“We spit in your eye and you call it Holy Water.” So the old Russian expression goes. For sixty years the truth was so twisted behind the iron curtain, reality was turned upside down. It was a shock to the national psyche when the Soviet Union broke up and the real truth about the world began to flood in.
People walked around dazed and confused as foreigners entered the country in droves, bringing information and knowledge at one time thought to be western “propaganda.” The only truth had been the truth propagated by the State. There is no God….Russians invented the airplane, the refrigerator. Capitalism is evil, the West corrupt.
Still the siren song of freedom caused some to whisper behind closed doors. “Babushkas,” (Russian grandmothers) taught the existence of God no matter the risk. They attended underground churches, sometimes dragged out and beaten, but they did not remain silent. And when the open acknowledgment of God was finally allowed , one by one, ballerinas and neurologists and members of the KGB remembered what their grandmothers had taught them in private and greeted with stunned amazement the possibility that maybe, just maybe there might be a God.
That may be hard for Americans to relate to since we are the epicenter of information…freely flowing…overwhelming, in fact. And yet…we witnessed something just this week reminiscent of the tactics of the KGB in the Old Soviet Union. And I’m not referring to the spy ring arrested for infiltrating the United States.
They did do that, of course. Ten of them…living in this country for years as American citizens, raising children and dogs, selling real estate, living beside residents who actually seemed to think it quite amusing they had been duped by neighbors-turned-Russian-spies. They expressed no fear. Bewilderment…amusement, yes, but no fear. It would be a great story to tell their grandchildren…an amusing interlude in their short lives…get them a few minutes on television. But nothing to be offended or concerned about.
Spies….from a foreign country…trying to undermine the security of their nation…but not to worry….
The press has soothed us with the notion that yes, they were spies, but they were bad ones. Sloppy…outdated…they probably didn’t gather much information. No harm done…just the stuff of a movie…life goes on.
The President of the United States had nothing to say. Twice he was asked to comment and both times he refused. We heard through that same press that he was miffed…angry the arrests had come shortly after he had shared hamburgers publicly with Russian President, Dmitry Mevedev. How dare the FBI conduct such an embarrassing arrest at such an inconvenient time.
The President was not angry at the Russians, just at the FBI for embarrassing him. He showed no sign of indignation, outrage, or protection for his homeland. Instead, his press secretary, Robert Gibbs rushed to microphone to assure “I do not believe this will affect the reset of our relationship with Russia.”
Good. A foreign power tries to infiltrate our country, steal secrets and compromise high-ranking officials…but not to worry…this will not affect our relationship with them.
President Vladimir Putin angrily rejected the FBI arrests saying that U.S. police had gone “out of control.” He and Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, accused the U.S. of trying to sabotage the “reset” of Russian/ American relations. Angry words…how dare you Americans arrest Russian spies on your soil and worse… make an arrest shortly after presidential hamburgers were shared?
Philip Gordon, top US State Department official for Europe said, “we are moving towards a more trusting relationship; we’re beyond the Cold War…I don’t think anyone was hugely shocked to know that some vestiges of old attempts to use intelligence are still there.” Translated? Espionage against the United States while feigning friendship? Ho- Hum.
Meanwhile the Justice Department weighed in responding to Russian outrage with the explanation “these arrests had to be carried out Sunday for several critical law enforcement and operational reasons.” Good. I’m glad we explained it to our “friends” the Russians so they won’t be mad at us any more and we can continue our new relationship, sharing our nuclear secrets and disarming our defenses.
“We spit in your eye and you call it Holy Water.” The Old Left outfoxes the New. How interesting.