"If even so much as one penny is coming out of the U.S. Treasury to finance these proceedings, one has to ask: Why on earth are we building up a sinister cult like the NBP? One imagines that people said the same thing about the Afghan "resistance" during the 1980s – and nobody listened then, did they? However, one would think that Richard Holbrooke, Dick Morris, and Anthony Russell Brenton, Britain's ambassador to the Russian Federation – all of whom are listed as sponsoring attendees – would know better than to get mixed up with a bunch of neo-Nazi thugs."
[link to antiwar.com
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July 12, 2006
Russia's Fifth Column
An unnatural alliance: Russian 'liberals,' commies, and neo-Nazis unite against Putin
by Justin Raimondo
The upcoming G-8 conference, scheduled for July 15-18 in St. Petersburg, is shaping up as the latest battleground in the developing conflict between Putin's Russia and the West. This summit is "really about Russia," says the BBC, and as far as the West is concerned, it's all criticism all the time. The barrage of anti-Russian (and, specifically, anti-Putin) propaganda in the Western media has been relentless ever since Moscow refused to get on board the U.S. invasion of Iraq. As punishment for such brazen defiance, Richard Perle demanded that Russia be thrown out of the G-8. More recently, as the Russians decline to kowtow to the Americans (and the Europeans) over Iran (and Ukraine), Vice President Dick Cheney has been ratcheting up the rhetoric, accusing the Russians of "blackmail" – when they quite reasonably insisted the Ukrainians had to pay the world market price for their oil – and darkly hinting that Putin harbors imperialistic designs on his neighbors.
This last accusation, coming as it does from Washington's most belligerent warlord, is a classic case of projection: indeed, it inverts the reality, which is that the U.S., not content with one "war of civilizations," is doggedly trying to provoke yet another. Toward this end, the Americans are presently engaged in an all-out political assault on the Putin regime, an exercise in "soft power" they hope will eventually culminate in regime change.
We've come a long way since Bush looked into Putin's eyes and espied the Russian leader's soul. This time, it will be more of a head-butting than a bonding.
The Americans are after Putin's scalp for the same reasons they went after Milosevic and Saddam: not for their crimes, both real and imagined, but because he insistently defies them. Instead of bowing to the wishes of the would-be hegemon and its Middle Eastern ally, the Russkis are selling missiles to Damascus and doing business with Tehran. And now, flush with funds from rising oil prices, Putin is flexing his muscles, picking the crippled Russian bear up off its knees. Nothing could enrage the Americans more: after all, they thought they won the Cold War, fair and square. Don't the Russians know they're beaten?
Russia is far from "resurgent," in any fundamental sense: the drastically falling birth rate is an indicator of steep decline, not revival. But Putin is putting up a fight. In answer to the U.S. government-funded effort to "export democracy" to the former Soviet republics of the Russian "near abroad," Putin has cut off the foreign funding of Russian "NGOs." A good many of these "non-governmental organizations" are anything but – they get direct (and, often, covert) aid from Washington, either from the National Endowment for Democracy, or out of the CIA's "black propaganda" budget. The Europeans, too, are putting their own cash in the till: they see Moscow (rightly) as a rival power center, Putin's Byzantium to the Holy Roman Empire of the EU.