Rohrabacher: Russia Is No Longer Motivated By Communist Ideology, No Longer A Threat

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Rep. Dana Rohrabacher entered the House Foreign Relations Committee hearing on 'Russian Disinformation' on Thursday to ask the former president of the Republic of Estonia Toomas Hendrik if the country had been bullied or invaded by Russia in the last ten years. Toomas recounted a cyber attack and a cross border police action, but Rohrabacher saw Russia's point of view:

"My entire life was dedicated to defeating communism. I felt really great when Ronald Reagan helped us establish peace and the elimination of communism from Russia. We are now dealing with a national power, and, you know, it is a big power in the world. It's no longer being motivated by communist ideology that has it trying to overthrow democratic governments and replace them with atheistic communist dictatorships," he said.

"Let me just note that we just keep hearing sinister words after sinister words, especially this last thing, oh how sinister it is that he just showed the top of his passport. Give me a break, come on. And we all -- and also we got -- instead of a sinister report from your question to the ambassador," he said.

Earlier in the same hearing, a former U.S. Ambassador laid out the "plot" by Russian president Vladimir Putin to "undermine democracy around the world."

"What's happening in Russia of course is you have a country watching out for its national interest," Rohrabacher said. "Mr. Chairman, I would have preferred to have at least one person on this panel like perhaps former Ambassador Matlock who could have balanced it off a little bit on some of these questions, and instead what we have is, and again, an unrelenting hostility towards Russia that's going to lead us at war, to war if we don't watch out."

He added: "And I don't know who wants war in this country, but I was very happy when Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War by reaching out to Russia. And -- and they ended up discarding their Marxist Leninist baloney that had threatened the world for so long."

Rohrabacher pled as his time ran out: "Please do not say that Russia is the only country to commits these kinds of crimes."

DANA ROHRABACHER: Well, here we are. Wherever you go, there you are. Let me just note that we just keep hearing sinister words after sinister words, especially this last thing, oh how sinister it is that he just showed the top of his passport. Give me a break, come on. And we all -- and also we got -- instead of a sinister report from your question to the ambassador, no, it's not uncommon for people to meet with foreign ambassadors and foreign diplomats. And how sinister is it that people met with the Russian ambassador? I'm sure that is they were going to plan something really rotten about the United States, they would go to the ambassador, the Russian ambassador rather than some political operatives that they have running all over the place.

This has -- this has reached the absurd level of attacks. And let us note that in order to get Russia, what we are now is destabilizing our own democratic system here with that kind of nonsense.

I will have to say that during the Cold War, I want to remind everybody, I worked not only with President Reagan, but my entire life was dedicated to defeating communism. I felt really great when Ronald Reagan helped us establish peace and the elimination of communism from Russia. We are now dealing with a national power, and, you know, it is a big power in the world. It's no longer being motivated by communist ideology that has it trying to overthrow democratic governments and replace them with atheistic communist dictatorships. And you got to expect Russia and agreed, they're being run by -- by tough guys, sort of Mayor Daley in Chicago is transported over to Russia. Oh, you remember, you love Mayor Daley, do you? Okay, I don't. I thought (inaudible) was -- was a tough guy who beat demonstrators up and did not represent anything what America was all about, but he was not some vicious dictator. He had been elected by his people and we would try to un-elect him as well.

What's happening in Russia of course is you have a country watching out for its national interest. Mr. Chairman, I would have preferred to have at least one person on this panel like perhaps former Ambassador Matlock who could have balanced it off a little bit on some of these questions, and instead what we have is, and again, an unrelenting hostility towards Russia that's going to lead us at war, to war if we don't watch out. And I don't know who wants war in this country, but I was very happy when Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War by reaching out to Russia. And -- and they ended up discarding their Marxist Leninist baloney that had threatened the world for so long.

Let me ask the former president of the Republic of Estonia, could you give me -- well first of all, the -- the Russian cyber-attacks were there any demands on Estonia that you didn't meet that they -- some of these big guys demanding something and you say, "No, we're not going to do that," and then they retaliated by trying to hurt you?

ILVES: Well, they demanded that we not remove this statue which people were against having and that's the result.

ROHRABACHER: Okay, so that's it, there was a demand and the Russians acted like bullies and were going to get their way with a cyber-attack. Okay, second question, could you give me some examples of the military aggression that your country has suffered from Russia in the last 10 years?

ILVES: Well probably the most prominent example is the kidnapping of the equivalent of our FBI who was investigating a mass of cigarette cross-border cigarette smuggling operation which could not take place without the connivance of the FSB since they manage the border.

ROHRABACHER: So you had something, you had a corrupt, situation of corruption at the border. One of your border guards disappeared, I mean military aggression, has there been any cross-border at all military action on the part of the Russians in Estonia?

ILVES: Well, we have constant violations of our border by military jets.

ROHRABACHER: Right.

ILVES: That's one thing and that's consistent than -- but has massively increased in the last four years.

ROHRABACHER: Now, I went to the Baltics about three years ago after I hear story after story after story of Russian military aggression in the Baltics. I'm sure all of you have heard that -- that slogan before. Not one report of actual military aggression. And here we are sending our tanks up there, having B-52 mock raids on Russia over Estonia toward -- toward the Soviet capital in the name of stopping Soviet military aggression that never existed. This has got to stop or we're going to end up in war. We've got to -- let's try to -- let's try to have a little balanced view of what's going on here.

Mr. Chairman, I would ask 15 seconds more from my colleagues just as a -- look, the United States, we have engaged in some of these activities, we have. Do you remember the Phoenix Program in Vietnam? I remember the Phoenix Program. I supported the Phoenix Program. We murdered hundreds of local officials. How about Allende, how about Diem, how about any number of people during the Cold War that we assassinated? Okay, that's wrong -- it's wrong to do that.

ROYCE: The gentleman's time -- the gentleman's time has expired.

ROHRABACHER: But please do not say that Russia is the only country to commits these kinds of crimes.

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