From the Great Religious Schism
to Anti-Putin Hysteria

Guy Mettan

ISBN: 978-0-9978965-2-7  $29.95  390 pp

ISBN: 978-0-9978965-5-8   $19.00

    Why do the USA, UK and Europe so hate Russia? How is it that Western antipathy, once
    thought due to anti-Communism, could be so easily revived over a crisis in distant
    Ukraine, against a Russia no longer communist?  Why does the West accuse Russia of
    empire-building, when 15 states once part of the defunct Warsaw Pact are now part of
    NATO, and NATO troops now flank the Russian border?

    These are only some of the questions Creating Russophobia investigates.  Mettan begins
    by showing the strength of the prejudice against Russia through the Western response
    to a series of events: the Uberlingen mid-air collision, the Beslan hostage-taking, the
    Ossetia War, the Sochi Olympics and the crisis in Ukraine.

    He then delves into the historical, religious, ideological and geopolitical roots of the
    detestation of Russia in various European nations over thirteen centuries since
    Charlemagne competed with Byzantium for the title of heir to the Roman Empire. Mettan
    examines the geopolitical machinations expressed in those times through the medium of
    religion, leading to the great Christian schism between Germanic Rome and Byzantium
    and the European Crusades against Russian Orthodoxy. This history of taboos,
    prejudices and propaganda directed against the Orthodox Church provides the mythic
    foundations that shaped Western disdain for contemporary Russia. From the religious
    and imperial rivalry created by Charlemagne and the papacy to the genesis of French,
    English, German and then American Russophobia, the West has been engaged in more
    or less violent hostilities against Russia for a thousand years.  

    Contemporary Russophobia is manufactured through the construction of an anti-Russian
    discourse in the media and the diplomatic world, and the fabrication and demonization of
    The Bad Guy, now personified by Vladimir Putin. Both feature in the meta-narrative, the
    mythical framework of the ferocious Russian bear ruled with a rod of iron by a vicious
    president. A synthetic reading of all these elements is presented in the light of recent
    events and in particular of the Ukrainian crisis and the recent American elections,
    showing how all the resources of the West’s soft power have been mobilized to impose
    the tale of bad Russia dreaming of global conquest.
GUY METTAN is a journalist and Swiss politician. Former
director and editor-in-chief of the main Geneva newspaper
Tribune de Genève, he is presently the executive director of the
Geneva Press Club and columnist for various Swiss
newspapers. Member of the Geneva Parliament since 2001, he
was the speaker of the Parliament in 2010 and author of several
books, most lately this successful book on western russophobia
originally published by Editions des Syrtes.  There are now
French, Italian, Russian, Serbian, and Swedish editions of this
title, in addition to this one in English.

    Guy Mettan’s book is a formidable deconstruction of the imperialist mindset and as
    such it is truly a 'must read'.   It is short, very well written and deserves to printed in
    million of copies."
    The Vineyard Saker

    "By hating Russia, one hurts oneself. Swiss journalist Guy Mettan pieces together the
    reasons of detestation of the Kremlin and of a rhetoric that goes back to Napoleonic
    times despite the long list of aggressions perpetrated in the meantime by the West. And
    he explains why pushing Moscow toward Asia is a very serious error.”
    Panorama, Italy

    “Like Saddam Hussein’s mythical weapons of massive destruction in 2003, Peter the
    Great’s fake will has been used to justify the aggressions and invasions that the
    Europeans, and now the Americans, still carry out against Russia.”
    Libération, France

    “The first charge Guy Mettan levels at western media is of applying double standards.
    The criticism is valid. Guy Mettan carries out beneficial work formulating it and treating
    his readers to an expose of the various techniques used in the political sphere by the
    masters of disinformation.”
    Le Temps, Switzerland

FOREWORD:  Russophobia or Russomadness?
Learning from Sarajevo
Ditching Solzhenitsyn, Defender of Russia
The Yeltsin Pillage
Breaching the Wall of Historical Prejudice


Chapter 1: Understanding Russia
Neither Same nor Other
Forgive and Forget for France and Germany; Not for Russia
Putin-Versteher? Verboten!
Navigating the Russophiles
“I love Russia but not Putin”
Russophobia is a State of Mind
Congress Kicks In Against Russia
Self-hating Russians?

Chapter 2: The Pavlovian Russophobic Reflex
The Überlingen Crash (2002)
The Beslan Hostage-Taking (2004)
115 Atlanticists against Putin
What really happened in Beslan
The Second Ossetia War (2008)
The Sochi Olympic Games (2014)

Chapter 3: Media Blinders on Ukraine
The Anti-Russian Vulgate
No Questions for Victoria Nuland
Crimeans Reaffirm Their 1991 Referendum
Malaysian Flight MH17
Alternative Views on NATO Expansion
One-Track Media Thinking
Unanswered Questions
The Unbearable Notion of a Worthy Critical Other


Chapter 4: A War of Religion since Charlemagne
Byzantium, City of Light, Beats Rome in Ruins
Religion as Eighth-Century Soft Power
Constantinople, Not Rome, Was Ascendant
The Filioque Quarrel Created by Charlemagne
The Theory of the Two Swords, Papal and Imperial
The Fraudulent Donation of Constantine and the Fight for Papal Supremacy
Westerners Reappraise the Trinity
Democratic Easterners versus Absolutist Westerners
Two Diverted Crusades: 1204 and 2003
A Schism Made in the West
The Invention of Caesaropopery and Byzantinism
The European Crusades against Russian Orthodoxy
The Czar and the Roman Germanic Emperor
The Gothic Churches Divide Europe in Two
A Thousand-Year Conflict Still Virulent
Historical Ingratitude towards Byzantium and Russia
Lies Pervade Western Historiography

Chapter 5: French Russophobia and the Myth of Eastern Despotism
Peter the Great’s Forged Testament and the Myth of Expansionism
The First Travelers Launch the Notion of Russian Barbarity
Can There Be a Tyranny with Consenting Subjects?
Reconceptualizing Despotism
From the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns to the Notion of Progress
Leibniz and Voltaire as Adepts of Russian Enlightened Despotism
Montesquieu and the Absence of Russian Counter-Powers
French Clichés versus Japanese Objectivity
The First Liberal Theories and Oriental Despotism
Tocqueville and the Bible of Russophobia according to Custine
The Rise of Socialism and the Russian Commune
Individual Freedom versus the Russian Commune
Final Synthesis: Amendable Russia and Redeemable Backwardness
The Theory of the Cultural Gradient

Chapter 6: English Russophobia: The Obsession with Empire
Suddenly after 1815, Russia Becomes a Threat
The Evolution of English Russophobia
Greek Independence and the Polish Revolt
The British Press Enflames Public Opinion
Arming the Circassians
The Great Game and the Struggle for Asia
The Orient Issue as Catalyst for the Crimean War
The Fragility of the British Empire
Dracula, an Imperialist and Russophobic Novel
”An Elephant Does Not Fight with a Whale”

Chapter 7: German Russophobia: From Lebensraum to Historical Amnesia
The Romantic Vision of Germanity
Hegel and the Prussian State
Germanity Takes Root in Geography and History
Cosmopolitan Russia: The Model to Avoid
Russophobia Indoctrination through Schoolbooks
Friedrich Meinecke and the “Slavs’ Bestiality”
Implementation of Ostforschung
Lebensraum and Racism
1966: No Change in German Schoolbooks
Nazism = Communism
Pinning Communist Crimes Only on Russia
Who Defeated the Nazis?
Deluging the Memory Market
The Artful Deceptions of History and Historiography
The German-Soviet Pact against Munich
2014: Lebensraum in the East

Chapter 8: American Russophobia: The Dictatorship of Freedom
The United States as a Maritime Power
Dominating the Heartland (Russia) to Dominate the World
Soviet Russia’s Containment by Military Bases
Ideological Containment
The 1975 Helsinki Agreements
Freedom versus Totalitarianism and the Left
Goodbye Anti-Communism: Welcome Back, Russophobia
Brzezinski: Recycling Russian Expansionism and Dismembering Russia
Nye: Soft Power and the “Smart” Anti-Russian Axis
Cinema, Think Tanks and NGOs in the Service of Power
The Anti-Russian Lobby
Here We Go Again:  Despotism and Expansionism
Defending Oligarchs to Defame Russia


Chapter 9: Semantics and Anti-Russian Newspeak
Word Choice and Semantic Distortion
Selection of Sources
Framing and Factual Distortion
The “Us” and “Them” Dichotomy
Strategies for a Counter-Discourse
The New Avatar of Soft Power: the Theory of the Shepherd

Chapter 10: The Myth of the Fierce Bear
Plugging Loopholes in the Narrative
Demonizing Putin
American Historiography Entrenches Russophobic Memes
The Weight of Geography
Opposing Russia to Accelerate European Integration

Conclusion: Co-existence, Multipolarity, and Peace
EXCERPT from the Foreword

From the very first weeks of my journalistic internship at Journal de Genève, a once prestigious but now
defunct liberal newspaper, I learnt the meaning of the double standards western media and western
statesmen apply when they pass judgment on countries or political regimes they do not like. I had
hardly settled down at my desk when a meeting of the World Anticommunist League was held in
Geneva sometime during the spring of 1980. Balmy weather was forecast that weekend and none of the
resident pen pushers were eager to go and cover the meeting. So I was sent. Gathered together there
was the darnedest posse of dictators and butchers of the planet: Augusto Pinochet emissaries,
Argentinian generals, and Korean, Taiwanese, and other representatives of then proliferating Asian
dictatorships. The brows of these dignitaries, ill at ease in their civilian garb, eyes hidden behind dark
glasses as in B movies, seemed to me to be still bearing the imprints of their just discarded kepis. I went
back to the paper, faithfully sum¬med up what I had seen and what had been said, without any
supervision, of course, as it was Sunday.

What a commotion on Monday morning!  I was summoned to the office of the editor in chief to face an
official warning. I had made the mistake of not knowing that one of the newspaper’s main shareholders
was the Swiss representative of the League and that discrimination was of the essence. Not all
dictatorships were alike. Some were good, those of pro-western generals, and some bad, those in
Russia and Eastern Europe. You did not say “these are dictators who imprison their opponents and
torture their political prisoners” but “these are defenders of the Free World which they protect against
the communist infection.” Lesson number one, which I was never to forget.

A few years later, on November 19, 1985, the first Reagan-Gorbachev summit took place in Geneva. It
was the first time since the Vietnam War, the intrusion of the Red Army into Afghanistan, the Euro
missile crisis, and the launch of Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative in March 1983, that the
leaders of East and West were meeting. It was also the first time the Kremlin came up with a youngish
leader flanked by an attractive spouse who rapidly made the covers of the tabloids and quickly fell for
that illusory glory. It was on my 29th birthday and I still remember vividly the huge hope but also the
feeling of inconsistency that meeting had fostered in me. Two blocs were clashing and the more rigid of
the two was not the obvious one.

The Russian was the more pliant, the more apt to make concessions and adapt his doctrine to achieve
an honorable peace, albeit reluctantly, not the American. For him, a treaty was a treaty. He hadn’t
understood that for a Westerner, an agreement is but an interim step and that the Rule of Law western
jurists boast of is a misuse of language: it is neither an immutable Rule, since it has no static, immutable
essence, nor is it a steadfast and straight Law, since it keeps evolving in tortuous, unpredictable ways
as interests, lobbies and fleeting intellectual fashions dictate. In accordance with the Anglo-Saxon spirit,
Law is less a matter of principles than an evolution of jurisprudence.

For the West, Law thus is a process, valid today but obsolete tomorrow. It is a useful means of making
war and conquering new territories in non-military ways, and seldom an end in itself, working rather
according to the saying that “everything that is mine is mine and everything that is yours is negotiable.”
Gorbachev never learned that lesson and, in 1991, he repeated the same error when he pulled the
Soviet troops out of Eastern Europe in exchange for a verbal agreement that NATO would not enter it.
A few years later, all of Eastern Europe had fallen into the arms of NATO, which was intervening even in
Georgia and in Afghanistan, thousands of miles away from the North Atlantic. I concluded from all that,
that as the saying goes, good intentions never make for good policy. Lesson number two.
AUDIOBOOK coming soon from
for Guy Mettan
Creaing Russophobia