Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

8 February 2012. A Picture IS Worth a Thousand Words… Here’s What the Church Thinks of Islam and Judaism… They’re Traditional Religions of Russia, Just Like We Are


Much undiluted hatred has been posted by the usual suspects amongst the konvertsy towards Islam, in particular. That’s pernicious hooey. The state and the Church recognise certain religions as being “traditional religions”… that is, Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and Evangelical Lutherans. In certain regions (Byelorussia) and amongst certain nationalities (Poles and some Germans), Catholics are seen as “traditional”. Look at this photo from a meeting today at the Danilov Monastery in Moscow. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sits with Supreme Mufti of Russia Talgat Tadzhuddin, Metropolitan Yuvenaly Poyarkov of Krutitsy and Kolomna, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, Rav Berel Lazar, and another unidentified rabbi during a confab with religious leaders in Moscow. None of the Uniates, schismatics, sectarians, or unrepentant Old Ritualists were present… or wanted.

This is the reality. Don’t listen to the konvertsy… they’re ignorant… on more topics than just the one under consideration.


Update 10.18 EST 9 February 2012:

A Kitchen Cabinet member sent me:

Wow! The Supreme Mufti has some very cool gear. I think the rabbis need to bring a Hasid in a brocade coat, white stockings, and fur hat next time!

I’ll bet it won’t surprise the grounded people to know that the Trad Religion leaders are all personal friends (people at that level need personal friendship and contact, too) and get on very well, together. It’s NOT the Russia of the Black Hundreds and the Doctors’ Plot any more. True, it’s not perfect… but it’s not perfect here, either. Russia’s ALL of us, or it just ain’t “Russia”… the cool people know what I mean, the rest need their nappies changed… P-U!



Supposedly, Orthodox Bishops Attack New US Healthcare Law Using Rightwing Republican Lies… Both the OCA and the ROCOR Have NOTHING UP on This… Is it REAL or is it (Figuratively) Memorex?


The Assembly of Orthodox Bishops, along with Catholic bishops, and Pentecostal, Baptist, and conservative Jewish leaders expressed their protest against a new US healthcare law, according to Sedmitza.ru, citing Religionenlibertad.com. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North and Central America (numbering 65 bishops and 2,000 parishes of the EP, the MP, Antioch, and other Eastern European Orthodox churches) expressed their rejection of the new healthcare law, as it obliges healthcare providers to offer abortions, contraception, and sterilisation {that’s a rightwing GOP lie… it’s only fit for the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Rick Santorum… more on this later… editor}. The Orthodox bishops published a document calling on all Christian and other organisations that reject the new healthcare law to work together against the law. The bishops emphasised that the First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. When a religious organisation is obliged to pay for contraception, including drugs that cause abortion and sterilisation, this violates this freedom. You can’t oblige employers to provide such medical services. Forty Protestant and Jewish organisations published a joint statement calling for opposition to the adoption of the healthcare law, and 142 Catholic dioceses publicly opposed the new law.

8 February 2012



Editor’s Note:

Sedmitza.ru posted its story on this YESTERDAY at 14.57 MSK… that is, 05.57 EST, and 02.57 PST. If this is true… and it may not be… it means that the OCA and the ROCOR deliberately hid this from you, the faithful. It’s now 14.02 EST on 8 February, which means that sedmitza.ru posted this over 24 hours ago. Either this is a gigantic hoax or it’s a cover-up of massive proportion.

By the way, the healthcare law doesn’t mandate that religious bodies must offer abortion or contraception services. NOT AT ALL. That’s a rightwing lie, with NO foundation in truth, only fit for Rush Limbaugh’s benighted listeners. In any case, the Church does NOT interdict artificial contraception, that’s a matter between a confessor and his flock, as it should be. We don’t agree with the papists in this. They prance about as though there’s simply nothing separating us in moral theology, that ain’t so, and that’s that (divorce and contraception are the two most obvious cases, though).

If this is true, it means that some of the bishops are trying to force us to accept rightwing lies as Gospel Truth. That’s false. His Holiness SUPPORTS state-provided single-payer healthcare. The Church does NOT attack the Left… it’s NOT a standard-bearer for extremist Vlasovtsy and konvertsy political shenanigans. If this is real… why is there nothing on the official websites? They’ve had a WHOLE DAY to get this up. “Is this real or is this Memorex?” One can’t say without official confirmation. Wo ist Fathausen? Yes, indeed… where IS he?

Oh… one last thing… there was NO mention of the OCA in this piece, even obliquely. As far as the Centre’s concerned, it appears as the OCA’s nothing but a “Dead Man Walking“. Who woulda thunk it?


Update 15.06 EST 8 February 2012:

It’s for real. Click here. The press release is dated 2 February! WTF! That means that the OCA and the ROCOR were silent about this on their main sites for nearly a week. If you needed proof that they hold you in utter contempt, this is it. This is NOT a mandate for Christian hospitals to offer services against their conscience. Rather, it says that no healthcare plan offered by an employer shall omit the named services. There’s a SIMPLE way out. Simply have a non-religious group write the health plan, and to be blunt, it wouldn’t add a single thin dime to the cost of coverage, so, to put it simply, the RC bishops are chock fulla shit and our guys got gulled into it. I can understand jerks like Moriak and Fathausen falling for it, but Saliba and Demitrios? C’mon…

Besides… non-Catholics work for Catholic hospitals, and for the Catholics to refuse them this service is discriminating against their religion! Think on it. In any case, the only people who are foursquare for this GOP rubbish are konvertsy klutzes like Reardon, Kushiner, Dreher, Freddie M-G, and Mattingly. As for me, I stand for state-sponsored single-payer healthcare, as exists in all other developed states. His Holiness is for it, and so am I. I oppose all the Republican-sponsored attacks on President Obama’s proposals. If the bishops stand against it, they’re in the wrong, and I’ll fight them… and so should you.


Update 16.01 EST 8 February 2012:

I received reliable information a similar ruling’s been in force in New York State for over ten years. In short, this is Republican rubbish of the worst possible sort. This regulation doesn’t mention abortion at all, and very few support the extreme RC viewpoint on artificial contraception. We Orthodox do not, emphatically not. No… we don’t care for the “contraceptive life style”, but we don’t forbid artificial contraception, and we shouldn’t be pushed around by Catholics to make it look like we do. There’s NO violation of religious liberty here at all.

This is an election year. Caveat auditor… there be more than one fresh cow pat in that there field for the unwary…


Lavrov Confabs in Damascus… Assad Promises Referendum… USA Wants to Send “Humanitarian” Aid… The Syrian Pot Boils On


During talks in Damascus on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that he had to do what it takes to ensure peace in the country, saying, “It’s in our interests that the Arab peoples live in peace and harmony”. Lavrov’s visit came three days after Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning the violent crackdown in Syria. He arrived along with Foreign Intelligence Service chief Mikhail Fradkov. Lavrov didn’t reveal the purpose of his mission, telling a news conference in Moscow on Monday it’d be “unveiled only to the addressee”. Ahead of the visit, he said the UN Security Council was too “hasty” in bringing the resolution to a vote and described Western condemnation of Moscow’s veto as “hysterical”. Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described the Russian and Chinese vetoes as a “fiasco” and said that his country was preparing a new initiative. He told a meeting of his ruling AK Party in Ankara, “We’ll start a new initiative with those countries that stand by the Syrian people, not the régime”.

The talks between Assad and Lavrov took place as Syrian authorities continued to bombard the city of Homs, a centre of resistance to his régime. The Syrian government denied targeting civilians and say security forces killed “dozens of terrorists” in Homs on Monday. Homs has been under attack from government forces for weeks; reports indicate that about Syrian forces killed one hundred people on Monday alone. Human rights groups say more than 7,000 people have died since the beginning of the uprising in March last year. The government said that around 2,000 members of its security forces died in the unrest. On Tuesday, EU foreign policy and security chief Catherine Ashton said that EU foreign ministers would meet in two weeks to discuss ways to stop the violence in Syria. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the violence in Syria was “totally unacceptable before humanity”. On Monday, the US State Department said that it shut its embassy in Damascus. Russia’s one of Syria’s main arms suppliers. In December, Russia signed a 550 million USD (16.4 billion Roubles. 414 million Euros. 346 million UK Pounds) contract to sell Syria 36 Yak-130 combat-capable trainer jets, and a Russian-owned ship reportedly carrying munitions docked at a Syrian port last month.


On Tuesday, following talks in Damascus, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would declare a date in the near future for a referendum on a new constitution for his country, saying, “President Assad said that, in the next few days, he’ll meet with a commission that prepared a new projected constitution. This work is complete now; a time will be announced for a referendum on this document, which is so important to Syria”. Lavrov went on to say that al-Assad’s ready for dialogue with all political forces in the country, and ready to make talks happen, adding, “It’s clear that efforts to stop use of force must coincide with a declaration of dialogue between all political forces. Today, we’ve received confirmation of the Syrian President’s readiness to work toward this goal”.


On Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) reported that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad confirmed his readiness to send an official government delegation to Moscow to hold talks with the Syrian opposition. Also on Tuesday, Lavrov held talks with Assad in Damascus to seek resolution of the Syrian crisis. After the talks, Lavrov said that al-Assad would declare a date for a referendum on a new constitution for his country in the near future. Lavrov’s visit, together with Foreign Intelligence Service chief Mikhail Fradkov, came three days after Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on Syria, backed by the Arab League and Western nations, to prevent a repetition of “the Libyan scenario”. Russia’s one of the staunchest supporters of the al-Assad régime during the current uprising.


US State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said that the USA fears that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s national reconciliation initiatives would go nowhere. On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held talks with Syrian President al-Assad in Damascus to seek resolution of the Syrian crisis. After the talks, Lavrov said that al-Assad would declare a date for a referendum on a new constitution for his country in the near future. US State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland said, “The international community, as a whole, would be pretty sceptical if, instead of focusing on ending the violence, what we seem to have is a re-upping of this same offer that Assad has been making for months and months and months. Frankly, how that gets us to the kind of peaceful national dialogue about a democratic future for Syria that we all want to see isn’t very clear”. Nuland refused to comment on Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s recent visit to Syria, saying, “The Secretary and the Department will obviously reserve judgement until the Secretary has a chance to consult with Foreign Minister Lavrov after he gets back to Moscow”.

Meanwhile, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Russia “must realise that betting everything on Assad’s a recipe for failure… not just for Russia’s interests in Syria, but for the stability of the region and for Syria’s future”. He added that the United States considered sending “humanitarian aid” to Syrians. Carney said, “We’re exploring the possibility of providing humanitarian aid to Syrians and we’re working with our partners, again, to ratchet up the pressure, ratchet up the isolation on Assad and his regime”. Asked if the US could start arming the opposition, Carney replied, “We’re not considering that step right now”. The statement comes hours after US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said that the USA should “start considering all options, including arming the opposition”.


On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on the Arab world, the USA, and the EU to refrain from passing judgement on the national dialogue in Syria before it has even begun. Earlier, a US State Department spokesman said that the USA fears that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s national reconciliation initiatives would go nowhere. At a press conference, Lavrov said, “Attempts to predict the outcome of the national dialogue… generally speaking, that’s not the world community’s business. The Arab world, USA, and the EU should foster negotiations between all forces in Syria”. Lavrov, who held talks with al-Assad on Tuesday, confirmed that the Syrian Vice President has the authority to hold talks with all opposition groups and to organise an all-inclusive national dialogue. Lavrov also said the decision by several western countries to withdraw their ambassadors from Syria didn’t help to create conditions for a dialogue. He condemned the Arab League’s decision to suspend the operations of its peace mission in Syria, pointing up that the Arab League “contributed to stabilisation” in the conflict-torn country, saying, “The presence of foreign monitors always plays a restrictive role. It’s incomprehensible why some Persian Gulf countries pulled out their members of the mission, and why the mission’s operations were halted just when its report was to be heard in the UN Security Council”. Lavrov reiterated that Russia would do its best to assist the dialogue in Syria.

On Wednesday, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero accused al-Assad of already breaking the promises he made to Lavrov during the talks in Damascus, saying, “As we expected, the statements Bashar al-Assad made during the Russian Foreign Minister’s visit didn’t put end to the bloody repression. We received information that three families were killed overnight in their homes in Homs by regime supporters”.


Russia used satellite imagery to help the Syrian government fight the growing insurgency in the country, the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported. On Wednesday, the London-based newspaper said that Russian officials provided President Bashar al-Assad with satellite imagery showing the location of the bases and main forces of the Free Syrian Army, the most prominent militant rebel group. On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov travelled to Damascus for talks with al-Assad. The newspaper asserted that Mikhail Fradkov, the head of the SVR, who accompanied Lavrov to Damascus, allegedly handed over the imagery to Syrian government forces. Asharq Al-Awsat cited unidentified sources in al-Assad’s government, but also said that its information “wasn’t fully confirmed”. As of Wednesday afternoon, neither the MID nor the SVR had any comments on the story. The Free Syrian Army is the main organised force combating al-Assad’s government in the bloody uprising in Syria, which has claimed at least 5,000 lives since March 2011. Allegedly, the group is comprised primarily of army deserters; reports say that it has up to 20,000 fighters.

Russia’s the main international backer of al-Assad’s régime, having blocked two resolutions targeting it in the UN Security Council, and it’s a major arms supplier to it. In addition, Russian warships called at the Syrian port of Tartus in January. In recent weeks, President al-Assad’s forces stepped up their assaults on insurgents. Media reports indicate that they used artillery to bombard the city of Homs, a hotbed of protests; Syrian opposition activists said the shelling killed several hundred people. The pro-government Syrian SANA news agency blamed the clashes on attacks by unspecified terrorist groups. Yevgeni Satanovsky, the head of the Middle East Institute think-tank, said over the telephone, “Assad’s following a classic anti-insurgency tactic, trying to rout rebels from the cities into the countryside, where a full-scale assault can be launched using heavy weaponry. This tactic worked for the Algerian government, which defeated its own insurgency during a civil war in 1991-2002”.


Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and SVR Director Mikhail Fradkov visited Damascus yesterday to help stabilise the situation in Syria through democratic reforms. Thousands welcomed them, waving Syrian and Russian flags, applauding, and chanting, “Thank you, Russia!” Tuesday’s visit by high-ranking Russian officials indicated that Moscow, which voted against the UN Security Council resolution on Syria, is trying to find a political solution. Lavrov said Russia asked the Security Council not to vote on its Syria resolution until they talked with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but that the pro-resolution countries refused to wait. They proceeded to vote on a document with no consideration for Russia’s request, possibly hoping to use Russia as a scapegoat if the situation worsens.

Armed with a letter from President Medvedev, Lavrov and Fradkov met with al-Assad. The meeting lasted approximately three hours. According to ITAR-TASS, Lavrov said, “Every leader in every country should understand their responsibility. You understand yours. It’s in our interests that the Arab peoples live in peace and harmony”. Bashar al-Assad replied, “Russia’s stance was crucial in saving my homeland. Russia and Syria are old friends, but Syria never wanted to be a burden to its friends. Syria wants to be a friend in need”. After the talks, Lavrov said that President al-Assad is committed to stopping the violence by all sides and that “the visit to Damascus was timely and useful”. President al-Assad accepted Russia’s proposal to increase the number of Arab League observers. Lavrov said the Syrian president planed to announce a referendum on a new constitution soon.

Experts don’t think the parties discussed the resignation of al-Assad, especially since it’d likely intensify the chaos. Yevgeni Satanovsky, president of the Middle East Institute, said, “Assad’s overthrow would only bring Islamist radicals to power, split the country, and lead to a massacre of Shias and Christians”. According to the Syrian newspaper Al-Watan, Lavrov and Fradkov may have discussed “methods for resisting any possible actions of the West and its Arab allies against Syria”. China supported Russia’s effort at a political solution. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said China could also send a delegation to Syria to discuss a political settlement. Georgi Mirsky, a senior researcher at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), said, “Moscow’s supported by Iran, which is also facing international isolation, and possibly by Shia-led Iraq. Other countries will try to blame Russia if developments in Syria become touchy, whilst Moscow refuses to concede to the West”.

Meanwhile, Britain and France recalled their ambassadors for consultation. The USA closed its embassy in Damascus, allegedly due to deteriorating security, but many observers see this as the end of a long relationship. Over the past year, Washington’s view of al-Assad has changed from a pro-democracy leader to a ruthless dictator. Barack Obama said that they “continue to see unacceptable levels of violence” in Syria and that al-Assad should “step aside”.

7/8 February 2012









Editor’s Note:

Let’s keep this short. In US parlance, “humanitarian intervention” means bombs, invasion, and the massacre of the local Christian population (and the divvying up of the local resources by Western multinationals). We’ve seen that in the wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq. Now, the USA wishes to extend the benefits of its Laissez-faire Neoliberal paradise to Syria… and to turn the country over to radical Islamists, as the USA did in the countries mentioned. Russia and China are standing against it. Don’t forget… one of the two major causes of the present economic meltdown was the hellishly-expensive wars and “interventions” waged by the USA in foreign parts coupled with tax slashes for the One Percenters and their affluent effluent lackeys (the other was the scrapping of virtually all New Deal-era business and securities regulation, allowing greedy corporate vultures to run amuck).

Note well that Senator McCain (and his foreign policy guru Randall Scheunemann) effusively supported Saakashvili when the Georgians launched a sneak Grad bombardment of Tskhinval. Civilian deaths and suffering don’t matter to these soulless bastards as long as Western vulture capitalists get the opportunity to pick clean the resources of a given state or region. Both the Neocon Republicans and Interventionist Democrats applaud anything done by the McMansion dwellers. Note well how they lied in support of the Georgian aggressors in ’08… no doubt, they’re lying again.

A Note to Orthodox people in the diapora:

Yes, the usual culprits are up to their noses in this. You KNOW who they are… they make a pretentious noise in the District, don’t they? Send them NO money. A certain someone in Takoma Park (and his clueless NW DC puppet) will understand THAT, I guarantee it (they’re an Orthodox analogue of I M Weasel and I R Baboon). Don’t forget… Fathausen went to Georgia. I wonder who paid for it, and why? After all, the OCA has no real interest or jurisdiction in the Caucasus, does it, now? However, there ARE people over in Northern Virginia QUITE interested in that part of the world…


Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.