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Good Guys vs. Bad Guys: Russia Today is the Latter (Gazeta, Russia)


“In the West, the rights of citizens are valued above all, and there is one set of laws for all, while in other states, people are treated like garbage, and the rule is ‘everything for my friends, but for everyone else - the law.’ … No Brioni suits, no conversations in English, no hiring of expensive Western lobbyists, no travelling to summits and posing for white-teethed collective portraits, will change this simple tenet: in this world, there are the good guys and bad guys. The former are always against the latter. And in the modern world, the former always win.


By Alexei Melnikov


Translated By Anastassia Tapsieva


June 21, 2012


Gazeta - Russia - Original Article (Russian)

Sergei Magnitsky: His death in a Russian prison, after implicating top officials in a scheme to defraud the government, is widely regarded as a murder-cover-up in the West. Moscow is warning the if the U.S. Congress passes the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Act as punishment, Russia will react in kind against Americans regarded by the Kremlin as human rights abusers in places like Guantanamo and Iraq.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Calls for Russia to probe human rights lawyer's death, Sept. 16, 2011, 00:03:01RealVideo

The nervous reaction of Russian plutocrats to discussions in the U.S. and other countries in regard to the “Magnitsky list,” and other obstacles Russians are erecting to toppling the Syrian dictatorship, are not a result of concern for Russia's strategic interests. Rather, the Kremlin’s stubborn insistence on protecting tyrannical regimes and its preoccupation with the ease with which Vladimir Sorokin’s Day of the Oprichnik protagonists travel to the U.S. and Europe are solely the result of a concern for private interests, and fears that similar sanctions might be used against Russian leaders and their families.


[Editor’s Note: Vladimir Sorokin is one of Russia’s most highly regarded authors, and his novel Day of the Oprichnik, which takes place in the Russia of 2028, depicts an authoritarian Russia ruled by members of the secret police. To say the least, he is out of favor with the Kremlin].


The class interests of businessmen-cum-government officials are being presented as if they were the interests of the entire Russian people. Like a Christmas tree, coarse materialism is being festooned with garlands of patriotism and lit up by the lights of “national interest.”


It can be argued that in some sense, there is no distinction between domestic and foreign policy. At least not at a time when universal ideologies - be they socialist or liberal - are on the minds of a considerable number of members of the globe’s political class. On the other hand, the quickening spread of political, economic, cultural, and scientific globalism, despite the problems associated with it, remains a consistent trend. If so, then the nation state, which by the way is historically only one of the many forms of human coexistence, is a vestige of the past, a relic, a political entity on the brink of extinction. It will undoubtedly take a fairly long period to expire. Still, the main trend is that of a global humanity, living in a society based on a common set of values, on the doctrine of human rights, and with a more-or-less fair wealth distribution.



Therefore, current debates at the United Nations, diplomatic correspondence or bilateral talks within the G20 - these are external expressions of Russia’s domestic problems, inserted into our political agenda by the Russian protest movement. This is the case even with the Syrian or Egyptian situations. What are the limits to the relationships a government can achieve with its own people? What methods can the people use to influence their government? Should citizens overstep legal boundaries – even violating the criminal law? What should Western governments do if the current Russian government doesn’t confine itself to beating demonstrators, and begins imposing even harsher measures?


To what extent should Realpolitik prevail over the values of human rights that lay at the foundation of democracy?



With regard to those parts of world that live under liberal-democratic political systems, one cannot be in a state of eternal friendship with tyrannical regimes like China, Russia, North Korea, and Near and Middle East dictatorships, and with all the other regimes that explain away their lack of free elections by citing the peculiarities of their historical development, geographic location or climate. Relations with these states may be peaceful or tense, depending on the state of affairs in those countries or the world. But there can never be complete trust and open-ended cooperation with them, because the values that form the basis of such states are very different. In the Western world, the rights of citizens are valued above all, and there is one set of laws for all, while in these other states, people are treated like garbage, and the rule is “everything for my friends, but for everyone else - the law.”

Posted by Worldmeets.US


Izvestia, Russia: Why the Kremlin Opposes Assad’s Immediate Ouster
Guardian, U.K.: Why U.S. and Russia Want a Backroom Deal Over Syria
Kommersant, Russia: Israelis and Russians Bound Again by Battle Against Nazis
La Stampa, Italy: Obama Offers Putin End Game Commitment on Syria
MK, Russia: Obama's ‘Hope’ Keeps Putin from ‘Window on Paradise’
An Nahar, Lebanon: Moscow’s Military Action in Syria a ‘Gift’ to Washington
Ma’ariv, Israel: Russia’s ‘Sadomasochistic’ Foreign Policy Success
Ma'ariv, Israel: Why Syria is Lebanon All Over Again
Debka, Israel: Russia, China, Iran Plan 'Biggest-Ever' Middle East Maneuvers
Debka, Israel: U.S. and Russia Deploy to Syria; 'Double Prey' for al-Qaeda
NZZ, Switzerland: Houla Massacre is No ‘Turning Point’ for Syria
An Nahar, Lebanon: Syria is Another Iraq, with Israel Thrown In
FARS News Agency, Iran: U.S. and Allies ‘Revive’ al-Qaeda for Use in Syria
NZZ, Switzerland: Houla Massacre is No ‘Turning Point’ for Syria
Al-Baath, Syria: America and the ‘Global War Against Syria’
Global Times, China: U.S., West ‘Morally Accountable’ for Syria Massacre
Daily Star, Lebanon: Daylight Massacre in Syria
Telegraph, U.K.: The Real Dilemma on Syria: Can the West Go it Alone?
BBC, U.K.: Scars of Iraq War Haunt American Policy in Syria
Global Times, China: Syria Crisis China's Moment to Show it Can't Be Hemmed In
Global Times, China: Beijing Shows 'Courage' By Vetoing Syria Resolution at U.N.
Guardian, U.K.: Before Syria Crisis Expands, Obama and NATO Should Act
The Independent, U.K. : West will Soon Forget Horror Over Childrens' Slaughter
Daily Mail, U.K.: Yes, Syria is Tragic, British Intervention Would be Madness
The Daily Star, Lebanon: Daylight Massacre in Syria
The Daily Star, Lebanon: Tide Turning Against the Syria Regime
Le Quotidien d’Oran, Algeria: The 'Brutality of the World', According to Putin
Moskovskiye Novosti, Russia: 'Russia's in a Changing World,' By Vladimir Putin
Al-Seyassah, Kuwait: Russia 'Bloodthirsty', China 'Misguided', for Syria Veto
Kochi Shimbun, Japan: In Syria, the U.N. Security Council Fails the World
Hoy, Ecuador: 'Cynical Imperialists' of East and West Clash Over Syria
Estadao, Brazil: Moscow Rescues Assad: Not a 'Travesty,' a 'Humiliation'
People's Daily, China: Give 'Peace a Chance' in Syria
Mehr News Agency, Iran: Supreme Leader Says U.S. Takes Revenge on Syria
Jerusalem Post, Israel: Obama's 'Rhetorical Storm'
Debka File, Israel: First Foreign Troops in Syria Back the Rebels
Zaman, Turkey: U.S. May Be Hiding Behind Russia's U.N. Veto


Senior Russian leaders, having become accustomed to a different political culture, do not want to understand this distinction. They believe it possible to negotiate based on under-the-table agreements, not only domestically, but internationally. With like-minded countries that might be possible. What such arrangements look like are well-illustrated by Russia-Belarus relations. These are characterized by anxiety, suspicion, hostility, deception and public insolence. It is just like the behavior of two gangs of drug dealers or racketeers trying to divvy up a town. It is an agreement on the surface, but in fact, it is a case of might makes right - the strongest one wins. Therefore, when the balance tips to one side, the consequences are immediate - all agreements be damned.


Even if it is occasionally possible to arrive at an agreement with certain Western leaders based on private conversations or something reminiscent of the Kremlin’s habitual domestic “under-the-table agreements,” Russian political authorities must know from experience that Western leaders come and go. The transfer of power is a central feature of Western political societies. If so, one can have good personal relations with the formers leaders of Germany and Italy, and one might get something beneficial out of current leaders, but one cannot change the internal value systems of Western politicians.


So, using the rhetoric of an old American western, and going as far as creating a political system in Russia based on the same set of principles, unelected rulers will always be the “bad guys” to Western leaders, with whom relations are only pursued out of necessity and only up to certain limits. It is like dealing with the bad guys who you have not yet been able to defeat, but whom you can use against even worse guys. You have to coexist with them - but not forever.


If so, then the Magnitsky list, persistent U.S. and European attempts to destroy dictatorships when they are weakened by internal strife, war or other things, and their concern about human rights abuse in Russia, are inevitable.


Allowing NATO “in principal” to open a transit hub in Russia, softening our position on the Syrian issue, and other tactical solutions will not paralyze Western aspirations. These solutions are just as ineffective as the ludicrous threat of denying American officials entry into Russia.


So no Brioni suits, no conversations in English, no private chats, no publishing articles in English and Spanish in the Western press, no hiring of expensive Western lobbyists, no travelling to summits and posing for white-teethed collective portraits, will change this simple tenet: in this world, there are the good guys and bad guys. The former are always against the latter. And in the modern world, the former always win.




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[Posted by Worldmeets.US July 2, 7:29pm]





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