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Review of the book “Russie-Occident – une guerre de mille ans : La russophobie de Charlemagne à la Crise Ukrainienne” (“The West vs Russia – a thousand year long war : russophobia from Charlemange to the Ukrainian Crisis”) by Guy Mettan, Editions des Syrtes, Genève, Suisse, 2015 (www.editions-syrtes.fr).
Initially, I planed to write a "regular" review of this book, but by the time I finished reading it I realize that nothing short of a standing ovation would do justice to this absolutely remarkable book. Guy Mettan produced a masterpiece which ought to be on the “must read” list of every person interested in Russia. So let me tell you why this book is amazing.
For one thing, this is one of the best and clearest study of russophobia I have ever read. Second, it is one of the few studies of this topic written by a non-Russian (Guy Mettan is a Swiss author, reporter, editor and political figure). Last but not least, the book is very short, less than 500 pages, which for such a complex topic is truly remarkable.
Mettan uses a very systematic, step by step, approach. He begins by giving a few examples of the incredibly anti-Russian way a few well-known incident have been covered in the western press : the crash of Überlingen, the Beslan hostage crisis, the 2nd war in Ossetia and the Olympic Games in Sochi. Mettan could have used another 500 or so examples, but with these four he makes an irrefutable case that the western media does not even try to report honestly from Russia and that all the western elites care about is Russia bashing. Mettan then uses the Ukrainian crisis as his strongest proof and lists numerous examples of, shall we say, deliberate western blindness. By the time you are done with the first part of this book you will see that russophobia is simply not a deniable phenomenon.
But Mettan does not stop there, however. He goes one step further at looks at the history of the various russophobias (plural).
Here is were Mettan is at his best and where has the courage and intellectual precision to look as far back as the 9th century to look into the first and most important cause of all the russophobias in the West : the schism resulting from the attempted coup by the Franks in the West to first usurp the power inside the Western Roman Empire, here they succeeded, and then take control of the Eastern Roman Empire (incorrectly called “Byzantine Empire” in western parlance), here they failed.
Mettan speaks of the “soft power” (in English) of religion in the VIIIth century and compares the position of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation against the “Byzantine Empire” to the NATO stance against Russia today. And while this kind of insight will definitely earn Mettan many sneers, he is absolutely correct : as soon as the Frankish controlled Papacy broke away from the rest of the Christian world it became obsessed with subjugating, converting and destroying the Orthodox world. You cannot understand modern Russia and her position in the world unless you understand the 1000 year old Papist hatred for the original Christian world.
Logically, Mettan begins by analyzing the cultural and philosophical roots of this earliest form of proto-russophobia, the Papist hatred for the original Christian world, but he soon switches to more recent forms of russophobia. They are the French russophobia, the English russophobia, the German russophobia and the American russophobia. Each of these empires hated Russia, much for the same reasons, but also in a different way and for unique reasons. And Mettan therefore logically concludes that the current American russophobia is really a combination of the other European russophobias.
But here I have to mention the biggest failure of Mettan’s otherwise absolutely magnificent book : Mettan completely overlooks one of the most formidable and, indeed, vicious russophobias out there : the Jewish russophobia.
Now maybe Mettan decided not to tackle this one due to the severity of the social, political and even criminal persecution any critique of anything Jewish exposes himself to in Europe (not everybody is willing, or capable, of being an Alain Soral). Or not mentioning Jews was the condition to find an publisher for the book. I don’t know. But one thing I will never believe is that a person with the truly superb understanding of history and of the modern world like Mettan would be simple unaware of the phenonenon of Jewish russophobia. That is, quite simply, impossible.
Whatever may be the case, Mettan does not mention Jews at all. Even when he lists the US neocons, he does not mention the fact that the vast majority of them are Jews. This is clearly a huge “oversight”, a gaping hole in the otherwise superb scholarship of this book, and one can only hope that in future editions this book will include the vast corpus of studies of Jewish russophobia by such authors as Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Igor Shafarevich, Andrei Dikii, Mikhail Nazarov, Oleg Platonov and many other authors. For the time being, and as a direct result of this “oversight” the russophobia of Trotskysts, for example, is never mentioned.
[Sidebar : I don’t want to be too hard on Mettan, not only is his book absolutely superb, but it is hard for me to fully appreciate the risks any European author (and editor) would take by daring to criticize anything Jewish. Besides, it is not like the info about this cannot be found on the Internet –it can and rather easily. Even Solzhenitsyn’s book “200 years together” has now been partially translated into English, so slowly but surely the wall of censorship is coming down. But at the same time, the vicious persecution of Alain Soral or of the many historians who dared to question the official narrative of the so-called “Holocaust” is also a telling example of what can happen to somebody daring to cross the invisible but well-known line of crimethink : at the very least, any such crimethinker becomes a “non-person” and loses his/her career. Others have had to live in exile or face constant lawsuits and even jail terms.]
Mettan concludes his book by a most interesting analysis of what he called a “russophobia how-to” in which he looks at how words are used, how topics are framed, how certain issues are simply never addressed and questions never asked. It is frankly a most discouraging and yet also most interesting read. Reading Mettan’s conclusions I was left wondering if this 1000 year old river of hate would ever dry up. On one hand, as long as the West is under the influence of messianic ideologies, imperial delusions and racist views of the “other” I am not very optimistic (messianism, imperialism and racisms are all western creations). But on the other hand, russophobias were always the product of Empire, be it the Papacy, or the modern Anglo-Zionist Empire. “Normal” countries really have not need for any russophobic ideology or worldview. And since the current US Anglo-Zionist Empire is probably the last western Empire of any kind, there is good hope that imperialism, as a phenomenon, will finally bite the dust. If that ever happens, and I believe that it will, russophobia will finally end up in the same trash heaps of history as all the other ideologies whose sole purpose was to rationalize and explain away western wars of conquest.
I will conclude this review by saying that Mettan’s book absolutely needs to be translated into English and published in the English-speaking world. For the lucky ones who can read French, the book is already available on the French Amazon (https://www.amazon.fr/Russie-Occident-une-guerre-mille-ans/dp/2940523185/) and elsewhere. But since it is the English-speaking world which is now used by the trans-national class of 1 %er parasites running the Anglo-Zionist Empire it is absolutely crucial that the English speaking people be given access to this book (at least in the form of a free to copy PDF file).
There is absolutely no objective reason whatsoever for Russia and Europe to be enemies. All the hatred and wars between these two civilizational realms are the product of lies carefully crafted by the common enemies of the people of Russia and the people of Europe. These people also happen to be the enemies of Islam, of Latin America, of China and of any other culture or nation daring to refuse to be subjugated by the trans-national turbocapitalist financial system often referred to as the New World Order (NWO). This is becoming so evident that one is tempted to further simplify the well-known Marxist slogan and say “people of the word – unite !”. I would say that while such a goal is really still far away, there are also some signs that more and more people are beginning to realize this.
Guy Mettan’s book is a formidable deconstruction of the imperialist mindset and as such it is truly a “must read”. It is short, very well written and deserves to printed in million of copies. Alas, this is clearly not going to happen, at least not as long as the media is controlled by the Empire. Still, I hope that Mettan finds a good editor in the USA and that once his book appears in print, he will also release a free PDF versions in French, Russian, Spanish and English.
When the first English translation of the book is made and printed, I will definitely let you all know on the blog. In the meantime, I want to thank Guy Mettan for his formidable contribution to the understanding of this important phenomenon and express my hopes that as many people as possible read his superb book.
PS : please also read the excellent review of this book by Ivo Rens : http://arretsurinfo.ch/guy-mettans-book-on-russophobia-an-important-contribution-to-the-demystification-of-international-relations/
Guy Mettan : Jewish russophobia has never existed and still does not exist today
Note by the Saker : Guy Mettan has kindly accepted my invitation to reply to some of the critical comments I made in my review of his excellent book “The West vs Russia – a thousand year long war : russophobia from Charlemagne to the Ukrainian Crisis”. While I obviously disagree with this conclusions, as he does with mine, and while I welcome and even encourage an open and frank debate on any topic, especially a controversial one, I would ask all commentators to absolutely avoid any ad hominem attacks, not only because they are rude, but also because they never serve to make a valid point. They are all, be definition, non-sequiturs. I really believe that Guy Mettan has made a tremendous contribution to the understanding of Russia and would ask of you all, dear friends, to keep that in mind. That being said, I hope that this reply will generate a energetic and interesting discussion
At first, let me thank warmly the Saker for his very laudatory review of my book on western russophobia. I’m especially grateful for the great attention he brought to all chapters and details of my essay, which is not very popular among European mainstream medias and scholars.
But let me precise one think about what you have called one of the “most formidable russophobia”, the supposed Jewish russophobia. In my book, I have mentioned old roman-catholic, French, British, German and American russophobias but no Jewish russophobia because in my view this is not relevant.
In my view, such a Jewish russophobia has never existed and still does not exist today.
Let my explain why.
First, if there is for sure Jewish Neocons in Washington who are strongly and phobically anti-Russian, there are also many American Jews who are denouncing their warlike propaganda. Notorious intellectual figures like Stephen Cohen and Noam Chomsky are Jewish but they are among the harshest critics of the russophobes Neocons in Washington ! I think we can find as many russophobic Jews as russophiles Jews.
In Israel for instance, prominent politicians like Avigdor Lieberman are not anti-Russian. And the diplomatic relations between Russia and Israel have never been as good as today since 60 years.
If you look the true enemies of Russia today, the nasty types who are killing Russians for instance, you cannot see a single Jew. There were no Jews in Doubrovka Theater, in Beslan, in Georgia or in Ukraine. The Russian planes and helicopters in Syria were not shot by Jews or by Israel. But by Islamist terrorists supported by Muslim and Arab petromonarchies, Turkey or western democracies.
Even in Ukraine, there are no Jewish battalions fighting in the Donbass but a lot of fanatic extreme-right nationalists with Nazi emblems, who are as well anti-Russian as anti-Semites. In Ukraine and Baltic countries, the ethnic Russians are in the same camp as the Jews…
Secondly, russophobia, as any form of racism or ethnic phobia, is an ideology, a way of thinking and a behavior shared by large amounts of people from the top to the bottom of the society. It’s systematic, publicly asserted and officially endorsed. That’ s why it is possible to speak of an American russophobia, which is largely spread in the media, taught in some universities, funded by think tanks and officially claimed at the highest levels of the State circles in Washington.
But that’s clearly not the case in the Jewish communities in USA or in Europe. And certainly not in Israel. I have never heard or read a systematic russophobic propaganda or appeals to Russian hatred or military mobilization against Russia in all the Jewish communities I met in the world or in Israel.
Which is not the case in NATO circles in Brussels, or in the mainstream media and chancelleries in London or Washington.
Thirdly, my point is also philosophical. If I highly dislike russophobes, I try not to hate them. I don’t wish to critic a phobia in order to cherish another one. In fact, I hate all phobias, russophobia but also islamophobia, sinophobia, arabophobia or africanophobia, which is probably the most common and ignored one.
In that sense, I don’t share the views of the Russian writers or authors who have raised the question of the Jews in Russia. That’s an internal debate. I tried to read Chafarevitch but I could not understand what his problem was. For me, Russian Jews are Russian as well as the other Russian people, Slavs, Bachkirs or Buriates. They belong to the long history and culture of Russia as any other citizen even if we can criticize them on one or two aspects. A great nation doesn’t make difference between his members. Exactly as we try to do in Switzerland between German, French or Italian speaking communities.
In conclusion, considering the history of the XXth Century, judeophobia is certainly the worst phobia, the most cruel one, whatever we can think about Jews and the politics of the State of Israel against Palestinians. This is not for excusing or justifying anything, this is just a matter of fact not to be forgotten.
For all these reasons, I’m convinced that there is no “Jewish russophobia” and that any discussion about this question brings more confusion than it helps to grasp the deep roots of western russophobia and to fight against it.