Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

IOC Tries to Emasculate Wrestling

Mavlet Batirov


The proposal of the International Olympic Committee to exclude wrestling from the Olympics aroused indignation among athletes all over the world. Some of the Olympic wrestling champions decided to give back their medals to the IOC in protest against this plan. In addition, politicians are indignant at the IOC’s scheme. The professional sport world is still boiling mad after the plans to exclude wrestling from the Olympics by the International Olympic Committee became known.

In protest against this plan, the renowned Bulgarian wrestler and 1996 Olympic champion Valentin Jordanov returned his Olympic medal to the Committee. Russian Olympic champion Sagid Murtazaliev decided to follow his example and to return the medal he had won in Sydney. Murtazaliev explained his decision by saying, “It’s a human act and my position as the Olympic champion. People are asking me whether it’s hard for me to part with this medal. However, I hope that by parting with the medal I won for our great country, I’ll help to keep wrestling as an Olympic sport; so, later, I’ll be able to win new medals for Russia and the Republic of Dagestan, where I come from. I think that all the Olympic wrestling champions will join me and the IOC will listen to us”.

The final verdict about the future of wrestling will come in September and wrestlers hope that their protest campaigns won’t be in vain. Mikhail Mamiashvili, President of the Russian Wrestling Federation (FSBR), said, “As long as there’s a chance for reconsideration, it’s necessary to use all the means to stop this process. We’re holding consultations and already working with the IOC. In the coming days, the new president of the International Wrestling Federation is to meet IOC Chief Jacques Rogge. We’re waiting for the meeting of the executive committee, which is to be held in St Petersburg. I hope that these efforts would bring results”.

The opponents of excluding wrestling from the Olympic list emphasise that this sport wasn’t only part of the first modern Olympics, but also part of the Ancient Olympics in Classical Greece. Natalya Yarygina, Vice President of the FSBR, said, “The IOC’s refusal to hold wrestling events at the Olympics would ruin the dreams and ambitions of thousands of devoted athletes. You can imagine what it means for those who devoted all their lives to this sport, and also for the many young boys in Dagestan who’d lose interests in wrestling and be back on the streets”.

Considering that, traditionally, Russian wrestlers rank highly at the Olympics, there were suspicions that someone wants to undermine the positions of our Olympic team by excluding wrestling from the Olympics. However, not only athletes, but also politicians all over the world are indignant at the IOC’s proposal. Amongst them are those who can’t be suspected of sympathy for Russia, for example, former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld. In his youth, he was a wrestler, and he’s still fond of the sport. The 80-year-old politician even said that he’s ready to enter the wrestling ring to defend the right of professional wrestlers to take part in the Olympics.

27 February 2013

Artyom Kobzev

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

This was in the commboxes for this post:

The Olympics are supposed to be a display of sports from around the world. No sport is more historically global than wrestling. Every culture and nation throughout history has created their own form of the sport. Secondly, it’s a sport that costs nothing to participate in. No fancy equipment, no sports complexes, etc… wrestling is a sport where even the poorest-of-the-poor countries can have success in. Plus, in the past 12 years, the amount of countries that have participated in women’s wrestling at the Olympics have DOUBLED. If a sport is growing so fast, why cut it? Dropping wrestling is a slap in the face to the history of sports.

Wrestling Roots

I need add nothing to that, save to say, “hear, hear!”


Monday, 3 September 2012

As John Robles Sees It… RNC Unified the People Against a Common Enemy


The Republican National Convention will soon be history, but the resonance of what occurred in Tampa may live on for a long time. For the first time in decades, police and protestors found a common ground and mutual respect. Now, that’s something that the élites who met to plan their divisive foreign and internal policies and to continue and expand the influence of their party of exclusion, can’t be at all happy about. There are still a few people out there who haven’t forgotten the plethora of crimes committed by the Bush Administration, even though many people who questioned 9/11 and the aggressive wars launched by the USA against countries that had nothing to do with it were marginalised and written off as kooks, some are still able to make themselves heard and are still fighting for those responsible for everything from the Guantánamo detention centre to the Bush torture programme to be brought to justice.

Although a majority of the American people are too scared to stand up and protest, a growing number of Americans feel that they have nothing to lose and that it’s time to take their country back from the rich élites who have gutted the American Dream for the many and have destroyed the USA’s image. Many Americans are waking up; they realise that there isn’t any real democracy in the USA and that both parties are exactly the same. Despite this, the US Republican Party has been classically and unapologetically the party of rich white elitists, so, it’s now become the focus of protests by protest groups and the majority of Americans who’re truly suffering.

One of these groups, Code Pink, a predominantly-female anti-war group, has attempted to make citizen’s arrests of various members of the previous Bush Administration for years, but there’s a lack of legal entities willing to bring charges against entrenched political figures, came out in force at the RNC in Tampa. Code Pink’s methods may seem to be questionable, and some might even call them outrageous, but they’re effective in getting attention, and, then, using the attention to get their message out, in particular, their attempts to stage what Americans call a “citizen’s arrest”. Along with the Occupy Movement and over 40 other protest groups, they descended on the “Convention of the Élite”, who gathered in Tampa to select an already chosen candidate, to ogle beautiful women stripping in front of them, listen to speeches, to plan policy demonising Russia and other “evil” countries, and to pat each other on the backs and tell each other how wonderful they are.

Code Pink was very active at the RNC, for example, at a speaking engagement tied to the Republican National Convention, members of Code Pink protested outside of the venue whilst Condoleezza Rice was speaking inside. The protestors carried handcuffs and said they had come to arrest the former Secretary of State for war crimes. The Co-Director of Code Pink Rae Abileah and Code Pink Member Colonel Ann Wright, US Army (retired), managed to enter the building where Rice was holding her speaking engagement and disrupt her speech regarding “compassion”. At the beginning of the speech, the Colonel stood up and shouted, “You can’t be compassionate, and kill people in a war of choice, the war in Iraq!” Then Ms Abileah stood up and shouted, “The blood of Iraqi children is on your hands!” Then, guards escorted the women from the building. Code Pink later confirmed on Twitter that the activists tried to prevent Condoleezza Rice from making a political speech.

The group also managed to pull off one of the most successful disruptions of their 10-year existence by infiltrating and getting through the intense security of the Republican National Convention and disrupting a speech by the vice presidential contender Paul Ryan. The group also heckled Rick Santorum, pulling off more than the Occupy Movement and the other protest groups who’d also gathered to protest at the RNC. According to Code Pink, they’ve “become famous for confronting the warmongers, whether in the halls and hearing rooms of Congress, the national conventions of both the Republicans and Democrats, George Bush‘s fundraisers, the publicity tours of Karl Rove, Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, and others and even at Nancy Pelosi‘s house”.

Code Pink compiled a long list of Bush-era war criminals, it’s available on their website, including Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Stanley McChrystal, George Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Karl Rove, John Bolton, Michael Chertoff, John Ashcroft, I. Lewis Libby, Alberto Gonzales, John Yoo, Dick Cheney, and George Tenet. They call for the arrests of all of the aforementioned. What’s more, according to Tighe Barry, an actor and a Code Pink activist, in an interview with VOR, the group approached and attempted to carry out a citizen’s arrest on all of the individuals on their list. Although the group is active regarding some of the most serious issues of our times, their tactics, such as the wearing of costumes designed to look like female genitalia, some say does not help their credibility and is actually insulting to women, others say this helps them get attention.

An organizer with Occupy the RNC, a local group that assisted and coordinated all of the groups that have come to protest the RNC, including Occupiers from all over the USA, said there were few if any incidents of violence between the peaceful protestors and the police. The organiser, Amos Miers, even said that, on Thursday, the Occupiers at the Occupy camp ran out of food and water and the Tampa Police themselves brought the Occupiers dozens of cases of food and fruit and dozens of bottles of water. Code Pink activist Tighe Barry also had many kind words for the police, who’re reported to have prepared for the worst, and who he said behaved professionally and without the use of violence or excessive force. Miers said that, according to police, they’d been told that they would be going up against violent anarchists and violent protestors and that the police were surprised at the peaceful and temperate nature of the Occupiers and the other protestors.

The Republican National Convention is coming to a close, and barring last minute and unexpected events, the RNC has accomplished one thing, for the first time in recent memory, the so called 99 Percent were looked after and have even found common ground with the police and the authorities, who until now appeared to be solely the servants of the One Percent.

31 August 2012

00 John Robles. VOR 06.12John Robles

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

It doesn’t surprise me that the coppers acted like decent men… they’re working-class Joes, too. They’re not of the Affluent Effluent, and we shouldn’t act as though they are. They have eyes and ears… and brains. The One Percent’s actually losing its grip… and everyone knows it. The coppers aren’t ogres… let’s face it; if you got thrown in the drunk tank Saturday night, you probably deserved it.



Saturday, 28 January 2012

28 January 2012. Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day

Children of Auschwitz

“Curlie 11”



I wish that I had a “real name” to go with this one. I apologise for not having it… the author didn’t give one, I’m afraid.


Auschwitz didn’t occur in a vacuum or overnight. Before the extermination camps, the Nazis founded Bergen-Belsen and Dachau. That’s why we must close down the Guantánamo Bay detention camp (it’s in an illegally-maintained US colony to begin with) immediately and prosecute all those who ordered the torture of suspects in clandestine CIA prisons in Eastern Europe. Otherwise, we’re on the slippery slope to Hadamar and Auschwitz. Note me well, we shouldn’t move against those who RAN the detention and torture centres, we should move against those who ordered their existence, who winked at their operation, and who colluded to keep them secret. The poor fuckers who ran them were only following orders from George W Bush, Richard Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld, who are the real principals in this affair. By the standards of the Nürnberg Trials, those named are major war criminals, and should face an international tribunal, in order to help America clean itself of their criminality. Let’s not be coy, the people of New Deal America would be APPALLED at what they did. “We’re not a bunch of Nazis”… indeed, we’re NOT a bunch of Nazis, so, why should we wink at those who acted just like them?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 28 January 2012

Albany NY

Saturday, 27 August 2011

27 August 2011. Mawkish Sentimentality and Criminalising Enemy Combatants… the Truth of the Afghan Quagmire

Read these:



Note this:

Once John was in the custody of the US military, Donald Rumsfeld directly ordered the military to “take the gloves off” in questioning him. At Camp Rhino, he was stripped of his clothing, bound naked to a stretcher, with duct tape wrapped around his chest, and painful plastic restraints around his wrists and ankles. Blindfolded, he was locked, naked and bound, in an unheated metal shipping container that sat on the desert floor. Eventually he was removed to a Navy ship, the USS Peleliu, where Navy physicians observed that he was suffering from dehydration, hypothermia, and frostbite, and that he couldn’t walk. It was on the Peleliu that the bullet was finally removed from his leg, more than two weeks after he had been transferred to the custody of the US military. …

A court hearing was scheduled in July 2002, which would’ve included testimony by John and others about the brutality he’d suffered at the hands of US soldiers. On the eve of the hearing, the government prosecutors approached John’s attorneys and negotiated a plea agreement. John acknowledged that by serving as a soldier in Afghanistan he’d violated the economic sanctions imposed by President Clinton and extended by President Bush. John also agreed to a “weapons charge”, since he’d carried a rifle and two grenades while serving as a soldier. At the insistence of Rumsfeld, the plea agreement also included a clause in which John relinquished his claims of torture.

The punishment was by any measure harsh… 20 years of imprisonment. On 4 October 2002, the judge approved the plea agreement and sentenced John to prison. Before the sentence was pronounced, John was allowed to read a prepared statement, which provided a moment of intense drama in the crowded courtroom. “I went to Afghanistan with the intention of fighting against terrorism and oppression”, he began. He had acted, he said, out of a sense of religious duty, and he condemned terrorism as being “completely against Islam”. He ended by saying, “I have never supported terrorism in any form and never would”.


John Walker Lindh NEVER bore arms against the USA… he bore arms against the Northern Alliance, quite a different affair. This is “justice” of the most perverted sort… a “justice” approved by the current political/media duopoly. Some of the Nazi war criminals sentenced after WWII served lesser sentences (or none at all). This is a travesty… this is a distortion of the “rule of law”. John Walker Lindh did NOT attack his country… he wasn’t a traitor. He served illegally in the armed forces of a foreign power, which merits, at most, a five-year sentence (that is, statutory law forbids American citizens from serving in the forces of ANY foreign power without official approval). The sentence is disproportionate… it bears no relation to reality. Why did it happen? It happened because Americans believe their own propaganda (always a dangerous thing). Why are Russians so different regarding such things? Firstly, Russia’s been invaded many times… Russians know that all kinds of screwball things happen under enemy occupation. Secondly, the USA has NEVER had hostile foreign troops on its soil since 1815… that’s a VERY long time ago. Americans feel invulnerable in their isolation from the World Island (democracy has nothing to do with it… two wide ocean barriers do).

As for the mawkish story about the dog and the dead soldier… it’s propaganda of the worst and most treacly sort. I’ve no doubt that the man’s death is a tragedy… every death is such. I’ve no doubt that his family and friends have the right to mourn in dignity and peace. Without hesitation, I’d cosh any of Fred Phelp’s people if they showed up to “protest” at the funeral… that’s something that no decent person does. I’d show nothing but the most utmost and sincere commiseration with the family. That being said, the story about the dog is pure hokum. It’s so saccharine that it sets my teeth on edge. We don’t care if Afghan civilians die as “collateral damage”… we do care about a dog… what a sense of priorities! The death of the SEALs wasn’t “tragic”… they were soldiers going into harm’s way; they knew the risks involved in it. Rather, it illustrated how very ordinary people got tied up in this insane military adventure that doesn’t advance the national interest of the USA in the least bit. It doesn’t diminish the family’s loss in the slightest (indeed, it adds a bitter edge to it, which decent people wouldn’t voice to the family members)… it doesn’t mitigate the lost space in the family circle. I’m saying that the news story cheapened the man’s death… THAT’S inexcusable.

It’s time to end this pointless and bloodsucking conflict. Bring ‘em home… bring ‘em home, now (and I’m NOT a knee-jerk pacifist)…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 27 August 2011

Albany NY

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