Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Moscow's current tone is "reminiscent of Soviet days"; If anyone is stuck in the Cold War mentality, it is the Russians

Within hours of Barack Obama's stating, during the third election debate, that we were no longer living in Cold War times — all the while accusing Mitt Romney of wanting to take us from smart diplomacy back to the 1980s (ah! the Reagan years!) in an era when everything is hunky-dory with the Russians — the New York Times publishes a report from Moscow that states, and indeed does so quite explicitly, that if anyone is living with a Cold War mentality, it is the Russians.

And to ignore "Russia’s progressively colder statements toward the United States", along with the deteriorating state of human rights, is to believe in the left's fairy tales — indeed, the same fairy tales that the left circulated during the Cold War years and which led a Ted Kennedy then to offer the Kremlin help to counter Reagan's policies or a Barack Obama now to promise more flexibility with Putin after winning the election.

Published in the International Herald Tribune under the title Legislators in Russia Conjure Up an Evil U.S., Ellen Barry's article informs us that
During a day of old-school America-bashing in the Russian Parliament on Monday, a series of lawmakers took the podium to catalog rights violations perpetrated by Americans over the years, including waterboarding, Ku Klux Klan lynchings and the abuse of children adopted from Russia.

Monday’s parliamentary hearing, titled “On Problems in the Observation of Human Rights by the United States of America,” was the first of its kind since the breakup of the Soviet Union, and comes as Russia’s leaders employ progressively colder statements toward the United States.

Monday’s hearings were reminiscent of Soviet days, when the Young Communist League organized rallies in support of Angela Davis, the radical activist.

“Since 1987, we really had major movement forward, and these propagandistic cold war stereotypes very quickly collapsed,” said Sergei M. Rogov, director of the Institute for the U.S. and Canadian Studies. “Now sometimes I have the perception that like Rip van Winkle, I am waking up and it is Reagan and Andropov.”

… Aleksei K. Pushkov, the head of the State Duma’s foreign affairs committee, said debates about human rights have become “a constant feature” of Russia’s relations with the West since the fall of Communism, and that Russia would no longer listen passively. He said Russia had “spoiled the Americans” by remaining silent on their human rights violations for 20 years. 

“Yeltsin wanted to make Clinton laugh, and he laughed at all of us,” Mr. Pushkov said of the relationship between Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris N. Yeltsin. “We wanted to win their trust and approval, and they became used to this, so today, when we speak of flagrant violations of human rights in the U.S.A., they are experiencing shock — that we dare to do this. But we are one of the leading countries of the world, and we have the right to do this.” 

… As lawmakers filed out of the hearing, some marveled at the shift in the political atmosphere. Vyacheslav N. Tetyotkin, a deputy from the Communist Party, said such a hearing would have been “unthinkable” two years ago, when United Russia, the governing party, sought to prevent legislators from other parties from making statements unfriendly toward the United States.

… A poll released in September by the Levada Center, a Moscow-based polling agency, showed positive feelings toward the United States had fallen from 67 percent a year ago to 46 percent today