Russia, the Eternal Morass
Last week the New York Times blog The Lede reported on how Russians were being mauled by their national symbol, the brown bear. A wolf pack of 30 bears is running wild in Kamchatka and has already killed and eaten two people. The Lede reported that "people in the region have been forced to cower in their homes waiting for hunters to dispose of the animals, which can stand 10 feet tall and weigh up to 1,500 pounds." Three others have been killed on Sakhalin Island. The reason? "A sharp decline in salmon, their traditional food, due to poaching has forced them to seek out other food sources, as more and more unfortunate people have come to discover." In other words, the utter failure of public policy.
The first commenter on the story spoke in the loud, clear terms of the insane Russophile, a perfect encapsulation of what is wrong with Russia as a country:
The New York Times is always so negative about Russia! So what that the bears eat people? They are beautiful, majestic creatures who inspire Russia and Russians. Do bears not eat people in America!? You also couldn’t help but draw a parallel between killer bears and United Russia…again, negative muckraking! I implore you CIA sponsored “journalists” to stop implying that United Russia gobbles up other parties like a hungry beast. Write about something positive, like Putin’s pecs.
That's right: Russians (and especially Russophile sychopants of Vladimir Putin) want this story ignored. Far from being a cause to criticize the authorities and call for reform to save lives, Russians want the whole thing swept under the carpet. As long as bears eat Americans, it seems, Russians have no problem with being consumed themselves.
And yet, if you were to suggest to a Russian that his nation's lack of contested elections, opposition parties and major media criticism of the regime comes up far short on the democracy scale when compared to the United States, Russians would then say that Russia is "different country" that can't be compared to America.
Meanwhile, do you think this commenter, or any member of the psychopathic Russophile set, ever makes such comments about the things written about America by state-controlled Russian media? Do they ever speak unfairly and inaccurately about America? Does Vladimir Putin ever do so? When, dear reader, was the last time you heard Mr. Putin give America a compliment? Aren't his remarks about America "always so negative," to quote a Russophile?
This kind of childish, impulsive "reasoning" characterizes Russian society from top to bottom. Rather than admit any fault, they would prefer to have all problems ignored. When convenient, they compare themselves to America. When not, they contend only a Russophobe would do so.
Exactly this kind of "thinking" destroyed the USSR root and branch. The Politburo was incapable of accepting any responsibility for any fault, and instead simply blamed all problems on misfortune and foreign intrigue. No reform was undertaken until the nation was in its final throes, and even then the measures were half-hearted and totally unsuccessful. As a result, the USSR collapsed.
And how did Russians respond, seeing that collapse? They merrily and blithely returned the KGB to power, the very same KGB that had shipped off so many souls to the Gulag archipelago, wiping out Russia's best and brightest with relish, squashing all dissent and information at gunpoint. Then they merrily and blithely watched their proud KGB spy return the nation at breakneck speed to the same condition of blind willful ignorance that brought down the USSR.
America is full of people, including powerful elected politicians and major international media outlets, who upon hearing foreign criticism are only too ready to accept it and to call for responsive change. Right now, major party candidate Barack Obama is running on just such a platform, and could well be elected. And America stands astride the world like a colossus, the world's only superpower, with an economy more than ten times larger than Russia's and a growing population twice Russia's size.
Russia, by contrast, pokes its head into the sand like a witless ostrich, has a plummeting population and an economy where a person is lucky to earn $4 per hour as a wage and teachers earn less than half that amount.
Will Russians never learn? Will they go on repeating their barbaric behavior until they have utterly destroyed not just their country but their entire civilization, ceding it to the Chinese to be erased forever from human memory?
We are afraid they will.
Last week the White House website posted a message from President Bush in honor of "Captive Nations" week. Bush stated: "In the 20th century, the evils of Soviet communism and Nazi fascism were defeated and freedom spread around the world as new democracies emerged." (Similarly, Lithuania recently enacted a ban on the display of Soviet and Nazi symbols, treating the two the same.) The Putin regime rushed to defend Soviet communism, attacking Bush for attempting to "feed the efforts of those, who for political and selfish ends are striving to falsify the facts and rewrite history." In other words, the Russian state is repeating the Soviet propaganda lie that Sovietism wasn't just as bad for Russia as Nazism was -- even though it was Sovietism, not Nazism, that actually destroyed the USSR, and Sovietism that killed far more Russians.
Russia can't manage to understand how the people of Eastern Europe see the advance of Soviet troops to defeat Hitler, either. They, too, are hard pressed to see any difference between Nazis and Russians. After all, the Russian troops enslaved them for a far longer period of time than the Nazis did. It can't manage to understand, as Germans have done, the need to confront their dark past and take aggressive measures to make sure it is not repeated. Instead, Russians seek to bury, twist and pervert their past into a mythology of heroism. Russians leave memorials to Stalin's Gulag to foreigners, and elevate Stalin to cult hero status. They are, it should be remembered, still using the melody of the Soviet national anthem, a tune written to glorify Stalin. It will play when Russians are awarded medals at the Bejing Olympiad.
No country can survive this level of extreme barbarism.