Not Our Friend

The video below has been making the rounds and provides a curious mixture of truth and propaganda. But then, the best propaganda always has a strong component of truth.

Putin’s latest intervention against ISIS makes him the enemy of our enemy. Despite that, he’s not our friend.

For the better part of a century, Russian geopolitical strategy has been to stir up trouble around the world, basically forcing their rivals to expend energy dealing with that trouble. That’s energy that can’t be spent fighting Russian interests. Keep in mind that in many of these cases, the only actual Russian interest served by these interventions is… stirring up trouble.

Stalin was an absolute master of this and brought the technique to dominate Russian foreign policy. One of his biggest wins in this arena was pushing the Chinese and the Americans into a proxy war in Korea in the 1950s, while the Soviet Union resolutely kept the conflict at arms reach. They were not our friend.

His successors repeated the technique in the 1960s in Vietnam. The Soviets never cared about winning in Vietnam. They just cared about keeping the Americans occupied there. They supplied the North Vietnamese with plenty of weapons, materiel, training and intelligence. But again, they resolutely refused to get involved directly. They were not our friend.

Simultaneously, they carried out a proxy war with the west that still plagues us today. Namely, the KGB sponsored terrorist organizations throughout the world, specifically to cause unrest for western nations. It’s amazing how much this is forgotten in the modern world, but in the 1980s and 1990s we were well aware that middle eastern terrorist groups largely existed thanks to Soviet funding. Not that they didn’t have their own ideological reasons. But without that Soviet funding, they never would have survived into the present day.

It’s worse than that, though. The Soviets also funded the Irish Republican Army in the UK, the Red Army Faction in Germany, the National Liberation Army in Colombia, the Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia, as well as noted individual terrorists such as Carlos the Jackal. They were not our friend.

As if that weren’t enough, they also had a huge influence on political groups in western politics – especially leftist organizations aimed at peace.

Russian GRU defector Stanislav Lunev said in his autobiography that “the GRU and the KGB helped to fund just about every antiwar movement and organization in America and abroad,” and that during the Vietnam War the USSR gave $1 billion to American anti-war movements, more than it gave to the VietCong

They were not our friend.

This isn’t paranoia. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, KGB documents were released confirming all of this (see many of the sources used in the two Wikipedia articles linked above.

Today, Russia carries on attacks against Isis in Syria. On the surface, we share the same goals. But don’t for a minute think that they’ve got our best interests at heart. Russia is simultaneously propping up the Assad regime, they’re still funding and propping up groups all over the world. They are not our friend.

The US government has made some really stupid decisions in geopolitics over the last 15 years. Looking at some of those decisions, it’s very easy to come to the conclusion that we’re not exactly the good guys in the world these days. Neither are the Russians. They are not our friend.

Recall that in World War II, the Russians were fighting on the side of the Nazis until Hitler double crossed them and invaded Russia. After that, they joined with the Allies against Germany. They were an ally. But they were not our friend.

When the tigers they’ve fed and nurtured in the middle east mature and turn on them – and they¬†will – the Russians will join the western world to fight them. At the rate the western world is proceeding, they may even join us before we join ourselves. But don’t fool yourself – they haven’t done it yet. Until then, they will continue to foment chaos and unrest for their own gain. They will eventually become our allies in this conflict.

But they will not be our friend.

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