Nikolai Patrushev used to be head of the KGB, oops, the FSB, and currently heads the so-called “Security Council” of Russia – a body made up largely of intelligence and defense bosses that seems to have a major influence on Putin’s policy making these days.
Last week, the official Rossiyskaya Gazeta ran an interview with Patrushev under the title, The Second Cold War. Genuinely funny stuff: Patrushev manages to be both paranoid and silly, as in “I didn’t go to school and I’m an honorary member of the Flat Earth Society.”
And the ROTFLMAO award goes to this bit:
In the 1970s, Brzezinski [yes! Brzezinski is to KGB types what Zionist Occupation Government is to wingnuts] developed a version of a strategy of “vulnerable spots” as applied to the USSR, which became the basis of US policy under president Reagan. The National Security Council, headed by the US president, was in charge of implementing that strategy. Detecting and specifying the “vulnerable points” as well as arranging ways to transform them into substantial problems for the USSR was a task assigned to the Central Intelligence Agency of the USA. [Sic: not just “the CIA” but “the Central Intelligence Agency of the USA”.]
It is remarkable that the then CIA director William Casey decided to engage prominent scientists/scholars in the activity, above all economists as well as business professionals with a real experience of business wars with competitors. As a result of the wide-scale analytic work, the USSR’s “vulnerable spots” were identified and systemically studied, in the economic, ideological, and other areas.
The principal “vulnerable spot” of our country, as the CIA had determined, was its economy.
At which point, I choked on my buterbrod. Mate, how old were you in 1980? Going on 30, right? And you still thought that Ladas were the best cars in the world? That Soviet shops were bristling to the brim with organic foods unheard of in the decaying, decadent West? Come on. Americans can be a little slow at times, but in 1980, it did not take a Nobel winner to figure out what any Soviet schoolchild knew, if only from standing in food lines: outside of the military-industrial complex, the Soviet economy was shit.
Last time I heard this CIA-Brzezinski-Casey-Reagan pabulum as an official line was back in 1983 or 1985 on the Soviet TV show called International Panorama. Where did they keep Patrushev all those years between Andropov and third-term Putin — pickled in a KGB jar? It feels wonderful to know that Russia is governed by such Pyecraftian heavyweights, people who manage to combine highly developed paranoid fantasies with stunning educational deficiencies.
To quote Alexander Ostrovsky’s great play, “O tell us, o tell the world how you managed, having lived to the age of sixty years, to preserve in complete inviolability the mind of a six-year-old child?”