Russian Reporter, Russia
The New Image of the Enemy
By Viktor Dyatlikovich
Translated By Zackary Suhr
2 January 2013
Edited by Daye Lee
Russia - Russian Reporter - Original Article (Russian)
The past year has finally brought the notion of “the enemy” back into our collective consciousness. Don’t think that I am against it. On the contrary, I am emphatically in favor of it. Without an external enemy, any society is crippled. If there is no dog eager to grab the ham, society grows fat from comfortable idleness. Great feats and breakthroughs in innovation will not occur.
The enemy must necessarily be mature, strong, malevolent, so that it is not shameful to rally against him. Sexual minorities, for example, do not fit the bill, because hatred towards them would only inspire fist fights. Such an enemy cannot inspire men to build ten more submarines and double the GDP for meager pay. The Americans, however, are another matter.
Most important in the process of creating an enemy are talent and a sense of moderation. These are essential. It is a rare combination, if it is even possible. Sooner or later, the talented lose their sense of moderation.
My timeworn collection of childhood memories allows me to tell you how I stopped believing Soviet propaganda. It was 1984, on the eve of the Olympics. Soviet propagandists claimed: “Professional gangsters from every corner of Canada, Latin America and Japan are flocking to Los Angeles. Police are even afraid to be seen in many parts of the city.” And the people creatively thought up improbable scenarios.
“You know why we’re not going? Because the Americans will kill all of the Russians who win. They’ll swim, say, the hundred meter breaststroke, ours will finish first, and bang, they’ll shoot him in the head!” I heard that during recess when I was in the third class of our Soviet school. And I didn’t believe it. Until then, I believed. I believed we were the greatest country on earth. I believed that American workers were starving. I believed in Angela Davis. And now, just imagine: the Olympics, a pool, a full stadium, a shot — then blood in the pool, a corpse slowly drifting along the fifth lane… Impossible!
And that’s how it is with Americans today. The preparations began long ago. And some stories weren’t so far-fetched. In 2004, Americans prepared the Orange Revolution. It is clear that they played a role. They do not deny it themselves. The question, of course, is how decisive the American role was in Yuschchenko’s victory. And another question — what were Gleb Pavlovsky and company doing in Kiev at the time? But let’s leave that aside.
The Munich speech, the hysteria about antimissile defense and about plans to cover us with a missile shield are also full of errors, but these at least are within reason. And what are we to say if Obama himself agrees? NGOs are foreign agents. This is a more difficult question, but let’s ask ourselves: Why should the American government, and not we ourselves, finance election monitoring and the fight against police corruption? Here, there is still a kernel of reason to be found.
But then, onto the stage climb assorted Lakhovs, Batalins, Isaevs and Astakhovs who tell me that Americans, it turns out, adopt our children only in order to torment, torture and kill them. Those overseas bastards don’t think about anything else, and they adopt disabled children because it is easier to humiliate them. And I sit there, taking it all in, and all I can say is, “It can’t be! You have neither talent nor a sense of moderation.”
At least Soviet propaganda was made by talented people. At the age of six, I marveled at the boy Vitya “Kukryniksov,” awaiting new pictures in the newspaper “Pravda." On what intellectual and moral trash heap did they find the current propagandists?
Let’s make an unemotional assessment. The Soviet Union did not collapse in 1984 because I stopped believing “Pravda.” And, of course, the Putin regime will not collapse because of the #lawofscoundrels.* It may even continue to exist longer. However, an enemy of this sort will not rouse any nation to great feats. Your image of the enemy is not convincing; it was fashioned with two left hands.
*Editor's Note: The hashtag is used by opponents of the anti-American-adoption law to denote the controversial piece of legislation.
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