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Siberian Light interviews La Russophobe

by siberianlight Fri Feb 16th, 2007 at 09:59:30 AM EST

La Russophobe exploded onto the Russian blogging scene in April last year and, since then has been offending Russiophiles left, right and centre. Her opinions are strong, and she doesn't hold back in expressing them.

Possibly the subject of more hate mail and invective than even Putin himself on his best days, a fevered, not to mention demented, race is on to discover the true identity of La Russophobe.

In this extract from her first public interview, La Russophobe explains why she is so forthright in her criticism of those who would defend the Kremlin :

"...one of the things I might have mentioned as a goal of the blog is to make it very clear to the Russia-watching world, especially the academic and establishment types, that there now is a stiff price to pay for issuing pro-Kremlin propaganda and for playing fast and loose with facts while doing so.

It's true I'm faulted for being so acerbic, but what the critics don't mention is that the accuracy of my reporting is almost never faulted or even questioned because it's quite solid. This leaves the Kremlin's apologists no choice but to try to focus on my style, and I take that as a huge compliment.

And what they also don't recognize is that there is a method to my madness. The harshness of my rhetoric means that these folks (for instance, the ones who said that given a fair chance, Russians would build democracy) know they'd better be careful about what they say or else a certain kind of web page is going to appear and follow them for the rest of their careers.

I scare the bejesus out of those folks, and I think it's a useful service. They're watching their Ps and Qs now, in a way they've never done before."

Visit Siberian Light to read the rest of La Russophobe's interview.


Display:
I just love Siberian Light, but I have no idea why you are wasting your time on La Russophobe.  Has it occured to anyone to just ignore her?  

And for those who don't know of LR, you may come away from reading this interview thinking the girl has a point.  She probably does, but it's so buried beneath a highly biased agenda and stalking and name calling that who wants to listen to her?  There are people capable of being both objective, decent and critical of the Kremlin (like, oh, Jerome...)

Though I guess in the interest of diplomacy, I'll throw her a bone for this:

13. If you could advise the Russian government to do one thing, what would it be?

Have Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Vladimir Putin switch places.

(...though for all the wrong reasons...)

Anyway, thanks for coming to ET.  I hope you stop by and post some non-LR stuff here in the future.  

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Fri Feb 16th, 2007 at 11:09:34 AM EST

There are people capable of being both objective, decent and critical of the Kremlin (like, oh, Jerome...)

I do appreciate them.

(And that quote about Putin and Khodorkhovski did jump at me too - and it is one I actually agree with)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 16th, 2007 at 11:20:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm confused... are we talking about the same Khodorkhovski here? The mobster?
i.e.
Establishing full control over Yuganskneftegas-the company at the heart of Khodorkovsky's oil empire- included such episodes as the unsolved murder of the town mayor (and bitter adversary of Yukos) in 1998, who was gunned down on Khodorkovsky's birthday.

Isn't this the same kind of false dilemma that will guarantee that Putin (and assorted KGB) will be elected for the foreseeable future? Reducing the conceivable choices to former spooks and "former" gangsters?

BTW, La Russophobe considers Gaidar and the Locusts some sort of "move towards democracy"- 'nough said.... Where's Mark Ames when you need him...?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Sat Feb 17th, 2007 at 11:25:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, after spending several hundred million dollars on the corresponding PR, every mobster becomes beacon of democracy...
by Sargon on Sat Feb 17th, 2007 at 12:35:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm confused... are we talking about the same Khodorkhovski here? The mobster?

Yeah, I was confused about that too.  I just figured I'd accidentally brain-washed him or something...

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Sat Feb 17th, 2007 at 02:08:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the compliment!  

As for wasting my time with LR - I should point out that this is the first in a series of interviews with people who blog about Russia, and I'll be speaking to both pro- and anti- Kremlin bloggers (as well as bloggers of pretty much every shade in between).  

Really, I'm just asking the questions and providing the platform - its up to the interviewees to convince you of their wisdom.  Or lack thereof...  

by siberianlight on Fri Feb 16th, 2007 at 12:01:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I don't agree. It's a bit like giving equal time to intelligent design and to darwinism and letting the viewer/reader decide.

You have professional haters everywhere. For French haters, please go to http://merdeinfrance.blogspot.com/, you'll feel dirty enough.

I quit halfway through the above interview. Anyone who will interchangeably use the words "Russia", "the Russians", "Putin", as if the nation, the people, the regime, the autocrat, etc, were all the same, isn't worth more than 2 minutes of my time.
 

by balbuz on Fri Feb 16th, 2007 at 02:04:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome Siberian Light. I just few days ago found and recommended to poemless your site with lots of links and you're here, it's nice.
by FarEasterner on Sun Feb 18th, 2007 at 09:31:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I pop up in all the best places...
by siberianlight on Mon Feb 19th, 2007 at 12:25:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i must say russia remain a great mistery regarding its politics and policy vision.

Actually, I ahve never heard any russian guy (and I have met alot) talk about politics.. which is very weird.. I do nto kno why... maybe I am european and they think I would not understand..

And the smae with Putin..... maybe Putin is more a black and white figure while Bush is a clearly black figure?.. I dunno

And given the disinformation is tough to know.

the only thing I find in common in all thread is the level of insecurity for small businessmen in some areas of modern russia....I do not know if it is exaggerated but hte level of corruption in the fiscal and ownership is continuously defined as hoorendeous..

Is it true? is it not? I dunno

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Sat Feb 17th, 2007 at 02:47:34 PM EST
There was actually a long-run study on de-regulation of small businesses, conducted by CEFIR/NES (one of the most respected Russian think tanks) on contract from World Bank. They found slight and uneven but improvement between 2001, when the reform was enacted, and 2005. If you're interested, I can dig up the refs.
by Sargon on Sat Feb 17th, 2007 at 02:52:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
POEMLESS:  

(1) If you love Siberian Light, why don't you post comments on it?

(2) If "there are people capable of being both objective, decent and critical of the Kremlin" why don't you post a link to their blog? And while you are at it, please give an example of how such an approach has led to fruitful results in terms of changing Russia in the past.

(3)  Did you know that my blog has more published traffic and more links from blogs than any other English language Russia politics blog in the world?

(4) Have you ever made a constructive suggestion to my blog?  Have you ever offered some content in the form you "approve" of?

(5) Why do you advise other people to ignore me when you clearly can't?

TALOS

You wrote: "La Russophobe considers Gaidar and the Locusts some sort of 'move towards democracy'"

I challenge you to document that charge by linking to the post where LR said it.  If you can't, I challenge you to apologize. We've never written a post praising Gaidar, we've only said he was a Kremlin critic and it was wrong for the Kremlin to try to kill him.

BALBUZ

Do you feel it was wrong for Malcolm X to hate the KKK?  Do you think the abolitionists in America shouldn't have hated the slavehholders and waged war against them?  Was it wrong for Solzhenitsyn to hate the masters of the Gulag?

You wrote:  "It's a bit like giving equal time to intelligent design and to darwinism and letting the viewer/reader decide."   You might be interested to know about a blog called "Russia Blog" that only says nice things about Russia.  It's funded by an organization called the Discovery Institute, who's goal is to ban the teaching of Darwinism in Russia in favor of intelligent design.  I hate them.  Is that OK with you?

You wrote: "You have professional haters everywhere." Are you implying I'm a professional hater?  I don't receive a penny of income from my blog or anything related to Russia, it costs me money to put it out.

You wrote:  "Anyone who will interchangeably use the words "Russia", "the Russians", "Putin", as if the nation, the people, the regime, the autocrat, etc, were all the same, isn't worth more than 2 minutes of my time."  Is that the kind of tolerance you'd like to see from La Russophobe?  If the Russian people aren't responsible for electing a proud KGB spy president, who is?  Do you think Russians are inferior to Westerners like you, and therefore can't be called to account for their actions the way Westerners might be? If so, why do you hate Russians so much?

If you were LR, reading what you wrote, would it make you reconsider your position or would it make you even more sure you were right?  Be honest.

Russia is the best country in the world . . . except for all the others!

by LaRussophobe (larussophobe@yahoo.com) on Sun Feb 18th, 2007 at 09:51:12 PM EST
* A one time response.

(1) I rarely post comments on blogs other than ET and Daily Kos.  

(2) Off the top of my head, Stephen Cohen, Georgi Derlugian, Jerome, several of the writers at intelligent.ru (which appears to be kaput), and ... ok, definitely not decent, but Mark Ames has written some otherwise impressive articles.

I don't personally feel it is my place to save the Russians from themselves.  So far as fruitful efforts to change Russia go, I'm struggling to make a fruitful effort to change my own country, you know, the one running about invading countries, spying on its citizens, imprisoning people without cause and torturing prisoners, rigging elections, becoming frighteningly isolationist, and in the grip of some maniacal ideologues.  Hint: it's not Russia.  So, my hands are full.  You're on your own.  Good luck and Godspeed.  I'm confident the Russian people will adore you when your blogging finally succeeds in freeing them from their oppression.  Though they'll inevitably get sick of your shit and wage a possibly bloody coup on your mythology a few decades later.  

(3) Congratulations.  Especially considering all the competition out there.

(4) Save for one or two times I've been led astray, I don't read your blog.  I only know of you because you visit all the blogs focusing on Russia and say confrontational and nasty things to the people writing them.  Instead of accepting that fact it's a big world and there are bound to be people who disagree with you, you seem to be under the misguided impression that you can harass people into either agreement or silence, which is profoundly ironic given your concern about freedom of thought/speech in Russia.    

(5) Ignore you?  Impossible.  (See above.)

P.S.
I should let you know that I am no expert and have never asserted any kind of objectivity when writing about Russia.  I make it clear that I am just trying to get the pendulum to swing the other way and to illustrate the hypocrisy of the American media and its coverage of Russia.  I have a deep and perhaps irrational love for the country and its people, and while I can champion democracy with the best of them, I've experienced enough to know that I don't have the answers for Russia, that I don't even have the answers for my own country, and that the answers America has tried to give Russia have been the wrong ones.  I don't think there is anything implicitly negative about state-run operations or anything implicitly positive about capitalism.   I know that the people I've known are not the backwards crazies unable to get their act together, or amoral and duplicitous figures that the American media has for decades portrayed Russians as.  I know that Putin's regime is not a beacon of democracy, but that things are notably better than they were under Yeltsin, and that I'm having "smart and savvy leader" envy at the moment.   I can appreciate Putin, Khodorkovsky and Limonov at the same time, though I can't say I'd want any one of them running my country.  But then, that's not my predicament, choosing who should run Russia or deciding how they should do it.  My predicament, Russia-wise, is monitoring the propaganda spread in my own press, wondering what kind of ideology the belief that "Khodorkovsky is simply too hot to be stuck in Siberia like that" comes under, and generally being in awe of the audacity, resilience, beauty and absurdity of this country.  

It's a rather satisfying feeling, once you let it start being about Russia and stop being about you.  I hope you can one day experience it.


Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Mon Feb 19th, 2007 at 12:23:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure can't put it any better than you, poemless.

здравствулте!

by balbuz on Mon Feb 19th, 2007 at 07:43:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(1) Then you don't know the meaning of the word "love."    Pity. Given that you are a fan of the Kos I assume you are a rabid left-wing idealogue. Therefore, it's not suprising that you would attack me, since I'm more affiliated with the right.

(2)  Intelligent.ru is a rabid Russophile propaganda site.  Claiming that they are a source of criticism of Russia is an outrage.  They publish the craziest of the crazy.  Moreover, as you say, it's defunct.  Cohen (a frenzied Russophile who is published mostly by his wife in her crazed left-wing diatribe the Nation) doesn't have a blog and I'm not aware that Derlugian does either.  As for Jerome, your comments are belied by my view of his text, which is both personally abusive and uncritical of the Kremlin (when it rarely addresses Russia).

You haven't named a single blog (or even author) that regularly criticizes Russia in a manner more "appropriate" to your taste than mine.  In other words, your claim is utterly devoid of substance.

The fact that you dare to make statements about the content of my blog when you admit you don't read it makes you an enormous hypocrite. So much for the depth of your liberal values in fairness!

In short, you are not to be taken seriously.

Russia is the best country in the world . . . except for all the others!

by LaRussophobe (larussophobe@yahoo.com) on Mon Feb 19th, 2007 at 09:05:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh my, look at that ego.
by Trond Ove on Mon Feb 19th, 2007 at 11:32:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh my, look at that empty personal abuse.

Russia is the best country in the world . . . except for all the others!
by LaRussophobe (larussophobe@yahoo.com) on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 03:53:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a blog called "Russia Blog" that only says nice things about Russia.  It's funded by an organization called the Discovery Institute, who's goal is to ban the teaching of Darwinism in Russia in favor of intelligent design.

Interesting info, thanks.

by balbuz on Mon Feb 19th, 2007 at 07:48:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I challenge you to document that charge by linking to the post where LR said it

Is this close enough:

You see, Gaidar believed that there was a really good possibility that, given the chance, Russians would go right back to Soviet dicatorship. He thought they'd vote for it. Everybody told him he was crazy, it would never happen, the changes in Russia were "irreversible." But Gaidar still worried. So he decided that it was necessary to transfer Soviet power into other hands just as fast as humanly possible, and he knew it would be messy, very messy. That's why he sold off assets as fast as possible, and why he had Boris Yeltsin tell local leaders to "take all the power you can grab." Granted, many problems would result. But the alternative was USSR II, and a second round of cold war with the USA and a second massive failure, something Gaidar wasn't sure his country could survive.

And uh... Gaidar was right. That's exactly what the people of Russia did when given the chance. They didn't give democracy even one decade to work, not even two different presidents. They didn't build a variety of political parties and send forth able leaders. They kept voting for the Communist Party.

This is an absurd analysis IMHO, but anyway it does lend itself to the interpretation that "La Russophobe considers Gaidar and the Locusts some sort of 'move towards democracy'". Does it not?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon Feb 19th, 2007 at 07:20:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TALOS:

I think it's "absurd" to call something "absurd" without explaining how your own view differs.  In fact, it's childish and exactly the kind of thing you purport to despise.

Your characterization of our comment about Gaidar is quite insane and offensive. There is absolutely NOTHING in the comment, NOT ONE WORD, about Gaidar favoring a "move toward democracy."  The OPPOSITE is true. The post says that Gaidar feared Russia would slip back into dictatorship, so he favored the UNDEMOCRATIC dissipation of assets in order to deprive the center of power when the return occurred.  We believe he was right to do so, since the facts clearly show Russia did exactly what he predicted it would do.

Sir, you are way WAY worse than the accuse LR of being.  You're a hypocrite the size of Mt. Olympus.  You are free to disagree with our view, but to claim it is "absurd" without even characterizing it acccurately is obscene.

Russia is the best country in the world . . . except for all the others!

by LaRussophobe (larussophobe@yahoo.com) on Tue Feb 20th, 2007 at 01:16:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the policies were meant to prevent Russia "slipping toward dictatorship" (which I insist is an absurd position looking at the amounts of cash the instigators of such policies amassed) one could certainly interpret this as "protecting democracy" eh? Or contributing to it? Especially since you then say that the Russians "...didn't give democracy even one decade to work", meaning that Gaidar's rule was a democracy, no? And BTW are you suggesting that a democratic "dissipation of assets" would not "deprive the center of power"?

I don't know that I'm worse than "what i accuse LR of being" - because the worse I accuse it of, is that its a bad joke. Actually so much so that it only makes sense as some sort of weird FSB psyops: rabid anti-russianism as a scarecrow that unites russians against the enemy. To rational people, the tone of your blog is such that it creates sympathy for Putin. Think about it.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Feb 20th, 2007 at 03:44:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it only makes sense as some sort of weird FSB psyops: rabid anti-russianism as a scarecrow that unites russians against the enemy. To rational people, the tone of your blog is such that it creates sympathy for Putin. Think about it.

Do you know the eXile has a thing going trying to figure out who LR really is?  They think it's either the work of an anti-Russia NGO or a lonely American girl.  Other people have written in with suggestions about a disgruntled Balkan emigree, nasty Brit journalist, etc.  But I think you should send them your theory.  She's FSB!  

I don't think it's true for a second, but it's a delicious accusation.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Feb 20th, 2007 at 04:03:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this thread is fun! I love conspiracy theories.

LR's (her?/his?/them?)anti-russian style reminds me of the speeches of Valeriya Ilyinichna Novodvorskaya, our пламенная революционерка (passionate revolutionary). I adore listen to her, she's kind of Zhirinovsky (but attacks from a western-right side)  and for more aesthetically challenged snobs, just like me

:-)

Theory that she's an FSB bug is nice too, not in a kind of some or t'other Nasty Colonel Ivanov from KGB but, say, a retired ex-Soviet journalist who was working abroad for ages could've created such blog. Easy-peasy

by lana on Tue Feb 20th, 2007 at 05:28:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jealous dear, because nobody is trying to figure out who YOU are?  Or are you mentioning that because you know your pathetic substantive case has been exposed as such, so now it's time to change the subject?

Russia is the best country in the world . . . except for all the others!
by LaRussophobe (larussophobe@yahoo.com) on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 03:55:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, one couldn't say that at all (unless one were a moron).

I don't think Gaidar ever believed Russia could become a democracy and I don't think he ever said it could.  I don't think he ever took any action to promote democracy, and my blog has never praised him for doing so.  Your claim that we have is BOLDFACED LIE , pure and simple.  You've twisted our words to suit your own propagandistic purposes, and that is an outrage.  You didn't even do us the courtesy of quoting us in your original comment.  Disgusting!

What Gaidar wanted was to make Russia as benign a state as possible, and to make it as difficult to consolidate power for a dictator as possible. This is basically the same idea that the American founding fathers had.  They didn't create true democracy (they excluded women and blacks from voting guarantees), but they did create a government that was failsafe against dictatorship.  Moreover, stopping a Hitler is not the same thing as electing a Ronald Reagan.  There's lots and lots in between and Gaidar was not so stupid to fail to notice that (even if you are).

It turned out Gaidar was exactly correct, and Russia did almost immediately lapse back into autocracy.  Had he not done as he did, Putin's power would be far greater now. He's spent almost his whole term of office scrambling to collect the broken pieces of power left by Gaidar.  

Labeling "absurd" views you don't agree with is the mark of a nasty undereducated little child (or a meglomaniac).  It's amazing that you can proceed in such a childish and haughty manner and yet dispense criticism of others as being beneath you.  A slug's belly is not beneath you.

Russia is the best country in the world . . . except for all the others!

by LaRussophobe (larussophobe@yahoo.com) on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 03:51:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Listen Gaidar was the head - and some would say a beneficiary - of possibly the greatest looting of public property in the history of mankind. He made sure that assorted gangsters (many of which were former Party cadres BTW - and so was Gaidar) became the richest men in the world. Anybody that tries to portray this as some sort of "drive to protect Russia from dictatorship" is either out of touch with the real world, or an easy victim of propaganda. What's more all this was being done with the blessing and the direction of the "West", prominent members of which also profited handsomely. If you didn't mean that Gaidar was defending democracy (and instead was just taking measures "against dictatorship" - if that's a different thing in your mind) you sure didn't put it clear enough. In fact you still don't.

Finally - and I mean finally - labeling in an internet discussion (as a side remark outside the scope of one's reply) a stated opinion of an (obvious) non-expert as "absurd", is by no means and in no way the sort of invective you seem to think it is. It's not. It is a statement of dismissive opinion. On the other hand, your demeanor over here has been anything but polite. I really don't think that the proponents of the Ann Coulter school of argumentation can lecture on debating manners. In fact your behavior here (as seen in your reply above) is truly "the mark of a nasty undereducated little child (or a meglomaniac)". And while I might very well be a "moron", I leave our readers to judge our relative IQ levels based on what we have respectively written.

All this if indeed you are not an FSB operative, a possibility that I find more and more likely with each of your responses. If that's the case, you are a genius and you are doing your masters a great service.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 at 05:54:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JEROME:

Your blog has been mentioned as one that contains serious but "appropriate" criticism of Russia designed to promote significant reform.

Oddly, when I looked at the first page of your blog, I saw you say "bugger off loser" to somebody in one post and then defend/rationalize Russian action against Belarus in another.

So I was wondering, could you link me to your last three critical posts about Russia?  I'd love to read them!

Russia is the best country in the world . . . except for all the others!

by LaRussophobe (larussophobe@yahoo.com) on Sun Feb 18th, 2007 at 09:57:11 PM EST
of my writings on Russia last year (plus a couple of older articles) through the lense of energy issues can be found here.

See also the thread starting here and the links in that diary (some of which are also listed in the above sentence).

There's been more in the comments around stories (in the daily Salon, where we discuss the news of the day). We discuss Russia regularly, feel free to jump in.

Generally, my position is clear: Putin is a small time despot who grabbed power thanks to the genocidal war in Chechnya, got lucky as world energy prices jumped through the roof (so much so that he and his mediocre siloviki cronies cannot even steal it all) and got even luckier as he has to face the stupidest and most criminal leaders in the West for a long while. He is popular because for most Russians, subsidized authoritarianism is better than empoverished chaos.

I usually defend Russia against the blatant hypocrisy of the West; I really don't like Putin otherwise.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 19th, 2007 at 08:58:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. Given that you've written "I usually defend Russia against the blatant hypocrisy of the West" I assume you agree that POEMLESS has rather mischaracterized your writing about Russia, don't you?  Because we're not looking for somebody who defends Russia were looking for somebody who criticizes it.

Why is Putin "small time"?  He presides over the largest land mass on the globe and has nuclear weapons as well as a large store of fossil fuels.  He abolished local elections, obliterated the TV news, wiped out opposition political parties and may have ordered many killings of political rivals. He's certainly sent a major rival to prison in Siberia.

I'm not sure I understand "the stupidest and most criminal leaders in the West for a long while."  I'm quite sure POEMLESS would find this an outrageous and inappropriate smear, disqualifying you from her admiration.  But the point is:  Are you saying you think George Bush is worse than Vladimir Putin?

Russia is the best country in the world . . . except for all the others!

by LaRussophobe (larussophobe@yahoo.com) on Mon Feb 19th, 2007 at 09:11:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Because we're not looking for somebody who defends Russia were looking for somebody who criticizes it.

No, you're looking for that. I don't mind pointing when Putin has a point, however despicable I may find him.


He presides over the largest land mass on the globe and has nuclear weapons as well as a large store of fossil fuels.  He abolished local elections, obliterated the TV news, wiped out opposition political parties and may have ordered many killings of political rivals. He's certainly sent a major rival to prison in Siberia.

All true.


"the stupidest and most criminal leaders in the West for a long while."  

That also includes Blair, Berlusconi & Chirac.


Are you saying you think George Bush is worse than Vladimir Putin?

For Russians: probably not. For the rest of the world: undoubtedly yes.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Feb 19th, 2007 at 09:17:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not criticizing you, Jerome.  You were named by POEMLESS as someone who routinely criticizes Russia, but in a different way than I do. It's clear that's palably untrue, and you've never said it was.  So I'm defintely sorry I bothered you.  It's clear that you rarely right about Russia, and when you do you're as apt to criticize Western policy towards Russia as hypocritical (telling them to get their own house in order first) as to attack the Kremlin's abuses.  So your blog is not a source a reader could turn to for daily criticism of Russia, as mine is.


Russia is the best country in the world . . . except for all the others!
by LaRussophobe (larussophobe@yahoo.com) on Tue Feb 20th, 2007 at 01:20:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He was named by poemless as someone who routinely criticizes the Kremlin. The Kremlin. Not Russia. Can't you tell the difference?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Feb 20th, 2007 at 03:31:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's clear to me that he doesn't routinely criticize the Kremlin, that he's as likely to defend it from criticism as to criticize it, and he certainly doesn't specialize in Russia.  What's more, he's quite likely to be as abusive as me ("bugger off, loser") or more so.  Therefore, POEMLESS was wrong on both counts.

I'd like to add that I think it's highly offensive to the Russian people that you don't hold them accountable for what their government does.  Are they inferior beings like monkeys or dogs who can't be expected to come up to Western standards in this regard?  You ought to stop hating them so much.

So if he fails to call Russians to account for the acts of their elected government, he's even less a true critic of Russia and certainly no alternative to La Russophobe.

Russia is the best country in the world . . . except for all the others!

by LaRussophobe (larussophobe@yahoo.com) on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 03:43:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
La Russophobe : ... to come up to Western standards

"Western" ?
"standards" ?
Care to elaborate what those things are ?

by balbuz on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 04:03:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
to make such a natural typo...


It's clear that you rarely right about Russia

Was that a typo for "you're rarely right about Russia", or for "you rarely write about Russia", though?  The suspense is killing me.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 20th, 2007 at 04:29:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd call it a Freudian slip, with both meanings being intended in retrospect.  I find your suggestion that Bush is worse for the world than Putin abhorrent and disgusting (I'm no fan of Bush, who "looked into the eyes of Putin" as you might well imgagine).  I think that statment is hysterical and disconnected from rationality. But I'm not challenging your views on Russia, I'm just saying that you aren't offering a blog which offers a high volume of criticism of Russia with a different tone than my blog, as POEMLESS claimed.  To the extent you write about Russia, which isn't that often by my standards, you're given to abuse of a similar kind to what I doll out, so POEMLESS is wrong on both counts.

Russia is the best country in the world . . . except for all the others!
by LaRussophobe (larussophobe@yahoo.com) on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 03:37:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]

So your blog is not a source a reader could turn to for daily criticism of Russia, as mine is.

That's a precarious position to be in, you know - faced with stiff competition from the US administration, most of the "serious" media of the West and many European governments, you might be drowned out soon. Would you consider this success, or failure?

Here, you might get frequent criticism of the Putinocrats.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 20th, 2007 at 04:31:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd consider it a fantastic success.  As I said in my interview with Andy, there's nothing I'd like more than to be put out of business because the world has got the message on Russia.

I think the change of power is an excellent harbinger that this may happen, and I believe that opposing the neo-Soviet Union is a perfect bipartisan task which can unify both the American parties and the America-Europe divide in a common and meritorious struggle.

Russia is the best country in the world . . . except for all the others!

by LaRussophobe (larussophobe@yahoo.com) on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 at 03:40:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
poemless: "There are people capable of being both objective, decent and critical of the Kremlin (like, oh, Jerome...)"

Jerome: Putin is a small time despot who grabbed power thanks to the genocidal war in Chechnya, got lucky as world energy prices jumped through the roof (so much so that he and his mediocre siloviki cronies cannot even steal it all) and got even luckier as he has to face the stupidest and most criminal leaders in the West for a long while. He is popular because for most Russians, subsidized authoritarianism is better than empoverished chaos.

I usually defend Russia against the blatant hypocrisy of the West; I really don't like Putin otherwise.

LR [to Jerome]: "Given that you've written  "I usually defend Russia against the blatant hypocrisy of the West" I assume you agree that POEMLESS has rather mischaracterized your writing about Russia, don't you?  Because we're not looking for somebody who  defends  Russia were looking for somebody who criticizes it."

Kremlin and Putin on the one hand. Russia on the other. This is sad, really.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Mon Feb 19th, 2007 at 08:29:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh I agree completely.  And it's been that way in Russia for centuries now. The government on one side and the people on the other.  So that now, Russia is such a mess that it loses up to 1 million people from its population every year; at that rate, it will be empty in 140 years.

I'm working to change this. What are you doing about it?

Russia is the best country in the world . . . except for all the others!

by LaRussophobe (larussophobe@yahoo.com) on Tue Feb 20th, 2007 at 01:22:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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