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Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia
Rights Report May Hasten End of Putin Era
'long-standing systematic problems of American society' are attributed to, in
particular, 'corruption' and an 'imperfect electoral system.' Especially
touching, given the backdrop of protests against the rigged Duma elections, is Foreign
Ministry concern about, 'blocked access to elections and elected positions for
independent candidates' in the U.S., as well as restrictions on free speech. …
The end of authoritarian regimes comes when they cease to inspire fear and
By Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr.*
Translated By Yekaterina Blinove
December 29, 2011
Russia - Yezhednevniy Zhurnal - Original
"Voice of America" asks Armenian Radio: "What is the salary of a Soviet engineer?" After a three-day pause, Armenian radio gives its answer: "And you lynch Black people." (Soviet-era joke)."
[Editor's Note: The point of this quip is that Soviet-era salaries were so embarrassingly low, Armenian radio was unable to answer without admitting deep shortcomings in the Soviet System. So as part of the USSR, the Armenians preemptively defended it by saying that America lynches Black people. In other words, our salaries for elite professionals may be unacceptably low, but look how much worse America is.]"
A report on, "The Human Rights
Situation in Several of the World's Countries," published by the Foreign
Ministry this week, is a worthwhile read for anyone. Our "response to Hillary,"
an obvious knock-off of the annual report by the U.S. State Department, fits
into 90 pages. Twenty of them consist of a description of the American human
rights situation, which, according to human rights defenders at Smolenskaya Square
[the Foreign Ministry], "is far from
the proclaimed ideals of Washington."
By the way, countries like North
Korea, Syria and China don't appear on the Foreign Ministry's list. However, it
does contain such grave offenders of human rights as Great Britain, Finland and
Canada. In fact, 14 of the 15 countries represented in the report are
recognized democracies and members of the E.U. or NATO (with the sole exception
Aside from an annoying
plethora of grammatical mistakes ("to undertake measures"), the
report is replete with phrases that would be the envy of a Soviet Union propaganda
master. Take, for instance, the "sins of the British authorities," or
the fact that the "human rights situation in Canada remains far from
simple" (It brings to mind the classic utterance: "my merciless
journalistic fate has brought me to Paris").
The "long-standing systematic
problems of American society" are attributed to, in particular, "corruption"
and an "imperfect electoral system." Especially touching, given the
backdrop of many thousands of protests against the rigged Duma elections, the
Foreign Ministry is concerned about, "blocked access to elections and elected
positions for independent candidates" in the United States (no examples
are provided), as well as restrictions on free speech. "More and more
often, journalists in the United States are losing their jobs because they made
‘politically incorrect’ statements," write the report’s authors. "In
June of 2010, for daring to criticize Israel’s actions in respect to the
'Freedom Flotilla,' under pressure from the influential Jewish community (emphasis mine, VKM), the legendary Helen Thomas was
forced to end her career."
Allow me to remind you I will
remind that, "criticism of Israel" from the lips of the "legendary"
Helen Thomas consisted of her advice to the Jews to "Get the hell out of
Palestine," namely, to their "homes" in Germany or Poland. That
is where, relatively recently, (and when Thomas had already reached the age of
self awareness) millions were slaughtered in gas chambers.
A significant portion of the
report (18 out of its 90 pages) is devoted to the Baltic countries. This
included the traditional criticism of "discriminatory policies … in
respect to the Russian minority residing there." In particular, the
Foreign Ministry highlights the "problem of providing 'non-citizens' with active and
passive voting rights in Latvia, and active municipal voting rights in
Estonia." It is worth noting that in Russia, contrary to a decision last
year by the European
Court of Human Rights, hundreds of
thousands (if not millions) of Russian Federation citizens living abroad or
those with dual citizenship are deprived of the right of passive suffrage. And what
do you know - even the rest of us Russian citizens are endowed with only symbolic
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SEE ALSO ON THIS:
Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia:
Putin is Better than Goldman Sachs
Samidoon, Palestinian Territories:
Helen Thomas: A Heroic Speaker of the Truth!
Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia:
On Russia-U.S. Talks, Putin Shows 'Who's Boss'
Russian authorities accuse
Lithuania of having a "distorted view of history" because local
textbooks mention "bloody Stalin" (in the Foreign Ministry's report,
the phrase "bloody Stalin" is in quotation marks). Maybe Foreign
should have familiarized his employees, and not with the decision of the Constitutional
Court of the Russian Federation in CPSS Decision No. 9
from November 30, 1992 affirming the constitutionality of
Yeltsin’s order to suspend the activity of political parties); but with the June
30, 1956 report of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, "On
the Personality Cult and its Consequences."
They say that the end of
authoritarian regimes come when they cease to inspire fear and become
ridiculous. If that is so, then a small contribution to the inevitable and
impending end of the Putin epoch has been made by the Russian Federation's Foreign
Ministry employees, specifically the person of Konstantin
Konstantinovich Dolgov, the Foreign Ministry’s Commissioner for Human
Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law.
Kara-Murza Jr. is a historian, publicist, and member of the Federal
Political Council movement 'Solidarity.'
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