Marina Kalashnikova’s Warning to the West
by J. R. Nyquist, Global Analyst. July 17, 2009
Meet Marina Kalashnikova: a Moscow-based historian, researcher and journalist. Last August she criticized foreign “experts” for suggesting that a conflict with Moscow will not happen because Russia’s elite is too closely associated with the West. According to Kalashnikova, “The West does not care to wake from the dream of its wishful thinking, even when Moscow turns to … reanimating Stalin’s cult of personality together with the ideology of the Cheka [i.e., the secret police].”
I’m afraid that Marina Kalashnikova is right. The West has been dreaming, and the West will suffer the consequences. If the Kremlin likes Stalin, then there will be trouble. If KGB officers have established a sophisticated form of dictatorship in Russia, they have done so for a reason. We should remind our politicians, with their short memories, that Stalin and his secret police did not run a Sunday school. Furthermore, the recent trail of blood and radiation leading back to the Kremlin is like a finger pointing to the greatest danger of our time – nixed from the news media’s prattle of the hour. (A retired KGB officer recently told me that “nobody is easier to buy than a Western journalist.”)
Russia has built an alliance of dictators, what Kalashnikova calls an “alliance of the most unbridled forces and regimes.” Extremists of all kinds serve the purpose of breaking the peace, damaging Western economies, and setting the stage for a global revolution in which the balance of power shifts from the United States and the West to the Kremlin and its Chinese allies. “Among the ideas that animate general staff analysts in the Kremlin, there is the idea of diffusion,” says Kalashnikova, “It is not that the Kremlin should strive for territorial expansion and the dissemination of its [political] model. The critical thing is power and the fulcrum of an overall strategic context. In that case, even if the Americans appear influential in the post-Soviet countries, Moscow remains in charge. The [Russian] General Staff therefore has successfully expanded Moscow’s position beyond and above the old Soviet position in Africa and Latin America.” What prevails, she says, is Moscow’s “assertiveness and determination without fear of a reaction from the West.”
In other words, the West has already been outmaneuvered. The KGB and the Russian General Staff have taken our measure, and they are laughing at us. Our leaders do not realize the sophistication of their enemy. They cannot see or understand what is happening. They blink, they turn away, continuing to use concepts gifted to them long ago by Soviet agents of influence. As a nation we are confused and disoriented, believing that the world is beholden to the West’s money power – and therefore, peace can be purchased.
“The Kremlin has activated a network of extremists in the Third World,” wrote Kalashnikova. “[At the same time] Russia has managed to shake off nearly all international conventions restricting the expansion of its military power.” In this situation, the only counter to Russian power is American power. Yet the American president is preparing to surrender that power in a series of arms control agreements that will leave the United States vulnerable to a first strike. Placing this in context, nuclear weapons are ultimate weapons, so that the West’s superiority in conventional weapons is therefore meaningless. Whoever gains strategic nuclear supremacy will rule the world; and the Russian strategic rocket forces are in place, ready to launch, while America’s nuclear forces are rotting from neglect.
The Russian historian sees that the West relies on the greed of Russia’s elite to keep the Kremlin in line. But this is a foolish conceit. Mao Zedong said that political power “flows from the barrel of a gun.” Therefore, the Kremlin’s logic is ironclad: Let the West keep its worthless currency. Moscow will have weapons, and in the end Moscow and its allies will control everything. The liberal may believe that protests and appeals to humanity are the ultimate trump cards. The financiers may believe that money makes the world go ‘round. Let them try to stop a salvo of ICBMs with liberal sentiment and cash. As far as the laws of physics are concerned, their favored instruments cannot stop a single missile.
According to Kalashnikova, “It is clear that the [Kremlin] regime has no restraint and will commit any crime, break any rule, surpass any benchmark in order to consolidate its already illegitimate power….” Even the old KGB chief, Vladimir Kryuchkov, was appalled: “Putin and others have to answer for what they are doing today to the country,” he said. But the West sleeps. The West doesn’t want to hear about the danger that rises in the East – from the Kremlin and its Chinese allies. As Kalashnikova points out, the warnings of Russian observers like Viktor Suvorov and Vladimir Bukovsky have been almost totally ignored. Western chauvinism is deep-rooted, and the Westerner takes his military and economic superiority for granted. He laughs at the idea that “the Russians are coming.” But the joke is on America. The Kremlin’s psychological advantage is vital and immediate, and extends into the political domain. This is significant because the outcome of every war is pre-determined by the political process leading up to the war.
Kalashnikova laments that Suvorov and Bukovsky remain largely unknown, “and are even hated by the Western establishment … [which] avoids uncomfortable truths about the world and themselves, especially when the truth comes from Russian critics.” Do the Americans have sense? Are they serious people? No, said Suvorov more than two decades ago. No, says Kalashnikova today. The Russian generals are getting ready. They are consolidating their influence because the coming war requires it.
“The NATO idea of deterrence means absolutely nothing to the Russian generals,” wrote Kalashnikova. “Unlike their Western counterparts, they are not afraid of big military and civilian losses. This was true in the time of Stalin. Losses do not affect the popularity of Kremlin rulers….” The philosopher Nietzsche once wrote that sacrificing people for a state or an idea makes that state or idea all the more precious to those who have made the sacrifice. Such is human psychology, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
“The strategic balance,” warned Kalashnikova, “has by and large never worked.” Standing outside the logic of nuclear deterrence, Kremlin leaders have modernized their nuclear bunkers. They are prepared to survive. “The current Russian military is not weaker than the USSR,” she says, “and in some areas it surpasses the Soviet military.” – This from a writer who has personally interviewed Russian generals, spy chiefs and statesmen. She goes on to say that after 9/11 Russia’s terrorist allies can be realistically assumed to play a key role in the strategic equation. And then she fatefully quotes a NATO functionary who spoke about the role of al Qaeda and Bin Laden as follows: “This [9/11 attack] is beyond their intellectual capabilities.” Insights of this kind have been known to trigger “polonium reactions,” as in the case of former FSB Lt. Col. Alexander Litvinenko – who publicly declared that Vladimir Putin was the master terrorist behind al Qaeda.
And here is where the plot thickens. When Marina Kalashnikova presented her analysis to Russian and Ukrainian readers on August 26, 2008, she annoyed the regime and made herself a target of the Russian secret police. Her Moscow residence was broken into. Private papers were stolen. Threats were made. And last, but not least, she was forcibly incarcerated in a psychiatric clinic for 35 days. “I am completely healthy,” Kalashnikova told me during a telephone interview on Sunday. “It was absolutely political … and not medical at all.”
And what excuse did they offer for breaking the door locks and grabbing her? “I was allegedly aggressive,” she explained, “even though I was staying behind the door of my own home.” What she had done, of course, was reveal the hostile intentions of the Russian government toward the United States. “Just yesterday,” she explained, “I got some threats that they would get me back to the clinic because I did not fulfill the agreement of not interfering in political subjects here. I am forbidden to do journalism and politics and interviewing and everything. So I can only arrange everyday life. My endeavors, and my active communication with the West regarding this psychiatric imprisonment [is forbidden]. I feel completely insecure here. It is no joke. It is no exaggeration. The reality is even more awful and criminal. I try not to frighten people. The American people are too comfortable. I have underestimated and under-described the situation. It is very dangerous. The situation needs their urgent sorting out.”
And what situation is she talking about?
“I think that Russia has always had America as the enemy,” Kalashnikova told me, “and it remains in such a capacity. I think that all preparations that Russia makes are military preparations, and preparations for war. I talked three times during recent days with … a former politician and party functionary and bright diplomat … and he confirmed that they expect war.”
I hope that Marina Kalashnikova is safe, and that Americans will appreciate her courage, heed her warnings, and prevent the outbreak of war through care and vigilance. Marina gave me permission to tell her story and relate her words to those who are sleeping in the West. She needs our help, and she deserves it.
© 2009 J. R. Nyquist