Skip to comments.No Peter the Great (Putin Raises a Glass to Lenin, Stalin, Andropov).
Posted on 11/01/2004 4:34:15 PM PST by TapTheSource
September 20, 2004, 8:14 a.m. No Peter the Great Vladimir Putin is in the Andropov mold.
By Ion Mihai Pacepa
Vladimir Putin looks more and more like a heavy-handed imitation of Yuri Andropov does anyone still remember him? Andropov was that other KGB chairman who rose all the way up to the Kremlin throne, and who was also once my de facto boss. Considering that Putin has inherited upwards of 6,000 suspected strategic nuclear weapons, this is frightening news.
Former KGB officers are now running Russia's government, just as they did during Andropov's reign, and the Kremlin's image another Andropov specialty continues to be more important than people's real lives in that still-inscrutable country. The government's recent catastrophic Beslan operation was a reenactment of the effort to "rescue" 2,000 people from Moscow's Dubrovka Theater, where the "new" KGB flooded the hall with fentanyl gas and caused the death of 129 hostages. No wonder Putin ordered Andropov's statue which had been removed after the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991 reinstalled at the Lubyanka.
In the West, if Andropov is remembered at all, it is for his brutal suppression of political dissidence at home and for his role in planning the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. By contrast, the leaders of the former Warsaw Pact intelligence community, when I was one of them, looked up to Andropov as the man who substituted the KGB for the Communist party in governing the Soviet Union, and who was the godfather of Russia's new era of deception operations aimed at improving the badly damaged image of Soviet rulers in the West.
In early 2000, President Putin divided Russia into seven "super" districts, each headed by a "presidential representative," and he gave five of these seven new posts to former KGB officers. Soon, his KGB colleagues occupied nearly 50 percent of the top government positions in Moscow. In a brief interview with Ted Koppel on Nightline, Putin admitted that he had stuffed the Kremlin with former KGB officers, but he said it was because he wanted to root out graft. "I have known them for many years and I trust them. It has nothing to do with ideology. It's simply a matter of their professional qualities and personal relationship."
THE NATIONAL POLITICAL PASTIME In reality, it's an old Russian tradition to fill the most important governmental positions with undercover intelligence officers. The czarist Okhrana security service planted its agents everywhere: in the central and local government, and in political parties, labor unions, churches, and newspapers. Until 1913, Pravda itself was edited by one of them, Roman Malinovsky, who rose to become Lenin's deputy for Russia and the chairman of the Bolshevik faction in the Duma.
Andropov Sovietized that Russian tradition and extended its application nationwide. It was something similar to militarizing the government in wartime, but it was accomplished by the KGB. In 1972, when he launched this new offensive, KGB Chairman Andropov told me that this would help eliminate the current plague of theft and bureaucratic chaos and would combat the growing sympathy for American jazz, films, and blue jeans obsessing the younger Soviet generation. Andropov's new undercover officers were secretly remunerated with tax-free salary supplements and job promotions. In exchange, Andropov explained, they would secretly have to obey "our" military regulations, practice "our" military discipline and carry out "our" tasks, if they wanted to keep their jobs. Of course, the KGB had long been using diplomatic cover slots for its officers assigned abroad, but Andropov's new approach was designed to influence the Soviet Union itself.
The lines separating the leadership of the country from the intelligence apparatus had blurred in the Soviet satellites as well. After I was granted political asylum in the United States in July 1978, the Western media reported that my defection had unleashed the greatest political purge in the history of Communist Romania. Ceausescu had demoted politburo members, fired one-third of his cabinet, and replaced ambassadors. All were undercover intelligence officers whose military documents and pay vouchers I had regularly signed off on.
THE MAKING OF A DICTATOR General Aleksandr Sakharovsky, the Soviet gauleiter of Romania who rose to head the Soviet foreign intelligence service for an unprecedented 15 years, used to predict to me that KGB Chairman Andropov would soon have the whole Soviet bloc in his vest pocket, and that he would surely end up in the Kremlin. Andropov would have to wait ten years until Brezhnev died, but on November 12, 1982, he did take up the country's reins. Once settled in the Kremlin, Andropov surrounded himself with KGB officers, who immediately went on a propaganda offensive to introduce him to the West as a "moderate" Communist and a sensitive, warm, Western-oriented man who allegedly enjoyed an occasional drink of Scotch, liked to read English novels, and loved listening to American jazz and the music of Beethoven. In actual fact, Andropov did not drink, as he was already terminally ill from a kidney disorder, and the rest of the portrayal was equally false.
In 1999, when Putin became prime minister, he also surrounded himself with KGB officers, who began describing him as a "Europeanized" leader capitalizing, ironically, on the fact that he had been a KGB spy abroad. Yet Putin's only foreign experience had been in East Germany, on Moscow's side of the Berlin Wall. Soon after that I visited the Stasi headquarters in Leipzig and Dresden to see where Putin had spent his "Europeanizing" years. Local representatives of the Gauck Commission a special post-Communism German panel researching the Stasi files said that the "Soviet-German 'friendship house'" Putin headed for six years was actually a KGB front with operational offices at the Leipzig and Dresden Stasi headquarters. Putin's real task was to recruit East German engineers as KGB agents and send them to the West to steal American technologies.
I visited those offices and found that they looked just like the offices of my own midlevel case officers in regional Securitate directorates in Romania. Yet Moscow claims Putin had held an important job in East Germany and was decorated by the East German government. The Gauck Commission confirmed that Putin was decorated in 1988 "for his KGB work in the East German cities of Dresden and Leipzig." According to the West German magazine Der Spiegel, he received a bronze medal from the East German Stasi as a "typical representative of second-rank agents." There, in those prison-like buildings, cut off even from real East German life by Stasi guards with machine guns and police dogs, Lieutenant Colonel Putin could not possibly have become the modern-day, Western-oriented Peter the Great that the Kremlin's propaganda machine is so energetically spinning.
Indeed, on December 20, 1999, Russia's newly appointed prime minister visited the Lubyanka to deliver a speech on this "memorable day," commemorating Lenin's founding of the first Soviet political police, the Cheka. "Several years ago we fell prey to the illusion that we have no enemies," Putin told a meeting of top security officials. "We have paid dearly for this. Russia has its own national interests, and we have to defend them." The following day, December 21, 1999, another "memorable day" in Soviet history Stalin's 120th birthday Putin organized a closed-door reception in his Kremlin office reported as being for the politicians who had won seats in the Duma. There he raised a glass to good old Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (Stalin, meaning "man of steel," was the dictator's nom de guerre).
Days later, in a 14-page article entitled "Russia on the Threshold of a New Millennium," Putin defined Russia's new "democratic" future: "The state must be where and as needed; freedom must be where and as required." The Chechens' effort to regain their independence was mere "terrorism," and he pledged to eradicate it: "We'll get them anywhere if we find terrorists sitting in the outhouse, then we will piss on them there. The matter is settled." It is not.
SCAPEGOATING AND CONSOLIDATING On September 9, 2004, Chechen nationalists announced a $20 million prize on the head of the "war criminal" Vladimir Putin, whom they accuse of "murdering hundreds of thousands of peaceful civilians on the territory of Chechnya, including tens of thousands of children."
For his part, President Putin tried to divert the outrage over the horrific Breslan catastrophe away from his KGB colleagues who had caused it, and to direct public anger toward the KGB's archenemy, the U.S. Citing meetings of mid-level U.S. officials with Chechen leaders, Putin accused Washington of having a double standard when dealing with terrorism. "Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?" Putin told reporters in Moscow.
Then Putin blamed the collapse of the Soviet Union for what he called a "full scale" terrorist war against Russia and started taking Soviet-style steps to strengthen the Kremlin's power. On September 13, he announced measures to eliminate the election of the country's governors, who should now be appointed by the Kremlin, and to allow only "certified" people that is, former KGB officers to run for the parliament.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, its people had a unique opportunity to cast out their political police, a peculiarly Russian instrument of power that has for centuries isolated their country from the real world and in the end left them ill-equipped to deal with the complexities of modern society. Unfortunately, up until then most Russians had never owned property, had never experienced a free-market economy, and had never made decisions for themselves. Under Communism they were taught to despise Western democracy and everything they believed to be connected with capitalism, e.g., free enterprise, decision-making, hard work, risk-taking, and social inequality. Moreover, the Russians had also had minimal experience with real political parties, since their country has been a police state since the 16th century. To them, it seemed easier to continue the tradition of the political police state than to take the risk of starting everything anew.
But the times have changed dramatically. My native country, which borders Russia, is a good example. At first, Romania's post-Communism rulers, for whom managing the country with the help of the political police was the only form of government they had ever known, bent over backwards to preserve the KGB-created Securitate, a criminal organization that became the symbol of Communist tyranny in the West. Article 27 of Romania's 1990 law for organizing the new intelligence services stated that only former Securitate officers "who have been found guilty of crimes against fundamental human rights and against freedom" could not be employed in the "new" intelligence services. In other words, only Ceausescu would not have been eligible for employment there. Today, Romania still has the same president as in 1990, but his country is now a member of NATO and is helping the U.S. to rid the world of Cold War-style dictators and the terrorism they generated.
Russia can also break with its Communist past and join our fight against despots and terrorists. We can help them do it, but first we should have a clear understanding of what is now going on behind the veil of secrecy that still surrounds the Kremlin.
Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former two-star general, is the highest-ranking intelligence officer to have defected from the Soviet bloc. His book Red Horizons has been republished in 27 countries.
Thanks for the link.
=== But this complexion will begin to change as the younger generation begins to take over (in both countries).
You believe the younger generation is more "conservative" somehow?
You base this on what ... the way no one balks when the President quotes Scripture in Prime-Time as he pitches the use of Excess human beings for state-funded "humanitarian" research?
Buy a clue, TaptheSource. It's time you understood the FACT that the best friends the communists ever had are the so-called "pro-lifer" leadership of the so-called "conservative" party who laid out in the Congressional Record, no less, the Talking Points of the Democratic Party to date.
I think if you would hang your hat first and foremost on that Conscience which all men share rather than see the world strictly through a prism of personally interpretated Scripture to which all men are neither privy nor inclined, your prayer might be even more effective for it would center on the heart of the matter.
Seriously ... doesn't it nag at you in the least the way your model only goes so far and then becomes Complete Nonsense? That should bother you. There should be a reason for that.
I did accidentally delete a longwinded reply to you and another on various subjects the other day. I'll try to cobble it back together. But for now, understand that I didn't realize until a couple years ago that Israel was formed by UN fiat. I learned that AFTER I found out Haig took the reins for the most part of Kissinger's Narcotic's Council in the Nixon Administration, George H. Bush was our first ambassador to China and it was the GOP who first claimed abortion was "vital" to the Solution of population control.
That's when things started making sense for me, guy. =)
Seriously ... this "conservative=liberal" thing's just a red herring to keep folks busy on a safely Horizontal plane such that they don't much pay attention to the fact (or better yet, excuse same on account of "politics") that Bush fetes Kennedy and Dole fetes Clinton and -- to quote Cohen while speaking on a dais loaded with the GOP and Dem perma-leadership for the last two generations -- "The message they're sending is essentially the same thing."
If you would look through the telescope at others THE SAME WAY as you examine evil commies, I really do think your arguments would become even more strong.
Took me forever to get that far. I still refuse to turn the scope on Reagan too closely because -- like you -- there are certain sentimental attachments I just am not going to give up. He's the only GOP leader I know who's actually articulated a persuasive and solid defense of human life ... and one which would villify without question his wife's alleged support for stem cell research which relies on the purposed destruction of artificial reproduction's Collateral Damage once the more perfect Potential People are harvested and culled to order.
Any guesses on his favorite philosopher?
W.H. Auden famously called the 1930s a "low, dishonest decade." What we see in Russia today is a low, dishonest decadence.
Perhaps the most striking example of the way these factors shape Russian society is the country's progressive depopulation. Russia combines one of the lowest birth rates in the world with the death rate of a country at war. According to Igor Gundarov, the head of the Russian state center for prophylactic medicine, if present trends continue, the population of Russia will be reduced by half in 80 years, to about 73 million, making the present Russian state untenable.
In the years 1992-94 there was an almost vertical rise in the death rate. Mortality rose one-and-a-half times by comparison with the second half of the 1980s. The rise was so dramatic that Western demographers at first did not believe the figures.
The rise in the death rate was explained as a result of the sudden impoverishment of the population. Poverty alone, however, could not have been the reason for the rise in deaths. The economic level in the 1990s fell to that of the 1960s but in the 1960s the death rate in the Soviet Union was the lowest in the developed world. Gundarov concluded that poverty, state encouraged alcoholism, and the downgrading of the system of public health accounted for only 20 percent of the reduction in longevity in Russia.
The remaining 80 percent was attributable to the spiritual condition of the population in the wake of the failure to offer any new ideal for Russian society after the fall of communism. "There proceeded an attempt to 'transplant souls' and replace the old, non-market soul with a new, pragmatic businesslike approach to life," Gundarov said. This change was unaccompanied by an effort to provide . . . a reason for which the change should be undertaken. For many people, who needed something to live for, this change was intolerable and they lost the will to live because life no longer had any meaning.
Nikolai Berdyaev, the Russian religious philosopher, wrote that, In the soul of the Russian people, there should appear an immanent religiosity and immanent morality for which a higher spiritual beginning creates internally a transfiguring and creative beginning. In this, he saw the hope for the future. The Russian people, he wrote, need to enrich themselves with new values and replace a "slavish religious and social psychology" with a "free religious and social psychology." They need to recognize the godliness of human honesty and honor. "At that point", he wrote, "the creative instincts will defeat the rapacious ones." We and the Russian people are still waiting for "that point."
A Low, Dishonest Decadence: A Letter from Moscow
The National Interest -- Summer 2003
By David Satter
Putin begins to seriously worry me. He's starting to strongly resemble the military commander of Gog, as Bible prophesy seems to show that a Russian will lead an army against Israel in the last battle we call Armageddon. If Russia moves to send any sort of military force to the region in order to balance Israeli military presence, I'd say it was something to be greatly concerned about! I can't see the events of Ezekiel 38 and 39 being played out before the Church is raptured off the planet.
Our country was founded by folks who had the gumption to get on ships and cross oceans into the unknown, when such things had a 20% chance or higher of leading to death, to escape tyranny and injustice, so we have no idea how difficult it is for a country to change its leadership from absolute monarchy. Remember that Lenin lead the revolution against the Tsarist regime - which must have been somewhat less pleasant than the regime of Louis 14, 15, and 16, and in case you don't know how bad they were, read our founding fathers. They will tell you. Then Stalin had to deal with Hitler.
Don't get me wrong - I have no truck with Stalin or Lenin, but I'm not going to fault Putin for toasting the men who founded modern Russia.
=== The Soviets were too late to realize that the Irgun had by that time completely dashed their plans (and over the violent--and I mean violent--objections of the socialist Ben Gurion).
Oh pleeeeezzz don't throw me in da briar patch!!
(He was quite the fundraiser for a socialist, no? Funny how that works out ... 'course I'm just fresh from a Chicom capitalism thread so it's possible the smog of their Industrial Revolution's fogging my glasses somewhat. =)
Any recommendation from you is a must-read. Thanks Cornelis.
"Don't get me wrong - I have no truck with Stalin or Lenin, but I'm not going to fault Putin for toasting the men who founded modern Russia."
You think Lenin and Stalin were the founders of "modern Russia"? I might agree with you if you meant that Russia is being run by "former" Communists who just changed their party affiliations and kept on leading. I strongly suggest you read the "Black Book of Communism"! Just as Russia was beginning to modernize she was taken over by a completely alien force...not just to Russia, but alien to the entire human race. No freedom of speech, no freedom of religion, no private property, no free market (except the black market). Communism is anti-Human. If the Communists were bees, they would be against beehives. If they were birds, they would be against flocks and free flight. If they were beavers, they would be against dams. If they were fish, they'd be against their natural propensity to organize into schools. In other words, Communists are opposed to the way humans NATURALLY organize. Not just at the international and national level, but also the way they worship, raise their families, spend their money, organize into communities, etc. That's why they call their program REVOLUTIONARY. They seek to overthrow every last vestige of human society. The result is a vast, impoverished, prison camp where even thoughts can be criminalized, let alone actions.
Speaking of reading...read those books I suggested!!! BTW, did you read post #26? Wow.
BTW, seeing how your a Catholic, have you read the book "The Undermining of the Catholic Church" by Mary Ball Martinez? If you haven't, I suggest you pick up a copy. It exposes the (Commie) forces that have undermined the Catholic Church better than any other single work I know of. So your reading list has just grown by one more book!!! Now get on it!
"...the men who founded modern Russia".
The only sense in which one could speak of "modern" Russia is that today is November 2nd, 2004 there, just like it will be here in few hours time.
Civilizationally and culturally Russia has always been a backward communist society (from immemorial times, way before Marx), if by communism one understands a way of life - i.e. how people relate to one another and to their society, and not red banners, slogans and statues. As an aside - behaviorally our own clintons are communists.
Thus Putin (or rather Russian society of his time - he's merely a figurehead and a symbol) merely reverts to the historical and civilizational norm. "Modern" Russia does not and cannot have "founders", for "modern" Russia does not exist and has never existed.
"I just read a similar article on RAPTURE READY which stated the following (approximately) and with which I fully concur."
Just checked out your site recommendation. Looks like an excellent resource. Thank you!
BTW, did you read post #26? Wow.
I feel the same way after reading some of your posts, actually.
Romulus ... about Mary Ball Martinez (Vatican Press Corps '73-'88 and Wanderer contributor). Can you comment on the article I've linked here? I find it unsettling.
"Wow. I feel the same way after reading some of your posts, actually."
That's a pretty strong statement. If you would just speak plainly and directly, perhaps we could get to the bottom of my so-called inconsistencies (more likely yours). Instead, you always seem to spot a killer rabbit in my arguments and run away. Undaunted, I keep challenging you, but you always demure or muddy the waters with your esoteric meanderings. Do you really intend to spend your entire time writing endless words but never making a point?
As for the Martinez article, there was far more going on in the Catholic Church at that time re: the Jews than her article would imply. I will have to pull a few books off the shelf to do the subject justice. But you didn't answer my question, did you read her book?