Sunday, August 12, 2007

"Мы вас похороним!"

After a friend reported that he couldn't find a copy of the notorious image from 1960 of Soviet headman Nikita Khruschev banging his shoe on his desk while speechifying at the United Nations, I decided to have a look at what else he found.

History is indeed being rewritten. People are debating as to whether the image ever existed. Some are trying to prove that the incident never took place.

Having been around in 1960, I recall seeing "film at 11" (or whenever TV network news came on) of Mr K doing his thing with that brogan of his.

But when you search for an image of the Big Commie, what you get are the warm and fuzzy shots, like this one...

I mean, he's right there with his buddyroo Dr Castro who, along with Che Guevara, is one of the heroes of a certain subspecies of American loons.

I may be old, but the mind still works, and I remember the shoe incident as clearly as I remember JFK being showered with undeserved praise after he caved in to the Soviets during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

I also remember hearing about -- even in school -- Khruschev's famous comment to the West from 1956, which even google is forced to translate as "We will bury you!" That statement, too, is being sanitized and "explained" by a new generation that doesn't understand how divided and tense the world was in those days.

Funny thing. The world is in a similar state of crisis now, only with three combatants -- militant Islam, the USA and the non-Soviet Russians -- but instead of actually taking real, serious steps to protect ourselves against the worst, we have a president who thinks Mr K's spiritual heir, Vladimir Putin, is a "good guy." I'm just waiting for him to say "Pootie, you're doin' a heckuva job."

I'm not really a retread Cold War militarist, believe me. I do, however, believe in being ready to protect ourselves against enemies. And both militant Islamists and the current Russian leadership are enemies.

But in our own current politically correct and highly partisan government, we have no one capable of leading. It's more important to "talk" to the rabid dogs on the planet, more important to be "reasonable" and not safe, to be statesmanlike in the face of genuine threats. As too often happens, we assume our enemies think like we do and play by the same rules we do.

And of course those in power are the first to want to sanitize history to fit their own agendas.

Khruschev did say "Мы вас похороним!" and he did pound his shoe in anger at the UN. Even if, as some suggest, the latter act was premeditated, it remains an iconic example of the man's (and his regime's) crudity and temperament.

Putin is slicker. He snookered Bush and, so far as I can tell, all our elected so-called leaders. But the Teflon Red is just as eager to bury us, and just as capable of crude and murderous actions.

As some philosophical type didn't say (but should have): those who attempt to rewrite history are doomed to repeat it.


Kelly said...

Sometimes when ppl asked me what I did in the Navy - I often responded by saying I was saving the world from communism. It's all communism to me...I don't care what they call them selves these days...I call them all just what they all have always been - ppl set out to destroy America just because we have more stuff than they do. They deem stuff as bad so since we have it they need to kill us. They are jealous of our SUVS and our nicely paved streets.

Of course that maybe the pain killers talking...

MrScribbler said...

Not the painkillers, Kelly...just common sense and good old patriotism.

Not exactly surprising coming from you!

lowandslow said...

I remember the same news footage, Scribbs. Yes, Pootie Poo and his wife, Poon Tang, are not to be trusted. Islamist militants are worse, and of more immediate physical danger to us, as we cannot reason with them like we could the old USSR. The USSR was evil, but not suicidal. And what about the Chinese? Will they overpower the west before capitalism overpowers them? Our politicians on both sides of the aisle are more interested in gaining and maintaining power than watching out for our (the peoples) long term best interests. They'll promise us anything and mortgage our future and can't see past their own term in power, whether in Congress or the White House. Pitiful!!

FYI...I did find this for you:
The notorious shoe-banging incident occurred during a debate, on October 12, over a Russian resolution decrying colonialism. Khrushchev was infuriated by a statement from the rostrum by Lorenzo Sumulong which charged the Soviets with employing a double standard, pointing to their domination of Eastern Europe as an example of the very type of colonialism their resolution criticized. According to newspaper reports, published the following day, Mr. Khrushchev thereupon pulled off his right shoe, stood up, brandishing it at the Philippine delegate on the other side of the hall and began to furiously bang the shoe on his desk. The enraged Khrushchev accused Mr. Sumulong of being "Холуй и ставлeнник импeриализма", which was translated as "a jerk, a stooge and a lackey of imperialism". The Premier alternately shouted, waved a brawny right arm, shook his finger and removed his shoe a second time. The second shoe incident occurred during a speech by Francis O. Wilcox, an Assistant U.S. Secretary of State. The chaotic scene finally ended when General Assembly President Frederick Boland broke his gavel calling the meeting to order, but not before the image of Khrushchev as a hotheaded buffoon was indelibly etched into the collective memory of the international community. On another occasion, Khrushchev said in reference to capitalism, "Мы вас похороним!", translated to "We will bury you". This phrase, ambiguous both in the English language and in the Russian language, was interpreted in several ways. Later, he would refer back to the comment and state, "I once got in trouble for saying, 'We will bury you'. Of course, we will not bury you with a shovel. Your own working class will bury you".

MrScribbler said...

Well, l&s, the little google online translation thingummy gave the Russian-to-English version as "We will bury you!" Which is what we were all told the K-Man said back when/

It's only ambiguous if you want it to be, no?

MrScribbler said...

l&s -- before I forget, I should mention that what I fear from the Chicoms, the bunch in Tehran, the little wacko in N Korea and The Poot is that they will bypass the shoe-banging and go right to the heavy stuff...

betty said...

I think Bush has the right idea about things..he's trying to protect America. He's just gone about it the wrong way and trusted too many who shouldn't be trusted. I don't know, I'm just worried about the way things are going.

John said...

At that time the K man scoffed at the US leaders as weak jokes. The bury you part was often stated or re-framed in the context of "we won't have to do anything, you will destroy yourselves from within", which is exactly what is happening.
The common element between them and fanatic Islamic leaders is that lying to the West regarding any issue was standard procedure.
The sellout of our country began in earnest back then and has continued, big time.

Kim said...

That aside, did you see any footage of the recent meeting between Bush and the new French President, Sarkozy? How much more stylish did Sarkozy look? Ah, the French know how to dress.

MrScribbler said...

Kim -- does that mean ol' Jorge Bush will soon be saying "Nicki, you're doin' a heckuva job?"

Anonymous said...

I have actually re-lived this moment taking off my own shoe and slamming it on a podium, saying "We Will Bury You!"...I remember that and I'm 35 come this September.

What TRULY scares me is that I have seen things George Bush has said in his speeches ("They tell me you have to repeat something three or four times to install it as propaganda") has been EDITED OUT of the transcripts of his speeches.

I'm sorry, Dubya, but re-writing what you said doesn't mean you're not still an incompetent ass. Not including your gaff in the transcript doesn't mean we will forget we heard or saw it.

And yes, those who would forget our history ARE doomed to repeat the "Patriot Act" keeps modern America sliding down the slippery slope back towards Nazi Germany....

"really, it's in the best interests of the people for us to blatantly violate your civil rights and hold people indefinitely without trial or even a reason given."