Dear Catine E. Perkins of Texas;
Ah, so we are worried about what kind of wine. Kosher, my dear reader, American Kosher Concorde wine. One glass of that, and I feel it. Two glasses and I'm very comfortable. My dear wife, kavetches when I have a second glass. If you know anything about the size of the Jewish shabbot wine glasses, two of them have the same volume as the regular wine glass used by the goyim...
The reference to wine was more tongue and cheek.
And, if you must know, I am an American, living in America, and I am rabbi. I also have 12 years of service to the country in the military. It is not just about your country I wrote, the article was about my country too. Vodka is not exactly the national drink in America and my writing style is very American. Assumptions are very bad thing and from that angle, I understand your concerns.
Now, as for Messr Rasputin. In my article, I kept an air of mocking levity build around very serious truths about the man, his behavior and his contributions to the hell which ensued.
Rasputin forever stained the Russian throne and Russia itself - no more, no less. There are a number of references to Rasputin, the mad monk, out there in cyberville, and one could write whole volumes about this one person alone. If you want to research Rasputin, you'll need to devote 32 or more straight hours of discovery, like I did, before any of it all makes any sense.
By 'fine tooth comb', I might construe you were looking for inaccuracies or were you actually searching for what happened. Americans love to go through material with a 'fine tooth comb' to find a very small point to exploit and trash the entire essay and discredit the author. Somehow, Americans think this is very scholarly.
You brought up the term brain washing, which is an interesting term. Hatred for another country is a government agenda, not a people agenda. I lived through the 1950's and 1960's when we were being slammed with reason after reason to hate. Much like the messages of the WMD in Iraq - that were never found. Brain washing is propaganda.
We hated the Russians because of the Cuban missile crisis - but, we as citizens never reasearched the facts that we had nuclear armed Jupitor missiles in Turkey pointed straight at Moscow. Our Jupitor missiles provoked the Cuban incident.
We had back splash radar in Iran looking right into the heart of Russia. Back splash radar requires the sensors to be thousands of miles away.
We hated Russia because Cuba went Communist. But just after the Cuban revolution, Castro came to the US first and asked for help. We told him to take a hike, and he did. What Castro did not know is that Baptista was a US lackey.
We hated North Viet Nam and Russia so we engaged in a fight. Ho Chi Minh had come to the US and asked for our help in getting the French out fo Viet Nam. We told him to take a hike, and he did. The fight was on.
Did we hate Russia, or were we trying to avoid the fall out from our own blunders? We took the offensive.
We found fault with Stalin because he set up a buffer zone between himself and the rest of Europe. But we think nothing of our involvement with Canada, Mexico, and South America - trying to set up a buffer zone. What is the difference between Russian tanks rolling down the streets of Hungary and American tanks rolling down the streets of Panama?
The larger question about why we were given so many reasons to hate is look at our own history.
During the late 1800's the railroad stole land and often times at the point of a gun (or dynamite if need be). For every mile of track in the first trans-continental railroad, there is a dead chinese worker. We didn't care if they died in an explosion, from malnutrition or any other accident. We just imported more Chinese.
Mine workers were working in unsafe conditions - they were not given the timber needed to shore up a shaft, and if the shaft, or branch, collapsed the widows were made to pay for the rescue operation as well as reimburse the company for the profits lost.
During the early 1900's we had children as young as 5 years old working in the mills, and dying. We had labor abuses - the song "16 tons" by Tennesee Erny Ford was an incrimination of how our mine workers had to buy everything from the company store, on credit, at agressively inflated prices, until the man's entire check was eaten up by interest alone. Wages were so low that entire families had to work just to be able to afford their food. 30 to 40% interest on a house loan was not uncommon. The 60 hour work week was the rule.
The Russian revolution, was in a large part over the conditions in Russia. The same conditions that the Americans were being subjected to here.
At all costs, the American people had to be denied information about the Russian revolution lest the American worker followed suite. We also had to hide the fact the US had been involved in the Russian revolution. We had troops in Siberia fighting on the side of the white Russian factions. From there, it evolved into hatred.
We were quick to point out the gulags, but tried to hide our imprisionment of Japanese-American citizens during world war two. Or Roosevelt, saying about the nazi camps, "It is a Jewish problem".
We complained about the Russian pillaging of Germany after the war - but how did we get so many art treasures just after the war?
The Nuremburg war crimes trials - Von Braun had been the head of Pinamundi, and had over all responsibility of the concentration camp within. Thousands of Jews died and Von Braun escaped justice. How does one explain that side of justice to the other countries who sat in judgement of Nazi Germany? We were seen as hypocrites. Von Braun was not an isolated incident.
We denounced Russia for their 'mock trials', and yet we don't want to remember Ethel & Julias Rosenberg who went to the chair because of the actions of Klaus Fuchs, an American scientist, who did sell the atomic secrets.
We needed to go into Viet Nam because the North Viets had AK-47's - but why were the South Viets carrying M-14s?
We stood in self righteousness denouncing rights violations in Russia and a people subjected to the will of their government, and we still had Jim Crow laws that were being enforced.
We denounced the KGB, but J. Edgar Hoover was revered as the sword of God? Hoover was one nasty person and he didn't care who he destroyed or whose civil rights he trampled on. Same with Senator McCarthy.
We stood in self-righteousness boasting we have free elections, but how many people know that a candidate can win the popular vote and still lose the election because of the electorial college? What then of free elections when a person's vote does not matter at all - in reality?
Lastly, propaganda (brain washing) is the fine art of telling citizens that they live in the best. Underneath, though, are the nagging doubts. So, one broadcasts with blaring golden trumpets and full vigor to convince one that they live in a country fashioned by the very hand of God. Be like us to validate our way of thinking and of doing - because our history cannot validate us and points to ugly contradictions in our own words and deeds.