Snowden vs. the Soyuz

William Norman Grigg

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If it hadn’t
been for the subtle and cynical intervention of the imperial Russian
government, the American War for Independence might have failed.
George Washington and his colleagues would have been condemned as
traitors, and then dispatched to eternity with all of the horrors
devised by inventive sadists to deter similar impudence on the part
of those described as the Crown’s subjects.

This little-appreciated
fact should be pointed out to those who have claimed that there
was something inappropriate about Edward
Snowden receiving help from Russia
in his search for political
from the world’s most powerful and most lawless regime. 

At the time
of the American revolt, the British Empire enjoyed incontestable
superiority at sea, but possessed a mediocre army. It could project
power anywhere on the face of the globe, but depended on foreign
mercenaries to do most of the hands-on work of killing and dying. 

As the rebellion
coalesced in the American colonies, George III made a formal request
to Empress Catherine to rent 20,000 battle-hardened Russian infantrymen,
and a flotilla of Russian naval vessels to supplement the task force
en route to chastise the colonists. Catherine politely declined
the offer while bidding her fellow monarch good luck. In private
conversations, however, the Empress was indulgently disdainful of
the British king, saying that he had bungled the management of the
American colonies and should be “taught a lesson.”

refusal to intervene on behalf of King George was not the only favor
she did on behalf of the American patriot cause. As the War for
Independence unfolded, the Empress conducted a brisk business supplying
the navies of France and Spain, both of which gave material support
to the Patriot cause. 

When the British
government began to interdict neutral shipping to inspect for America-bound
“contraband,” Catherine sent communiques to Sweden, Denmark,
Holland, and Prussia proposing the creation of a “League
of Armed Neutralit
y” with the advertised aim of protecting
freedom of the seas. This had the effect of isolating Great Britain
diplomatically, thereby nullifying its naval advantage. France labored
under no similar restrictions. This is why the French fleet was
able to supply ninety percent of the weapons used by American rebels
in their War for Independence.

Russia was
one of several countries to which the Continental Congress had deployed
envoys in search of aid. Francis Dana, a former secretary to John
Adams, endured a long, lonely, and apparently fruitless mission
to the Court of St. Petersburg. Harried by the imperial secret police
and immersed in the exhausting intrigue of court politics, Dana
was never given an audience by the Empress, whose decisions were
guided by calculated self-interest, rather than idealism. The dejected
American emissary must have been astonished on his return to hear
John Adams laud Catherine as a “friend” of liberty’s cause,
and to hear Washington extol the virtues of the “great Potentate
of the North.” 

In his book
Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World 1788-1800
historian Jay Winik describes Empress Catherine — the authoritarian
ruler of a Russian police state — as the “midwife” of
American independence. The American revolt quite likely would not
have succeeded if Britain hadn’t been “neutralized and isolated
by Catherine’s Armed League”; by denying King George’s request
for military aid, and using her influence to curtail Britain’s naval
advantage, the Russian tyrant “helped bolster the hopes of
beleaguered American rebels fighting for their lives….”

The Russian
government of Vladimir Putin has rendered similar aid to an American
whistle-blower who is fighting for his life — much to the dismay
and outrage of people who are Americans by birth, rather than conviction,
and who mistakenly believe that patriotism is measured by one’s
willingness to abide the institutional criminality of the government
that insolently presumes to rule us.

In 1995, when
he plagued the House of Representatives, the
execrable Senator Charles Schumer
of New York ardently defended
the Regime’s annihilation of the Branch Davidians outside Waco,
and treated with unfiltered scorn anybody with sufficient temerity
to condemn that Soviet-caliber episode of state-inflicted mass murder.
As it happens, the
FBI’s campaign to annihilate state enemies at Mt. Carmel received
material assistance from the Russian security services
in the
person of the late Dr. Igor Smirnov of the Moscow Institute of Psycho-Correction
— whose wife, Elena Rusalkina, has continued his work as a
“counter-terrorism” contractor for the Department of Homeland

Schumer, who lauded the joint U.S.-Russian production at Mt. Carmel,
is now distraught that the Russians aren’t willing to help the Regime
in Washington apprehend a state enemy so he can be tortured and
put through a show trial. In a June 23 CNN interview, Schumer
that by “aiding and abetting Snowden’s escape,”
Putin had “put a finger in the eye of the United States.”
Schumer much prefers it when the Russians are aiding and abetting
Washington’s murderous crimes against the American people. 

Like the rest
of his detestable cohort, Schumer believes that the world’s inhabitants,
including foreign rulers, have a moral obligation to submit to Washington’s
will. Assuming that Putin was involved in the decision to facilitate
Edward Snowden’s flight from Hong Kong to Latin America, his actions
may well have been motivated by a desire to give a metaphorical
middle digit to Schumer and his ilk. 

In any case,
if Putin consciously aided Snowden, that choice – like those made
by the Empress Catherine — was based on calculations of political
advantage, rather than a principled devotion to individual liberty.
And Edward Snowden’s willingness to accept help from Russia is akin
to the entreaties made on behalf of the American rebels by Francis

about Snowden’s flight to Russia en route to Latin America, a very
good friend (and former editor) of mine observed: “If Edward Snowden
is going to hopscotch around the word to locations where elections
are rigged and human rights ignored, that giant sucking sound is
sympathy evaporating for him.”

A better way
of viewing Snowden’s behavior is that he is hopscotching around
the world to countries not ruled by governments that kill
people by remote control, and are strong enough to prevent him from
being seized and tortured by the only government that routinely
commits crimes of that kind.

Yes, Vladimir
Putin and his clique are products of the Soviet system that murdered
tens of millions of people. At present, however, they are content
to contain their ambitions to the country they currently control. 

Russian drones
aren’t plying the skies above distant countries, raining death and
terror on helpless neighborhoods. Putin the ex-KGB chief doesn’t
have Tuesday meetings to authorize summary executions on the basis
of a “Kill List” compiled by anonymous and unaccountable
functionaries. Russia’s
FSB secret police, like its counterpart, the FBI, does stage false-flag
terrorist incidents
, but once again, those are carried out for
domestic political purposes. Moscow doesn’t provide arms, training,
and support to terrorist groups in Syria, Iran, and elsewhere; that’s
Washington’s gig. And since September 2001 it has Washington, not
Moscow, that employs the services of KGB-trained secret police in
countries like Uzbekistan
and Syria.

During the
Brezhnev era, Soviet “journalists” routinely participated
in KGB-orchestrated denunciations of dissidents and human rights
activists. As the well-coiffed commissar David
demonstrated during his June 24 interview with Glenn
Greenwald, behavior of that kind is not quite commonplace for members
of the American media elite. An even more repellent example was
provided by New
York Times
columnist Ross Sorkin, who said on CNBC
“I’d almost arrest Glenn Greenwald [because] he wants to help
get him to Ecuador or whatever.”

Russia is ruled
by a degenerate gangster regime, not a cunning Communist cabal pursuing
global hegemony and ideological domination. In many important ways,
that long-suffering country is less collectivist than the United
States has become.

In Russia today,
“Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag
is required reading in schools for 11th graders,”
notes Russian writer
Stanislav Mishin
(who could be described as the Russian equivalent
of a Pat Buchanan-style nationalist conservative). “All the brutality
of the Soviets and the crimes that were committed will be in the
minds of our children for generations. Where is any review [in American
schools] of the crimes that Wall Street committed when it sponsored
and set up those same Communist Marxists or Hitler’s Fascist Marxists?
Nowhere. Where is the admission of the massacres that the American
army committed in the independent nation of the Confederate States?
Nowhere, nor [is there] anything of the terror bombings of German
cities or anything else of that nature. You will never hear anything
on these from those NYC/DC blabber heads who love their Wall Street
and think that genocidaires like Sherman were bully.”

Mishin observes
that under the administration of former President Medvedev (a protégé
of Putin), Russia had a flat income tax – “and not the 30% or so
suggested by those American conservatives but at 13” – and a top
corporate tax rate of 24% “compared to the American Federal rate
of 36% and additional state rates.” There is also a far greater
diversity of opinion in the Russian media than one finds in the
American “free” press — a fact underscored quite memorably by the
way the American media eagerly joined in the Orwellian Two-Minutes
Hate of Edward Snowden.

What about
foreign aggression and revolutionary subversion? Aren’t Putin and
his comrades to blame for promoting terrorism? One imagines Mishin
drawing a steadying breath before addressing that subject.

invaded over 30 nations in less than 200 years?” Mishin quite reasonably
inquires. “Who has fought over 6 wars since 1991: Iraq followed
by 10 years of bombing them, Somalia, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Iraq,
and Afghanistan, while engaging unofficially in Somalia, Kenya,
Yemen, Pakistan and the Philippines? Who waxes and screams for full
invasions of Iran, Yemen, Pakistan, Venezuela? Who threatened to
bomb our ships and come in and defend the Chechen Islamics? Who
sponsored revolutions in Serbia, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus
(failed), Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan (failed), Moldova (failed)?”

Whatever we
learn about Snowden’s motives and affiliations, questions of the
kind raised by Mishin should be honestly considered by those who
criticize the whistle-blower for “hopscotching” from country
to country to elude the long reach of the drone-murderers and dungeon
masters in Washington. Assuming that a gap separates post-Soviet
Russia from proto-Soviet Amerika, it’s one that can be crossed in
the kind of modest jump one performs in a hopscotch game.

26, 2013

Norman Grigg [send him mail]
publishes the Pro
blog and hosts the Pro
Libertate radio program

© 2013 William Norman Grigg

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This article originally appeared on: Lew Rockwell