2020 may end up being the year history puts down as a time when logic totally escaped Earth’s atmosphere. Just one look at news headlines from anywhere on the globe tells us we live on a lunatic planet. In America, half the people want a fascist who seems to hate everybody as president, while the other half picked a happy war monger puppet every sane voter hates. Half the world thinks a pandemic is fake, and that COVID-19 deaths are really bus hit and run accidents. The other half is ready to inject anything, forego anything, and bow down to anything that will prevent them being infected. Stop me when I am wrong, but it’s time somebody called bullshit. I think Russia may be the only nation able to do so, at this point. Here’s some interesting reasons why.
News this morning from Russian made me think about how many times President Vladimir Putin’s hapless assassins had failed to kill his enemies. When the so-called “Sausage King” Vladimir Marugov was skewered by a crossbow bolt in his outdoor sauna at his country estate outside Moscow, my mind immediately turned to Navalny, the blogger who wants to be a Russian Czar who says Kremlin agents tried to poison him with deadly nerve agents. Deadly nerve agents, plutonium, envelopes laden with invisible poisons, and Keystone Cop stories cooked up by British Intelligence! This is all humanity has to go on.
Then suddenly, two bozos in a rusty Lada manage to kill a billionaire oligarch with a single shot from a crossbow? Hell, for all the good Putin’s assassin teams do him, he might as well leave his enemies to die from a Moscow mugging. The day I read that any Putin haters get hit by a streetcar run off the rails, that’s the day I start suspecting the Kremlin of unnecessary dirty deeds. Where’s the logic? Where’s the proof? How can Putin be charged with everything and never be proven guilty? Or, better yet, wouldn’t such an unscratchable dark hero make the best ever King of Earth? I mean, if he can get by with everything, isn’t the writing on the wall anyhow?
Moving on, what about Ukraine claiming that Borscht is not Russian, but Ukrainian? Get this, a Ukrainian chef supported by the Ministry of Culture and Parliament is trying to get the United Nation’s cultural body, UNESCO, to list borscht as an intangible part of Ukraine’s cultural heritage. Is nothing sacred anymore? Can’t the world believe this tasty soup comes from Mother Russia? Well, at least we are able to solve one mystery here at the dawn of the 21st century. Since the earliest written reference to the Slavic hogweed soup can be found in Domostroy (Domestic Order), a 16th-century Russian compendium of moral rules and homemaking advice, it seems fair for Russia to claim the fame for Borscht.
While there are claims that the soup was created in Ukraine back in the 9th century, no one has yet provided a documented recipe. The whole borscht argument seems to play out like other Russophobia tales, with Russia haters trashing everything Russian, including the ability to make soup. It’s as if Ukraine and other would-be NATO nations are the only places on Earth where peasants cooked hogweed in a pot. And farther west, political killings and other misdeeds are not called “bad” no matter what weapons or soups are used. Take the CIA’s long list of human rights violations, as an example.
America’s henchmen can create death squads from Afghanistan to Honduras, torture prisoners using either enhanced interrogation techniques or the old fashioned ones, experiment on humans (MK-ULTRA), or even drug American citizens into compliance. But let one blogger with delusions of grandeur get the flu in Russia! And former KGB officers are visualized wringing their hands at the Kremlin Palace, as they scheme to botch yet another attack with a nerve agent. Are you feeling me here? I bet you are.
Russia is subjected to a whole different set of rules, you see. When the CIA or other secretive agencies in the west are scrutinized, those doing the judging create tons of loopholes. For instance, after World War II assassinations and targeting killings were differentiated so that the people keeping up with crimes against humanity could keep track of the evil shit Washington and London were doing. For Putin and Russia at large, if somebody dies a death that looks convenient, it’s assassination by the Kremlin boss. But if the CIA snuffs somebody then the judges must look at drone killings versus coup attempts, direct assassinations, hired assassinations, and the various mysterious death and disappearance genres of killing. Castro to Kennedy, Achmed Sukarno of Indonesia or the Contras in Nicaragua, murder for the western democracies has a different definition. This makes me wonder how come the Kremlin never uses Langley tactics? It’s always got to be some boutique MX gas or other chemical weapons for the Russians, I guess.
I don’t know which is harder to believe. Vladimir Putin’s goofy, fumbling secret agents failing to kill almost everybody, or dead billionaire Howard Hughes’ betrayer Robert Maheu plotting to kill Robert F. Kennedy for the CIA. A new book says the brother of slain President John F. Kennedy was also killed by the CIA. Interestingly, amazingly, the popular Senator was not stricken down with a Gamma Ray Gun or invisible gas, he was shot with a Saturday night special instead. But of course, Russians learn the long and hard way, except for two-bit kidnappers who use store-bought bows and arrows to wield death, that is.
Isn’t it amazing how efficient American killers are? JFK was shot with a rusty old Italian military rifle with a single round to the back of the head by the worst marksman in U.S. Marine history. Robert F. Kennedy was killed with a 22-caliber pea shooter wielded by Palestinian militant Sirhan Sirhan. As I sit here typing, I wonder why Russia has never considered cheaper and more effective ways to destroy her enemies? Maybe cheap firearms are just not romantic or cool enough for Russians? Even if deadly nerve agents from Cold War days seem cool, so far they have proved to be decidedly inefficient. Russia, really is, giving WMDs a bad name if all the allegations are ever proven true.
Finally, I would offer the Kremlin some good advice with regard to methods of assassination and policy surrounding those efforts. The United States State Department offers a template for success in these matters. This statement on how the good old USA will help partners keep Russian aggression in check, to wit:
“The United States is committed to helping our partners around the world counter Russian malign activities, and looks forward to continuing to work with them to help recognize, attribute, and respond effectively to incidents where use of WMD as a tool of assassination is suspected.”
So, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) should create a similar program for all those nations fearful that the CIA will “accident” their leaders. Perhaps MFA spokeslady Maria Zakharova should come out and advise leaders from Albania to Zambia to don bulletproof vests and to stop watching American TV shows. And most importantly, Zakharova should offer Russia’s assistance in identifying CIA motives anytime anybody dies. This way Russia’s role in the world will be the same as the USA’s. Russia can be the judge, jury, and executioner of the world too.
On a final note, Russian bullshit investigators will have the easiest job ever, since everything that comes out of US policymaker mouths is total crap.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”