On Dec. 31, of last year, there were two terrorist bombings in Volgagrad(or Stalingrad, to give the city its more famous name), in southeastern European Russia. What is significant in this story is the way it is being covered both in Russia, and on the internet. Lew Rockwell's article headline says it all:
Asking whether Russia will respond to something like this is a little like asking if it would respond to Hitler's invasion in 1941. Calling is a "mere border incident" is out of the question. So the answer is, yes.
The real question is not whether Russia will respond, but rather how Mr. Putin and his advisors will choose to do so, and how they will formulate a long term strategy to do so, for the provocation is ultimately coming from London and Washington. Thus, the allusion to Hitler here is not accidental, for there are some revealing words in the Pravda article:
“T'his is definitely the beginning of a planned action,' Yevgeny Lobachev, a retired Major General of the Russian Federal Security Bureau, told Pravda.Ru.
"The expert sees two purposes. The bombings were conducted to destabilize the situation in the country before the New Year holidays and prior to the Olympic Games in Sochi.
“'A number of public and state Western leaders are now calling to boycott the Russian games. Every now and then they keep on reporting that someone else is not coming for the Olympics. These attacks are financed from abroad, most likely from Saudi Arabia, as the two Chechen wars showed. This is foreign influence, foreign control, foreign maintenance,' said Evgeny Lobachev.
“'There is every reason to believe that this is the beginning of a large-scale operation to destabilize Russia. We have a lot of enemies who seek to undermine our credibility, especially in the run-up to the Olympics,' Saeed Gafurov, the scientific director of the Institute of Oriental and African Studies said.
He believes that the bombings were an act of revenge to the Russian Federation for Syria and a result of the flabbiness of Russian diplomacy.
“'Russia made several mistakes in the Middle East and in the Persian Gulf, where it showed generosity and softness in response to barbaric actions. We shouldn’t have, for example, turned a blind eye on the beating of Ambassador Titarenko in Qatar. Officers of Qatari security forces received no punishment. It was a reason for war, and we just swallowed it. Russia said nothing when Saudi Arabia invaded Bahrain either'” said the expert. According to him, the Gulf monarchies 'understand only fear and it is impossible to negotiate with them.'"(Emphasis added.)
One needs to remember that Pravda in modern day Russia is still Komsomolskaya Pravda, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party of Russia (no folks, it didn't just roll over and blow away). Consequently, such statements are both overt and direct jabs at Mr. Putin and his party, but also at a much deeper and subtler level, the quiet rumblings of what is probably becoming an emerging consensus within the corridors of power not only across party divisions in Moscow, but also in the Kremlin: the West is mounting every covert effort it can to weaken Russia, and to prevent a "recollection of the Russian lands" in the wake of the crack-up of the Soviet Union. Mr. Putin's recent economic agreements with The Ukraine (and don't forget his little message in the South Ossetia incident during the Beijing Olympics), is a clear signal that the roll back and encirclement of Russia has been put on hold, and the West's Syrian diplomatic debacle, and triumph for Mr. Putin, have only added fuel to the fire.
The acts and atrocities against Russian diplomats are indeed acts of war... and it would be very much like Mr. Putin to signal an increasing hard line via an "opposition" newspaper like Pravda. A hint, perhaps, of what is in store internally is provided by these comments:
"Alexey Filatov believes that Russia should follow the example of the United States.
“'We need to do what Americans do. We have to keep tabs on each and every person. This technology that Snowden exposed – prevention and control – has a real effect. Metal detectors are useless. One should be able to follow the enemy, rather than prohibit radical movements. Metal detectors on all exists and entrances do not help, this is a waste of money.'
"What other measures should the state take? It appears that Russia should strengthen diplomatic activities on the international arena, find leverage over Saudi Arabia and Qatar. One should prove facts, put up the question to discussion at international forums and organize diplomatic scandals. To crown it all, as Lebanese newspaper As-Safir wrote, President Vladimir Putin promised Prince Bandar to strike a “massive military blow” on terrorist training camps. Western analysts concluded that Russia was threatening Saudi Arabia."
The irony of Pravda citing someone approving of America's draconian police state measures shouldn't be lost here, but the truly intriguing thing amid all the warnings of more coming gestures of "hard line" approaches from Moscow, including threats of strikes against Saudi Arabia, is that little phrase "organized diplomatic scandals."
That, folks, as they say in the diplomacy business, is "black press," namely, a publicly stated message intended for certain specific private individuals. It is a nice way of saying "we know something about you, and suspect that you know we know, so change your tune, or we'll expose it for everyone to see, and ruin yours, and your nation's, diplomatic stature.
Gosh... I wonder who it could be?
See you on the flip side...