CULTURAL REVOLUTIONSrnB O R I S Y E L T S I N has been at it again,rnsacking Russian Premier Yevgeni Primakovrnand his entire cabinet, pushingrnthe country to the edge of the pohticalrnabyss. The phlegmatic Primakov, whornresembles Jabba the Hut of Star Warsrnfame, had opened an investigation intornthe machinations of the “oligarchs,” therngangsters-cum-businessmen who haverndominated Russia in the Yeltsin era. Therntrail led back to the Kremlin and Yeltsin’srn”family,” whicii includes his daughterrnand unofficial chief of staif, Tat}’ana Dyachenko,rnvarious courtiers, and the “grayrncardinal” of the Kremlin—”family” advisorrnBoris Abramovich Berezovsky (knownrnas “BAB”). Russian investigators believernthat IMF money was funneled bv arnSwiss-based firm, MABATEX, into offshorernbank accounts controlled by thern”family,” Primakov had to go.rnIt seems that Primakov never quite understoodrnwhat Yeltsin wanted him to do:rnprotect the interests of the “family,” rigrnthe December parliamentary elections inrnorder to produce a Duma less inclined tornput “the guardian of democratic reforms”rnon trial after his term ends in 2000, andrnarrange a suitable successor. Meanwhile,rnan order for BAB’s arrest has been withdrawn,rna move obviously orchestrated byrnYeltsin. The Duma is up in arms andrnplanning retaliation. In earlv May, thernword on the street is that Yeltsin is preparingrnto dissolve the Duma and declare arnstate of emergency should the opposition-rndominated lower house vote to impeachrnthe “Father of Russian Democracy”rnon May 15. Wliat will the corneredrnpresident do?rnYeltsin has moved quickh- to take advantagernof the Yugoslav conflict, occasionalK-rnblasting NATO and threateningrnintervention to reassure Russian patriots,rnbut appointing the hapless ex-premier,rnclose friend of the “family,” and protegernof BAB, Viktor Chernomyrdin, as “specialrnpresidential envoy” to the West.rnYeltsin has decided that Chernomyrdinrncan smooth things over with NATO,rnforce Belgrade to back down, and teamrnup with the ex-premier’s long-time pal,rnthe equally wooden Al Gore, to preserern”world peace.” A well-connected acquaintancerntells me that Yeltsin is hopingrnto use the Yugoslav crisis to positionrnChernomyrdin for come-w hat-may, eitherrna “force solution” in the standoffrnwith the Duma —in which Chernomyrdinrnwould play the role of emergencyrnpremier—or possibly to succeed Boris Irnin 2000. A Russian-brokered deal thatrnserves the West’s interests will help Core,rnwho is running for the White House inrn2000 and is too interested in his own dirtyrnlaundr)- to worry about the Kremlin’s. IfrnBelgrade’s capitulation could be secured,rnthe “non-political” IMF might decidernthat Russia needs another bridge loan afterrnall, and Clinton might ignore any extra-rnconstitutional moves that Yeltsinrnmight make. After all, we must think ofrn”world peace.”rnThe ides of May approach, and Yeltsinrnhas dodged yet another bullet. The firstrndemocratically elected president of Russiarnhas swung a deal with certain Dumarnmembers —to the tune of $30,000 arnman —to take a vacation on May 15.rnOthers —including the Larry Flvnt ofrnRussian polities, hustler-cum-“ultranationalist”rnVladimir Zhirinovsks—mayrnget themselves appointed to occupy thernstill warm seats of Primakov’s cabinet.rnNearly 70 of the Duma’s 450 membersrnare absent on Ma’ 1 5. Yeltsin survivesrnimpeachment by 15 otes. The shakenrnDuma has been bested by the masterrnonce again. Came, set, and match.rnShould the deputies get uppity again,rnwell, the crisis in Yugoslavia, the expansionrnof NATO, and a recent spate ofrnterrorist acts traced back to the rebelrnChechen republic (where BAB hasrnmaintained ties to the most radical elements)rnmight justify a state of emergencyrnand the cancellation of the next elections.rn(Never mind that Yeltsin has beenrnwarned that such actions could precipitaterna civil war.) So Yeltsin’s interestsrnhave been well served by the Kosox’o crisisrn—as hae Clinton’s and Core’s.rnSome members of the “vast right-wingrnconspiracy” in both Russia and Americarnhave accused Wild Bill and Czar Boris ofrn”wagging the dog,” taking advantage ofrnforeign-policy crises to divert attentionrnfrom corruption at home. Who could attackrnthe Commander in Chief at a timernlike this? Who but a knee-jerk ClintonA’eltsin-rnhater would be interested inrnLippo Bank/MABATEX when we arernfacing World War III? Wlio but an obsessedrnright-winger would care aboutrnClinton’sA:’eltsin’s old friendships ()ohnnyrnChung/BAB) when “world peace” isrnat stake? What kind of person wouldrnattack the President’s family (Hillary/rnFahana) because of “policy differences”?rnFew, however, ask the ob’ious question:rnWhat kind of maniac would risk a worldrnwar or the implosion of his own countr’rnto cover his political rear end?rn— Denis PetrovrnE R I C HARRIS, the dominant half ofrnthe trenchcoated psychopathic duo whornrampaged through Columbine HighrnSchool in Littleton, Colorado, was therndemented product of two enduring legaciesrnof the Cold War: the consolidatedrnsuper-school and the rootless militaryrnfamily.rnThis is guaranteed not to be the conclusionrnof the sham National Dialoguernthat always follows such tragedies.rnAt first, the Harris-Klebold carnage wasrntallied a hate crime. “Minorities Targeted”rnread the headline in the local chainrnpaper on the day after, though soon it wasrnrevealed that the dead inckided only onernblack student, and he had been an athleternand thus one of the hated jocks.rnBefore the last bomb had detonated inrnColumbine, the mass media zombies—rnwho swallow the genuine grief of realrnpersons and recycle it as mawkish T’-rnmovie tripe —were drawing their invariablyrnprohibitionist lessons from Littieton.rnBan guns, censor the moronic MarilynrnManson, regulate video games and thernInternet and black fingernail polish.rnBut gun shows and schlock rock didrnnot kill those people. Conceding thatrnevil might grow in any garden, let us considerrnthe sorrv life of Eric Harris as thernproduct of the mobile and anonymousrnsociety bequeathed us by the GreatestrnGeneration.rnHarris was an army brat, spawn of arnbizarre subculture (revered by manyrn”conservatives”) that prizes rootiessnessrnand places transience next to godliness.rnHe grew up on a series of socialist reservations.rnThe family’s final move wasrnfrom Plattsburgh, New York, to Littleton,rn2,000 miles distant. There he becamernjust another brick in the wall of the inhumanlyrnlarge Columbine High, whosern1,950 students were connected by a webrnso attenuated that dozens might fallrnthrough the cracks without the principalrneven knowing tiieir names.rn6/CHRONICLESrnrnrn