I am delighted with Michael Bąkowski’s piece, “The Great Provocation,” because it leads us to a discussion touching on the most significant events of the last 18 months. I will now make Bąkowski’s case for him, which is not so strange, because what he presented in “The Great Provocation” is what I’ve been presenting in my work for many years.

With regard to the status of the former Soviet-dominated countries, I had previously written that the “decisive argument for the authenticity of Saakashvili’s revolution in Georgia is found in the Russian military strike of August 2008: The Kremlin displayed its evil intentions and then was forced to abandon its military offensive by Western economic pressure.”

What I wrote, of course, is true. But there is much more to this story. Without accusing Saakasvhili of being a false democrat or secret Kremlin agent, we should not miss the fact that enemies unwittingly help one another all the time; for Saakashvili over-reacted to the violence in South Ossetia, giving Russia a pretext for an invasion. This overreaction may be due to Saakashvili’s youth, his impulsiveness, or his advisors. Michael Bąkowski has suggested that Saakashvili is an agent of Moscow, but this need not be the case. The Russians also possess mind control drugs of various kinds which can produce aggressiveness in a targeted individual.

The Russian invasion of Georgia in August 2008 was a provocation. Moscow needed a strong reaction from Saakashvili. The objective of the Russian invasion was not to overrun Georgia or overthrow Saakashvili, by the way. The objective was to destroy NATO and drive the Americans out of Europe. At first glance, this proposition may seem outlandish. But I can assure the reader, the president of Russian said as much on 15 July 2008.

In my 15 August 2008 column at FinancialSense.com, titled “Russia’s Concept for Dominating Europe,” I wrote as follows: “The Kremlin strategists believe that the United States is on the brink of a crippling dislocation. According to a July 29 Pravda article, an anonymous Russian diplomat revealed that the ‘Russian administration believes the United States may soon suffer from a serious political crisis.’ The sequence begins with a financial crash, advances to political unrest and finally to the dissolution of American military power. As the Russian diplomat warned, ‘America is standing on the verge of a large-scale crisis of its own existence.'”

The statement of the Russian diplomat was part and parcel of a larger provocation, of which the Georgia invasion was an integral part. This invasion also coincided with a potentially disruptive Russian attack on the American financial system, which was intentionally revealed to the U.S. Treasury Secretary on the eve of the war in Georgia. In other words, the Russian government was attempting to provoke President Bush. This was not as unlikely as it might appear. George W. Bush already had an international reputation as a hothead, involving the United States in two conflicts (Afghanistan and Iraq). What would the world say if the United States launched military strikes against Russian tanks in Georgia? Would they welcome this sort of thing, or chalk it up to Bush’s general insensitivity to European opinion? In fact, President Bush was being pushed by his advisors to launch strikes against the Russian forces in Georgia.

On 15 July 2008 all of Russia’s ambassadors from around the globe were called to a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Moscow. President Dmitri Medvedev explained Russia’s objectives. “Russia is indeed stronger and able to assume greater responsibility for solving problems on a regional and global scale.” The Russian president explained that the Cold War was not an American victory after all, because America’s adversary had “survived.” It was time, he said, to established “a new equilibrium.” In an allusion to President George W. Bush, Medvedev noted that “the habit … of resorting to force … is increasing…. In such circumstances it is important to maintain restraint and to evaluate situations carefully.” If the presidents of Georgia and America could be provoked into a series of overreactions, and if Russia was seen to act within certain limits, NATO might be disrupted. Medvedev said he was “convinced that with the end of the Cold War the underlying reasons for most of the bloc politics and bloc discipline simply disappeared.” In other words, NATO’s continued existence was precarious, and so was America’s position in Western Europe. According to Medvedev, NATO’s violation of Yugoslavian sovereignty in 1999 would now enable a devastating Russian counterstroke. History ought to be remembered, he said, “We simply cannot accept the attempts taking place in individual countries to highlight the ‘civilizing, liberating mission’ of the fascists and their accomplices.” (An oblique reference in which Medvedev explained that those who welcome American style democracy in the former Soviet territories were the same as those who welcomed the Germans as liberators in 1941 – and should be dealt with accordingly.)

“Characteristically,” continued Medvedev, “it is those states that have such a passion for rewriting history … that are at the same time the most zealous advocates of illegal acts, like the Kosovo precedent…. And those same states are the ones who have become ultra-nationalist in their policies, harassing national minorities and denying rights to the so-called ‘stateless’ citizens in their countries.”

Medvedev is explaining the design, the pretext, and the model for upcoming events in Georgia. “For us,” noted Medvedev, “this task is particularly important, since in many cases we are talking about abuses against Russians and Russian-speaking populations. And protecting and defending those rights is obviously one of our responsibilities.” So the provocation was already set, and the reaction of the Georgian president already assumed. Medvedev clearly knew that Russia is going to invade Georgia. “I have focused on these aspects because Europe today needs a positive rather than negative agenda.” In other words, the invasion of Georgia is not an end in itself. As the Russian president hinted, the real purpose of this operation was to highlight the obsolescence of NATO by raising tensions in a way that underscored the dangers of American involvement in European affairs, as well as the dangers inherent in NATO and “obsolete bloc politics.” The old treaties will not keep the peace, Medvedev explained, because they are unfair. Russia is a great power and deserves greater influence. “I’m absolutely convinced that this requires new approaches. That is why we proposed to conclude a new treaty on European security and to start this process at a European-wide summit.”

According to Medvedev, there are “flaws in the architecture of European security….” What Russia wants is “a truly open and collective security system.” What he is saying, basically, is that NATO must be eliminated, and America kicked out of Europe. And what would be the catalyst for this process? An increase of tensions between America and Russia may not signify an increase in tensions between Germany and Russia, or France and Russia. “A strategic partnership between Russia and the EU could act as the so-called cornerstone of a Greater Europe without dividing lines….” In order to achieve this, Russia hoped to stage a provocation that George W. Bush could not resist. This provocation would also include an open attempt to seriously disrupt shaky American financial institutions.

Obviously, the Germans and French would not be happy if the Americans pushed them in the direction of war with Russia. Both countries have an economic stake in regional peace. Germany, especially, is tied to Russia in ways that only German politicians – looking at their private finances – can fully explain. By pushing on Georgia, the Russian leadership was attempting to drive a wedge between the U.S. and its European allies.

What Mr. Bąkowski has pointed out in his piece, is the “provocative” nature of Moscow’s strategic method. It is now clear that the invasion of Georgia in 2008 was not intended to overthrow Saakashvili or install a Moscow puppet. The invasion was a provocation, plain as day. To make Mr. Bąkowski’s argument for him: If we examine the Georgian events from this perspective, we see that Moscow needed a reliable partner in Tbilisi who could start the war in a way that later indicated the fault was on both sides — that it wasn’t a simple case of naked Russian aggression. This idea, in fact, was hinted at by Russian President Medvedev when he assured his diplomatic corps that everything would unfold in accordance with international legality. If there was to be outrageous behavior, the Americans would be the ones to add fuel to the fire. But President George Bush, going against his advisors, avoided the trap.

The authenticity of the Rose Revolution depends on whether Russia’s split with Georgia was meant to serve as a “provocation” for the purpose of undoing NATO. We do not know the answer, and we have no evidence that Saakashvili sent troops into South Ossetia on secret orders from Moscow. On the other hand, the Kremlin provocation did require a specific set of actions from the Georgian president, and the Georgian president provided those actions. If we study Medvedev’s speech with care, we can see that the Russian president was giving a great deal of the game away. His language, however, was subtle. Few analysts realized how important this particular speech was.

With the recent revelations from former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, it is worthwhile to reassess events in Georgia. At the same time, we should remember President Medvedev’s reference to “fascists and their accomplices.” Here is an admission that anti-Kremlin forces exist in Georgia, Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic States. Here is a belt of countries that could be used against Moscow, if only the people of those countries realize what has been going on since 1991.

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14 Comments “Making the Enemy’s Strategic Objectives Intelligible”

  1. 1 Sonia Belle

    An interesting hypothesis.

    However, if true, it reveals once again that Russia, under Putin, is no longer a Communist country. It is now a Nazi country (and it’s actually a huge improvement, believe it or not).

    When Medvedev talks about “abuses against Russians and Russian-speaking populations” and about “harassing national minorities and denying rights to the so-called ’stateless’ citizens in their countries”, he doesn’t sound like Lenin or Stalin. He sounds exactly like Hitler in 1938 denouncing Czechoslovakia for oppressing Sudeten Germans. Lenin and Stalin would speak about “Georgian bourgeoisie oppressing Georgian workers”, and never about Georgians oppressing Russian-speaking “South Ossetians” and Russian-speaking “Abkhasians”…

    But why would that be an improvement ?

    Because there are only 150 million Russians (and Russian-speaking “Ukrainians”, “Latvians” etc.) in the world. If Russian-speaking people is all Putin cares about (plus maybe Serbs), he is far less dangerous than someone like Chavez who is regularly speaking against “international capitalists” oppressing and exploiting “working-class people”, “the poor”, etc.

    After all, there are over 3 billion people who are poor (i.e. poorer than average and deeply resentful of that inferiority). It means that a true Communist like Chavez has 20 times as many potential supporters as a Nazi like Putin…

  2. 2 michał


    You would be right if only it was so that “all Putin cares about are Russian-speaking people”. But I think this is just a pretence, a game, which soviets have been playing for quite some time. In fact, since they decided to abandon the dogma of the “dictatorship of proletariat” in favour of “state of the whole nation”. Yet, even before that, they were always capable of playing both the national card and the “nationalistic card”, i.e. using other nationalisms to further their own goals. Some of our favourite books demonstrate it very well.

    So, yes, should Putin’s regime be purely nationalistic, it would be an improvement, at least for Russians. But I don’t think it is. The national mask is necessary at the moment, it is convenient, that’s all.

    By the way, Chavez is also well able to play tha national card when it suits him.

  3. 3 Sonia Belle


    The national mask is necessary at the moment, it is convenient, that’s all.

    I don’t agree. It would have been far more CONVENIENT for Putin (if he really was a Communist) to denounce “globalisation”, “big corporations”, “capitalist polluters who cause global warming”, etc. etc.

    And there would be plenty of leftists in the West who would fall for it. But no Western leftist cares about South Ossetia…

    If, as you claim, Putin is a true Communist wearing a false Nazi mask, then this “pretence” (as you call it) serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever…

  4. 4 michał

    Why?? Globalisation only straightens up the path for the commies, just like “ever closer European unity” does. Big corporations are above the law and bigger the corporation is more socialist it becomes. I don’t mean just the bureaucratisation of large corporations but also the treatment of an individual as a tiny irrelevant cog in a big mechanism; but also the anticompetetive nature of international corporations. People often forget that capitalism IS free competition and big companies hate competition, big capital does not want it at all.

    Why should Putin care about the Western lefties? They will do their job anyway; whether they hate Putin in the process is quite irrelevant. Their role is to undermine the West and hating Putin or “Chinese polluters who cause global warming” only serves to make them more authentic and more believable.

    As for the mask… May I suggest that he’s not wearing it? He has not “pu it on”. Others put it on him, and he just shrugged his shoulders and had a good laugh about it. He does not seem to care too much what we think. When he was chosen as Yeltsin successor, he quite openly raised a glass to Stalin and reported successful completion of the first phase of the operation.

    Most people think he was joking. I do not.

  5. 5 Sonia Belle


    A. Globalisation only straightens up the path for the commies, just like “ever closer European unity” does. Big corporations are above the law and bigger the corporation is more socialist it becomes

    B. Western lefties (…) Their role is to undermine the West

    You can’t have it both ways. If globalisation and EU are pro-Communist and if big corporations are really communist, then Western lefties (who denounce and undermine both) are not undermining the West. They are saving it.

    Your points A i B are mutually exclusive. They can’t both be right. I my opinion, only B is correct.

    But it would be REALLY interesting If I was wrong, and your point A was true. But then B MUST be wrong and Seattle protesters were actually saving Western freedom…

  6. 6 Mikel

    We can see how Mugabe in Zimbabwe is playing a similar book or clever scenario – fantasy based of course but nontheless clever to get at people in a drinking parlor like situation.

    On the one hand Mugabe is using racist race clarification demagoguery to kick the whites out of the farms and turn them into some kind of diaspora which is now forbidden from owning businesses. This advances communism under color of fascist/racist laws.

    Yet, we can also see how a fascist or black Nazi into race clarification and vindication would use communist like themes of the “poor blacks” against the evil whites (much like Hitler portrayed films of Jews persecuting Nazies) to advance his own race.

    So we see a strange nihilistic marriage there, and the National Bolsheviks seem to be a Kremlin mirror and maker of such strange language.

    I think the difference is at the consciousness level. Communists despise their own race and how they are treated by their national peers who are stronger. Yet they also hate the strong foreigners. So they pit them against each other. What better gift is there to divide and conquer the world than this opportunity for such prostitutive individual?

    The Hitler type, though just as godless, has a consciousness for his kins and an admiration for them. The language embraced is quite different and not gangster “street smarts” type, but rich kid gangster wannabe at best, for it is impulsive, bratty and obviously spoiled by national self praise.

    The Stalin – or the Lenin type to even greater extent – sees those mindsets as dangers of sorts. It often happens that a disillusioned fascist who finds his race feeble will commit a sort of suicide and find vindication into communism. Communists know that and have already gone through “the process”, as they like to say in their “Synthesis” of making things like “globalization” a method to favor the worker in China, for example (worker who will be devoid of consequences in polluting), while the capitalist will be made to pay for it by it being the only adopter of such – the communist synthesis being to have a cake and eat it too in the end.

    It’s all in the sort of power of deception, of making the other believe he/she is loved through flattery and then killing it in the bed – laughing from the beginning at the thought that the strong is being stupid and mislead all along. What is a tool for a clever politician is actualy a way of life of fancy and fantasy for a communist.

  7. 7 michał


    I love having it both ways… but in this case, unfortunately, I don’t think I am.

    Lenin and Trotsky realised that the cause of global revolution requires two simultanous – I’m not sure hwo to call it: strands? factors? elements? – to work sometimes in tandem but very often ostensibly against each other. One was the defence of the base; because once they put their mucky paws on the levers of power, they realised that no amount of propaganda can replace that. But the other, agit-prop, was still phenomenally important not just inside soviet union but elsewhere.

    They built their propaganda on this astonishing sympathy that words such as “progress”, “democracy”, “rights” generate in humans. Bismarck noted it before them and managed to counter their attraction by creating another monster, the welfare state, but that’s by the by. After the initial romantic stage of leftie propaganda, Gramsci came with a very leninist idea of “march through institutions” and we can observe the results of that operation: the vast majority of Western media is stuffed (and staffed too) by leftists. The Fourth Estate (strange how powerful some 19th Century ideas can be!) wields enormous power and remains largely unchecked. So when someone demands action against media bias is he undermining the West or is he saving traditional freedom? To use your “mutually exclusive” tag, we ought not to be able to have it both ways but I humbly suggest that should he succeed and freedom of the media was curtailed it would be a triumph for soviets. However, should the left bias remain unchanged that would also be beneficial to the soviets.

    Going back to your point, I don’t think A and B are mutually exclusive because of the long term nature of the soviet strategy and the fact that the very existence of this strategy is either overlooked or flatly denied.

  8. 8 michał


    That’s interesting but you left me a little confused.

    “The Hitler type, though just as godless, has a consciousness for his kins and an admiration for them.”

    You know, there was a joke in Nazi occupied Poland: what does an Aryan look like? Blonde like Hitler, slim like Goering and tall like Goebbels. I really don’t think Hitler had any consciousness, nor a conscience for that matter; he only had admiration for brutal force. But that’s neither here nor there. The real point is that Hitler was an imperfect leninist. His kin were only tools for him. He applied Lenin’s Method but limited it to Ein Volk and Ein Volk cannot dominate the whole globe. That’s why Sonia would be right about Putin if his Russian nationalism was authentic.

    I’m also not convinced by your statement about commies “despising their own race”. I’d say their race is irrelevant to them. Stalin didn’t hate Georgians any more than, say, Cossacks. Neither did Trotsky despise Russian Jews any more than non-Jewish Russians and so on. Nationality – and more importantly, all nationalisms – is instead just another tool in their hands. They play it masterfully by, as you rightly say, pitting one against the other. If you ever get a chance to read “The Triumph of Provocation” by Józef Mackiewicz, you will see the most devastating analysis of that phenomenon.

    Your analysis of the Zimbabwe drama is very insteresting. You seem close to Sonia’s usage of words such as “Nazi”, “fascist” and “communist”. I prefer a simpler approach: Mugabe is a communist. As such, he will employ any rhetoric, he will divide and rule whichever way suits him at the moment. He will use market forces if it can save his regime, use the race card when convenient, or the class struggle when he sees it as advantagous. Lenin advised extreme flexibility in tactical matters and Mugabe, or Mandela, or the entire top brass of the ANC – are all leninists.

  9. 9 Mikel

    You are right about Mugabe’s power grabs.

    As Alan Keyes states, we might or might not agree with Obama of, say, taking control of the census, but the point is the illegitimate manner he takes it over without any discussion. The respect of the means do matter indeed and Obama, or Mugabe, as you say, would use any tool to gain power and get away with it. It should not be about them and their success (cult of personalities) but about how it works out with or without them. But the narcissism of “immortality” prevails. Bush Jr. made a terrible mistake and association when he magnanimously and “kindly” said to Obama and “Americans”: “we want you to succeed”.

    This is the very big problem with today’s culture of people basing everything on their own selves and image above all other lives before and after them. There is no inheritence possible with such me me me fantasy people. They destroy all respect of a document like the constitution and how important it is for things to keep going well with their self not there anymore. It’s how lack of faith or some problems of childhood like anger and linking good or bad times with a face and blaming it instead of adopting something transcending it.

    Propaganda is of course very effective if such emotional link is seared into the minds and the cultures of assassination, something which might affect a good opposition and make it fail and fall itself for the trap.

    In the end it is for the benefit of all of us to operate away from such attachments even if such seem to take us out of the loop or gives feelings of being “hated”. It’s the culture however that which hates the most innocent which would work for a goal as opposed to linking and assuring those they help all the time. It’s immaturity to its most mad yet accepted more and more as some kind of norm.

    As far as hating their own race, it’s just that in my experience, the constant strange “victimhood” mentality communists embrace or inspire in others for manipulative and disarmament means against their antagonists always involved some kind of story of childhood or of “back home” when they were persecuted by their nationalist kins and called homosexuals and weak. They always use these pseudo romantic images or stories of hardship where they cried but were stoic against this imagery of evil nationalist capitalist. They go from microcosmic stories and apply them into the world and institutions in the macrocosmic aspect of things, kind of like an antibible story full of bile and fantasy as a projection retort to their hate of God and mocking Bible stories.

    As far as Hiitler went on, I thought he had some sort of states of trance and momentary true love or consciousness for a great race during his speeches. Drug use or near orgasmic moments like these make one believe his own propaganda and propels their speeches – even if it means reneging or mocking the Germans afterwards as Hitler did during his strangely abusive pseudo chivalries. I just do not see that in more attuned, cold and dry communist speeches.

  10. 10 michał

    I think what you have described is a staple of every propaganda: make it personal. It is always more effective to invent a personal story, to which others can relate, tha to deal in abstracts. So today’s masters of agit-prop, like Tony Blair or Obama, are always full of stories of what happened to them or some invented friend. The whole ethos of the Left was built on the example of “the unfortunate” be it Dickensian victims or Andersen’s Matchgirl.

    As for Hitler, I’m not sure I can agree with you. Hitler idealised non-existent Aryans and mocked Germans for not living up to his ideal. But Hitler is irrelevant because he was a maniac and a madman. Commies are neither. That’s why Hitler and his cronies were in power for only 12 years whilst commies are still in power almost a century later.

  11. 11 Jeff Nyquist

    This is an interesting discussion. Nobody has yet mentioned China in this context. The Chinese Communists embrace Mao, Lenin and Marx, but they also employ nationalism and racism in their domestic formula and overseas formula. Pride in China, in being Chinese, is strong in their system.

    We have to remember that Hitler’s first choice was to join the Communists. But they refused to admit him to their ranks. So Hitler joined the tiny National Socialist Party. As Viktor Suvorov points out, the NSDAP was originally coordinating its strategy with the Communists, and the 1923 attempt to take power in Bavaria coincided with a Communist plot in Berlin. After his arrest and imprisonment, Hitler fashioned his own path — with occasional help from Stalin along the way. Hitler was pragmatic in realizing that people will die for their country, their kin, their “volk,” but abstract theories were not going to animate the masses. He focused people’s hatred on the Jews, because his appeal was to envy and a sense of inferiority (like that of the Communists). Everything he did was coldly practical, including his mistakes. Hitler’s passion was staged, his outbursts of temper were for show. He mocked Nazi theoretician Alfred Rosenberg’s writings, as too theoretical. An admirer of Communist methods, Hitler borrowed from the Leninist box of tricks, which included slogans like “bread and peace” — though nothing of the kind was intended.

    Is it so strange that the Leninists would use nationalism as a motivator? They also use “peace,” and “justice,” and pretend to fight “racism” while promoting anti-Semitism. Even Islam is something they embrace as an ally, even though Islam and Communism are totally inconsistent. But in every instance their support for nationalism or peace, or their stand against racism and imperialism, is far from heart-felt.

    Politics is about power, and the key question is one of adapting to circumstances. Perhaps some of the readers here listened to my interview with KGB Col. Viktor Kalashnikov and his wife Marina (an historian by training). When I asked her why Moscow and Beijing were allies, and why they worked together, she said, “Because they are both Communist.” This completely shocked me because I didn’t expect her to say such a thing; but it made perfect sense. If Russia and China were fascist instead of Communist, could they work as closely together as they do, with the Russians arming the Chinese? You would think, if they were national socialists, they would view one another with greater distrust than they view the U.S. But they are more flexible, and their motto of the moment should not be taken at face value. Marxists always re-invent themselves. This was true of Mao, as it was true of Stalin. And it remains true for the regimes they founded.

    There is nothing inconsistent if the Kremlin secretly promotes “global warming,” nuclear disarmament, and globalism (i.e., technology transfers), while stimulating their own national mechanism with a Nazi-like propaganda, publicly ridiculing global warming, openly engaged in rearmament, using free trade and globalism to undermine the dollar and degrade the U.S. industrial base. There is no need for consistency. Only a need for practical strategic results. Here we find a sophisticated integration of different tactical approaches dialectically coordinated, each chosen to advance the same strategy, which has as its target the same old enemy — the “main enemy,” the United States of America.

  12. 12 michał

    Wow, for once I agree with Jeff Nyquist! What’s the catch, Jeff?

    Well, I almost agree, because to my mind Americans are doing enough to undermine the Dollar.

  13. 13 Jeff Nyquist

    Saying that Moscow is working to undermine the dollar in no way exonerates Americans from their fiscal irresponsiblity. I have written extensively about the consequences of American hedonism, weakness and foolishness.

  14. 14 michał

    Oh, I know, I know. I was just trying hard to find something to disagree with in jest… And I know that you understand the American weakness better than most.



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