Tag Archives: editorial

EDITORIAL: Russian Roulette

EDITORIAL

Russian Roulette

“Let him first respect his own signature.”

That was French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, talking last Saturday at a meeting of the European Union in Avignon, France.  He was talking about the “president” of Russia, Dmitri Medvedev, calling him worse than a liar, someone who signed a formal written promise and then broke it.  Kouchner says that Medevedev has violated at least half of the key terms he agreed to in a France-brokered ceasefire which sought to resolve the Georgia crisis.  For a diplomat from any country, much less France, to use language this stunningly tough (this, indeed, larussophobian) is sure and certain proof of just how utterly Russian foreign policy has come a cropper.  Even though Russia hasn’t used nearly as much military force in Georgia as the U.S. did in Iraq, and hasn’t deposed the country’s ruler as the U.S. did, the world’s reaction has been wholly different. Russia has been villified and condemned, and now stands in exactly the position it wished to place the U.S. in when it opposed U.S. action.  This is neo-Soviet failure, laid bare.

Writing in the Moscow Times on Monday Richard Hainsworth, CEO of RusRating, a Moscow-based credit rating agency, scathingly condemned the barbaric behavior of the Russian government during the Georgia crisis.  He began this way:

When Russian troops moved into Georgia, foreign investors moved out and the Russian market plummeted. When U.S. troops moved into Iraq, foreign investors hesitated but the U.S. market barely blipped. Is this a double standard? Not really.

Why not?  Because of simple fact that all the world, but not Russia, clearly understands.  As Hainsworth puts it: “Russia’s actions in Georgia were unpredictable and unexpected. Its aims and goals — starting with official pronouncements and ending with its actions on the ground –were difficult to disentangle.”  In other words, the manner in which the U.S. and Russian governments behave is as different as night and day. Hainsworth explains:

Whatever the reasons or motivations for Russia’s invasion into the sovereign territory of another country, investors were not prepared for this unpleasant surprise. Their investment models did not include this factor. When U.S. troops go anywhere, they are accompanied by journalists, news conferences and public warnings. Investors may not like a military conflict and they may be severely damaged by it, but they are prepared.

Russia hides from the truth.  It lies, and it gets caught in lies.  People who have money on the line don’t like this kind of behavior.  They don’t mind the use of military force, they understand its going to happen.  But they want it to be done in a manner that is predictable and reasonable, mature and responsible.  For all the criticism of U.S. president George Bush, as the American saying goes “money talks and B.S. walks.”  The international markets had no real problem with the Iraq invasion, but they were appalled by what Russia did in Georgia because Russian actions made it clear:  Today it’s Georgia, tomorrow it’s you.

As MT columnist Alexei Bayer has written: “Mark Twain remarked that history may not repeat itself, but it rhymes a lot. If so, recent events in Russia are starting to rhyme with some of the worst pages of the country’s history.”

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EDITORIAL: Russians Bashing Russia

EDITORIAL

Russians Bashing Russia

The United States gave it to Russia with both barrels over the weekend.

With U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in Ukraine and loudly denouncing Russian aggression and imperialism, the U.S. warship Mount Whitney sailed into the Georgian port of Poti with relief supplies even though it is still being held by Russian stormtroopers. It was an in-your-face moment Russia was just as helpless to do anything about as was tiny Georgia when Russian tanks rolled in.  How does that feel, Russians?  “President” Medvedev whimpered: “I wonder how they would feel if we now dispatched humanitarian assistance to the Caribbean, suffering from a hurricane, using our navy.”  Maybe they’d feel like sinking those ships, and do it — except that the U.S. hasn’t really rolled tanks into any Caribbean countries lately, has it? But if that’s how you think about the Whitney, Dima, excellent. Mission accomplished. So go ahead, Dima, sink the Whitney and block its delivery of humanitarian aid if you have the guts and the ability. Show the world what Russians are made of. And while you’re doing that, ask yourself how Russia would have felt if America behaved in Chechnya the way Russia has behaved in Georgia.  Ask yourself why U.S. warships are in the Black Sea, where they weren’t in July. But Medvedev wasn’t pondering those questions, nor did it appear there was any connection whatsoever between his brain and his mouth.

We have to admit, it’s rather startling to see the whole world — including many Russians themselves (Putin even lost his title of Russia’s sexiest man to, of all people, Boris Nemtsov) – talking about Russia in exactly the way we have been doing ever since April 2006 when this blog was founded (even far off Australia is considering repudiating its deal to sell uranium to Russia; it should do so). Then, we stood virtually alone in the world sounding the clarion call of warning.  Now, we’re conventional wisdom, even in Russia.

Let’s take a look at what three Russians are saying about their country these days.

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EDITORIAL: Russia, Sicker by the Minute

EDITORIAL

Russia, Sicker by the Minute

Russian officials have said Michael Lee White was a U.S. agent involved in the recent fighting between their troops and Georgia. They claim to have found the Army veteran’s passport in Georgia’s breakaway province of South Ossetia. But in his cramped teacher’s apartment at a business college in southern China, the American said Wednesday that he’d never been to Georgia. When the five-day war was raging last month, White said, he was in his hometown of Austin, Texas, caring for his sick father. The CIA denied that White was working for it. White thinks the passport the Russians have is one he lost during a flight from Moscow to New York in October 2005. White said he reported his lost passport and was given a new one the same year. “It still seems bizarre that they would make accusations like that with so little evidence,” said White, a soft-spoken English teacher. Russian officials have suggested that Americans directly supported Georgia’s Aug. 7 assault on South Ossetia, which is backed by Russia. Russian Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, showed reporters a copy of what he said was White’s passport Aug. 28. He said it was found in a basement among items that belonged to retreating Georgian soldiers.

– The Los Angeles Times, September 4th

Russia is a sick society, and it is getting sicker by the minute.  And we don’t mean physically sick, although Russia is about as ill in that manner as you can get, with the average male not living to see his sixtieth year and pandemic crises in AIDS, smoking, drinking and all manner of accident fatality.  What we’re talking about is between the ears:  Russia is a mental case.

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EDITORIAL: Serge Schmemann Blows it (Again)

EDITORIAL

Serge Schmemann Blows it (Again)

We’ve pointed out the malignant activities of Russophile scum bag Serge Schmemann, editorial page editor of the International Herald Tribune on several prior occasions.  We’re not the only ones who see the gaping flaws in Schmemann’s “analysis” of Russia by any means, and now the New York Times itself (IHT’s parent) has caught him in the act.

On August 22nd, Schmemann penned a book review for the Times headlined:  “To Russia with Love.”  The book was an account of a Soviet spy named Cy Oggins.  In it, Schmemann claimed that Oggins had been executed by Stalin because the dictator believed he had been “turned” by the West.  False.  In fact, Oggins was killed because he new too much about Soviet espionage to be repatriated. Schmemann also misspelled the name of Oggins’s wife and published a photograph with an erroneous caption claiming a mugshot was dated to the night of Oggins’s execution.  The Times was forced to append an embarrassing correction of this set of three shamelessly sloppy errors by its own editor. Think Schmemann insisted on apologizing for his profusion of gaffs? Think again. If the editor is this bad, can you imagine the quality of those Schmemann hires and supervises? We hardly dare to try.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg as far as the accuracy of Schmemann’s review is concerned.

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Special Extra — EDITORIAL: Sarah Palin for Vice President

The worst nightmare Vladimir Putin will ever have

The worst nightmare Vladimir Putin will ever have

EDITORIAL

Sarah Palin for Vice President

Last night, Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, gave one of the most breathtakingly inspirational political speeches in American history at the Party’s National Convention in Minnesota.  Leader of a state with massive untapped fossil fuel resources, as part of that masterful performance she declared:

With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers.

She spoke of John McCain as being among those who “have seen evil, and seen how evil is overcome.”

When the Republican primary season was just beginning, we endorsed John McCain for the Republican nomination without hesitation, and when he got it we ethusiastically endorsed him for the presidency. Our blog is now honored to carry his campaign badge in its sidebar.  His choice of Governor Palin, by far the most qualified of all the four major-party candidates in the race as the only one who has ever held elected executive authority, stands as one of the most brilliant political moves in the history of the presidency, and we endorse her for vice president without reservation. When we think about a sexist pig like Vladimir Putin being forced to sit across the table from a President Palin, a person he can never possibly hope to comprehend, we quite literally get goosebumps.

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EDITORIAL: Vladimir Putin, Unmasked at Last

EDITORIAL

Vladimir Putin, Unmasked at Last

We confess that, though we have been predicting it for years now, it has happened sooner and more spectacularly than any of us dared dream. 

Vladimir Putin has been unmasked and stands naked before the world. The $1 billion aid package for Georgia that the U.S. government has just announced is unmistakable proof that the world now clearly sees Putin for what he is:  evil incarnate.

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EDITORIAL: Words Americans Live by, Which Russians Should Learn

E pluribus unum -- From the many, one.

E pluribus unum -- From the many, one.

EDITORIAL

Words Americans Live by, Which Russians Should Learn

Time and again over the last two centuries, malignant dictators of every stripe have calculated that Americans will not fight, that they are a soft people used to comfort and will not stand for principle against the determined onslaught of fire and steel.

Each and every time, those dictators have been proved wrong.  Each and every time, the United States has seen the dictator into his grave, obliterating his nation and rewriting the history of the world.

In this past century alone, the efforts of the United States have laid low Japan, Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  Japan and Germany today are prosperous, happy nations that bear no resemblance to the maniacal dictatorships that challenged the United States and were destroyed by it.  And the United States bestrides the world like colossus.  Most recently, the United States was able tgo project its awesome military power to the other side globe and crush tyrranical regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan — projection of this kind of military power is something Russia has never accomplished once in its entire history, and cannot even dream of attempting. Little wonder Russia’s autocrats became so nervous about it.

But it now appears that the job in regard to the USSR was not completed.  The United States, it now seems foolishly, accepted the surrender of the USSR on highly favorable terms for Russia rather than physically liquidating it’s malignant regime when it had the chance, as had been done in Japan and Germany.   Once again, the forces of venal dictatorship, of haughty childish contempt for American values and indeed for the value of individual human life itself, rise beyond a new Iron Curtain. Once again, ignorant gray little men in lonely towers imagine they can bring down the United States with their furious hatred and delusional arrogance. Once again they believe that no nation can stand behind values like freedom and democracy when fire and steel are flying.

Little do they understand the mighty American people and the principles that guide them, which are consistently expressed throughout American history. Let’s remember them now:

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