EDITORIAL: Biden in Ukraine & Georgia

EDITORIAL

Biden in Ukraine & Georgia

48207660Visiting Ukraine and Georiga last week, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (shown at left meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko) had some tough words for Vladimir Putin:  “As we reset the relationship with Russia, we reaffirm our commitment to an independent Ukraine, and we recognize no sphere of influence or no ability of any other nation to veto the choices an independent nation make.”   He told the people of these two besieged nations something they’ve been waiting too long to hear, that America sends “an unequivocal, clear message to all who will listen and some who don’t want to listen, that America stands with you and will continue to stand.” And he said that Russia “used a pretext” to invade Georgia

The people of Georgia were literally begging for these words from Biden:  Hundreds lined his motorcade route  holding signs imploring him:  “Don’t forget us!”  They know that, quite literally, the only thing that stands between them and the jaws of bloodthirsty Russian aggression is the power of the U.S. economy and military. Biden gave them even more. He said:

What we can do is make clear to the world, and to the Russians particularly, that we stand with you, and that if they fail to meet their commitments, that it is a problem for them.  A lot of you think maybe Russia did what they did, and they paid no price.  They paid a pretty big price already diplomatically. The countries that surround Russia, even those that have been very, very loyal to Russia in their freedom, are now saying very harsh things. Russia has isolated itself more. It has not expanded its opportunities.

It’s all well and good to give reassurance to the people of these countries, but what is crucial is to give pause to the people and especially to the government of Russia.  Only by doing so can the United States help to guarantee a real future for the tiny countries that otherwise stand at Russia’s mercy, facing the prospect of decades more torture and exploitation such as they faced in Soviet times.

We doubt Biden did so. His remarks were woefully lacking in specific plans to assist Georgia and Ukraine in their struggle with Russia, and immediately afterwards Russia was bellicose.  Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin warned:  “We will continue to prevent the re-arming of (President Mikheil) Saakashvili’s regime and will take concrete measures against this.”  The notion that Georgia should not be allowed to have the capacity to defend itself is ludicrous:  Suppose the U.S. insisted that Russia disarm after the USSR collapsed?  Russians would have been outraged.  Yet Russia feels no hesitation in making such crazed demands on other countries, even in the immeidate aftermath of Biden’s visit.  Nothing could more clearly show that Biden’s words had little affect on Russia’s aggressive designs against Georgia.

Russia has also said it has no intention of allowing Ukraine to evict it from its naval base on Ukrainian soil, and it is repeatedly attempting to parade military hardware through Ukrainian streets as if they were Red Square in Moscow.  In response, Biden has convinced nobody that either Georgia or Ukraine will be admitted into NATO or the EU any time soon, and he has not offered any alternative for protecting their security.  Georgia is begging for U.S. peacekeepers on its borders, but Biden did not give any guarantees or propose any alternatives.

Just like with Obama in Moscow, Biden’s performance in Ukraine and Georgia was an improvement over the feeble Bush administration, whose only competent move in eight years was European missle defense.  But the new administration has backed away from that tangible policy initiative, and it has not replaced it with anything but unconvincing, inconsistent, ambiguous and largely empty rhetoric.  That is not the way to deal with an evil empire.  If Russian tanks roll back into Georgia, Obama and Biden will have blood on their hands.

140 responses to “EDITORIAL: Biden in Ukraine & Georgia

  1. If so many our highest American political leaders, currently in charge of Washington, are proven domestic liars/weak & corrupt party-politics-hacks, etc. ….how can foreigners believe anything they say….from day to day or from speech to speech? And this is goes for our foreign enemies as well as our foreign allies. We thus live at a very dangerous point in our history, when we cannot trust or believe in our national leaders.
    R.D.

  2. Text of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s speech in Kyiv on July 22:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/07/22/vice_president_bidens_speech_in_ukraine_97571.html

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    Isn’t that much easier? Let people read it if they want to, don’t be lazy. Use a link.

  3. Reaction to Biden’s speech: Wow! a really good speech writer. Such a terrific speech could not have been Joe Biden’s lone thoughts. If only, however,
    our government actually backs up such a speech, with actions. I fear that B. Obama’s administration is too interested in trying to please….everyone, and by ‘everyone’ ….on the foreign scene, I mean especially neo-soviet Russia. But sure, a good speech, yet…’words are cheap’.
    R.D.

  4. Highlights: Main points of Biden’s speech in Georgia

    http://www.kyivpost.com/world/45814

  5. It sounds like Biden said enough to get Putin’s goat about American interference within what he considers his sphere of control but not enough to carry the bluff. Putin will be anxious for an opportunity to prove that all America will offer in defence of the Ukraine is stern words of condemnation.

  6. “Russia has to make some very difficult, calculated decisions,” Mr. Biden said. “They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they’re in a situation where the world is changing before them and they’re clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable.”

    “It’s a very difficult thing to deal with, loss of empire,” Mr. Biden said. “This country, Russia, is in a very different circumstance than it has been any time in the last 40 years, or longer.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124848246032580581.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    Moscow, July 25 (Interfax) – The Russian leadership is perplexed by the harsh criticism of Russia by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the time when the two countries are actively “resetting” their relations.

    http://www.kyivpost.com/world/45894

  7. Biden sees the position of the US in the world vaning,Russia reasserting its rightful position,that is why he tries to “convince” it to “behave ” more realistically…
    Nothing but despair,they don`t know what to do anymore while we have grabbed them by the balls…
    They cannot hurt us,they are our debtors,need our resources,we are more and more economically interlinked with China,diversyfying away from ,can couse big time trouble for them in Middle East and are solving our problems step by step…
    Well,Mr Vice President,very soon your country will be on the verge of economic collapse when the dollar will cease to function as a reserve currency,that will give you the rest…
    We and the Chinese agreed on that in Yekaterinburg…
    The US is not a superpower anymore like it was in the 90s,economicallly they are totally in shambles and rely on the Chinese to subsidize their economy.
    The bottom line is,we will incorporate Belarus,Ukraine, and Kazakhstan and we will make Georgia our satelite state to control the oil of the Caucasus…

    • It seems that the president of roosha disagrees with you?

      Medvedev: US need not abandon Ukraine or Georgia
      (AP) – 1 day ago

      MOSCOW — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says U.S. efforts to mend relations with Moscow need not come at the expense of Washington’s ties with Ukraine and Georgia.

      Medvedev’s remarks are a positive signal after his summit this month with President Barack Obama.

      The Kremlin has often bristled at Washington’s close relations with Westward-leaning Ukraine and Georgia. Georgia’s drive to join NATO added to tensions that preceded Russia’s invasion of the ex-Soviet republic last year.

      Medvedev’s comments came in excerpts broadcast Friday from an interview with Russia’s NTV television.

      They echoed U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s message this week in Ukraine and Georgia. He assured those countries their interests won’t be sacrificed for the sake of better relations with Russia.

      http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i0xBv8YQwWSZqAQgjd42RCvU1uEAD99KSA900

      • Diplomatic nicetalk,believe our plans for the future are clear cut and we will follow them step by step…

      • Biden and Medvedev BOTH agree the US won’t abandon Ukraine and Georgia for better relations with Russia?
        This must be sending cold shivers down the spines of folks in Kiev and Tblisi.

        Let’s read this with more attention, ok? The US won’t sacrifice the interests of Ukraine and Georgia, but… who defines what these ‘interests’ are? Maybe they’ll decide that it’s in the ‘interest’ of Ukraine and Georgia to please Russia with a gently administered fellatio from time to time? Hm? Or to offer up their respective back-doors for some Russian penetration?
        Maybe Obama and Putin had a nice little walk in the forest, and divvied up the world in a completely surprising manner altogether?

        Words are cheap, Joey Boy, actions are what’s needed.

    • There’s that fly again.

  8. BTW

    The American puppet Yuschenko has 4% support according to the lastest polls.
    In December there will be elections in the Ucraine,which will bring to power the Russian friendly Timoschenko or Yanukovich.
    Do not forget that ca 30% of the Ukraine are ethnic Russians while 60% of the so called “Ukranians” can also be considered etnic Russians.
    Only in the western Ukraine poeple tend to be anti-Russian and pro Ukranian…
    Belarusssians are Russians,originally Belarus (White Russia) was a province in the Tsarist Empire ,just like the neighbouring Smolensk area which is called “Black Russia”…
    Of course,Biden wishes Russia to dismantle its nuclear arsenal (just like we would wish them to dismantle their unilaterally)that they would love,but reality-check,its not going to happen…
    In Kazakhstan 50% of the population are Russians…

    • CG,

      As usual, you make another absurd comment. I assume that you did not read my response to your prior comment at:

      https://larussophobe.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/editorial-obama-panics-eastern-europe/#comment-52811

      In fact, Ukrainian goes beyond the borders of Ukraine.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ukrainians_en.svg

      Your 30% + 60% is totally delusional, and come from the fantasy land of your insane asylum.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ukraine_cencus_2001_Ukrainian.svg

      In the Russian Empire Census of 1897 the following picture emerged, with Ukrainian being the second most spoken language of the Russian Empire. According to the Imperial census’s terminology, the Russian language (Russkij) was subdivided into Ukrainian (Malorusskij, ‘Little Russian’), what we know as Russian today (Vjelikorusskij, ‘Great Russian’), and Belarusian (Bjelorusskij, ‘White Russian’).

      About one out of every five people spoke Ukrainian in the Ukrainian territories occupied by the moskali in 1897. But, the kremlin has been butchering {PRONOUNCED GENOCIDE} Ukrainians for ages!

      Also, there were millions of Ukrainians living in Ukrainian territories occupied by other nations in 1897!

      When the Austrian monarchy made Galicia a province in 1772, Habsburg officials ***REALIZED*** that the local East Slavic ***PEOPLE WERE DISTINCT*** from BOTH Poles AND Russians. Their own name for themselves, Rusyny, was similar in sound to the German term for Russians, Russen. Austria ADOPTED the ethnonym Ruthenen (Ruthenians), and continued to use it officially until the empire fell apart in 1918.

    • You happily pawn off Russian lies. The Vialikaye Kniastva Litouskaye was the largest country in Europe in the 13th Century. The name may have been Litva, or Lithuania, but the language of government and the nobility was Belarusian. At that same time, the Muscovites were a pathetic bunch of cavemen banging rocks against their skulls for fun and grunting back and forth in that Mongoloid dialect you call “Russian.” Oh, wait, they still are. Muscovy’s assumption that it can assume the mantle of inheritance of the Kyivan Rus hasn’t been earned by virtue or sophistication; it’s been taken by savagery. The Russian language is a mongolized bastardization of the civilized tongues used by the Belarusian and Ukrainian principalities when Muscovy was a stop on a cow-path.

      • Very well, but history did not stop in the 13th century. Who is to blame for the fact that in the past 600 years “Muscovy” expanded to 1/6 of the world and the Great Duchy of Lithuania disappeared from the world map?

        > The Russian language is a mongolized bastardization

        Rather, it is the “Ukrainian” and “Byelorussian” are Polonized dialects of the Russian language. Just compare Gogol and Dostoyevsky (Russian writers of, respectively, Ukrainian and Byelorussian origin) and Taras Shevchenko with Yanka Kupala who tried to write in those dialects! :-(

  9. The interview with Vice President Joseph Biden in today’s Wall Street Journal makes for fascinating reading, though there are certainly some quotes that are bound to ruffle feathers, such as his comments about Russia’s “withering” economy. Below are a few excerpts:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124846217750479721.html

    On whether Russian leaders will accept the White House’s outreach efforts:

    “These guys aren’t absolute average-intellect ideologues who are clinging to something nobody believes in. They’re pretty pragmatic in the end.”
    * * *
    On the need for the U.S. not to overplay its hand with Moscow:

    “It is never smart to embarrass an individual or a country when they’re dealing with significant loss of face. My dad used to put it another way: Never put another man in a corner where the only way out is over you. It just is not smart.”
    * * *
    On Russia’s post-Cold War position in the world:

    “It’s a very difficult thing to deal with, loss of empire. The empire was not justified, but still, you’re sitting there and all of a sudden…this country Russia is in a very different circumstance than it has been any time in the last 40 years, or longer.”

  10. CG sees the position of the US in the world vaning,Russia reasserting its rightful position
    This is a brilliant, very eloquent opinon, shared – as far as I understand – by 77 per cent of Russians. Krylov described it almost two centuries ago in his famous fable “Слон и Моська” (“An Elephant and a Puppy” – this picture gives a gist of it for English speakers).

    Unfortunately, Elephant can’t negotiate with the puppies. Not because of the size difference, but because puppies’ main purpose is to bark at the elephant. That’s why the day after Obama was elected, the puppies started the deployment of missiles in Kaliningrad. So, the more you can convince yourself that the elephant hates you – the louder you can bark. But still, CG – you are only Mos’ka, and the elephants of this world (US, China, India) couldn’t care less how loud you bark.

    • He sees our importance “vaning” because this tough talk assuages his and 77 % of his comrades’ injured pride. I assume he meant “waning” but for some reasons, and I noticed that years ago talking to some Russian emigres, many Russians have difficulties understanding that “v” and “w” represent different sounds in the English language.

      Well, if he keeps repeating the same nonsense, Russia still would not become any stronger nor will the U.S. become any weaker. His dreams cannot alter the facts.

      But what’s troubling is this never ending stream of threats to occupy and annex Belarus, the Ukraine, and Kazakhstan as well as to make Georgia a “satellite state.” No wonder, so many countries are very afraid and want to join the NATO

  11. Does anyone know what exactly Russia is referring to with the phrase “Georgia’s rearming”? Is Georgia rearming in any sense (i.e. is she increasing the size of the military forces and/or arsenal), as opposed to simply buying new stuff to replace old one? And if so, where is there more information about that? (This ‘rearming’ business is obviously going to be the pretext, should Russia decide to invade Georgia again.)

    • Georgia wants modern defensive systems such as anti tank missiles and surface to air missile to replace the 1980’s period soviet gear they are equipped with.

      Modern equipment is the only way that a massively outnumbered military can hope to make a further Russian invasion too costly.

      Whether they will get it is a different matter.

      • Maybe the producers of those defensive systems should just give them to Russia because after having been placed in Georgian hands they’ll end up as Russian trophies anyway?

        • Wow! You’re really working hard on becoming Starry-Eyed Joker of the Week, right? I guess this statement was meant to inspire hate-filled reactions? ;-)

          Saakashvili has called, he wants his style back :-)

  12. I thought Biden’s approach was very rough & strong in the context of normal diplomacy. You cannot have full guarantees when you are so very far away from America. Russia grows weaker. As they grow weaker other dangers will replace Russia. You must establish your own defenses. I have been personally worried about you and I wish you well.

  13. “As they grow weaker other dangers will replace Russia. ”

    Other dangers have replaced Russia long time ago, back in the late 1980s.

    Russia is a weak country with a relatively small economy; population about 8 times smaller than the West’s; and military spending 27 times smaller than USA’s, 3 times smaller than UK’s and 3 times smaller than France’s.

    With islamic extremism being the biggest threat, with Russia being the most crucial ally of USA vis-à-vis Afghanistan; and with China rising to world power, the formerly communist Russia poses no more threat in the 21st century than, say, formerly nazi Germany.

    Today, russophobia is just a ruse to scare American taxpayers into giving up their last hard-earned dollars to the military-industrial complex and other special interest groups that own our government and our politicians. The military-industrial complex panicked that the fall of the Warsaw Pact would bring “peace dividends” to average American taxpayers by reducing military spending. NATO’s “Drang Nach Osten” expansion in the 1990s and the aggressions against Yugoslavia and Iraq allowed the politicians to scare the taxpayers into paying more than ever to the Pentagon generals and to the Lokheeds and Halliburtons of this world, as well as into sacrificing our soldiers and $trillions of taxpayer money to benefit Exxon, BP and Chevron stockholders in their quest to control Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Central Asian, and Caspian oil and gas deposits and pipelines. There is also hope among oil companies that when USA achieves its goal of complete nuclear combined defence/offence superiority over Russia (by further spending $trillions of taxpayer money), it will be able to blackmail even Russia into giving up its natural resources and pipelines to Exxon and BP.

    • Russia still remains a very big and very real threat to its neighbours, Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, not to mention its own ethnic minorities such as the Chechens, Ingush, Dagesh, Circassians etc.

      Does it not occur to your tiny brain that the countries that want to join NATO have good historical reasons for doing so, some having experience of Russian agression over several centuries?

      • LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

        Your comment has been deleted because your factual assertion about the Ukrainian army was not documented. If you continue in this vein, you will be banned as a commenter on this blog.

        • I am not. By the way, there was a proverb in the Soviet Army: “An Ukrainian ensign is the reverse of a N-bomb”, referring to the Ukrainian officers’ disposition to stealing. I can’t wait to see those ensigns finally get to the NATO military supply depots! :-)))

      • Do you really think NATO will start a nuclear war with Russia for Tallin or Warsaw? If you do, your brain is modestly sized indeed.

  14. Phobophobe,

    I’ll try to be as polite as I possibly can because I really don’t mean to insult or mock you. I followed your discussion with Andrew on Georgia (the topic that I have very little knowledge about), and while intuitively I am with Andrew – I see that your posts are generally well researched and well argued.

    With that said, you write –

    Russia is a weak country with a relatively small economy; population about 8 times smaller than the West’s; and military spending 27 times smaller than USA’s, 3 times smaller than UK’s and 3 times smaller than France’s.

    With islamic extremism being the biggest threat, with Russia being the most crucial ally of USA vis-à-vis Afghanistan; and with China rising to world power, the formerly communist Russia poses no more threat in the 21st century than, say, formerly nazi Germany.

    While I can nitpick a word or two (eg., I’d say – Russia could be or should be the most crucial ally of USA ; not being) overall sounds like a sound statement. But then you write

    Today, russophobia is just a ruse to scare American taxpayers into giving up their last hard-earned dollars to the military-industrial complex and other special interest groups that own our government and our politicians.

    Not only it’s a bizarre mix of conspiracy theory and Pravda-level propaganda, it is a complete non sequitur! Where do you see russophobia today (or even during Bush years whom you obviously despise) on any government level? Clinton looked into Yeltsin’s soul; Bush looked into Putin eyes, and Obama is ready to reset the relationship (whatever that means). The average American taxpayer couldn’t care less about Russia. Economy, unemployment and healthcare overhaul seem to take most of attention. Even on the international affairs – Iran, Afganistan, and Honduras top the news… Where did you get the ruse if not in your imagination?

  15. “Where do you see russophobia today”?

    Have you read Ed Lucas from the Daily Mail and the Economist? How about Wall Streat Journal? Washington Post? Seen Fox News?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military-industrial-media_complex

    The military industrial media complex is an offshoot of the military industrial complex. Organizations like Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting have accused the military industrial media complex of using their media resources to promote militarism, which, according to Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s hypothesis, benefits the defense resources of the company.

    Military-industrial complex (MIC) is a policy relationships between governments, national armed forces, and the commercial sector in political approval for military weapons, equipment, and facilities. It is a type of iron triangle. The term is most often played in reference to the military of the United States, where it gained popularity after its use in the farewell address speech of President Dwight D. Eisenhower

    In United States politics, the iron triangle is a term used by political scientists to describe the policy-making relationship among the congressional committees, government agencies”, and special interest groups.

    But I do agree that **today**, after Obama’s victory, USA’s foreign policy seems to be returning to sanity. But the military budget not only is not being cut, but it actually increased another $30 to $40 billion, afaik.

    “Where did you get the ruse if not in your imagination?”

    Where did the long anticipated “peace dividend” go? Into whose pockets? Certainly, not taxpayers’:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_dividend

    The peace dividend is a political slogan popularized by US President George H.W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the early 1990s, purporting to describe the economic benefit of a decrease in defense spending.

    A political discussion about the peace dividend resulting from the end of the Cold War involves a debate about which countries have actually scaled back military spending and which have not. The scale back in defense spending was mainly noticeable in Western Europe and in the Russian Federation. The United States, whose military spending was rapidly reducing between 1985 and 1993 and remained flat between 1993 and 1999 [2], has dramatically increased it starting with the Kosovo War and especially after September 11 to fund conflicts like the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, War on Terror, War in Afghanistan and the War in Iraq.

    • But the point to me, Phobophobe, is that people like Ed Lucas and the WSJ are raising important points. Russia is behaving in a very unfriendly way towards its neighbors — the accusations of “falsifications of history” (while failing to examine the important falsifications of history that Stalinism brought about) are a good example.

      Any country who behaves in such a way deserves criticism.

      Now, the question is: is this criticism “russophobia”? Or is it simply criticism of a country? I don’t know, I guess the difference is in the intensity. Is Russian criticism of Ukraine “ukrainophobia”? Is Russian criticism of the US “americophobia”?

      After all, all criticism stands or falls on its own arguments. If you disagree with Ed Lucas, Paul Goble, the WSJ, etc. on something, please say why and what your arguments are — I, for one, would be interested. But simply dismissing all negative criticism — even repeated criticism — as “russophobia” is, to my mind, trying to using this “politcal correctness” meme against anyone who wants to point out problems with Russia.

  16. Where did the long anticipated “peace dividend” go? Into whose pockets?

    It benefitted the Europeans, who pay less than 2% of their GDP for defense. Why? Because they have the US to pick up the tab. The Europeans are pathetic when it comes to aiding those countries in need around the world. They talk big, but carry a tiny stick.

  17. “It benefitted the Europeans, who pay less than 2% of their GDP for defense. Why?”

    Because West Europeans are fat cats, who work 32 hours a week, get 7 weeks of vacation, who earn as much as Americans, and whose security is not threatened by anybody. Still, UK and France each spend 3 times more on defence than does Russia. So, why should they worry?

    USA’s security also is not threatened by Russia, Belarus or Serbia, but our American government still spends $500+ billion of taxpayers’ money on the military spending for the sake of helping the profits of the weapons and oil companies.

    “…when it comes to aiding those countries in need around the world…”

    Well, actually not invading and not destroying countries around the world is in itself a great advantage that EU has over USA. It saves money and doesn’t create billions of haters around the world.

    • They also spend a great deal of money stopping your relatives being killed by their neighbours in the promised land Phobophobe.

      Besides, someone has to be the worlds policeman, otherwise the dictators would rule the roost.

      Just look at Russian support for Sudan, Iran, Burma/Myanmar, and pretty much every other hell hole on earth.

      Hell they even helped protect the Sri Lankan government during its little purge of the Tamils recently.

      • > Besides, someone has to be the worlds policeman

        A self-appointed “world’s policeman” looks pretty much like a “godfather”.

  18. “Besides, someone has to be the worlds policeman”

    1. Have you heard of UN?

    2. If an individual country were selected by the international community to act as a world policeman, who in the world, except for Eastern Europeans, choose USA, a country full of religious fundamentalists; a country whose aggressions have been universally reviled around the World, including even Western Europe and Canada? Not to mention MSNBC and the Daily Show… :-)

    • Yes, the UN, which due to veto’s by Russia, was unable to act to stop Serbian ethnic cleansing, due to veto’s by China & Russia is unable to intervene in Sudan, due to veto’s by Russia is unable to monitor the welfare of Georgians in Abkhazia (Gali mainly) or those Georgians left in South Ossetia/Samachablo. That due to US veto’s is unable to deal with illegal settelment building by Jewish settlers in the west bank, that due to Russian and Chinese veto’s cannot deal with Sri Lankan war crimes, that cannot do anything of any real use whatsoever.

      And as for your opinions of eastern europeans, well they have real experience of the scum of Russia in fairly recent memory.

  19. “That due to US veto’s is unable to deal with illegal settelment building by Jewish settlers in the west bank…”

    Can you re-phrase this so that I could understand what you are trying to say here?

  20. I am saying that due to the veto used by Russia, China, and the USA, the UN is unable to act in any meaningful manner, particularly where crimes against humanity are comitted by Russian/Chinese client states.

    As mentioned, all the big powers are guilty to some extent or other.

    • American client states (e.g. Israel or Kosovo) are functionnally unable to commit crimes against humanity, aren’t they? ;-)

      At any rate, who has endowed the USA with a right to be a prosecutor, judge and executioneer all rolled in one when it can’t prsent sufficient evidence in the UN to convince other Security Council member states, the way it was with Colin Powell waving a bottle with “Iraqui WMD”?

    • I am asking you to explain to me what you are saying about the Jewish settlers in the west bank, when you wrote:

      “That due to US veto’s is unable to deal with illegal settelment building by Jewish settlers in the west bank…”

      I can’t parse this sentence. It seems to be missing a noun or two.

      LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

      Perhaps it seems so to you because you’re missing a screw or two.

      • >>> due to US veto’s is unable
        >>It seems to be missing a noun
        > you’re missing a screw or two.

        I am glad that your busy schedule still allows you to still find time to post childish insults against me for my trying to defend the English grammar, US foreign policies and Israel.

        • I think, Phobophobe, that the meaning is that American vetos make it impossible for the UN to deal meaningfully with events such as Jewish settlers being settled in Palestinian territories (the Jordan West Bank, for instance).

  21. The UN is unable to deal with illegal jewish settlements in the west bank due to the veto held by the US, just as it was unable to deal with Serbian war crimes due to the Russian veto, unable to deal with Sudanese war crimes due to the Russian and Chinese veto, and so on.

  22. > “I am saying that due to the veto used by Russia, China, and the USA”

    And your solution is to allow these veto-makers – Russia, China, and the USA – to ignore UN altogether and just use force around the world by appointing themselves to be “the worlds policemen”?

    What if some islamic countries like Saudi Arabia or Pakistan get islamic extremist governments and declare that God had appointed them to be the “worlds policeman”?

    If any country, that considers itself “holier than thou”, appoints itself to be “the worlds policeman”, then how many such “the worlds policemen” shall we have? Forty? Sixty? Eighty?

    And how soon will it be before all these self-appointed “worlds policeman” countries start fighting wars with each other, leading to World War III? Wasn’t the whole purpose of the creation of the UN to prevent exactly this kind of wars caused by self-appointment by various countries as “worlds policemen”?

    > “The UN is unable to deal with illegal jewish settlements in the west bank due to the veto held by the US”

    As a Jew, I am not sure I share your anger at USA’s vetoes of anti-Israeli resolutions.

    And I am sure sad that USA started its aggression against Iraq. It would sure have been better if USA asked for the UN approval for this aggression. That way, Russia, France, Germany, China, India and probably Brazil would all have voted against it, and maybe that would have stopped USA from getting into this horrible ugly mess.

    And as Libertarian Party member, I sure wish UN could have stopped NATO from waging its aggression against Yugoslavia.

    So, to you some UN vetoes may look bad, but to me they look good. And some day it may happen vice versa. But at least this is a peaceful disagreement, thanks to the acceptance of the UN as the ultimate conflict-resolver in international conflicts.

    • I don’t like the idea of a specific country giving itself police rights over the world, Phobophobe. In a better world, I’d certainly prefer there to be a central World Government that would treat countries as administrative units and which could therefore exert police power to contain and resolve all local conflicts. A democratic, free, and legitimate World Government, with a legitimate police force.

      Such a government could have done what you wish the UN had done. But in our world, do you really think the UN could really have stopped the US from going to Iraq? Or Russia from invading Georgia? Or NATO from going against Serbia? Hell, they can’t even force UN observers to stay in South Ossetia and Abkhazia…

      In today’s world, you apparently have to bow to geopolitical realities. And if you ask me — I’d rather have the US than, say, Saudi Arabia, Israel, China, or Russia. Not that I have much say on who gets to play world cop, though. Yes, the US has religious extremist wackos and crazy politicians like Sarah Palin, but, frankly, all the other serious alternatives have worse things in them.

      What would you do to actually create some organism which could play the police role in the world? (And actually — please correct me if I’m wrong — wouldn’t such a thing go against your Libertarian beliefs?)

  23. hmm, looks like Obama’s adopted the good old bad cop-good cop routine, where Hillary and Joe get to be the bad cops and Obama can be the good one.

    Gotta say, this is much better than Bush’s “only have (bad) cops for Afghanistan and Iraq, ignore all the rest” policy.

  24. The really funny part of Joey Biden’s screeching is when he talks about how Ukraine should become independent of Russian energy.

    I think that was a coded message to Russia not to take his visit to Kiev overly serious. Alternatively, it was a subtle attempt at killing Russia’s government – by causing them to die of convulsions brought on by excessive laughter.

    Is that the best he can do? Poor Ukraine – you are alone, so very alone.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    Barack Obama is twice as popular in the world as Vladimir Putin, and the US is the world’s only superpower, with an economy ten times larger than Russia. Yet, you find it funny when Obama’s right hand man condemns Russia?

    Sounds pretty suicidal to us. Do you also find Hitler funny?

    • I find Biden funny.
      You ask if I find Hitler funny, too.
      Does this mean you consider Biden and Hitler to be similar?

      I’m not sure what else you are trying to say with your non sequitur comment.

      By the way, did you ever watch Mel Brooks’ “The Producers”? You should, you’ll see that Hitler an be a real riot.

      Oh, something else – Hitler was once VERY popular in the world, and he was democratically elected. Churchill was once very much disliked (and the only election he ever won was in his riding).

      You really think being POPULAR means ANYTHING other than that people like somebody? Considering the general idiocy of people world-wide, I’m not sure being popular means much. Nor does being unopular mean much.

      But, joking aside – don’t you find it scary that Biden is asking for things to happen that are patently impossible? Is that supposed to assure Ukraine and Georgia?

      LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

      If you find it scary, then why do you say it’s funny? That’s juvenile and stupid and causes us to disregard you as an ignorant child.

      Do you find it scary that Putin talks about doubling the Russian GDP in a couple of years? Do you find Russian tanks rolling into Georgia scary? How about the fact that Putin is a proud KGB spy and valiant Russian journalists are dropping like flies, with no significant convictions?

      Do you find it scary that Russians don’t rank in the top 150 nations of the world for lifespan, while you go blabbering on the defending the KGB regime with mindlness neo-Soviet ignorance and arrogance?

      Do you find the US missile shield in Eastern Europe funny? How about joint US-Georgian military exercises? Will you be laughing when US peacekeepers appear in Georgia?

      You make Russia look like a nation of braying jackasses. Which may in fact be just what it is.

      • Yes, US #peacekeepers# would be very funny. I didn’t know there was such a thing (and I’m sure the US would be as surprised to learn of it).

        There are, of course *UN* peacekeepers, but their appearance would be pretty funny, too. Almost as funny as UN peacekeepers in Kigali or Srebrenica. The Russians will find them an inconvenience at worst.

        If you believe the US will go to war with RUSSIA over GEORGIA, you are nuts.

        Poor Georgians.

        LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

        How about over the killing of American peacekeepers and the seizure of Georgian oil and gas pipelines? Ever heard of Iraq?

        • Not as rediculous as Russian “peacekeepers”, who indulge in rape, looting, ethnic cleansing etc.

          • Ask the Kosovo Serbs about “disciplined” US/European peacekeepers who did not lift a finger to stop the Albanians from killing, looting, raping, etc. them. :-(

            • Hmmm, the Russian peacekeepers were there too, but they were probably drunk as usual.

              Or doing the raping.

              Like the way they raped all the Russian and Ukrainian women they released from Nazi slave labour camps in 1945, or all the Polish women they raped in 44, well you get the idea.

          • Andrew, the point I was trying to make – though it is probably a waste of time – is that there are no “US” or “Russian” or “German” peacekeepers, but only UN peacekeepers.

            And, judging by history – they do a lousy job.

            Re: Iraq… LR – you DO realize that the Iraq war was based on a LIE, right?

            LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

            You DO realize how many Iraquis were wiped out by the American military, right? Are you asking for Russians to meet the same fate, while you laugh?

            Freak.

        • Unlike Iraq, Russia actually has nuclear weapons. Thank you, Comrade Stalin, for our happy childhood!

          • You’re welcome, comrade! Now, if only I could have made them actually work! Damn Bulava!… Should have called it Baklava…

  25. Phobophobe,

    I realize that we are on opposite sides of philosophical and political spectrum as far as US policies are concerned (both domestically and internationally). You consider FAIR to be a reputable source of information; I rely on MRC. You want UN to be world policeman; I dread this idea, and much prefer that US plays that role. You say that today US foreign policy returns to sanity; I watch the reaction to the events in Iran and Honduras and find that today US foreign policy is more insane than ever before. You think that the world hates US (with the exception of Eastern Europe) – I find that the world’s left hates US, whereas hundreds of millions in India, Latin America and Africa do see US as the shining city on the hill. I am sure we can list a dozen more fundamental disagreements.

    I don’t think, though that this blog is a proper place to vet those disagreements (on top of that I am not that interested in such discussion – Lenin captured the notion of useful idiots long ago, and I don’t think there is any hope of changing people’s minds on this topic).

    What I was asking you where do you see russophobia in US policy – now or in Bush years. In return you gave me a lecture on military-industrial complex. Thank you very much – I was an “A” student in Soviet political science class. You need not repeat what I heard 30 years ago. So, I can only conclude that the idea of

    russophobia [being] just a ruse to scare American taxpayers into giving up their last hard-earned dollars to the military-industrial complex

    is indeed a figment of your fertile imagination.

  26. Laika,

    When I was in college, there was a guy that constantly tried to pick a fight. Sometimes it was to impress the girls, sometimes because he had to drink too much, and sometimes just for the heck of it. It was usually just a verbal brawl, when he was explaining to a stranger what he did with the stranger’s mom… but occasionally he got a black eye and a few bruises.

    So, back to your posts. First, your attempt at sarcasm towards Biden’s “screeching”. I can’t find where “he talks about how Ukraine should become independent of Russian energy” – only where Ukraine should reduce its dependence on foreign suppliers. So, the whole “coded message / dying from laughter” joke is pretty lame. But it’s funny to take a jab at Biden – in a “picking a fight” kinda way.

    Then LR responded… and you picked a fight on “US peacekeepers”. I think you misunderstood LR’s point – US peacekeepers is an oxymoron, just like “Russian peacekeepers” that were stationed in Georgia, and were used as a pretext for the war. So again, your attempt at sarcasm (now towards LR) is only funny in pick-a-fight kinda way. By the way, UN is not the only organization with peacemaking missions – NATO has them, as well as African Union – but I am not going to mock you for these minor inaccuracies, since your point is quite clear; just irrelevant.

    By the way, I agree with your points on being popular / unpopular not meaning much. For example, I hope that new Honduras government prevails despite being chastised by UN, Hugo Chavez, and United States. It’s just sad that in the middle of a brawl even rational thoughts are not heard or simply ignored. As the old joke says “Вам шашечки или ехать” – that is, you want to make your point or pick the fight?

  27. Laika: “If you believe the US will go to war with RUSSIA over GEORGIA, you are nuts. ”

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: “How about over the killing of American peacekeepers and the seizure of Georgian oil and gas pipelines? Ever heard of Iraq?”

    Wrong about peacekeepers: US “peacekeepers” had nothing to do with USA’s invasion of Iraq and there are no American peacekeepers in Georgia.

    However, LR is absolutely right on target about oil and gas and pipelines.

    Not only the invasion of Iraq, but most of US foreign policies are based on the interests of Exxon, BP, Chevron and other oil and gas companies.

    US government has bawled at Russia for its violations of the free press principles, yet the mind-boggling human rights violations in oil-rich Arab dictatorships like Saudi Arabia go unnoticed and don’t prevent USA from considering the Jew- and woman- hating Saudi Arabian monster dictators as their best friends and allies.

    Many have argued that the War on christian Yugoslavia in 1999 was waged in order to placate Arab dictators. The Arab media were ecstatic at the news that upon NATO/KLA victory, all Jews and two thirds of all Christians had been expelled out of Kosovo, and dozens of Christian churches were desecrated and burnt down.

    And LR is absolutely right in suggesting that just towards Iraq, USA’s policy towards Russia is based on the needs of the American and British oil and gas lobby.

    USA will not go to war with Russia over oil pipelines **today**, because of the nuclear parity. But hopefully, by further raising taxes, USA will soon be able to gain absolute nuclear superiority over Russia. And when this happens, I am sure the very threat of American nukes will force Russia to cough up its “precious” gas and oil reserves to Exxon and BP.

    Of course, this will create anger and outrage among average Russians. But this will be solved by USA sending “peacekeeper” troops to Moscow and installing a puppet junta in Kremlin. All dissidents will be shot or sent to GULAG. All civil rights, freedoms and democracies will be abandoned. But thinks the Kremlin banana junta will be pro-American and pro-Exxon, Russia will be finally declared a free Western-style democracy, and all Exxon shareholders will be finally happy.

  28. LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS: “You DO realize how many Iraquis were wiped out by the American military, right? Are you asking for Russians to meet the same fate?”

    I wonder if the Russian dissidents like Khodorkovsky or Nemtsov – for whose sake you allegedly have started this blog – appreciate your threats to start killing average Russian teenagers dressed in military uniforms over an oil pipeline conflict between Exxon and Lukoil. One of such slaughtered soldiers could be their own son or Politkovskaya’s grandson. Murdering Politkovskaya’s grandson for the sake of Exxon – that sounds like something Politkovskaya would not appreciate one bit.

  29. Felix: “I realize that we are on opposite sides of philosophical and political spectrum”

    Of course we are opposite. I am a Libertarian and you are a right-wing Republican.

    http://www.cato.org/ Cato Institute – Individual Liberties, Free Market and Peace
    http://www.lp.org/ Libertarian Party – Smaller Government, Lower Taxes, More Freedoms

    I want a free market economy – and you want the Americna taxpayers to support a socialist welfare system for crinminal and irresponsible corporations like AIG and GM. You want to rob the poor people to feed the rich. I want lower taxes and peace – you want US taxpayers’ blood, sweat and tears to provide welfare for the rich corporations.

    I want people to enjoy their rights to privacy and freedoms – and you want to forbid them from taking morning-after pills.

    I want USA to remain at peace – you want us to wage absurd wars of destruction around the world. I opposed the invasion of Iraq – you were extatic about it. I have a son and want to prevent American teenagers from dying in senseless and pointless wars – You have no son, so you are happy to see my son die in a war.

    I don’t think the waste of thousands of Ameircan boys and of $trilllions of taxpayer dollars, and the deaths of almost one million Iraqi civilians will ever be covered by the increase in Exxon revenues due to the capture of Iraqi oil. You do.

  30. Phobophobe,

    Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share your opinion of me. You say your libertarian position is like CATO institute; but everything you write is much more similar to ANSWER coalition and Ron Paul. If you represent the ideas libertarian party – I feel sorry for the proud legacy of libertarian movement.

    That said, I see that I gave you much more credit than you deserved. I am not interested in discussing me or you. Not to mention that this blog is about Russia; not about crazy theories of million Iraqi civilian deaths or Exxon / Haliburton / AIPAC owning American politicians.

    Have a chat with Eugene… He may be anti-Semite, but you will find a lot in common.

  31. Felix started the ad hominem discussion: “You consider FAIR to be a reputable source of information… You want UN to be world policeman… You say that today US foreign policy returns to sanity…You think that the world hates US… we can list a dozen more fundamental disagreements.” He then innocently continued: “I am not interested in discussing me or you.”

    Could have fooled me, genius.

    “You say your libertarian position is like CATO institute; but everything you write is much more similar to ANSWER and Ron Paul.”

    Ron Paul’s views are almost identical to those of CATO and Libertarian Party and is often featured as the speaker for CATO, e.g.:

    http://www.cato.org/weekly/
    Cato Weekly Video – June 25, 2009 (09:28) – Rep. Ron Paul argues for auditing the Fed

    http://www.ronpaul.com/2009-06-24/ron-paul-calls-for-federal-reserve-audit-at-the-cato-institute/ – June 24, 2009 – “… Ron Paul asked a standing room-only crowd today at the Cato Institute.

    And as far as CATO Institute’s positions on US foreign and warmongering policies, here the titles of some of their publications:

    “Hitting the ‘Stop’ Button on NATO Expansion,” 2009.
    “Don’t Expand NATO,” 2008
    “NATO at 60: A Hollow Alliance,” 2009
    “What’s NATO for Again?” 2009
    “Kosovo Precedent Prevails,” August 2008
    “Kosovo Independence Grenade,” 2008
    “Poking the Bear,” July 2008
    “McCain Talking Too Tough on Russia, China,” 2008
    “Time For a New Russia Strategy,” 2008
    “Clearing the Decks for War,” (2003)
    Beyond NATO: Staying Out of Europe’s Wars (1994).

    “The Balkans: International Mission Is Now a Mockery of Democratic Principles,” 2000; “The Real Kosovo,” 1999; “U.S. Must Stop Being a KLA Pawn,” 2000; “Kosovo Is America’s War, America’s Pain”, 1999; “End Bill Clinton’s War,” 1999; “Fanning the Flames in the Balkans,” 2005; “Exiting the Balkan Thicket” (2002); “Exiting the Balkan Morass,” (2001); Fool’s Errands: America’s Recent Encounters with Nation Building (2001); “NATO’s Empty Victory: A Postmortem on the Balkan War” (2000); “Dubious Anniversary: Kosovo One Year Later,” 2000; “Faulty Justifications and Ominous Prospects: NATO’s “Victory” in Kosovo,” 1999; “Blunder in the Balkans: The Clinton Administration’s Bungled War against Serbia,” 1999; “Washington’s Kosovo Policy: Consequences and Contradictions,” 1998

    • However, the Republican Party does agree with the Libertarian Party when it comes to asserting that USA was fighting on the wrong side of the Kosovo conflict:

      http://rpc.senate.gov/releases/1999/fr033199.htm

      United States Senate Republican Policy Committee, March 31 1999

      The Kosovo Liberation Army: Does Clinton Policy Support Group with Terror, Drug Ties?

      Reports on KLA Drug and Criminal Links
      The Kosovo Liberation Army “began on the radical fringe of Kosovar Albanian politics, originally made up of diehard Marxist-Leninists (who were bankrolled in the old days by the Stalinist dictatorship next door in Albania) as well as by descendants of the fascist militias raised by the Italians in World War II… From its inception, the KLA has targeted not only Serbian security forces but Serbian and Albanian civilians as well.

      Charges of Drugs, Islamic Terror

      Elements informally known as the “Albanian mafia,” composed largely of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, have for several years been a feature of the criminal underworld in a number of cities in Europe and North America; they have been particularly prominent in the trade in illegal narcotics.
      KLA is closely involved with terrorist organizations motivated by the ideology of radical Islam, including assets of Iran and of the notorious Osama bin-Ladin — who has vowed a global terrorist war against Americans and American interests — and Iranian arms shipments to Bosnia.

      Eradication of the Serbs in Krajina:

      The Clinton Administration has stalled efforts to investigate what has been called the “biggest ethnic cleansing” of the Balkan wars, one which the Clinton Administration may itself have helped to facilitate… Within four days, the Croatians drove out 150,000 Serbs, the largest cleansing of the entire Balkan wars. Investigators in the Hague have concluded that this campaign was carried out with brutality, wanton murder, and indiscriminate shelling of civilians. Krajina is Kosovo writ large.

  32. Here are more CATO titles:

    “Don’t Needlessly Antagonize Russia,”, 2006; “What Russia Wants,” American Conservative, 2008: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=9649 “Relations with Russia,” Cato Handbook for Congress: Policy Recommendations for the 107th Congress, (2001).

    A Search for Enemies: America’s Alliances after the Cold War, (1992)
    “How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous, and Less Free”, 2009; “Supremacy Is America’s Weakness,”, 2003;
    “NATO Expansion and the Danger of a Second Cold War,”, 1996 NATO Enlargement: Illusions and Reality, (1998).; “NATO’s Welfare Bums,” 2009; “The US Should Cut Military Spending in Half,”, 2009; “Let’s Really Cut the Pentagon’s Budget,”, 2009; “Cold War Is Over, So Trim the Military,”, 1998; “First Step in Base Closings,”, 2005; “Let the Soviet Jews Come to America,”, 1991; “NATO Expansion Hurts U.S. Security,” 2002; “Stop the War, Stop the Spending,” 2009
    “$400 Billion Defense Budget Unnecessary to Fight War on Terrorism,”, 2005;
    “Deployed in the U.S.A.: The Creeping Militarization of the Home Front,” “Mini-Nukes and Preemptive Policy: A Dangerous Combination,” “Missile Defense: Defending America or Building Empire?,”
    “How to Spend $2.8 Trillion,”; “Controlling Defense Costs,” “The Defense Industry’s New Cycle,” “The Defense Monopoly,”

    “Obama Speech Connects to the Founders’ Foreign Policy,” 2009; “Thank God Obama Favors the “Old” Mideast,” 2009; “The US Is No Longer a Global Hegemon,” 2009; “Obama the Mideast Peace-Maker?,” 2008; “John McCain’s Foreign Policy Judgment Is Questionable,”, 2008; “John McCain on Foreign Policy: Even Worse Than Bush,”, 2008; “Bush’s Bizarro World,”, 2008; ; “Troops in Saudi Arabia Are Superfluous and Dangerous,” April 2003

    “Do We Need to Go to War For Oil?, 1990; “Why the United States Should Not Attack Iraq,” 2002; “Faulty Justifications for War with Iraq,” February 2003; “Different Messenger, But Same Message: War,” February 2003; “Bush’s Middle East Plans Imperil U.S. Security and Economy,” March 2003; “A Democratic Iraq May Not Be Friendly to U.S.,” April 2003; “A True Parallel between Vietnam, Iraq: Vitriol,” 2007; “Casualties of War: Transatlantic Relations and the Future of NATO in the Wake of the Second Gulf War,” 2003; Can Iraq Be Democratic?,” 2004; “Iraq: The Wrong War,”, 2003; “Escaping the Trap: Why the United States Must Leave Iraq” , 2007

  33. Hmmm, what Russia wants.

    Thats easy.

    They want their empire back.
    They want to control their neighbours in the Caucasus & eastern Europe again.
    They want to continue their reign of terror in the north & south Caucasus.

    I guess you would have been the sort of American in the 30’s & 40’s who opposed the US entry into WW2?

  34. Of course, Phobophobe is the worst sort of libertarian hypocrite, liberty is his right, but of course those in other countries just have to put up with Russian domination because he wants to stick his head in the sand.

    Liberty and low taxes for Phobophobe, ethnic cleansing, foreign occupation & dictatorship for eastern europeans is Phobophobes motto it seems.

    • > foreign occupation of eastern europeans is Phobophobes motto it seems.

      There are no countries in Eastern or Western Europe under foreign occupation and will not be for the next 100 years, unless you listen to the Irish Catholic and/or Basque freedom fighters.

      However, there are countries under foreign occupation in Asia. Two to be exact: Iraq and Afghanistan.

      And no, the Libertarians don’t like the Iraq part, although we see the need for the Afghanistan part.

      • If your assinine policies are followed, there will be Russian occupation of eastern Europe again.

        Considering the Russian government does not respect (or in some circles even recognise) the independance, sovereignty, and right to self determination of former Soviet republics and Communist block states, the isolationist, head in the sand principles you espouse will abandon millions to Russian agression and totalitarianism.

        Of course, thats the same thing your Isolationist and “pass the buck, not my problem” liberal policies did in the 1930’s right up until 1941, condemning millions to Japanese and German agression.

  35. 2LES: There is a 1945 issue of Deutsche Wochenschau devoted to the “Lusty Mongols Raping Maedchen-Gretchen” in the Youtube as well. Dr. Goebbels is alive after all, isn’t he?

  36. > Liberty and low taxes for Phobophobe,

    Why don’t you, Andrew, decide how to spend your tax money in your own Republic of Georgia (you do pay taxes, don’t you?), and allow us, American taxpayers, to decide for ourselves how to spend our hard-earned money. I assure you that the CATO Institute and the Libertarian Party members have enough IQ points to make a good judgment for ourselves.

    > ethnic cleansing, foreign occupation & dictatorship for eastern europeans

    Russia spends on its military 27 times less than USA, 3 times less than UK and 3 times less than France. If it ever decided to “invade Europe”, it would be quashed by the French alone.

    > I guess you would have been the sort of American in the 30’s & 40’s who opposed the US entry into WW2?

    Comparing Nazi Germany to modern Russia is deeply offensive to the memory of tens of millions of Americans, Brits, Russians and Georgians who died to save the World from the mighty **real** Axis of Evil in WW2.

    • Oh yes I pay taxes all right, but I am not Georgian, so I pay higher taxes than the locals.

      As I get paid a lot more I dont see this as a problem.

      As for “Comparing Nazi Germany to modern Russia is deeply offensive to the memory of tens of millions of Americans, Brits, Russians and Georgians who died to save the World from the mighty **real** Axis of Evil in WW2.”

      My family suffered very heavily in WW2, and we were also fighting a lot longer than the US or Russia, so don’t talk to me about what is offensive to their memories.

      What is offensive to their memories is taking the insane road of appeasement that fools like you always preach.

      Try telling the hundereds of thousands of dead north Caucasians and Georgians, those who have been forced to leave the land they have lived in for thousands of years that modern Russia is not like Nazi Germany.

      Tell it to the democracy activists, journalists, and human rights activists that are murdered.
      Tell it to the ethnic minorities and those from former soviet republics in Russia who are treated like dirt by ultra nationalists.

      Explain to all these people directly affected by Russian agression and totalitarianism how Russia can’t be compared to Nazi Germany or the horrors of Communism, when the Russian state is rebuilding the system of opression step by step.

      Russia has a creeping (but rapidly accelerating) totalitarian government. It is repeating the Stalinisation/Nazification (not much difference in practice) of the state that caused so many deaths in the 20th century.

      Sticking your head in the sand and pretending it’s not happening will only make it worse.

      Standing up to Russia now before it gets worse will save a lot of suffering later.

  37. > My family suffered very heavily in WW2, and we were also fighting a lot longer than the US or Russia

    Andrew, then whch country is your family from? Czechoslovakia? Poland? France?

  38. No, British commonwealth. 1939-45

    The New Zealand Division took part in more battles than any other formation on either side in WW2.

  39. Oh, yes. Poland, Ukriane and Belarus – they had it easy. It was New Zealand and the Bahamas that suffered immensely under the Nazi occupation. :-)

  40. > Liberty and low taxes for Phobophobe, ethnic cleansing, foreign occupation & dictatorship for eastern europeans is Phobophobes motto it seems.

    Hey, Andrew, you sound like it is our American fault and obligation. I got a better idea. Why don’t Brits, French, Germans, Italians and all other hundreds and hundreds of millions of filthy rich Europeans, working 32 hour weeks and having 7 week vacations, start paying for their own defence for the first time in 64 years and give us, Americans, a little break to get out of our depression. We, American taxpayers, are already paying $hundreds of billions per year in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe we can finally stop running the welfare system for wealthy Europeans and let them pay for themselves?

    If they feel that Eastern European countries – most of whom are part of EU – are in danger of being “ethnic cleansed” and “occupied”, then let the EU defend itself. UK alone is spending 3 times more money on defence than Russia. So does France. So, I assume EU countries combined are spending at least 20 times more than Russia. If that is not enough to defend against Russia – well, let them start spending 40 times more than Russia. It will still be less per capita than what Americans are spending on the military. In fact, US taxpayers are forced to spend more than the rest of the World combined.

    Where does it say in the Constitution that we, American taxpayers, are obligated to slave not only for our own corporations like Lokheed, Halliburton, Exxon, AIG and GM, but also for lazy and snooty Europeans, who view us as “peasants”?

  41. > My family suffered very heavily in WW2

    So, how heavy was your New Zealand family’s suffering?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

    Human Losses of World War Two by Country

    Total deaths

    New Zealand 11,900
    Soviet Union 23,954,000

    Deaths as % of 1939 population

    New Zealand 0.1%
    Soviet Union 14.18%

    Need I say more?

    • My family lost 1 in 4 of the men in that generation thanks Phobophobe.

      Bomber Command and men serving on arctic convoys.

      2 killed in Battle of Britain in fighter command.

      Not to mention North Africa, Greece, Crete.

      Plus one who was captured by the Japs in the Solomons where he was a coastwatcher.

      So Liberal boy, fairly heavily.

      Some families carry the load, others (like yours probably) tend to cower behind them like the liberal jerk-offs that you are.

      I have not met a liberal (in the CATO sense) yet that was not a gutless coward and whiner, always prepared to let others do the suffering so he can whine about his taxes and “big government/military industrial complex” conspiracy theories.

      • > My family lost 1
        > thanks Phobophobe.

        Many of my Russian-Jewish friends lost 2 grandfathers on the War front and dozens of cousins and other relatives in the Holocaust thanks Andrew.

        • Know dickhead, I was saying 25% of that generation, including grandfathers, uncles, cousins etc, not just one person.

          Try learning to read you cretin.

          How many did your family lose?

          Or were they too busy being isolationists in the US, and thereby directly contributing to the deaths of millions through impeding the US entry into the war?

        • Andrew wrote:
          > How many did your family lose?

          If we count “grandfathers, uncles, cousins etc” – then 4 men in on the battlefield and all my civilian relatives – and that would be many dozens – who were living in Belarus, Latvia and Lithuania in the Holocaust.

          You know very well about and have extensively discussed my being Jewish. I already knew you weren’t a big fan of Israel and post opinions that blame Jews for Stalin’s crimes, but claiming that Jews “were too busy being isolationists in the US, and thereby directly contributing to the deaths of millions through impeding the US entry into the war” – well, your blaming my Jewish relatives for the Holocaust – that’ s the all-time antisemitic revisionist low even for this blog.

          And let me repeat:

          Human Losses of World War Two by Country

          Total deaths

          New Zealand 11,900
          United States 418,500
          Soviet Union 23,954,000

          Deaths as % of 1939 population

          New Zealand 0.1%
          United States 0.32%
          Soviet Union 14.18%

          That’s a total of fewer than 12 thousand deaths for New Zealand. Do you really want me to believe that most of these casualties were your relatives?

          • Oh, I am big fan of Israel in the pre 1967 borders, and have friends and relatives who live there myself. However, the current massive use of force, and destruction of civillian life and property is a betrayal of the brave servicemen & women who gained the moral high ground for Israel in 67 & 73.

            And the ghetto’s for the Palestinians remind me a bit too much of Warsaw, battered childrens syndrome maybe?

            I was just pointing out that you should be careful about throwing stones when we come from a glass house ourselves.

            BTW, that article was written by a Jewish historian, I have a few more of them if you would like to see them.

            I am not being anti-semitic, but the fact is that during the Bolshevik terror under Lenin, and the Communist Terror under Stalin, Soviet Jews were dispraportionately involved, far more so than Georgians.

            Another historical fact.

            As for my family losses in WW2, they were particularly high due to the fact that I am from a military family, with a long tradition of service.

            I don’t really care what you think Phobophobe, but I do think you are a typical “Useful Idiot”, or maybe you come from the Libertarian Socialist/Communist tradition?

      • > I have not met a liberal (in the CATO sense)

        CATO has nothing to do with liberals. On most issues, CATO and Libertarians are less liberal than Republicans.

        Just because the words “Liberal” and “Libertarian” start with the same letters, it doesn’t mean they are synonyms. You are the first English-speaking person I have met who is ignorant of what the meaning of the word “Libertarian”.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson

  42. Andrew wrote:
    > Hmmm, what Russia wants. Thats easy.

    It sure is easy for a shallow, ignorant and bigoted simpleton like yourself, but serious scientists and experts devote their entire lives to this “easy question”:

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/What+Russia+wants%3a+Moscow+is+not+bent+on+world+domination%2c+just…-a0185430500

    What Russia wants: Moscow is not bent on world domination, just regional influence.

    By Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, is the author of eight books on international affairs

    To Russophobes the answer is clear: the evil empire has been reborn and is on the march. They issued shrill warnings that Moscow’s dust-up with Georgia was just like the Soviet Union’s invasions of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. Some even invoked the threadbare 1930s analogy, with Russia playing the role of Nazi Germany.

    Contrary to such alarmism., it is more likely that Russia’s strategic aims are modest, largely confined to its own neighborhood, and typical for a major power. Moscow’s actions also appear to be more defensive than offensive–a belated reaction to clumsy, arrogant policies that the United States and its NATO allies have pursued for more than a decade…. Then in 1999, the United States and its allies waged an air war against Serbia, ultimately wrenching away its province of Kosovo. They bypassed the UN Security Council to do so, thereby evading a Russian veto… In February, the United States and its leading European allies again bypassed the UN Security Council (and Russia’s veto) to grant Kosovo independence. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warned that such a step set a dangerous international precedent that would encourage secessionist movements around the world. America, he said, had “opened a Pandora’s box.” Ominously, he noted specifically that the Kosovo precedent would seem to apply to South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

    Indeed, the inclusion of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as part of Georgia was an arbitrary edict that the Soviet government made under Josef Stalin.

    Russia’s actions in Georgia are not much different from the typical conduct of other great powers–including the United States–in their neighborhoods. Since World War II, the United States has invaded and occupied the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Panama, and Haiti. Washington orchestrated a successful coup against the government of Guatemala and tried to do the same both to Fidel Castro’s regime in Cuba and the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. It is a bit much for American leaders to admonish the Russians not to molest small, hostile neighbors.

  43. So, you think that the Russians, with their tradition of autocratic, violently repressive, and genocidal government should have a “sphere of influence” over nieghbouring states?

    Considering that these states are sovereign, and their people reject Russian rule, why should people like you be allowed to force them back under Russian “guidance”.

    Sphere of influence is just lazy PC speak for empire.

    Russia wants to dictate the form and direction of government of former soviet states, and eastern block countries, their alliances, their foreign policies, and particularly in the case of Georgia to gain a stranglehold on the energy corridor from central asia to Europe thereby being able to dictate to central asia.

    The vast overwhelming majority of the public in eastern europe have rather unpleseant memories of being part of a “Russian sphere of influence” something that you obviously have no sympathy for.

    If you like authoritarian governments so much, what are you doing living in the US? Go to Russia, you will find your rosy view of Russia and its policies somewhat out of alignment with reality.

    Or better still, go to Poland, Georgia, Ukraine, the Baltic states, even Finland, and see what they have to say about the Russians.

    Go on, try it, you will learn more common sense in one trip than in reading all the pap from the CATO insititute.

    • Andrew, you’ve expressed your rejection of a “Russian sphere of influence” in this blog more than once – maybe it’s time to change your tune? Nevertheless, I would answer you again, and for the last time: after numerous invasions of “promoters of Western values” (Teutonic knights in the 13th century, Poles in the 17th century, Swedes in the 18th century, Napoleon in the 19th century, Hitler in the 20th century) that inflicted untold sufferings upon her, RUSSIA WANTS DEFENSIBLE BORDERS. And, to tell you the truth, Russians don’t care a hell what puny excuses for nations that are only good at licking someone’s boots (the kaiser’s, Hitler’s, Stalin’s, Clinton’s, Bush’s…) think or say about them. Let them hate me as long as they fear me. (c) Caius Julius Ceasar Caligula.

      • But wasn’t Stalin recently voted the 3rd greatest Russian?

        He is also adored by Putin.

        • Quite rightly, too. Industrializing an agrarian country in just 10 years, educating a nation whose majority was illiterate, winning a war against the whole continental Europe and obtaining a nuclear bomb in a war-devastated country are no mean feats.

          • Eugene, you’ve expressed your romantic interest for “Comrade Stalin” in this blog more than once – maybe it’s time to change your tune? Nevertheless, I would answer you again, and for the last time: after numerous waves of copying Western values (Conversion to Christianity, Peter the Great, Westernizers, Catherine the Great, Lenin, Yeltsin, Putin) that did finally bring development to Russia, RUSSIA STILL CARES MORE ABOUT ITS BORDERS THAN ABOUT DEVELOPMENT AND THE WELL-BEING OF ITS POPULATION. And, to tell you the truth, Russia’s elite doesn’t care a hell what the countries to which they sell their two basic products and on which they depend economically (Europe, China, a couple of rogue states, etc.) think — the Russian elite just wants to go on hating them, hating anyone who does better than them or has more money than they do. To which we can only say, with Caligula: Oderint dum metuant. (Unfortunately he didn’t speak English…)

        • > But wasn’t Stalin recently voted the 3rd greatest Russian?

          Yes, in an internet online poll where people – including foreigners – were allowed to vote as many times as they pleased; it suffered from hacker attacks; and most of Stalin vote came from spam:

          http://themoscowlife.ru/news/2009/01/08/6.html

          So, for all we know, all Stalin votes could have come from some lonely but persistent spammer living in Georgia… Maybe an expat from New Zealand?

          Stalin’s popularity in Russia is nothing compared to Stephen Colbert’s popularity in USA and Hungary (although nobody in Hungary knows him):

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Colbert_Report

          The Colbert Report is an American satirical late night television program. It stars political humorist Stephen Colbert.

          In March 2009, NASA ran an online contest to name the new node of the International Space Station. Colbert encouraged his viewers to write in his name. By the end, 230,539 “Colbert” votes were cast. This beat Serenity, the top NASA choice, by more than 40,000 votes.

          In 2006, after Colbert encouraged viewers to vote online to name a Hungarian bridge after him, he won the first round of voting with 17,231,724 votes.

          /////////////////

          Yes, friend, 17 million votes for Colbert in tiny Hungary! And how many votes did Stalin get in the voting in huge Russia? Stalin got 519,071. Thus, per capita, Stephen Colbert is 300 times more popular in Hungary than Stalin is in Russia. :-)

          • Well dickhead,

            Considering that multiple polls of Russians view Stalin positively, as do the new school history textbooks, and the Russian government is currently rehabilitating him as a great Russian hero, I suggest you are full of BS as usual.

            “In the past decade, 200 books and films about Stalin, some eulogies, have appeared. Polls show that 18 per cent of Russians believe he was their best leader since 1917, while almost 50 per cent view him in a positive or very positive light.

            In May the first major museum dedicated to Stalin in half a century will be opened in Volgograd by his three grandsons. Among the exhibits will be telegrams from Stalin to Churchill, a model of the train he lived in after the 1917 revolution and his famous cap.

            Valentina Klyushina, the deputy curator of Volgograd’s famous statue to Mother Russia, is an enthusiast for the project, even though her mother was jailed for seven years in Stalin’s time.

            “He was a great man with a great personality,” she said. “Even his enemies, even Churchill, acknowledged that he took a backward country with an illiterate population and turned it into a global powerhouse with a nuclear bomb.”

            It is unclear how the Kremlin views the growing popularity of Stalin and the vilification of Khrushchev. But President Vladimir Putin has been less willing to condemn Stalin than his predecessors.

            Stalin is remembered by some as a champion of equality. “Would there have been a Roman Abramovich under Stalin?” asked Mr Usik, repeating a refrain frequently heard these days.

            He is popular among the young, say pollsters, mainly because of rising nationalism, the result of the humiliation of Russia’s diminished place in the world.

            Volgograd University students lauded Stalin on everything from collectivisation, the agricultural policy that resulted in the deaths of millions through famine, to his supposed love for human rights.

            “To change a weak country into the world’s greatest power, we had to collectivise,” said Andrei Ivanov, a history student. “We were able to produce tractor factories and to win the war.”

            Students insist Stalin’s crimes were exaggerated by Khrushchev to avenge the death of his son, Leonid, whom they believed was executed during the war for passing secrets to the Nazis – a rumour that has long been debunked.”

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/1511458/Stalins-light-is-shining-bright-in-Mother-Russia.html

            What is Putin’s opinion of him?

            Most people agree that Stalin’s name, and the Stalin period, has undergone a renaissance during Vladimir Putin’s eight years in charge. Putin has never come out and heaped praise on the Soviet leader, but has made several remarks suggesting that Stalinism wasn’t all that bad. In a discussion with history teachers, he said that the Great Terror of 1937 was a “scary page” in Russian history, but suggested that the American bombings of Hiroshima and Vietnam were far worse. “We should never allow others to make us feel guilty,” he said. Putin has also been instrumental in a rehabilitation of the Soviet past in general. “Yelstin wanted to break all links with the Soviet period, whereas Putin moved to re-establish continuity with the Soviet past,” says Boris Dubin, an expert at the Levada Centre think tank in Moscow.

            And what about Dmitry Medvedev?

            Medvedev is of a different generation to Putin. While Putin was running around East Germany as a KGB spy, Medvedev was playing air guitar to Deep Purple records and dreaming of owning a pair of jeans. During his election campaign, he told youths at a rock concert that everything had been “grey” during the Soviet period. In his speeches, he has also focused less on making Russia strong and powerful, and more on improving economic and civil freedoms for its citizens. How serious he is, and how much he’ll be able to change things, remains to be seen, but it’s a fair bet that his views towards Stalin are less charitable than Putin’s.

            Nevertheless, while it’s unlikely that Medvedev would publically praise Stalin, one of his first speeches as President was to take over command of the Presidential Regiment from Putin and congratulate it on its 72nd anniversary. The regiment was formed in 1936, just before the Great Terror, to protect Stalin. The improbability of Angela Merkel offering similar congratulations to a regiment formed during the Nazi period shows just how differently Russia and Germany look at the “dark” parts of their histories.

            How do Russians see the Stalin period?

            A survey from late 2006 found that 47 per cent of Russians viewed Stalin as a positive figure, and only 29 per cent as a negative one. “Lenin is slowly becoming a historical figure with little contemporary relevance,” says Mr Dubin. “But as we focus more and more on the Great Patriotic War [Second World War] as the main event in our 20th-century history, the figure of Stalin becomes more and more significant to ordinary Russians.”

            Under Putin, Victory Day has become the biggest Russian holiday, and for most Russians, the name of Stalin is synonymous with the Second World War effort. Western scholarship that suggests Stalin refused to believe that Hitler would attack the Soviet Union in 1941 and thus cost thousands of lives is rubbished, and there is also no discussion of the forced deportation of millions of Soviet citizens – Chechens, Volga Germans, Kalmyks and others.

            What are children taught about Stalin?

            A new, government-approved history textbook was launched last year to much controversy. The book covers the 20th century, with a chapter at the end on Vladimir Putin and “sovereign democracy”. The textbook portrays the Stalinist repressions as a necessary evil: “The result of Stalin’s purges was a new class of managers capable of solving the task of modernisation in conditions of shortages of resources, loyal to the supreme power and immaculate from the point of view of executive discipline.” A few historians would argue with that analysis.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-big-question-why-is-stalin-still-popular-in-russia-despite-the-brutality-of-his-regime-827654.html

            And the fact that the current Russian regime gets terribly upset when anyone criticises the “Great Leader” Stalin

            Russian delegates have reacted angrily after an OSCE parliamentary session in Lithuania voted for a remembrance day for victims of Nazism and Stalinism.

            The parliament of the pan-European security body passed a resolution equating the roles of the USSR and Nazi Germany in starting World War II.

            Moscow’s delegation tried but failed to have the resolution withdrawn.

            Relations between Russia and the OSCE are already strained over hurdles to election observers in Russia itself.

            ‘No insult’

            The resolution, meant to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain, said that Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union brought genocide and crimes against humanity to Europe.

            It called for making 23 August a day of remembrance for the victims of Stalinism and Nazism.

            On that day in 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union signed a pact that carved up Eastern Europe between the two countries.

            Vilija Aleknaite-Abramikiene, the Lithuanian delegate who drafted the resolution, said the intention was not to insult anybody, but to remember those who perished in World War II.

            A big majority of the delegates present backed the resolution. Out of 213 members there, from 50 countries, only eight voted against it and four abstained, OSCE parliamentary spokesman Klas Bergman told BBC News.

            There were some reports that Russia’s delegates left the hall immediately after the motion was passed but Mr Bergman denied this, saying they “continued to participate in the session”.

            Joseph Stalin continues to be a hero to many Russians, who credit him with defeating Nazi Germany.

            But in some countries occupied by the Soviets, and in the Baltic states in particular, the Soviets are reviled as much as the Nazis.

            http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8133749.stm

            Then there are the government raids on Memorial and the impounding of many years of research into the crimes of the Soviet state, and particularly the great purges.

            In recent years, Russian authorities have made strides in rehabilitating Stalin. In 2006, nearly half of Russians polled by the Levada Center, a leading Moscow survey group, said they viewed Stalin positively, while just 29 percent perceived him negatively. When a Russian TV network conducted an online survey this summer asking who was the greatest Russian ever, Stalin was a leading contender.

            Memorial’s St. Petersburg branch has been researching and documenting Stalin’s crimes for 20 years, building one of the world’s most complete archives of one of the darkest chapters in Russia’s history.

            These archives are now in the hands of Russian police. St. Petersburg prosecutors say they conducted the raid because they were trying to track down an article in Novy Peterburg, a local newspaper under investigation on charges of extremism. But Flige says Memorial has no connection at all with the newspaper.

            The archives include information and images that Flige says play an invaluable role in preserving the historical record of the Stalin era, including databases recording the names and biographical data of thousands of Stalin’s victims.

            Flige says she does not know when she will get the archives back, or what condition they will be in when they are returned. “They could damage them, either deliberately or by accident,” she said.

            The raid occurred Dec. 4, a day before Flige was slated to join leading historians and academics at a conference in Moscow about Stalin’s place in Russian history. “The way we see it, the raid was a kind of greeting card from the authorities ahead of the conference,” she said.

            Flige says the raid reflects a government bent on remaking history so Russians believe “all of the difficulties of the past were needed for the glory of Russia.”

            That worries Elizaveta Delibash, a gulag survivor, who says too many Russians have acquiesced to the government’s version of history.

            “There’s a large part of society that simply doesn’t know Russian history,” says Delibash, 80. “So the work of Memorial is very important to let people know what really happened. The problem is that the authorities fully understand this.”

            http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2008/dec/17/nation/chi-russia-stalin_rodriguezdec17

          • But wait, there is more:

            Rights groups have voiced concern over the growing public approval of Stalin in Russia.

            Today, many Russians only softly condemn the massive Stalin-led purges that took tens of millions of lives. Some Russians even deny the purges took place.

            In an indication of Stalin’s growing popularity across the country, three cities have announced plans to erect monuments to Stalin in recognition of his wartime achievements. Almost all his statues were pulled down during the de-Stalinization campaign spearheaded by his successor, Nikita Khrushchev.

            A movement is afoot in Volgograd to restore the city’s previous name, Stalingrad, and a recent poll has shown that nearly half of Russians view Stalin in a positive light. One in four respondents said they would vote for Stalin if he were running for office today.

            The festivities held in Moscow on 9 May to mark the 60th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II have been an occasion for Stalin supporters to once more hail his historical role.

            Speaking at a huge communist rally in central Moscow on 9 May, Communist Party chief Gennadii Zyuganov praised Stalin as a “great leader and supreme commander.”

            The same day, at the official parade on Red Square attended by over 50 foreign heads of state, Russian President Vladimir Putin made no public mention of the Soviet wartime leader. But critics say that Putin’s reluctance to speak about Stalin — particularly to criticize his authoritarian rule — does nothing to quell the nascent cult of Stalin in Russia and may even encourage it.

            Aleksandr Cherkasov, a leading expert at the Memorial human rights group, says Putin in his own way is tapping into Stalin nostalgia in hopes of consolidating his own power.

            “In the 1990s, nostalgia for Soviet times arose as a way to reject post-Soviet reality,” Cherkasov said. “Nowadays, it is the authorities who are in charge of history. In the past, Putin declared that the future of Russia is its great past. He is rationalizing this nostalgia for the past and trying to place it at the base of his political program.”

            Cherkasov says that the reemerging glorification of Stalin is a sign that what he describes as the Kremlin’s “political PR” in favor of Stalin is starting to bear fruit.

            http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1058845.html

            MOSCOW MARCH 5. Fifty years after his death the Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin, is growing increasingly popular among Russians as they smart over the decline of the erstwhile superpower. An opinion poll conducted on the eve of Stalin’s 50th death anniversary on March 5, showed that over half of Russians, 53 per cent, think Stalin did more good than bad for the Soviet Union, as against 33 per cent who think otherwise.

            The number of people who think positively of the dictator increased by 50 per cent over the past five years.

            The All-Russia Centre for Public Opinion Studies, which conducted the poll, says Stalin’s popularity has been steadily growing since 1990, when people started getting disappointed with the former leader, Mikhail Gorbachev’s liberal reforms. Though 58 per cent of Russians agree that Stalin’s rule was a “reign of massive terror against the people of Russia,” they still praise him for leading the Soviet Union to victory in World War Two and turning it into a superpower.

            “The current resurrection of Stalin is the result of the failure of democratic reforms in Russia,” said Prof. Saltan Dzarasov of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Two-third Russians tell pollsters the last decade was the worst they could remember. Despite recent economic revival, 50 million Russians, or one in three, live below the poverty line, according to the State Statistical Board of Russia.

            Pollsters say it is among the poor that Stalin is especially popular. Sensitive to the new public mood, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has revived the old Soviet national anthem and reinstated the Soviet red flag as the official banner of the Russian armed forces.

            Law & order

            In fact, Mr. Putin owes much of his record-breaking 80-per cent popularity to the fact that he has restored a measure of law and order associated with Stalin after a decade of chaos and disarray under the former President, Boris Yeltsin. Analysts say both the poor and the rich share a longing for an iron-fisted leader. “The poor want a Stalin to make short shrift of their enemies, the rich, while the latter want a Stalin to keep the poor at bay,” said Prof. Dzarasov.

            http://www.thehindu.com/2003/03/06/stories/2003030600831500.htm

            Spammers, yeah right.

            Unfortunately “useful idiots” such as yourself don’t want to see the truth about Russia, you are too busy swallowing state propaganda from “Russia Today” and “Pravda”

          • Andrew wrote:
            >>> Andrew wrote: “Stalin is also adored by Putin”

            I demanded:
            >> You gave no reference for this!

            Andrew replied:
            > Putin has never come out and heaped praise on the Soviet leader, but … in a discussion with history teachers, he said that the Great Terror of 1937 was a “scary page” in Russian history

            So, your claim that “Puin adores Stalin” is based on Putin saying that the Great Terror of 1937 was a “scary page” in Russian history?

            Now, maybe you are indeed such a moron that you think that condemnation of the Great Terror (and of dropping nuclear bombs on civilians) is equivalent to the “adoration of Stalin”, but objectively speaking, you should be immediately banned by LR for having lied and having made claims without links.

        • Andrew wrote: “Stalin is also adored by Putin”

          You gave no reference for this!

          “LA RUSSOPHOBE wrote to russophile: “Your comment has been deleted because you made factual claims without linking to source material, a rude violation of our clearly posted rules. Do it again and you’ll be banned.”

          If you were not such a prolific russophobe, you would have been deleted and banned long ago, Andrew. :-)

          In the meantime, I shall give you some **referenced** quotes:

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/apr/01/georgia.oil / The Guardian, April 2004 /
          By John Laughland, a trustee of the British Helsinki Human Rights Group, in Batumi
          In an interview with a Dutch magazine, Sandra Roelofs, the Dutch wife of the new Georgian president, explained that her husband aspires to follow in the long tradition of strong Georgian leaders “like Stalin and Beria”.

          Saakashvili started his march on Tbilisi last November with a rally in front of the statue of Stalin in his birthplace, Gori. Unfazed, the western media continue to chatter about Saakashvili’s democratic credentials…

          New world order enthusiasts have praised the nightly displays on Georgian television of people being arrested and bundled off to prison in handcuffs. The politics of envy and fear combine in an echo of 1930s Moscow, as Saakashvili’s anti-corruption campaign, egged on by the west, allows the biggest gangsters in this gangster state to eliminate their rivals.

          http://www.businessweek.com/2001/01_08/b3720171.htm
          Georgia is a place to root for, its nostalgia for the tyrannical Stalin notwithstanding.

          Executive Intelligence Review, December 5, 2003: Georgia: Soros, Stalin, And a Barrel of Wine
          On Nov. 21, two correspondents of Kommersant Daily traveled from Gori, Georgia, the birthplace of Iosif Stalin, to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi-accompanying a column of opposition activists headed by Michael Saakashvili. After a rally before the huge statue of Stalin, the marchers set out. A 40-liter cask of wine helped them along.

          http://groups.google.com/group/soc.culture.baltics/msg/e11dc2bfd73675b3
          I worked in Georgia for 1 month in 1982. I can remember that Stalin was perceived as Georgian national hero by everyone I met there. It was very interesting to experience how they hold on to this cult, because I’ve never seen anything like this before in any parts of USSR. It was quite surreal.

          Georgian state archive of insurance of archival collections:
          Dushethi, 383060, Stalin Street 92
          Mestia, 384750, Stalin Street 132
          Qareli, 383610, Stalin Street 20

          • Last year, the president informed a group of history teachers that Russia “has nothing to be ashamed of” and that it was their job to make students “proud of their motherland.” His government has tried to help by commissioning guidelines and books that present a more balanced picture of Joseph Stalin, described in one approved volume as “the most successful Soviet leader ever.”

            That sentiment could be taken as ironic—on the order of praising a slag heap as the most picturesque of its genre. In fact, Putin really wants to commend a dictator who, if he was not the most savage and destructive criminal of the 20th century, certainly ranks in the top three, with Hitler and Mao. The efforts at rehabilitation may be working. One poll found that 54 percent of young Russians think Stalin was “a wise leader.”

            http://www.reason.com/news/show/122319.html

  44. > “So, you think that the Russians should have a “sphere of influence” over nieghbouring states?”

    All countries have the same rights. So, Russia’s rights to have a “sphere of influence” is exactly the same as USA’s.

    http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/views_on_countriesregions_bt/114.php.

    23 Nation Poll: Who will Lead the World?

    The countries most widely viewed as having a negative influence are the US (viewed negatively in 15 countries) and Russia (14 countries)… On average, a plurality of 47% view US influence in the world as mostly negative, while 38% view it as mostly positive… On average, 35% view Russia positively and 40% negatively…. Larger percentages of young people than older people have a positive view of the influence of Russia. However, young people are more prone to view the US as having a negative influence, as well as Britain.

    > “Or better still, go to Poland, Georgia,…., and see what they have to say about the Russians”.

    Go to Cuba and other Latin American countries and see what they have to say about the Americans. Or better still, go to Iraq and Iran and see what **they** have to say about the Americans. Or go anywhere in the World for that matter:

    http://www.rferl.org/content/International_Poll_Finds_US_Still_Viewed_As_Worlds_Bully/1771375.html

    International Poll Finds U.S. Still Viewed As World’s Bully, — July 07, 2009

    A new poll conducted in 20 countries representing more than 60 percent of the world’s population says feelings toward the United States haven’t changed much since Barak Obama became the U.S. president.

    The poll finds that in 15 of 19 countries the majority sees Washington as bullying other countries with the threat of its powerful military. In 17 of 19 countries, according to the poll, the United States is seen as not obeying international law.

    http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=M1ARTM0012600
    … past polls showing that most Canadians believe U.S. policy is at least partially to blame for 9/11

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-zalman/improving-americas-reputa_b_134335.html
    …international polls … these views amount to the collapse of America’s reputation around the world… McCain observed that, “the United States is more unpopular now than at any time in history and increasingly viewed as pursuing its narrow self-interest.”

    • Hmmm, now are you not (as a Libertarian) supposed to be working for the deminishment/destruction of State governments and their “crushing” of personal liberty?

      Supporting such and autocratic state as Russia seems to me to be somwhat at odds with this vision of yours.

      Not too mention the fact that you discount the rights of Georgians, Ukrainians etc to their own liberty.

      Or is this just more of your hypocrisy?

  45. After the disintegration of the USSR, Russia is bent on building an economic empire. By buying key economic entities across the territories of former Soviet republics, it wants to ensure their dependence on Moscow. So far, Russia has successfully controlled the actions of its neighbors by rewarding the obedient with lower gas prices and vice versa. Recently, Russia has banned exports from Georgia and interfered in other ways to create a government backlash and thwart any pro-West policies. A new Russian empire – economic in form rather than military – poses renewed threats to European security. – YaleGlobal

    Caught in the Vise of Russia’s Illiberal “Liberal Empire”

    Vladimer Papava
    The Daily Star, 20 March 2007

    Across the West, many people are questioning whether Russia will continue using natural gas as a means of putting economic and political pressure on Ukraine, Georgia, and other countries in what the Kremlin regards as its “near abroad.” Using the “energy weapon,” however, is not just a tactic: It is at the heart of the prevailing doctrine guiding Russian foreign policy.

    Russia’s policy toward the post-Soviet countries is based on the doctrine of a “liberal empire,” according to which Russia’s major government-owned and private companies should assume control of key economic entities across the territories of the former Soviet republics by acquiring their assets. In this context, the word “liberal” should be understood to suggest that the empire of the “new Russian dream” should be built by purely economic means, excluding all forcible action against other nations.

    Naturally, the key role in this model is given to the supply of energy to the post-Soviet countries. In particular, the Russian utility giant Gazprom uses increases in gas prices as a means of punishing “disobedient” neighbors. Ukraine was punished in this way for its eagerness to integrate with the West following the Orange Revolution. However, after the return of the pro-Russian Victor Yanukovich as prime minister, the country’s pro-Western orientation was significantly weakened. So it should be no surprise that Ukraine has faced no further problems with the supply of Russian gas.

    But Georgia remains a major Kremlin-Gazprom target. Russia’s attempt to drag Georgia into its imperial net started in the summer of 2003, when the Russian power monopoly United Energy System took control of 75 percent of Georgia’s electricity network. After the “Rose Revolution” of November 2003, Russian companies turned out to be the most avid purchasers of Georgian enterprises and their assets.

    The first significant obstacle in the way of Russia’s designs on Georgia was intervention by the United States, which demanded that the Georgian government drop negotiations with Gazprom and banned Georgia from selling the gas pipeline that connects Russia and Armenia through Georgian territory. Russia punished Georgia almost immediately, banning the import of Georgian wines and mineral waters – both of which are key export goods.

    As Georgia’s prospects of joining NATO seemed to increase, Russian actions became more illiberal. Ethnic Georgians living in Russia, including Russian citizens, became targets of persecution. Russian actions were aimed at fomenting an anti-government backlash in Georgia, thereby paving the way for pro-Russian political forces to come to power. But the illiberalism inherent in Russian imperialism is not limited to recent behavior, and, more disturbingly, it extends to the question of Georgia’s territorial integrity, as Russian troops continue to prop up secessionist regions.

    By provoking ethnic conflicts in the territories of former Soviet republics, Moscow hopes to keep them under its control and influence. Ironically, the Russian troops deployed in the renegade Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have been accorded the status of “peacekeepers.” But they are really illegal occupiers, as Russia’s decision to give Russian passports to these regions’ residents attests.

    Now Russia is threatening to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia if the West recognizes the Serbian province of Kosovo as an independent nation. To the extent that most of the residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have already been given Russian citizenship, the recognition of those two regions’ sovereignty would be entirely fictitious and, in fact, an interim measure on the way to full annexation by Russia.

    To strengthen Russia’s political influence over Georgia’s separatist regions, Gazprom, without taking the trouble to ask for permission from Georgia’s democratically elected leaders, has begun constructing a gas pipeline connecting Russia and South Ossetia directly. Although there was no interruption of gas supply from Tbilisi to South Ossetia, this step is necessary for the Kremlin to ensure even greater integration of this Georgian region into Russia’s economic system.

    With Gazprom having already doubled gas tariffs for Georgia, the energy noose is tightening. But, thanks to gas supplies from neighboring Azerbaijan, Georgia has not yet been strangled.

    A revived Russian empire, whether it is constructed by force or through economic coercion, is not in anyone’s interests. Reining in Russia’s illiberal “liberal empire” is the central question of European security today.

    Vladimer Papava, a former minister of economy of the Republic of Georgia, is a senior fellow at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies and author of “Necroeconomics,” a study of post-communist economic problems. “The Daily Star” publishes this commentary in collaboration with Project Syndicate (www.project-syndicate.org).

    http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=8932

  46. Andrew flooded this blog with his unreadable stuff. But he thought he hadn’t done enough to sabotage and destroy this blog and threw in tons and tons more garbage:

    > But wait, there is more:

    LOL

    As I said many times: had I posted one hundredth of the volume that you post – I would be banned forever.

    P.S. Has anybody ever read Andrew’s diarrheic volumes to the end or at least to the middle?

  47. For the record, here are Putin’s real views on Stalin’s purges (with links!):

    http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSL3072723020071030

    Putin honors Stalin victims 70 years after terror

    Reuters – October 39, 2007

    Russian President Vladimir Putin paid his respects on Tuesday to millions of people killed under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and called for the country to unite to prevent a repeat of its tragic past.
    Putin marked Russia’s annual day of remembrance for the victims of Stalin’s purges with a visit to Butovo, where tens of thousands of people were executed. “We know very well that 1937 was the peak of the purges but this year was well prepared by years of cruelty,” Putin said beside a mass grave after laying flowers at a memorial. Putin said such tragedies “happen when empty ideas are put above fundamental values, values of human life, of rights and freedom.”

    “Hundreds of thousands, millions of people were killed and sent to camps, shot and tortured,” he said. “These were people with their own ideas which they were unafraid of speaking out about. They were the cream of the nation.” “There was even a complete theatrical troupe from the Baltics massacred here,” Deacon Dmitry, a priest at the site, said.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/7069530.stm
    In pictures: Putin laments Stalin purges

    http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2007-10/2007-10-30-voa52.cfm?m
    Putin Commemorates Victims of Soviet Repression
    Voice Of America
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has commemorated more than 20,000 people executed at a Moscow killing field during the height of Stalinist terror in 1937 to 1938. Mr. Putin said those who perished
    included the Soviet Union’s most outspoken and effective people. Under gray skies, President Putin laid flowers at a cross erected in memory of more than 20,000 people shot at the Butovo firing range on Moscow’s southern edge. Mr. Putin said Russians should do their best to remember the tragedy, which occurred in 1937 and 1938. The Russian leader says millions of people were destroyed, shot, sent to labor
    camps, and tortured.

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-71650326.html

    Putin Signs Repression Payback Bill

    Associated Press, February 2003

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill providing additional government pensions and other privileges to children of victims of Soviet-era political repression. The new law gives people whose parents were subjected to political repression while they were minors the same rights as other repression victims, the presidential press service said Monday in a statement.

    • The sinister resurrection of Stalin
      The Soviet leader’s triumphant imperialism is the key to his rehabilitation under Putin, believes Anne Applebaum.

      Who is the greatest Russian of all time? In the unlikely event that you answered “Stalin”, you would be in good company. One of the 20th century’s most horrific dictators has just come third in an opinion poll conducted by a Russian television station. Some 50 million people are said to have voted.

      Myself, I have some doubts about the veracity of this poll, particularly given that the television station in question is state-owned, and therefore manipulated by the Kremlin. Also, first place went to Alexander Nevsky, a medieval prince who defeated German invaders – and an ideal symbol for the Putinist regime, which prides itself on its defiance of the West. Second place went to Piotr Stolypin, a turn-of-the-century economic reformer who, among other things, gave his name to the cattle cars (Stolypinki) in which prisoners were transported to Siberia – another excellent symbol for the “reformer with an iron fist” label to which both Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev aspire.

      Both seem too good to be true; neither had ever before seemed like candidates for such an august title. Had the poll been completely free, I expect Stalin would have come in first place. Why wouldn’t he? After all, the government, media and teaching professions in Russia have spent a good chunk of the past decade trying to rehabilitate him – and not by accident.

      All nations politicise history to some extent, of course. But in Russia, the tradition of falsification and manipulation of the past is deeper and more profound than almost anywhere else. In its heyday, the KGB retouched photographs to remove discredited comrades, changed history books to put other comrades in places where they had not been, monitored and tormented professional historians. Russia’s current leaders are their descendants, sometimes literally.

      But even those who are not the children of KGB officers were often raised and trained inside the culture of the KGB – an organisation that believed that history was not neutral but rather something to be used, cynically, in the battle for power. In Putinist Russia, events are present in textbooks, or absent from official culture, because someone has taken a conscious decision that it should be so.

      And, clearly, a decision has been made about Stalin. In a recently released, officially sanctioned Russian history textbook, in public celebrations and official speeches, the attitude towards him runs something like this: “Mistakes were made… errors were committed… but great things were achieved. And it was all worth it.”

      This public portrayal of Stalin is highly selective. The many, many millions who died in the Gulag, in mass deportations or in mass murders are mentioned only as a kind of aside. Stalin’s purges of his closest colleagues and revolutionary comrades are given short shrift. The terror that made people afraid to speak their minds openly, that made children turn their parents in to the police, that stunted families and friendships, is absent from most contemporary accounts. Even Stalin’s programmes of industrialisation and agricultural collectivisation – which modernised the country at enormous cost to the population, the environment, and Russia’s long-term economic health – are not dwelled upon.

      Instead, it is Stalin’s wartime leadership that is widely celebrated, and in particular his moment of imperial triumph in 1945, when Soviet-style communism was imposed on Russia’s western neighbours. In that year, Eastern Europe became a Russian colony and, more to the point, Stalin negotiated as an equal with Roosevelt and Churchill.

      Annually, Russia’s May celebrations of the anniversary of victory in 1945 grow more elaborate. Last year, they included several thousand Russian soldiers dressed in Soviet uniforms, waving the Soviet flag and singing Soviet songs. Major pieces of weaponry were paraded across Red Square, just like in the old days, to enormous applause.

      Books about the war have also now become a major publishing phenomenon in a country that, up until a few years ago, hardly published any popular history at all. Most major bookstores now have a war section, often featuring books like one I picked up in Moscow a few months ago. Entitled We Defeated Berlin and Frightened New York, it is the memoir of a pilot who describes the joy of bombing raids and revels in Russia’s long-lost power to frighten others.

      Even more significant is the role that the celebration of the Soviet Union’s imperial zenith now plays in a larger narrative about recent Russian history, namely the story of the 1980s and the 1990s. Famously, Putin once said that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the “biggest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century”, presumably larger than either world war. He, along with the Russian media and the current Russian president who echo him, now considers the more open discussion of the Stalinist past that took place during Gorbachev’s glasnost to have been a distraction, a moment of national weakness. More to the point, they openly attribute the economic hardships of the 1990s not to decades of communist neglect and widespread theft, but to deliberate Western meddling, Western-style democracy and Western-style capitalism.

      In fact, this argument now lies at the heart of the current Russian leadership’s popular legitimacy. Summed up, it goes something like this: communism was stable and safe; post-communism was a disaster. Putinism, within which Medvedev fits naturally, represents a return at last to the stability and safety of the communist period. Cheer for Stalin, cheer for Putin, cheer for Medvedev, and the media will once again be predictable, salaries will be paid on time, Russia’s neighbours will be cowed, and Russia’s leaders will, once again, negotiate on equal terms with the leaders of the West.

      Besides, the more people take pride in the Stalinist past, the less likely they are to want a system that is more genuinely democratic and genuinely capitalist – a system in which the Russians might, for example, vote their president out of power, or hold a street revolution of the kind that brought down corrupt, post-Soviet governments in Georgia and Ukraine. The more nostalgia there is for Soviet-era symbols, the more secure the KGB clique is going to be.

      None of which implies that the current Russian government is itself Stalinist either. As the recent election of Medvedev proved, Putin does not need that level of repression in order to stay in power. Too much violence might even threaten his legitimacy which is, as I say, based on an implied guarantee of stability and safety.

      Nor was this rewriting of history ever inevitable. Despite the clichés people often spout about Russians invariably leaning towards authoritarianism or dictatorship, Russia was never condemned to celebrate this version of history.

      On the contrary, a future government could, instead, rediscover the legacy of Russian liberalism at the beginning of the 20th century or even the legacy of the Russian dissidents, who in the 1960s and 1970s essentially invented what we now call the modern human rights movement. Every country has a right to celebrate some positive elements of its past, and Russia is no exception. But that Putin and his colleagues have chosen, of all things, to celebrate Stalinist imperialism tells us a good deal about their vision of their country’s future.

      Anne Applebaum is the author of ‘Gulag: a History’ (Penguin)

  48. Gorbachev warns against rehabilitating Stalin
    Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned today against whitewashing the crimes of dictator Josef Stalin, stressing that Russia cannot…

    By STEVE GUTTERMAN

    The Associated Press

    MOSCOW — Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned today against whitewashing the crimes of dictator Josef Stalin, stressing that Russia cannot move forward without facing the truth about its bloody past.

    In words that appeared aimed at President Vladimir Putin, Gorbachev also emphasized the need to pursue democracy.

    His remarks, less guarded than usual, came amid growing concern among Russia’s marginalized liberals that Putin’s government is recasting Stalin’s legacy to justify its own increasingly tight control.

    The Stalin era is being portrayed as a “golden age,” said Gorbachev, whose 1980s “glasnost” campaign as the last Soviet president prompted stunning revelations about Stalin’s murderous policies.

    “We must remember those who suffered, because it is a lesson for all of us — a lesson that many have not learned,” Gorbachev said at a discussion marking the 70th anniversary of the bloodiest year of Stalin’s Great Terror.

    “It is impossible to live in the present or build long-term plans for the future if the disease of forgetfulness afflicts the country and society, or at least certain sections of it,” he said.

    Rather than reckoning with one of the most traumatic episodes in Russian history, scholars and activists said during the discussion at Gorbachev’s charitable foundation and think tank, Putin’s government is reshaping that legacy for its own purposes.

    “It’s not just forgetfulness, not just a lack of cultural memory — what’s happening is a massive attack aimed at revising our memory,” said Irina Shcherbakova of Memorial, a prominent non-governmental group dedicated to investigating Stalin’s repression.

    As one of the signs that Stalin’s crimes are being swept under the rug, she said a teacher’s manual that suggests his actions were justified by the need to modernize the economy is being pushed on high schools nationwide.

    “Textbooks today are aimed not to ensure the memory (of Stalin’s abuses), but to push this memory to the distant periphery of the consciousness,” said Arseny Roginsky, also an official at Memorial.

    Roginsky said that despite repeated requests, the state has done little or nothing to help establish the names of the millions killed under Stalin or the locations of their remains — only a fraction of which are known decades later, he said.

    More than 1.7 million people were arrested in 1937-38 by the Soviet security services alone, and at least 818,000 of them were shot, Roginsky said.

    But there is “decidedly no political will” on the government’s part to preserve a “national memory” of those abuses, he said, and he contrasted the atmosphere in Russia with the way Germany has acknowledged the Holocaust.

    In central Berlin, he said, there are signposts pointing to Nazi concentration camp sites: “A child passes by and asks his mother, ‘What’s Dachau, what’s Buchenwald?’ That’s how national memory is preserved and passed down.”

    In Moscow, he said, “There is not a single memorial plaque that says, ‘This person was a victim of the Terror.”‘

    Public interest in Soviet era crimes began to fade following the 1991 Soviet collapse, which plunged Russia into uncertainty and focused the attention of citizens on the country’s economic chaos. Since Putin came to power nearly eight years ago, however, Russia’s oil-fueled economy has grown steadily, giving its leaders more confidence.

    Putin has stressed the need for patriotism and pride, restored Soviet-era symbols such as the music for the national anthem, and has said repeatedly that Western portrayals of Russia and its history are too negative.

    In June, he told social studies teachers that no one should try to make Russia feel guilty about the Great Terror and that worse things happened in other countries, pointing to the U.S. atomic bombs dropped in Japan and its bombing of Vietnam.

    Putin and his allies “have sympathies to that time and to that way of ruling the country,” liberal politician Grigory Yavlinsky said, referring to the Stalin era.

    But he warned that Russia would not thrive under an authoritarian system — “and in Russia, we now have an authoritarian system.”

    Gorbachev, who rarely criticizes Putin, was more diplomatic. But he had harsh words for the secretive way Putin reshuffled the Cabinet earlier this month, echoing critics who said his maneuvering underscores the lack of popular input in running the country.

    “I was not satisfied with this,” Gorbachev said, suggesting it smacked of a return to the Soviet era.

    He warned against “freeing oneself from being under the control of the people,” and said government most be transparent.

    “We must do everything we can to ensure we take the path of democracy,” he said. “We must all keep in mind that it’s necessary to suffer for democracy, to support it and to take the democratic road.”

  49. Josef Stalin acted rationally in killing millions, claims Russian textbook
    Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin claims he acted “rationally” in executing and imprisoning millions of people in the Gulags, a Russian school book claims.

    By Chris Irvine
    Published: 8:25AM BST 03 Sep 2008

    The book, A History of Russia, 1900-1945, will be used as a teaching guide in Russian schools, 55 years after Stalin died.

    It is designed for teachers to promote patriotism among the Russian young, and seems to follow an attempt backed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to re-evaluate Stalin’s record in a more positive light.

    Millions were shot, exiled to Siberia or died of starvation after their land and homes were taken to fulfil Stalin’s vision of massive “factory farms” in the 1920s, while in the 1930s anyone who was a threat was executed or exiled to Gulag labour camps in Siberia.

    Historians believe up to 20 million people died as a result of his actions, many times more than were killed under Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany.

    The manual says: “He acted entirely rationally – as the guardian of a system, as a consistent support of reshaping the country into an industrialised state.”

    It is produced by the country’s leading school book publishers Prosveshenije, a state-supported company that used to have a monopoly on the supply of classroom texts in the Soviet era.

    Editor Alexander Danilove said: “We are not defending Stalin. We are just exploring his personality, explaining his motives and showing what he really achieved.”

    Alexander Kamensky, of the Russia State University for the Humanities, said the manual was a sign that teaching history in schools has become “an ideological instrument.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/2672717/Josef-Stalin-acted-rationally-in-killing-millions-claims-Russian-textbook.html

  50. Just as the Nazis in 1930s rewrote Germany’s history, the Putin Kremlin is rewriting Russia’s. It has rehabilitated Stalin, the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century. And it is demonising Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first democratically-elected president. That he destroyed totalitarianism is ignored. Instead, he is denounced for his “weak” pro-Western policies.

    While distorting its own history, the Kremlin denounces other countries. Mr Putin was quick to blame Britain’s “colonial mentality” for our government’s request that Russia try to find a legal means of extraditing Andrei Lugovoi, the prime suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.

    Yet the truth is that Britain, like most Western countries, flagellates itself for the crimes of the past. Indeed, British schoolchildren rarely learn anything positive about their country’s empire. And, if Mr Putin has his way, Russian pupils will learn nothing bad about the Soviet empire, which was far bloodier, more brutal – and more recent.

    A new guide for history teachers – explicitly endorsed by Mr Putin – brushes off Stalin’s crimes. It describes him as “the most successful leader of the USSR”. But it skates over the colossal human cost – 25m people were shot and starved in the cause of communism. [snip]

    Nashi is both a symptom of the way Russia is going – and a means of entrenching the drift to fascism.

    Terrifyingly, the revived Soviet view of history is now widely held in Russia. A poll this week of Russian teenagers showed that a majority believe that Stalin did more good things than bad.

    http://www.nerepublican.com/index.php/2007/07/

  51. Many in Russia do still revere Stalin for his role during World War II when the Soviet Union defeated the forces of Nazi Germany.

    But now there is a much broader campaign to rehabilitate Stalin and it seems to be coming from the highest levels of government.

    Archives seized

    The primary evidence comes in the form of a new manual for history teachers in the country’s schools, which says Stalin acted “entirely rationally”.

    “[The initiative] came from the very top,” says the editor of the manual, historian Alexander Danilov.

    “I believe it was the idea of former president, now prime minister, Vladimir Putin.

    “It fits completely with the political course we have had for the last eight years, which is dedicated to the unity of society.”

    But the campaign goes further than reinterpreting history for schoolchildren. It is also physical.

    Earlier this month, riot police raided the St Petersburg office of one of Russia’s best-known human rights organisations, Memorial.

    Claiming a possible link with an “extremist” article published in a local newspaper, the police took away 12 computer hard-drives containing the entire digital archive of the atrocities committed under Stalin.

    Memorial’s St Petersburg office specialises in researching the crimes committed by the Soviet regime.

    “It’s a huge blow to our organisation,” says Irina Flige, the office director.

    “This was 20 years’ work. We’d been making a universally accessible database with hundreds of thousands of names.

    “Maybe this was a warning to scare us?”

    Irina Flige believes they were targeted because they are now on the wrong side of a new ideological divide.

    New nationalism

    The new ideology is “Putinism” which, she says, has evolved over the past two years and is based on a strident form of nationalism.

    It seems Russians are to be proud of their history, not ashamed, and so those investigating and cataloguing the atrocities of the past are no longer welcome.

    “The official line now is that Stalin and the Soviet regime were successful in creating a great country,” says Irina Flige.

    “And if the terror of Stalin is justified, then the government today can do what it wants to achieve its aims.”

    The outrage at what has happened to the Memorial archive spreads beyond Russia’s borders.

    The British historian Orlando Figes worked with Memorial when he was researching his latest book The Whisperers: Private Lives in Stalin’s Russia.

    “By conservative estimates 25 million people were repressed in the Soviet Union [under Stalin] between 1928 and 1953,” he says.

    “That means people executed, arrested and sent to prison camps or turned into slave labourers or deported.

    “Virtually every family was affected by repression.”

    “What we have now [in Russia] effectively is the KGB in power,” he adds.

    “Opposition forces and awkward historians reminding the Russian population of what the KGB did 50 years ago is inconvenient for these people.”

    So it seems whoever is voted the country’s greatest citizen on Sunday, it is Joseph Stalin who is the biggest winner this year as he is rehabilitated in Russia’s brave new world.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7798497.stm

  52. Andrew,

    Congratulations. You have made everybody disappear. I was the last one around, but having seen your latest flood of verbal diarrhea, I give up too. It is clear that you don’t do any work at all at your job and devote all your working hours to flooding blogs with drivel. Given that you work in Georgia and brag that you get paid a real lot, I now understand why average Georgians are so poor: all their money goes to lazy and greedy foreign bums like you. And you dare to accuse **me** of being harmful to Georgia!

    Not only I don’t have enough time to respond to your posts, I don’t have enough time in my day to **read** more than 1% of what you now post. It used to be 20% earlier this month, but the volume of your diarrhea has increased 20-fold in recent couple of days. Are you having a crisis? Then see a doctor. Arguing the same topics over and over again at a small blog is really not worth dying for, Andrew.

    Stay well.

  53. I never bragged that I got “paid a real lot”, your hypocrisy is staggering my verminous little friend.

    Considering the amount of drivel you have posted here, your comments would be amusing if they did not show your moral bankruptcy.

    BTW, I am sure that the Telegraph, Times, Daily Mail, BBC, and other publishers of articles posted and linked to would disagree with your description of their articles.

    They are all better than the excrement that passes for your posts.

    • Andrew wrote:

      > As I get paid a lot more I dont see this as a problem

      > I never bragged that I got “paid a real lot”

      So, you get paid a lot, but it is not a **real** lot? :-)

    • > Telegraph, Times, Daily Mail, BBC, and other publishers of articles posted

      Is that what all this stuff is? Like everybody else, I stopped reading after the first 1000 lines. All I see is a flood of never-ending stuff. Words, words, words… Tens of thousands of them…

      • I am sure everyone else feels the same about your merde.

        • Andrew, Your merde is PhD compared to mine: piled higher and deeper. It outweighs mine by at least a factor of 20. You must be reading a lot of indigestible fiberous roughage to excrete such volumes.

          I recall how a few days ago you apologised to Robert for writing a very long post and promised never to do that again. Well, your latest posts are much longer than that, and they come at a rate of maybe 30 per day.

  54. Oh, BTW, its summer holidays here with the whole country on break for July and August, so go to hell.

    • Is that why you post only during business hours Monday through Friday?

      And BTW you guys must be very wealthy and self-sufficient to be able to take 2 weeks off. We Americnas get 2 weeks, and even Russians get only 4 weeks. Since lazy fun-loving Georgians take 2 months off for Summer and probably another 2 weeks off for Christmas, why should hard-working Americans, who get 2 weeks of vacations per year but seldom take even them – why should we give our blood, sweat and tears to provide welfare to the lazy bums in Georgia and EU?

  55. End of July, beginning of August. Georgians get 4 weeks holiday a year, considering how low their wages are as a general rule it seems fair to me.

    “Is that why you post only during business hours Monday through Friday”

    Now Phobophobe, I post on weekends, evenings, and when I have a spare moment or two.

    Its a little thing called wireless technology, maybe you have heard of it?

    You certainly seem to post all round the clock, who is supporting your lazy arse?

  56. And its bloody cold here at Christmas, most don’t take their holidays in the winter, they prefer to relax in summer.

    Your red neck is showing by the way.

  57. The Moscow Times » Issue 4199 » News

    Ukraine Still Providing Georgia With Weapons
    30 July 2009
    By Alexei Nikolsky / Vedomosti

    Ukraine is openly continuing to supply Georgia with arms, and despite President Dmitry Medvedev’s order that those supplying weapons to Tbilisi face sanctions, Russia appears to be in no hurry to carry out the threat.

    ………………….

    And this last sentence, in the article, proves that yanykovich is in bed with the kremlin:

    Vyacheslav Boguslayev, chairman of Motor Sich and a Verkhovna Rada deputy from Party of the Regions, said the company had not delivered any military hardware to Georgia and has no plans to do so in the next 20 years. He said he thought that Russia was right to sanction suppliers of weapons to Georgia.

    http://www.moscowtimes.ru/article/1010/42/379982.htm

  58. > And this last sentence, in the article, proves that yanykovich is in bed with the kremlin

    Errr, how does the sentence

    “The Motor Sich company had not delivered any military hardware to Georgia and has no plans to do so in the next 20 years”

    prove that “yanykovich is in bed with the kremlin”?

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