Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Russian Officers seek service in US Army?

The above article was posted by Paul Goble on his website and entitled, “Sakhalin Residents Petition to Have their Territory Transferred to Japan.” I’ll quote several bits of it and comment below:

“A group of Sakhalin residents, after a visit to Tokyo, are not only studying Japanese but also collecting signatures on a petition asking that Moscow hand over their island to Japan so that they can live and raise their children in a rich, modern country that is not fighting a war with anyone else.

“This remarkable action surfaced today when radical Moscow commentator Valeriya Novodvorskaya reported in her column that one of the organizers, who she indicated had to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, had approached her to ask to whom he should forward their appeal ( ).

“Novodvorskaya said that she advised him to “send the signatures to the Japanese emperor” where they could serve as “compensation” for the harm that Japan has experienced at Russia’s hands given Moscow’s continuing unwillingness ever to return the four islands Soviet forces seized at the end of World War II.”

“. . . Russia . . . [during WWII] managed to seize not [merely a] small group of islands but “a good chunk of Poland in the form of Western Ukraine and Belarus and also Bessarabia, that is, Moldova” – areas that passed out of Moscow’s ‘pirate hands’ only after 1991 when those countries became independent.

“But if those territories now are in the hands of others . . .’another war prize Moscow took in is not: Vyborg. That was land Stalin seized from Finland during the winter war, an action for which the Soviet Union was excluded from the League of Nations! So why should Vyborg not be returned to Finland?’

“. . . Only Gennady Burbulis in the early 1990s was prepared to return the four islands to Japan, and after he was attacked by the nationalists and not defended by then-President Boris Yeltsin, no one else in that camp has shown much interest in taking the risk of backing the idea.

“. . . in the near future, Novodvorskaya suggested, they and other Russians may have to face up to more demands of this kind. Many in Kaliningrad have “long been [been] dreaming about their return to the world of the first European economy, and they have an organization that is pressing for . . . that.

“. . . the Far East routinely looks toward America and as this case showed even toward Japan . . . The Caucasus is also looking for a way out, and it is even possible, she suggested, that people in Eastern and Western Siberia are thinking that way as well.

“’. . . those considering leaving are to be found in the military and defense sector,’ where some senior officers . . . sent a declaration to the US saying that they wanted to serve in the American army.’

“Thus, ‘the collection of signatures on Sakhalin is not a rarity. Soon they will begin to be collected in Moscow.” And according to Novodvorskaya, just one thing remains: ‘to divide up the territory and people of Russia among the United States, Japan and the European Union’ so that the Russian people will be able to live better. . . .”


Novodvorskaya is obviously a satirist but she is working, it seems, with real events. The people of Sakhalin, if their petition represents a majority opinion, would like to be returned to Japan. But other Federation elements are at least speaking of wanting release as well. We considered the Caucasus a few days ago, but Novodvorskaya also mentions Kaliningrad and Eastern and Western Siberia. Is Novodvorskaya a critic who is enjoying making mountains out of the minor grumblings of ant hills, or is there something more serious behind what she says?

Are there really Russian officers who have applied for service in the U.S. Army? That is very interesting if true. The US has a great number of “illegal aliens,” that have come into the US from Mexico – though many of them come from countries further south. We have a policy that if any of these immigrants serve an enlistment in our military, they will be granted citizenship. I’m sure the same right would be granted Russians who serve in our military. I am in favor of it. Let them come. I suspect we have open enlistments that need to be filled. This would be a good way to fill them. Also, this could be a way to build closer ties with Russia – not the current regime, of course. Such a “military drain” would be a reflection on Putin and Medvedev. But such officers, if they did what is Novodvorskaya suggests, would be sure to travel back and forth between Russia and the US, and that would be a good thing.

Of course the prospect of Russian officers wanting to join US forces implies that they think there will be plenty of work for them here with us. The Russian military is being used today to guard the Russian borders against who knows what and of suppressing “near abroad” countries that would like to become independent of the Russian Federation. Over here in the U.S. we invade Rogue States and chase Islamists about the Middle East and wherever else them might go. I assumed we would be slacking off in those endeavors now that we have Obama as president, but perhaps not.

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