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northeasterner
15-06-2007, 19:07
From The Times
June 7, 2007
It’s the West that’s starting this new Cold War
Russia’s belligerence is hardly surprising
Anatole Kaletsky

Know your enemy – a phrase coined by Sun Tzu, the Chinese military strategist, 2,000 years ago – is even more critical in diplomacy than it is in warfare. As the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations gathered in Germany last night for the annual G8 summit, the identity of the enemy was pretty clear.

He was not, as might have been expected, George W. Bush. Nobody can be bothered to talk to the White House any longer about Iraq and Iran, while on climate change Washington has successfully created a diversion and thwarted the German and British desire to make this the summit’s central issue. Best of all, an alternative villain has suddenly upstaged the hapless President Bush. Enter Vladimir Putin, the new global enemy No 1.

Casting Russia as the enemy suits everyone at this year’s summit. It distracts attention from President Bush’s contempt for Europeans on climate change and his geopolitical blunders. It helps Angela Merkel and Tony Blair to disguise the failure of their Atlanticist diplomacy while allowing Nicolas Sarkozy to sound tough, without being antiAmerican. It gives all the European leaders at the summit a chance to “show solidarity” with the EU’s newly admitted Eastern members without making any concessions on the discriminatory economic and labour policies that will keep these countries firmly in their place for decades ahead. And best of all, from every nation’s standpoint, the starring role of villain is one that President Putin himself craves.

Mr Putin faces a difficult transition from his present position as a wildly popular czarist-style absolute ruler to some kind of power behind the throne – a kingmaker or political puppeteer possibly modelled on Deng Xiaoping, of China, or Lee Kuan Yew, of Singapore, but with no real parallel in Russian history. In managing this unprecedented transition, nothing is more useful to Mr Putin than his image as the first national leader since Stalin who could stand up for Russia’s interests against an inherently hostile world. This is why all the EU’s complaints about neo-imperialist bullying of Poland and Estonia, all the lectures from President Bush about democracy and all the admonitions about human rights from Mrs Merkel are water off a duck’s back to President Putin.

Far from being intimidated, Mr Putin relishes and deliberately provokes such “insults”, as in his interview this week with Western media, in which he threatened to target his nuclear arsenal against Europe and simultaneously joked that he was the “purest” democratic politician since Mahatma Gandhi. Mr Putin must surely have expected the furious response these statements provoked from the other summit leaders and from Western public opinion, so it has to be assumed that he wanted to cast himself as Global Public Enemy No 1.

But if Mr Putin is consciously redefining himself as the West’s enemy – and if he is doing this with the enthusiastic acclaim of the Russian public – then we must try to know this enemy, in accordance with the advice of Sun Tzu.

Why is hostility to the West so popular in Russia? Let us try to look at the West through Russian eyes. Despite all the past sentimental rhetoric of Western politicians describing Russia as a friend and “strategic partner”, US and European behaviour has consistently treated Russia more as an enemy than an ally. Russia has been told it could never join Nato or the EU and Mr Putin’s invitation to G8 summits is scant consolation for the denial of WTO membership and the continuation of US trade sanctions dating back to the Cold War. On human rights and extrajudicial assassinations, Russia’s record may be deplorable, but its abuses pale in comparison with those of Western friends such as Saudi Arabia and China, not to mention President Bush’s “boil them in oil” ally, Uzbekistan.

But far more serious from the Russian standpoint than any diplomatic conflicts is what the West has done to their country’s territorial integrity. Ever since the first Bush Administration undermined Mikhail Gorbachev by denying him the financial assistance of the International Monetary Fund and then encouraged the dissolution of the Soviet Union under Boris Yeltsin, the West has appeared, at least from Moscow’s standpoint, to seize every opportunity to weaken, isolate and encircle Russia.

Not only has Russia lost its Eastern European satellites, but the homeland itself has been dismembered. No reasonable Russian could object to the independence of Poland, Hungary and even the Baltic states, which were forcibly annexed into the Soviet Union after the Second World War. But the loss of the Ukraine, Belarus, the Caucasus and central Asia are a different matter. These areas – or at least large swaths of them – were integral parts of the Russian “motherland” long before Texas and California belonged to the United States. For Russians, the separation with Ukraine and Belarus in particular is at least as emotionally wrenching as Welsh and Scottish independence would be to Britain or Catalonian and Basque secession would be to Spain.

While Westerners see Russian resentment about these territorial losses as a throwback to 19th-century imperialist thinking, consider how the process might look when viewed from the Russian side. What Russians see is a powerful and wealthy empire expanding steadily on their Western border and swallowing all the intervening countries, first into the EU’s economic and political arrangements and then into the Nato military structure. Consider from the Russian standpoint the EU’s explicit vocation to keep growing until it embraces every European country with the sole exception of Russia itself, and the almost automatic Nato membership now granted to EU countries. Is it so very unreasonable to view this EU-Nato juggernaut as the world’s last remaining expansionist empire, or even the natural successor to previous German and French expansions that were considerably less benign?

Western politicians may ridicule such fantasies as Russian nationalist paranoia. But why shouldn’t the Russians worry about Western armies and missiles on their borders, when these contribute to a process of territorial encroachment similar to what Napoleon and Hitler failed to achieve by cruder means?

America and Europe, regardless of their warm words about Russia, are treating it objectively as an enemy, taking every opportunity to cut it down to size. After 15 years of this experience, is it really surprising if the Russians, emboldened by their newfound oil wealth, now respond in kind? In other words, it is not Russia but America and Europe that have restarted the Cold War.

The West may well be right to treat Russia as a natural enemy – that is certainly the attitude in Estonia and Poland. But if we are going to treat the Russians as enemies, let us at least try to see the world from their point of view.

Yuzov
16-06-2007, 01:42
From The Times
...Consider from the Russian standpoint the EU’s explicit vocation to keep growing until it embraces every European country with the sole exception of Russia itself, and the almost automatic Nato membership now granted to EU countries. Is it so very unreasonable to view this EU-Nato juggernaut as the world’s last remaining expansionist empire, or even the natural successor to previous German and French expansions that were considerably less benign?


Thanks for posting this. The sad thing is that with all of the attention the US media pays to developments in the Middle East, Russia is almost never mentioned, and only then, negatively so. Take, for example, the ABC news "scoop" about computer problems on the international space station "Atlantis." In its original form it went like this:


Russians: Possible 'Fatal Flaw' in Space Station
Russian Sources Tell ABC News U.S. Equipment May Have Contributed to Glitch

Russian sources told ABC News they fear a "fatal flaw" in space station computers.

Russian sources? Fatal flaw? Later on in the article, the Russian space honcho basically admits everything is fixable regardless of who dropped the ball, and so does an American space jockey. But to judge from the headlines you would think Leonid and Tricky Dick were about to nuke it out in back of Mars.

Bels
16-06-2007, 22:41
I've read the news and the news from Europe and the news not directed that is directed to Russia, and the pretense of the news from Britain that is supposedly not directed to Russia, about intentions to increase nuclear and conventional power, fear from whom? I wonder. Not from Iran or the claimed 'Rogue countries'. I don't buy it.

Britain, America and the EU need to talk to Russia, with the purpose of getting good relations. I think its serious, my Russian wife thinks it's serious, there is a change of government in all countries concerned and we are worried. They need to talk soon.

Kingwillhe
19-06-2007, 15:54
Russia needs to chill out. Some critiques are well grounded, don't be so sensitive.

Ned Kelly
19-06-2007, 16:10
I've read the news and the news from Europe and the news not directed that is directed to Russia, and the pretense of the news from Britain that is supposedly not directed to Russia, about intentions to increase nuclear and conventional power, fear from whom?

"Whatchoo talkin' bout Willis"?!

Packman
20-06-2007, 16:48
From The Times
June 7, 2007
It’s the West that’s starting this new Cold War
Russia’s belligerence is hardly surprising
Anatole Kaletsky


Why is hostility to the West so popular in Russia? Let us try to look at the West through Russian eyes. Despite all the past sentimental rhetoric of Western politicians describing Russia as a friend and “strategic partner”, US and European behaviour has consistently treated Russia more as an enemy than an ally. Russia has been told it could never join Nato or the EU and Mr Putin’s invitation to G8 summits is scant consolation for the denial of WTO membership and the continuation of US trade sanctions dating back to the Cold War. On human rights and extrajudicial assassinations, Russia’s record may be deplorable, but its abuses pale in comparison with those of Western friends such as Saudi Arabia and China, not to mention President Bush’s “boil them in oil” ally, Uzbekistan.


Not only has Russia lost its Eastern European satellites, but the homeland itself has been dismembered. No reasonable Russian could object to the independence of Poland, Hungary and even the Baltic states, which were forcibly annexed into the Soviet Union after the Second World War. But the loss of the Ukraine, Belarus, the Caucasus and central Asia are a different matter. These areas – or at least large swaths of them – were integral parts of the Russian “motherland” long before Texas and California belonged to the United States. For Russians, the separation with Ukraine and Belarus in particular is at least as emotionally wrenching as Welsh and Scottish independence would be to Britain or Catalonian and Basque secession would be to Spain.




There is sooooo much BS in this article I don't know where to start. How did the west treat Russia as an ememy???

Although I certainly hate to defend the Bush adminstration, but they actually did break off substantial relations with Uzbekistan after the massacre, however surprising it was to actually take human rights seriously.

As for the Russian empire. Colonies go away...it happens lucky for Russia, Yelstin and henchmen dissolved Soviet Union without a shot. Good for them, count your blessings.

Fantastika
01-07-2007, 20:21
Insightful. Your detractors have to resort to name-calling.:thumbsup:

fco1922
21-07-2007, 14:09
I love all the protestations in the Russian press about Russia being a "powerful" country. If it were/is, it wouldn't need to trumpet this fact. OK, Russia has almost $1 billion in oil revenues. But its hospitals are horrible, its schools are collapsing, pensions are a joke, most housing is in dire condition, and social benefits are non existent. Is this a rich country?

I am glad that Russians are confident and proud. But the Russian government has an inferiority complex. Harvard doesn't need to brag about being best; America doesn't need to brag about being powerful; Canada doesn't need to brag about its standard of living. Are we supposed to be impressed by these Russian statements?

fco1922
21-07-2007, 14:13
There is sooooo much BS in this article I don't know where to start. How did the west treat Russia as an ememy???

Although I certainly hate to defend the Bush adminstration, but they actually did break off substantial relations with Uzbekistan after the massacre, however surprising it was to actually take human rights seriously.

As for the Russian empire. Colonies go away...it happens lucky for Russia, Yelstin and henchmen dissolved Soviet Union without a shot. Good for them, count your blessings.

What I do find amazing is that none of the "subjected" countries of the Soviet Empire ever took revenge on the Soviets/Russians for what they did to them. Putin says Russia never droppped an atom bomb. But it persecuted Eastern Europe mercilessly. And when Russia talks about Hilter and the Hilter atrocities (all very true), it conveniently ignores that its leaders killed more than 30 million of its OWN people!! Russia doesn't need enemies; it is it own enemy.

dick
22-07-2007, 02:00
The U.S. never keeps it's word, look at NATO expansion. Something they said they wouldn't do. They will only keep treaties with countries that are equal or more powerful then them. That's why they can not be trusted.

dick
22-07-2007, 02:39
How many people have the U.S. killed? Lets see, native Americians maybe a millon, slaves not sure but a lot, and still trying to kill black males, Vietnam millons, support for Sadam add his millon, two unjust wars in Iraq millons, support for the Tailiban, many millons with all the heroin they sold,Cubans, South Americans, two A- bombs on Japan, like one wasn't enough, poor Americans are there to work for the rich and die before they can collect their pension, How many people are in jails in the U.S.? More then in any other country in the world. Oh beautiful for spacious jails, a never ending see of TV watching slaves, America, America. Gods played a joke on you,

fenrir
22-07-2007, 09:13
How many people have the U.S. killed? Lets see, native Americians maybe a millon, slaves not sure but a lot, and still trying to kill black males, Vietnam millons, support for Sadam add his millon, two unjust wars in Iraq millons, support for the Tailiban, many millons with all the heroin they sold,Cubans, South Americans, two A- bombs on Japan, like one wasn't enough, poor Americans are there to work for the rich and die before they can collect their pension, How many people are in jails in the U.S.? More then in any other country in the world. Oh beautiful for spacious jails, a never ending see of TV watching slaves, America, America. Gods played a joke on you,

You have made so many bogus points that it is hard to decide where to begin.

1: Most Native Americans were killed off BEFORE the US became a country so you can thank the Brits and Spanish for most of that one.

2: Slaves were rarely killed. It was not in the interest of the owners to do that.

3: The 2 A-bombs. Well, that's too damn bad. Start a war with another country and they actually fight back and kick your a--. I suppose that you are equally against the USSR's murderous drive into Eastern Europe and Germany in the latter stages of WW II. That resulted in vastly higher death counts than the A-bombs.

4: Still killing blacks? Prove it.

5: Two unjust wars in Iraq? The first had not only UN approval, but the backing of most of the Muslim world. You messed up on that point.

fenrir
22-07-2007, 09:17
The U.S. never keeps it's word, look at NATO expansion. Something they said they wouldn't do. They will only keep treaties with countries that are equal or more powerful then them. That's why they can not be trusted.

Does Russia? Two examples come to mind. I still remember Putin telling the world that he was not interested in destroying Yukos. Oops on that one. Then he swore up and down that Russia did NOT sell an advanced air defense system to Syria two weeks before the first shipment of weapons arrived in Damascus. Oops two.

Ales
22-07-2007, 18:47
3: The 2 A-bombs. Well, that's too damn bad. Start a war with another country and they actually fight back and kick your a--.

You are really one frightening individual, actually the first person that I have ever met to praise the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and call it "kicking their a.." on top of it. Disgusting. America trains people like you by the millions with their TV shows and video games. A perfect civilian army.

fenrir
22-07-2007, 19:51
Do you also feel sorry for the Germans because of how they were treated by the Red Army as it swept westward? They got it far worse than the Japanese got it from the US.

dick
22-07-2007, 20:22
The Germans were still fighting, Japan was already beat, no need for the first one never mind a second, no time was giving for a surendder after the first time, and the effects lasted for 30 or more years, So why aren't you living in the U.S.?

Packman
23-07-2007, 01:39
You are really one frightening individual, actually the first person that I have ever met to praise the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and call it "kicking their a.." on top of it. Disgusting. America trains people like you by the millions with their TV shows and video games. A perfect civilian army.


Well both of you are at both extremes. Truman was a fairly simple guy. He thought if there was a weapon that could end the war (with greatly reduced casualties on the US side) he would be guilty of not using it.

Sometimes when you have power and you don't use it, you can indeed be guilty.

ezik
23-07-2007, 02:25
(...) let us at least try to see the world from their point of view.

In international politics and business, I think it is actually time for Russia to wake up. If Russia gets criticised, it immediately turns into this childish "they think we are the enemy" position. You only feel treated like an enemy if you only see enemies around you.

Maybe things have improved since the Yeltsin era, but Russia is still far away from being a reliable and predictable partner. The only thing that is predictable here is that the Russian government will make sure to have some card up the sleeve to screw an international partner when it comes in handy.

Take Gazprom in Sakhalin, take TNK-BP, take the revoked PWC audits at Yukos, take any international venture" Russia always comes up with some dirty trick to completely spoil anything remotely resembling a partnership based on mutual trust.

Articles like this are crocodile tears. If you don't want to be treated like an enemy, don't behave like one.

fenrir
23-07-2007, 09:39
The Germans were still fighting, Japan was already beat, no need for the first one never mind a second, no time was giving for a surendder after the first time, and the effects lasted for 30 or more years, So why aren't you living in the U.S.?

You say the Japanese were beat. Had they surrendered? No. Did they intend to surrender? No. Read the historical record. And if they were already beat as you say, what the heck was the USSR doing getting involved at the last second? By your reckoning, that was an unnecessary atrocity in and of itself.

By the way, Germany was also considered beat by late 44, very early 45. Why didn't the USSR and the Western Allies stop their advances then and 'give Germany a chance to surrender?'

dick
23-07-2007, 11:26
It's sad you believe in history books, the USSR was just taking back land they lost in a war before. The U.S. was occupying Japan at the time and they knew the end was near. The first bomb showed enough,

Ghostly Presence
23-07-2007, 12:03
Do you also feel sorry for the Germans because of how they were treated by the Red Army as it swept westward? They got it far worse than the Japanese got it from the US.

We heard that before – “kill one person and you are a murderer, kill millions and you are a victor”, or something along those lines. It is easy to dismiss lost lives as a statistic as long as it does not affect you or your friends and family. Bombing civilian cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had nothing to do with military strategy – it was an act of pure intimidation.

As for Russia and the West, the stand-off will never end. The West has always viewed Russia with suspicion and attacked Russia on numerous occasions throughout its history. Hopefully, today’s evermore integrated world economy and the nuclear arsenals that both sides possess will keep us from killing each other at some point.

Ghostly Presence
23-07-2007, 12:17
Take Gazprom in Sakhalin, take TNK-BP, take the revoked PWC audits at Yukos, take any international venture" Russia always comes up with some dirty trick to completely spoil anything remotely resembling a partnership based on mutual trust.

Articles like this are crocodile tears. If you don't want to be treated like an enemy, don't behave like one.

Are you sure that those licenses were not in fact purchased "for a song", well below their true value from the notoriously corrupt Russian officials? The western media does a superb job at brain-washing its audience! Most of its stories seem to be based on the premise that the western companies come to Russia to do good for the Russian people, rather than to exploit the country’s natural resources in the most cost-effective way possible to bring home as much profit as possible. That of course, is BS. That is not what companies do. Given the track-record of the western oil companies elsewhere around the globe, I readily believe that they had plenty of skeletons in their closets that made them vulnerable to legal scrutiny.

fenrir
23-07-2007, 13:23
Bombing civilian cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had nothing to do with military strategy – it was an act of pure intimidation.

Two million German civilians died on the Eastern front in the last year of the war, a toll far higher than what the A-bombs inflicted. What would you call that?

fenrir
23-07-2007, 13:28
Are you sure that those licenses were not in fact purchased "for a song", well below their true value from the notoriously corrupt Russian officials? The western media does a superb job at brain-washing its audience! Most of its stories seem to be based on the premise that the western companies come to Russia to do good for the Russian people, rather than to exploit the country’s natural resources in the most cost-effective way possible to bring home as much profit as possible. That of course, is BS. That is not what companies do. Given the track-record of the western oil companies elsewhere around the globe, I readily believe that they had plenty of skeletons in their closets that made them vulnerable to legal scrutiny.

I am sure they were purchased for a song, but who sold it to them? The Russian government. Why not go after all the Oligarchs who also bought companies dirt cheap and spend 'their' money on foreign football teams, yachts, etc?

By the way, if Russia has so many talented people and is so rich, why do/did they need foreign companies at all? Why not do everything in-house and keep all the profits?

Ghostly Presence
23-07-2007, 14:03
I am sure they were purchased for a song, but who sold it to them? The Russian government. Why not go after all the Oligarchs who also bought companies dirt cheap and spend 'their' money on foreign football teams, yachts, etc?

By the way, if Russia has so many talented people and is so rich, why do/did they need foreign companies at all? Why not do everything in-house and keep all the profits?

Have you not followed the news lately? They did go after the oligarchs. Some of them are now in exile, other are fawning at Putin every chance they get to stay on his good side.

As for the Western companies in Russia, my opinion is that the more companies this country has (foreign or domestic), the better since they all create jobs for Russians. But does Russia need western firms? Can it do without them? I would say, yes, it can. It did without them for years.

Ghostly Presence
23-07-2007, 14:08
Two million German civilians died on the Eastern front in the last year of the war, a toll far higher than what the A-bombs inflicted. What would you call that?

I would say that it was the American "carpet" bombing of Dresden that erased that beautiful city off the map.

fenrir
23-07-2007, 15:17
I would say that it was the American "carpet" bombing of Dresden that erased that beautiful city off the map.

Very true, but it is still far, FAR less than what the Soviets did.

fenrir
23-07-2007, 15:23
Have you not followed the news lately? They did go after the oligarchs. Some of them are now in exile, other are fawning at Putin every chance they get to stay on his good side.

As for the Western companies in Russia, my opinion is that the more companies this country has (foreign or domestic), the better since they all create jobs for Russians. But does Russia need western firms? Can it do without them? I would say, yes, it can. It did without them for years.

Why not go after all of them? Why only the ones who oppose Putin? That shows that it is okay to rip-off and screw the Russian people with official sanction as long as you kiss Putin's a--.

Gazprom wanted to go it alone with the Shtockman gas field but in the end had to grovel for foreign help. I guess they are not as big and bad as they thought they were.

dick
23-07-2007, 15:41
The U.S. govt. been swr%$* you for years, to bad you didn't realize it yet.
Why is it you don't live in the states? Or don't you want to tell?

Ghostly Presence
23-07-2007, 15:59
Very true, but it is still far, FAR less than what the Soviets did.

To the best of my knowledge (though I admit that it might be incomplete) the Russian army did not engage in systematic annihilation of the German civil population. Civilian casualties were mostly due to the fact they the civilians were caught amidst very heavy fighting between the opposing armies. I think these circumstances are very different from dropping a bomb on two unsuspecting cities located far away from the major battlefields. Can you see the difference?

Ghostly Presence
23-07-2007, 16:03
Why not go after all of them? Why only the ones who oppose Putin? That shows that it is okay to rip-off and screw the Russian people with official sanction as long as you kiss Putin's a--.


I agree with you there - all oligarchs belong together, i.e. in jail next to Khodorkovsky. But the fact that at least they live in fear is somewhat comforting.

Packman
23-07-2007, 17:18
I agree with you there - all oligarchs belong together, i.e. in jail next to Khodorkovsky. But the fact that at least they live in fear is somewhat comforting.

Actually living with something hanging over your head is never comforting if its you. I'm sure your not in business for yourself because the problem is that everyone in business lives in fear. That's one reason I'm in Ukraine now!

Ghostly Presence
23-07-2007, 17:41
Actually living with something hanging over your head is never comforting if its you. I'm sure your not in business for yourself because the problem is that everyone in business lives in fear. That's one reason I'm in Ukraine now!

Thanks, I got a good laugh out of your last statement! I am sure one can feel real safe in Ukraine these days! Best of luck to you!

fenrir
23-07-2007, 19:32
Thanks, I got a good laugh out of your last statement! I am sure one can feel real safe in Ukraine these days! Best of luck to you!

Westerners have no problem there. One of my best friends moved there from Moscow last year with his Russian wife and kid, and they couldn't be happier.

fenrir
23-07-2007, 19:37
To the best of my knowledge (though I admit that it might be incomplete) the Russian army did not engage in systematic annihilation of the German civil population. Civilian casualties were mostly due to the fact they the civilians were caught amidst very heavy fighting between the opposing armies. I think these circumstances are very different from dropping a bomb on two unsuspecting cities located far away from the major battlefields. Can you see the difference?

You are partially correct. They didn't engage in systematic destruction like the Nazi's did to the Jews but it was a case of payback on the individual soldier level. The circumstances may have been different but dead is dead and 2 million Germans is vastly more than 214,000 Japanese.

Clean32
23-07-2007, 19:52
You are partially correct. They didn't engage in systematic destruction like the Nazi's did to the Jews .


??uummm are not all the oligarchs jews ??

fenrir
23-07-2007, 19:52
Why is it you don't live in the states? Or don't you want to tell?

Since it is so important to you I will tell. I am married to a native Moscovite. We lived in Moscow for 5 years but all the BS finally got to me (corrupt cops, the near impossible residency procedures, schools that refused to hire foreign teachers legally and thus put us all in violation of the law, etc.) so we decided to move. We chose Tallinn because 1) we already owned a flat in the center (we bought early in the property boom phase), 2) it is very convenient to visit family and friends in Moscow and St. Petersburg or have them visit us (as opposed to my native Miami) and 3) because there are a lot of Russians here so my wife doesn't feel too far out of her element. Last year I got offered a good job in a small town in Sweden and turned it down for the very reasons I mentioned above.

Packman
24-07-2007, 01:33
Thanks, I got a good laugh out of your last statement! I am sure one can feel real safe in Ukraine these days! Best of luck to you!


Yes I do, and guess what, I don't need to worry about GAI when I drive...and don't need to worry about "very big problem" whenever I am stopped by Moscow's Buffoon Squad...oh I mean Police Force...

Where people aren't feed a steady diet of zenophobia every night on the TV news.

Wake up, you live in a police state, 90% of the population doesn't even realize it yet!:eek:

Ghostly Presence
24-07-2007, 09:15
Yes I do, and guess what, I don't need to worry about GAI when I drive...and don't need to worry about "very big problem" whenever I am stopped by Moscow's Buffoon Squad...oh I mean Police Force...

Where people aren't feed a steady diet of zenophobia every night on the TV news.

Wake up, you live in a police state, 90% of the population doesn't even realize it yet!:eek:

As for defining Russia as a police state, I agree with you. Unfortunately, the tendency toward greater oppression of all sorts is too obvious to deny it.
As for Russian TV and xenophobia, that does not affect me as much because, first of all, I don’t watch much TV and, secondly, because in my lifetime I have watched too much American television where news about Russia are reported only if they are bad and Russians are typically portrayed with enormous bias toward the negative. So, I guess America prepared me well for living in a xenophobic state.

fenrir
24-07-2007, 10:06
secondly, because in my lifetime I have watched too much American television where news about Russia are reported only if they are bad and Russians are typically portrayed with enormous bias toward the negative. So, I guess America prepared me well for living in a xenophobic state.

That's not xenophobia, that is journalism in general. Negativity sells, stories about grannies knitting for their grandchildren do not. It's the same all over the world.

Ghostly Presence
24-07-2007, 10:52
That's not xenophobia, that is journalism in general. Negativity sells, stories about grannies knitting for their grandchildren do not. It's the same all over the world.

When it comes to Russia's portrayal in the western media, it’s a lot more than just bad news that sells. It appears to be a matter of policy, some unwritten self-censorship - the worst kind. I bet you know it if you have not lost your ability to discern fact from fiction.

fenrir
24-07-2007, 11:39
When it comes to Russia's portrayal in the western media, it’s a lot more than just bad news that sells. It appears to be a matter of policy, some unwritten self-censorship - the worst kind. I bet you know it if you have not lost your ability to discern fact from fiction.

Persecution complex. What good does the Russian media have to say about Bush and the US? It works both ways.

dick
24-07-2007, 18:14
I don't think you could say anything good about Bush, but maybe he'll be leaving soon.

ezik
25-07-2007, 00:52
Are you sure that those licenses were not in fact purchased "for a song", well below their true value from the notoriously corrupt Russian officials? The western media does a superb job at brain-washing its audience! Most of its stories seem to be based on the premise that the western companies come to Russia to do good for the Russian people, rather than to exploit the country’s natural resources in the most cost-effective way possible to bring home as much profit as possible. That of course, is BS. That is not what companies do. Given the track-record of the western oil companies elsewhere around the globe, I readily believe that they had plenty of skeletons in their closets that made them vulnerable to legal scrutiny.

I have more inside information to this deal than you can possibly imagine. The skeletons in this case were Russian.
Licenses? By now, any Western company already knows that they can't get a proper license. At some point, some smart-ass oligarch or official is going to find a way to f*** up the deal from day 1 retrospectively.
You can be cynical about the good that Western companies do for your society. At least these companies are trying something, which is a lot more than can be said about your government.

Packman
25-07-2007, 01:44
When it comes to Russia's portrayal in the western media, it’s a lot more than just bad news that sells. It appears to be a matter of policy, some unwritten self-censorship - the worst kind. I bet you know it if you have not lost your ability to discern fact from fiction.

No its mostly just ignorance...:suspect:

Ghostly Presence
25-07-2007, 14:03
You can be cynical about the good that Western companies do for your society. At least these companies are trying something, which is a lot more than can be said about your government.

All they are trying to do is to make money. That's it. Let's not portray Western companies as heroes or martyrs. Money is their sole motivation. I am sure that as long as they are earning profits here, they will whine and grind about the imperfections of the local business environment, but will remain in Russia nevertheless.

Ghostly Presence
25-07-2007, 14:14
No its mostly just ignorance...:suspect:

Ignorance? Who are we talking about here - some redneck or the US media giants? NBC, ABC, CBS are ignorant? Isn’t getting correct information is what these companies are supposed to do in the first place? Or maybe they are too restricted in their means – they just have to do with whatever they pick off the Internet? I kind of doubt that!

Their depiction of Russia is a lot more than ignorance - it’s matter of policy.

Packman
25-07-2007, 15:15
Ignorance? Who are we talking about here - some redneck or the US media giants? NBC, ABC, CBS are ignorant? Isn’t getting correct information is what these companies are supposed to do in the first place? Or maybe they are too restricted in their means – they just have to do with whatever they pick off the Internet? I kind of doubt that!

Their depiction of Russia is a lot more than ignorance - it’s matter of policy.

What policy? By who? Who implements it?

ABC, NBC and CBS are corporations and have severely cut back on international reporting...why because people in the US by in large don't really care...

If you want real reporting on Russia you can get it at places like NPR or PBS, but you need to be interested to seek such information out.

dick
02-08-2007, 02:43
Bad news about Russia is in the newspapers everyday, maybe you should read one.

TGP
02-08-2007, 14:47
Bad news about Russia is in the newspapers everyday, maybe you should read one.

And when someones writes an article like "It’s the West that’s starting this new Cold War", it's immediately commented as BS.

:snoring::

dick
03-08-2007, 01:59
cuz the west is best and the rest a mess. The place where everyone is equal, just that some are more equal then others.

Fantastika
21-08-2007, 00:49
I just want to put in my $.02, since it is Monday (makes as much sense as some of the other comments)

In one book about WW2 I read, it was described what happened in Leningrad. The Germans surrounded the city and cut it off from supplies but were never quite able to capture the city for any sustainable period. This back-and-forth situation existed for 3 years, 1941-1944. By 1944, caught between a military rock and a frosty hard place, 900,000 Leningrad citizens had perished from malnutrition and the cold. One example - some of them were reduced to eating their shoes - a leather shoe contains a tiny bit of protein. They would boil the shoe as if it were a Thanksgiving Day feast, with tiny potatoes (or little tubers that resembled potatoes), if they could find them, and a match, and something to burn (wood from the apartment walls). But then they would have no protection against the brutal Russian winter, so they lost their feet.

In my opinion the worst atrocity of WW2 (of course the worst was the Holocaust, and Hitler's plans to feed more diverse groups of "undesirables" to the ovens) was the American/British bombing of Dresden (and Berlin and also in Tokyo). This caused a "firestorm" - a superfire which raced out of control, feeding, sucking in oxygen with hurricane-like winds as it grew into monstrous size, consuming an entire city of 300,000 men, women and children, in a 24-hour nightmare of hell on earth.

There were twenty-five million fewer Germans in 1946 than there were in 1939. What happened to them, did they all immigrate to Paraguay? Six million German soldaten were killed. Only Werner Von Braun came to Arizona, but I don't think he brought a nation of illegal immigrants with him. This is not counting the fifteen million or so ethnic Germans who were force-marched back to rump Deutschland from where they had lived in Ukraine, Lithuania, Russia, Hungary, Poland, etc, for generations.

Kinda makes the Al-Queda look like wannabe street punks.

Judge
21-08-2007, 01:09
[QUOTE=Fantastika;278477]

In my opinion the worst atrocity of WW2 was the American/British bombing of Dresden (and Berlin and also in Tokyo). This caused a "firestorm" - a superfire which raced out of control, feeding, sucking in oxygen with hurricane-like winds as it grew into monstrous size, consuming an entire city of 300,000 men, women and children, in a 24-hour nightmare of hell on earth.
QUOTE]

Loss of life is never nice,but there were reasons behind the bombing of Dresden,just like there was reasons for dropping nukes on Japan.People might not agree with the reasons why they decided to bomb these cities but the people who were around and in control ,thought it was the best way to win the war.

For me the worst atrocity of WW2 was ,what the Germans did to the Jews,gays and disabled people.

Fantastika
21-08-2007, 01:24
What "reason" is there to slaughter non-soldiers?

Judge
21-08-2007, 01:48
''1) The city was in Nazi Germany and for this reason was a legitimate target for attack as the Allies were at war with Nazi Germany.

2) The city was not simply a cultural centre – there were factories there producing weapons and equipment for the Nazi war effort. Therefore, the city was a legitimate target. It was also a rail base to send troops to the war front with the Russians.

3) Though the Russians were allies, Churchill and Roosevelt had already decided that Stalin would be a major problem after the end of the war. Therefore, as the Red Army advanced against an army that was effectively defeated, it had no idea as to what an equal and possibly superior military force could do. Therefore, Dresden was bombed to show the Russians the awesome power of the Allies and to act as a warning to them not to stray from the agreements they had made at the war conferences.


An internal RAF memo spreads some light on the reason for the bombing:

“Dresden, the seventh largest city in Germany and not much smaller than Manchester, is also far the largest unbombed built-up the enemy has got. In the midst of winter with refugees pouring westwards and troops to be rested, roofs are at a premium. The intentions of the attack are to hit the enemy where he will feel it most, behind an already partially collapsed front, to prevent the use of the city in the way of further advance, and incidentally to show the Russians when they arrive what Bomber Command can do.”

RAF January 1945''


I gave you 3 reasons( i only agree with the 2nd one) why they bombed Dresden,at the time they thought it was right,many historians believe they were wrong but some agree with the choices made.Innocent people were caught up in these bombing,that's what happens in war the innocent people suffer,it's not nice i know but that is the ugly side of war.

Myself i don't agree with the 2nd nuke America dropped on Japan but some people agree with it and have a right to agree because their country like mine,like yours was at war with an enemy that wanted to take over the world.

Fantastika
21-08-2007, 03:19
Sorry, I did edit my post when I realized I had said the Dresden bombing was the worst atrocity - after you probably read it. Of course it was the holocaust (and what I've read indicates der Fuerher was planning to add more diversity to his extermination ovens).

I have read a lot of books about WW2. At first I sympathized with the Germans, then I was reading books about how Russians suffered. Since I'm an American, I didn't even think about their (my?) point of view. Recently, I read some old letters of my father's. He was in WW2 as an airplane bombardier (B-29) specialist. They manufactured Remington precision bombsights in my little city in upstate New York. During the war, they even had anti-aircraft cannon mounted on the factory.

He felt lucky to be alive and he would agree with everything you say.

He said, quite bluntly, "It was either them or us."

Judge
21-08-2007, 10:59
"It was either them or us." sums it all up.

Len Ganley Stance
21-08-2007, 11:24
I have read a lot of books about WW2. At first I sympathized with the Germans, then I was reading books about how Russians suffered. Since I'm an American, I didn't even think about their (my?) point of view.

Why on earth did you sympathize with the Germans?

What books did you read before you had this St. Paul-on-the-road-to-Damascus type change in where your sympathies lay?

Ghostly Presence
21-08-2007, 11:48
Why on earth did you sympathize with the Germans?

What books did you read before you had this St. Paul-on-the-road-to-Damascus type change in where your sympathies lay?

To put it in very simple words - the tragedy of every war is that ordinary people kill other ordinary people. It's not the good versus the evil. Most soldiers on either side were regular folks pushed into war by their governments. Certainly, there were sadists on either side of the frontline. Living under the constant threat of being slaughtered has a de-humanizing effect on a human psyche.

I once heard an Afgan war veteran who told us a story about how the rebels placed canons in a village that allowed them to shell the Russian positions. To protect themselves against the retaliation the rebels lined up all the villagers, women and children included, in front of those canons, hoping that the Russians would not shoot at them. The soldier said that they bombed those canons into oblivion…. Women and children included.

The everyday reality of war is always very different from the TV reports about it.

Len Ganley Stance
21-08-2007, 12:30
To put it in very simple words - the tragedy of every war is that ordinary people kill other ordinary people. It's not the good versus the evil. Most soldiers on either side were regular folks pushed into war by their governments. Certainly, there were sadists on either side of the frontline. Living under the constant threat of being slaughtered has a de-humanizing effect on a human psyche.

I once heard an Afgan war veteran who told us a story about how the rebels placed canons in a village that allowed them to shell the Russian positions. To protect themselves against the retaliation the rebels lined up all the villagers, women and children included, in front of those canons, hoping that the Russians would not shoot at them. The soldier said that they bombed those canons into oblivion…. Women and children included.

The everyday reality of war is always very different from the TV reports about it.

Thanks for that insight BUT it's fairly bleeding obvious that ordinary people do get killed in wars. When reporting wars, whenever the 'enemy' whoever they might be kill innocent people it's described as 'murdering innocent civilians' but when the 'friendlies' whoever they are kill innocent people, it's (often) descibed as 'collateral damage'.

The point of my earlier post was to question to Fantasika how on earth did he sympathize with the Germans and what books was he reading before his sympathies changed.

To quote John Cleese when asked by the German guests in Fawlty Towers, not to mention the war.

'Don't mention the war? You started it. You invaded Poland'
.

Judge
21-08-2007, 12:38
And here is Mr Fawlty in action:jester::jester:


5MbeT7_ARm8

Fantastika
21-08-2007, 14:18
How big is this? I am afraid to download it, AIST charges me by the dear megabyte.

I'm thinking this is the episode where John Cleese, trying not to insult his German diners, winds up goose-stepping around the dining room and saying Heil Hitler! while his guests get apoplectic from embarrassment. I couldn't stop laughing. It has to be the funniest show I've ever seen in my life.

Judge
21-08-2007, 14:44
it's only 3 mins long,should be ok, just click on it and watch it straight away.