Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Democracy Imposed by Force in Afghanistan is Doomed

Filed under: diplomacy,military,NATO,politics,Russian,United Nations,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

The failure of the US and NATO in combating terrorism, imposing Western-style democracy, and restoring normal life in Afghanistan are ever more obvious. Although acknowledging difficulties, Washington and Brussels pretend everything is going as planned. The Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail echoes this viewpoint in an article by the Canadian representative at NATO headquarters in Afghanistan, Colonel George Petrolecas. He quotes touching anecdotes in his article. There are an increasing number of girls in Afghan schools, falling child mortality rates, and that the multi-national forces are fighting polio. All of this is good of itself, of course. Unfortunately, the overall status of the country has not improved since the NATO multinational forces ousted the Taliban from Kabul some six years ago.

In fact, the situation on the ground is deteriorating daily, as the American magazine Time pointed out in its 14 July issue. Yes, the Taliban suffered crushing blows from the NATO forces. However, according to evidence offered by Zamir Kabulov, the Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan, it continues to control up to 25 percent of the Afghan territory. Moreover, with support from Al Qaeda terrorists, the Taliban sharply increased its operations recently, including strikes launched from Pakistani tribal areas into Afghanistan.

Every day, terrorist acts occur throughout Afghanistan, killing both civilians and members of the coalition forces. During May and June 2008, there were more combat-related deaths in Afghanistan than in Iraq. Violence was up 40 percent in the first half of this year as compared to the same period last year. The Afghan people are demoralised because of the frequency of civilian deaths caused by NATO and US operations. BBC reports say that 47 villagers, 39 of them women and children, were killed in a US air raid in eastern Nangarkhar province this month. After a similar incident in Jalalabad a year ago, President Khamid Karzai of Afghanistan warned the NATO command that the patience of the Afghan people was running out.

On a visit to Kabul recently, US presidential candidate Barack Obama advocated sending more troops and military hardware to Afghanistan. This echoes the thoughts in the Globe and Mail article by Colonel Petrolecas, who remarked smugly that the West is not the Soviet Union, and that Russia’s hard-won experience in Afghanistan is of no relevance to NATO or its allies. These comments look more like a Cold War-style attempt to jeer at Russia rather than an attempt to analyse the situation as it is. This is strange, since Moscow is a true ally of Washington and Brussels in combating terrorism in Afghanistan. Instead of boastful mockery, the US and NATO should draw conclusions from their failure in Iraq, where their attempts to impose democracy by brute force in violation of the UN Charter proved a complete failure. As if responding to Mr Obama, former US National Security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in the British newspaper Financial Times that boosting the American military presence in Afghanistan will not solve the problem of combating terrorism in that country.

22 July 2008

Viktor Yenikeyev

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=rus&q=77779&cid=19&p=22.07.2008

Editor’s Note:

George Bush is attempting to fight two regional conflicts, garrison the Balkans, and threaten Russia, all with a skeleton regular-force army of only 33 manoeuvre brigades. This is not the army of a “super-power”. The US is only a superpower because of its naval squadrons deployed throughout the world. The US ground forces have not fought a large-scale continental war against a peer-force since 1945. Such people should not boast, I would think, especially when George Bush called reservists in their 50s back to the colours to avoid having to conscript 19-year-olds. Ask the grunts that had to accept stop-loss orders and stay in a war zone past their discharge date what they think…

BMD

The Church of Cyprus Refuses to Participate in the Kiev Celebrations Marking the 1,020th Anniversary of the Baptism of Russia

Archbishop Chrysostom Demetriou (1941- ), FIrst Hierarch of the Local Church of Cyprus

The Church of Cyprus decided to refuse to participate in the celebrations marking the 1,020th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia at the end of the week in Kiev. A statement of the Holy Synod of the Local Church of Cyprus said that it shall not participate in the festivities in the Ukraine, “The First Hierarch shall not do so, nor shall any other representative of the Church”. This decision, adopted three days before the arrival of Patriarch Bartholomew in Kiev, places him in a difficult position, since everyone assumed that the chorus from the Kikkskogo Monastery in Cyprus would have sung at the Liturgy in St Sofia Cathedral in Kiev and also at the pannikhida for the victims of Stalinism (what is mislabelled the Golodomor by Galician extremists: editor’s note) reports the website Bogoslov.ru.

Recently, Archbishop Chrysostom, the First Hierarch of the Church of Cyprus, visited Moscow. When he met with Patriarch Aleksei of Moscow and all the Russias, he was able to see easily that His Holiness was troubled by the interference of the Ukrainian and Estonian governments in church matters. “Whenever politicians interfere in the life of the church, they frequently ruin things, not build them up, for only a few contemporary politicians follow reasonable moral values”, Archbishop Chrysostom said. “We are greatly saddened by this situation. We have never agreed to any similar action. The Holy Canons take first place in the church, and we must strictly observe them. We are called to maintain, not destroy, [Orthodox] unity”, he added. He also noted that Patriarch Aleksei said to him that some politicians “want to tear apart the ancient spiritual and canonical connections between the Ukrainian and Russian peoples, and there are Orthodox ‘brothers’ willing to aid them in this”. In turn, Archbishop Chrysostom told Patriarch Aleksei that there was an emphatic need for solidarity amongst the Local Orthodox Churches in averting schisms, since such are capable of inflicting grievous wounds to world Orthodoxy. Patriarch Aleksei then thanked Vladyki Chrysostom for his solid, frank, and principled position.

22 July 2008

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/cis.php?act=news&div=25605

The UOC/MP says that the Ukrainian Government is Negotiating with the EP on the Behalf of Ukrainian Schismatics

The assembled bishops of the MP at the late Archpastoral Council. They, not Black Bart and the traitor Yushchenko, have authority in the Ukraine

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The Ukrainian Orthodox Church/MP (UOC/MP) accused the Ukrainian political leadership of attempting to foment a schism in Orthodoxy in the Ukraine with the active cooperation of the EP. Archimandrite Kirill Govorun, the head of the Department of External Church Relations of the UOC/MP, said that negotiations between the EP and the Ukrainian government were going on for the last several days with the active participation of President Viktor Yushchenko, the newspaper Sevodnya (Today) reported on Tuesday. Fr Kirill asserts that the reason for the negotiations is that the Ukrainian government wants Bartholomew to declare union between the EP and two schismatic Ukrainian “Orthodox” bodies, the so-called “Patriarchate of Kiev” and the so-called “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church”, and make their leaders Metropolitans of the EP. Yushchenko wants Bartholomew to announce this on 26 July, when the EP visits the Ukraine for the celebration of the 1,020th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia. If these negotiations are successful, the newspaper noted that both of these structures would gain “canonicity”, since they are recognised by no other Local Church at present. Fr Kirill believes that this course of events would lead only to emphatic opposition in church circles and from non-Orange Ukrainian political parties, to seizures of churches by schismatics, and, the main thing, schism in world Orthodoxy. According to the information received by Fr Kirill, both Yushchenko and Philaret Denisenko, the leader of the so-called “Patriarchate of Kiev” {a deposed cleric of the MP rightly under an anathema: editor}, want the EP to grant autocephaly to that schismatic body in the very near future. However, Fr Kirill is certain that Bartholomew has other plans. “Today, its flock numbers three million people (sic), scattered throughout the world. If it took over the Ukraine, such an action would considerably increase its flock. Yushchenko believes that [Bartholomew] will hardly refuse such an offer”, he stated.

22 July 2008

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/cis.php?act=dujour&div=12

Editor’s Note:

Things are worse than I thought yesterday. Yushchenko is a traitor to Orthodoxy and a blasphemer who dares to divide the Body of Christ. Black Bart is worse. There are no words to describe such vileness. This means war, and such a war may not be merely rhetorical or confined to the ecclesiastical sphere. God help us and preserve us from the evil being unleashed by Yushchenko and Bartholomew. May the Lord have mercy on their souls for such perfidiousness and wickedness.

BMD

Speech of Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin at the World Russian People’s Congress (VRNS) on the 90th Anniversary of the Murder of the Imperial Family

Today, any church-minded person, any Orthodox Christian, cannot help but be inspired by the fact that tens of thousands of people have poured into Yekaterinburg to honour the memory of Tsar St Nikolai Aleksandrovich and his family. We see people of different social classes, generations, and nationalities. They came from throughout Russia and they came from abroad. They came here to thank the holy tsar for what he did for Russia, to glorify his martyric podvig (“heroic exploit” is a VERY weak rendering, a strongly-emphatic word in Russian: editor’s note), and to ask for his intercessions before the Throne of God both for us and for our country.

These pilgrims have already given their judgement of the tragedy that occurred here some 90 years ago. The Orthodox Church gave its judgement, for it glorified the imperial family and placed them amongst the assembly of the saints. However, there are politicians, historians, and journalists who, until now, refuse to evaluate this event clearly and squarely. What exactly did occur during those dark days in those troubled years? Truly, after all we now know from history, are there still those who would dare to say that the imperial family were rightfully subjected to arrest, humiliations, and murder? At its heart, was this not a political crime, one undertaken to smash the basis of the traditional Russian state and intended to break the spirit of the Russian people to prevent their future revival?

I am utterly convinced that Russia shall not be able to go confidently into the future if it does not cleanse itself of the sin of regicide that lies upon our history. I do not accept vacuous “expressions of national repentance”, for this is a pale substitute for the sacrament of repentance as we Orthodox know it. Those who are guided by a churchly spirit and are working at present for the spiritual revival of Russia are free from the consequences of this sin of regicide. However, the state, in refusing to clearly condemn the crimes committed against the imperial family, burdens not only itself, but, to a certain extant, our people as well, with the consequences of this crime.

Indeed, it is right that our people should give a high estimation to many accomplishments of the Soviet era. Yes, we do indeed have the right to say that during this historical period, especially in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, we brought peace to many peoples; we made of ourselves a Great Power, millions of people gained education, and our scientific and cultural output increased considerably. However, there is a specific reason why this Great Power was brought down. In spite of the heroism and sacrifice of the people, the very foundation of the state was rotten to the core. Its very beginning was tainted. Through their actions, the Bolshevik usurpers, who founded the Soviet state, doomed it to eventual and inevitable destruction.

The Ipatiev House After the Murder of the Imperial Family (Pavel Ryzhenko, no date (1990s))

Today, when Russia is again searching for values to prop up the foundations of the state, it is necessary for us, without rejecting the positive legacies of the Soviet era, to cease being the heirs of the Bolsheviks and to again return to the millennial traditions of Russian statehood. To do this, first of all, we must clearly call the imprisonment and murder of the imperial family by its proper name… a crime. Individuals have brought their repentance; the church has brought its repentance. However, is it not all the more necessary for the state to condemn this crime in the strongest terms possible so that it does not remain as a drag on the country and a stain on our history?

Without going into legal technicalities, I would say that such a crime cannot be thought of as being remote to us. It is inappropriate to say that it is not worthwhile to properly assess the roles played by those now dead. It is not necessary to punish these people, for God has done so already in His Judgement. Disputes over politics or ideas are not important for us now. What is important is that the state would establish and proclaim the truth to the people. We know who carried out the murder of the imperial family and those with them. It is necessary to know who gave and approved the orders to murder the imperial family. Likewise, it is necessary to give a just estimation of the actions of those who ordered the imprisonment, despoilment, and humiliation of the imperial family. We should call a crime, a “crime”, and we should call criminals, “criminals”. There is ample historical evidence for us to do so. The facts say so.

I hope that this shall occur. This shall be the last and final expression of the repentance of our country and our people before the martyred imperial Passionbearers. However, this repentance should lead to us a new and brighter future, one in which we would not return to the sins of the past, and one in which we would desire to do every good deed necessary to heal and correct all the consequences of the tragic history of the 20th century.

15 July 2008

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin

Deputy Head of the MP DECR

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=documents&div=803

Editor’s Note:

There are many hubristic voices in America who believe that the US victory in the Cold War was the result of a superior system. It was not. The USSR had a cancer in its vitals, one it carried from its very birth. In fact, the argument can be made that Soviet Marxism and American Democracy (the theory, not the pragmatic practice one finds in many quarters) were two sides of the same secularist coin. Both were products of loopy Enlightenment thought, it just so happened that American Democracy grew in a hothouse environment where it did not face serious opposition, which made many of its outward manifestations more benign. In short, both the USA and USSR were contrived constructs, in the technical sense of the words. However, both Russia and America are ontological realities, in the deepest sense of those words. Can we then say that the USA and USSR were false reflections of the peoples they ruled? Interesting question…

BMD

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