The usually astute Jake Tapper of CNN aired a story on Tuesday about “global exasperation” with Vladimir Putin over Ukraine. The consensus was that Putin is in trouble, not the West.
Tapper played an old clip of George W. Bush, who once called Putin “straightforward” and “trustworthy,” saying that the rising price of oil had “changed” the old KGB spy. Still, journalist David Remnick was shown saying that Putin’s aggression had only succeeded in putting him in a “box.” He wondered how this “isolated” Russian leader would find “a way out of this.”
So there’s really no reason for Americans to be alarmed or afraid. And as President Obama says, “No, it’s not the new Cold War.”
Perhaps it would be advisable for the media to examine the views of those experts who had argued all along that Putin was an enemy of the United States. One of them was Robert Chandler, author of the 2008 book, Shadow World. Chandler, who was a good friend of this writer, passed away in 2010.
His monumental 600-page work, which is still available from Regnery, examines the Putin game plan, which he called a “geopolitical offensive” against the U.S. and its allies. A military strategist, intelligence officer, and professor, Chandler also wrote about how Obama’s domestic political agenda would undermine our ability to resist the assault on America. His 2009 special report for AIM, “How Obama Revolution Came to America,” is still a must-read.
“Russia’s prodigious oil and natural gas supplies presented a potential opportunity to make the country an energy superpower,” Chandler wrote. This is why Putin made his move on Ukraine, figuring that the West would fail to stop him.
However, Chandler noted that Putin realized he needed Western help to make this succeed. In the 1990s, the Russian economy began to look, in some ways, like capitalism, and capitalists were in fact investing in Russia. It was then that a decision was made by the KGB to manage the transformation of the new “democratic” Russia. A former KGB lieutenant colonel named Vladimir Putin was seemingly brought out of nowhere to lead the “new” Russia. Eventually, more than 6,000 former KGB officers followed Putin into office.
“Even before Putin was elected president on March 26, 2000, he ordered a monument and plaque commemorating Yuri Andropov [the former KGB chairman who became President] be returned to their former places of honor at the headquarters of the Federal Security Bureau (FSB),” the KGB’s successor, Chandler reported.
Chandler’s book was ignored by the liberal news media because he was not judged to be an academic expert working for a prominent think tank. But many in the media also looked the other way as the dead bodies piled up. These included Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered in 2006 after warning about the KGB’s return to power, and KGB dissident Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned to death in London after warning that Moscow was behind some acts of alleged Islamic terrorism in Russia itself.
In another part of the book that is coming true in dramatic fashion, Chandler described how Putin considered China, India and Iran as his “strategic partners.” Russia, China and India, with Brazil and South Africa, today make up the emerging and powerful BRICS alliance of nations. They have defended Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine.
Iran is a separate case, but is ruled by an Ayatollah who was trained in Russia by the KGB.
Some other key points from Chandler’s book on Russia:
- Putin in 2007 made a policy decision to build up the Russian military forces, including with new weapons.
- In January 2008 the Russian Navy held its first major maritime exercise in fifteen years.
- In February 2008 Putin openly declared that Russia would emerge on the world stage as “a state that can stand up for itself.”
- Putin signed multi-billion dollars arms contracts with China, India, and Iran.
- Putin “moved to increase foreign intelligence collection” about the intentions and secrets of Russia’s adversaries.
- Putin sent long-range bombers to Guam in August 2007, to challenge the U.S. naval base on the island.
- Russia and China conducted an eight-day military exercise, “Peace Mission 2007,” with other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. (Iran is an observer state.)
- Russia staked a claim to the seabed under the North Pole, an area with potentially billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas.
- Russia established a strategic partnership with Communist China, in order to counter the power and influence of the U.S.
- Putin accused the West of trying to replace the U.N. with NATO.
In retrospect, Chandler accurately described Putin’s game plan as it has dramatically materialized on the world scene.
For example, the fact that Putin “moved to increase foreign intelligence collection” is a development that clearly came to fruition with the defection to Russia of NSA analyst Edward Snowden. It also helps explain NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s statement that Russian agents have been working with the “green” movement to prevent Western nations from exploiting their own energy resources.
The Russia-China alliance moved forward in May of this year when Russia’s Gazprom signed a 30-year deal with China National Petroleum Corporation that is said to be worth over $400 billion.
Although Obama said on Tuesday that the U.S. and Europe had agreed on new economic sanctions against Russia, there are questions about how effective they will be. Germany, in particular, has been reluctant to confront its “partner” Russia, because the country is so dependent on Russian oil and gas.
This, too, was predicted by Chandler, when he wrote that the Europeans “do little more than wring their hands” when Russia uses economic warfare against them.
In his book, he wrote, “As the storm clouds rise again to the east of Europe, the capitalist West is floundering. The refusal by Americans and Europeans to recognize that the post-Cold War party is over and their failure to develop a common strategy, vis-à-vis an energy muscular Russia is self-defeating.”
Yet, Obama says there is no new Cold War. It’s almost as if he wants Americans to remain asleep.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.