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It's well written, it's irreverent, it's sharply critical of Putin's Russia (but not disrespectful) - a lot more so than his articles printed in the Economist -, but is it anti-Russian?
Well, among other things. Namely, assuming that Russians would not know which leader is good for them and invoking old tired myth of imperialist urges.
If you cannot tell from a cursory reading that this is anti-Russian, well...
He makes sweeping generalizations about the Russian state based on personal experience with his neighbors bulldozing a "disused airfield", which apparently is used by his kids to ride their bikes.
My neighborhood has been trying to put in sidewalks for the past couple of years. To do this, we need the unanimous approval of everyone living there. Two households are still witholding their approval. Both are older couples who say, "We don't want sidewalks. If we put them in, we'll have crazy skate-boarding punks passing our house all the time." In the same situation, Lucas would invariably infer that all Americans are anti-youth.
You see, I'd tend to choose (3). I suspect you might choose (1),(2) and (3).
You're proposing that criticising Bush is anti-American, that criticising Blair is anti-British and that criticising Chirac is anti-French.
No, just the opposite actually. I'm proposing that each one of the peoples you mention bear a certain measure of responsibility for the leaders they have.
But to say that criticising the leader of the state is the same as criticising the people of the state is naive. Blair wasn't reelected because the British public approved of his stance in Iraq, he was reelected because there was no viable alternative on offer. When I call Blair an arrogant liar I'm not anti-British, I'm anti-Blair. When someone criticises Putin he's not anti-Russian, he's anti-Putin. He may feel it was a mistake for the Russian people to appoint Putin, but that's another matter entirely. That doesn't make him anti-Russian. I'm not arguing whether the author quoted above is pro- or anti-Russian by the way, just the more general point.
I'd be curious to hear your opinion, though.
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