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Monday, January 22, 2007

Gerhard Schröder, Everlasting Gobstopper of Russophile Maniacs

It's doubtful there could be any more sure and certain proof the Kremlin's involvement in the Litvinenko and Politkovskaya killings than the fact that the infamous traitor to Germany and the human race, paid Kremlin shill/lapdog Gerhard Schröder, denies it. Seeking to rationalize the killing and accuse the West of paranoia, he states in classic neo-Sovietese: "Unfortunately, journalists die quite often in other countries." Oh really, Comrade Schröder? Care to name just one German or American or British or French reporter who has perished under circumstances even remotely similar to those that ended the lives of Alexander and Anna (i.e., while writing strident criticism of one of those countries)? It seems Herr Schröder has not read the Committee to Protect Journalists' litany of journalist killings in Russia just since Vladmir Putin took power or its indictment of the lack of justice in any of their killings. He's also probably not aware that two more Russian journalists were brutallly beaten, one fatally, just last weekend. According to the Paris-based international organization Reporters without Borders, Russia is among the world's most dangerous countries for the media, along with Iraq and Mexico. More than 20 reporters have been killed here since President Vladimir Putin took office in March 2000, including three last year. The International Federation of Journalists puts the figure at 40.

As the CPJ noted, Russia doesn't even bear comparison to a war zone like Iraq:

Insurgents like those in Iraq and Colombia are responsible for one in five journalists murdered over the past 15 years, according to CPJ research. But government forces, including civilian and military officials, are responsible for even more slayings -- more than one out of every four. Russia is a uniquely dangerous place for journalists because it is both violent and repressive. Putin seems not only indifferent to the plight of murdered journalists, he has brought much of the once thriving post-Soviet media under indirect government control through the use of punitive tax audits and hostile takeovers. All three major television networks are now in the hands of Kremlin loyalists. The media itself is ordinarily a key ally in the fight against impunity; with most of the Russian press allied with Putin’s government, achieving justice in the Politkovskaya murder will be an uphill battle. Putin seems unmoved by international criticism of his coun try’s human rights record. His remarks about Politkovskaya’s murder seemed calculated to play the nationalist card, the notion that her death matters only to meddling foreigners.
Even if there were such cases as Politkovskaya and Litvinenko in the West, is it really an adequate response for anyone to say: "Well sure Mr. Putin is building extermination camps, but Germany built them too, and the Turks went after the Armenians, and Sadaam attacked the Kurds, so just leave Russia alone!"

To put it mildly, this man is the venal scum of the Earth, the Everlasting Gobstopper of the Russophiles, the leading appeaser and justifier of the rise of the Neo-Soviet Union in the West -- and don't forget, he's doing it all just to line his pockets and take revenge on the wise Germans who dared to vote him out of office.

The Moscow Times reports:

The killings of former security services agent Alexander Litvinenko and journalist Anna Politkovskaya were "well thought-out provocations" meant to hurt the Kremlin's public image, a senior presidential aide says. The aide, Igor Shuvalov, also takes issues with those who blame Litvinenko's death on President Vladimir Putin. "It is foolish to link this murder to the head of the country," Shuvalov said Wednesday in Berlin at a high-profile discussion of Russian-German relations, Ekho Moskvy radio reported Thursday.

Litvinenko accused Putin of ordering his murder in a statement released after his death.
A fierce critic of Putin, the former KGB and Federal Security Service agent died after being poisoned with the radioactive isotope polonium-210 in London in November. Politkovskaya, an opposition journalist who wrote at great length about human rights abuses in Chechnya , was shot dead Oct. 7 in her apartment building in Moscow. Neither crime has been solved.

Shuvalov's words were echoed by former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, who now runs the Baltic gas pipeline project being spearheaded by state-run gas monopoly Gazprom.
Wednesday's discussion, on the "Strategic Partnership: Germany-Russia," was organized by the German Council on Foreign Relations and the magazine Russia Profile, which is jointly run by Independent Media, publisher of The Moscow Times, and the state news agency RIA-Novosti.

"Unfortunately, journalists die quite often in other countries, but why doesn't anybody try to accuse the government [of wrongdoing] in those situations? In Russia , no matter what happens, it's Putin," Schroder said. Schroder criticized British investigators probing the Litvinenko murder, saying they had acted "unceremoniously" when they hinted that the guilty party had already been identified and was in Russia . Putin is slated to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday.

Former KGB agent Oleg Gordievsky, meanwhile, said Scotland Yard did not suspect Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun, as had been widely believed, but a third, unidentified suspect. Lugovoi, also a former security services agent, and Kovtun, a businessman, met with Litvinenko on the day he was thought to be poisoned. Gordievsky, who defected to Britain in 1985 and has accused Putin of being behind Litvinenko's death, said he believed Scotland Yard was looking for an unidentified man who entered Britain on a fake passport from a European Union member state, used another passport during his stay and left on a third passport. "He took them out one by one, like the Chekists working in the '20s, '30s," Gordievsky said, referring to predecessors of the KGB. He added that the police had a photograph of the suspect.
Scotland Yard refused to comment Thursday.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you, but one detail stands out as off, and it's this:

"Care to name just one German or American or British or French reporter who has perished under circumstances even remotely similar to those that ended the lives of Alexander and Anna?"

Paul Klebnikov.

But then, he was shot in Moscow, Depending on whatever Kremlin-stoked theory is ascribed to in naming the mastermind behind the murder (Nukhayev or Berezovsky), either is conveniently an enemy of Putin.

And I believe you probably already know all this, but just reminding you anyway because Paul Klebnikov deserves to be in our memories.

sashal said...

of course Schroeder was bought while he was still a chancellor.
Big money, hard to resist.
Nothing new here , move on. Cunningham and Ney can only dream about that kind of money and no jail time.

La Russophobe said...

MARIPOSA: You're certainly right that Klebnikov deserves to be remembered, but the "circumstances" at issue here would be that Khlebnikov was writing negative stuff about America (or Britain, or Germany, or France) and was killed under circumstances that gave rise to concern that one of those countries might have killed him. I don't think either one of those was the case, much less both. Actually, it's an interesting topic as some people claim that Khlebnikov wrote positive things about the Kremlin so they'd have no reason to want to kill him. I've never seen a systemmatic review of the things he published, maybe you could look into it for us.

SASHAL: As long as Schroder continues making statements designed to facilitate the rise of dictatorship in Russia for personal gain, it will be news deserving of notice. There are still many people who don't realize he's in the Kremlin's pocket. What's more, this is a clear escalation of his activity. It's one thing for him to argue that Russia's markets are attractive for economic reasons, another to stick his nose into a topic like this. He has no more information about Litvinenko or Politkovskaya than he reads in the papers, but is using his status to imply otherwise. To me, it implies desperation on the part of the Kremlin that it would have him enter this fray, beacause it's so obviously unseemly and risky for him to do so.

Anonymous said...

Kim, you're right, and thank you for the idea of combing through Paul Klebnikov's work; I might do that.

Paul Klebnikov may very well have written good things about the Kremlin, but he was also a good investigative business journalist who probably wouldn't have hidden information he discovered, no matter who it was about. There is most likely no way to know if he discovered something just before he was killed which would be very bad news for somebody if it was published.

What I suspect is that Klebnikov ran across information on someone who was powerful enough to have very well-placed friends -- and was then caught in a type of situation described by Igor Korolkov in his 'Spare Organs' article in Novaya Gazeta. To be clear: I think some official or semi-official in the security apparatus performed "special services." Given the size of Russia's security apparatus now, and its large number of business leaders who are 'siloviki,' this is actually a fairly safe bet.

But the only reason I believe the Kremlin had a hand in it -- or that they know exactly who did it, and are covering the trail -- is because the ensuing investigation and trial bear the Kremlin trademarks: accusing one (or more) of their enemies as the ready-made perpetrator. This time, though, the accused was acquitted.

Sorry to take you off topic from Shroeder, but his odiousness in this article is fairly obvious!