Sometimes people ask La Russophobe why she's a russophobe. Her answer is often: The question is not why is she one, but why aren't you?
Calling yourself a "russophobe" is a wonderful way to bring out the best in a "russophile." A russophile is someone who says we need to "understand" Russia's bad points and give Russia "time" to overcome its bad luck, because there is so much that is wonderful about Russia. Yet, russophiles have no such "understanding" or "time" for russophobes. Isn't it ironic?
And we should define "russophobe" before deciding whether we are one or not. This is a person who hates what Russia is today, and hates most of all that it is the Russian people themselves who are responsible for making Russia what it is today, yet they accept no blame and receive virtually none from patronizing, cowardly outsiders. This is a person who wants Russia to change radically, to become unrecognizable and hence unworthy of hatred -- in short, a success. Or, at least, to last out the century.
Next, we should deal with one of the most common Russophile attacks on the Russophobe, namely the bizarre claim that telling the truth about Russia will only alienate and polarize Russians -- i.e., you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. The very notion that Russians are capable of suddenly turning to dicatorship and cold war, but if they hear the right sweet words will not do so, is so utterly repellant an idea, and so patronizing to the Russians, that it can only come from the crazed Russophile camp. Sounds just like what Chamberlain said about Hitler. La Russophobe will not go there. Does the world treat America this way? Of course not. Do russophiles call for such treatment? Of course not. Yet suddenly America should deal with Russia with appeasement and flattery? Please. Give La Russophobe a break.
Here, then, are La Russophobe's Top 10 reasons for being a russophobe (readers are welcome to add more, or to try to put forth reasons why one should be a russophile):
Russian cuisine is wretched. Russian cuisine is so gross and unreformed it can't even make headway in New York City, with a giant population of Russians. Most dishes which it claims as "Russian" are in fact merely coopted from other countries. You would think that a cuisine so insanely unhealthy would at least be full of guility taste pleasures. Think again.
Russians are greedy and arrogant. Impoverished Russia has the world's highest-paid female athlete, Maria Sharapova, but she donates less than 0.5% of her astronomical income to charity and virtually nothing to Russia. Nobody says a thing about it, and Russia chose Sharapova to front its recent Olympic bid.
Russia is sick and doesn't care. By 2020, 10% of the Russian population will be infected with AIDS. 300,000 people are killed by cigarettes each year, which cost less than a quarter a pack. President Putin barely mentions these topics in his speeches and does nothing serious about them, yet his support continues at nosebleed levels even as Russians become extinct.
Russians are lazy and inefficient. Russia's GDP is smaller than that of tiny Netherlands. Its per capita GDP is exceeded by Uruguay.
Sports and Russia are like oil and water. FIFA. Tennis. Waterpolo. Figure skating. Ice Hockey. Disasters, everywhere you turn.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. The man actually said once with a straight face that there is not one single person in the whole FSB who could be capable of having planted bombs in Russian apartment buildings to stir up support for the war in Chechnya. He stole his PhD disseration. He has a secret resume. He's the worst possible thing for Russia imaginable.
Russians are crazed authoritarians. In a recent public opinion poll, no candidate received more support to become Russia's next president than the maniacal Vladimir Zhirinovsky (who, by the way, Russians also named their country's sexiest man).Russia has never once in a thousand years transferred power between rival political factions by means of an election. Russia is still singing the music of the anthem of the USSR, a totally failed state that caused the deaths of far more Russians than all the country's foreign enemies combined. Two-thirds of Russians believe that Vladimir Putin will break the Constitution and continue in power, so they conclude the Constitution should be changed to let him remain in power legally.
Nobody likes Russia. America, supposedly loathed by the world, has five times more international tourist arrivals than Russia.
Russia is insanely aggressive and militaristic. Russia still has the draft and a giant nuclear arsenal. Russia has been fighting a war against Chechnya for years, and is supplying rogue nations with weapons, including weapons of mass destruction. Russia is providing aid and comfort to terrorist regimes in Iran and Palestine, yet any support by foreigners for Chechnya is viewed as outrageous.
Russia hates families, especially women and children. Domestic violence kills one Russian woman every 40 minutes. Ten times more Russian women are killed by their husbands than American women by theirs, although America has twice Russia's population That means a woman's chances of being killed by her husband are twenty times greater if she is a Russian. More than 1,200 adopted children have been murdered by their parents in Russia since 1991. The general murder rate in Russia is the fifth highest in the world even though the secret police run its government.
35,000 people are killed on Russia's highways every year, which based on the relatively few cars impoverished Russians are able to afford is a shocking number. Judged on fatalities per car on the road, Russia has ten times more fatalities than countries like Germany and Great Britain.
Russia is literally going extinct; at least 750,000 people are lost from the population each year, and that is only if you trust the Kremlin's numbers. If not, it's a million or more.
Russians think that Anna Kournikova, who never won a single singles title in her entire professional tennis career and who, though touted as a great beauty while she was playing promptly disappeared from the face of the earth when she stopped, makes them look good. Can you imagine who Russians think makes them look bad?
Just in case you doubted the Number One Reason to be a Russophobe, here's more evidence of Russian hatred for the family: Russia and its kissing cousin Belarus lead the world in destruction of the family through divorce, with two out of three Russian marriages ending that way.
The education system! Russian diplomas are for sale, from every university including Russia's versions of Harvard and Yale. Meanwhile, Russia go on haughtily proclaiming that it is the outside world, especially Americans, who are ignorant. Russian professors are paid slave wages, often much less than the national average of $300 per month, making them easy prey for bribery. Even many Russian experts agree that the quality of the resulting graduates is a joke.
Russians are horrible at foreign languages and couldn't care less. Russians translate Huck Finn without his grammar errors, butcher reams of other foreign material, and yet scream to high heaven with indignation whenever foreigners mess up Russian and pretend to be more literary than Americans. Their inability to communicate successfully with the outside world is legendary, yet Russians do virtually nothing about it.
Russians actually like crazed dictator Alexander Lukashenko, and they don't care who knows it.
Russian unites all ideologies . . . in contempt of Russia. Here is what the ultra-liberal Amnesty International has to say about Russia in a nutshell: "Almost 15 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation is still far from the democracy many hoped it would become. Since coming into office in 1996, president Vladimir Putin has consolidated executive power, eliminating the election of regional governors, squashing freedom of press, harassing human rights defenders, and continually abusing civilians in the guise of a war on terror in the North Caucasus. In addition, the harsh economic and social transition has given rise to increasing domestic violence and racial hate crimes. Speaking in Washington, D.C. in October 2005, Moscow Helsinki Group founder Liudmilla Alexeevna warned that she hoped there would be no “color” revolution in Russia soon, because it would more likely be brown than orange." Here is what the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation has to say about Russia in a nutshell: "As NGOs feared, the regulations issued by the government agencies in response to the law have introduced harsh restrictions on NGO performance. From now on, NGOs will have to report every detail of their activities. An activity report form is seven small-print pages long and includes accounts of performance, both of the substance of an NGO’s work and its expenses. If money is spent on putting on events, the NGO must detail their number, the topics, and participation. Foreign organizations, such the Heritage Foundation’s Moscow office, also must indicate the cost of office supplies. The regulations will significantly increase an NGO’s expenses.Russian rights organizations are unanimous in their belief that the worst expectations of this new law are justified. If an NGO cannot be banned directly, the red tape, all-out control, endless check-ups, and a stepped-up financial burden could smother it."
Russia is fundamentally corrupt and appears to be proud of it. In 2005, the Transparancy International review ranked Russia tied the 9th most corrupt nation on the face of the planet, yet virtually nothing is being done to reform this atmosphere and most Russians laugh it off.
#20Toilets. About a third of Russian homes still have an outhouse. And as for public toilets, port-a-potties are state of the art. Russia has few public restrooms.
Suicide. One Russian person kills him/herself every ten minutes in Russia (that adds up t0 60,000 per year or 41 suicides per 100,000 people -- only Lithunania has more). That just about says it all, doesn't it? This figure is four times higher than for the United States.
Fire. Do you want to be burned alive? Then Russia is the place for you. If not, stay clear. Russia records about 18,000 fire deaths a year, AP reports - 10 times more than in the US. Since the U.S. has twice as many people as Russia, your chances of being burned alive are twenty times greater in in Russia than in America. Is that tour of Moscow's "Golden Ring" still worth it? Didn't think so.
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