The author is a professor of Slavic studies at Brown University, Rhode Island, USA. He was born in Moscow and emigrated to the United States in 1979.
I would like to express my best wishes to all my American friends on this Independence Day. Let us all keep the spirit of independence alive, and resist – in the words of William Blake -- “mind-forged manacles.” So here are a few ideas on how to celebrate this important holiday in the spirit of that great visionary poet.
1. Journalist and Russophobe extraordinaire, Anne Applebaum, along with her Polish husband, Radek Sikorsky, should embark on a giant apple bake. I understand that Poland is stuck with plenty of apples, that it has nowhere to sell, due to the mindless sanctions (baked into the heads of Applebaum and her fellow Russophobes) that are imposed on the natural European trade, the essential life line of modern economic life. So why not use all of these apples in a giant apple pie, with the recipe taken from Applebaum’s cookbook, which, when baked, can be presented to their bosses in Washington. After all, this is as American as Applebaum.
2. Germany and France should remember that they are sovereign nations after all, and therefore, they should stop using mobile phones. By blocking them, they would not only prevent US spying and save American taxpayers the need to pay for the storage of endless amounts of useless information, but -- more importantly - -they would stop listening to the orders coming from the misguided rulers of the universe living across the ocean. And to help them to concentrate on their own economic and political affairs, maybe we should present them with our Constitution, Bill of Rights and other documents which used to mean something and used to inspire millions of people in their quest for independence.
3. Let's send our neighbors in Mexico our presidential candidate, Donald Trump. If Saakashvili (a former Georgian President) is expected to introduce some order in Ukraine and free it from various pro-Russian undesirables, I am sure that Mr. Trump will be equally successful in this attempt to turn Mexico into a prosperous state, while freeing it of all criminals (by the way, he can ship them to Ukraine, just put a Nazi tattoo on them and they will be welcomed). It goes without saying, that the new prosperity would surely keep Mexicans happy and content in their own country, destroying the reasons that drive them to enter the USA. Once Mr. Trump solves the problem of Mexican emigration, he can return to the States and win his presidency here.
4. And here is a celebration wish for our northern neighbors, Canadians. Why do you want to build a memorial in honor of the victims of Communism? How many communists are there -- in North America (sick mind of Joe McCarthy excluding)? Maybe it will be a much better idea to turn this monument into the Memorial to the Victims of Witch-hunts. In this way, you can celebrate some communists without stretching credibility, along with numerous women of Salem, and thousands more victims of mindless paranoia if not cynicism of various political leaders, whose helpless victims should be remembered on this Independence Day for their striving for dignity and independence. Furthermore if Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper is so keen on this project, he can always be memorialized in the sculpture as the Grand Inquisitor, presiding over the witch-hunting (if Joe McCarthy can be placed on the other side of the memorial, Americans surely would not object).
5. And here are some Holiday ideas for the Russians. Since you guys, don't make anything, as our President has recently reminded the world, and since your land is mired into tyranny and corruption beyond repair, we can offer you our wonderful space rockets and take you to the moon. There you can finally be free and independent, away from your tyrannical rulers. And if your government will tell you that our rockets explode within 2 minutes of a takeoff, don't believe it. You know that your government always lies.
6. On these important holiday it is worth remembering that the Greeks – the cradle of western civilization and political system, are about to embark on an entirely new project for independence. Bureaucrats in Brussels along with German bankers should be taught a lesson that the Persian Empire learned long ago. There is nothing stronger than a bunch of citizens fighting for the defense and independence of their country. The ancient Persian Empire learned its lesson, but modern European Emperors armed with their calculators and interest payment charts, still don’t seem to get it.
7. The world clearly waits for another declaration of independence. It is high time for Israelis and Palestinians to figure out how to achieve true independence from each other, and even more importantly, from their outside handlers, so they could pursue the interests of their own people, -- which is the same as people everywhere: raise children, leave in peace and prosperity, and even in cooperation with others.
8. In terms of the handlers, similar independence should be promoted for US foreign policy, which should pursue the interests of the country, rather than the interests of various neocons and liberal interventionists, who for the last 25 years have reshaped US foreign policy beyond recognition, in their bizarre attempt to remodel the world in accordance to their own, highly myopic vision. The imagined security of their various pet projects –be it Israel, or Baltic States, or Eastern European countries should be left to local populations, or computer games, but it should not govern US foreign policy. So it is high time for State Department to declare its independence from this bunch and if this group really want to govern the affairs of Israel or Ukraine, or other troubled countries – they – in the manner of prefects or procurators of the time of Rome, can follow the example of Pontius Pilate and move to Jerusalem, or if ancient history doesn’t inspire them, why not follow American-trained Mikhail Saakashvili who moves with ease from the distant republic of Georgia to the equally distant province of Odessa. So while probably not much would change in the way Ukraine, Poland or Czech republic take care of their affairs when Victoria Nuland, Brzezinski, or Allbright are installed in these countries, at least Washington would be able to pursue its own policies. After all, that was the original intent behind the Declaration of Independence.