Russia » Politics

Putin's victory seen from outside

Western hysteria insulting to Russia, to Russians and to Vladimir Putin

The BBC, Le Monde and The Washington Post are prime examples of the western rags, gossip merchants and nonsense-mongers whose idiotic and insulting ranting goes beyond the realm of the acceptable and makes these bastions of Cold War values sources of unadulterated drivel.

BBC : skeptical

For the BBC, Putin's 80% approval rating is tempered by the fact that "the media has been tamed, opposition parties marginalized, and civil society put on hold". Back to cold war rhetoric, complete with a reference to the US-based Freedom House Organization, which claims that Russia is not an electoral democracy and states that "For Russia, 2003 was marked by further movement toward authoritarianism by President Vladimir Putin and the government".

However, the BBC claims in the same report that Vladimir Putin has made considerable progress in stabilizing the economy, although also claiming that oil prices helped him considerably. The BBC report concludes by affirming that "If oil and gas prices fall, and the economy falters, he may find that opponents begin to emerge - from one direction or another - even in the new authoritarian Russia".

Authoritarian? At least Russia abides by the UN Charter and does not commit
acts of mass murder overseas.

Le Monde: Former Soviet dissidents accuse Putin of human rights abuse

Le Monde harps on the same Cold War rhetoric as the BBC, claiming that for the former dissidents, "the Russian President builds a power base which is inherited from the USSR and which threatens public rights", quoting Sergei Kovalev, sentenced to seven years of labour in 1974 for anti-Soviet propaganda, and Lyudmila Alekseeva, President of the Helsinki Group, who states that "One cannot say that there is no repression" in Russia today.

The piece ends with a claim that there was electoral fraud in the legislative elections last December.

Positive attitude, using two geriatrics with warped minds for its sources.

Washington Post: From the sublime to the ridiculous

For The Washington Post, there is no alternative to Vladimir Putin. A weak field of opponents makes him the "unchallenged master" of Russia, for which reason "In Putin, many voters found the stable antidote, even if it means a more authoritarian government".

So far, so good. However, the following paragraph in the article covering the election says everything:  "authorities in many regions offered incentives such as concert tickets, vacations to China and housing discounts to draw voters, while others ordered soldiers, factory workers, teachers and university students to turn out or risk retribution. In one case, a hospital in the Far East even announced it would refuse to admit patients who had not arranged to cast absentee ballots".

It would be interesting to discover the sources which produced this nonsense. This newspaper goes on to claim that nuclear missile tests "flopped" and went unreported and makes the following conclusion about Vladimir Putin's choice of government: "keeping the current balance between economic reform advocates and former KGB hard-liners".

However, the real mettle of this rag is contained in a paragraph which makes a venomous attack on the Russian President: "Putin waged a brutal, scorched-earth war in Chechnya that killed tens of thousands of civilians and left behind a lawless republic where abduction, torture and violence prevail. And according to critics, he oversaw the rollback of democratic freedoms, eliminating independent television, cowing parliament and governors, and locking up businessmen such as oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky who dared to challenge him politically".

The Washington Post demonstrates a complete lack of understanding, vision and power of analysis. If this publication believes that Putin is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, it should mention the victims of George Bush's acts of butchery in Iraq and Afghanistan. If this newspaper believes that Putin is responsible for the creation of lawlessness in Chechnya, it places itself among the realm of those publications whose headlines read "Businessman gang-raped by herd of ten-breasted aliens in underground toilet".

With so many publications available on-line, alternative sources which provide balanced information can be found outside these bastions of nonsense, hysteria and propaganda which belongs to the past.

Remind me to delete the BBC, Le Monde and The Washington Post from my
"favourites" list.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY
PRAVDA.Ru


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