It starts by actually stating reality of what America did to Russia after the end of communism, with a few important details missing, but Fisher presents this as Russia's interpretation of what happened, not what good progressives believe happened.
In this telling, Moscow capitulated at the end of the Cold War, and even tried to make itself a friend to the far more powerful United States. But an irrationally aggressive America has instead sought repeatedly to weaken, control, or even destroy Russia. Their country, in this view, is insecure against an overwhelmingly powerful West. Its actions that we see as aggressive are actually defensive. And Moscow is kept safe only by careful vigilance and by the nuclear arsenal that you hear Russians cite over and over.
This is the version of history you hear in Russia from detached foreign policy pragmatists, from pro-Putin ideologues and anti-Putin ideologues, even from members of the pro-Western political opposition who support what they believe be to a Western agenda of weakening Russia.Fisher does not for one moment stop to question if the reason everyone in Russia across the political spectrum believes this because it is true. He simply states it and chalks it up to a misunderstanding. This is how we know Vox is regime public relations and has nothing to do with journalism. This is textbook "whocoodablamedus" lies of omission. Fisher is carefully side stepping the Bush 41 position of not racing to expand NATO that was overturned by the Clinton gang. Fisher does not cite the Rape of Russia as economic writers like Anne Williamson have described the '90s looting. Fisher does not mention the Clinton administration support for Boris Yeltsin's re-election, which in retrospect was to keep the economic hands in the bureaucracy in place in Russia so Harvard, Soros and the West could loot state assets for a longer period of time. Yeltsin's dramatic comeback re-election was orchestrated by the '90s oligarch media with massive money from the "Seven Bankers" who the US Shock Therapy privatization scheme enriched. Fisher will not even admit that the base assumption of the US being the hyperpower and Russia a weaker power ripe for pillaging and subversion is undeniably true.
Fisher quotes a founding member of an opposition party (Vlad Lukin) with a money quote. This is something many in the alt-right would say with ease.
It is in the genes. America has a simple ideology – that there is only one truth in the world, that truth is held by God, and God created the United States to be an embodiment of that truth. So the Americans strive to bring this truth to the rest of the world and to make it happy. Only after that will everything be well. This ideology has a strong influence on their policy. A wise traditionalist and a geopolitical expert, Kissinger had good reason to call such politicians "Trotskyites" for advocating a world revolution, albeit in their own way, but always in the front and in shining armor. This is a tempting ideology and has been professed by different countries at different times, not only the United States.Universalism. Shining city on the hill. Evangelical export of its values. Trotsyites. This is basic stuff that one can see if one chooses. Fisher is a guzzler of Kool-aid, so he sees this religious notion as problematic. America just defends democracy and human rights, see noobs, and in Fisher's admission does not see that he calls the US point of view on democracy and progressive labelled "human rights" as a religious truth that should be spread to all. What right does the US in playing hero defender of any of that around the globe? Fisher plays right into it like a true believer.
The idea of aggression is an interesting one here because Fishers states military movements as aggression and positioning military hardware as aggressive because he cannot see that social subversion of the other is aggressive. What right does Fisher and his ilk have to push Lady Gaga and the Gay Brigade onto Russians, Turks, Iranians or the Chinese? That is a form of social aggression. Our Hollywood exports are a product, and when laced with ideas and themes straight out of Harvard for social change, it is weaponized. The Beatles three minute rock songs might not be weaponized but Will + Grace "Just Like Us" garbage is. The progressives only want to remind you that words are weapons when they want to play the victim or righteous hero.
Fisher's essay is still insightful because it does paint a Russia that aware of the American method and ideas, Russia might all be onto maintaining independence. They don't want Hillary as president since they fear a return to the '90s but the American media can't mention the '90s because it reveals the deep ties between Team Blue-Big Money and greedy, rapacious behavior. This also explains not just Russia's anti-NGO, anti-gay propaganda and anti-prog moves but China's as well. China is cracking down on feminists, professors pushing Western garbage and other prog elements. Maybe this gives Russia too much credit but keep in mind, Putin has said "we" when referring to monetary and economic policy when discussing China and Russia before and Xi has not stepped in to correct him. By allowing a foreign leader to articulate your own position in a public setting is a pretty big tell. Russia gets it. China might get it, too. At a minimum, China knows if Russia is subverted, they are next. Putin is not your friend, Westerners, but if you hate the USG Imperium, it would be hard to find a better figure that shares your interest.