Paul Goble was a CIA analyst. Oh, I don’t need to worry about blowing his cover like happened with Valerie Plame or anything dramatic like that; it was quite a long time ago. And besides, he wants you to know. It’s in his bio. He also spent some time at the State Department, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Voice of America and a basketful of Baltic colleges and academies.
They all seem to think he’s a pretty smart guy. Well, let me tell you what. If I had a dog that wrote like Paul Goble, I’d tape his paws together with duct tape, change the password on my laptop when I knew he wasn’t looking, and he would have forgotten the word “biscuit” by the time he ever saw another one. Because Paul Goble is a black belt in Dumb Fu; the inside of his head must look like a bowl of elbows. That’s one explanation, and that’s one we can forgive, because stupid people can’t help being stupid. Another is that he’s willfully ignorant, and just keeps broadcasting the same message like a stuck record of the Moron Tabernacle Choir, because he likes the sound of it.
Or he’s pretending, for reasons of his own, to be an imbecile. Like, an undercover idiot, if you can imagine that. I ask you; after the number of times it has been pointed out – with 8×10 colour glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back explaining what each one is, like in Arlo Guthrie’s monologue from “Alice’s Restaurant” – that the “demographic situation at home” (in Russia) is not “worsening”, why in the name of Jesus jumped-up Johnnycake do self-styled academics and intelligentsia like Paul Goble keep writing that it is? Over and over and over, I swear to God, Diogenes must be doing wheelies in his grave.
Listen, Paul. This is like gravity – you cannot just write that something is true and make it true by wishing, if it is not true. Here, try it. Write, “I have a firm size 36C breast on my forehead, that I can squeeze whenever I am too lazy to walk upstairs and wake the wife up”. Now feel your forehead. Is there anything there? What!!! How did you spell that??? No, seriously, I’m messing with you – of course there’s nothing there; you must have known there wouldn’t be. Riddle me this, then, Paul – How can the demographic situation in Russia be “worsening” when the population is increasing, while the demographics show that Russia is still 80% ethnic Russian? What about that spells “worsening” to you? I could see it if you’d said “Ukraine”, where they’ve lost 2 million people in the last 9 years. That, right there, is a demographic situation which is hurtin’ for certain, shows no sign of reversing and is only likely to worsen in the near future. Not much helped by the self-appointed Ukrainian government in Kiev killing off its citizens like it heard there were too many, either, not to put too fine a point on it, and I cannot help but observe the lack of alarmed Goble gobbling on that reality.
Nor is this the least of the counter-intuitive Gobelesque gobshite – if only. No, as fantastic as it may sound – “fantastic” being used here as a consolidation of “holy shit, is this guy on smack or what? This is analysis?” – Goble is of the apparent opinion that Moscow (a term interchangeable with “the Kremlin” and “Putin”, just as if Moscow were not a cosmopolitan city of somewhere between 13 and 15 million but rather consisted of Putin and his cat in the Kremlin surrounded by miles of cracked mud flats in summer, and driving snow and howling wolves in winter) desperately wants a new Cold War.
He has cleverly – for him – couched it as “Why Moscow Desperately Wants a New Cold War, and Why There Isn’t and Won’t be One”, which makes it very difficult to prove “Putin” in “the Kremlin” in “Moscow” never wanted one in the first place, because like he says, there isn’t going to be one. I’ll tell you who really wants a new Cold War – NATO.
Russia under Putin has worked steadily to improve the standard of living for its citizens, with noticeable success. It has sought opportunities to showcase the improvement in the country by aggressively pursuing hosting privileges for international events such as the Formula One, the World Cup and the recently-concluded Olympic Games, assessed by many to have been excellent (including IOC President Thomas Bach), although there was a U.S. -led effort to ruin them before they started by pretending to be avid supporters of gay rights, and the mean-spiritedness which has grown to characterize official America where its pathological hate – Russia – is concerned was very much on display. In fact, American reporting showcased how female reporters have come into their own, as Danielle Weiner-Bronner and Tara Wanda Merrigan grappled in the mud for the title of bitchiest bitch of all time. Russia patiently waited 18 years to join the World Trade Organization, which already included 6 of the 16 countries rated “Worst of the Worst” for oppression, harassment and state crimes against the individual by Freedom House. Russia was not on the list. Russia has steadily sought to open itself up to foreign investment, restricting foreign ownership only in industries which are considered to affect state security.
Russia was kept out of the WTO for 18 years due to opposition from the United States, plus whatever dicksplat country (like Georgia under Mikheil Saakashvili, a pathological Russophobe who could always be counted on to jam a stick in the spokes) the U.S. could persuade to lodge a complaint, while some of the worst human rights abusers and world’s poorest countries enjoyed membership. The United States passed the Magnitsky Act, sanctioning Russian citizens without a trial on behalf of a British businessman. The USA and European Union passed an escalating series of sanctions against Russian citizens and financial institutions to punish Russia for involvement in the unrest in southeast Ukraine while such involvement remains unproven and several items offered as proof turned out to be deliberate fabrications. Yet State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki (whom Jen – hilariously – dubbed “Psaki-path”) is an almost-daily feature on television yammering that Russia is not doing enough, it must do more, we trusted it to act in good faith and instead it screwed us in the bum, maybe it’s time for more sanctions to really put them in their place. Oh, I think it’s clear who really wants a new Cold War.
Moscow wants a new Cold War, saith Goble, to divert public attention from Putin’s “disastrous economic policies”. What, you mean like moving up to world’s third-highest recipient of foreign investment? Moving up to fifth-largest economy in the world, as ranked by the World Bank? Those disastrous policies?
Meanwhile, in Goble’s America, the debt grew twice as fast as the economy last year, and now stands at a scrotum-shriveling 104% of GDP. If you were looking for some disastrous economic policies, Paul, I suggest you start looking in ever-widening circles starting at your front door. Stop when you get to Washington.
Russia is modestly increasing its defense spending, projected to grow 44% in the next three years. But it also allowed its forces to run down to a shadow of their former selves; nobody in their right mind would be able to substantiate the notion of Russia aspiring to militarily dominate the globe based on its defense spending, and in fact the Russian government has repeatedly affirmed that it is not interested in being more than a regional power. The United States, however, spends nearly 10 times what Russia does on defense despite being a substantially smaller country – Russia only recently displaced the UK, which could get lost in Russia’s vest pocket, as third-largest global spender – and spends 2.7 times more than Russia and China spend combined.
Russian diplomats and cabinet ministers in Kiev during Euromaidan? Zip, nada, not a one. Yet you couldn’t swing a dead rat on a string without hitting a Pole, a European Foreign Minister, an American senator or a U.S. State Department official during the giddy celebration of organized dissent. Vickie “Noodles” Nuland and Ukrainian U.S. ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt got caught mapping the future Ukrainian government exclusively to fit the foreign policy aims of the USA – although Washington is almost 5000 miles from Kiev while Moscow is less than 500. The Washington Post reported from Donetsk on April 17th of this year,
“At a most dangerous and delicate time, just as it battles Moscow for hearts and minds across the east, the pro-Western government is set to initiate a shock therapy of economic measures to meet the demands of an emergency bailout from the International Monetary Fund.”
Both John Kerry and the disgustingly-disappointing president he serves regularly commented on how seriously the USA and NATO took Article 5 of the NATO Charter – the one that says an attack on a NATO country is an attack on NATO – despite the fact that Ukraine is not a NATO country, and never will be so long as it persists in its position that it still owns the Crimea and will one day take it back. NATO will not entertain membership for countries with unresolved boundary disputes; it’s what scuppered Georgia’s chances, and probably is the dominant reason behind Saakashvili’s doomed lunge at Tshkinvali.
If you thought the idiocy was over, au contraire. In a departure from common sense so radical that it twisted the needle off the flabbergastatron, Goble argues, [New Cold War rhetoric] “keeps the west off balance because it prevents many in the west from seeing what he is doing and from taking the kind of steps that are necessary to stop him.” I see. Cold War rhetoric endows the instigator of it with the power to cloud men’s minds, so that they are incapable of seeing what he is doing. Well, if that isn’t just about the biggest and most spectacular piece of bullshit I’ve ever heard, I don’t know what would top it. Would you say the west focused more attention on what the Soviet Union was doing during the Cold War than at other times, or less? Do you think starting a new Cold War would cause the west to pay greater attention to what Russia was doing, or less?
There is absolutely nothing about Cold War rhetoric which would cause the west, and particularly the Russia-hating U.S. of A, to be unable to see what Putin was doing, and in fact the amount of attention and expenditure of assets to increase surveillance and monitoring of Putin’s every move and word and thought would increase dramatically.
It’s clear who wants a new Cold War. And it isn’t Russia. And contrary to Goble’s prediction, those who want it might just get it.