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Weekly Column - 04.22.2005

by J. R. Nyquist

This week Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Russia against selling arms to Hugo Chavez’s regime in Venezuela. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, in response: “Our military cooperation with Venezuela … doesn’t violate any of our international obligations.”

Two years ago I interviewed Hugo Chavez’s pilot and chief of air operations, Major Juan Diaz Castillo, who said: “Hugo Chavez is working to form a bloc of countries to fight the United States. For Hugo Chavez the United States is the enemy.” According to Diaz, Chavez intends to attack the United States on every possible front. “All of this is part of a grand scheme,” Diaz explained, “a grand system of connections on the international level.” 

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is a communist who pretends to be a populist reformer. He works closely with Fidel Castro. He privately cheered the 9/11 attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. He has long championed the cause of Saddam Hussein. Last year Moscow shipped 100,000 AK-47 rifles to Chavez. This year the Russians want to sell combat aircraft to this lunatic.

In her public response, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice ignored the implications of Moscow’s Venezuela policy. “Russia is not a strategic enemy,” she insisted. “We are not against Russia. We see Russia as a strategic partner in the war on terror.” Given her loose grip on reality, we should expect Ms. Rice to open relations with the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. We should expect her to endorse a non-aggression pact with the lost continent of Atlantis.

There is no reason to be kind to the U.S. Secretary of State after she has embraced Russia. If by publicly denying the Kremlin’s enmity the Bush administration imagines itself advancing a strategy of its own, then they have outwitted themselves. Russia will continue to arm America’s enemies until the United States calls Moscow to account for its actions. However inconvenient, the White House must hold Russia responsible for its many clandestine operations against the United States. In claiming that “Russia is not a strategic enemy,” Ms. Rice is giving Moscow an open-ended series of free shots to knock America to its knees.

In its April 19th edition, Geostrategy-Direct carried a report from a “European intelligence source” alleging that Russian officials have been plotting to use “various terrorist groups … as part of a strategic effort against the United States.” According to Geostrategy-Direct’s source, the National Security Council of the Russian Federation plans to use terrorists “to conduct strikes against U.S. targets.” This report would be incomprehensible if not for the fact that Russia’s special services are helping terrorists in Iraq.

In May 2003’s Jamie Glazov interviewed the famous Russian dissident Vladimir Bukovsky about “the unfinished Cold War” and Russia’s support for Saddam Hussein. “For several years,” Bukovsky said, “I tried to alert everyone I know in the US … that their perception of present day Russia is wrong. But the political establishment in the West does not want to know the truth. It is much more convenient for them to close their eyes….” Bukovsky also said that, “contrary to popular belief in the West, [Russia] is not on the way to democracy and a market economy.” According to Bukovsky “the KGB has won” in Russia. “Since the Soviet system was not eradicated, nor even conclusively defeated, lots of old features (and structures) remain practically intact.”

In the Czech Republic, anti-communist dissident Petr Cibulka recently stated: “I am certain that Moscow has never lost the old connections to world terrorism and never lost her control over terrorism.” Cibulka also noted: “I see Russia and China as America’s leading opponents. These countries fight America in such a way that their hands are never recognized behind the obstacles America faces.” In a recent article titled “Czech Republic: Friend or Foe,” Ross Hedvicek couldn’t imagine what Bill Clinton was thinking when he agreed to admit the Czech Republic into NATO. After naming the Czech prime ministers of the past 15 years, Hedvicek explained: “Out of those eight people, five were communists and the remaining three were politically so far left that they would qualify for the communist label without any difficulty.” He further noted: “In the current armed forces of the Czech republic … all senior officers are ex-communists and … represent their country at NATO headquarters in Brussels.”

In a February 1993 memorandum to American intelligence officials, KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn wrote: “The United States does not understand developments in Russia.” According to Golitsyn, “[T]here is no genuine, broadly based, organized political opposition in Russia and no foundation on which one could be built. The purported opposition exists to deceive and manipulate the perceptions and reactions of genuine democrats in the West. The West fails to comprehend the mentality of Russian leaders and overestimates their willingness to reform themselves.” Golitsyn further warned, “Too late it will be realized that there have been no equivalent reductions in the power and effectiveness of the Russian and Chinese armed forces or their intelligence and security services.”

All Americans should remember William T. Lee’s statement regarding the balance of power in his 1997 book, “The ABM Treaty Charade: A Study in Elite Illusion and Delusion.” According to Lee, “the Russians inherited large stocks of reserve (refire) missiles and warheads [from the USSR] that were not accountable under the SALT II Treaty. The U.S. does not know either the size or the locations of these stocks. CIA./DIA covered up the discrepancies in missile stocks in the Soviet START II declarations, as well as in all types of weapons covered by the CFE [Conventional Forces in Europe]. Neither agency has yet admitted that it underestimated [Russian] nuclear weapon production and storage by 50 to 100 percent, or more.” In other words, American intelligence agencies have consistently understated Russia’s nuclear and conventional strength and have insistently covered up these underestimations in subsequent years. Not only did Gorbachev and Yeltsin announce phony arms reductions that the CIA failed to detect, the Americans were “so mired in self deception” they failed to see Russia’s successful construction of a national missile defense system.

The facts speak for themselves: Moscow is sending weapons to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez for a reason. Chavez wants to bring down the United States. Given the simple algebra of the situation, Secretary of State Rice has no business saying that, “Russia is not a strategic enemy.” If this statement is meant to deceive the Russian leadership, we ought to scratch our heads and ask how this can possibly help the U.S. strategic position? Americans have a right to hear the truth about their national enemies. If Russia is an enemy, President Bush and his cabinet should say so flatly.

© 2005 Jeffrey R. Nyquist

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