Putin: A Friendly Warning—Don’t Push America Too Hard!! You May Regret It!!
In the late 1970’s under the Nixon Administration, I was sent to Moscow to negotiate sotto voce a deal in which I would give the KGB/GRU Wang computers in exchange for Christian dissidents “hospitalized” at the Kaschenko Psychiatric Hospital. This may have been the first time that Christian lives were commoditized. No mention was made of potentially embarrassing statements like: “human rights violations”; “repression”; or psychiatric abuse, using the term ‘Sluggish Schizophrenia’ to negate the legal rights of Soviet political dissidents. We worked quietly and effectively to resolve our mutual national security interests and retained a modicum of good-will to allow for the ‘dissolution’ of the Soviet Union.
Mr Putin, contrary to your public statements bemoaning the downfall of the Soviet Union, you know all too well that it was crumbling from fifty years of Stalinist repression; economic dystrophy; and military fatigue. At that time when I was part of a select group of “architects” for the dismantling of the Soviet Union, both your Stasi and KGB bosses understood that Communism had failed it’s revolutionary mandates over the past decades. The Russians were impoverished, hungry for both freedom and bread. That was the reality when Reagan/Bush accomplished in the transformation.
Now, you inflame the nostalgia for an era that was replete with Gulags [prison camps]; torture; ethnic cleansing; and an assortment of genocides of different forms. You can stir the flames of Russian nationalism. That’s fine.
But please do not think of doing that at the expense of invoking anti-Americanism or anti-western sentiments.
That won’t work!
I can assure you!
Let me tell you a personal anecdote.
I can assure you!
Let me tell you a personal anecdote.
In the late 1970’s when I was in Moscow, several Soviet Intelligence officials were kind enough to invite me to their house for a private dinner. As you know, Putin, no one can be as hospitable as the Russians. We drank. We ate. We sang in English and in Russian. Then we each toasted the other—to health and peace.
It was touching moment, broken by a faux pas, unintended. A GRU [military agent] told me in a sarcastic way that we, Americans, were very immature and childish. I asked him how he came to his conclusion. There was no hostility. I even felt the warm sense of friendship that only ostensible enemies can share with each other in a moment of danger-- especially in the secret world of silence. The well-informed GRU agent correctly accused us, Americans, of loving childish items like Disneyland and cartoon characters. I raised my glass of vodka and laughingly added:
“Of course, my comrade, as usual you are right. But please remember that simple fact that those same Americans who created Disneyland and the Disney cartoons are creating ICBMs pointed straight at the USSR.”
Silence erupted . Everyone was stunned.
I simply added, “Nasdarovy!” “To your collective health”.
Putin, we all know that you are the leader of the Russian Federation because our intelligence community decided that you would be the best replacement for the drunkard Yeltsin. Please remember the very important element of the Soviet dissolution, there was not one shot fired in the dismantling of your precious evil empire. How that was done remains classified. However, I can assure you that it was based on understanding the Russian National Character and how it is at odds with the operational code of Bolshevism/USSR.
We, Americans, may seem simplistic to you, but don’t make the mistake that we don’t understand you, Russia and the ex-Soviet Union. We know you may crave some sort of revenge for what Americans did to your country, your relatives and your former bosses. Your former leader, the great Stalin, who murdered 27 million of his own people helped by your former colleagues at the KGB, GRU and NK VD created an institution called the U.S.S.R. that America dismantled with no battles, no guns. Trust me, what we accomplished in the dissolution of the Soviet Union was not child’s play.
We empathize with your need to poke fun at the spy novelists who claim that they dismantled the soviet union. Just remember that some of the great ones, Somerset Maugham, John Le Carre and others were also intelligence officers. I caution you to fight your own narcissism and tendency toward self aggrandizement. If unchecked, you could do great harm to the Russian Federation.
Most importantly, temper your own ENVY. It will lead to your destruction. How do I know this? Because I used ENVY to manipulate the downfall of the Soviet Union. Don’t fall for the same old trap again! The Russians have been nursing an inferiority complex since Catherine the Great ruled. Remember that she was German and she ruled with patience, wiliness and charm. Recommendation: partner with Angela Merkel to come up with some practical solutions for a workable detente. That could be very productive for you and the Russian Federation. Germany and Russia have always had a special relationship.
Once emotions have been tempered, feel free to channel your energy into writing your auto-biography. If that’s too close to home, then why not a spy novel? You could call it Putin’s Paradox. I can even suggest a book agent and possibly a publisher. Then who knows? Movie and TV rights, speaking tours, there is some serious money to be made. And you’ll be famous- in a good way.
This is a much better way to crown your career! I am talking Legacy, here! Do you really want to be known as a “Stalin” or the “Butcher of the Ukraine” like Khrushchev? That is so last century, so primitive! Good luck with controlling those demons and ghosts, you will need it. But think of the long lasting pay off if you do.