a source of alternative opinion. Its editor Jeremy R. Hammond is the author of the new book "Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" .
Spengler may be "Super-popular", but another German philosopher and his contemporary, Walter Schubart (1897-1942), is virtually unknown. Yet, he is just as profound and relevant. (Wikipedia has him only in German). His book "Europe and the Soul of the East" ("Europa und die Seele des Ostens") was first published in Switzerland in 1938. Schubart points out a number of differences in world outlook between the western man and the eastern man. He thinks that the West has fallen prisoner to materialism and therefore undergoes a profound crisis and that its awakening has to come from the East, from Russia. Better known among Russian emigres, his book is now available in Russian Европа и Душа Востока, Москва, "Русская Идея", 2000.
Tragically, as a Russophile Schubart had to flee Nazi Germany for Riga, Latvia, where he taught at university. Alas, when Soviets occupied Latvia, Schubart was hauled to the GULAG. Only recently was it established that he died in a GULAG prison in 1942 in Kazakhstan.
So much for Russia. But how about the USA?
Civil Unrest in the United States, Stability in Russia. By Theodore McIntire, Aug 12, 2016. The author is a Major (Retired) of the US Air Force and a peace activist.
<<It is ironic that in recent years many in the United States have encouraged and/or celebrated unrest and regime change in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Ukraine, and even in Russia. In reality, it must be remembered that societal upheaval can have dangerous repercussions and the most recent developments appear to be much more harmful for the United States than for Russia.>>
Finally, Gilbert Doctorow, a RAGA friend and associate, is the most topical:
War or Peace: The Essential Question Before American Voters on November 8th. By Gilbert Doctorow, Wed, Aug 3, 2016.
<<For reasons of Hillary’s past record of ill-considered adventurism abroad and for reasons of the mad advisers from the Neocon camp whom she has in her inner circle today, it could be a fatal mistake to vote Hillary Clinton on November 8th, says Gilbert Doctorow. "As regards Russia, Hillary has been pouring oil on the flames of potential conflict for years now. She has publicly likened Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler, an insult that no one dared to apply to Russian (Soviet) leaders during the 50 years of the Cold War. That coming from our nation’s senior diplomat virtually closes the door on diplomacy and reason, leaving us with brute force to settle our differences.">>
Meanwhile, don't forget to visit Russia either with Sharon Tennison's Center for Citizen Initiatives or on your own! Last year the number of Western visitors increased in spite of sanctions!
The Kremlin Opens to the World as Putin Orders Greater Access.
Tourists are to glimpse many areas of Russia's hidden political heart for the first time. By Howard Amos, Aug. 16 2016 — 12:15
According to decrees published Aug. 1 there will be an extra tourist route through the Kremlin including access to a new archaeological museum where visitors can see the remains of the Chudov Monastery and Ascension Convent, which were destroyed by the Communists in 1929. Public access points are also slated to be installed in the Spasskaya Tower on Red Square, which houses the famous Kremlin clock, and the Borovitskaya Tower on the complex’s opposite side.
RAGA is proud to associate with the best minds of America, Russia and the world.
Now forget all wars, conflicts, sanctions, counter-sanctions, the ugliness of politics etc and enjoy the beauty of the rest of the Summer, even as I enjoy mine in northern Russian taiga.
W George Krasnow (Vladislav Krasnov)
Malice to None. Good Will to All.
Peace and Justice to the World.