Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Obama's "Friendly" Russians: "Surging anti-American sentiment" in Moscow and its legislators' "unanimous pseudo-patriotic frenzy”

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 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. 
That is how I started a post written within hours after the third presidential debate, during which that #%$&*&#$ to Mitt Romney refused to make any common-sense arguments against Obama's fairy-tale foreign policy and alleged smart diplomacy.

Excuse my French regarding Mitt, but I just listened to Mark Levin on Barack Obama's press conference — via Instapundit — and that has put me in a not-so-good mood.

Incidentally, another thing Romney should have said during the third debate (during either debate, really), when Obama referred to clueless Americans still thinking of "the Russians" as the enemy, is that Americans have nothing against the Russians, as in the Russian people, and never have had, it turns out, even — da, da, tovarich — during the Cold War. It is not splitting hairs to insist that what America has been on guard against before, and should be on guard against now, is the attitude of the Russian leaders, the attitude of the Kremlin — especially with both its foreign policy's anti-Western stance and its domestic policy's anti-democracy stance, presently as well as in Soviet times during the Cold War.

Why is that so hard for leftists like the Barack Obama to understand?!
And why is, why was, that so hard for conservatives like Romney to voice?!

(Of course, the answer to the first question is that the only enemy that the Apologizer-in-Chief recognizes in his leftist fairy tale world are conservative Americans, whose voices must be drowned out and who must be neutered.)

Now we have more — from Ellen Barry:
The members of Russia’s lower house of Parliament — which last year passed so many harsh new laws with so little debate that commentators compared it to a “rabid printer” — returned to work last week as the standard-bearers for President Vladimir V. Putin’s brand of patriotism.

Having captured the world’s attention in December by banning all adoptions of Russian children by American families, members of Parliament have dreamed up a variety of further proposals to purge Russian politics and civic life of foreign influences. 

Among them: A full ban on all foreign adoption. A requirement that the children of Russian officials return directly to Russia after studying abroad, lest their parent lose his or her post. A requirement that officials’ children be barred from studying abroad altogether. A requirement that movie theaters screen Russian-made films no less than 20 percent of the time, or face fines as high as 400,000 rubles, or about $13,000.

One group of legislators is working on a bill that would prevent anyone with foreign citizenship, including Russians, from criticizing the government on television. One proposal would ban the use of foreign driver’s licenses, another would require officials to drive Russian-made cars. One deputy has recommended strictly limiting marriages between Russian officials and foreigners, at least those from states that were not formerly Soviet.
So who is it who is adopting a hostile stance, Barack Obama?!
Who is it who is doing the flag-waving and being paranoid?!
Is it really Americans?! Really?!
Many of these ideas sound eccentric, in a capital city whose elite are well-traveled and integrated into the West, and are very unlikely to advance and become law. But they certainly will not hurt anyone’s career in the current political environment.
So who is it who is adopting a hostile stance, Barack Obama?!
Who is it who is doing the flag-waving and being paranoid?!
“You know, there is a principle in questions of patriotism or protecting the interests of the country, as the authorities see it, that it’s better to overdo it than to show weakness,” said Aleksei V. Makarkin, an analyst at the Center for Political Technologies in Moscow. “If you try too hard, and come up with some exotic, scandalous draft law, you are in any case one of us. Maybe you are too emotional — you’re a patriot.”
Since Mr. Putin’s inauguration, the Duma, the lower house of Parliament, has hurriedly passed a series of initiatives tightening the state’s control over dissent and political activism: it has steeply increased fines for Russians who take part in unauthorized protests; required nonprofit organizations to register as “foreign agents” if they receive money from overseas; reinstated criminal penalties for slander; and vastly expanded the definition of treason to include assisting international organizations.
When the adoption ban passed, cutting off all adoptions of Russian children by Americans, only four deputies out of 406 voted against it, with 400 voting for it and two abstaining. Grigory A. Yavlinsky, the founder of the liberal party Yabloko, described the vote on his blog as “a unanimous pseudo-patriotic frenzy.” 
 … Yevgeny N. Minchenko, director of the International Institute for Political Expertise, said the major pieces of legislation that passed through the Duma last year were produced by staff members in Mr. Putin’s administration. Last year, he said, demonstrated that the Parliament serves as an “instrument” of the Kremlin.
“Unfortunately, in my view, there is a dangerous trend that practically the only way to consolidate all the parliamentary factions is with various kinds of anti-Western initiatives,” Mr. Minchenko said.
So who is it who is adopting a hostile stance, Barack Obama?!
Who is it who is doing the flag-waving and being paranoid?!
Mr. Putin has made patriotism a central theme of his third presidential term, and Yevgeny A. Fyodorov, a United Russia deputy, said strengthening Russia’s sovereignty is now the Duma’s “most important direction.”
Mr. Fyodorov said he would like to see the Constitution amended to allow for a national ideology, something that is now explicitly excluded in the text, but concedes that this will take time. He said the adoption ban — or, as he called it, “the ban on the export of children” — signaled the beginning of a major effort to “strengthen Russia’s sovereignty” by purging foreign influences on civic life.
“You know the saying — we saddle up slowly, but we ride fast,” he said. “The U-turn has just begun, and the most radical steps, including the ones connected to the Constitution, will take place in three or four years.”
Mr. Fyodorov, whose proposal to bar government officials from keeping property overseas has won some support in the Kremlin, said any permanent ties between government officials and foreign countries — a child residing abroad, or a spouse with property outside Russia — constitute a “factor of distrust” that, according to legislation passed last year, can now serve as grounds for an official’s dismissal. The long-term task, he said, “is to gradually reformat the elite to fit the national mood.”
“The existence of a strong connection between an official and foreign countries — I formulate this broadly — is a factor of distrust,” Mr. Fyodorov said.
This mission is complicated by the fact that Moscow’s ruling class is, in fact, already deeply integrated into Western Europe. One leader of the legislative campaign, a United Russia deputy, Sergei Zheleznyak, was pilloried by a blogger, Aleksei Navalny, because his daughters study at exclusive institutions in Switzerland and Britain. Nevertheless, the Kremlin has determined that officials’ foreign holdings must be brought under control, because they are alienating the public, said Sergei A. Markov, a political analyst who served as a legislator with United Russia until last year.
“The population considers the elite to be half-foreign,” he said. “Their property is abroad, their houses are abroad, their wives are abroad, their children are abroad. Even Russian industrialists work through offshore companies. Why do these people run Russia, they say.”
The proposals are bound to raise eyebrows in the West [except in Barack Obama's White House], but they are actually driven by domestic politics, analysts said. Mr. Minchenko noted that even as anti-American sentiment surged in the Duma this fall, Mr. Putin has avoided damaging steps like closing the NATO transit point in Ulyanovsk. He called the legislative campaign “carefully dosed” to avoid permanently hurting bilateral relations.
His colleague, Mr. Makarkin, was less sanguine.
“Those initiatives which yesterday seemed exotic could become reality tomorrow; we saw this happen last year,” he said. “The most important thing is, there are practically no limitations.”
Purging Russian politics and civic life of foreign influences.

Various kinds of anti-Western initiatives.

Surging anti-American sentiment.

A "unanimous pseudo-patriotic frenzy."

So who is it who is adopting a hostile stance, Barack Obama?!
Who is it who is doing the flag-waving and being paranoid?!

See four years of NP posts on Obama caving in to the Kremlin (or to "the Russians",
people who obviously represent no danger to America and to the West at all)…