The Corner

Life Imitates Satire

On Election Day 2008, right here on NRO, some idiot wrote a little movie-script parody called “The Manchurian Candidate III: This Time, It’s Personal.” The opening: 

INT. DZERZHINSKY SQUARE, MOSCOW — NIGHT (1960) — We open at a meeting of the KGB brain trust.  One of the officers, NECHIPORENKO, lays out an audacious plan to destroy the western democracies by corrupting them from within.  Dubbed the “illegals program,” his plan calls for operatives to identify, educate, and support the best and brightest young impressionable minds in America — a country the Soviets refer to as the “Principal Enemy” — encouraging them to devote their lives to “public service,” all the while steeped in the principles of Marxism-Leninism through the universities, the media and the declining Protestant churches.

A true visionary, Nechiporenko realizes that the emerging baby-boomer generation will be especially susceptible to notions of “fairness” and “redistribution of wealth,” while the burgeoning civil-rights movement offers a fertile field for mischief, inflaming the antagonism of black Americans against a society that will not change fast enough.  The trick is to teach the young Americans to mistrust and despise their heritage, their culture and, finally, themselves.

Strangely enough, JFK is assassinated by a Marxist defector to the Soviet Union named Lee Harvey Oswald of the “Fair Play for Cuba” Committee; Senator Joe McCarthy’s hatchet man, Saint Robert F. Kennedy, is murdered by an anti-Israel Palestinian radical named Sirhan Sirhan; the inner cities explode throughout the mid-1960s, culminating in an orgy of violence when Martin Luther King, Jr., is shot; there are riots during the 1968 Democrat Convention in Chicago; and a revolutionary movement of spoiled rich kids called the Weather Underground bombs the Capitol and the Pentagon while preaching Marxist revolution.

As vast sums of money are funneled from Moscow via Cuba to Soviet operatives and fellow travelers within the U.S. to identify, recruit, and train future “illegals,” with or without their knowledge, we –



So imagine my surprise and delight when the following op-ed appeared in the New York Times on September 11, of all days, under the byline of the current president of Russia, Vladimir Vladmirovich Putin:

MOSCOW — Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.

Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together.

Well, yes — but first you were allies with the Nazis before the National Socialists double-crossed you; up until Operation Barbarossa, you had a nice little racket going, swallowing up the Baltics, half of Poland, and chunks of Romania (shame about that unpleasantness in Finland, which is why you got kicked out of the League of Nations). But let that pass; let’s talk about us:

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this.I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

So let me get this straight: The “former” KGB agent and officially godless Communist (now reborn as the protector of the Russian Orthodox faith) is invoking the Deity as he takes to the pages of the Times to “speak directly to the American people and their political leaders,” and lecture us about exceptionalism. His real audience, though — and the object of his lesson in egalitarianism — is the man who told the previous Russian president, Dmitri Medvedev, that after his reelection he would have more “flexibility” in dealing with the former Soviets. Looks like the information was successfully transmitted to Vladimir, who’s clearly taken the measure of his man.

Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up, although any resemblance between actual persons and events is of course entirely coincidental.

You can read more here about the illegals program, which goes back many decades, and one of its most successful double agents, the great George Koval. You can follow David Kahane on Twitter @dkahanerules to see what other crazy ideas he comes up with.  

Michael Walsh — Mr. Walsh is the author of the novels Hostile Intent and Early Warning and, writing as frequent NRO contributor David Kahane, Rules for Radical Conservatives.


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