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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

EDITORIAL: Dima Medvedev, the Naked Emperor


EDITORIAL

Dima Medvedev, the Naked Emperor

Writing the in the Moscow Times on Monday, former member of parliament Vladimir Ryzhkov wrote of the recent G-8 summit meeting in Japan:
The summit was Medvedev's big G8 debut, but unfortunately it did not come off very well for him. During the meeting between Medvedev and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Monday, a British secret service agent chose that particular day to claim that the Russian government likely played a part in the 2006 poisoning in London of Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko. Moreover, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice secured agreements for the placement of elements of a U.S. missile-defense system in the Czech Republic, and then flew to Tbilisi to demonstrate approval for the Georgian government, which is trying to join NATO. At the G8, Bush pressed hard on all of Russia's sorest points -- NATO expansion, missile-defense systems in Europe and Kosovo.
Indeed, no sooner had the summit ended than the United States was calling Medvedev a liar on the record at the United Nations Security Council over its veto of the Council decision to sanction the barbaric dictatorship of Robert Mugabe in Zimbawe. The MT reported: "In an unusually harsh statement, Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, accused Medvedev of going back on an earlier promise and "standing with Mugabe against the people of Zimbabwe. The U-turn in the Russian position is particularly surprising and disturbing ... [and] raises questions about its reliability as a G8 partner."

But you wouldn't know any of this listening to the Kremlin's lapdogs. In another op-ed the same day in the MT, sycophant Vladimir Frolov wrote: "President Dmitry Medvedev has clearly passed muster at his first Group of Eight summit in Japan last week."

The Russian Emperor, as is so often the case, struts boldly about in public in his birthday suit. Having shut down all significant independent media and opposition parties (booting, for example, Mr. Ryzhkov out of the Duma), the Russian leadership has no more grasp of reality than did their Soviet predecessors (and why should they, given that Mr. Putin has retained power in exactly the same manner as Mugabe and, unlike him, is a proud officer of the secret police himself).

The fact is that Putin's Russia deserves UN sanctions just as much as Mugabe's Zimbabwe does, but the issue won't be raised at the UN because of Russia's veto power making it a non-starter. But now we see that Russia won't be content to block pro-democracy action by the UN against itself, it will use its malignant membership role to block all such actions against any countries, fearing the precedent.

So the next best thing is to boot Russia out of the G-8 and keep it out of the WTO hen house as well, and perhaps now the world is slowly beginning to realize what a no-brainer this decision really is. Only by such dramatic means do we have any hope of breaking through the new iron curtain and communicating with the people of Russia that their leader is in serious risk of catching pneumonia if he continues his naked promenade across the Kremlin's chilly parapets.

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