You may remember the satirical movie, “The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!” made during the height of the Cold War (1966). In that film a Russian sub runs aground on a sandbar near the fictional Gloucester Island, off the New England coast. Both the inhabitants of the island and the submarine crew panic: is this an incident that will set off World War III? What ensues is a comedy of errors, and in the end conflict is happily avoided, but barely.
That movie repays re-watching, especially in our day, for what it says about how our impressions—our views—of Russia continue to influence our politics and foreign policy action across the globe, for good or for, mostly, ill.
I recently wrote a column about the persistence among most Americans of an irrational Russophobia on my blog, MY CORNER, and it was picked up and published nationally by LewRockwell.com on February 17. No sooner than it had appeared than the news broke from the Intelligence community that the Russians were at it again—attempting to throw the 2020 election for Donald Trump!
It was almost as if some well-placed Intel spook had met with me at “Rick’s Café Americain” (remember the film “Casablanca”?) and secretly revealed what was going to happen just a few days before it became public. The “Russia Hoax” was going to be fully reborn (in fact, as I wrote, it had never gone away). Like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster it has emerged again from our corrupted and corrupt Intelligence agencies (those government apparatchiks who are beginning to make Inspector Clouseau look like a genius) and the bowels of the frenetically ideological New York Times (and those poisoned zombie-brains in Congress, e.g. Adam Schiff). The Mueller Commission, try as it did, couldn’t find anything substantive because there isn’t and wasn’t anything there, save for the putrid defecation of three years of strenuous Deep State “investigation.” But with the crop of Establishment Democrat candidates for president looking increasingly like a lesser version the Keystone Kops, something—anything—had to be found, some additional obstacle, some roadblock to stop “the Donald,” and much more dangerously, the counter-revolution that he has (quite unwittingly) unleashed.
How better to do this than have the president’s own Director of National Intelligence, along with his Deep State ideological “Intel savants” (a true oxymoron!), brief Schiff and top Democrats, and without the president even knowing it! Ha! Talk about your own team sabotaging you—anyone remember those words of Julius Caesar: “Et tu, Brute?” And you also, Brutus? But it doesn’t take a Shakespeare play to instruct us on what is going on. As I have repeated too many times to count, one of President Trump’s major problems is that he has surrounded himself with Neoconservative and Deep State minions who diametrically oppose his announced 2016 agenda, and they have done everything possible—with some real success, especially in foreign affairs—to stymie and obstruct it.
Those once highly regarded agencies—the FBI, the CIA, the NSA—haven’t gotten much right since they officiously proclaimed from on high their infallible judgment about “weapons of mass destruction” hiding in Saddam Hussein’s outdoor outhouse. Their active immersion in the government-engineered plot to bring down a president—the Steele Dossier, the inveigling of General Flynn, Roger Stone, George Papadopoulos, etc., their use of British “intelligence” (the Brits stopped having “intelligence” after Enoch Powell’s warnings about unlimited immigration were ignored)—has revealed for anyone with eyes to see the fact that, at least in the upper echelons, those agencies form an integral part, an active arm of the managerial state apparatus that seeks to strangle any real dissent or opposition to its New World Order designs.
Most so-called “conservatives”—the Neoconservatives—accept the Russia boogeyman narrative. But it’s not so much Trump who is the target, it seems, but in their version the Russkies are just warmed-over Communists who want to “destroy our democracy.” The Cold War, in their pygmy-sized brains, continues unabated, and even the vaunted Rush Limbaugh has very real difficulty distinguishing the Communist Soviet Union and post-1991 Russia. Flying in the face of subsequent history and fact, he uses the terms interchangeably: palpable historical ignorance on parade. For him and the zealous Neocon interventionists it is still October 1962 and we are still mired in the Cuban Missile Crisis, although now it has been miraculously transported over to Ukraine. Just ask John Bolton (or the late, unlamented John McCain).
The other night I made myself listen to “Special Report with Bret Baier,” where the Fox News “All Stars” held forth, fully accepting the Hoax—yes, of course, they solemnly declared, the Russians are meddling in our 2020 election cycle, just like in 2016. The Intel folks—whose probity and diligence must not be doubted!—say so, and we must believe them. And Chris Wallace (who is by no means a “conservative” of any flavor) pronounced to Ed Henry on another segment that very simply “we must take these active threats very, very seriously. The Russians are AGAIN manipulating our elections.”
I almost regretted not signing up with that contractor who offered to build me a bomb shelter in my ample back yard. For only $125,000 he could construct for me an underground bunker that would withstand those incoming Russian MiGs….
Suddenly, I was put in mind of that satirical film from 1964, “Dr. Strangelove.” And I wondered if, echoing Peter Sellers in that scintillating cinema, the likes of Bolton, Bill Kristol, Max Boot, and those agents of Russophobia who now surround the president and have turned our Intel agencies and Congress into little more than a herd of docile bovines (with the connivance of all our television networks), would finally usher in the “Doomsday Weapon” (like in the final scene of the film).
Although from somewhat different perspectives and viewpoints, Establishment Conservatism (i.e, the Neocons) and the Left have made post-Communist Russia their target. Yet, the major threat by far—very far—is what the actually Communist Chinese are doing and have done. Adam Schiff doesn’t talk about that, and neither do most politicians or major American big name capitalists, because the Chinese Reds already own and dominate so much of this country’s infrastructure and business.
And the fact—still hidden from most Americans—that post-1991 Russia has actually turned towards its traditional religious faith and conservative (especially moral) traditions doesn’t go over well with the transgender-pushing, pro-same sex marriage establishment which dominates both political parties, both Leftwingers AND Conservatives, here in the United States. Recall John McCain bitterly criticizing Vladimir Putin for his “persecution” and suppression of lesbians (i.e., “Pussy Riot”) and same sex supporters in Mother Russia?
This is what Mainstream Conservatism has become: a sordid and disreputable second cousin of the rapidly advancing Leftist juggernaut. About what conservatism had become in the later part of the nineteenth century, I quote the words of the noted Southern critic Robert Lewis Dabney (1820-1898). His description readily applies today:
This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is to-day one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will to-morrow be forced upon its timidity, and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be denounced and then adopted in its turn.
American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it he salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious, for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom. It always—when about to enter a protest—very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to stop, that its ‘bark is worse than its bite,’ and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent rôle of resistance.
The only practical purpose which it now subserves in American politics is to give enough exercise to Radicalism to keep it ‘in wind,’ and to prevent its becoming pursy and lazy from having nothing to whip. No doubt, after a few years, when women’s suffrage shall have become an accomplished fact, conservatism will tacitly admit it into its creed, and thenceforward plume itself upon its wise firmness in opposing with similar weapons the extreme of baby suffrage; and when that too shall have been won, it will be heard declaring that the integrity of the American Constitution requires at least the refusal of suffrage to asses. There it will assume, with great dignity, its final position.
As we hurdle on to diabolical moral degradation in America, each step worse than the last, even though our masters tell us not to worry and just accept it, our supposed opponents in Moscow, Kazan and Novgorod recover and celebrate their Christian and moral beliefs and inheritance.
What irony! Is this not a full exemplification of Gilbert and Sullivan’s image of “topsy-turvy”?
And for the American traditionalist, for the orthodox Christian, to quote Patrick Buchanan, the question is: “On whose side is God NOW on?
This essay appeared in a slightly different version at MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey.