When last we met Russophile scumbag Serge Schmemann (the freakish looking loser shown at left), he was lying to us about Russia and sports, barely able to conceal his sick Russophilic glee as he repeated absurd neo-Soviet propaganda he heard on state-owned Russian TV. Now, listen to him sing the praises of dictator Vladmir Putin (but first, grab your air-sick bag). From the New York Times with La Russophobe‘s running commentary exposing his naked, disgusting, treacherous propaganda.
Before turning to the author’s text, let’s have a word or two about the author himself, and the paper that’s publishing him. As for the Times, its financial fortunes are foundering and it’s embroiled in a massive controversy in which it gave the crazed left-wing propaganda outfit Moveon.org, funded by George Soros, a massive discount on a full-page ad so it could launch a treacherous attack on General David Petraeus. All through the Cold War, the Times took Russia’s side, blaming misguided U.S. policy for antagonizing the Russians and predicting that, given the chance, they’d build a democracy. When that didn’t happen, the Times needed to paint Putin as a “transitional figure” and “necessary strongman” in order to cover up its prior error. So it has a vested interest in minimizing Putin’s downside.
As for Serge Schmemann? Who is this pathetic loser who thinks he can “educate” us about the “real Russia”? Well,to start with, his tiny little stub entry in Wikipedia should clue you in. The reason his column gets published is that he’s the editorial page editor of the International Herald Tribune, a subsidiary of the New York Times company, hence he sometimes gets onto the Times pages as well. He lives in Paris and was born in France, so let’s just say that American national security isn’t exactly his number one concern.
Vladimir Putin enters the hall preceded, as usual, by Koni, his glossy black Labrador, and a swarm of acolytes and cameramen. He greets every member of a delegation of foreign Russia-watchers personally, with a firm handshake and a direct gaze.
LR: A “delegation of Russia watchers”? Could he be referring to the all-expenses-paid bribe-fest known as the Valdai Club, a sick and perverted propaganda exercise which we’ve previously exposed for what it is ? Maybe Stalin and Hitler also had firm handshakes. Maybe that was one of the reasons Neville Chamberlain found Hitler so impressive. How much of Putin’s caviar did Mr. Schmemann scarf down before writing these words, we wonder . . .
The Russian president is at the top of his game, and he knows it. He is powerful, popular and the master of a country that he has led from bankruptcy and despair to wealth and power in the space of less than eight years.
LR: Wealth? Is he drunk? The Kremlin might have more money than it used to, but that’s only because the price of oil skyrocketed — Putin had absolutely nothing to do with that. And the Kremlin isn’t wealthy by the standards of European government, it’s budget is rivaled by many large cities in the West. Russian people, by contrast (of course, this elitist maniac couldn’t care less about them, just as the Kremlin couldn’t) still work for $3/hour average wages and the men don’t live to reach age 60.
Two days earlier, he had regally replaced one obscure prime minister with another, setting Kremlin-watchers in Russia and abroad scrambling for clues as to what this might mean for the presidential election, now only six months off, and for his own future. He and his government maintain the myth that a real race is under way: there are five viable candidates already, including the new prime minister, Viktor Zubkov, Mr. Putin tells the visitors. But nobody really doubts that the next president will be Mr. Putin’s pick.
LR: As we’ve previously reported, Putin said that one of the “viable candidates” was walking charade Grigory Yavlinsky. He was either joking (as when he joked to an Israeli diplomatic delegation about rape) or he was quite simply insane. “Journalist” Schmemann chooses to ignore this fact because it gets in the way of his idol worship.
Nor does Mr. Putin leave any doubt that he will remain on the scene. “Naturally, this is a factor the next president will have to contend with,” he says, adding, seemingly unaware of the contradiction, “I will do everything to ensure his independence and effectiveness. I worked all these years to make Russia strong. Russia cannot be strong with a weak president.” But how will Mr. Putin retain power in a system in which he himself has gathered all the levers of power in the presidency? Is he so secure in his popularity that he can continue to rule from behind the scenes, like Deng Xiaoping did in China, or is he really worried that his successor might turn Russia in some other direction? Is Mr. Zubkov, 66, an apparatchik who had been dealing with financial crimes, really a candidate?
LR: This is an opinion piece, being written by someone who lives in a democratic country. Yet, not one single critical word is said by the author about this outrageous anti-democratic machinations, as if he’s some kind of biologist studying creatures under a microscope. It’s this kind of gibberish that, if we were Russian, would offend us far more than the “attacks” of so-called “enemies.”
While Moscow churns with these questions, Putin heads off for a day among the people in the Belgorod countryside, questioning them about their lives and patting their cows, all duly transmitted across the Russian expanse by loyal television networks. A strong president is above the political fray. Now, back at the president’s Black Sea residence here, one of many such lavish compounds Russia’s leaders inherited from the Soviet elite, Putin sits down in a cavernous hall with the foreign group, organized by RIA Novosti, the official Russian news agency. He spends the next three hours rattling off facts, figures and lessons. He is very good at this, as good as Bill Clinton was, and he clearly enjoys it, even throwing out the occasional joke. Asked about nepotism, he recalls a Soviet-era anecdote: “Can the son of a general become a general? Yes. Can he become a marshal? No, the marshal has his own sons.”
LR: Bill Clinton? Is this maniac trying to suggest some sort of similarity between Clinton, elected twice in real democratic elections faced by a powerful opponent, forced to endure debates and endless hostile questioning, and dictator Vladimir Putin? If so, how is that any different from what the KGB would do if they were writing this garbage?
The implication is clear: those quaint days are behind us. He does not disown the Soviet Union, for which he served as a K.G.B. agent, but the Russia he repeatedly invokes is a great, powerful, divinely ordained state that stretches back a thousand years. He is there to restore its glory, its power, its faith and, above all, its proper place in the world. And that is the unifying context of his presidency: Russia will be great and strong. It explains the repeated contradictions in the world view he expounds: Russia must have a multiparty democracy, but it cannot exist without a strong president. The economy is free, but the state must control its wealth. He is prepared to cooperate with the West, but readily switches to confrontation. He bristles at criticism of Russian democracy, which he sees purely as a Western ploy: “If you need something from Russia, you need to talk about the substance, not to approach it from another angle. If you need to resolve Kosovo, talk about Kosovo. If you need to resolve the nuclear issue with Iran, talk of Iran. Not democracy in Russia.”
LR: Pure propaganda. Not one single critical word. Channeling the KGB. Disgusting. Outrageous. Just what you’d expect from the moonbats of the New York Times.
There are distinct echoes of the Soviet Union in this blend of bluster, insecurity and pride. But Mr. Putin’s Russia is definitely a new hybrid. There’s no threat of a new cold war, no ideology of world domination. The president enjoys a level of popularity and legitimacy Soviet leaders never had. However authoritarian Mr. Putin’s rule might be, argues Grigory Yavlinsky, an opposition politician who is highly critical of the president, his rise is a logical consequence of the brutal disappointment of the Russians after the collapse of Communism — hyperinflation, political wars, cronyism and the financial crisis of the 1990s, humiliations inflicted by the West.
LR: Just when you think it can’t possibly get any more breathtakingly revolting, it does. Did this neanderthal cretin actually say that “there’s no threat of a new cold war” from Vladimir Putin? How then does he explain Putin repeatedly buzzing various NATO states with nuclear bombers, totally unprovoked by similar acts on their part? How does he explain Russia’s attacks on Georgia, or its weaponization of energy (as documented above)? How does he explain Russia’s massive increases in defense spending, and its provision of weapons to rogue states like Iran and Venezuela and Hamas and Hezbollah? Hmm . . . apparently he explains it all by simply not mentioning it. How very neo-Soviet. How very treacherous. This individual is the scum of the Earth. Oh, how we despise him.
Now, Russians have a combination of personal freedoms and prosperity they’ve never had before. They can travel abroad and surf the Internet; their culture is booming; they can make money. Politics? There’s a problem there, but in new Russia, with its glittering stores and fast pace, who cares?
LR: People who earn $3/hour can travel abroad? Surf the Internet? People who don’t live to 60? Culture is booming? Care to give one single example of how Russian culture is infiltrating the West? Care to give ANY actual facts about ANYTHING? No, he just wants us to take his word for it. He probably thinks Anna Politkovskaya is enjoying her new personal freedom right now, and so is Alexander Litivnenko and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. What a demon! What filth! Today’s Russia is no different than the Russia of 100 years ago — a tiny class of super elite with lots of privileges and the vast majority of the country suffering untold horror. In fact, come to think of it, that’s just the way it was in Soviet times too, wasn’t it?
This is Mr. Putin’s Russia. No matter that the oil boom is in great part responsible for his successes; he has brought a measure of stability and pride where his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, the “democrats” and the West all failed. He will not be preached to. He will not be pushed around on Iran or Kosovo. He will be treated with respect. So look for more of Mr. Putin. In what guise, we will soon learn. With what goal and style, there is no doubt.
LR: Oil boom? Suddenly now in the very last paragraph he acknowledges the oil boom? Oh, that’s mighty generous of Mr. Schmemann. Exactly what a KGB propagandist would have done. He even seems to admit that Putin’s worldview isn’t exactly based on facts . . . but do you notice that he doesn’t give us one single word of advice about how we should deal with that kind of evil (much less all the evil that he chooses not to mention).
No wonder the New York Times‘ stock price is plummeting! No wonder we can’t get a correct policy on Russia, when these kind of idiots are being published in the “paper of record.” It’s not that hard to understand how we missed the opportunity to nip the first cold war in the bud, allowing Stalin to consolidate his power, when one reflects on gibberish of this kind.
It must be stopped. This man and his ilk are our enemies, as much as Vladimir Putin. Maybe more, because at least Putin doesn’t pretend to be one of us.