Voices from Russia

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Guess Which Country is the Undisputed Champion in Election Meddling?

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With the entire “Russia interfered in US democracy” story collapsing, Jimmy Dore reminded us which country is the undisputed champion in election meddling. The Carnegie Mellon University study does NOT even include coups and attempts at régime change. The study just counts when the USA tried directly to influence an election for one of the sides. Imagine the results if we added coups, régime change operations, invasions, sanctions, and bombings to the final tally. Here’s a transcript of an NPR interview on the matter:

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

This is hardly the first time a country tried to influence the outcome of another country’s election. By one expert’s count, the USA did it, too, more than 80 times worldwide between 1946 and 2000. That expert is Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University. I asked him to tell me about one election where US intervention likely affected the outcome.

DOV LEVIN:

One example of that was our intervention in Serbia (then, Yugoslavia), in the 2000 election there. Slobodan Milošević was running for re-election, and we didn’t want him to stay in power due to his tendency to disrupt the Balkans and his human rights violations (sic). Therefore, we intervened in various ways for the opposition candidate, Vojislav Koštunica. Moreover, we gave funding to the opposition, and we gave them training and campaigning aide. In addition, according to my estimate, that assistance was crucial in enabling the opposition to win.

SHAPIRO:

How often are these interventions public versus covert?

LEVIN:

Basically, about one-third of them are public and two-thirds of them are covert. In other words, the voters in the target don’t know before the election.

SHAPIRO: 

Your count doesn’t include coups or attempts at régime change. Depending on the definitions, it sounds like the tally could actually be much higher.

LEVIN:

You’re right. I didn’t count and discounted covert coup d’états like the USA did in Iran in 1953 or in Guatemala in 1954. I only counted when the USA tried directly to influence an election for one of the sides. I didn’t discuss other types of interventions. However, if we include those, then, of course, the number could be larger.

SHAPIRO:

For example, how often do other countries like Russia try to alter the outcome of elections as compared to the USA?

LEVIN:

Well, for my dataset, the USA is the most common user of this technique. Since 1945, Russia or the USSR used it half as much. My estimate is 36 cases between 1946 to 2000. We know that the Chinese used this technique; the Venezuelans used it when the late Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías was in power, and other countries used it, too.

SHAPIRO:

Arguably, the USA is more vocal than any other country about promoting democracy and democratic values around the world. Does this strike you as conflicting with that message?

LEVIN:

It depends upon if we help the pro-democratic side (sic), as in the case of Milošević that I talked about earlier. I believe that’d be helpful for democracy. If it helps less-nicer candidates or parties, then, naturally, it can be less helpful.

SHAPIRO:

Obviously, your examination of 20th-century attempts to influence elections doesn’t involve hacking because computers weren’t widespread until recently.

LEVIN:

That’s true.

SHAPIRO:

In your view, is technology dramatically changing the game… as we saw in the November election? On the other hand, is this just the latest evolution of an effort that always used whatever tools are available?

LEVIN:

I’d say it’s more the latter. Before, without cyber-hacking tools, I’d say that the Russians or the Soviets infrequently did these types of intervention because one had to use old-style methods such as people meeting in the park in secret giving out and getting information and things like that.

23 April 2017

Alex Christoforou

The Duran

http://theduran.com/guess-which-country-is-the-undisputed-champion-in-election-meddling/

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

19 April 2017. To Ensure the Future, We Must Respect the Past

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Some people such as Victor Potapov want to “revise” the past, to “erase” people and events that they find distasteful. This is utterly wrong, crackbrained, and ludicrous in the extreme. We must keep covenant with all our past… with the Imperial legacy… with the Soviet legacy… we must keep covenant with both, or we create a monstrous golem, a Frankenstein of our own creation. Some people like Potapov are from families that were “somebodies” in Tsarist Russia, who were better off than most. So, the Soviet history and legacy are anathema to them because their families lost their “golden teat”. One can tell the measure of their character by seeing that they didn’t scruple at aiding the enemies of the Rodina in hopes of restoring their fortunes.

The people to follow are Tsar Nikolai and President Lukashenko, who say the same thing in essence. “Keep faith with ALL of our past. Honour everything that was good… reflect on everything that was bad”. That’s more healthy than the anti-Stalin rants of Potapov (and those like him). Keep it focused… the anti-communist warriors will be out in force this year. Meet them head-on and don’t fear… after all, our Holy Patriarch offered sincere condolences to the Castro family on the occasion of Fidel Castro’s death. He showed much more humanity and Christian love than did the loudmouth “conservatives” who criticised him for doing such. Our Church isn’t rightwing…

BMD

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

18 April 2017. The Imperial Family… What They Were, What They Weren’t

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The Imperial family aren’t “Martyrs” in the Church’s eyes… they didn’t suffer for the Faith. They’re “Passionbearers”… those who bore their suffering and deaths in a Christian manner. This isn’t a minor distinction. It means that the hoorah that you hear from certain ROCOR elements is pure BS. The Church doesn’t endorse monarchy… it never did… it doesn’t… it won’t. Individuals within the Church did… but that doesn’t mean that the Church “as Church” endorses and blesses monarchy. It’s just one of the many forms of human government out there. The Church DOES bless the Christian forbearance shown by the Romanov family. It says “amen” to that. However, that doesn’t mean that it approves of the system that they headed. If the Church called them “Royal Martyrs”, it’d give monarchy a boost, but the Church chose not to call them that. The ROCOR had to adjust its terminology at the Reconciliation… the Centre made it clear that “Royal Martyr” was unacceptable (it also made it clear that the ROCOR couldn’t canonise non-Orthodox just because the Reds killed them).

In this year of the centenary of the October Revolution, we’re going to hear much rubbish from the usual sources. I’d remind you that many of them had Nazi collaborators in their families… that doesn’t bother them. Puts a far different face on their rants, doesn’t it? Let’s honour the Romanov family’s faith and let’s fight the loudmouth anti-communists. After all, they gave succour and support to Hitler… what more need I say?

BMD

18 April 2017. A Piece of Anna Akhmatova’s “Requiem”

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