Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:
I confess that I have been thinking for a long time about the collective looney bin that best describes Russia’s leaders. I mean loony bin in the direct sense — when our leaders, suffering from real delirium, utter complete nonsense.
Take, for example, the in absentia conviction last week of Alexander Poteyev, former deputy head of the “S” department of the Foreign Intelligence Service who oversaw sleeper agents. In the verdict written by the judge, Poteyev betrayed Anna Chapman and the other sleeper agents working in the United States.
But in the material released by U.S. prosecutors after the Russian agents were arrested, it was clear that they had been followed by U.S. investigators for 10 years — and without any help from Poteyev.
Pig Russia, Wallowing in Mire
The diary of Russian foreign policy events over the past few weeks has been truly horrifying, even by the loathsome standards of Vladimir Putin’s KGB state.
Russia defended Iran. Then it protected Libya. Finally, it stood steadfast in the defense of Syria. And for the cherry on this fetid cake, it invited Pakistan to pay the first official state visit on Moscow in three decades just after learning it had been harboring America’s public enemy #1, Bin Laden, right outside its capital.
Civilized people can only ask themselves: Doesn’t Russia have any shame, or even common sense?
With the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, Bin Laden was elevated to the realm of evil in the American imagination once reserved for dictators like Hitler and Stalin. He was a new national enemy, his face on wanted posters, gloating on videotapes, taunting the United States and Western civilization.
— The New York Times, Front Page, May 2, 2011
In yet another new low in the sordid annals of Russian history, while the world was being reminded on the front page of the American “paper of record” about the evil that was Josef Stalin Russia, which has been busily rehabilitating Stalin, was attempting to claim credit for the liquidation of Osama bin Laden:
With Friends like the Russians
The world learned last week why the United States has not yet been able to apprehend mass-murdering lunatic Osama bin Laden. It’s really quite simple, actually.
Russia has been “helping” America to find him.
Apparently, two key facts about Russia have eluded the attention of America’s leaders: (1) Russia hates America and approves of bin Laden’s campaign of terror, and (2) even if that weren’t true, Russia is no more capable of finding bin Laden than of holding a contested presidential election. The lack of leadership, indeed the outright ignorance and stupidity, emanating from the Obama administration in Washington DC is palpable. This is clearly a government which will live in infamy.
If you want to really understand how absolutely benighted America’s policy on Russia really is, you need look no further than the chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, one Alcee Hastings of the U.S. Congress.
Anthony Julius, writing on the Guardian’s “Comment is Free” blog:
As President Obama contemplates his foreign policy inheritance, it is likely that he will ponder most deeply two topics – the continuing threat posed by al-Qaida, and Russia, or what has become known as the war on terror and what was once known as the cold war. What he is unlikely to do, however, is to identify any connection between the two threats. But that would be unfortunate, not least because the men who lead them, notwithstanding the many differences between them, have identical perspectives on one specific issue.
What is that issue? Bin Laden’s and Putin’s imperialist ambitions are novel because they are driven not by a desire to create something new, but to recapture something that has past. It is now appropriate to consider an additional age of empire, namely the age of attempted restoration.