Voices from Russia

Friday, 26 April 2013

A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… US Democracy: The Benefits of Looking in the Mirror

01-fun-house-mirror

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Doesn’t the law apply to everybody? Nearly every Russian knows the folk proverb, “Fools observe no rules”. However, real-life does make its presence known, doesn’t it? By comparison, apparently, the US State Department’s extremely-experienced and highly-qualified staff tends to act in accordance with another principle, from ancient Rome, “What’s legitimate for Jove, isn’t legitimate for oxen”. Although they’re knowledgeable about foreign policy and they’re well-aware of the fundamental principle of international law precluding meddling in the domestic affairs of another sovereign state, US government officials choose to ignore well-known wisdom, despite Russia’s position in the world… it’s no less a power than the American “Jupiter” is.

Now, Washington is dissatisfied with state inspections of Russian NGOs funded from abroad. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes, “In all actuality, the USA encourages NGOs to violate Russian law concerning their operation in the Russian Federation”. US State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland voiced Washington’s displeasure with this statement. Evidently, like any other woman, Ms Nuland uses a mirror. In looking at the present situation, what one could describe as a “political mirror” would be more à propos. However, if Ms Nuland and her Washington colleagues looked into this “political mirror”, they’d discover that a law on the registration of foreign agencies, the Russian version of which triggered her tossing off such fiery censure, has been in force in the USA since 1938, and it’s observed to the letter.

The so-called “political mirror” could also reflect other breaches of democratic principles on Washington’s part… which considers itself the guardian of democracy. It’s not hard to imagine what the reaction in Foggy Bottom would be if Moscow expressed “great concern” to the US State Department about the fact that the names of nearly one million American citizens weren’t on the voter rolls during the recent American presidential election. According to election observers, most of these people were Hispanic or black. This wasn’t just an isolated glitch in the American electoral system. Former US President Jimmy Carter stated, “I’m concerned over the frightening risk of growing racism in our country, along with a poorly-concealed phobia against blacks”. We should “sound the alarm” concerning democratic principles in the USA, especially, as Americans claim a monopoly in having such. Nonetheless, there’d be nothing disturbing about self-appointed Washington Goody Two-Shoes reserving the right to preach to others about this-or-that personal failing, if these so-called “sermons” remained within the USA and if they didn’t impugn the nitty-gritty of international law and threaten its foundations. Given the situation, however, it’d be useful for the USA to remember that such political canoodling doesn’t wash with Russia.

zorin_v13 April 2013

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2013_04_09/O-polze-zerkala/

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_04_13/US-democracy-the-mirror-effect/

Editor’s Note:

Do remember the old saw, “Follow the money”. When you do, it leads you to interesting places, doesn’t it? Read the criticisms of Stalin found in certain American Orthodox circles in that light… always bear in mind, “He who pays the piper, chooses the tune”. Always note who worked, works, or shall continue to work for the US government or for rightwing stink tanks… rank stuff, ain’t it?

BMD

Friday, 9 November 2012

President Lukashenko on American Elections… and on Western Double Standards

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President Lukashenko referred to the USA, which fancies itself as a stronghold of democracy, “So, international observers arrived, and they told them that if they crossed the threshold, they’d arrest them. What if we acted like that? We invite them, and Americans act as observers in Belarus. We don’t arrest them. However, even today, they want to be able to count our votes. It’s a manifestation of double and triple standards. We can’t allow it.

I haven’t noticed any concern here about the American election. I don’t show any concern nor does our government. The Minsk Mayor, the Central Election Commission, the Oblast Governors don’t, and even media reporters don’t. They can hold elections any way they want. The entire world laughs at these elections. Firstly, they’re indirect elections; secondly, a man with fewer votes can become President. What kind of elections are those? Nevertheless, they like it this way, its traditional; the people are silent whilst the leaders are pleased. Well, may God be with you.

Don’t stress yourselves over it. Whatever we do here, if we pursue policies in the interests of our nation in order to preserve our independence and self-determination, in order to decide where we’re going, it won’t be advantageous for them. They’d challenge us, and bomb us, until their people rose to power in our country. We should build our own life, and we should keep at bay those who’d violate that”.

6 November 2012

BelTA

http://news.belta.by/en/news/president?id=698095

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

7 November 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Sprinting Ahead

Sprinting Ahead

Sergei Yolkin

2012

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According to the American media, the latest vote counts show that incumbent US President Barack Obama was re-elected for another four-year term… he gained 303 electoral votes, but only needed 270 to win.

7 November 2012

Sergei Yolkin

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/caricature/20121107/909936477.html

 

Barack Obama Re-elected President of the USA… Neofascism Held Back

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 On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama, the Democratic Party candidate, was re-elected to a second term, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a tightly contested and divisive race that saw the candidates and their backers pour an estimated 2.5 billion USD (78.3 billion Roubles. 2 billion Euros. 1.6 billion UK Pounds) into the campaign. However, control of the US Congress remained split between Democrats and Republicans after nationwide elections for seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate, meaning Obama could face continued fierce opposition to his legislative agenda in the Republican-controlled House, while the Senate majority remained in the Democrats’ hands.

Early Wednesday morning, in a spirited victory speech to a raucous crowd of supporters at his campaign headquarters in Chicago, Obama called for national unity, saying that with his re-election, “The task of perfecting our union moves forward. I’ve never been more hopeful about our future, and I ask you to sustain that hope”. Obama said he had spoken with Romney earlier in the evening and congratulated the former governor of Massachusetts and his running mate, Paul Ryan, on a “hard-fought campaign”, noting, “We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply, and we care so deeply about its future”.

Romney struck a conciliatory tone in his concession speech early Wednesday morning, telling supporters at his campaign headquarters in Boston that America couldn’t “risk partisan bickering and political posturing” at this critical point in the nation’s history, telling the crowd, “This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation. This election is over, but our principles endure”. He added that his belief in his vision for turning around the American economy remained unshaken.

Earlier in the evening, the American media projected Obama to capture the key battleground state of Ohio and its 18 Electoral College votes, which helped push him over the needed 270 votes in the Electoral College to put him back in the White House. Several major American TV outlets projected the incumbent’s victory shortly before 23.30 EST (08.30 MSK 7 November 04.30 UTC 20.30 PST 15.30 AEST 7 November) Tuesday night. Shortly thereafter, Obama’s official Twitter feed posted the following Tweet, “This happened because of you. Thank you”. The networks projected Obama’s re-election after the president notched a string of projected victories in several tightly-contested and strategically-important states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire… states that were seen as key for Romney to win in his bid to unseat Obama.

CNN projected Obama’s lead over Romney in the Electoral College at 303-206, with Florida’s 29 electoral votes still on the table in a state race widely seen as too close to call as of early Wednesday morning. NBC News reported that exit polls showed that white male voters, as well as older voters, favoured Romney, whilst women and younger voters backed Obama. Citing the same exit polls, it also noted that Obama received overwhelming support among Latino and black voters.

Romney had spent Election Day on Tuesday campaigning in Ohio, a state hit hard in the American economic downturn where the Republican candidate had hoped to convince voters he was the right person to get the economy back on track. In a campaign that centred on the economy, Obama attacked Romney as seeking to give tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans whilst slashing social programs aimed at the middle and lower classes. The president’s signature health care reform legislation, the Affordable Care Act, also played an important role in the 2012 race for the White House. Romney vowed to work to overturn the law on his first day in office, whilst Obama campaigned on the broadly popular aspects of the 2010 law, including a provision forbidding insurance companies from denying coverage to people due to pre-existing conditions.

Foreign policy largely took a backseat to domestic issues in the election, although Republicans repeatedly tried to paint Obama as a less-than-stellar friend of Israel and accused him of clumsy handling of American policy in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings. Russia played a peripheral role in the campaign, though Romney notably called the Kremlin the USA’s “Number One Geopolitical Foe”, prompting Obama to accuse him of injecting a Cold War mindset into bilateral relations.

Arguably, the most significant wild card in the races was Hurricane Sandy, a massive storm that slammed the American East Coast just a week before Tuesday’s election, leaving more than 100 people dead and destroying property and infrastructure in states up and down the coast. Both candidates temporarily halted their campaigns in the storm’s deadly wake, but Obama took a hands-on role in the immediate recovery efforts, allocating federal emergency funds for states slammed by the storms and travelling to the frontline of the destruction to meet with victims of the hurricane. In the days following the storm, even New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, a high-profile surrogate for the Romney campaign, whose state bore the brunt of Sandy’s wrath, repeatedly praised Obama.

The bitter campaign was also the most expensive in American history. The independent non-profit Center for Responsive Politics estimated the cost of the race at about 2.5 billion USD, with funds coming in from the candidates’ campaigns, the Democratic and Republican Party committees, and an array of outside PACs. This flood of cash came in the aftermath of the January 2010 US Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case, which allows corporations, unions, and issue advocacy organisations to spend unlimited amounts of money in support of or opposition to a candidate, as long as the spending is done independently of any candidate’s campaign.

7 November 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/world/20121107/177251397.html

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