Friday, August 15, 2008

Russophobe of the Week Award

It's time to announce a new award. The barrage of hysterical, completely O.T.T. articles/comments re 'the Russian threat', in the light of Russia's perfectly legitimate and proportionate action to stop ethnic cleansing and genocide in South Ossetia, made me think it's time to hold a contest for 'Russophobe of the Week'. The competition is intense and it's been a difficult task to draw up a short-list. Below are some of my favourites (I particularly love 'Stan anti-fascist's) ; if there are others you'd like to include, please post them in the comment box, along with your votes, in a 1-3 order.

May the best (or rather the worst) man win!

"This is the end. Columns of Russian tanks are heading Tbilisi. Georgians who are still alive retreat to their capital city to defend it and die. The president of the dying country is still heard pleading the world to save his country and people, whose only fault was to trust the West and have chosen democracy as way of life. In response, Mr. Bush repeates (sic) he condemns Russia. The other Western powers, in order to conceal their fear, keep pretending they believe the satanic Russian lies about the true situation that was cooked up for the start of long planned destruction of Georgia. This is the end. Evil and Lie have won. The world is near its end".

‘Stan anti-fascist’, comment left on Denis Matyjaszek's Daily Telegraph article- 'We must unite to resist Russian aggression'.('Stan'- many congratulations, you have redefined the phrase 'drama queen')

"For Georgia, read Czechoslovakia. For South Ossetia read Sudentenland. For Russia read Germany. For Vladimir Putin, read Adolf Hitler. For 1938 read 2008".
By Bruce Burniston, comment left on Denis Matyjaszek's Daily Telegraph article.
(and for Bruce Burniston, read 'man who enjoys making absurd historical analogies')

"Today we are all Georgians."
US Presidental Candidate John McCain. (what do Californians or Texans think of this???)

“This autumn will mark the seventieth anniversary of the Munich Agreement, when the democratic powers of Western Europe, Britain and France, weakened as they were by the self-hating, ’anti-war’ defeatism of wide sections of the Western chattering classes - on the left as well as of the right - allowed a fascist, expansionist imperial power to carve up a much smaller and weaker multinational state, using the excuse that it wanted to protect the rights of its co-nationals…... For the first time since World War II, the democratic West is faced by a brutal, neo-fascist, expansionist regime in command of an imperial state whose military might is comparable to that of Hitler’s Third Reich.”

Marko Attila Hoare, writing on his 'Greater Surbiton' blog (I must say I find Marko's boyish enthusiasm for the neocon cause quite endearing, in a funny sort of way. Marko once told me that he received no payment at all from The Henry Jackson Society, the neocon pressure group of which he is 'European director': I find that quite scandalous considering the amount of work he does propagandising for the cause).

"Vladimir Putin has dropped - literally - a bombshell. By ordering a full-scale military invasion of Georgia, he has revealed the true face of his autocratic rule. By flying in person to the scene as if he was field commander-in-chief, he is showing the world that Russia will revert to being a military power willing to bully and threaten its neighbours."

Denis Matyjaszek, Daily Telegraph (er....what 'full scale military invasion of Georgia, Denis?).

"As so often with bullies, the Russian government's behaviour disguises deep insecurity and a craving for respect. This makes it more susceptible to our opinions than we often think. Further aggressive steps against Georgia would certainly be a reason to reconsider whether Russia should continue to enjoy the prestige that comes with membership of the G8. Another possible response ties in nicely with our current Olympic obsession. Russia is due to host the Winter Olympics in 2014 at Sochi and hopes to use the event, like the Chinese, as an expression of its power on the world stage. There would be very good grounds for asking the International Olympic Committee to consider whether a country that was actively working to dismember a neighbour only a few kilometres from Sochi was an adequate standard-bearer for the Olympic ideal."

David Clark, from the (anti) Russia Foundation, writing in The Guardian. (David is no relation, I'm very pleased to say).

"You can talk about 1938; you can talk about 1914; you can even, if you want to show off, talk about 1811-12: what is in no doubt is that, several times in the modern era, the course of history has been changed by an escalation from the sort of opportunistic bullying we have seen in Georgia, and only a fool would say it would not be again. Faced with the choice of having to switch off the lights at 8pm in the winter while putting on a thicker sweater, or having a nuclear holocaust, I know how I would prefer the West to make its point against this aggressor".

Simon Heffer, Daily Telegraph. (Sorry Simon, but I don't think I'll be joining you in switching the lights out at 8pm).


Anonymous said...

I agree with John McCains comment ( Today we are all Georgians).
All neocons share the humiliation.

Anonymous said...

Simon Heffer is a real card, isn't he?

He's just exactly the sort of person you can imagine shivering with cold and wrapped in a threadbare blanket!
It's so easy to see him in some typical bog standard semi, trying to grope his way around in the flickering light of a single candle!

(But then again, maybe not...)

Roland Hulme said...

Oh, PUH-LEASE, Neil.

"Russia's perfectly legitimate and proportionate action to stop ethnic cleansing and genocide in South Ossetia."

You don't really believe this crap, do you?

The Russians are annexing the two provinces and 100,000 Georgians have been ethnically cleansed from the area. Meanwhile, Russian soldiers are looting and ransacking Georgia itself.

I think the two provinces have a right to choose their own fate (just like Kosovo, which people conveniently forget when trying to support Russia's actions) but what Russia is doing is totally outrageous and unjustifiable.

Besides - Russia had been pumping guns, money and passports into the provinces to stir up this event so they could swoop in and purloin the two provinces they had their eye on. Not justifying anything Georgia did - but the Russians are JUST as guilty.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a good article regarding this conflict. Nice to know not all Westerners follow the American line.

Anonymous said...

Hi Roland, somehow you forgot raping... 300.000 so far. At least.
What, you didn't hear of that yet? Don't worry wait day or two and Sakashvili wil come up with that too.

Ah those pesky Russians...

serbialives admin said...


Russia already had troops in South Ossetia and Abkhazia as a result of an international agreement which the Georgians were signatories to. Whether the agreement was just or not, its existence is a fact. The Georgians (or rather Saakashvili) then launched an assault to take South Ossetia back by force. So what would you expect the Russians to do? Simply accept the killing or expulsion of their peacekeepers (not to mention the Ossetians themselves)? Once the Russians countered, they were within their rights to take the battle to the rest of Georgia. Yes they should withdraw eventually, but the US claim that the Russian counter was disproportionate is illogical. Georgia chose the location and the timing of the start of the conflict. The victor chooses the location and timing of the end. The US expressed alarm that the Georgian military was being systematically dismantled. Meanwhile in 1999 the Americans saw no problems with bombing targets from Montenegro in the south to Vojvodina in the north, areas outside of Kosovo. They were acting to destroy all military targets in the country they were fighting. By what logic would they have restrained themselves to merely attacking Serbian troops in Kosovo? But by this pseudo-logic they expect the Russians to fight by standards they have not held themselves to. Furthermore if someone attacks you it is reasonable that you dismantle his ability to attack you again or at least inflict a heavy enough defeat that they think twice about doing so again. Therefore I see no problem with the fact that Russia attacked targets throughout Georgia in order to disable the Georgian army. Bush may have preferred for the US-trained Georgian army to remain intact, but the argument that the Russian response was disproportionate or immoral is both hypocritical and illogical. In 1999, the US saw fit to bomb civilian targets such as the RTS television station, bridges, roads, power stations, factories (throughout Serbia and Montenegro). The Russians have demonstrated no such venomous appetite to debilitate the lives of the Georgian people. Had they done so, we would not be watching Saakashvilli on our TV sets every night. Nor would the oil pipeline have remained untouched.

You say that 100,000 Georgians have been ethnically cleansed. This is inaccurate. First, no one on this earth has an accurate idea at this time of how many people have been displaced. Therefore large, round, six-figure numbers designed to make headlines should be treated with caution. Secondly those Georgians that fled the Russian probe into Georgia proper did so out of fear of an advancing foreign army and because they did not want to be on the frontline in the midst of a war. They were not physically evicted. They left before the Russians even got there. I honestly believe that they will not be prevented from returning to their homes once the Russian forces have left Georgia, which I believe they will do (not including S. Ossetia and Abkhazia).

neil craig said...

"To some, China's muscular domination of the Olympic medal table is a powerful allegory of the shifting balance of global power. A far better and more literal testimony to the collapse of the West may be seen in the distinctly weak-kneed response to Russian aggression in Georgia by what is still amusingly called the transatlantic alliance.

Once again, the Europeans, and their friends in the pusillanimous wing of the US Left, have demonstrated that, when it come to those postmodern Olympian sports of synchronized self-loathing, team hand-wringing and lightweight posturing, they know how to sweep gold, silver and bronze.

....Unlike Serbia, Georgia has not been conducting a campaign of “ethnic cleansing” against the people of these provinces. In the 1990s Serbia had firmly established its aggressive intentions towards its minorities with ugly genocidal wars against Croatia and Bosnia"

Gerald Baker - Telegraph

I particularly like the way he not merely lies but tells the precise opposite of the truth. In particular the ugly genocidal war in fought by US officers & Croatian Nazi soldiers was clearly the template for what Georgia tried to do last Thursdau night.

I think your award should go to somebody writing an MSM article rather than merely a comment on somebody else's blog. While I do quite a bit of such comments I do not fool myself into believeing they have the influence of those who control the MSM. Anyway clinicly insne comments by anonymii on blogs are hardly a rarity (not mine obviously ;-) )

Ken said...

Is the fool's name Marko Attila or Mark O'Attila? I always have it as the latter, but you use the former. Either way it is a wonderful monicker, a bit like Peaches, and only goes to show that some parents are seriously weird.

I commented in passing on one of his more idiotic claims in one of today's postings. He's not quite as bad as Gimlet but he comes close.

Colleen said...

A+ post.

i still think the russophobes are losing. popular opinion has become anti-georgian and pro-russian.

georgia definately started the war and most likely committed war crimes against the ossetians.

russia responded.

the more the western press is distorting the truth, the more it fuels pro-russian sentiment. opposite effect.

Neil Clark said...

roland: I think 'serbia lives' answers your point very well. What else could Russia do? Stand by and watch while thousands of Russian passport holders got ethnically cleansed/murdered?

neil: I think if the Tinmes employed any butcher or Candlestick maker as a columnist they'd provide much more of an accurate insight in foreign affairs than the ludicrous neocon propagandist Gerard Baker.

exile; ' Marko Attila Hoare' is indeed a wonderful name. And it will be even more wonderful when Marko sees the light and sticks two fingers up at the Henry Jackson Society and signs up to the International Committee for the Defence of Slobodan Milosevic.

colleen: it's remarkable how little impact the Russophoba has had on public opinion. Most ordinary Brits admire Putin, despite the attempts of Baker and co to portray him as Hitler Mark Two.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the first comment was the funniest - he reminds me of an E. European woman whose wagon gets into trouble in 'Blazing Saddles': " We are all doom-ed, doom-ed!"

At least, it would be funny if it wasn't serious. All these scumbags are really chomping at the bit for nuclear war! They can't like themselves very much.

Anonymous said...

There are, accordinging to the UN co-ordinator for humanitarian assistance in Georgia, up to 90,000and not less than 60,000 people newly displaced in Georgia, with 25,000 in North Ossetia. This is in addition to the 200,000 people displaced in Georgia in the early 90s by the conflicts, now, sadly, 'unfrozen'. Ethnic cleansing was practiced in the early 90s but as far as we can judge, given that the 'evidence' of the media on both sides is deeply unreliable - though I doubt whether commentators on 'either side' will agree with me - we cannot know whether this has taken place on either side to date. 'Hundreds of deaths' in North Ossetia have not been confirmed and loose talk about 'genocide' is as unhelpful as it is depressing. As well as the Georgians indiscriminately shelling North Ossetia, there is now evidence that Russia has used 'cluster munitions' in Georgia. If so, it may go to show that all claims (on either side to the contrary), they do not, in fact, care about civilian lives as longs as we can pursue our 'geo-political aims'.

Neil Clark said...

btw Roland- if you've been reading this blog for well over a year now and still can't spell my surname properly I think the word 'scrappy' is more appropriately applied to you!

Anonymous said...

It's pretty unbelievable that anyone with a couple of grey cells still thinks that Russia started this. This was shown on Fox news so you great neocons will have to take it on board now

Looks like Shashlickwilly thought the yanks would come to his rescue. What a mistake-a to make-a!?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Does it really matter who started this? Ordinary Russians, Georgians and Ossetians really have nothing to gain from this conflict. The role of progressives in the West is not to cheer lead one side against the other but make clear our opposition to our government's complicity. The main enemy is at home, remember?

Roland Hulme said...

Did I stick an extra 'e' on the end? Sorry - always doing that. Used to know a drummer who's last name was 'Clarke.'

And 'scrappy' is a barbed compliment. I used to called you 'scrubby' journalist, but you're kind of persistent, stubborn, indominatable and 'scrappy' hence the change in adjective. Like Scrappy doo in Scooby Doo.

Neil Clark said...

Hi Roland,
It is indeed a great honour to be compared to the legendary 'Scrappy Doo'. Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

I believe you have forgotten to mention a blog called LaRussophobe. If all the articles you have awarded qualify, then a full-time hate-blog, which is far more extreme/drama queen-like/ phobic could qualify as well. Unless of course you are planning to award russophobe of the year.

(P.S. No offense, I don't mean this as spam.)