Putin’s Legion of Liars
The most damning argument against the rule of Vladimir Putin is the pathetic character of those who seek to defend him.
In our last issue we carried a report from the New York Times about Putin’s ongoing efforts to liquidate journalists who dare to criticize his regime. Predictably, Putin’s defenders responded with the tired Russophile canard that journalists are also being attacked in America, so it’s just fine for Russia to do so. By this “logic,” of course, since Russia invaded Georgia it’s just fine for Poland to attack Kaliningrad. Russia couldn’t complain? The “logic” also implies that America and Russia have the same histories of totalitarian abuse followed by national collapse, and the same standards of living. They don’t, actually, and in fact aren’t remotely comparable in either regard.
But more importantly, quite often the smears they launch against the West simply aren’t true. Take for example the first commenter on the NYT story at the the paper’s website, calling herself “Maria Ashot” and claiming to be from London. She wrote:
I note with interest the hundreds of articles I have read published in the US and the EU about journalists who are crime victims in Russia. How many articles have you published, New York Times, about Chauncey Bailey? Certainly I have come across ZERO aticles about Chauncey Bailey in European publications — including Russian publications. Why is that? Double standards, anyone?
Lies, nothing but lies.
Google News showed more than 100 stories about Bailey in the last month alone. CBS News. The San Franscisco Chronicle. On and on. And the NYT had published numerous stories about Mr. Bailey as well, something another commenter was quick to point out. “Ms. Ashot” was simply making up her “facts” as she went along, hoping nobody would check so she would dupe the unwary.
Even if she had been telling the truth about the coverup, “Ms. Ashot’s” attempt to analogize between American and Russian reporters is even more dishonest. The very notion that American journalists who challenge the White House are facing the same risks as Russian journalists who challenge the Kremlin is obscenely stupid, a blasphemy against all the heroic Russian reporters who have laid down their lives for truth. There is no analogy to be found between the Bailey and Politkovskaya cases, as anyone even slightly familiar with the two cases can instantly recognize. It’s laughable that these Russophile lackeys think the world might be convinced otherwise.
And even if America were as bad as Russia, America doesn’t have a long recent history of totalitarian rule followed by national collapse. Russia does. Russia simply can’t afford, not even in good economic times, to travel the same road of failure — and these aren’t good economic times for Russia. Nor can Russia stand to besmirch the memory of so many Russians wiped out by the Soviet regime.
On all these levels, “Ms. Ashots’s” comments are certifiably insane, laughably dishonest and directly contrary to Russia’s best interests.
But this is par for the course in a Russia governed by a proud KGB spy. It’s simply impossible to defend him using actual facts, so you have to make them up. Soon, you get used to doing it, and soon after that you start to believe your own lies. Within Russia, there is nobody to contradict you, since there are few available sources of real information and most are too terrified of violent retribution to speak out.
But this is not the Soviet Union’s world. Russia has been exposed time and time again, and these shameless liars only look more and more ridiculous as they scurry to cover up the failures of the Kremlin’s KGB incompetents. If the people of Russia don’t soon realize that it is these “defenders” who are Russia’s true enemies, Russia will collapse just as the USSR did, for the same reasons.