Skip to comments.Strategofr's 2006 Passover Analysis of the U. S. and the World
Posted on 04/18/2006 10:13:22 AM PDT by strategofr
Although I doubt anyone will believe what I have to say, I nonetheless feel compelled to present my Passover, 2006 analysis of the US and world situation.
People familiar with me know that I believe the Russians covertly control many leftist organizations throughout the world. I have partially detailed my thinking on this in previous posts and will not reiterate much background here.
I have been puzzled for quite some time about many events occurring over the past year. Most puzzling perhaps is the behavior of Iran.
First, let me give a little background about Iran and nuclear weapons. Iran has been building a broad-based infrastructure for a nuclear weapons industry for more than 20 years. They started not too long after they deposed the Shah. They realized that they were in opposition to the United States and its tremendous power and wanted to have nuclear weapons to deter a US attempt to overthrow their government. (Aside from things obviously deriving from recent news reports, the bulk of my information here referring to Iran's relationship to nuclear weapons and missiles and the Iranian relationship to Russia comes from the book Iran's Nuclear Option, by Al J. Venter, 2005.)
This Iranian preparation has included sending Iranian students abroad to study all aspects of nuclear technology, including centrifuge technology, reactor technology, etc. As the Iranian students became educated, they set up university programs inside Iran---programs that have now become quite broad and extensive. Over this period of time, Iran has been moving toward developing nuclear and missile capabilities in more concrete ways as well.
However, for many years I believe they were severely limited by a lack of strong foreign help. They were deadly enemies of Iraq--- a Russian client. By 1997, Russia had clearly decided to start helping Iran actively--- presumably because Iraq had become so weakened due to US actions. Russian help has included the provision of missile technology and the building of nuclear reactors. By Iran now has the capability of sending missiles far into Europe, presumably utilizing primarily Russian technology--- if not simply Russian rockets that have been repainted. Iranian progress toward nuclear bombs also seems well advanced--- Though their exact stage of development is uncertain.
Nonetheless, their behavior in the past year has been puzzling. If they are indeed close to the attainment of both nuclear weapons and long-range missiles to deliver them, this should be a time of relative quiet for Iran on the issue. Theoretically, the Europeans and the UN were trying to prevent them from attaining a weapon, but they were quite content to be quietly failing in this effort. The U. S., preoccupied in Iraq, was willingly participating in the charade. The brief period of time just before attaining nuclear weapons and ICBMs is not the time to draw attention to one's self. It is a time when in danger looms for others, but you yourself are still helpless. Why make a fuss at such a moment?
Yet, the Iranians have forced themselves onto center stage with a series of bellicose nuclear threats. We must note the similarity between their behavior and the recent behavior of North Korea in regards to nuclear weapons. North Korea is such a complete puppet of China that the prospect of their acting independently is ludicrous to me. Clearly, the North Korean actions were designed (by the Chinese) to distract the United States--- probably from its focus on Iraq (as a favor to the Chinese buddies, the Russians, who are big players there). In regards to North Korea, you have to realize that in the beginning of the Korean War, the U.S. Army destroyed the North Korean army and occupied all but a few square miles of North Korea. Their country ceased to exist. It was reconstituted entirely and only by the Chinese military. Anyone who believes that the Chinese would somehow allow North Korea to "slip away" from their control simply knows nothing about Communist China. In any case, the North Korean tempest in a teapot somehow subsided.
But it was replaced by an identical one in Iran. Freeper SouthHack seemed surely to be on the right track with his analogy between the Iranians and the rodeo clown. The Iranian actions had to be a distraction--- but from what? SouthHack's idea that the Iranian's were trying to distract people from Hezbollah was not convincing to me.
Inside the U. S., odd things were happening as well. Here, people who do not know me must simply realize that I believe the Russians essentially control the American Left. A short while ago, there was an attempt to have anti-Iraq war demonstrations throughout the country. This attempt fizzled so completely, many of you probably never heard about it. Understanding the structure of the Left as I do, this event puzzled me. Of course, conservatives in general were delighted by this non-event. They took it as evidence that support for the Iraq war inside the US was solid.
Then of course, came the Pro-illegal Immigration Rallies. These have been a massive success. Oddly, these rallies have been set up by the same exact groups that always set up all antiwar rallies, the group of organizations we conservatives generally refer to as "the Communists".
Meanwhile, Iraq has moved into an odd state. They've had an election but are unable to form a government. Like most Americans, I'm fairly ignorant about parliamentary systems. However, it seems to me that this has happened in other parliamentary countries. I believe the usual remedy is to have another election quickly. Obviously, no one is eager to try this in Iraq.
I would describe the current situation in Iraq as a "slow boil". Slowly, the relatively weak elements that make up civil society are dissolving under the pressure of continual murders of groups of people on both sides (Sunni and Shi'ite). Yet, nothing "blows". I believe the Russians now hold most of the cards in Iraq. True, the U. S. Armed Forces control the country in a military sense. But everyone in Iraq knows that the U. S. Armed Forces will not be in Iraq for a very long time.
The Russians set up Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq. They set up his Secret Service, his network of spies, etc. In the relative chaos that has existed since the US occupation began, the Russians have no doubt reestablished their control over many elements inside the Sunni community. The Iranians, on the other hand, have gained a significant amount of control over the Shi'ite community. Both Allawi (who I respect above all other persons inside Iraq) and Debka Files (which I have found to be a relatively reliable source of information despite nearly everyone's opinion to the contrary) believe that the Iranians heavily influenced the most recent Iraqi election--- including the widespread use of intimidation and fraud. It appears the Iranian influence among the elected legislators is very great. But Iran is now a client of Russia. So, Russia is holding most of the key cards in Iraq today.
What then, is Russia's goal, as evidenced over the course of the past year? I believe the KGB, upon a aceeding to power in Russia, did not change their main focus or the focus of the Russian government. I believe their number one goal is the destruction of the country Lenin described as the "main enemy"--- the United States.
Currently, their best way to advance in this regard is to help elect Hillary Clinton--- a lifelong Marxist and servant of Russia--- as President.
The best way to do this would be to convulse Iraq in a violent civil war starting in about September or October, 2008. This requires two things--- the ability to initiate such a civil war, and the ability to retard its outbreak until the right time. There is also one other crucial element in the equation--- the U. S. forces must not withdraw from Iraq before that time.
With apologies for jumping a bit here, I must briefly attend to the 2006 elections. I believe the Democrats need to show as weakly as possible and 2006 (to optimize the chance for Hillary's election). Certainly, this theory is completely consistent with their recent actions to date. Although conservatives to light in concluding that Democratic activity has been the result of mental disorders, I do not believe this is the case.
The fact is, the Democrats have absolutely nothing to offer the American people at this time. A strong Democratic showing in the 2006 election would spotlight this reality for the American people. This would tend to create a counter-reaction in 2008, and reduce Hillary's chances of being elected. Hence, I believe the Democratic goal in 2006 (guided by their Russian big brothers), is to not show very strong against the Republicans. As we inside the Republican Party know, this will take some doing.
I believe the Russians have the world in almost exactly the place they it want to be in September- October 2008. Their biggest problem right now is that it is not September 2008 but April 2006. What the Russians need to do over the next two and half years is put the world on hold, to freeze time --- an extremely difficult thing.
Now, I will move towards drawing together the various threads I have created. The failed demonstrations on the Iraq war were a communication from the Russian masters of the American to Left to the sometimes disparate elements of the American Left--- quell the anti-Iraq energy. The time is not yet right to maximize American sentiment against the Iraq war.
The massive and massively successful demonstrations in favor of the illegal immigrants were designed to distract the country from the Iraq war at this time. The American military, no doubt spurred by the administration, has developed a tremendous momentum in the direction of getting out of Iraq. The Russians want to be careful to not have the American Left do anything to accelerate this at this time. In addition, the lack of a government in Iraq obviously makes the prospect of America withdrawing completely extremely embarrassing and difficult to actually do.
The Iranian nuclear publicity is also designed to divide the attention of the Americans on every level--- from ordinary citizens and voters--- up through the military planners--- and into the White House. In general, divided attention makes it more difficult to focus on Iraq and solve problems there. In addition, the Iranian situation is generally demoralizing to Americans.
Well, that's pretty much it.
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Intresting take. Thanks for your thoughtful input.
A good analysis. I have always said that within the Russian government there are unrenerate Marxists and nationalists who believe the glory days of Russian occurred under Stalin. They long to return to those days. To them the United States is enemy numero uno. This makes Russia's cozying up to Iran explicable. Also, they may have gotten some back channel promises from Iran that they would no longer support the Chechens. In fact, I would not be surprised that the Iranians dropped a dime on Chechen agents and operations in return for Russian assistance in building a great big firecracker.
"People familiar with me know that I believe the Russians covertly control many leftist organizations throughout the world. I have partially detailed my thinking on this in previous posts and will not reiterate much background here."
I'd agree, insofar as leftist organizations are anti-US organizations, so they can generally be counted on to follow the Russians. The so-called Institute for Global Education was a Soviet front, and it fell apart when the USSR did. As Russia vanishes from history (low birth rates, emigration), it can still try to drag us into its grave.
But the main reason for Russian arms sales (Iran, Venezuela, Syria) is cash. Back when the USSR fell apart, the US should have actively recruited Soviet scientists and arms technologists, a la post-WWII "Paperclip". Alas, didn't happen.
The Russians have been dismantling Chechnya, as well as its own post-Soviet capitalists, in order to impose state control over hydrocarbon supplies, a major export which will grow in importance for some years. Shed of its troublesome, landlocked, predominantly Moslem SSRs in Central Asia, Putin's renewed Soviet Union can concentrate on solvable problems, such as Chechnya.
The Chinese are not allies of Russia. They are enemies, and have been since 1960 at least. From time to time the Chinese and Russians pursue a common interest at the expense of the US, but China needs Russian oil and gas to support development and growth. North Korea is a political convenience only for the Chinese -- to control it, the Chinese would literally have to invade and occupy it.
Then of course, came the Pro-illegal Immigration Rallies. These have been a massive success. Oddly, these rallies have been set up by the same exact groups that always set up all antiwar rallies, the group of organizations we conservatives generally refer to as "the Communists"... The massive and massively successful demonstrations in favor of the illegal immigrants were designed to distract the country from the Iraq war at this time.I like the deep suspicion you have for the leftists, but I don't see this as something cooked up by the Russians; as you note, the Dhimmicrats don't have much to offer, and trying to co-opt a large and growing voting bloc -- one that is mostly socially conservative -- makes a lot of sense for the 2006 campaign. I for one am grateful that the 2006 midterm elections haven't monopolized the news, but then, I'm just paranoid enough to think that the partisan media shills are avoiding coverage of the election by concentrating on DeLay, the Iraq liberation, Iranian nukes, Plame/CIA, etc, in order to depress turnout by conservative voters.
"Intresting take. Thanks for your thoughtful input."
"A good analysis. I have always said that within the Russian government there are unrenerate Marxists and nationalists who believe the glory days of Russian occurred under Stalin. They long to return to those days. To them the United States is enemy numero uno. This makes Russia's cozying up to Iran explicable. Also, they may have gotten some back channel promises from Iran that they would no longer support the Chechens. In fact, I would not be surprised that the Iranians dropped a dime on Chechen agents and operations in return for Russian assistance in building a great big firecracker."
Thanks. I believe the Iranians would do almost anything to get nuclear weapons.
I think we did try to get as many scientists as possible. With 'Paperclip", they were prisoners and we just took possession of the Nazis. Not to mention the Soviets got their fair share of Nazi scientists.
We would also be happy to see links of reference if availible.
"We would also be happy to see links of reference if availible."
Sorry, I have none.
"I'd agree, insofar as leftist organizations are anti-US organizations, so they can generally be counted on to follow the Russians. The so-called Institute for Global Education was a Soviet front, and it fell apart when the USSR did."
But other, better hidden connections between the Russians and the American Left remained, in my opinion. Unfortunately, I cannot prove it.
"As Russia vanishes from history (low birth rates, emigration), it can still try to drag us into its grave."
Perhaps we agree, in a sense. In my view, Russia is not vanishing. From the standard perspective, they are in a great decline. But the standard perspectives may not be the crucial one---especially as far as the United States is concerned. I feel Russia's main strength and talent, at this point in time, is subversion. I believe the Russians have elevated the practice of subversion higher than anybody in the history of the world. Utilizing this talent, combined with their other assets, they have a reasonably good chance to destroy our society. If they do so, the possibility of them "vanishing" afterwards does not make me feel any better.
"But the main reason for Russian arms sales (Iran, Venezuela, Syria) is cash."
I agree, but wouldn't you also agree that they are at the same time playing the same old anti-American game---albeit twisted into a new form.
"Back when the USSR fell apart, the US should have actively recruited Soviet scientists and arms technologists, a la post-WWII "Paperclip". Alas, didn't happen."
Agreed that would have been a good idea.
"The Russians have been dismantling Chechnya, as well as its own post-Soviet capitalists, in order to impose state control over hydrocarbon supplies, a major export which will grow in importance for some years. Shed of its troublesome, landlocked, predominantly Moslem SSRs in Central Asia, Putin's renewed Soviet Union can concentrate on solvable problems, such as Chechnya."
True. And I believe the Russians are playing a central role in the troubles that are causing oil prices to be so high---which benefits them. I believe they may have found a formula to keep oil prices high indefinitely--due to creating world tension. The fact that the US will be worrying the most will be icing on the cake for the Russians.
"The Chinese are not allies of Russia. They are enemies, and have been since 1960 at least."
Anatoli Golitsyn, high-ranking KGB member who defected to the US in 1961, says the Russian Chinese conflict starting in 1960 was a fake. He says it was concocted in a series of international communism meetings in Moscow from 1957 through 1960, meetings that he not only attended but helped create the agenda for. (New Lies for Old is the title of his first book.)
"From time to time the Chinese and Russians pursue a common interest at the expense of the US, but China needs Russian oil and gas to support development and growth."
I would agree, on many levels, that Russian and Chinese interests diverge. Yet I believe they are much closer allies than they let on.
"North Korea is a political convenience only for the Chinese -- to control it, the Chinese would literally have to invade and occupy it."
We disagree completely on this one.
I believe the Russians have elevated the practice of subversion higher than anybody in the history of the world.They'd definitely be in a tie for first, that's for sure. Another part of their long term pattern is to fight by proxy -- and that would include their own old adversaries, fanatical Moslems. They got more than the bargained for in their war in Afghanistan; seeing the US prevail in such short order with so few troops must have chapped quite a few asses in Moscow. Aiding same (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan) shows a certain calculated recklessness on the part of Putin et al.
"They'd definitely be in a tie for first, that's for sure. Another part of their long term pattern is to fight by proxy -- and that would include their own old adversaries, fanatical Moslems. They got more than the bargained for in their war in Afghanistan; seeing the US prevail in such short order with so few troops must have chapped quite a few asses in Moscow. Aiding same (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan) shows a certain calculated recklessness on the part of Putin et al."
OK, so who they tied with?
Nice to see someone who realizes the dynamic of what has happened vis-à-vis the Russians and the radical Islamacists. Obviously, in the early days after 1917, Russia was on a direct collision course with Moslems all over the world due to the atheism of communism.
I agree with you that Afghanistan was an eye-opener for them. I also suspect they were impressed by the high levels of resistance they encountered with the Moslems of Central Asia. By and large, very close to nothing has ever come out on this conflict, but the mere fact of Russia voluntarily giving away Central Asia speaks volumes. I believe part of the Russian incentive to fight in Afghanistan was to prevent more discontent from spreading into their Central Asian territory.
Since the Russians abandoned communism in 1991, This is freed them to court the Islamicists. Unlike most people, I think the Russians are tied into Al Qaeda as well. See info at bottom of post.
I happen to think "calculated recklessness" is a very good term to describe Putin.
Volume 2 Issue 1 (January 15, 2004)
A RUSSIAN AGENT AT THE RIGHT HAND OF BIN LADEN?
By Evgenii Novikov
The Arabic television channel Al Jazeera broadcast an audiotape on December 19, 2003, that was said to be from Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the right hand man of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. In it, Zawahiri claimed that his group was chasing Americans everywhere, including in the United States. This claim helped raise the terror threat level.
But where is Zawahiri, whose head now carries a price of US$25 million? Recent media reports have said that he is hiding in Iran, though Iranian authorities deny this. Yet it could be that Russian intelligence knows exactly where he is and may even have regular contact with the elusive Egyptian.
Zawahiri as Prisoner
There are many accounts of Ayman al-Zawahiri published in the press. These stories cover Zawahiri's childhood and his relatives, his study of medicine, his connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, his involvement in the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, his close relations with Osama bin Laden, and his role in major terrorist attacks against the United States. But there are few authors who mention that Zawahiri spent half a year in close contact with representatives of Russian intelligence while in their custody.
Significantly, these contacts led to a change in Zawahiri's political orientation. Long talks with Russian intelligence officers "forced a critical change in his lethal planning. ...America, not Egypt, became the target... Freed from Russian jail in May 1997, Dr. Zawahri found refuge in Afghanistan, yoking his fortunes to Mr. bin Laden. [Zawahiri's group] Egyptian Jihad, previously devoted to the narrow purpose of toppling secular rule in Egypt, became instead the biggest component of al Qaeda and a major agent of a global war against America. Dr. Zawahri became Mr. bin Laden's closest confidant and talent scout." 
The story of Zawahiri's Russian experience begins on December 1, 1996, when he was traveling under the alias "Mr. Amin" along with two of his officers--Ahmad Salama Mabruk, who ran Egyptian Jihad's cell in Azerbaijan under the cover of a trading firm called Bavari-C, and Mahmud Hisham al-Hennawi, a militant widely traveled in Asia. The group was accompanied by a Chechen guide. They were trying to enter Russia between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains in an effort to discover whether Chechnya could become a base for training militants. It was here that the group was arrested by Russian police for a lack of visas. They were soon handed over to the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB.
When Zawahiri's computer was later discovered in Afghanistan by two journalists, it provided insight into Zawahiri's side of the story. In short, it goes as follows:
The Russians failed to: 1) find out Zawahiri's real identity and the goals of his visit to Chechnya; 2) read the Arabic texts in his laptop, which would have revealed the nature of his activities; and 3) read the coded messages that he sent from custody to his friends.
Zawahiri's Version Debunked
Yet based on my own twenty years' experience with Russian intelligence people involved in Arab affairs, these claims simply do not ring true. The Soviet KGB had good--albeit indirect--connections with Islamic fundamentalists, including the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian Jihad. The curriculum of Arab terrorists who studied at Moscow International's Lenin School placed special emphasis on cooperation between Marxists and Islamists. Soviet instructors would encourage Arab terrorists to consider the Muslim Brothers and other Islamic extremists as "allies in class struggle."
Good contacts between the KGB and Islamic fundamentalists existed at the time of the Egyptian Jihad's 1981 assassination of Anwar Sadat, after which Zawahiri was jailed by Egyptian authorities. Since the KGB followed these events very closely and may have even been indirectly involved in the plot, the KGB would have put Zawahiri's name into its records at that time. Therefore, when Zawahiri crossed the KGB's path again, that organization likely would have soon discovered his real identity.
Additionally, local Islamic organizations flocked to Zawahiri's aid during his detention and trial in such large numbers that the Russians and even Zawahiri's own lawyer were puzzled by the outpouring.  This would have been another tip-off to the authorities that they had more than just a mere merchant (Zawahiri's reported claim) in custody. Also, the fact that he was arrested along with a Chechen should have raised additional suspicions.
Perhaps most difficult to believe from Zawahiri's version is that his captors would not have read the Arabic information contained within his laptop computer. Russian intelligence has probably the best Arabists in the world. One of them--Dr. Evgeny Primakov--headed the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service from December 1991 until January 1996 and made a considerable efforts to bring many talented Arabists into this service. These individuals would have been able not only to read Zawahiri's Arabic text, but also to decode his encrypted messages without any problem.
Thus, with Zawahiri's true identity and purpose uncovered by the Russians, these authorities would have been faced with several options. One would have been deportation to either Egypt or the United States, with gratitude from those governments for Russian President Yeltsin, burnishing his image as a fighter against terrorism. But apparently the Russians decided not to do this, believing perhaps that their national interest was better served by another alternative.
One should bear in mind that at the time of Zawahiri's capture, Chechnya was enjoying a period of actual independence from Moscow. The Kremlin was having great difficulty finding "agents of influence" among the Chechen people. At the same time, Moscow knew that representatives of al Qaeda and other foreign Islamic fundamentalists were present in Chechnya and exercised strong influence on the Chechen leaders, especially on the military commanders. It would have been logical, therefore, for the Russians to try to persuade Zawahiri to cooperate with them in directing the activities of Arabs in Chechnya, in getting information about the plans and activities of Chechen leaders, and in influencing the Chechen leadership.
It may not have been too difficult for Russian officers to persuade Zawahiri to go along with such a plan. The prisoner would have been very frightened by the prospect of being deported to Egypt or remaining jailed in Russia. Furthermore, methods of torture during interrogation used by KGB officers would have truly almost scared Zawahiri to death. Execution very likely was just one threat.
Once made aware that the KGB knew of his true identity, Zawahiri would have realized that it would be useless to lie further. At a minimum, Zawahiri would have had to agree to cooperation with Russian intelligence to save his life and to buy his freedom. It is possible that the Russians also offered some form of assistance to Zawahiri and al Qaeda. This could have been in the form of explosive technology or other weaponry.
It is notable that Taliban and al Qaeda militants in Afghanistan received regular re-supplies of Russian arms. The man responsible for these deliveries was Victor Anatolievich Bout, the son of a top KGB officer. His father's connections helped establish Bout in the arms trade, which is linked to the Russian government and particularly to its intelligence services. Bout and his family currently reside in the United Arab Emirates. 
It is also not difficult to imagine that the Russians managed to get some information from Zawahiri about his colleagues that could have been used to blackmail him if he tried to avoid cooperation after his release. With an agreement reached between Zawahiri and the Russians, the authorities would have taken steps to make the Egyptian look "clean" to his Arab comrades and the Chechens. It would not have been difficult for them to stage Zawahiri's trial, at which the judge gave him only a six months' sentence, much of which he had already served.
A final note: Arabs are still very active among the Chechen militants today, and yet the Russians appear to turn a blind eye toward their infiltration and do not hunt them particularly. Even the most influential among the Arabs, Khattab, may well have been killed by his own people. Arabs have also never been listed as POWs. Perhaps the Russian forces have an order to kill Arabs on the spot: Nobody wants them to reveal unwanted information during interrogations. Thus left alone, the Arabs exercise significant influence over the activities of Chechen commanders according to orders from Zawahiri. Presumably they do so without understanding that they could well be the Trojan horses who actually execute the Kremlin's orders. For example, the Arabs apparently do not encourage Chechen militants to direct any attacks against Russian leaders in Moscow. This could be accomplished simply by refusing to pay for such operations.
In contrast, the Arabs do seem to encourage the taking of hostages from among the common people, as in the Moscow youth club Nord-Ost incident, thus making it easier for the Kremlin to stoke public anger against "Chechen terrorists." This in turn helps Vladimir Putin garner popular support for his own authoritarian actions as well as those of his former KGB colleagues who now occupy 65 percent of top governmental positions. Dr. Zawahiri may thus be the queen in the Kremlin's chess game not only in Chechnya, but also in Russia's power struggle at the highest levels. If so, it is not likely that the Russians would surrender him merely to help win the global war on terror.
Dr. Novikov is a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation.
1. "Saga of Dr. Zawahri Sheds Light On the Roots of al Qaeda Terror;" Andrew Higgins and Alan Cullison; The Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2002.
3. "International Business of Russian Mafia," Sueddeutsche Zeitung, February 1, 2001.
By and large, very close to nothing has ever come out on this conflict, but the mere fact of Russia voluntarily giving away Central Asia speaks volumes. I believe part of the Russian incentive to fight in Afghanistan was to prevent more discontent from spreading into their Central Asian territory. Since the Russians abandoned communism in 1991, This is freed them to court the Islamicists.The first I heard about the ongoing war inside the USSR was from a classmate who interviewed a mercenary (this was circa 1974) who had fought uprisings in the employ of the Soviets. In retrospect, and assuming the account is true, I could see that as one of the precursors to Soviet occupation of Afghanistan after the establishment of the usual puppet state and mutual defense pacts and the usual nonsense.
"The Soviet Union fell in 1991, but Communism is just single party state dictatorship, which makes it identical to Nazism and Fascism (just the propaganda of what they say they are is different; what they do and how they operate is identical). Putin and company have never abandoned that."
In terms of level of evil and in terms of being hostile to the U. S. and being a threat to the U. S.---I agree that the current government of Russia is the same as the Communists.
Of course, Russia today does not really operate a communist system. They have a total dictatorship, true, with no real freedom, no freedom of the press, no independent judiciary, all of which is just like communism. They are hostile to the United States and practicing subversion throughout the world, just like the Communist government did.
However, they do not operate a system in which all economic processes are directly controlled by the government, as was the case under Soviet communism. Remember, private enterprise was completely illegal in the Soviet union during most of its existence. In maybe the last decade (the 1980s), I believe they legalized very small private enterprises, such a small restaurants.
Of course, the current system is not true capitalism, they have no transparency, they are practicing crony capitalism, their economy is dominated by large "trusts" that consist of large segments of the old government economy, sold off primarily to people who used to be high-ranking Communists, at ridiculously low prices. And having new real independent judiciary illuminates the possibility of fair competition or any real type of market, as we know it.
As bad as the system is, it actually works much better than communism did. This is not a testament to how well Russia is working now, but to how very badly it worked in the past.
One thing that will crush all these bastards without shedding one drop of blood is $30 OIL!
"One thing that will crush all these bastards without shedding one drop of blood is $30 OIL!"
Yes it would be devastating to them, but it seems unlikely. Apparently, there is plenty of oil left in the world---but of the shale oil variety. They are starting to pull it out of the ground in Canada, where most of it seems to be, but no one is predicting it will cost $30 a barrel.