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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

More Outrageous Propaganda from Russia Blog

Yuri Mamchur's at it again. Big surprise, right?

Amazingly though, this time he's gone so far that even the lunatic Mike Averko is taking him to task. If Mike Averko says you've gone too far with your russophilia, you know you're really ready for the booby hatch.

In Mamchur's latest, and most pathetic, propaganda screed, he claims that New Zealand is in the process of enacting a restriction on NGO activity that is the same as Russia's, and expresses outrage that the Western world is not crititizing New Zealand in the same way it went after Russia. Yup, that's the kind of insanity a Russophile like Mamchur is capable of if he gets up a really good head of steam.

Of course, it's all completely insane.

First of all, La Russophobe never dreamed she'd be quoting Mike Averko, but even he states the obvious in a comment to the post, that "Russia is a much larger country and therefore subject to a greater monitoring." Of course, Mike leaves out the other half of the story, namely that not only is Russia much larger but it also has a history of decades of totalitarian rule in which millions perished at the hands of oppressive dicatorship, leading ultimately to the catastrophic failure of the state. New Zealand has no such history. So, what Mike is really saying is that Yuri is guilty of appallingly stupid, ham-handed, classically neo-Soviet propaganda, the kind even the most benighted Western moron can see right through. Mike has higher expectations for his own work (though he doesn't achieve them).

Second, the question in New Zealand is limited to one of taxation. New Zealand is saying that certain groups may not qualify for tax status as a charity, and may have to pay taxes on their income as if they were businesses, should they be found to have other-than-charitable motivations. Once they do that, they can act with total impunity. As the article Mamchur relies on states: "From next February, the commission will have new powers to strip charities of their tax-free status if they become too heavily involved in politics." In the Russian case, what we're talking about is registration. This means the permission of the government to operate in Russia under any circumstances, in advance. As in prior restraint. As La Russophobe recently documented, this resulted in Russia closing down organizations like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. These groups would love to pay Russia a fixed sum and then operate with impunity throughout the country. Dream on. In another completely inane post, Mamchur writes:

The Moscow offices for the Carnegie and Ford Foundations, American Trade Assembly, United Families Foundation, Oxfam and many other foreign NGOs have successfully registered and are continuing their work. Yens Zigert, director of the Moscow branch of the German Heinrich Boell Foundation, said: “This was the fastest case of registration I’ve ever seen in my practice.” He also said that the only German foundation that didn’t get registered yet is the Friedrich Naumann Fund. Svetlana Brezhneva, head of the Moscow office for the British foundation CAF, said that they still had not registered, but were continuing their charitable activities. “We were promised to get registration next week,” said Brezhneva.
Apparently, Mamchur thinks that the Kremlin has the same hostility for the Carnegie and Ford Foundations, ATA, UFF and Oxfam that it has for Amnesty, HRW and the dozens of other NGOs that it denied registration to under its new law. That's simply lunatic propaganda. If you think otherwise, just try to find something provocative that any of them has written about Russia.

Third, the article Mamchur relies on for his "understanding" of the New Zealand measure (he doesn't provide readers with a copy of the text) states: "'If there is any hint of political taint in this, New Zealanders will stand up in droves and change it,' says Garth McVicar of the Sensible Sentencing Trust." This statement is entirely credible where New Zealand is concerned. Not only would such a statement be totally incredible where Russians are concerned, but in fact no such statement was even made.

Fourth, in case Mamchur hasn't noticed, Western criticism of Russia's NGO proposal was totally meaningless since Russia went right ahead and enacted its new NGO law heedless of Western criticism, and Western criticism was exactly on target since Russia then went right ahead and invoked it to shut down Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (and dozens of others). New Zealand hasn't shut down anybody nor is there any reason to believe it will do so since (as noted above) New Zealand doesn't have a history of totalitarian dictatorship and imperialism. So not only were Western concerns about Russia's NGO law proved valid, but there isn't the slightest reason to think such concerns could possibly be valid where New Zealand is concerned even if the two laws were the same, which they aren't.

This is the Russophile nutjob in a nutshell, it's how it's been for so many decades in Russia that these folks think it's normal. Sadly, even though the Berlin Wall fell, they still think they can fool people with this gibberish, just like "the Emperor's New Clothes." La Russophobe doesn't doubt that Yuri Mamchur, even now, really believes that New Zealand and Russia are the same, and that the two laws are the same (even though he hasn't read them). If you'd asked Leonid Brezhnev, he'd have said exactly the same thing. He really thinks its someone biased or unfair to expect an alcoholic to be more careful with alcohol than a non-alcoholic, and to expect a totalitarian to be more careful with anti-democratic measures than a democrat. Unless Russia finds a way to distance itself from this kind of "thinking," it's surely doomed.

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