America’s education system has been deteriorating for decades, and it’s beginning to show in that country’s highest places. Current U.S. administration’s officials are irreparably illiterate. That doesn’t help matters when dealing with the outside world.
Thus Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Americans have been giving advice left, right and centre, mostly unsolicited, while ignoring their own problems, of which they have more than plenty, Zakharova said.
What got her hot around the collar were comments by U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, made on her Telegram social media account.
Asked by a reporter about Russia’s military financing, Ms. Nuland proclaimed (verbatim): “Were I a Russian citizen, I would want to see the wealth applied to the healthcare system, to the education system, to the roads, the same kinds of conversations that we’re having here in the United States, rather than haemorrhaging money on a created crisis and putting their own military out there in the snow.”
What she meant by the expression “created crisis” is easy to decipher: Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has stated publicly that his country is distinctly unhappy about plans by NATO to expand into Ukraine and Georgia (not the one in the U.S., but, rather, the one in the Caucasus Mountains, south of Russia, the place where the Soviet dictator Josif Stalin was born).
Russia has been historically paranoid about the outside world but, on the other hand, so has been the U.S. Where Russia doesn’t like being surrounded all around her borders by American or NATO bases, neither do the Americans appreciate having Cuba, an unsinkable aircraft carrier right under their nose, in communist hands. Cuba hosts Russia-run eavesdropping stations such as the one in Lourdes near Havana. That one can listen to and record all kinds of communications with ease all the way to Canada’s north. And having, for example, a communist government in Venezuela, and Maoists rampaging through Colombia’s countryside (and elsewhere), under the guise of drug cartels, doesn’t give the Americans any sense of security, either.
To sum up, neither country is happy about what’s going on, and both countries seem to have a point.
Up to a point, however. When the question turns into meddling into third countries’ affairs, the matter becomes somewhat more complicated. If Ukraine or Georgia decide to apply for membership in NATO, the U.S. is powerful enough to veto their acceptance, but it’s none of Russia’s business. In theory, at least, it isn’t.
On the other hand, allegations of Russia’s meddling into America’s presidential elections, have been a farce. That has become 100-per-cent clear. Russia preferred Hillary Rodham Clinton over Donald J. Trump in 2016 (easier to blackmail was the inside line), and she preferred Joe Biden over the incumbent, Donald J. Trump (easier to outwit, to fool, even).
The current Cold War crisis has pretty straightforward roots. Russia is pointing out that, with the fall of communist systems in the now-former Warsaw Pact countries, the deal was that NATO wouldn’t be expanding further to the East. Closer to Russia, that is. As if those few hundred miles mattered, with both sides brandishing superfast weapons that could annihilate the entire world within seconds.
In any case, Russian spokeswoman Zakharova lashed out at Ms. Nuland personally: “Victoria,” she said, “remain a U.S. citizen and think about the same thing, but in relation to your own country – there are heaps of problems.”
Zakharova then proceeded to criticise America’s school system, healthcare, and infrastructure. Easy targets.
To make sure she hits the nail on its head, Zakharova elaborated: “The quality of American education is well-attested by the absurd, mistake-riddled statements coming from White House officials.”
That must have hurt. Truth usually does.
Zakharova also found it necessary to put a few cents’ worth into America’s response (or lack thereof) to the so-called Covid-19 pandemic. So far as she is concerned, America’s healthcare system is broken. All the warp-speed vaccine propaganda notwithstanding, that’s what it remains to be.
Noticing Ms. Nuland’s concern about Russia’s infrastructure (not that it is anything to write home about), Zakharova added: “And if you’re so worried about roads, then it’s best to start with New York.”
What she meant? This: “The sorts of potholes found in Manhattan aren’t in a single major city in the world.”
Echoing her president’s words, Zakharova blamed America for maintaining military bases across Europe, surrounding Russia “like in the Cold War, or the Hot Summer.”
The U.S. prefers fomenting “colour revolutions” abroad rather than paying for domestic programs.
And, to show she’s done her homework, Zakharova made sure to send her American interlocutor a few suggestions: “Don’t know where to start?”
Easy, Zakharova advised Ms. Nuland, naming the two U.S. regions known for high crime rates: “The Philadelphia Badlands or Camden – your choice. Good luck.”
No word yet on Ms. Nuland’s reply, if any is forthcoming.
There should be some. If for no other reason than to release the tension. Who knows what levels of mutual satire the two ladies would climb to.