A comment from Vinyard of the Saker, a great pro-Russian site taking another commenter to task for saying that actually Americans love Russians and everything Russian. Alexander Haig, discussed below, was a Reaganite, a horrendous reactionary dog, a real monster of a man. Same with that maniac Jeanne Kirkpatrick, US ambassador to the UN under Reagan. Both were complete dead-eyed psychopaths, no better than any serial killer. In fact, they were both mass murderers and war criminals, like everyone on Reagan’s foreign policy team.
America will never be a decent country until we bury the foul spirit of Ronald Reagan once and for all. He’s in the ground now, but he was so vile that I always suspected that the Earth itself might reject his body and vomit it up from the soil. Even dirt itself wouldn’t want to be associated with Reagan.
Ever since his mis-reign, polls keep showing that a majority of Americans say Reagan was a great president. The modern Republican party, now an official fascist party, has Reagan as their saint. I would also argue that the march towards fascism began under Ronny Raygun and the Reagan cancer has only metastasized ever since.
I would also point to Newt Gringrich’s “Contract on America” in 1995 as another major advance towards fascism in the US. It marched even further under Shrub Bush the psychopath who tortured frogs in his youth and never developed a moral compass in his adulthood. And it came to full fruition with the election of the toxic waste heap of a man known as Donald Trump, who began as a quasi-fascist Mussolini wannabe with Mein Kamp on his bedstool and finished his term as a full-blown American fascist straight out the famous book from 1935:
If fascism ever comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and a Bible.
– Upton Sinclair, “It Can’t Happen Here.”
Now the entire Republican Party is a full-blown authoritarian fascist party utterly hostile to democracy and determined to put in a permanent Republican fascist dictatorship.
You were clearly better educated than I was. I was educated in the South, and of course we all know what that was about, especially if you were African American. That said, I remember in my high school we had a mandatory class we had to take prior to graduation: Americanism vs. Communism.
The America I grew up in was nothing but psyops whenever it came to Russians, so the statement that we “have been methodically conditioned from birth to believe Russians are inherently ruthless and immoral” rings true to me. The Soviet Union (Russia) was the enemy. Watch the movie Dr. Strangelove.
You think Kubrick pulled his characters out of his butt? No, these were the prevailing beliefs about Russians during the Cold War. Reagan called the Soviet Union (populated by Russians) the Evil Empire and suggested that the ideological war between the Soviet Union and the USA was a war between “good and evil.” Here is Reagan’s speech from the 80s (40 years ago!) – Another good article. It demonstrates Hollywood’s influence on US opinions and shows how Hollywood cast Russians as
“…straight-up evil, stupid, (or) one of several other things: intense, fanatical, tragic, mysterious or otherwise hiding ulterior motives. It’s never a good look.”
To further illustrate the point, check out this scene from the popular 1980s movie Red Dawn – just filled with “a love of Russia,” huh?
I’m not sure how you’ve come to your opinion that Russians were or are beloved by Americans. We can debate about why Americans fear Russians (caused by years of brainwashing), but facts are facts. We have fought major proxy wars against Russia – Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan (the birth of Al Qaeda) and now Syria. Millions of lives have been snuffed out in these wars.
Our military planned a sneak attack against Russia after WWII. Don’t believe me? Check it out:
“The 1949 Dropshot plan envisaged that the US would attack Soviet Russia and drop at least 300 nuclear bombs and 20,000 tons of conventional bombs on 200 targets in 100 urban areas, including Moscow and Leningrad (St. Petersburg). In addition, the planners offered to kick off a major land campaign against the USSR to win a “complete victory” over the Soviet Union together with the European allies. According to the plan, Washington would start the war on January 1, 1957.”
You think our military would plan such a thing because of America’s love for Russian history, novels, music?
How about the Red Scare under McCarthy? Persons were blacklisted if they were communist and believed to be secretly Russian spies. Rosenbergs anyone?
The examples are endless:
Of how about this wonderful film.
It’s true that the “Red Menace,” “Atheist Communist Russia,” and “Totalitarian Russia” were tied to its communist government. But this has just morphed into Putin, a “dictator” who is now branded as the head of an “authoritarian government.”
Today’s headline in the USA edition of the Guardian:
“Russian forces have ‘kidnapped’ 2,389 children from the Russian-controlled territories of Luhansk and Donetsk, the US embassy in Kyiv has said, citing figures by Ukraine’s foreign ministry. The embassy said: ‘This is not assistance. It is kidnapping.'”
Russophobia goes much further back historically in the United States than this current action in Ukraine. It must be remembered that Americans like me were taught to hate Russians during the Cold War. They were evil, sinister people who had no freedom and whose government spied on them, and if they did not agree with their government, they were shipped to gulags where they were tortured.
The one characterization I remember vividly from my childhood was that Russian children were encouraged to turn in their parents to the secret police if they uttered anti-government statements in the privacy of their own homes. Recall that Ronald Reagan, that great rightwing icon, called the Soviet Union an “evil empire.”
Furthermore, as a student of geopolitics all my life, I can attest to you that we were never told that Russia contributed anything to WW2 (The Great Patriotic War). The Germans and the Japanese were defeated by the USA and their little buddies in the UK. Think of all the movies on WW2 made by Hollywood. Can anyone cite a single one that celebrated Russia’s contribution? I can’t. This was what I was raised on.
Creating a new wave of Russian hatred I’m sure was an easy task for the psyop crew in DC. After all, folks from the Cold War era simply recycled their hatred of the USSR and spread it to those younger folks who might not have heard of Reagan’s evil empire but who needed to know that the evil empire was once more raising its ugly head.
I already lost one good friend over the Russian operation. To him, I was a Putin dupe. I’m sure there are many others like me who have lost friendships over their dislike of NATO policy that, IMO, forced Russia into a corner.
But life goes on.
P.S. My love of Russian arts (literature and music) was only developed once I entered the university. But my childhood was about hating communism as practiced by the “Godless Russians.” Non-stop psyops…no different than today…
An interesting tidbit about Red Dawn was that it was co-written by Alexander Haig, a retired US General who had been the Chief of Staff to Richard Nixon and served as Secretary of State under Reagan. Haig was on the board of MGM and took a personal interest in the movie. He rewrote large parts of the script to make it more hawkish.
When you watch it you notice that the Russian are all one-dimensional cardboard cut-out cartoonish villains. The only character on the invaders’ side who is played a bit sympathetic is the Cuban officer who is seen writing a letter to his wife and lets the last surviving but fatally wounded Wolverines go. Red Dawn was a great propaganda piece to go along with Reagan’s hawkish politics of the time (it was released just a year after the Evil Empire speech).
The story was ludicrous of course (the USSR + allies conquering and occupying such a huge landmass as the US would be as disastrous as NATO trying to conquer and occupy Russia). But it served its function well, as lots of young and impressionable Americans were convinced of the “Red Menace”.
Russophobia go indeed much earlier in the time than Cold War.
The British, along with the Americans, were the inventors of Russophobia as after World War 2, the two countries were the major powers in the world. This was nothing new for the pommies, as they also invented the “Spanish Black Legend“ almost 400 years ago when Spanish Empire was in its peak of power and influence as the most powerful force in the world.
The Spanish later fell to the most complete irrelevance, and nowadays nobody cares about them. Since the Russians have maintained the power of the Russian Empire and they still ignore the US (Anglo-Saxon) dominion, the Russophobia never disappeared.
At the end of the movie La Vita è Bella (Life’s Beautiful) by the Italian Oscar-winner Roberto Benigni, in a scene that takes place in Auschwitz, it is the Americans who enter the camp as liberators.
In reality, it was the Russians that did that.
Probably a big chunk of the Italian population despises that movie. A (truly) great Italian movie director, Bernardo Bertolucci, just made this comment:
“It was the Russians liberating Auschwitz in reality, but in that movie, it was the the Americans who did it and won the Oscar.”
This taught me a simple rule: Victors are, on average, the biggest liars.
NATO was conceived by England from the outset as a means of Anglo-American control over Europe.
Lord Hastings (Lionel Ismay), NATO’s first Secretary General, famously said that NATO was created to “keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down,” but the formula has acquired today a greater import and a new twist: to keep Germany down and price uncompetitive versus U.S. goods; to keep Russia ‘out’ from being Europe’s source of cheap energy; and as an addition, to keep China ‘fenced out’ from EU–U.S. trade. This is NATO’s mission in a nutshell!
The aim is to contain Europe firmly within America’s narrowly defined economic orbit and compelled to forgo the benefits of Chinese and Russian.