Alfred Kokh, Rat Bastard
Time for another readalong, where we take you on a pulse-pounding line-by-line journey through the twisted mind of a Russophile psychopath. This time its Alfred Kokh, former deputy prime minister under Boris Yeltsin and the author of the upcoming book A Crate of Vodka: An Insider View On The 20 Years That Shaped Modern Russia, writing in the Christian Science Monitor. His words verbatim in ordinary print, our commentary following in boldface.
It’s a truism that stable and friendly relations between two countries require each to look at a situation from the other’s point of view. The recent tussle between Russia and the West over Georgia is a stark reminder of how the United States has fundamentally never understood Russia’s point of view. The conventional view is that Russia in recent years has been pushing away from the West. But the reverse is more accurate. The Russia-Georgia conflict is a consequence of the West’s “pushing away” of Russia.
He’s right, of course, about it being necessary “to look at a situation from the other’s point of view.” But what he fails to acknowledge is that nobodyin mainstream Russian media is allowed to look at anything from America’s point of view. America routinely publishes the drivel of lunatics like this, but there is zero reciprocity in Russia. Just this past week, we reported on how Professor Boris Sokolov was fired for daring to raise America’s viewpoints on the Georgia crisis. To suggest that America can make better relations with Russia by one-sidedly considering Russian interests is such nonsense that it could only come from one of Boris Yeltsin’s flunkies. Let’s not forget that Yeltsin is utterly despised by the people of Russia and personally responsible for putting Vladimir Putin in power. The West is “pushing away” Russia in exactly the same way Russia “pushed away” Nazi Germany. Was that a bad thing? Is this ape suggesting Russia should have done more to “understand” Nazi motivations? Those with weak stomachs, turn away now. It gets much, much worse as it goes on. You have been warned.
“In Russia, whatever be the appearance of things, violence and arbitrary rule is at the bottom of them all. Tyranny rendered calm by the influence of terror is the only kind of happiness which this government is able to afford its people. If they wish to be recognized by the European nations, and treated as equals, they must begin by submitting to hear themselves judged.”
– Marquis De Custine, Empire of the Czar: A Journey Through Eternal Russia, ch. 37 (1843, rev. 1989).
Some idiot named Daria Chernyshova is writing an occasional column for the irrelevant Moscow News called “A Russian Briefer.” Fortunately for those who are inclined to mirth, as the title alone indicates, it does not seem there is anyone with a native command of the English language who is inclined to assist Ms. Chernyshova with her highly stilted prose, which only helps to make her ridiculous drivel that much more stilted and hysterically ludicrous. Any time you’d like a nice roll on the floor convulsed in uncontrollable fits of laughter, just tune in to Channel Chernyshova (you can also catch her on that bastion of accuracy in Russia reporting, Kremlin-controlled Russia Profile).
We’ll sum her up this way: As a journalist, she’s a great little piece of ass.
In her most recent installment, Chernyshova states:
A group of students are standing next to the examination room. The German asks: “Why don’t they let us enter? They are already 3 minutes late.” An American says, “Can you explain to me the meaning of this?” Finally, the Russian asks: “What exam are we to take today? Please! May I have a look at someone’s notes?” What strikes observers about this approach to our work is that the outcome – when it finally comes – is brilliant. No matter how long a task may take to fulfil, a Russian will eventually get the job done. One wonders how Russians succeed with such an attitude. Though we are mostly Northern residents, our inner passion explains everything.
This is truly Russia in a nutshell. And we do mean nut.
Of Rats and Ships
We continue to be amazed at the extent to which the Russophile rats are leaping off Vladimir Putin’s listing ship of state. It’s almost enough to make us think we’re not being hard enough on neo-Soviet Russia, that things behind the new iron curtain are worse than even we dare to imagine.
We’ve previously written, for instance, about how Discovery Institute bigwig Bruce Chapman began backing away from the Putin regime after uber-blogger Charles Johnson took him to the woodshed over DI’s pathologically dishonest and warped coverage of the Georgia crisis on Russia Blog. We can’t prove it, but we believe Chapman has been read the riot act by the conservative donors who support him, and has tried to impose a course correction on Yuri Mamchur, the loose cannon Russian citizen who runs the blog as a pro-Kremlin PR project. After a relentless barrage of one-sided Kremlin propaganda from Mamchur, Chapman personally entered the fray on Georgia and called Putin “silly” for believing that a U.S.-sponsored plot lay behind the Georgian move into Ossetia. You can bet that didn’t go down too easy with Mamchur, to say the least.
And then there’s Andreas Umland.
We haven’t done one of our little readalongs for some time now, where we publish somebody’s op-ed column and then comment on it paragraph by paragraph, and we’ve missed them. So let’s pick up where we left off, this time with one Andrew C. Kuchins (pictured, left), director and senior fellow of the Russia and Eurasia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, writing in the Moscow Times. FYI, Kremlin-sponsored propaganda TV network Russia Today simply adores Mr. Kuchins. Does the “C” stand for “Chamberlain”? You be the judge, dear reader, you be the judge. We’ve previously called this nasty little bastard on the carpet for his torrent of pro-Kremlin propaganda.
His column is in standard typeface, our comments follow in bold.
Before heading to Moscow to participate in the recent Valdai Discussion Club, I had the sense that the United States was on the verge of a new era of confrontation with Moscow that could prove far more dangerous and unstable than the previous Cold War. Alliances are more rickety and as the war last month in Georgia proves, communication not always clear with tragic results. Suffice to say that the Valdai meetings did little to alleviate my concerns. The Russian presenters, with the exception of opposition figure Garry Kasparov, were all singing from the same song sheet: “We don’t want a new era of confrontation, but the choice is yours” — the United States’. And from the U.S. side, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a powerful speech on Sept. 18, concluding, “The decision is Russia’s and Russia’s alone.” Obviously both Moscow and Washington have choices, but I have little confidence U.S. leaders will make the right ones that will enhance the security of the United States and Europe, let alone Russia. What Washington needs right now is not megaphone diplomacy with Moscow, but real diplomacy.
So let’s see if we understand. This guy has just come back from Sochi after stuffing his face full of Russian lobsters and caviar and hobnobbing with Vlad the Impaler, and now he’s convinced that all the problems between Russia and America are the latter’s fault. Russians are sweet innocent little babies who only want love and affection, freedom and good will. Seems like that lobster money was well spent, no?
Kremlin stooge Vladimir Frolov
Annals of Vladimir Frolov, Pathological Neo-Soviet Liar
Surely one of the most shamelessly mendacious Russia commentators in the world is Vladimir Frolov; you know all you need to know about him when you know that regularly publishes his pro-Kremlin propaganda tracts on Russia Blog, which we’ve repeatedly discredited as the blatant Putin shill it is, and Russia Profile, which is actually operated by the Kremlin itself. We’ve previously exposed the relentless torrent of lies issued by Frolov (indeed, that Publius Pundit piece appears on the first page of the Google return when Frolov’s name is searched on their engine), but on September 22nd, Frolov, seething with neo-Soviet hatred and bile, published an op-ed in the Moscow Times in which he plumbed new depths of dishonesty.
Frolov called the U.S. Secretary of State “bizarre” for suggesting that it was a bad idea for Russia to isolate itself. He argued that, quite to the contrary, isolation is a fine idea, and proclaimed: ”Russian leaders are taking sweeping measures to insulate the economy from the financial contagion that is now sucking the United States into an economic black hole.”
Frolov is, of course, lying. His frenzied pathology of anti-Western loathing and jealousy, needing to use words like “bizarre” and “contagion,” is plain for all to see, as is the extent to which it blinds him not only from basic facts but also from the ability to see how embarassingly transparent the resulting lies really are.
The Story of David and Goliaputin
See that fellow above? Sure, you see him. He’s the one standing next to the burning cross and wearing the KKK costume. The one who’s probably just about ready to go lynch some black and/or Jewish children, and likely salivating at the prospect.
His name is David Duke, an infamous American wacko and racist, proud card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan. Think of him as Pat Buchanan without the pretense.
And guess what! Just like Pat, David Loves Vladimir Putin’s KGB-dominated, hyper-racist state of Russia!
There are some news reports we publish on this blog that are so revolting that even we, who fully expect them and are well used to such things, lack words to describe them. Vladimir Putin told Time magazine last year that he was annoyed to find Westerners insist on thinking of his country as “a little bit savage.” And indeed, from this story it is clear we are wrong to do so. Russians are a lot savage! The Telegraph reports:
The Daily Telegraph can disclose that Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, reacted with fury when Mr Miliband and he spoke on the telephone. Mr Lavrov objected to being lectured by the British.
Such was the repeated use of the “F-word” according to one insider who has seen the transcript, it was difficult to draft a readable note of the conversation. One unconfirmed report suggested that Mr Lavrov said: “Who are you to f—— lecture me?”
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.
Olga Ivanova, 2007 Muskie Scholarship Program, Duquesne University
Olga Ivanova, Liar or Neo-Soviet Patsy?
On August 15th, a Russian graduate student in journalism from Duquesne University named Olga Ivanova published an op-ed article in the Washington Post. In it, without attribution to any specific source, she repeated as fact the following Kremlin propaganda statement:
Within hours, Georgian troops destroyed Tskhinvali, a city of 100,000, and they killed more than 2,000 civilians. Almost all of the people who died that night were Russian citizens. They chose to become citizens of Russia years ago, when Georgia refused to recognize South Ossetia as a non-Georgian territory.
She then compared Georgia’s attack on its breakaway province of Ossetia to the actions of Nazi Germany that led to World War II, implying Georgia’s democratically elected leader was analogous to Adolf Hitler. As far as we can tell, that’s Olga pictured above, showing her participation in the Muskie Scholarship Program of the U.S. Department of State; apparently, the U.S. government funded all or part of her education. Click here to listen to her being interviewed by NPR.
These factual claims by Ivanova were not only totally false, they were made based solely on statements issued by the Russian government, a highly interested party, without disclosing that fact to Post readers, and Ivanova has done nothing to set the record straight — all while purporting to lecture Americans about their journalism standards.
Here’s the real story.
The Enemy Within
We’ve written before about the pro-dictatorship propaganda being churned out in the name of American conservatism by the Discovery Institute’s Russia Blog, which is run by one Yuri Mamchur, a Russian citizen, and which works closely with the Kremlin’s propaganda TV network Russia Today and its propaganda website Russia Profile. It’s not surprising to see an affinity between the intelligent-design-promoting Institute and the Putin’s Russia, of course, since as Christopher Hitchens says “the black-cowled phalanx of Russian Orthodox Christianity is back at the side of the new czar.” Putin wants to create a Holy Russian Empire, and it seems Discovery Institute wants to be a part of it. Probably, they’d enjoy a similar transformation of the United States.
Such a nexus is particularly troubling when Russia begins to expand outside its borders using military force in an effort to annex parts of independent, democratically governed secular states — as recently happened in Georgia. Therefore, we take this opportunity to review that institution’s coverage of the Georgia conflict and to remind unwary web readers of who they are and what they are about.
Writing in the Moscow Times Russia scholar Richard Pipes exposes the fraud that was Alexander Solzhenitsyn:
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, viewed as a political figure, was very much in the Russian conservative tradition — a modern version of Dostoevsky. Like the great 19th-century writer, Solzhenitsyn despised socialism and yet had no use for Western culture with its stress on secularism, freedom and legality.