A little perspective, please
Memorial Day in America has always been an important holiday to me. I think of those who landed at Normandy and how they courageously stared death right in the face. Nevertheless, while America lost around 410,000 people during that war, well over 19 million Russians died. The USSR lost about 27 million. And the war was fought here, not “over there.” Many cities and villages were destroyed. Further, estimates are that about 85–90% of the Nazis who died were killed by the Soviets. Russians are the people most responsible for victory in Europe. As Winston Churchill said in his speech to the House of Commons on August 2, 1944,
I have left the obvious, essential fact to this point, namely, that it is the Russian Armies who have done the main work in tearing the guts out of the German army. In the air and on the oceans we could maintain our place, but there was no force in the world which could have been called into being, except after several more years, that would have been able to maul and break the German army unless it had been subjected to the terrible slaughter and manhandling that has fallen to it through the strength of the Russian Soviet Armies.
A major disappointment now for us is how the relationship between the U.S. and Russia has deteriorated. It was getting tense when we moved. Donald Trump’s adversaries started playing the “Russia card” after he said in his campaign that working with Russia to fight terrorism would be a good thing. I mistakenly thought those tensions would ease after the 2016 election.
Yet, you can’t talk about an American in Russia now without dealing with the political aspects. I regularly watch the newscasts from America. Some days I see nothing about the soaring suicide rates among our war veterans, about poor medical care for the veterans, the explosive costs of medical care for American families, or the crumbling infrastructure . But I do not recall one day of watching the news from America and not hearing something nasty said about “the Russians.” It is as if “Putin’s Russia” has destroyed the American way of life …
I see no such vilification of America going on in Russia. I don’t hear Vladimir Putin making speeches about confronting America or his emissaries spreading rumors about how horrible the leaders are …
What I did not hear on the [American] network reports I watched was the mention of events in May of last year when Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and 3 Russian companies for interfering in the election. Initially, I read a claim he had hundreds of pages in Russian documents proving they did it. It looked like an easy play for Mueller. Obviously he could not force the Russians to come to America and stand trial, and no one thought they would volunteer. Thus, he could say he knew they were guilty, they would stay in Russia, and Mueller could then claim the Russians meddled and got Trump elected with no fear of contradiction.
What he did not foresee was that the Russians would fight. Concord Management and Consulting hired two Washington lawyers to go to court. They went before a judge and demanded Mueller and his team turn over the incriminating documents used to indict them. They wanted their speedy trial. They added two other points. First, if the documents proving they were meddling were written in Russian, how would said documents convince Americans to vote for Trump? Most Americans don’t read Russian. And how did Mueller’s team know what was in the documents since they could not read Russian either? Second, one of the companies Mueller indicted did not actually exist at the time he claimed they committed the acts.
Mueller’s team fumbled around in court and said they weren’t ready. The lawyers for the Russians asked how Mueller could indict anyone and then claim he was not ready and that he could not produce documents … (See https://www.sgtreport.com/2018/05/a-russian-nightmare-for-mueller-special-counsel-trial-lawyer-woefully-unprepared-to-actually-prosecute-the-indicted-russians/ and https://therightscoop.com/digenova-russians-call-muellers-bluff-judge-sides-with-russians/ ) After that fiasco, I did not believe any claims that Mueller was a fair man of integrity. It seemed from here that opinions about Mueller and the whole “Russiagate” affair were actually rooted in whether or not one liked or disliked Donald Trump.
Hal Freeman, American expatriate.
This is a fascinating blog entry.