Russia's Olympics and Obama's Liberation Theology
Americans should not be surprised by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland would say "F**k the EU" in a private cellphone call with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt that was hacked by the Russians and posted on YouTube. But they should be outraged that after the disastrous failures of the administration's "liberation theology" gambits in Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria the Obama Administration on the eve of the Russian Olympic Games in Sochi would be caught actively be fomenting revolution in the former Soviet Union. By attempting to sabotage the Olympic debut of the Vladimir Putin's newly rehabilitated Russia, Obama threatens to revive Cold War hatreds.
The goal of the modern Olympics was to provide an alternative to war by allowing nation-states to exhort their national pride and compete with countries for dominance in sports. That is why the athletes wear uniforms and the victor's national anthem is played to exalt for the glory for one's nation. Those who host the Olympics use the event as an opportunity to showcase their worth and shape global perceptions of their country. In 1936 Hitler used the games to advertise Germany's industrial might and China in 2008 used them to show off its arrival as a modern nation.
When the Soviet Union hosted the games in 1980, the U.S. under President Jimmy Carter led a coalition boycott to protest the 1979 Soviet invasion and communist takeover in Afghanistan. To the Moscow, it was as if the world was rejecting its international standing. A decade later the Soviet Union collapsed and in the chaos that followed over half of the USSR territory broke away. The instability tore Russia apart as the country seemed to lose its national identity and most Russians were unsure how to view their own nation or if it would ever recover.
When Vladimir Putin first came to power in 1999 he rejected the liberation theology of communism by sparking a massive wave of nationalism that centered on his pledges to bring Russia back to strength and stability. Putin recentralized much of the Russian economy, but also ignited a private sector entrepreneurial boom in 2001 by slashing tax rates. The top Soviet personal income rate of 30% was replaced with a 13% flat tax on all income. Between 2000 and 2008 under his presidency the Russian economy grew for 8 straight years as real wages more than tripled, while unemployment and poverty more than halved. Russia became the world's largest oil producer and high-tech industries such as the nuclear and defense sectors flourished. An influx of foreign investment also sparked a boom automobile production. After winning a 6-year term as president last year, Forbes magazine ranked Vladimir Putin as the world's most powerful man.
When George W. Bush came into office in 2001 he was wary of Putin; describing him as "one cold dude." But meeting him for the first time in June of 2001, the former KGB officer told Bush a story about saving his Russian Orthodox Cross from a dacha fire, a story appealing to Bush's faith. Bush later commented that he looked into Putin's eyes and "was able to get a sense of his soul." President Bush forged a working relationship to keep the Russian President "inside our tent." They later negotiated the historic Strategic Offensive Reductions treaty that significantly reduced nuclear arsenals on both sides. Bush and Putin held their 28th and final meeting as presidents in the town of Sochi to celebrate Russia's selection to host the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014.
During the 2008 presidential campaign to succeed Bush, candidate Barack Obama was attacked by conservatives for the incendiary sermons by Mr. Obama's home pastor in Chicago, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., who asserted that 9/11 was evidence that "America's chickens are coming home to roost." Conservatives argued that Rev. Wright was wielding a radical "black liberation theology," which asks: "If God values justice over victimization, then God desires that all oppressed people should be liberated." In response to tapes of Mr. Wright's fiery sermons that surfaced in March 2008, Jonah Goldberg in his National Review blog compared Wright's Church to pre-war German pro-Nazi Protestant supporters: "The similarities between certain strains of the German Christian Movement and Jeremiah Wright's shtick certainly seem significant."
After moving into the White House, Barack Obama gave his first international speech at Egypt's Cairo University, where he apologized for the "colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims." The president stated that the Quran called on the Arab world to revolt, "We have the power to make the world we seek, but only if we have the courage to make a new beginning, keeping in mind what has been written."
The Obama Administration had already begun secretly pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into non-governmental organizations promoting the "just" overthrow of authoritarian Arab states. Michael Simon, who pioneered social network targeting for Obama's insurgent 2008 Presidential campaign, was sent to train the Egyptian Democratic Academy on the use social networking to compel individuals to action. WikiLeaks recently exposed evidence that the Obama Administration's "democracy-building campaigns" were secretly funded by the CIA grants to spawn revolutionary movements. Stable authoritarian North Africa regimes in Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, and Egypt were overwhelmed by how fast social networks spread rebellion to the masses.
With an almost 2000 miles of border with Muslim countries, no nation would be more impacted by the Obama Administration's liberation theology than Russia. That appears to be why Victoria Nuland, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and a fluent Russian speaker, was made State Department spokesperson just as Libyan dictator Gaddafi was being overthrown in summer of 2011. Shortly thereafter, the CIA began funding the flow of captured Libyan weapons and insurgents to overwhelm Russia's key ally in Syria.
When the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi that killed ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens threatened to expose the administration's gun-running into Syria, it was Victoria Nuland who initiated the White House cover-up. After reading the first draft of the State Department's talking points stating the incident was a coordinated terrorist attack, Nuland warned this "could be abused by members of Congress to beat the State Department for not paying attention to agency warnings so why would we want to seed the Hill." U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice was then given falsified talking-points and sent out to deceive the American people on the Sunday talk shows.
Last summer, Victoria Nuland was quietly nominated as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and confirmed by the Senate on September 12, 2013. President Obama then cancelled his October 7th meeting with President Putin at the APEC summit. Within weeks huge street protests broke out across the Ukraine. In the hacked cellphone call, Nuland and Pyattare discussing how to help the extremist Fatherland Party and their fascist allies come to power in Ukraine and how to keep boxer Vitali Klitschko of the German-backed UDAR party out of power.
Stratfor Global Intelligence's Chairman George Friedman has warned of the coming of "A Little Cold War" between Russia and the United States. But this time, it is the United States that is the ideological left-wingers who are espousing a liberation theology and meddling in the internal affairs of nations to foment revolutionary overthrow of nationalist leaders. The Winter Olympics may be all smiles and good competition, but the Obama Administration will continue to push its liberation theology.
Chriss Street is teaching microeconomics at University of California, Irvine this spring.