MONDAY FEBRUARY 1 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Russia’s Disappearing Children
(2) EDITORIAL: Russia’s Toxic Kremlin
(3) EDITORIAL: Barack Obama, Rat Bastard
(4) Khodorkovsky Speaks
NOTE: Care to watch Russian police officers, via hidden camera, carrying out their sworn duties to uphold the law? Behold!
NOTE: A video tribute to Natalia Estemirova, fallen Russian hero, who gave her life for her country.
NOTE: Novaya Gazeta is once again under attack by cowardly cyber terrorists. Of course, the Kremlin is doing nothing about it.
Russia’s Disappearing Children
In 1995, according to the Russian Kremlin’s own data, Russia had 38 million children. Over the next five years, it lost 5.5 million of them, and over the ten years following, the years of the so-called Putin “presidency,” it lost seven million more. Over the past 15 years, Russia has lost nearly one-third of its children, well over half of them during the Putin years.
That’s right, seven million children lost from Russia’s population on Putin’s watch. And that’s the statistic the KGB Kremlin is willing to admit. Do you dare to imagine what the real facts would show?
It gets worse. The Moscow Times reports: “Babies are also sicklier now than in 1996, the UNICEF report said. The percentage of babies born sick or who fell sick soon after birth reached 37.3 percent in 2008, compared with 28.5 percent in 1995, the report said. The most widespread children’s illnesses were those that affected their respiratory systems.”
What more emphatic proof of a failed civilization could one imagine than that it is liquidating its children at breakneck speed?
Russia’s Toxic Kremlin
We were awash last week in the toxic sludge that is the Moscow Kremlin’s effluent of dictatorship.
We looked left, and we saw the Kremlin’s insidious effort to build on a protected nature reserve in Sochi a palace for its new royalty, the KGB.
We looked right, and we saw the Kremlin’s malignant stormtroopers descending on the valiant environmental activists who dare to challenge the efforts of a dastardly Kremlin-friendly oligarch to pour filth in to Russia’s most valuable environmental jewel, Lake Baikal.
We looked right again, and we saw the Kremlin’s apes at work again, this time tossing people out onto the street and razing their homes in direct contravention of written promises not to do so, driving the desperate citizens to offer to defect to the USA and Germany.
Barack Obama, Rat Bastard
Russophobes though we may be, we reserve our most potent ire not for Russians but for those among us who facilitate their evil ways. You know, your Pat Buchanans, your Ron Pauls . . . your Barack Obamas.
Just as Martin Luther King held his greatest scorn for the “white moderates” who pretended to be his friends, loathing them more than the virulent monsters of the KKK, we simply cannot abide the likes of Barack Obama. When we read last week about the contemptible behavior of his representatives at the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission’s Civil Society Working Group, our stomachs turned.
Exactly as Obama had done when he visited Moscow, his emissary Michael McFaul, in a truly repugnant display, ignored all the basic human rights issues that plague Russian society and portend a neo-Soviet state, and talked instead only about corruption and child adoption. It was as if McFaul was reading directly from the Kremlin’s own playbook. McFaul babbled: ““I think that kind of exchange is useful for breaking down stereotypes and for advancing American national interests and I hope in the long run Russian national interests as well.”
Indeed. If only Americans could adopt more Russian babies and have less of their money stolen when they deal with Russia, all would be right with the world!
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, writing in the New York Times:
For Russia, the past decade started out on an optimistic note. The country was emerging from a severe financial crisis and the political upheavals of the ’90s. Industry and agriculture were rapidly recovering and the financial system had been rescued and strengthened. Business attracted millions of people to apply their efforts and talents. The institutions of state had begun to work more reliably and the structures of a real civil society had begun to form.
Today, many people recall with sadness that Russia once had a real, working parliament, where social and business interests engaged in dialogue, where compromises were sought and found. They recall how the country’s judicial system had begun to feel its independence, and how they discovered that they had a civic role to play in the places they called home. There was hope that people in Russia would become active participants in a dynamic, full-fledged civil society.
In the international arena, the voice of a new Russia began to be heard — the voice of a responsible and benevolent good neighbor. Before us lay a long yet well-lit road.
But in the years that followed, Russia turned from it. Today, for all practical purposes, we do not have a real parliament, an independent judiciary, freedom of speech or an effective civil society. The hopes for the formation of a new Russian economy turned out to have been misplaced: Our industrial output, other than raw materials, is not capable of competing even on the domestic market. Russia’s international role has changed drastically as well — now we are more likely feared than respected.
Who is to blame for this turn of events? Not just the Kremlin. Responsibility for modern Russia’s transformation must be laid on the elites — the people involved in the adoption of the most important political and economic decisions.