Daily Archives: November 13, 2010

November 19, 2010 — Contents

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 19 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  Again, Obama shows Yellow on Russia

(2) EDITORIAL:  Russia, Smokestack Nation

(3)  Russia’s Sham “Democracy” Exposed

(4)  Who Ordered the Hit on Kashin?

(5)  Is Lebedev the Next Khodorkovsky?

(6)  Khodorkovsky exposes Putin’s Barbarism

(7)  Understanding the Russian Chief Justice

NOTE:  Another major international human rights award for Oleg Kozlovsky!  Molodets!

EDITORIAL: Again, Obama shows Yellow on Russia

EDITORIAL

Again, Obama shows Yellow on Russia

“It is no secret that the movement that called for Kashin to be punished is financed and directed by the presidential administration.”

–Victor Davidoff, writing in the Moscow Times in an article entitled “Goebbels’ Guide to Russia

It may not be a secret, Mr. Davidoff, but nonetheless there is no sign that the Obama administration knows it. If they do, they are evil bastards and ought to be impeached.

Here is the statement of the Obama State Department on the brutal attack on Russian journalist Oleg Kashin, brutally attacked just days after being openly threatened on the website of a youth cult that is bought and paid for the by the Putin Kremlin:

In Russia, the United States condemns the attack on Kommersant journalist Oleg Kashin and calls on Russian authorities to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.  Freedom of the press is a fundamental right in the United States and other countries, and we are committed to uphold the international and regional commitments.  As the 2009 Humanitarian Rights Report noted, eight journalists, many of whom reported critically on the government, were killed over the last year in Russia.  With one exception, the government has failed to identify, arrest, or prosecute any suspects.  A free and independent press is central to a vibrant and well-functioning democracy.  Journalists around the world must feel free to do their jobs without fear of intimidation or physical violence.

Kashin was attacked on Saturday, November 6, 2010.   This statement from the State Department comes two full days after the attack.  We have already condemned the people of Russia and their wretched, malignant government over this attack.  Now, we condemn the Obama administration. Our reasons are many.  The craven cowardice reflected in this statement is palpable and embarrassing to any red-blooded American citizen.

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EDITORIAL: Russia, Nation of Smokestacks

EDITORIAL

Russia, Nation of Smokestacks

Of the following group of nations, the worst cigarette smokers on the planet, which do you think is the very, very worst, the most suicidal, the bottom of the wretched barrel?

Bangladesh

Brazil

China

Egypt

India

Mexico

Philippines

Poland

Russian Federation

Thailand

Turkey

Ukraine

Uruguay

Viet Nam

Yes, it’s Russia. Surprise, surprise.

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Russia’s Sham “Democracy” Exposed

Writing in the Christian Science Monitor, Luke Allnutt, editor in chief of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s English website and a blogge at Tangled Web, exposes the fundamental fraud of the Putin “democracy.”

With Russians up in arms about police corruption after a series of high-profile scandals, the Kremlin decided it had to do something. So it drafted a new police law and posted the bill on the Internet. The response was overwhelming: more than 20,000 Russians commented on the law, many of them offering detailed suggestions for changes.

This, according to the Kremlin, is the future of governance in Russia. Speaking in May, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said, “I am absolutely confident that there will come an epoch of return from representative democracy to direct democracy with the help of the Internet.”

On the surface, initiatives like crowdsourcing legal changes might seem like a progressive, liberalizing step taken by a tech-savvy government. But in reality they are merely an exercise in political theater which actuallybypasses representative democracy.

As less-than-democratic states understand the Internet’s vital role in economic development and are fearful of being cast as press-freedom pariahs, they will increasingly pursue sophisticated avenues of control, instead of simply restricting access.

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Who Ordered the hit on Kashin?

Hero journalist Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:

Perhaps the one positive aspect of the vicious beating of Kommersant journalist Oleg Kashin on Saturday is that the list of suspects is confined to a small number of people — just like an Agatha Christie novel.

The first suspect is Khimki Mayor Vladimir Strelchenko. (He denies any role in the matter.) Sooner or later, Strelchenko’s enemies get their heads bashed in. Two years ago, Khimkinskaya Pravda editor Mikhail Beketov’s head was beaten so badly that he will probably never recover from the severe brain damage he incurred. On the recent anniversary of that beating, the Khimki leader of the Right Cause party, Konstantin Fetisov, suffered head injuries after he was attacked. Two days later, it was Kashin’s turn.

The second suspect is Vasily Yakemenko, head of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, the spiritual leader of the “Putin-jugend.”

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Is Lebedev the Next Khodorkovsky?

The always-brilliant Ariel Cohen, writing on the Heritage Foundation blog:

[The first week in November], two seemingly unconnected events took place in Moscow. Yet, considered together, they have are of tremendous importance and serve to weaken the rule of law in Russia.

[On] Tuesday, imprisoned former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky delivered a passionate speech at the end of his kangeroo court proceedings about the corroding lawlessness plaguing his country. As Khodorkovsky addressed the court, masked Russian police SWAT teams armed with Kalashnikovs raided the National Reserve Bank in Moscow. The bank belongs to Alexander Lebedev, another billionaire political opponent of the Putin-Medvedev “tandemocracy.”

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Khodorkovsky exposes Putin’s Barbarism

The New York Times reports:

I wish I had enough space to reprint in its entirety Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky’s closing statement, as his latest sham trial in Russia came to an end earlier this week. I have never been so moved by the words of a businessman.

Not that Mr. Khodorkovsky is a businessman anymore. Once the most famous of the Russian oligarchs, he ran YukosOil, which under his leadership became the best-run, fastest-growing, most transparent company in the country — a gleaming symbol of hope for Russian industry. Mr. Khodorkovsky, however, has spent the last seven years in prison, much of that time in Siberia. Stripped of his company, which was sold off to politically connected insiders, Mr. Khodorkovsky and his business partner, Platon Lebedev, were convicted of trumped-up tax charges brought by prosecutors acting on behalf ofVladimir V. Putin, who had come to view Mr. Khodorkovsky as a threat.

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