By: Cliff Kincaid
The “experts” say Russia is a gas station with an army. Who made this army possible? The answer: politicians and corporate interests in Washington, D.C., and other Western capitals.
In our 2014 book, Back from the Dead: The Return of the Evil Empire, we quoted Michael Birnbaum, the Washington Post’s Moscow bureau chief, as noting that “after Russia’s brief war with neighboring Georgia in 2008, top leaders rethought their old habits. Although Russia ultimately prevailed in that conflict, its soldiers proved ill-equipped and disorganized, struggling with Soviet-era equipment that failed them on numerous occasions. So leaders turned to the West to boost their capabilities.”
In other words, the West decided to make future Russian conquests more easily accomplished by the Kremlin. The French, the Germans, and Italians began providing sophisticated military equipment to Moscow.
These deals with Moscow make the activities of Armand Hammer seem mild by comparison.
Hammer was the chairman of Occidental Petroleum and a champion of East-West trade whose father Julius laundered money to establish the first Soviet espionage networks in the United States. Armand Hammer was himself exposed as a Soviet agent who helped former Vice President Al Gore and his family become rich.
Trade with the USSR served Soviet interests then, and it serves Russian interests today.
President Obama and his then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton engineered a “reset” with Russia, supposedly to improve relations. It only served to bolster the regime of Vladimir Putin.