I am always hopeful when a new book comes out in the West about Russia or Russian President Vladimir Putin, or a new expert on Russia makes the headlines, that there will be a balanced unbiased approach by an independent mind who really knows the nuances and the history of Russia, its politics and its President Vladimir Putin.
Unfortunately I have had those hopes dashed every time and the latest book on the topic and its author are no exception, which although at first appearing more balanced than previous efforts at defaming the President is nothing more than another, albeit more thinly disguised, effort to deride and criticize a leader who few in the West understand let alone have any true knowledge about.
The spin in an
I say loud sensation because that is what it is and empty because unfortunately for all of the good intentions that Mr. Snowden and his supporters might have, and I would count myself among them, there is little his revelations have done, or quite predictably will do, in the U.S. with regard to changing policy or bringing about accountability or adherence to the rule of law or respect for the U.S. Constitution. When the power structure from the president on down all support the NSA and the illegal spying there can be no hope for change.
Although trying to present a credible argument about President Putin’s comments on Snowden there was no mention of Russian law or the Russian Constitution, under which Mr. Snowden is being allowed to remain in Russia, albeit in the transit zone at Sheremetyevo. Nor is it mentioned that Russia and the U.S. have no extradition treaty, and although the law is something U.S. President Obama may scoff at and bypass at his convenience, especially when it comes to the laws of other countries or at the international level, and this was no clearer than in U.S. requests to extradite Mr. Snowden or in the forced landing of the official aircraft of the President of Bolivia in Austria, there are actually leaders who respect the law, both internationally and inside their own countries and who bide by the constitutions they are sworn to protect. That is just for starters.
Another point that is glaringly missed is that President Putin has handled the whole Snowden affair, not with "assurances” or somehow bowing to the will of Washington, but with diplomacy, true honorable old fashioned diplomacy, something the West has all but forgotten even existed with their gun-in-your-face-sanction-slapping-methods of forcing the world to comply and bow to their will. Things President Putin has never even come remotely close to doing and for which he must be endlessly applauded.
The writer then attempts to imply that the deterioration of U.S. – Russian relations is somehow the fault of the Russian side of the equation and that the "reset” was something that was solely launched by Obama and has been "scuttled” by a different "approach” to the conflict in Syria and of course the "crackdown” on the opposition.
The spin in the article is mostly attempted by omission and the stating of fallacies as fact, so I will add some of the facts that the CBC left out. With regards to Syria: the Russian Federation’s position has always been, since day one, for a peaceful internal resolution to their internal conflict which respects the sovereignty of Syria.
"Sovereignty” yet another concept forgotten by the West and their endless meddling in countries worldwide. In Syria this is manipulation from without is characterized by the funding and arming of terrorists, the importing of the most violent elements, including mercenaries and cannibals and the continual search for a "Casus Belli” that the world will actually believe.
The articles mentions a "crackdown on the opposition” which must mean the requirement for foreign funded NGOs to be transparent and the few arrests on the West’s agent provocateurs that have been made and continue to receive endless exaggerated media attention as tools to demonize Russia. Unfortunately for the CBC they do not live in a country that is being targeted by everything the CIA and the nefarious Washington geopolitical planners can throw at it on every front. If they did they might change their tune.
The article also makes no mention of NATO global expansion or the fact that the U.S. and NATO are attempting to neutralize Russia and surround it with missiles and their ABM shield. But of course when you are on the safe end of the barrel it is hard to comprehend what it is like to be on the business end.
Almost laughable is the way the writer attempts to convince his readers that the 25 year-old-author he is using to back up his straw man arguments is a real expert by saying that: "Though only 25, Judah knows what he's talking about. The son of British correspondent Tim Judah, Ben Judah spent part of his childhood living in the Balkans in the 1990s.” If that makes him an expert then what am I? I am almost 50 and have lived in Russia for almost 20 years and… Okay… Whatever, never mind.
I will not bore you with the rest of the article but it takes no issue with the U.S. invasion of Libya or the brutal murder of its leader Muammar Gaddafi, calling it an intervention, nor with the fact that the Russian "opposition” was funded and promoted and directed right out of the U.S. Embassy. Nor does it take issue with the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia and the cold blooded slaughter of Russians that Russia was forced to stop.
The author who is questioned says that President Putin is somehow "harsh’ and "cruel” because he does not believe the lies of the West or that the West somehow has good intentions. President Putin has not invaded a single country, ordered a single extra-judicial execution nor is he involved in multiple aggressive wars or invasions, and lastly he is not spying on the world and maintaining an illegal offshore prison where he is holding hundreds of innocent men. If those are not true cruel and harsh things then what are?