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“Conversion of Russia” Update:

Washington Post Exposes Putin’s Stalinist Designs

by Christopher A. Ferrara

As the neo-Catholic establishment consigns the Message of Fatima to oblivion and sticks its head firmly in the sand concerning the obvious non-conversion of Russia, Catholics must look to liberal newspapers for the truth about the Putin regime’s re-Stalinization of “that poor nation”, as Sister Lucy called it.

A good recent example is an article entitled “The Failure of Putin’s Russia” by Bruce R. Jackson of The Washington Post (October 28, 2003). Jackson notes that the arrest of Russian business tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky by Russian secret services in Siberia has grave implications for the country as a whole.

Khodorkovsky has been charged with various “crimes” in connection with his sudden rise to wealth and power following the “fall of communism”, and technical crimes can easily be “found” in such circumstances. But as Jackson rightly notes “the real charge behind the arrest contains much more.”

Jackson is referring to the way in which, over the past year, “independent media and major independent business owners in Russia have been put out of business by the strong-arm tactics of the special prosecutor and the newly vigilant Federal Security Service (FSB), the agency that succeeded the KGB. In a climate that progressive Russian business executives compare to the fearful period of the 1950s, Khodorkovsky made the fatal mistake of expressing political opinions and having the temerity to provide financial support to opposition parties.”

Jackson observes that most of the business oligarchs whom Putin has arrested in recent days are Jewish — a development in which Jackson sees the return of “official anti-Semitism” in Russia. Whatever one thinks of that opinion, the fact is, as Jackson observes, “Khodorkovsky’s arrest … must be seen in the context of increasingly aggressive, military and extrajudicial actions in Ukraine, Moldova, the South Caucasus and Chechnya.

“In the past month, Putin has demanded that Ukraine sign a concessionary economic treaty; Russian intelligence services have been detected behind election irregularities in Azerbaijan and Georgia and in influence-peddling in Moldova and Abkhazia; and Russian gunboats have confronted the Ukrainian Coast Guard in an illegal attempt to seize a valuable commercial waterway.”

Jackson points out that “Putin has skillfully taken advantage of America’s necessary preoccupations” during his crackdown on political opponents, and that Putin is counting on little or no opposition from the Bush administration. “Indeed”, he writes, “each of Putin’s visits to the Crawford ranch and Camp David has been followed by the cynical curtailment of democratic freedom inside Russia.…”

As a result, says Jackson, “in addition to the expected Cold War thuggery and opportunistic financial seizures, we should expect that the new powers in Russia will rig the crucial elections in Ukraine and Georgia next year and continue to prop up the brutal dictatorship of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus.”

The bottom line? Jackson rightly warns that what we are seeing under the Putin regime is “a massive suppression of human rights and the imposition of a de facto Cold War-type administration in Moscow. It is not too soon to wonder if we are witnessing the formal beginning of a rollback of the democratic gains we have seen in Central and Eastern Europe, in Ukraine and elsewhere since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.”

So what else is new? Another “opening to the West” is being followed by another slamming of the door. But the neo-Catholic establishment, like the useful idiots of the days of Lenin and Stalin, refuses to see the truth: Communism has not died in Russia; it is merely undergoing a strategic reorganization. This is because the Message of Fatima — thanks largely to the propaganda of neo-Catholic Fatima revisionists — remains unfulfilled.