Vladimir Putin and the Boston Bombings
The Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is singing you a siren song, Mr. and Mrs. America, about how you and he are struggling together against global terrorism. Don't you believe it, though -- not for one neo-Soviet second. Russia stands with the terrorists, not against them. Russia stands against America, and all she represents.
On April 25, 2013, the Israeli air force shot down a drone aircraft five miles from its port city of Haifa, which has a population of about 300,000. Hezb'allah denied sending the drone, but six months ago, when another drone was intercepted by Israeli Defense Forces, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezb'allah, openly boasted that his fighters had assembled and dispatched the Iranian-designed aircraft and declared ominously that "it was not the first time, and it will not be the last."
One day after the latest drone attack, Russian deputy foreign minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with a Hezb'allah official in Beruit and told assembled reporters: "We cooperate with Hezb'allah and respect the Lebanese people's will... this party, which has proven its credibility [over the course of time], must [have its opinions] respected."
The United States recognizes Hezb'allah as a terrorist organization, as does Israel. But for Russia, Hezb'allah is a partner and ally. Similarly, Russia actively supports the genocidal anti-U.S. regime in Syria, and it actively supports Iran. Before they were swept away by popular insurrections, Russia also supported the anti-democratic rulers of Egypt and Libya while the U.S. sided with the popular revolts against them.
That's actually only the half of it. Russia is even carrying out terror acts of its own -- for example, menacing neutral Sweden with military invasion. And it has been convicted more times than you can count in the European Court for Human Rights for state-sponsored crimes ranging from kidnapping to murder to torture throughout the Caucasus region. The United States has just enacted the Magnitsky law to punish high-ranking government officials for torturing and murdering anti-corruption attorney Sergei Magnitsky after arresting him on bogus charges.
Russia supports anti-U.S. terrorists in the Middle East for two reasons.
First, Russia wants turmoil in the Middle East, not stability. The Russian economy is utterly dependent on the worldwide price of oil, and instability brings higher prices. As Russia enters recession (it has experienced two consecutive years and two consecutive quarters of declining economic growth while inflation has doubled, and its stock market has lost nearly 15% of its value so far this year), there will be more and more pressure to ratchet up support for anti-U.S. terror.
Second, Russia also supports anti-U.S. terrorists because Russia opposes American values just as the terrorists do. Imagine Barack Obama arresting Rush Limbaugh and putting him on trial on charges that could send him to prison for a decade. Imagine Obama trying to put the corpse of William F. Buckley on trial. That's what's happening now in Russia, as Vladimir Putin prosecutes Alexey Navalny and Magnitsky. Russians aren't allowed to elect their senators or governors, and all the major broadcast TV networks are operated by the government.
When it was learned that the two terrorists who set off bombs during the Boston marathon were Chechens, Putin immediately began working to score propaganda points and dupe Americans into dropping their guard. Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher of California and William Keating of Massachusetts have already fallen for the bait. Putin wants Americans to believe that both Russia and American are at risk of attack from Chechen fanatics, so the U.S. should join Russia in supporting the Assad dictatorship in Syria, where Putin claims Chechen fighters are active in the revolutionary activity. He also wants to be given a free hand within Russia to crush and liquidate dissent under the guise of fighting "extremism" and terror.
It's so terribly convenient that just as Putin was losing his grip in Syria, two Chechens happened to set off bombs in Boston. Almost as convenient, in fact, as the bombs that ripped apart two apartment buildings in Moscow just as Putin was losing the public relations battle over his war in Chechnya in September 1999. Those bombings were used as a pretext to quell human rights opposition and launch a bloody full-scale invasion of Chechnya. Now Putin is seeking to use the Boston bombings to further his policy agenda as well. Many, like Alexander Litvinenko, believe that Putin's KGB planted the bombs in the Moscow apartment buildings. As Litvinenko began to publicize his allegations, he was murdered with polonium.
Let's be clear: Putin is a proud career KGB spy. He spent his entire adult life learning how to despise and destroy American and her values. He believes that democracy is a toxin that undermines national greatness -- exactly what he was taught to believe in Soviet schools. This man is not our ally; he's our enemy.
That's why, in actual reality, Putin is stonewalling the Boston investigation and doing all he can to give aid and comfort to American enemies. What's more, a recent blockbuster revelation was that the Kremlin actually had a wiretap on the Boston bombers well before they launched their attack yet never informed American law enforcement about it. So once again, it seems possible that Putin could have orchestrated terror events to provide him with a justification for his policies.
Unlike Rohrabacher and Keating, Congressman Mike Rogers is not fooled by Putin. Rogers states: "The Russians I think have a lot more information here than they are sharing today. They've kind of let us peek under the curtain a little bit, but it's very clear to me that they have valuable information that, A, they should have provided earlier, and B, that we need to get now to understand what happened when he went back to Russia."
Congressman Peter King is likewise hot on Putin's trail. He states: "If the Russians had given the FBI the information they had regarding the mother and the son and their views on the mother's radicalization and the son's radicalization, it would have dramatically changed the investigation."
Will Obama also get suckered by Putin's gambit? Freedom House has condemned the craven failure of the Obama administration to stand up to Russia on human rights and called for a renewal of American leadership. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have likewise decried the terrifying escalation of attacks on civil society by Putin, throughout Russia. But despite the milquetoast response from Obama, Putin is still not satisfied, though, and he wants America to back off still further. The Russian newspaper Izvestia (Russian-language link) actually blamed U.S. support for human rights in Georgia and Chechnya for the Boston attack.
America can no more be a partner of Putin's Russia than it could have been with Brezhnev's USSR. In fact, in Soviet times, a KGB man like Putin was never handed unchecked power for such a prolonged period of time.
Follow Kim Zigfeld on Twitter @larussophobe.