Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Newsweek calls Russia “Pariah State”

From time to time, the western media feels the need to give a sign of life. “Journalists” need to find a way to justify their existence, publications need to find a way to sell more copies and the golden rule is to find something negative to say about another country, finding a “them” to justify the “us”. In this case, the US. Newsweek’s latest edition provides a classic example of the insolent, chauvinistic protagonism which passes for “quality”, by calling Russia a “pariah state”.

Where do they come from? Last year it was award winning Anne Applebaum throwing a fit because Pravda.Ru referred to Kasparov as a no-hoper, a political joke of the worst kind, as the west geared up towards finding an anti-hero for the Kremlin. As usual, they could not have got it more wrong. Gary Kasparov has more chances of being elected President of Azerbaijan than of Russia but is probably more popular in New York than in Baku.

Now it is Michael Freedman, spoiling an intelligent discussion on the question of Kosovo “Winning the battle of Kosovo” (Newsweek, March 15th 2008) with the absurd sentence: “While Serbia is tied to Russia, increasingly a pariah state, little will change for Kosovo”.

Until then, Michael Freedman had admitted that only 32 of the world’s 192 nations had recognised Kosovo’s statehood, although not once did he remind his readers that Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia, always has been and under international law, always will be unless there is a deliberation to the contrary by the United Nations Security Council.

Until then, the author had admitted that Serbia had been successful in its diplomatic offensive to win over the international community and had pointed out the reasons why only a handful of nations considered Kosovo’s statehood as a valid proposition.

Quite what persuaded the author to refer to Russia as a “pariah state” defies logic. Was it his editors, who told him to spice it up if he wanted to receive his pay check or see his contract renewed? Or was it an arrogant, belligerant, chauvinistic holier-than-thou attitude so common in the USA after two terms of the Bush regime having led it into the backwaters of international law, where it has lost its way so completely?

So brackish are these backwaters, indeed, that Washington today portrays a sorry and pathetic figure, standing in the sewer of its own self-making after breaching every law in the book, proclaiming its own self-righteousness while acting like a criminal state, talking about fighting international terrorism while aiding and abetting terrorist organizations like the KLA and openly supporting criminals and terrorists like Hashim Thaci.

So who is the pariah state? Is it the Russian Federation, which supports a multilateral approach to international relations, based on the rule of law and a decision making process which necessarily involves the proper forum, the UNSC? Or is the pariah state one whose military forces perpetrated horrific acts of torture at Abu Ghraib?

Is the pariah state not the one responsible for acts of torture in Guantanamo Bay? Or the illegal invasion of Iraq? Or the targeting of civlian structures with military hardware, for rebuilding contracts to be doled out to White House cronies without tender?

Just as the term “pariah” referred originally to the dregs of society in the caste system in Tamil Nadu, the pariahs in the international community are the Kosovar Albanian independence movement, based around the leadership of the criminal and terrorist organization KLA and its supporters – the USA and the wealthier European nations which grew fat upon centuries of imperialism and colonialism, sucking their victims dry like the leeches and vampires they are.



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