Excellent Review by Paul Craig Roberts of the Saker's New Book
'There is much to be learned from the Saker. However, he is not always right. He gets both Ronald Reagan and Joseph Stalin wrong. As these are both subjects about which I am knowledgeable, I am going to correct him.
I have learned so much from the Saker that he can learn a little from me.'
Several years ago a new commentator appeared on the scene. He writes under the pen name, The Saker, and describes himself as European born son of Russian refugees from the Bolshevik Revolution.
He has two US college degrees and worked in Europe as a military analyst until his opposition to the US/NATO sponsored wars in Chechnia, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo cost him his career. He retooled as a software engineer and began writing in response to the nonsense spewed by the Western media.
The Saker knows several languages which, together with his background, provides him access to information not available in the presstitute media. He has collected articles and essays from his website and published them as a book, The Essential Saker.
The Saker is an outside-the-box thinker. His analysis is interesting even if you disagree with it. He makes you think. He is knowledgeable in many areas. His contrast of the “Russian civilizational realm” with the “AngloZionist Empire” contains many valuable insights into the real differences between Russia and the West.
His book is divided into parts: Russia and Islam, Russia and the Ukraine, Russia and the West, Anglo-Zionism, Russia and China, Syria and Iran, France, the Russian Military, Religion, the West and Sex, and a section explaining how he became a 9/11 truther.
The Saker’s writings have many virtues. They are forthright and do not kowtow to political correctness and enforcement groups such as the homosexual lobby, the Israel lobby, and the neoconservative media.
The Saker points out that the role assigned to NATO by Washington is to isolate Russia politically and to threaten Russia militarily. This role originates in the neoconservatives’ Russophobia, which is partly based in myths about Soviet oppression of Jews and overlooks that it was only Jews who had the right to emigrate from the Soviet Union. The Saker finds it astonishing that the West so lacks leadership that a medieval concept of ethnicity shared by a small group of neoconservatives is able to be the determining factor in the formulation of the West’s aggressive policy toward Russia, a major military and nuclear power that does not have to tolerate the dissolute West.
The real competition between Russia and the West is the competition between the Russian/Chinese multipolar model and the Anglo-Zionist unipolar imperial model. When the characteristics of these two models are compared point by point, it is obvious that most countries are going to chose to align with the multipolar model. In other words, the stakes are high, because the West’s days are numbered.
It did not have to be this way, but the neoconservative animus toward Russia forced Russia to “finally turn her face to her natural ecosphere—the East” and to form the Eurasian Economic Union and alliance with China. China’s participation in Russia’s Victory Day parade, boycotted by the West, marked a turning point in history and sealed the defeat of the pro-Western “Atlantic integrationists” inside Russia. While Hillary Clinton calls the President of Russia “the new Hitler,” the Saker notes that “the true heir of the Nazi regime is the Anglo-Zionist Empire, with its global hegemonic ambitions and never ending colonial wars.”
The Saker is not taken in by false flag events. He recognizes the Paris attacks for what they are and correctly predicted that the French government would capitalize on the attacks to “crack down on their own population,” just as 9/11 was used in the US to eviscerate constitutional protections and launch wars. He finds the West’s hypocrisy over the Charlie Hebdo attack to be repulsive. Marching in support of 12 degenerate dead Frenchmen while ignoring the West’s murder of hundreds of thousands of Muslims “made insulting others into some kind of noble feat.”
The Saker thinks that perhaps the rising cost of being a component of the Anglo-Zionist Empire, such as the refugees from the West’s wars that are overrunning European countries, could result in the decolonization of Europe. Regardless, he does not see hope in democratic elections given the propagandistic function of the Western media. He notes that the experts who comprise the 9/11 truth movement have “proven far beyond reasonable doubt that the Twin Towers and WTC7 were brought down by controlled demolition.” Yet this fact has had no impact on the political order. Change is more likely to result from Western failures than from reforms.
The Saker has interesting things to say about Western cultural developments as well as foreign affairs. He notes, for example, that precisely the same argument that was used to normalize homosexuality also normalizes pedophilia. He wonders if all of the traditional paraphilia, the pathological sexual activities, including incest and necrophilia, are on their way to normalization. Perhaps it is already happening. The Saker quotes from a Canadian newspaper report: “Ottawa, Ontario, February 28, 2011. In a recent parliamentary session on a bill relating to sexual offenses against children, psychology experts claimed that pedophilia is a ‘sexual orientation’ comparable to homosexuality or heterosexuality.” A definition of normal behavior is behavior that cannot be changed through treatment. The experts testified that pedophiles, just like homosexuals, “do not change their sexual orientation,” and thus are normal.
There is much to be learned from the Saker. However, he is not always right. He gets both Ronald Reagan and Joseph Stalin wrong. As these are both subjects about which I am knowledgeable, I am going to correct him. I have learned so much from the Saker that he can learn a little from me.
The Saker sees President Reagan as allied with the neoconservatives in support of monied interests, US military violence, illegality, American arrogance and imperial hubris, and systematic deception. Saker’s impression of Reagan seems to have come from a left-wing screed. As I have explained many times, president Reagan had two goals. I know because I had assignments in both. One was to end the stagflation that was devastating the poor and the prospects for the government’s budget. The other was to end—not win—the cold war.
These were difficult undertakings. Wall Street, the Republican Establishment, and even Reagan’s own chief-of-staff and budget director did not understand his economic program. At the Treasury in order to get Reagan’s program out of his own government we had to fight the Reagan administration. Anyone interested in this history can read my book, The Supply-Side Revolution (Harvard University Press, 1984). There were no neocons in the Treasury. Reagan’s economic policy was based on the Kemp-Roth bill, which I wrote while a member of the congressional staff. The supply-side approach to macroeconomics became the policy of both House Republicans and Senate Democrats.
The Saker’s focus is on Reagan’s foreign policy, which Saker misunderstands along with the danger to Reagan of the politics of the policy. The military/security complex did not want the Cold War to end, because the cold war was profitable for the power and profit of the military/security complex. American conservatives did not trust the Soviets and did not trust presidents who negotiated with them. The wily Gorbachev, whom many called the anti-Christ, would take advantage of the old movie actor, and America would suffer the consequences.
One reason that Reagan wanted to renew US economic performance by finding a solution to stagflation was to be able to put pressure on the Kremlin with the threat of a renewed arms race. Reagan did not believe that the Soviet economy could stand up to the threat, and, therefore, Gorbachev would come to the negotiating table and agree to the end of the cold war. The CIA told Reagan that as the Kremlin controlled the economy, the Kremlin could allocate more resources to an arms race than an American president could, and that if Reagan renewed the arms race the US would lose.
Reagan did not believe this, and he formed a secret committee to which he appointed me to assess the CIA’s claim. The committee found that the claim was based in the CIA’s self-interest in continuing the Cold War.
The neocons sold themselves to naive conservatives as anti-communists. It pleased American conservatives to have left-wing support originating in Trotskyism against American liberals who ridiculed conservatives for their anti-communism. This is how the neoconservatives took over gullible conservative foundations and media.
However, Reagan was not a neocon. If he was, I never would have been appointed to the Treasury or to the secret committee with subpoena power over the CIA. When the neoconservatives, who had wormed their way into the Reagan administration as anti-communists, acted independently of presidential authority and broke the law, the Reagan administration indicted, prosecuted, and convicted them.
On the scale of present day scandals, Iran-Contra hardly qualifies, but when the Iran-Contra affair came to light, Attorney General Ed Meese went on national TV and reported it. The White House followed up and launched investigations. The investigations were real and produced accountability:
Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams was convicted, National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane was convicted, Chief of CIA Central American Task Force Alan Fiers was convicted, Clair George, Chief of the CIA’s Division of Covert Operations was convicted. Richard Secord was convicted. National Security Advisor John Poindexter was convicted. Oliver North was convicted. North’s conviction was later overturned, and President George H.W. Bush pardoned others. But the Reagan Administration held its operatives accountable to law. No American President since Reagan has held the government accountable.
Clair George was convicted of lying to congressional committees. Richard Secord was convicted of lying to Congress. John Poindexter was convicted of lying to Congress. Alan Fiers was convicted of withholding information from Congress. Compare these convictions then with James R. Clapper now. President Obama appointed Clapper Director of National Intelligence on June 5, 2010, declaring that Clapper “possesses a quality that I value in all my advisers: a willingness to tell leaders what we need to know even if it’s not what we want to hear.” With this endorsement, Clapper proceeded to lie to Congress under oath, a felony. Clapper was not indicted and prosecuted. He was not even fired or forced to resign. For executive branch officials, perjury is now a dead letter law, thanks to the corrupt Obama regime and to a subservient Congress.
Reagan, the nemesis of the neocons is gone, and no Reaganite is allowed near any power position in Washington. In fact, there are only two of us left—myself and Pat Buchanan. The neocons were resurrected by the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes. The neocons control US foreign policy and what was once conservative foundations and publications. The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, for example, is a neocon propaganda sheet as is National Review.
As for Stalin, the Saker sees him as the thug element opposed to the intellectual element—the Trotskyists—among the Bolsheviks. However, as my scholarly work shows, Stalin was a more realistic communist than Trotsky. Trotsky wanted world revolution before communism was working in Russia. To Stalin, this seemed the best possible way to lose control of the revolution. How could there be world revolution when not even Lenin had been able to get communism to work in Russia?
Stalin declared “socialism in one country” and planned anew the process of liquidating the market and replacing “commodity production” with production for direct use. To do this successfully, Stalin thought it was first necessary to build up Soviet industry so that there would be manufactured goods to exchange for the products of the collective farms. I documented this story in my book, Alienation and the Soviet Economy (1971), especially in the Introduction to the new edition (1990), and in Survey A Journal Of East & West Studies, Autumn 1973 (Vol. 19, No. 4).
Stalin is regarded as a thug because he purged that part of the party, which by happenstance happened to be largely Jewish, because he thought they would cause communism to overreach and fail when it had not yet established its success in Russia.
Even to this day scholars do not understand that Lenin and Stalin were committed to abolishing markets as a way of allocating resources. Both, following Marx, believed that economic justice required that an economy be organized like a self-sufficient family farm in which every participant had an equal stake in the output. The Bolsheviks did not realize the organizational challenge that this presented. Indeed, as I concluded in Alienation and the Soviet Economy, their program was an inordinate aspiration contradicted by a refractory reality.
Anyone who cares to understand Soviet experience needs to read my books, Alienation and the Soviet Economy, and Marx’s Theory of Exchange, Alienation and Crisis. These are peer-reviewed academic publications. They might also read my articles in scholarly journals, such as my article on “War Communism” in the June 1970 issue of Slavic Review, “A Note on Marxian Alienation,” Oxford Economic Papers, November 1970, “Alienation and Central Planning in Marx,” Slavic Review, September 1968, and the article in Survey cited above.
In addition to the Saker’s interesting analyses, he is rewarding as a person unafraid to speak his mind and as a person from whom one can learn new ways of thinking even when in disagreement with his analysis. These are gifts that few writers convey to readers. For my part, I wish the Saker was my next door neighbor. I would have someone very interesting with whom to discuss the the state of the world.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.