Wednesday, February 12, 2014


at someone else at least three fingers are pointing back at you. The opinions here are purely my own. Don’t blame anyone else for them.

I haven’t been watching the Olympics. I have absolutely no desire to watch the Olympics. But, apparently some or our politicians, news people and athletes are less than satisfied with how the Russians are handling the events.

Considering this story on Think Progress today, we don’t need to go around patting ourselves on the back. And more about what I think of Gerrymandering later. Add in the push back on gay rights, the war on women and the continued obstruction by the fundamentalist right the only difference between us and the Russians is a few hundred more years of semi representative government for us and a at least two millennia of successful invasions for them. We are rather good at pointing out the failings of others while ignoring the push backs occurring in our own country aren’t we?

And before we give ourselves too many high fives compare the US and Eurasia. We have several thousand miles of salt water to the east and west of us. We have a friendly government on our northern border and a totally dysfunctional government to the south of us. The last time we were invaded was two freakin’ centuries ago.

Russia is well, Russia in a way that Americans can’t begin to understand. It’s the Rodina, the Motherland. It’s been invaded from the east and west by Scandinavians, Mongols, Tatars, Germans, Poles, the French under Napolean. And some of those invasions weren't about territory. They were about religion. The Roman Catholic West and the Orthodox Catholic East were at loggerheads for centuries. There have been times when the territory controlled by the Tsars were the districts around Moscow and little else. She’s landlocked in a way that Americans can’t even begin to understand. 

Peter the Great dragged her kicking and screaming towards Europe in the early seventeenth century, but I’m not sure how effective that was or is. At the end of WWI the Revolution lopped off the head and replaced the monarchy with the Politburo and the party chairman, but I’m not how much changed for the people in the villages. Lenin and Stalin didn’t invent either the five year plans or the purge. The CHEKA became the KGB and Siberia had been a dumping ground for decades.

Stalin didn’t invent the political purge; check out Ivan IV AKA the Terrible. He was however, very, very good at it. Nothing like modern record keeping and firearms to rack up the body count. And if you think some of our good buddies over here wouldn’t like to follow in his footsteps, think again.

After WWII we saw a world wide communist conspiracy as Moscow encouraged, forced and otherwise managed to install semi friendly governments on her Western borders. Um, and what exactly were we doing at the same time in this hemisphere? It was less world wide conspiracy than a cold blooded determination that if there was another land war started in the west the invading troops would have to go through non Russian territory first. The Rodina must be protected at all costs.

And just a little side note. Since Afghanistan borders new Islamic republics that were part of the old USSR Soviet involvement to prop up a sympathetic government makes a heck of a lot more sense than our invasions of Afghanistan or Iraq.

Does that excuse the massacres, oppression, corruption and all the other problems Russia has had before and after the fall of the USSR? No, but before the flap our wings and crow about our supposed virtues it might be a good idea to take a good, long look and some of our own history. 

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