I’m not going to play silly games and ask you to guess. Even if I replaced ‘Russia’ with ‘Britain’ in the quote below, no one would be fooled anyway:
“I’m proposing to help Russian Jews to move to Israel. We should pay their moving expenses and award them medals ‘For the liberation of Russia’. We must tell Jews: you have your own country, go there and leave us alone. We’ll somehow manage on our own… Any Jew, no matter where he works, still looks towards Israel and can’t be a patriot of our country.”
This diatribe was delivered two years ago by Yelena Mizulina, Duma deputy for United Russia, Putin’s party. No British MP would enunciate such a proposal on the Commons floor, even though some may be capable of saying such things in private.
This points at a key difference between the two countries: Britain is civilised and Russia is not.
The proportion of good and evil people in both places is probably roughly similar, although, when it comes to anti-Semitism, the Russians hold a comfortable lead.
However, it’s the role of civilisation to draw certain lines that even wicked people dare not cross. That’s why, though, say, Jeremy Corbyn’s innermost feelings about the Jews may be similar to Mizulina’s, he wouldn’t express them publicly, and certainly not in Parliament.
We have our share of loudmouthed morons in all political parties, but, no matter how loudmouthed or moronic, they wouldn’t say the kind of things routinely bellowed by Russian parliamentarians.
For example, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, for many years Deputy Speaker of the Duma and still the leader of a major party, is impossible to imagine in the legislature of any civilised country.
Zhirinovsky routinely expresses the desire that Russian soldiers “wash their boots in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.”
In the past he suggested that the only way to teach Condoleezza Rice, then US Secretary of State, proper geopolitics would be to have her gang-raped in Spetznaz barracks “until soldiers’ sperm comes out of her ears.”
America, he once explained is “a second-hand store” filled with “c***suckers, hand-jobbers and poofters”. Hence, “if Russia rises, it means the USA falls down”. To accelerate that descent, Zhirinovsky hinted that Russia was capable of changing the Earth’s gravitational field to sink America.
He believes Russia should occupy all of the Ukraine, then take back Alaska by force because it’ll be “a great place to keep the Ukrainians.”
One of Russia’s most prominent politicians also has strong thoughts on the upcoming presidential election:
“Americans voting for a president on 8 November must realise that they’re voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump. But if they vote for Hillary it’s war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere.”
In other words, “Victory for Trump would be a gift to humanity. But if Hillary Clinton wins, she’ll be the last U.S. president ever.”
And hot off the press: “We must develop new weapons, not just nuclear ones. The kind of weapons after whose use there’s nothing left. Only a desert – and smoke.”
Please don’t dismiss these as isolated rants of a madman. Such threatening shrieks regularly pass the lips of Russian policy-makers, including Putin.
It’s against that background noise that we must assess the concrete steps taken by Russia. For example, the Russians make no secret that their barbaric bombing of Syria is also a rehearsal of tactics and a test of armaments.
A couple of weeks ago, 40 million Russians were involved in a massive evacuation drill in case of a nuclear attack. Yesterday the Russians tested an RS-18 missile’s ability to defeat US defences.
Also yesterday, the Russians unveiled the RS-28 Sarmat missile, Satan 2 in NATO nomenclature, to come on stream in 2018. Designed to dodge any anti-missile shield, the RS-28 is capable of carrying a 16-warhead, 40-megaton nuclear payload, sufficient to wipe out an area the size of France.
The other day the Russian battle group led by the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov passed by Ramsgate on its way to Syria. This was seen as an exercise testing the capabilities of the Royal Navy (“What Royal Navy?” I hear you ask).
Our assorted ‘useful idiots’ exemplified by Peter Hitchens laughed that show of force off by dismissing the Kuznetsov as obsolete. This is as idiotic and disingenuous as one has learned to expect from that lot.
First, the Kuznetsov was launched in 1985, which doesn’t necessarily make it useless. For example, the US Navy is still using the Nimitz carrier that’s three years older.
Second, Russia’s carrier may be old, but at least she still has one, which is more than can be said for the Royal Navy.
Third, the planes carried by the Kuznetsov are perfectly modern and capable of wreaking destruction, as they’ve demonstrated in Syria. Dismissing the Kuznetsov as obsolete is like saying that nuclear bombers taking off from an old airfield are harmless.
This gets me back to the original point. As the rants by Russia’s leading politicians demonstrate, the country isn’t civilised. Its responses to challenges are tethered by no more restraints than the tongues of its leaders.
Weapons aren’t dangerous by themselves. But they do represent a deadly threat to us when wielded by barbarians. The Russians, ably led by a junta, 85 per cent of which are KGB butchers, are indeed barbarians armed to the teeth.
And if you don’t believe me, follow what their leaders are saying.