Abdulateef Al-Mulhim | Arab News
On the morning of May 23, 1953, two men were only a few meters from reaching the summit of the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. The two men asked each other which one would set his foot first to be the first man in history to climb Mount Everest. It was decided that, Sir Edmond Hilary will be the first confirmed man to reach the summit. The whole world remembered him. But, very few even heard of his partner, Tenzing Norgay who achieved the same thing just a few seconds later. So, you can be a bridesmaid all your life, but, if you are not the bride, no one will remember you.
Russia was and is always a bridesmaid, but never the bride. Russia had never been number one, but they forced their way to be in the front row no matter how high the price. They took advantage of their country’s size, population and their police state system, but all their achievements were a burden on their people rather than for the comfort of their people. The Russian achievements were always a means for propaganda for the ruling party. The Russians went to space first, but their program was like a boot camp. You have to do it and if you don’t succeed, no Russian history books will mention your name.
In Russia, you could see tanks being built, but, you have to wait ten years to buy a car. They built nuclear submarines, but, it only killed Russian sailors. Russia built noisy MIGs, but their avionics have less electronic capacity than a Lexus’ computer. You only heard about Moscow and Leningrad, no other place is known to the outside world in a country twice as large as the United States. How often do you hear someone say, I am spending my spring break in Russia? Russia is a country that didn’t award its people. Kalashnikov invented the most popular machine gun, but he didn’t know if his pay check would arrive at the end of the month. The Russians won a lot of Olympic gold medals, but the chemicals consumed by their athletes could kill an African elephant. Russia was able to produce a large amount of oil and gas, but their workers didn’t have hot running water in the freezing plains of Siberia. Russian rocket scientists were denied the chance to receive Nobel Prizes, because it was thought they might stay in the West after the ceremony. All Russian achievements were made not for the good of the Russians, it was all propaganda.
The Soviet Union collapsed in a very drastic way. The disintegration agenda was not a ruling party choice, but the agenda came through a few words on June 12, 1987 by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. He simply said “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” The Berlin Wall fell. Then, the Soviet Empire fell. It turned out that Moscow was a capital of a paper tiger Empire.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russians turned from communist ruled country to Mafia run country. Now the Russian claws are clipped. We saw them stand still during a NATO attack on their historical ally in the mid 1990s, the Serbs received only words, the same hollow promises Egypt and Syria received in the 1967 war. And the reason that they didn’t deliver on their promises was that, they didn’t have the ability to match the West. The Russians were in the back seat.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was seen during the Arab Spring. The Russians stood by the side of Bashar Assad of Syria. And their action simply gave the Syrian leadership a green light to continue killing innocent men, women and children. Russia’s leadership couldn’t tell any dictator to step aside, because dictatorship is a Russian trademark. Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernenko all died in office. Present day Russia saw President Putin coming back and not being able to let go the presidency and ending up arresting opposition leaders in a communist style, or may be we should say Bashar Assad’s style.
Just a few weeks ago the Syrians celebrated in an organized demonstration to support Assad’s regime and political observers were surprised to see the Russian flags being flown all over Damascus buildings and being waved by the Syrian masses. But, we all know that Russia will not assist the Syrians in any way because they can’t. Russia had influenced many regimes in the Arab world and only brought instability and police state systems. We saw them in South Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Nasser’s Egypt. They haven’t introduced any modern day technology or modern day education system. Instead they brought communist ideology which didn’t put bread on the table. For tens of years, Moscow has betrayed many Arab states which were their satellite states. They sold them outdated weapons and in return they got hard currency. Russia is a country which has less GDP or GNP than the Netherlands. And 80 percent of the Russian assets are for Moscow. Have any readers heard of a Russian town named Irkutsk on Lake Biakal?
After the massacres in Syria, we expected to see and hear more sensible words from Russia. But, Russia is a country which is busy trying to go to the past rather than looking at the future. The Russian attitude toward the massacres in Syria shows the failure of the Russians to be an influential power in making this world safer for future generations. I am not surprised by the Russian attitude toward Syria. It has nothing to offer to the world. Now, we see demonstration against Putin. But, like Bashar Assad, Putin will not step aside. Both Russia and Syria have the same police state system, and this is why Russia will always be a bridesmaid, but never the bride.
(Writer’s note: In the article, I spoke of the USSR and Russia as one political body)
— Abdulateef Al-Mulhim is a Commodore (Retired), Royal Saudi Navy. He is a frequent contributor to the SUSRISblog. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reprinted with permission of the author. Originally published in Arab News on June 15, 2012.
Also by Abdulateef Al-Mulhim:
- Crown Prince Nayef and World Security – SUSRIS – Jun 19, 2012
- Gulf States and An Era of Cooperation – SUSRIS – June 2, 2012
- Saudi Pioneers and Mega Achievements – SUSRIS – May 12, 2012
- Is Visiting Jerusalem Recognition of Israel? – SUSRISblog – May 1, 2012
- Muslims’ Hijrah to Europe – Abdulateef Al-Mulhim – SUSRISblog – Apr 23, 2012
- The Legacy of Saudi Aviation: Dhahran Airport, Pan Am and TWA – SUSRISblog – Apr 20, 2012
- The Eastern Province, Land of Opportunities – SUSRISblog – Apr 17, 2012
- Syrian Spring, Israel’s Easy War – SUSRISblog – Apr 4, 2012
- King Abdullah and the Young Ambassadors – SUSRISblog – Mar 20, 2012
- Saudi Cancer Foundation and the Giant Steps – SUSRISblog – Mar 14, 2012
- Syria – Where are the Americans? – SUSRISblog – Mar 6, 2012
- Arab Spring and the Hidden Apartheid – SUSRISblog – Feb 21, 2012
- KFUPM, from Jabal Al Dhahran to Pasadena’s JPL – SUSRISblog – Feb 17, 2012
- The Expatriate Who Forgot His Home Address – SUSRISblog – Jan 24, 2012
- Atlanta and the US-Saudi Business Forum – Abdulateef Al-Mulhim – SUSRISblog – Dec 6, 2011
- America Fired Itself From a Job – Abdulateef Al-Mulhim – SUSRISblog – Nov 17, 2011
- September 11 and the Longest Ten Years – Abdulateef Al-Mulhim – SUSRISblog – Sep 10, 2011
- Airline Diplomacy – Abdulateef Al-Mulhim – SUSRISblog – Jul 17, 2011
- President Ahmadinejad: Iran Doesn’t Need Enemies – Abdulateef Al-Mulhim – SUSRISblog – Jun 8, 2011
- Expats and Loytalty – Abdulateef Al-Mulhim – SUSRISblog – May 29, 2011
- Improving Saudi Tourism Prospects – Abdulateef Al-Mulhim – SUSRISblog – April 14, 2011
- What if Arabs had recognized Israel in 1948? – Adulateef Al-Mulhim – SUSRISblog – April 5, 2011
- Reflections on the Foundations of US-Saudi Relations – Abdulateef Al-Mulhim – SUSRISblog – Jan 22, 2011
- Is there a larger role for Saudi Aramco? – Abdulateef Al-Mulhim – SUSRISblog – Jan 12, 2011