Col. Putin, meet Mr Swift

swiftIn 1729 yet another famine in Ireland caused much outrage in England. Foremost in the public mind was the plight of Irish children whom their parents were unable to feed.

Jonathan Swift brought to bear on the tragedy his genius for satire. Swift published, anonymously, a pamphlet called A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick.

Rather than worrying about feeding their offspring, wrote Swift, parents should eat them. This ‘modest proposal’ would achieve the dual benefit of having fewer mouths to feed and at least two mouths fed very well indeed.

According to Swift, babies were quite a delicacy: “A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout.”

I don’t know if Col. Putin has read the pamphlet but, if he has, he seems to have taken Swift’s irony at face value. Under his stewardship Russian orphans aren’t often used for food but, all things considered, they might as well be.

Most children kept in Russian orphanages aren’t actually orphans. Many are today’s answer to the Irish babies of 300 years ago: children abandoned by their parents out of sheer destitution.

They seldom (though not never) fall victim to cannibalism. Rather than being eaten by grownups, they’re devoured by the Saturn of Putin’s Russia.

At least half, and by some estimates up to 95 per cent, of orphanage inmates become alcoholics, drug addicts or suicides. About 60 per cent of both boys and girls are raped. Few live to maturity, and those who do go into the outside world unfit to survive by any other than criminal means.

Some children are lucky enough to be adopted, though for many this means leaving the frying pan for the fire. Some foster parents are perverts, but most are kind, well-meaning persons. Alas, many overestimate their ability to feed children, with predictably disastrous consequences.

The really lucky tots are adopted by American couples – for them the chances of survival to adulthood are 39 times higher than for those adopted by Russians. And it’s this lifeline that Putin and his gang have severed with their characteristic cruelty.

The 2013 Magnitsky Law and subsequent 2014 sanctions banned from entry into the US several dozen Russian officials implicated in the crimes that had produced the sanctions.

Putin and his gang were outraged, especially since other Western countries followed suit. After all, the Russian national sport, money laundering, can’t be practised without access to the laundry, otherwise known as the West. So what’s going to happen to all those palaces in Florida, villas in Costa del Sol, Eaton Square mansions and 300-foot yachts moored at the Côte d’Azur?

Putin’s response was instant, only beaten for speed by the alacrity with which it was rubber-stamped by the Russian ‘parliament’. Thenceforth those awful Yanks wouldn’t be allowed to adopt Russian children. Col. Putin would rather watch them being raped and starved to death in the hellholes of Russian orphanages than let Americans indulge their paternal instincts.

This little bit of quid pro quo was accompanied by a propaganda campaign the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the halcyon days of the Soviet Union, if then. Back in the ‘60s an average Russian could be forgiven for forming the impression that lynching was America’s chosen leisure activity on a slow weekend. But Putin went his KGB ancestors one better.

He personally vouchsafed to his subjects the secret that in America it’s not against the law for foster parents to kill their adopted children, especially Russian ones. And according to his shrill mouthpieces in the Duma and on TV, at least 10 per cent of the little Russians were only adopted to be disassembled and sold for parts.

Others were turned into slaves, like those blacks who used to be lynched en masse back in the ‘60s. Most of them would be used as cannon fodder in the upcoming attack on Russia, which, as we all know, was and still is being planned by American warmongers.

Yesterday I used the expression plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose in relation to Saltykov-Shchedrin’s observations about Russia back in the nineteenth century. The phrase works in this case too.

Any Russian reading stories of the post-revolutionary mayhem is aware of hundreds of thousands of feral stray children roaming the streets of all major cities. They robbed, stole, begged, slept rough (often under asphalt kilns on cold winter nights) – and died. Those who survived were shipped to colonies for juvenile delinquents that made Victorian workhouses look like resorts.

In my day, brainwashed Russians accepted those stories at face value, never asking themselves the most natural question: Where did all those stray children come from? The forbidden answer would have been that the little ones were orphaned by the CheKa murder squads, famines and the Civil War provoked by Lenin’s gang.

Today’s Russians may be able to ask and answer such questions with relative impunity, preferably in private. But most take the easy option and banish the thought from their minds. As to Putin’s ‘useful idiots’ in the West, they just don’t want to know.


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