EDITORIAL: Robert Bridge, Shameless Neo-Soviet Liar

EDITORAL

Robert Bridge: Shameless Neo-Soviet Liar

Robert Bridge, Neo-Soviet Liar

Robert Bridge, Neo-Soviet Liar

On September 28, 2008, American citizen Robert Bridge was interviewed on the Kremlin’s propaganda TV network “Russia Today.” RT characterized the interview as follows: “Robert Bridge from the Moscow News weekly says Europe should think over if it is really interested in U.S. leadership.”

Sounds like something the Kremlin itself might say, doesn’t it? How might Russians react if a Russian (say, Garry Kasparov) said something like that about Russia? Might they not call him a traitor and seek to incarcerate him? Would they not, perhaps, even be motivated to violence?  The Kremlin’s official English-language propaganda blog, Russia Profile, also admires Bridge’s work, as does the Guardian-PSJ blog, the reincarnation of the failed Intelligent.ru Russophile orgy led by the same pathological Kremlin apologist Sergei Roy who was the longtime editor of the Moscow News. Bridge moonlights as the copy editor for the Russia in Global Affairs blog put out by Fyodor Lukyanov, another darling of Russia Today who recently authored a piece in the Moscow Times headlined “United States Lost Russia and Everything Else.”  Not just a lot of things, mind you — everything.  Lukyanov is a member of the “Russian Council on Foreign and Defense Policy” which is chaired by fire-breathing Russian nationalist Dmitri Rogozin.

The Moscow News is one of the more obscure and irrelevant sources of information about Russia that exists in the world, which is why it’s taken us a bit of time to get around to the loathsome little reptile who runs it.  We have, however, previously exposed the sheer nonsense spewed forth by one of his “reporters.” The paper was founded by communists in the 1930s (thus making it the oldest English-language publication currently operating in Russia), and then faced with bankruptcy and failure was purchased by oil oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovky.  Khodorkovsky installed opposition journalist Yevgeny Kiselyov to clean house, but the paper’s staff revolted and the effort failed, whereupon the paper was snapped up by Kremlin-controlled wire service RIA Novosti (the paper’s website is currently hosted on RIA’s server).  In other words, the Moscow News these days is little different from Russia Today itself, and Robert Bridge is its very own Peter Lavelle.  In other other words, it’s full of truly ridiculous lies. 

Bridge writes articles with titles like “Ten Reasons why Russia can’t trust Uncle Sam” and then he turns around and complains that the Russian perspective is not fairly reflected in Western commentary about Russia.  He has argued in support of the outageous anti-American propaganda film about the 9/11 terrorist attack which recently aired on Russian state-owned TV, asserting doubts “that a civilian Boeing aircraft had crashed into the Pentagon building” and asking:  “In any plane crash there are remains left. There is luggage, there are seats, etc.: Why did this plane crash so differently from any other crash we have seen?”

On August 14th, Bridge wrote the following in a column about the war between Russia and Georgia:

On August 8, at the crack of dawn, Georgian forces launched a full-scale sneak attack on the breakaway region of South Ossetia. By lunchtime, and despite Georgia’s tiny military machine, over a thousand civilians were reported dead, and tens of thousands scampering for safety. And you did not have to be a military analyst to cringe at the news that about a dozen Russian peacekeepers and hundreds of Russian passport-holders were amongst the fatalities.

That’s quite a lot of shameless lies to pack into such a small space, isn’t it? Let’s list them for Mr. Bridge, shall we?

(1) The war begin at 11 pm on August 7th, not at “dawn” on August 8th and had actually been “launched” several hours before that, when Georgia forces moved out of their bases in the late afternoon.

(2) It was not a “full scale” attack. Only a tiny fraction of Georgia’s military entered South Ossetia.  In fact, Georgia couldn’t have launched a “full scale” attack even if it had wanted to, because it had a large contingent of soliders stationed in Iraq as peacekeepers.  The light Georgia forces that moved into Ossetia were easily brushed aside by the invading Russian forces that responded.

(3) It was not a “sneak” attack. Georgia’s president went on national TV and begged Russia to accept a cease fire, warning that if it didn’t he would have no choice but to silence the Ossetian guns. Russia ignored his pleas.

(4) The “report” of 1,000 civilian casualties came from the Russian government itself, and it was totally false. In fact, less than 200 civilians were killed in the attack, and many may have been killed by Russian forces during their bombardment of the Ossetian capital.

(5) The Russian forces were not “peacekeepers.” They did nothing to restrain the unprovoked military assault by Ossetian forces on Georgian targets during the days prior to the war, and their presence was not authorized by any international body.

Bridge then asks plaintively upon viewing a BBC report on the war: “You may be asking, or screaming, as I was, where is the Russian point of view? Well, it was graciously provided by the fuming Georgians, Western diplomats and western politicians. I guess all of the Russians were too busy brandishing arms to pause for an interview for BBC.”

Let’s help him find it, shall we?  Major western newspapers published columns by former Russian ruler Mikhail Gorbachev and current Russian foreign minister Segei Lavrov.  The Washington Post even published an op-ed by a Russian student of journalism, one of its interns.  There are dozens of other examples, all folks taking Russia’s side and criticizing the president of Georgia, who was assailed by many for making a major miscalculation.

And now let’s ask Mr. Bridge: Where was America’s perspective on Russian television and in the Russian presss? Where was Georgia’s? And where were your complaints that Russia was not giving a fair share of airtime to those views?  Did any leading Russian newspaper publish a column in Georgia’s defense by, say, George H.W. Bush or Condoleezza Rice?  Doesn’t Mr. Bridge have anything to say about the reporter who was fired by Russia Today for trying to tell the whole story of Russia’s invasion? It seems not. Didn’t Vladimir Putin, whose decision to invade has now been repudiated by the entire civilized world, and the same for his unilateral decision to annex Ossetia and Abkhazia, make any mistakes during the conflict?  Do the pages of the Kremlin-owned Moscow News document any such examples? And how about journalist access to Ossetia and Abkhazia right now? Doesn’t Mr. Bridge have anything to say about the total exclusion of foreign journalists from the area?

Bridge continues:

But here is the incredible part of this conflict that has so conspicuously escaped the attention of the media: Saakashvili punched far below the belt by authorizing his audacious military assault the day after a cease-fire agreement had been struck between Georgia and the separatists. This trick had been out-of-style ever since Hitler employed it against Soviet Russia. The media barely raised an eyebrow over this dirty deed.

But still, this is not the most deplorable part of Saakashvili’s master plan. This clearly pathological and monomaniacal man, who has dragged the good name of democracy through the mud to conceal his nationalistic fervor, chose to launch this war under the cover of the sacrosanct Olympic Games, an event that brings leaders, global citizens and athletes together for peaceful competition just once every four years. To plan a war is one thing, but to deliberately plan it to break out on the opening day of the most momentous event in the history of human civilization, is simply evil.  Saakashvili’s loss of credibility as a responsible leader should be the top order of every news channel.

Another torrent of lies. Shall we list them again? Let’s do:

(1)  Georgia offered a cease fire, the president did so on national TV. The Ossetians ignored it and continued their shelling of Georgian territory. Only then did Saakashvili attack, as any leader of any country would have done in his place.  The media “barely raised an eyebrow” because there was no “dirty deed.”

(2)  Saakashvili was elected by the people of Georgia in an poll international observers approved of as free and fair.  Comparing him to Adolf Hitler is the statement of a madman.

(3) Is it “nationalistic fervor” to seek to retain deny other nations the ability to annex part of your territory? Was Vladimir Putin guilty of “nationalistic fervor” when he invaded Chechnya? Did the Moscow News accuse him of it?

(4) Everyone agrees that it was the Ossetians who fired first.  If anyone “chose to launch this war under the cover of the sacrosanct Olympic Games” it was Ossetia, with no effort by Russian “peacekeepers” to prevent it from doing so.

(5) When speaking of “loss of credibility as a responsible leader” the chief topic of conversation is Vladimir Putin.  Hindsight now makes Mr. Bridge look like an utter fool, as every nation in the civilized world has condemned Russia for aggression Georgia and refused to recognize Russia’s crude annexation of the disputed territories.

(6)  Note how this “journalist” addresses the president of Georgia:  He calls him “evil” and “pathological” and “monomaniacal.”  Aren’t these exactly the same words that the Kremlin itself is using to describe the President of Georgia? 

These are the “friends” of the Kremlin and the people of Russia, those whose only gift is the naked lie, helping Russia to maintain its current course towards oblivion, the same course followed by the USSR at the urging of its own “friends” not very many years ago.

Woe is Russia!

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16 responses to “EDITORIAL: Robert Bridge, Shameless Neo-Soviet Liar

  1. funny it took so long for him to be on russia today. he’s a hack, and has been writing tired and worn-out stuff about being ‘an american in moscow’ for several years now.
    “i’m an american in moscow, so unique, so adventurous, my perspective is so special, let me tell you about the banya, the russian soul, and the kitchen-table conversations, etc, etc,”
    etc”—-
    its a VERY tired routine—-
    these guys, and i’ve known alot of them—are typically from affluent u.s. suburbs, studied russian in college, and moscow’s where they feel special and unique.
    again—if you’ve lived in moscow for many years you’ve seen this type a million times.
    and now thanks to russia today they get to be on TV too—whatever.

  2. It’s very fitting that LR has gone after Robert Bridge, who would be almost unreadable were it not for the hilarity of his arguments.

    Here’s a recent quote from his article, “West Still Asking: Who is Mr. Putin?” Which can be found here http://mnweekly.ru/columnists/20080905/55345171.html

    “Having lived in Russia for the duration of Putin’s presidency, I am at a loss to explain what irritates the West about this man. After all, he achieved everything “we” demanded from Russia: the economy is back on track; the military has full control over its weapons of mass destruction; and nowhere else is freedom more alive and well than on a Russian street. Finally, Putin fully respected the borders of foreign nations – something the US, NATO and the EU glaringly failed to do.”

    This quote reminds me of the famous Soviet joke about free speech and Nixon. An American and a Russian are arguing over freedom in their respective countries. The American says, “America is so free, I can go to the gates of the White House and shout: ‘Nixon is a criminal!'” To which the Soviet citizen replies, “So what? The USSR is just as free. I can also go to Red Square, to the gates of the Kremlin, and shout, ‘Nixon is a criminal!'”

    I’ll have to dig the ref out, but there’s another fantastic R Bridge article where he argues that Moscow is the greenest, most environmentally-friendly city on the planet…

  3. Come on, are the Olympics really the pinnacle of human civilization as this character suggests? Every 2 years all warfare on Earth stops for a couple weeks while we all sit around and watch underage gymnasts or curling stars? Where does this guy get his news? Oh right, RT.

    Sad.

  4. I rather like his articles.

    You claimed he wrote the article that you criticized on August 14th. You’re criticizing him on October 20th, when more facts are out. In fact, on August 14th, 2000 SO deaths was the official figure, and only afterwards was it revised into a couple hundred. Which is pretty bad in itself. The other facts were also disputed at the time, so you can’t really fault him that.

    The other part, where he mentions the Olympics, your responses are rather.. sad. It’s universally accepted that Georgia struck the first blow. Everyone in the United States and Europe except Saakashvili himself know it, though the US folks try to skirt the issue altogether. It was proven by US satellites – I saw an article in the Kommersant somewhere about it. If you can provide a source that ‘It’s accepted that SO fired the first shot’, that’d be nice. And I mean something other then the standard skirmishes that were present for the last sixteen years.

    Saakashvili being a democrat.. believe it or not, a democrat doesn’t attack his own people.

    As f0r the reporter who was fired at Russia Today.. a reporter of Der Spiegel, a german news group, very ‘free’, left because he wasn’t allowed to show photos of the SO capital. And CNN showed SO pictures and said they were Georgian. All accepted.

  5. Having worked for an English-speaking, US-owned weekly newspaper in Prague (The Prague Post) where the US-staff mainly consisited of people who had some beef with their own country in the first place and/or would not get a decent job at home so they tried to settle the bill this ways. Socialists, draft dodgers, middle aged ex-flower power frustrated spinsters, “useful idiots” like Arie Farnam who is active in the Russian secret service funded activist group against the missile/radar site in PL and CZ.
    Experiencing that I would be surprised if the political leaning of Moscow Times staff would be THAT different.

  6. perhaps he’ll take over soon for lavelle.
    lavelle doesn’t speak russian, has zero russian friends, so at least this clown is able to feel what russia is like beyond the official propaganda.
    “robert bridge here, i’m an american in moscow, and i just went for a troika ride, had tea from a real samovar, and even rode the moscow metro, and now i’m off to eat blini and i’ll tell you about it soon.”

  7. Apparently, Biden agrees with Mr. Bridge.

  8. Wow, interesting career path for someone I use to know well.

  9. Dear’ Editorial’ Get your act together, the tone of the language that you have used obviously states that articles of Mr. Bridge has touched you on a personal level. It’s been written in such abusive and idiotic tone, that I could not leave it unanswered.

    I like Robert Bridge, I like he’s and the articles of Moscow news. I like them for their positivity, their overall intellectual level, the way they (like it or not) love and reflect where they live, without attacking and bad mouthing the ones with opposite opinions. (A valuable diplomatic lesson for you)

    I have arrived in Moscow 5 years ago, and created my life from the scratch. I am a young and successful entrepreneur. I remember my very first arrival in Moscow, when I sat in a cafe in one pleasant July day, trying to enjoy my visit with not knowing any one, with nothing to do. That’s when I gazed at the English newspaper that I have found on the chair, called Moscow News. I left that cafe with a smile on my face, and followed it until this day.

    Intelligence and humor, two very essential tools to attract people and to succeed in life. Unfortunately, it definitely seems to be missing from the author of the main article.

    Let me ask you a question, have you ever noticed how dull, negative and aggressive is the paper called Moscow Times is? I am sure you do as the tone of your aggression reminded me of articles that I’ve read in this paper. Have you ever noticed, how bad and awkward the contents of the articles do look in Every single photo, from politics to Sports. If you can brand Moscow news as an old communist propaganda, you should also be able to asses Moscow Times, as a US republican funded bad mouthing machine, a hundred times easier. By the way, can you imagine such paper existing Somewhere in America??
    Simple Test for anyone, read a copy of Moscow News, and then the Moscow Times, ask yourself how you feel after reading the each paper.

    I’m not even talking about politics. Love and be loved. If that is too difficult, at least don’t talk at all, then maybe somebody will approach to you.

  10. So Tan, we should ignore all the horrors of Russia, new and old, because to expose them is not “positive”?

    What a copout.

    Unfortunately you are probably the same sort of person who did not want to hear about the horrors of soviet rule because it was “too negative”

    Unfortunately there are still many “useful idiots” such as yourself around. Including the ones that write for Moscow News.

  11. I think that all worthy and decent people are to be very greatefull for creators of this site-page for relieving the truth about the greater manipulator of facts, the political acrobat, the ardent proponent of Neo-Soviet falsified ideology and disinginious old Soviet styled propaganda who always keeping his political balance by manipulating of facts and spreading lies about ideas and conceptions of what he even does not have any sence at all. Politics are too serious a matter to be left to the boulevard jornalists like Mr Bridge. But surely, who pays the piper calls the tune. It is most likely, that the Kremlin masters pay him well for that. The present Russia that one that Mr Bridge so ardently loves and supports much resembles the former Soviet Union. The key element of Mr. Putin’s increasing authoritarianism is his reliance upon the military and, to an even greater extent, upon Russia’s internal security affaires- FSB the secret police of the Communist era. Furthermore, most of Putin’s staff is either from the armed forces or from the internal spy services. That is why, today the activity of Russia’s democratic institutions is dismissed as a farce, while the alleged course toward suppression of freedom and human rights is perceived as an official policy priority while power continues to concentrate in the hands of all powered Putin himself, who is slowly taking more and more control of the Russian Empire. The key sources of politics are in Russia’s imperial thinking and imperial methods, combining with violence, human rights violation, treachery, false ideology, and disingenuous, sophisticated propaganda that were used by the party, the KGB, and the military. So, you are liar Mr Bridge because you trying to foolish people. But as Abraham Lincoln used to say, you can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.

  12. Regardless of Mr. Bridge’s opinion, it’s low of you to call him a liar and try to asassinate his character. What ever happened to tact & diplomacy?
    Shame on you.

    James Scott
    Moscow

    p.s. He’s spot on in his article :-)

    • Regardless of Mr. Scott’s opinion, it’s low of him to call us low and to try to assassinate our character. Whatever happened to tact and diplomacy?

      p.s.: we’re spot on in our article :-)

    • Actually pom, his article has been taken to bits even by the IFFM report.

  13. Great post i must say and thanks for the details.
    Education is definitely a sticky subject. Nevertheless, continues to be on the list of top topics of our time.
    We enjoy your posting and appearance toward extra.

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