The anti-Russian craze in the U.S. is not a new phenomena. It began in 1917 when the Russian people dismantled the oppressive Czarist government and eventually replaced it with a Bolshevik (Communist) government.
The revolution paved the way for the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) in 1922. This revolution allowed for a movement in cities throughout the state, among national minorities throughout the empire and in the rural areas, where peasants took over and redistributed land.
The Russian Revolution presented a threat to the West and especially the U.S. where private ownership and the goal of profit was the ideal. Who in the U.S. would ever accept the notion that a redistribution of land and assets among the people was acceptable. It was and is un-American.
Russia had to be dealt with and Communism had to fail. Thus began the demonization of Russia and Russian leaders.
Russia was portrayed as an oppressive society with the people having their freedoms taken from them, where a person could not pursue his/her personal dreams, where the people were constantly under government surveillance etc., etc., etc.
The anti-Russian propaganda and brainwashing in the U.S. was successful.
However, during the Second World War, Russia and the West became reluctant allies. In the 1930s, there was the rise of fascism throughout several European countries, Spain, Germany, and Italy.
In Spain, General Francisco Franco led a rebel movement to overthrow the democratically elected government. This rebellion lasted from 1936 to 1939. The U.S. and the Western nations did not respond to this threat of fascism. But thousands of ordinary citizens throughout the U.S. and Europe recognized the dangers of fascism in Europe and volunteered to go to Spain to support the troops of the Spanish Republic.
Seeking assistance in combating the armed rebellion, the Republicans asked for volunteer fighters from all over the world. Americans volunteered and arrived in Spain in 1937. The Lincoln Brigade was organized in January 1937. And, still, silence from the U.S. government.
It was the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 that opened the door for the U.S. to enter WW2.
Meanwhile, Hitler and Mussolini, had gained control of their countries. In 1939, German forces bombarded Poland on land and from the air. Britain and France declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939. Now began WW2.
Historically, the U.S. never had difficulty relating to fascist governments. It is my contention that had Germany not attacked Britain, and continued eastward to the Soviet Union, the U.S. might have supported Germany in the war. Fascism was not seen as a threat to the U.S. but Communism was. Even after the U.S. was in the war, U.S. businessmen, Bush, Ford, and others continued to do business with Hitler. Eventually, Roosevelt had to put a stop to that.
Think about it. In 1945, Germany had already surrendered. Japan had already given clear signals it was ready to surrender. Still, the U.S. decided to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear bombs, killing hundreds of thousands of ordinary Japanese citizens. What purpose did it serve? These acts were not about winning the war, they were messages to the Soviet Union, letting them know what the U.S. had for them if they stepped out of line.
Even though the Soviet Union had played the most important role in defeating Germany, as soon as the fighting ended, the demonization of the Soviets and their leader, Joseph Stalin, began.
After the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, infamous Nazi collaborators—members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and their paramilitary UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) units—fled into Western Europe and the United States, escaping punishment for their hideous crimes, including ruthless terror against peaceful Jewish, Ukrainian and Russian civilians.
Keep in mind that these were the same fascists that the U.S. had just spent four years, thousands of U.S. lives, and billions of dollars fighting against.
In 1949, the CIA and the US State Department sponsored the OUN-UPA leaders’ immigration to the United States, planning to use them as subversion groups and intelligence agents in the Cold War against Soviet Russia.
These Ukrainian fascist imports, under the guidance of the CIA, began disseminating anti-Russian propaganda, creating myths and rewriting history at the same time whitewashing the wartime crimes of OUN-UPA. One of these myths was “Holodomor” that claimed that the USSR and its leader, Joseph Stalin, deliberately starved to death from three to seven million Ukrainians.
The demonization of Stalin and the Soviet Union was successful and they both, along with Communism, now symbolized evil.
The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was established in 1938. During the growth of fascism in WW2, HUAC was relatively quiet. But, at the end of WW2, with the focus on the Soviet Union, HUAC, along with Senator Joseph McCarthy, became a dominant voice in the U.S. In the late 1940s, the Communist Party of America, was being viewed as a threat to U.S. national security. People who were Communists or associated with Communists were now barred from government jobs.
Whereas fascism was not a nice way to govern, Communism became a threat to the very existence of the U.S. and the freedoms offered by capitalism. And, maybe it was. Communism offered its people a redistribution of wealth and assets while capitalism offered the working class nothing but dreams of one day being a member of the wealthy, elite class.
After WW2, from 1947 till 1991, when the Soviet Union dissolved, both the U.S., with its NATO allies, and the Soviet Union, together with its Eastern Bloc nations, engaged in what became known as a Cold War.
During these years, the Soviet Union was portrayed as being controlled by a secret police, the KGB, and ruled by a dictator and a small committee called the Politboro. The party supposedly controlled the press, the military, the economy and all organizations. It also controlled the other states in the Eastern bloc, and funded Communist parties around the world.
Much to my chagrin, I have a difficult time discerning how that description differs from that of the good old USA. Where the Soviets had one party, the U.S. had two. Both, in concert with corporate America, control the media, the military, the economy, and all organizations as well as the NATO countries. Yet, the portrayal of the Soviets was presented in a manner that struck fear in the people of the U.S.
During all those years, the goal of the U.S. was to demonize and neutralize the Soviet Union and Communism. And, it worked.
The U.S. did not limit its anti-Communist efforts to the Soviet Union. Ninety miles from the U.S. shores, Fidel Castro led a revolution against the oppressive government of Fulgencio Batista. The battle lasted from 1953 until 1959 when the Batista government fell. Batista’s government was replaced by a revolutionary socialist state.
In the immediate aftermath of the revolution, Castro’s government began a program of nationalization and political consolidation that transformed Cuba’s economy and civil society. Privately owned lands were confiscated and made available for public use, education was free, health care was free, the country’s resources and wealth were now used for the benefit of the people rather than for the accumulation of individual wealth.
What was the response of the U.S.? Did they support Castro’s efforts to overthrow the oppressive dictatorship presided over by Batista? No, it backed Batista’s regime and then spent the next 56 years trying to overthrow and assassinate Castro while placing trade sanctions on Cuba that devastated its economy.
Salvador Allende of Chile was a Chilean physician and politician, known as the first Marxist to become president of a Latin American country through open elections. In 1970, he won the presidency in a close three-way race.
A centre-right majority including the Christian Democrats, whose support had enabled Allende’s election, denounced his rule as unconstitutional and called for his overthrow by force. On 11 September 1973, the military moved to oust Allende in a coup d’état sponsored by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Henry Kissinger, the U.S. Secretary of State. Later that day, it is said, that Allende committed suicide by shooting himself with an assault rifle. Yes, that’s right, suicide by assault rifle, not a handgun.
With Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s endorsement, General Augusto Pinochet assumed the presidency of Chile and established a military junta to rule that country. He then began a persecution of alleged dissidents, in which thousands of Allende’s supporters were kidnapped, tortured, and murdered.
You might wonder why the U.S. was involved in the politics of a sovereign nation like Chile. The answer is simple. The U.S. has been consistent in supporting any opposition to Communist or Socialist governments that are looking to improve the lives of their own citizens by nationalizing their resources and wealth. The U.S. would rather support a Fascist government that will maintain the status quo of an elite class, U.S. investors, having access to the riches of a country which will be used to increase their individual wealth (that’s what capitalism is about).
In 1998, Hugo Chavez assumed the presidency of Venezuela. In 2007, he helped form the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
Chávez focused on enacting social reforms as part of the Bolivarian Revolution, which is a type of socialist revolution. Using record-high oil revenues of the 2000s, his government nationalized key industries, created participatory democratic Communal Councils, and implemented social programs known as the Bolivarian Missions to expand access to food, housing, healthcare, and education.
Of course, being very consistent, Venezuela’s movement toward Socialism was unacceptable to the U.S.
In 2002, a military coup toppled Chávez, who was taken to a remote location. Pedro Carmona, the chairman of Venezuela’s largest chamber of commerce, was installed as president.
And what was the reaction of the US government to this sharp slap in the face of democracy, civil liberties and law, that fits the textbook definition of dictatorship? The State Department also expressed its support for the coup, declaring that “undemocratic actions committed or encouraged by the Chávez administration provoked the crisis in Venezuela.”
However, the coup was reversed by the enormous anti-coup support for Chavez from the Venezuelan people. It became evident that the coup was not a coup of the people but a coup of the business elite.
What is not often talked about is the role the U.S. played in helping to organize the coup. The U.S. met with all the key players prior to the coup itself.
As is the standard operating procedure, the U.S./NATO forces used the following method of demonization of those who do not meet U.S. standards: demonize the target . . . romanticize the opposition . . . attack the target.
Let us look at more recent events. In March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held by the legislature of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea as well as by the local government of Sevastopol, both subdivisions of Ukraine. The referendum asked the people of Crimea whether they wanted to join Russia as a federal subject, or if they wanted to restore the 1992 Crimean constitution and Crimea’s status as a part of Ukraine.
The vote was clearly in favor of seceding from Ukraine and joining Russia. Yet, one must ask, why is the West consistently referring to this event as Russian aggression and coercion of Crimea? Let us keep in mind that Crimea was once part of Russia, over 70% of its citizens are Russian and everyone speaks Russian.
The Supreme Council of Crimea considered the ousting of democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in the 2014 Ukrainian revolution as a coup and the new interim government in Kiev as illegitimate and stated that the referendum was in part a response to these developments.
The coup in the Ukraine was US/NATO supported. Yanukovych favored maintaining close ties to Russia while those who led the coup wanted to align themselves with US/NATO.
Despite the fact that NATO has expanded its influence eastward, in violation of an agreement with the Soviets when they withdrew from Germany, and currently has military troops along Russia’s border, the U.S. keeps accusing Russia of aggression and expansionist motives.
The mainstream media, under the direction of the U.S. government, continues, almost daily, to demonize Russia and especially its president, Vladimir Putin. Russia has been accused of hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s computers and exposing their attempts to steal the presidential candidacy away from Bernie Sanders and ensure it goes to Killary.
While everyone’s attention is refocused on Russia and Putin, no one seems concerned about the actions of the DNC.
The we have Killary getting sick with pneumonia and the MSM blaming Putin for having a role in this.
The playbook is familiar. It has been used since the end of WW2 . . . demonize Russia and its leadership. Russia is no longer a Communist country but the agenda is somewhat different. The U.S. wants to dominate the world economically and militaristically and Russia, along with China, stand in the way. Both countries will have to be neutralized even if it means war. What better way to generate popular support than overwhelm the people with fear and anger?
Dave Alpert has masters degrees in social work, educational administration, and psychology. He spent his career working with troubled inner city adolescents.