Michael C. Ruppert
[© Copyright 2001, 2002, Michael C. Ruppert
and FTW Publications, www.copvcia.com.
All Rights Reserved]
[The lead essay from FTW’s March 31, 2001 issue described the devastating effects of
a decade of the looting of the Russian economy by The United
States using The Harvard Endowment, Goldman Sachs, The U.S.
Treasury and the International Monetary Fund. In light events
in the post-9/11/01 world it now seems clear that these
actions were intended to weaken Russia
to the point where it could not oppose U.S.
military operations that have now successfully secured control
of the oil and gas reserves in Central Asia.
In understanding that we are witnessing
the implementation of a multi-decade plan for global dominance
it is worthwhile to take a look at what I saw in Russia
just six short months before we entered a new paradigm of
human civilization. - MCR ]
I had no idea when I boarded an Aeroflot
767 at LAX on March 3 that by the time I wrote this story
the US and Russia would have turned up the heat in a growing
spy scandal by tossing out each others diplomats in bushels.
I had no idea that the Dow would have lost more than 800
points in its worst week ever. I had not expected that the
Chechen conflict would have intensified or that President
W would have expanded Plan Colombia
by proposing another $500 million in military aid, now calling
it "The Andean Initiative." There are many eyes
on us this month and I battle with my constant fear that
I have not studied enough, absorbed enough or looked hard
enough to get what is important for you.
And this brings me to one of the most important
ideas I heard discussed on March 6th and 7th at the Bor
Presidential Hotel and Retreat, 30 kilometers south of Moscow.
The issue was exemplified for me by two men, Kirill V. Tremasov,
Research Chief of Zerich Capital Management and Russia's
brilliant economic thinker Michael Khazin. Tremasov is a
young, intelligent, clean-cut analyst, perhaps one of the
most widely respected financial gurus in Russia.
During his presentation on the second day of the conference
he delivered a complete analysis of numbers and trends,
a thorough dissection of the current US
economic picture and he confidently presented a prognosis
that sounded like it had been written for him by the Bush
Administration. The markets had been hurt but they would
recover. Tax cuts were the answer. There was no cause for
Khazin, whom FTW has quoted often for his
breakthrough predictions on last year's market crashes,
however, added the human element to his analyses. In his
presentations and counters to Tremasov in an open forum
on the second day he constantly discussed things like social
unrest, living standards, household debt, crime - the human
elements that do not lend themselves to mathematical analysis.
It took less than a week for the universe to support Khazin
and to rebuke Tremasov. These events confirmed my belief
that we will find no solutions to the rapidly approaching
global crisis until we look at the human element in every
equation. And this raises the age-old Taoist maxim that
the act of measuring and the presence of the measurer influences
that which is measured.
is a country that is hemorrhaging badly. It is bleeding
money. It is bleeding people. It is bleeding energy and
life. It is truly a country of friendly people and I am
most certain that Russia
is as far removed from Communism as Tombstone
Arizona was removed from
the Puritans in Massachusetts
Everywhere on the Moscow
skyline, next to stunning architectures, are huge neon Gods
proclaiming Sanyo, Sharp and Samsung. Western TV is also
everywhere. There are more than 30 McDonald's in the greater
The US dollar is king in an economy that was devastated
by the 1998 devaluation of the ruble. Every hundred meters
along Tverskaya, the main street leading out of Red
Square, are currency exchange windows. Only
dollars and Deutschmarks matter here. Almost every car in
for those with a flashing blue light on top (VIPs, oligarchs
and government officials) is for hire. All a westerner has
to do is step out into the street and extend a subtle hand
and privately owned autos in various states of repair dart
to the curb chasing currency like bloodhounds. A vast improvement
but a sad commentary about Russia's
underemployment and poverty.
From a peak of approximately 170 million
has seen its population shrink to 145 million. That number
is projected to dwindle to 134 million by 2015. And
it is the best and the brightest that are leaving. For a
nation that gave the world Tchaikovsky, Dostoevsky,
Solzenytsin, Sakarov, the Bolshoi ballet and a hundred other
treasures this is a tragic loss. I was told of the beauty
of Russian women. It is true. I was told that top Russian
nuclear physicists were selling flowers because they were
unemployed. It is true. I was told that the "maffiyas"
and the "oligarchs"- robber barons who enrich
themselves by facilitating the looting of their own country
- basically control the economy, that they have systematically
shipped out almost anything of value. This is also true.
I was told that Moscow
is a city where anything goes if you have money. True again.
But a concept that blames this solely on the Russians is
patently incomplete. As one Russian businessman told me,
"Russians care about only three things: food, clothing
For more than ten years now American financial
institutions such as the Bank of New York, Goldman Sachs
and Harvard have facilitated the looting of Russia
to the tune of up to $300 billion. US
foreign policy during the Clinton
era, in effect, treated Russia
like the post Civil War South where carpetbaggers roamed
the countryside. Another term I also heard frequently used
This refers to Germany
after World War I when reparations and plundering by the
Allies destroyed Germany's
economic base, created hyperinflation, ripped the social
fabric apart and ultimately evoked a nationalistic, defensive
reaction named Adolph Hitler. It is therefore of no small
concern to Russians when a 17 year-old Russian girl,
asked who the leader of her country was during WW II responds,
Now I share the instant observations of
many that it was President W's grandfather, Prescott Bush,
who helped arm and finance Adolph Hitler in the 1930s. It
was good business. Of course the end result, WWII, or as
the Russians call it, The Great Patriotic War, was good
for business also. The problem for the Russians was that
it killed 27 million of them as compared to America's loss
of only 300,000. I thank my newfound friend Anatole Selivra,
an American lawyer of Russian parentage who now practices
in Moscow, for taking me to Russia's Victory Park where
a breathtaking museum displays 2.7 million tear-drop shaped
crystals suspended from brass chains over books recording
the names of Russia's war dead. In pure Bush/Clinton mathematical
terms this might be called "the cost of doing business."
But in the 21st Century where we toss around depleted uranium
in ways that render portions of the earth uninhabitable
forever, where the organized smuggling of Freon out of Russia
by organized crime groups expands the hole in the ozone
layer every year, and where weapons of mass destruction
proliferate in direct proportion to their ability to generate
profit, the fundamentally suicidal nature of the current
human paradigm is utterly transparent.
The plane ride home for me was the most
haunting experience of the entire trip. I met five Americans
on that flight. Three were American men who travel to Russia
seeking women eager to leave the country. These men, not
exactly fashion models, enjoy sex while "shopping for
brides." There are side trips with Russian women to
Austria or Poland, dinners out, gifts purchased. Part of
me sympathized with the men, eager to be judged by some
other standard than physical appearance. But it sounded
more like wine tasting than bride shopping to me.
Also on the plane was an American aerospace
entrepreneur, a very bright man who was bringing back one
of Russia's best computer engineers to work in California
for US aerospace corporations. He has been doing well culling
the cream of Russia's scientific crop - largely unemployed
since the 98 economic collapse - and bringing them back
to the States. Here they will have good lives and do advanced
work for companies like Lockheed-Martin or Boeing. He was
proud that the projects designed with Russian brains would
then be subcontracted back to Russia for manufacture the
way "Maquiladorization" allows GM to make Chevrolets
in Mexico for a fraction of the US labor cost. In this way
unemployed Russian nuclear physicists could at least have
work as skilled labor in Russia.
Then there was the American woman from
Arcadia, California. Once childless, she was now bringing
back one of the most beautiful six-year-old girls I have
ever seen, an adopted child from an uncertain past in the
mangled Russian economy. I will never forget how guilty
and fearful the woman looked as she herded her precious
cargo onto the plane.
Now every one of these people can make
an argument that their short-term behavior was a direct
benefit to all of the Russians involved. They would, in
fact, be right. These were Russian lives that would have
been hopelessly wasted or unhappy without the actions taken
by lonely men with money, hard working entrepreneurs providing
opportunity, or a childless woman of means who could provide
a good life for a child. These people did not make the world
that exists, they are just living in it and responding to
it. Why then did the whole picture make me ill?
Perhaps it was because I could see how
financial interests in the west deliberately created the
collapse of the Russian economy which then made it as inevitable
that colonial behavior would occur as surely as water flows
downhill. Only Russians who are not "oligarchs"
seem to be asking what will be left over. Oil? The Bolshoi?
I agree with Michael Khazin that globalization
will fail because the strains and pains of the regions sucked
dry to feed it will trigger nationalist and regionalist
reactions of self preservation. And the Russians, who were
so quick to point out the ever increasing economic disparities
on the planet, remember that it was those kinds of disparities,
coupled with the irrational and inflexible behavior of empires
that gave us both World War I and the Russian revolution.
And speaking of irrational behavior I'll offer here a recent
observation made to me by the wife of one of the biggest
drug dealers of all time. She is now an executive with a
major international financial firm. On condition of anonymity
she observed, "The big players don't think about where
it's all going. It's just a game where they want to see
who can play better than the other. They have so much money
they don't care. It's all about adrenaline. That's it. It's
about sipping virgin vodka on the beach and hatching schemes
to get richer. None of them thinks that it all might self
In the meantime, as the US starts to loot
itself, the "barbarians at the gates" - which
means most of the world - smell blood. And George "W"
Bush responds by calling for an arms race, National Missile
Defense, a war in Colombia and expansion of the military.
Suddenly it looks as though stabilizing
Russia is important to more than just the Russians. The
major problem that I see is that some Russians actually
believe that they are playing in the world economy with
full knowledge of how it really works. That's kind of like
trying to understand the US government on the basis of a
tenth grade civics text. As the Bush administration appoints
Wall Street investment banker "Buzzy" Krongard
(March, 17) to the number three post at CIA and as it wields
the influence of secret technological weapons like Promis
software (see FTW Sept, 2000), the Agency maneuvers to control
the liquid cash of the drug trade and money laundering to
patch up a rapidly deflating economy here at home. If Russia
tries to compete on this basis it continues to play in a
rigged game. This is why I was particularly intrigued by
reports of vast opium fields in Uzbekistan, allegedly protected
by the Russian military, for the purpose of generating hard
currency. The Americans play this game better than anyone.
And now I see the truest irony of Vietnam in the 1960s and
Afghanistan in the 1980s. In the 1960s the CIA and Wall
Street profited heavily from the Vietnam war - fought by
Americans - partially as a result of the opium smuggled
by the CIA out of Laos and Thailand. In the 1980s the CIA
and Wall Street again profited heavily from the opium smuggled
by the CIA out of Afghanistan and Pakistan - in a war fought
by Russians. See the difference?
About three years ago I gave a speech introducing
the legendary comedian Dick Gregory on a local college campus.
I told a crowd of predominantly African Americans that the
world had changed. If they were going to save themselves
they would have to save all of us white folk too. The world
didn't allow them to think about just themselves anymore.
The same is true of the Russians. Pure nationalism in an
age when nations have become obsolete is self defeating.
But recognition and preservation of localities, neighborhoods,
cultural identity and values is essential if the human race
is to survive. If it is diversity that will liberate us
from outmoded thinking we should hope that when the world
needs another Russian genius we will be able to find there
something more than a Big Mac, a dollar bill, a casino,
some cocaine, and NYPD Blue.
-- Mike Ruppert