Obama, the Bastard, Abandons Russian Human Rights

Time magazine reports:

Since his first meeting with Kremlin leaders in Moscow last July, President Barack Obama has established a dialogue with Russia over some critical issues — Iran, Afghanistan, nuclear arms reduction, missile defense — and all of these have yielded progress, even if meager and tentative. But when it came time last week for an unprecedented meeting — involving Russian and American officials, along with human-rights advocates — to discuss the issue of human rights, the dialogue with the Kremlin hit a wall. The Russian side came away pleased that there had been no criticism from the Americans, none of the condescension they remember from the Bush years. The American side, for its part, seemed content to have raised these issues, showing that they have not forgotten them in their eagerness to be friends again. Still, for the rights activists who were at the the table — a presence that was historic — the whole process seemed little more than unproductive political theater.

The meeting’s location, which was chosen by the Kremlin, was about as poignant a symbol of Russia’s past rights abuses as one could find outside the Gulags. Standing about 100 miles east of Moscow, Vladimir Central Prison housed some of the Soviet Union’s most prominent political prisoners, including the activist Vladimir Bukovsky, several of Stalin’s relatives, and the American U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers. Also hovering over last week’s talks was a much more recent prison scandal. Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who once represented an American investment fund in Russia, had died six months before, on Nov. 16, after being refused medical treatment for months at Moscow’s Butyrka prison. He had been awaiting trial on tax fraud charges for nearly a year.(See the dangers of doing business in Russia.)

Magnitsky’s mother, Natalya, received a visit the day before the talks from the head of the U.S. delegation, Michael McFaul, who is Obama’s special assistant on National Security Affairs. McFaul also met that day with more than a dozen rights activists, opposition leaders, journalists and bloggers, many of whom complained to him about what they see as the suppression of democracy and basic freedoms in Russia, and the slow pace of President Dmitry Medvedev’s reforms. Moreover, Obama’s new National Security Strategy was published on the same day as the meeting at Vladimir, May 27, and it pledged not to shy away from these issues. “America’s commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are essential sources of our strength and influence in the world,” Obama wrote in that document.(See the rash of attacks on Russian human rights activists.)

The talks at Vladimir were to be the first concrete test of these new commitments, and they seemed like a historic opportunity. Never before had both White House and Kremlin officials met on Russian soil specifically to discuss issues of human rights. Sitting across the table from McFaul would be the Kremlin’s deputy chief of staff, Vladislav Surkov, whose appointment in 2009 to the U.S.-Russian working group on civil society had raised an outcry among rights activists. He is not known in Russia to be a friend of the liberal cause. The Russian doctrine of “sovereign democracy” is his brainchild, and it has been widely seen as mixing a heavy dose of authoritarianism into Russia’s version of democracy. Nevertheless, the start of the meeting was cordial. The participants began with a tour of the prison — which had been scrubbed and prepped for their arrival — and then drove into the town of Vladimir for a closed-door discussion. No transcript has been released.

But at a briefing on June 1, the Kremlin’s human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, who had been seated beside Surkov, said there had been “almost no criticism” from the Americans. Asked by TIME after the briefing what subjects had been raised, he said McFaul had tried to bring up Russia’s electoral system, which has been marred by nearly constant allegations of fraud. But the American was told that “this issue had not yet matured,” Lukin recalls, and the matter was dropped. (Reached by TIME, McFaul did not dispute this.) “In fact he didn’t really make any criticism at all,” Lukin says. He describes the rest of the meeting as one of harmless self-criticism. “What’s the point of criticizing us when we criticize ourselves? We criticized ourselves a little about corruption. They criticized themselves a little about Guantanamo. It was all very friendly.” Lukin adds: “Haven’t you noticed? We’re gradually turning into allies… Since there was no criticism towards us, we didn’t criticize them.”

McFaul says he came away with a different impression. First off, one of the crucial elements of U.S. human rights policy is interacting directly with activists and opposition figures, he says, and that was done in Moscow the previous day. Several of them were even invited to the meeting in Vladimir and given a rare chance to make their case for reforms in front of a senior Kremlin official. “There was a frank exchange of views at the meeting, oftentimes a heated exchange of views on controversial issues, such as what happened to Magnitsky,” he says, pointing out that a bill is being considered in Russia to prevent pre-trial detention for charges like the ones Magnitsky was facing. “In my personal interactions with Surkov,” he adds, “including private ones, there is no issue that I don’t discuss with him.”

But some of the Russian activists who participated came away feeling let down, more by Surkov’s intransigence than McFaul’s complaisance. Svetlana Gannushkina, a member of Medvedev’s Human Rights Council, tells TIME that McFaul did try to raise several rights issues, including the Magnitsky case, but was asked not to turn the talks “into an interrogation.” “Unfortunately, my fellow citizens in power have such an immense complex of inferiority that they cannot bear to go forward with these discussions,” Gannushkina says. “We shouldn’t be proud of the fact that there was no criticism. We should not be glad of the fact that we visited this prison and they showed us a Potemkin village, and everyone patted each other on the back and said how wonderful things are. This is nothing to be proud of.” Her fellow activist, Elena Tyuryukanova, Russia’s leading defender of migrants’ rights, says there was nothing at the meeting that could be called a free exchange of ideas. “It was clear to me that the goal was completely political. It was a political exercise to show that they are officially having discussions. But nothing came out of it, no criticism and no discussions.”

Later this month, when Medvedev is set to visit the United States, Obama will have another chance to raise some of these issues. Maryland Senator Benjamin Cardin, a Democrat, has pointedly asked the State Department to punish 60 officials linked to the Magnitsky case by denying their American visas, and he tells TIME that he will insist that human rights are put higher on Obama’s agenda ahead of Medvedev’s visit. He also points out that according to Obama’s National Security Strategy released last week, the U.S. could apply direct pressure if its partners don’t get the message on human rights. Indeed, the document states: “When our overtures are rebuffed, we must lead the international community in using public and private diplomacy, and drawing on incentives and disincentives, in an effort to change repressive behavior.” But with so much riding on better ties with Russia (such as it’s tentative support for sanctions on Iran), Obama could be tempted to back off. Although that may be the pragmatic thing to do in light of McFaul’s experience, it is not likely to win the President many friends in the human rights community, or among the people eager for more democracy in Russia.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1994101,00.html?xid=rss-topstories#ixzz0pwWMRr8k

32 responses to “Obama, the Bastard, Abandons Russian Human Rights

  1. Voice of Reason

    When President George W Bush met with his various best friends and allies that despotically rule Saudi Arabia and other abominable Arabian sheikdoms, did he openly criticize their human rights problems?

    • Why would he? He met with infamous war criminal General Shamanov, the butcher of Chechnya, in the Oval Office and decorated him.

      We despise George “I looked into Putin’s eyes” Bush just as much as we despise Obama. Russian apes like you, however, can’t tell who your real friends are.

      • Voice of Reason

        So, which US president, if any, met with his various best friends and allies that despotically ruled Saudi Arabia and other abominable Arabian sheikdoms and openly criticize their human rights problems?

        Or is your point that the traditional diplomatic exchanges are too diplomatic for you, and when leaders of any two countries meet, they should publicly criticize each other’s human rights problems.

        For example, when Medvedev and all other foreign leaders meet with US leaders, should they publicly criticize the American invasion and occupation of Iraq and the abuses of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay?

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

        Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/13/AR2005071302380.html

        Abu Ghraib Tactics Were First Used at Guantanamo

        • If you studied, history, you’d know that Ronald Reagan repeatedly and openly called for human rights protection in the former USSR, and caused the downfall of that malignant state.

          Candidate John McCain, who we endorsed, has recently spoken on the floor of the Senate in support of human rights in Russia and called for Russia’s ouster from the G-8.

          Foreign leaders DO REPEATEDLY criticize the US when they disagree with it, and showed open contempt for George Bush. If Russia has such concerns, it should certainly express them. Your suggestion that ANY civilized nation stands with Russia as an ally is an absurd lie. Your suggestion that the US is REMOTELY similar to Russia in regard to human rights, Russia being a nation REPEATEDLY convicted of state-sponsored torture, kidnapping and murder in the ECHR, is laughably insane in the manner of a classic neo-Soviet moron.

          Your knowledge of basic current events and history is easily rivaled by that of a lemon.

          • Voice of Reason

            Of course, Reagan and McCain criticized Russia, because this criticism helped their political agenda. They viewed Russia as an enemy.

            But how come none of them have ever openly criticized the human rights abuses by the Arabian dictators to their faces? Is it because USA considers them America’s closest allies?

            LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

            You’re really one of the stupidest idiots we’ve encountered here on this blog, and that’s really saying something.

            PLEASE TRY TO UNDERSTAND: What you can do on this blog IS TALK ABOUT RUSSIA. If you think Russia is doing a good job on human rights, TRY TO PROVE IT. If all you can do is point at other countries WHICH ARE NOT THE SUBJECT OF THIS BLOG, you are spamming us and we will delete your SPAM. Your view that Russia cannot be criticized unless all other countries are simultaneously criticized is childish neo-Soviet nonsense and we will not tolerate it. Last warning. Remember: We can delete every comment you’ve ever published on this blog with three mouse clicks. Think about it.

            Please also try to put some effort into ACTUALLY READING what we write before commenting about it. WE JUST GOT FINISHED SAYING THAT NEITHER OBAMA NOR BUSH HAVE CRITICIZED RUSSIA. So why would they criticize Saudi Arabia?

            Your comments are utterly inane and idiotic. If you would like to see the U.S. president criticize Saudi Arabia more, WE SUGGEST YOU GO COMMENT ON A BLOG ABOUT SAUDI ARABIA, you mindless goat.

            Why does Russia say Chechnya can’t be free but Ossetia and Abkhazia must be? Are you suggesting Russia is MORE consistent than the USA, dork?

            • Voice of Reason

              If you want to talk about Russia and only Russia – no problem.

              But in this thread you are discussing the way the American presidents should conduct their diplomatic policies. Such policies cannot be based on double standard. The president has to apply the same standards to all countries. Thus, we cannot discuss US government’s diplomatic standards towards Russia out of context of its overall diplomatic standards towards the other countries. Diplomacy has to be consistent.

              We can delete every comment you’ve ever published on this blog with three mouse clicks.

              So, you are arguing that your point of view is correct because you can delete my posts?

              Your comments are utterly inane and idiotic.”

              Are they? Then let them stand, so that the intelligent readers could judge for themselves how “inane and idiotic” my comments are, and how intelligent and logical your comments are.

              LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

              “But in this thread you are discussing the way the American presidents should conduct their diplomatic policies.”

              NO WE ARE NOT, YOU SIMPERING LIAR. We’re talking about how they should act TOWARDS RUSSIA. YOU brought up the subject of other countries.

              If you want to criticize American policy towards places other than Russia, there are PLENTY of places to do that, plenty of sites where AMERICANS brutaly criticize American policy towards places like Saudi Arabia. This blog is about RUSSIA.

              By your bizarre “logic” you are not entitled to claim the protection of the police after your wife is murdered because other men’s wives have been murdered without the murderer being apprehended. That’s the sick, demented, twisted “thinking” of the Soviet Union. There are even jokes about it. It’s pathetic.

  2. Francis Smyth-Beresford

    Well, say what you like about Obama – he’s modest. He’s not even mentioned as having been present at the Vladimir talks, and he apparently has not troubled to correct the record.

  3. Obama is a strange one, but he may not be hurting us. People know he is a wacko. Everybody knows the guy does not speak for America.

  4. Obama only cares about one thing, Obama.

    • Сашок, ну подумай, да нах России Грызунию завоевывать? Ну кто носатых кормить будет после завоевания?

      • pizeetske wrote;

        Сашок, ну подумай, да нах России Грызунию завоевывать? Ну кто носатых кормить будет после завоевания?

        comments;

        bolshaia problema – posle zavoyevania russii erez ameryku kurnosykh i kasaglazykh ruskih kormlat amerykantsy – u vas dorogoi pisedske ne tolko obosranaia zhopa no ochen korotkaya pamaiatc wy uze zabyli kuritsy piervovo busha – on spasl hordy ruskich ot goloda i smerti. Govoriat shto kartoshki lutsche zolota – mezdu protsim, vy naverno videli vidoe is sotchi – obosranye ubornyo eto ze symbo rosii – wy konetchno sognasly sa mnoi….

        • sorry for this post. I was drunk… Ja gruzinskaja prostitutka, vyehala v aaah usa nelegal’no, ja ryaba kosoglazaja, prostite menja, prostitutku, kurvu-ljarvu, bljad’ i govno obosrannoje!

          • I appreciate your self-criticism.

            • I want to appologize for the rude and crude language I used to address aaa, usa. BUT I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING BETTER. MAYA MATS NASTOYUASTSHAYA PRASTITUTKA, OTETS VOR – I UBYYTSA – MY VSYEGDO ZYLIK KAK ZVYERY MY NE ZNAYEM SHTO TO MYLO, VADA, KHOROSHAYA YEDA. YA ZYVIY NA ULITSE, I Y MENYA AIDS – ETO ZHE MENYA UBYVAYET MEDLENNO. ETO YA NE VINOVAT, ETO PRAKLATAYA OBOSRANAYA ROSSIYA – VYKHOD ODIN WSHEKH RUSKIKCH NADA UBIT….

          • sorry for this post. I was drunk… Ja gruzinskaja prostitutka, vyehala v aaah usa nelegal’no, ja ryaba kosoglazaja, prostite menja, prostitutku, kurvu-ljarvu, bljad’ i govno obosrannoje!

            THIS ANSWER WAS CONCOCTED BY MR. PIPISKE – I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS ANSWER – IS IT ALLOWED – THE QUESTION TO LA RUSSOPHOBE??

  5. Invading your neighbors does not make a profit in this day and age. Hopefully Putin does not have the resources to make more trouble.

    Unfortunately Turkey is now in the mix I see the region as being unstable because of Obama.

    • Pasputin-Dvaputin

      No worries man, all the resources are here — we can crush 200 countries like Georgia with our nukes (anyways, we have to utilize them according to START, right?). But what is the purpose of annexing Georgia? Abkhasia and South Ossetia are enough, the purpose is achieved.

      DEMOCRACY! FREEDOM! WAR!

      • pipiszke/rasputin/dvaputin wrote;

        No worries man, all the resources are here — we can crush 200 countries like Georgia with our nukes (anyways, we have to utilize them according to START, right?). But what is the purpose of annexing Georgia? Abkhasia and South Ossetia are enough, the purpose is achieved.

        DEMOCRACY! FREEDOM! WAR!

        comments;

        Russia, in its infinite wisdom, in her new military doctrine, decided to use nukes internally – PIPISZKE are you going to nuke yourselves – the West obviously will respect your wishes adn above all, ;your actions….

  6. On the June 4, 2010 Savik Shuster show, near the end of the show, Peter Maha, who is Savik’s very talented sidekick, showed something interesting.

    Peter reminded everyone of growing up in the sovok system, when everyone in school was taught the writings of lenin as if they were Holy Scripture.

    And – in school, the kids were taught songs about lenin – Peter sang a few notes from a “hero song” about lenin, which they used to brainwash kids.

    He then showed a clip of a little girl – singing a song, sovok-lenin style – about Yanukovych.

    In the studio, they all chuckled.

    But do you remember who else had a schoolchildren’s song? OBAMA.

    Rush Limbaugh mentions the refrain – MMM, MMM, MMM – quite frequently.

    Why in the heck would you expect Obama, a communist, to care about human rights in rasha?

    Obama is interested in taking over everything, sovok style – from health care to the BP oil spill (he’s large and in charge, he’s got the BP oil spill covered, according to Obuma, BP doesn’t make a move without Obuma’s say-so).

    MMM, MMM, MMM.

  7. In the end Obama is going to hurt black people. He lacks the common sense required to behave with restraint so that in the future the American people will trust black people.

  8. Obama is not “the Bastard”. He’s just a fool.

    One of many. From Tusk to Sarkozy.

    On the other hand the ilk of Berlusconi and Schroder are actually “the bastards” however.

    (He’s also not “a communist” too. He’s socialist-leaning. Which is not necessarily a bad thing in my book.)

    • Pasputin-Dvaputin

      Obama is smart, as smart as Clinton, Kennedy, or Putin. His goal is demolish the USA empire building and he’ll accomplish this within his term!

      • dvaputain wrote;

        Obama is smart, as smart as Clinton, Kennedy, or Putin. His goal is demolish the USA empire building and he’ll accomplish this within his term!

        comment;

        in case you haven’t noticed, whily trying, unsuccessfully, destroy america, russia practically ceased to exist – let’s see – no army, no navy – the most modern warship in the black see is THIRTY YEARS OLD!! – what a deterrant for the NATO/SA forces – airforce is a joke. No infrastructure – russia needs at least 4 trillion dollars to change the train system to comply with the rest of the world – believe me IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. Even if they try to do this money and materials will be stolen by the same elite that try to ‘improve’ Russia. The good news is!!! russia is getting more cash by stealing credit cards from Polish victims of russia’s political assassination in Smolensk – robbing corpses is the latest improvement of russia’s economy….

        • These were my credit cards! Anyways I love to be f@ked, but I donna like to be f@ked by rooshans. Please write me if you’re not rooshan and I f@ck you well.

          • Rasputin-Dvaputin

            Размечталась грузинская блядушка из usa.

            • pipiszki/sralputin wrote;

              Размечталась грузинская блядушка из usa.

              comment;

              razmetstal ruskiy obosranyi kasaglasyi riab iz sovetskovo souyza. In case pipiszki/sralputin didn’t notice – the slaughter of the russians in kyrgyzystan just started ….. russia truly is rotting from within AND NOTHING WILL SAVE IT. In the meantime, Monsieur Putain is in Paris trying to steal the technology of building mistrals in russia – it is too late – this french technology, which is considered obsolete by the anglo-saxon’s standard, is too sophisticated for Russia – you need 200 years to catch up with the Western Europe…..but it will NEVER happen…

          • These were my credit cards! Anyways I love to be f@ked, but I donna like to be f@ked by rooshans. Please write me if you’re not rooshan and I f@ck you well.

  9. A Plague Upon The World: The USA is a “Failed State” – http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=19458

  10. Kolchak got it exactly right about Obama, both in this post, and in the post on police beating up Russian citizens.

    And Robert, Obuma is indeed a bastard. For the second time, the other day, he told the media that he was learning all about the Gulf oil spill so that he would know “whose ass to kick.”

    Such a comment by a president was inconceivable all the way through Clinton and Bush.

    Soo – Obuma’s concept of government is that he has a personal domain, a personal corporation, and his role is to “kick ass.”

    That is lenin and stalin and hitler, Robert.

    • Stalin would just have all remotely involved shot without learning about anything “all week” .

      Also Obama may be a jerk, but he’s REALLy far from the levels of Berlusconi and Shroder (not counting the various third world figures) in his relationships with the Moscow mafia.

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