Vladimir Golstein is the Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Department of Slavic Studies at Brown University. He was born in Moscow and emigrated to the United States in 1979
If you intend to kill your opponents on a massive scale, don’t just arm your people with machetes, iron rods or AK47s and start killing. With photos of atrocities flooding the Internet, the world community might eventually stop and even punish you.
This old-fashion method of mass killing is hard to sell in today’s world of freedoms and individual rights. A much better way to succeed in mass violence is to connect your victims to Russia, by denouncing them as the enemies of freedom and democracy and by calling them Russian terrorists and puppets in the hands of the current leader of Russia, whom you should call Stalin incarnate. Hitler incarnate works as well, but since Hitler was the leader of Germany – the country that is currently at the forefront of democracy – that might confuse the issue. The new Stalin is a more effective label.
Once your enemies are associated with Russia and its evil leaders, you can explain to the West that your killings are necessary not because of your burning hatred for your victims, but because you want to embrace liberal values and join the EU, while it is those whom you kill who are the proponents of tyranny. Never forget to suggest that all your killings were provoked by Russia. Your western backers will surely add their authority to the blame. You can also imply that the territory vacated after your attacks can be used for a NATO base. To facilitate your efforts, it is important to enlist the help of some old Cold War warriors and neocons, such as Senator John McCain or Victoria Nuland, by explaining to them that the failures of your economy is the result of Russian sabotage. It is the remnants of their socialism that is destroying your country, and not your looting.
I also encourage you to find a Jewish person among your population, preferably someone with close ties to your regime; you can also export an adviser whose ancestors ran away from the Tsarist pogroms. This person should testify to The New York Times that your regime is very friendly to Jews, as opposed to your victims who still live by some primitive nationalistic values. That will score plenty of points with your neocon audience, who will in turn secure American supporting your fight against anti-Semitism. Calling your enemies"sexist”or"homophobic”can also boost your cause, but frankly, it would be overkill. Since your goal is to accomplish overkill on the streets of your towns, don’t waste all your energy on propaganda wars.
But make sure you enlist the help of some former dissidentsor political leaders from Eastern Europe. Their memories of being abused by the Evil Empire are so strong, that it would be easy to convince them that those who are laying on the streets, burned, shot, or chopped to death, were Russian agents, intent on perpetuating Soviet-style tyranny. The hard-worn moral authority of these allies will surely silence your critics.
The need to defend your country from the ever-expanding Russian Empire should always be on your lips. If someone points to the map and shows that Russia has actually shrunk since the Tsarist or Soviet days, tell them that this shrinking is one more proof that they are dreaming of restoring the days of old. Quoting their leader who spoke about the loss of the Soviet Union, as tragedy will surely help, as would the reference to some medieval monk, who proclaimed Russia to be the new Rome. And as you wipe off your bloody hands, recite Barry Goldwater’s saying: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”
Have the photograph of one of your soldiers in Russian uniform. That will be enough for the American journalists, raised on the stories of communist body-snatchers, to disseminate your stories of Russian threat. The ubiquitous presence of Russian infiltrators, exposed by Joe McCarthy, and proven beyond doubt by James Bond films, and the current TV series, The Americans, will make your fabrications more real than real life.
Being a mass murderer, you didn’t come to power by peaceful means, so some hard-nosed reporters might question your agenda, or demand the explanation for recent violence. Lecture them on the atrocities of Stalin, which surely dwarfs your own. If they persist and press you on the connection between Stalin and the violence that you’ve just unleashed upon your population, turn the tables and accuse them of being Kremlin apologists.
It is also important to establish museums where you can demonstrate the pictures of your victims, but label them as the victims of Stalinism (since Stalin happened to kill Christians, Muslims, Jews and everyone else in between, you’ll be believed). Having a lot of victims will make your case stronger, but in case you’ve been slacking, argue that victims’ unborn children should be included in the equation. Once you have a respectable number of victims and some doctored photographs, museums can be opened. Through these means, Ukrainians boosted the amount of Stalin’s victims to seven million, beating the Jewish victims of Holocaust, and demonstrating the diabolical power of Stalin and Communism.
It is important to groom the younger generation into their role of henchmen. The children should be subjected to the routine of dancing and singing in the manner of these teenagers from Western Ukraine, who are demonstrating their proper political credentials by reciting: "hang the Muscovite on the branch” (Moskaliauku na giliaku). If someone in the West finds it barbaric, explain that you are restoring ancient folklore from the remnants of culture wiped out by the Communists. And don’t forget to teach your kids to make Molotov cocktails. Burning is a very efficient and hygienic way of getting rid of your victims. But sometimes you can bomb them and let their relatives take care of them. But make sure that their coffins are painted in red, so that the whole world would see how you are dealing with the Red menace.
Had Saddam Hussein or Rwanda’s Hutus followed these instructions, their success would have been much higher, as they would have proceeded without interruption. But if, for some reason Russians decide to interfere, noticing that the West simply sits on the fence debating whether your current rate of killing fits the definition of genocide, pronounce triumphantly: I told you so. But you might as well succeed, since Russians will be too bogged down in their own backyard to come to the rescue.
With NATO and economic packages behind you, you can continue for years to come. When you eventually die, or rather drink yourself to death, as the ghosts of all those whom you recklessly and cruelly destroyed would make your conscious life too painful, you’ll end up in the anticommunist heaven. You’ll be greeted by Mr. Joe McCarthy, who will accuse you in being too soft on Communism and thus manifesting some latent Russian sympathies. You’ll be interrogated and humiliated, your words will be twisted, since McCarthy will surely find one Russian sympathizer among your population whom you failed to destroy. What Senator McCarthy’s verdict will be is beyond my expertise to say, but you can be rest assured that 50 years later somewhere in the free world, there will be a monumenterected in your honor, for the glorious contributions in your fight against Russian Communism.