As a former official of the Russian Foreign Ministry, I cannot pass by a turn in our foreign policy without comment. When I worked in the ministry, it was exclusively pragmatic: no ideology, only national interests, expressed primarily in cash. Visited by the young Putin in 2001, the Greeks laughed at him in their newspapers; he is not a president of a great country, but an advertising director and a sales manager. “As soon as I see the dark-eyed fellow, I put out all my goods,” they joked.
The choice of goods turned out to be limited, therefore once again we are bringing an idea of salvation to the world. Yelena Isinbayeva, [the pole vaulting world champion], expressed it best. “We are Russians. Perhaps we are different from Europeans, from people from other countries. We have women who live with guys, and guys with women. We have been fortunate that way since ancient times. We have never had any problems of that sort ever, and we don’t want to have them in the future.” Thus the world learned: these strange Russians think that it’s only in their country where men sleep with women.
Uncles Sleep and Aunts
This turn [in foreign policy] is particularly visible in the example of Ukraine. Before, Russian diplomacy would say: we don’t oppose Ukraine going into Europe, but let’s go into Europe together, that way we will be stronger.”
Now, of course, there isn’t any more “going into Europe.” Now Putin has come to Kiev for the 1,025th anniversary of Christianity in Rus’, and unsuccessfully tried to convince Yanukovich not to sign an agreement of association with the European Union. Then unexpectedly, he went to speak at a conference titled “Orthodox Slavic Values: the Foundation of Ukraine’s Civilized Choice.” So choose which values are closer to you: Orthodox Slavic or European. And European values – we know what they’re like. You think it means freedom of the press and good roads but in reality you’ll be seduced into homosexuality.
There’s only one salvation – union with Russia on the basis of Orthodox Slavic values. Then others will catch up. In the old days, we had COMECON, the Warsaw Pact, and the Non-Aligned Movement. We fought for peace, for social progress, for the liberation of oppressed peoples, and for a bright future. We were the avant-garde of progressive humanity. And now there will be the union of the normal, the movement for moral resistance; we will be in the rear guard of humanity fighting for a clean and pure past, for a golden age. Because the avant-garde has lost its way.
And Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke of the same thing as Isinbayeva at a conference: “We have our moral principles, our historical, cultural and religious traditions according to which our society lives. We do not want discrimination to occur in the reverse direction, when one group of citizens gets the right to aggressively advance their values which differ from the majority of the members of the society.”
“In the struggle for the rights of sexual minorities in Great Britain, a campaign of persecution has been unleashed against ‘homophobes,’” the Russian Foreign Ministry worries in a report on how human rights are violated in the EU.
The Russian intelligentsia has grown accustomed to contrasting its fatherland with “normal countries”; now it’s being told we are in fact a normal country. The Americans have their messianic foreign policy, and now we will have ours. Now our foreign policy will be built around the sexual sovereignty of the motherland. We are already being told on the site of the government’s news agency that we now have a new Iron Curtain for decades and a Cold War between systems due to the insurmountable gap in values on the question of whom people should sleep with.
The countries where people sleep with the wrong sorts are contrasted to the union of countries where they prohibit even speaking about this. The former republics of the Transcaucasus and Central Asia are catching up; passing morals laws is not like building an economy, after all. The Near and Middle East, South Asia and the countries of Africa will follow next.
Armenia has already set to worrying about how they will preserve their traditional allied ties with Russia. The Armenian police (not State Television and Russia, no) proposed their own draft law on the prohibition of gay propaganda, especially because this indeed corresponds to traditional Caucasian values. They were in a hurry, the draft was removed, but it will still come in handy.
And in the West, all progressive traditional humankind supports us. Now, over in Paris, they’re just protesting, but they will be our fifth column. The case of Gérard Depardieu illustrates this well. We will have other emigrants and defectors from among the moral dissidents.
Everything will finally be in its proper place. The world will divide into two camps – ours and theirs. We’ll open up a radio station, “Normal Europe.” They won’t have to open up anything, everything is already working. We will fight for spheres of influence, hand out non-returnable loans to countries that embark on the correct path of development, and from time to time will speak about peaceful co-existence. The height of foreign policy will be, on their side, humanitarian interventions, and on ours, fraternal international assistance to neighboring people which they request, or local governments which have come to power as a result of normalist revolutions, or allies concerned about the “rainbow spring” in one of the capitals of our bloc.
Before, we defended the peaceful sky over our heads, and now, well, you understand what. We have to incorporate the appropriate amendments in our military doctrine as well.
Mary Believes in Miracles
“All that I wanted to say is that people should respect the laws of other countries,” says Isinbayeva. There is a Soviet film everyone loves called Circus. It’s all about how our people do not respect other people’s wrongful laws. In the movie, a white performer in an American circus has a child from a black circus performer. The other white Americans persecute her under their laws and want us to respect them and not interfere, and they try to take the child away from this incorrect couple. But the Soviet people put up a resistance to the Americans, they save the performer and then they return her child to her.
Well, now we’ve traded roles. Now the Americans want to keep the child with the incorrect couple, but Russian people put up a stern resistance; don’t violate our laws, they are age-old principles.
There are, however a few flaws in a foreign policy built on the sexual issue. There are numerous countries on earth where traditions are preserved even more strongly than in Russia, but no one ever dreams of holding the Olympics there – in Iran, for example, or Uganda. That is, you can forget about a summer Olympics (and they wanted it) or a World’s Fair now. They’ll have to wait until we create a bipolar world, raise it up to the might of the late USSR and only then will everyone want Olympic détente.
And in order to create a real bipolar world, the contours of our future ideology have to be outlined more sharply. Because for now, we’re not one thing or the other, neither fish nor meat, neither the kaftan or the cassock. In order to gather more countries under the banner of sexual resistance, we have to be more firm and consistent.
Here Isinbayeva says that in our country, the girls sleep with the guys, and that’s how it has been from ancient times. But is that really all there is? In each healthy, traditional society with normal values, the presence of breasts and the absence of penises makes a person defective. That’s how it has been from time immemorial. The Canadian Supreme Court back in the late 19th century ruled that a woman was not a person in the same sense of a man. And that was because she could not vote, elect or be elected, occupy offices or head up something nor could she study in universities, but only take special women’s courses, treat only other babes, and even that was spoiling her.
Old hags in normal countries didn’t have pensions from ancient times; that’s what a fellow was for, to support his hag. So there was no reason for her to work then. But the tolerasti [a pejorative Russian term combining the words “tolerance” and “pederast”] have brought our society to such a pass that the babe — instead of sitting home, having babies, washing the dishes and pleasing her man when he asks for it — is now out pole-vaulting half-naked before other men. And it would be one thing if she would vault quietly, but she goes and opens her mouth and starts proclaiming in poor English on behalf of our Russian state. When will this tolerast nightmare finally end and the babe know her place, as is proper to her in healthy societies with normal human values? Now her Isin-bay [wealthy leaders] ancestors would hardly have approved of pole-vaulting around in shorts in front of men. He would have taught her with that pole not to shame her family. It could even reach the point of an honor-killing.
Defense of the Rear
The athlete Isinbayeva amazingly does not understand that she herself, a simple girl from a Muslim people, with her pole, her medals and her press conference is a product of the gay parades of a century ago, that is, the suffragettes’ processions, emancipation and other advocates of non-traditional social equality, and also the activity of the liberal press of the time. Were there many female athletes in the 1896 Olympics?
It seems to us that with the new ideology, we look insanely effective. We came, we conquered. We’re bringing humankind simple, primordial, bright Mother Truth. Prometheus spoke, Prometheus acted. But from the outside, we don’t look at all the way we think we do. The world looks at us as we would look at those who would propose to us that we solidarize around the ban on propaganda of social equality between men and women, young and old, Catholics and Orthodox, white and black, sick and healthy. And then we condescendingly concede: no, let those darkies, let those heathens, let those babes, let those cripples (although what are they doing here?) take part in our Olympics, we respect everyone, but don’t let them propagandize here to us about their equality – think of the children.
As foreign policy doctrine, it’s pretty weak. We cannot catch up to the East regarding sexual morals in any event, and for the ordinary Westerners, for whom we are still revolutionary Bolsheviks, our preaching of Christian morality will fall on skeptical ears.
But inside the country, the new doctrine looks like this: yes, we steal, we sell positions in prefectures, state corporations and churches; we solve problems for money, we don’t let anybody advance, yes, we’ve gone crazy. But on the other hand, we’re covering your ass; you chose who you’d rather be with – with them, pure as the driven snow, correct, nice (but you’re in danger with them) – or with us. There’s no going back, as the political [commissar and Soviet hero Vasily] Klochkov put it. Behind you is – well, you know what.
On the whole, if in the first decades of the Putin period of history, the state offered dictatorship to citizens in exchange for economic development, now it offers dictatorship in exchange for protecting your ass from the West and its fifth column inside the country.
Citizens will be very offended when they find out – and in time, they will definitely find out – that their sacrifices were in vain; nobody was threatening their asses anyway.