Head of International Republican Institute Dan Twining ridiculously compares Putin-Xi meeting to Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact between Hitler and Stalin, while former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs accuses Russia of igniting protests in Chile
Russia-bashing was in full vogue at a conference at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas co-hosted by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) on November 16, whose purpose was to mobilize public support for the war in Ukraine.
During the first panel, Dan Twining of the International Republican Institute, which supports right-wing parties worldwide, outrageously compared a February 2022 summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese Premier Xi Xinping to the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact between the Nazis and Soviet Union during World War II.
The chair of the panel, Paula Dobriansky, Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs from 2001 to 2009 and the daughter of an ally of Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, blamed Russia for igniting popular protests in Chile through the spread of disinformation on social media.
President George W. Bush continued the Russia-bashing in his keynote address in which he called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “tough guy” whom history “will judge as a remarkable leader.”
Bush went on to suggest that there is “an isolationist tendency in the U.S.” which, if it ever prevailed, would “make the world far more dangerous,” as U.S. leadership was “vital for collective action against autocracy around the world.”
Bush said that “the George W. Bush Institute were [sic] big believers in Ukrainian freedom,” and wanted to help the “young democracy” from being “bullied by its neighbor, an autocrat.”
This was crucial to U.S. national security because “what will Europe look like if Vladimir Putin conquers Ukraine? Next would be the Baltics.”
Bush’s speech and the larger conference was intended to send a message to Republicans—soon the majority in the House of Representatives—when some in the party have wavered over supporting funding for the war in Ukraine.
Bush had set the groundwork for this latter war during his presidency by supporting a color revolution directed against pro-Russian leader Viktor Yanukovych, which brought to power Viktor Yuschenko, who supported Ukraine’s ascension into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and rehabilitated Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera (1909-1959).
President Bush had further triggered the new Cold War with Russia by a) pulling the U.S. out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty; b) expanding NATO to seven countries near Russia; c) aggressively intervening in Central Asia to take control of its oil and gas resources; d) supporting the anti-Putin opposition, including Alexei Navalny through the NED; e) pouring millions of dollars to try and unseat Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a Russian ally and socialist; and f) supporting the Rose revolution in Georgia that brought to power Mikheil Saakashvili and providing military support when Saakashvili provoked war with Russia in 2008.
Back to the 1950s
The Bush Institute conference featured a video speech by Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen who boasted about Taiwan’s assistance to Ukraine, while suggesting that Russia’s invasion was “proof that dictatorships will do whatever it takes to achieve their goal of expansionism.”
NED Director Damon Wilson echoed a similar theme, warning that Russia and China were increasingly taking advantage of “open societies” like the U.S. to advance disinformation, and exporting surveillance technologies to Tehran and Managua to the detriment of human freedom.
Wilson praised dissidents “toiling in Russian prisons” because they dared criticize the war with Ukraine, along with “the courageous women on the streets of Iran” and dissident protesters in other countries targeted by the U.S. for regime change like Cuba.
The conference’s second panel characteristically featured a Russian dissident who invoked Ronald Reagan’s metaphor of the “evil empire” in describing Putin’s Russia, a right-winger from Venezuela who invoked regime-change guru Gene Sharp, and a Uyghur exile who accused China of genocide in a misapplication of the term.
The takeaway from the conference highlighted the need for Cold War-style programs and interventions to ‘save democracy’ and ‘protect the U.S.’ from authoritarian aggression.
Cold War metaphors along with a pathological Russophobia fit the norm for a group of people whose world view is a throwback to an earlier generation of Cold Warriors who were discredited in the 1960s.
Lev Dobriansky (1918-2008) was the liaison between Washington and Ukraine’s pro-Nazi right during the early Cold War. He defined George Kennan’s containment strategy as a “passive … naive … policy founded on the discredited belief that the two worlds—that of Soviet tyranny and the non-communist world—can live in a mutual state of co-existence.” Paula has adopted a similar viewpoint to her father, expressing belief that a “cult of Putinism” has replaced Marxist-Leninist ideology as the glue holding the Russian people captive. She was on the Board of the NED. See Moss Robeson, “A Fair Question: Is Paula Dobriansky a Neo-Banderite?” CovertAction Magazine, https://covertactionmagazine.com/2018/07/04/a-fair-question-is-paula-dobriansky-a-neo-banderite/ ↑
The countries were: Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania and Latvia. ↑
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About the Author
Jeremy Kuzmarov is Managing Editor of CovertAction Magazine.
He is the author of five books on U.S. foreign policy, including Obama’s Unending Wars (Clarity Press, 2019), The Russians Are Coming, Again, with John Marciano (Monthly Review Press, 2018), and Warmonger. How Clinton’s Malign Foreign Policy Launched the U.S. Trajectory From Bush II to Biden (Clarity Press, 2023).
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