Voices from Russia

Monday, 1 September 2014

Feinstein Sez Sanctions Won’t Bite

00 Goodbye America. 29.05.14


US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said in an interview with NBC that Western sanctions against Russia due to the situation in Novorossiya would be ineffective, saying, “People say, ‘Well, just wait till the sanctions bite and the economy slips’. I don’t think so. The Russians are very brave and very long-suffering, and they’d tough out any economic difficulty”. She said that Russians support President V V Putin, so the Western sanctions won’t affect popular attitudes towards government policy. Her solution for settling the crisis in Novorossiya would be direct talks with the Russian leadership. The relations between Russia and the West deteriorated due to the Ukrainian situation. In late July, the EU and the USA introduced sanctions against entire sectors of the Russian economy. In response, Russia restricted food imports from countries that imposed sanctions against it, namely, the USA, the EU, Canada, Australia, and Norway. The ban included beef, pork, poultry, sausages, fish, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and some other products.

1 September 2014

Rossiya Segodnya



Friday, 6 September 2013

US Congress Finds “Overwhelming” Public Opposition to Force in Syria

00 No tanks. 06.09.13


After three days of non-stop phone calls from hundreds of Colorado constituents opposed to an American military strike on Syria, on Friday, US Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO) announced Friday he was “leaning against” a resolution giving US President Barack Obama the authority to take limited action. Catherine Mortensen, Lamborn’s communications director, said that following the long Labour Day holiday weekend, “Tuesday is when the calls started, they’re still coming in, and I’d say fewer than two percent are people who want us to take action. People say things like, ‘We have problems at home we need to take care of’. What was surprising was how quickly people’s opinions gelled. They’re not lukewarm. Right off the bat on Tuesday it was, ‘We don’t need this’. It’s been overwhelming”. On Friday morning, whilst Lamborn was answering questions from listeners during a radio show, Mortensen said, “One man phoned in to say, ‘I’m in Afghanistan, and I don’t want this anymore’”. By the end of the show, Lamborn, a Republican, who previously said that he was gathering facts and hadn’t made up his mind yet, told listeners that he was inclined to vote against the resolution. Moreover, Lamborn’s office isn’t alone.

Other Congressional offices said that they’ve been bombarded with calls ever since last Saturday, when Obama said that he’d ask Congress to approve a “limited” strike against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack last month. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) said in a televised interview on MSNBC, “I can tell you, 99 percent of the calls coming to my office are against it”. US Senator John McCain (R-AZ), who lost the presidency to Obama in 2008, voted to support his old rival during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing this week, but took significant heat about it on Thursday from angry constituents at a town hall meeting in Arizona. One man in the crowd held up a bag of marshmallows, saying, “This is what I think of Congress. They’re a bunch of marshmallows… why aren’t you listening to the people and staying out of Syria? It’s not our fight”.

Some of those calls and comments to Congress appear to be having an effect. After days of discussions with voters, Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) announced late Thursday in a statement on his website that he’d vote against the president’s request, saying that the situation in Syria is a civil war, so, the USA shouldn’t intervene in it. He said, “This isn’t just my opinion. It’s the considered opinion of the people that I represent, expressed not at just one or two town halls, but literally at every public or private meeting and casual encounter that I’ve had since the president decided to put this issue before Congress last Saturday. I’ve heard their opposition loud and clear and I won’t vote in favour of military intervention in Syria”.

Upon hearing word about a chemical attack that killed men, women, and children, Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY) said that his initial reaction, as a USMC combat veteran, “was to stand by the Commander-in-Chief and support immediate targeted strikes”. On Thursday, Grimm announced that he, too, changed his mind. He said in a statement on his website, “I’ve heard from many constituents who strongly oppose unilateral action at a time when we have so many needs here at home. Thus, after much thought, deliberation, and prayer, I’m no longer convinced that an American strike on Syria would yield a benefit to the USA that wouldn’t be greatly outweighed by the extreme cost of the war”.

Representative Matt Salmon (R-AZ), in a statement on his website explaining his opposition to a strike, said that, thus far, the Obama Administration “failed to present a convincing argument that the events in Syria pose a clear threat to America, failed to list a strong coalition of nations willing to support military attacks, and failed to articulate a clear definition of victory”. Salmon told National Review Online that he’s had 500 calls to his office about the crisis in Syria, and only two were in favour of US intervention. He predicted Obama’s efforts in Congress “would fail by 20 votes”.

However, Obama is counting on members of Congress like Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who’s viewed classified information about the chemical weapons attack and said on Thursday that she supports the strike on Syria, despite the lack of public support. According to the AP, she said, “There’s no question… what’s coming in is overwhelmingly negative, but you see, then, they don’t know what I know. They haven’t heard what I’ve heard”. On Friday, during a press conference in St Petersburg soon after the G20 summit wrapped up, Obama said that he’d address the nation about the crisis on Tuesday, telling reporters that he considers it part of his job to “make the case”. He told reporters, “It’s conceivable that, at the end of the day, I don’t persuade a majority of the American people that it’s the right thing to do”. However, he added that members of Congress would have to decide for themselves if they think a strike is the right thing for national and global security, saying, “Ultimately, you listen to your constituents, but you’ve got to make some decisions about what you believe is right for America”. Obama didn’t say whether he’d still order a strike even without Congressional approval.

6 September 2013

Maria Young



Editor’s Note:

A Russian correspondent of mine (who lived in the USA for about five years) had an interesting thought:

What if this is just political kabuki to defang the right? Obama could call it all off if the House rejected it, and he’d put the onus on the Republicans. Maybe, he’s looking to confuse his opposition before more important votes. He’s not a stupid man. The American right-wing believes their fairy tales about him; they don’t look at him objectively.

That’s an interesting thought. However, there’s a lotta light from that there fire. I’d like to believe that my interlocutor’s correct. Yet… I’d need more evidence. Still, I want to see this put to bed with no war… and I’m not alone in wanting that.


Thursday, 31 January 2013

Gabrielle Giffords Sez “Too Many Children Are Dying”

00 Political Cartoon. 05.12. Guns


On Wednesday, former US Representative Gabrielle Giffords (DAZ), two years after she was shot in the head and critically wounded in a mass shooting in Arizona, surprised lawmakers when she testified during a US Senate hearing on gun violence in America. Speaking slowly and deliberately, on Wednesday, Giffords told the Senate Judiciary Committee, “Too many children are dying… we must do something. It’ll be hard, but the time is now, you must act. Be bold, be courageous, Americans are counting on you”. This was the committee’s first hearing since last month’s shooting massacre at a Connecticut elementary school left 20 children and 6 adults dead. Giffords and her husband, former cosmonaut Mark Kelly, have become two of the leading advocates in America on the issue of gun safety, forming a group called Americans for Responsible Solutions, which calls for universal background checks for gun buyers and limits on high capacity ammunition magazines. Kelly also testified at the hearing, saying, “We aren’t here as victims, we’re speaking to you here today as Americans. … When dangerous people get dangerous guns, we’re all the more vulnerable.”

Also testifying at Wednesday’s hearing was the head of the powerful American gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA)Wayne LaPierre. He told lawmakers that new proposals to ban assault weapons and increase background checks were not going to solve the problem of gun violence, saying, “Let’s be honest. Background checks will never be universal, because criminals will never submit to them”. LaPierre also called for stricter enforcement of current gun laws, pointing up, “violent felons, gang members and the mentally ill who possess firearms aren’t being prosecuted. That’s unacceptable”.

US President Barack Obama called for new gun control legislation, including banning military-style assault weapons, requiring background checks on all gun purchases, and outlawing ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds. US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced legislation banning the sale and manufacture of more than 150 types of semiautomatic weapons, as well as limiting ammunition magazines to ten rounds.

 30 January 2013



Editor’s Note:

Isn’t that an oddbod argument for the NRA to use? “Let’s not have a law because the criminals won’t follow it”… that’s sheer bonkers and we deserve to laugh it out of court out-of-hand. We need robust gun laws, with especial attention paid to enforcement in the south and southwest, where scofflaws would be most common (that’s where most gun nutters and rightwing kooks are). At the same time, we should preserve the rights of the rural population and registered hunters to appropriate firearms (who ever heard of a mass shooting carried out with a shotgun or hunting rifle?). We can do it… we’ve allowed the rightwing gun nutters to run rampant for too long. Second Amendment be damned… its purpose was to provide for a well-regulated militia to protect the state and society (to keep national defence in the hands of citizen-soldiers, not standing “volunteer” mercenary forces, as is being done today), not provide a rationale for potty nutters to have access to whatever weapons their pointy little heads desired.


Friday, 2 December 2011

2 December 2011. A Sad Day for the USA… Senate Approves Indefinite Detention Without Trial… God Willing, President Obama Will Veto This

This is the world that the Republicans want… is this what you want? I didn’t think so… you KNOW what to do next November. Do remember Pastor Niemöller’s  words: “Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me”. I’m speaking out now… what about you?


NB to Russian Orthodox people:

Paffhausen, Potapov, Lyonyo, Whiteford, Reardon, Dreher, and all of the konvertsy support the Republican attempt to impose an untrammelled and brutish police state. Oppose them.


Read this. Note these sections:

The bill would require military custody of a suspect deemed to be a member of al-Qaeda or its affiliates and involved in plotting or committing attacks on the United States. American citizens would be exempt. The bill does allow the executive branch to waive the authority based on national security and hold a suspect in civilian custody. The legislation also would deny suspected terrorists, even US citizens seized within the nation’s borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA), had sought an exception to the provision for US citizens, but her effort failed, 55-45. …

The bill reflects the politically charged dispute over whether to treat suspected terrorists as prisoners of war or criminals. The administration insists that the military, law enforcement, and intelligence agents need flexibility in prosecuting the war on terror after they’ve succeeded in killing Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki. Republicans counter that their efforts are necessary to respond to an evolving, post-9/11 threat, and that Obama’s failed to produce a consistent policy on handling terror suspects. The Senate rejected an effort by Feinstein to limit a military custody requirement for suspects to those captured outside the United States. The vote was 55-45. Feinstein said her goal was to ensure “the military won’t be roaming our streets looking for suspected terrorists”.

Let’s keep it simple. The Republican Party wants to smash its boot down full-force on the faces of all those that it labels “terrorists” without any legal hindrance whatsoever. “Enemies of the people”, anyone? That attitude lead Germany to Dachau and the USSR to the camps in the Betpak-Dala. In short, it means that the GOP wants nothing less than an American version of the Dirty War. The Republican filth is using the same rationale that the Argentine junta did… for the same selfish, power-hungry, and totalitarian reasons. Do we really need to go down that road?

Veto this, Mr Obama. You’ll guarantee your re-election by doing so.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 2 December 2011

Albany NY

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