Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Conservative Swede’s Challenge

AltercationThis comment is from an old thread, and may have been missed by many of our readers, so I’m reposting it here.

There has been much argument about Russia in this space over the last few months. Is it a failed state or a functional one? Is it just like the USSR or is it a different kind of entity? Is it a sinkhole of brutality and repression, or a revived national state groping its way into the 21st century?

Conservative Swede has thrown down the gauntlet over a particular issue raised by other commenters:

So this is my challenge, for all of you who claim that Putin is behind killing hordes of journalists:

Go through the cases you have, then pick your best case, and I will have a closer look at that in a fair and balanced way. Just pick one case. Listing hundreds of names that Putin supposedly killed since 1992 does not lead us anywhere. Pick just one case that you think holds water. With one case we are able to look at it in depth. It will naturally have to be a case where there is at least some public material, preferably more than minimal.

Just one case — but you choose which.

It will be very interesting to see what comes up.

And hey, choose carefully!

Any takers?

[Post ends here. Gentlemen, choose your weapons.]

89 comments:

Natalie said...

Maybe this is too cliche, but how about Anna Politkovskaya, a favourite of the anti-Russia crowd? I personally don't care for her--no, I don't gloat about her death because killing people is wrong, but she was pretty much wrong on almost everything, in my opinion--first and foremost, her view on Chechnya.

no2liberals said...

To what end?
Con Swede has his heels dug in, based on his understanding of events.
So do I.
It is a nation led by an autocracy that arms our enemies, threatens Europe with it's energy supplies, and cooperates with despots, tyrants, and belligerent totalitarian states.
In what form can it be viewed as a modern, functional state?

Ruck Fussia!

Zonka said...

In the end Putin is responsible for the majority of those killings, for creating an environment where they can take place and not safeguarding the lives of critics. So whether he gave the order to kill them or not is not really the issue, the issue is that the killings have been allowed to continue.

No doubt a lot of excuses can be made of why it was impossible to stop the individual killings, but that just damns Russia as a failed state.

So heads up -- Putin is directly responsible, tails up -- Putin is responsible for a failed state(*)

(*) Unless one believes that a state should condone such actions!

thll said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thll said...

"Ruck Fussia"? What kind of an argument is that?

Henrik R Clausen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Conservative Swede said...

Hi!

Thanks for posting this Baron, and Merry Christmas all!

Since nobody seems to have properly understood the challenge yet (except for Natalie, but she's not in the target group). I here post a link to the longer comment where I'm giving the full background: link

I hope at least someone takes this challenge seriously. I hope the Russophobes understand that if they cannot meet this challenge, they will no more credibly be able to claim that Putin is behind the killing of hundreds of journalists, at least not at this site.

So to meet the challenge seriously, you should:

1) Read the link above (where I'm providing the background).

2) Look at the different alleged cases, selecting one of them with care. Remember that if you pick a weak case, you have lost. But if you truly believe that there are hundreds of cases, than you will also believe that your chances of finding a strong case is very high. Go for it!

In order to give you more to pick from I will broaden the extension of the challenge to any (alleged) political assassination, i.e. also of e.g. politicians, and also including attempted murders that failed. It's the same principle, after all, and I'm hereby making the odds better for the other side.

I have spent quite some time making my personal investigations into cases like this, and I can tell you that so far nothing looks like it's presented in Western MSM. I hope that I hereby inspire also Russophobes to think independently and make their own investigations, and like I, look at both sides of the argument. You see, if you are going to act rationally with regards to this challenge you will have to look at the other side of the argument, before picking your case, and already that is a small victory for me and for truth and fairness in general. So make sure to look at the other side of the argument, your odds are not nearly as good as your Western MSM makes you believe.

I'm taking a high risk here since -- as I declared in the link above with the longer background -- I do not think it's improbable at all that Putin is behind one or two political assassinations (after all he's a politician). But I'm equally convinced that 90% of the incriminating stories about Russia are fake or grossly exaggerated, and that the Russophobes are too irrational and too driven by superficial myths, to being able to make a sensible pick. And this will disprove the claims of how Putin have had 30 journalists killed every year since 1992, and the kind.

no2liberals said...

thll,
It's not an argument, it's a declarative.

Con Swede,
Russophobe?
What a Russophile thing to say.
You think that playing your little game that, somehow, credibility can be lost or gained?
Others can play, if they want to, not I.
Russia means nothing to me, it has nothing I want, and come to think of it, with the exception of Vodka (and I don't drink alcohol), it doesn't import any useful products to this country.
The stifling of political free speech in Russia, is but one of the many indicators of a dysfunctional state.
So have fun.
I will, starting today, in observance of Christ's birthday, I will be enjoying my family and friends, not playing some silly game on a computer.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Czechmade said...

CS Why dont you write Gates of Moscow? That would be a real challenge. You might defend Putin agaist the evil West uncluding US, all these ungrateful crowds unable to admire his supermegagiga centralization, his wonderful ant-ification of his unisono subjects, his rebuilding of Kremlin power pyramid, his ruling by decrees and unelected governors, his private united 100% agreeing Duma, his doctrine "una patria, una rafineria, una miseria, una lobotomia".

You try to sell us a complete denial of the Western civilization
under the tempting label "non-islamic".

Conservative Swede said...

I must say that so far the responses are very disappointing. But on the other hand I cannot say that I had any higher thoughts of these people.

I any case I will present my investigations of some of the most well known cases. But I still hope that someone will accept the challenge, to make it more interesting. And for the simple decency. and basic credibility, of the anti-Russian side of the argument. Many people seem to forget that this is not an echo-chamber, and that they are not just preaching to the choir, but that they should present their case convincingly to the many readers here who want to evaluate the issues fairly and from a fact-based point of view.

While it is enough just to name a name, a truly serious contender will actually make a presentation of his case too. And if your belief is that Putin is behind hundreds of political assassinations, than you should have no problem at all in finding a single strong case, right? Failure to even coming up with such a single case, failure to even try, will surely look like you do not really believe yourself in what you are saying, right?

Henrik R Clausen said...

Oh. Only journalists...?

My comment is withdrawn.

eatyourbeans said...

These charges, even if proven, only make me wish the more that we could borrow Putin for a couple of weeks to deal with ours!
After such sentiments, wishing you all a Merry Christmas would be incongruous, but I will anyway.

Czechmade said...

Hmmm, we should investigate also dysfunctional R. police and judiciary system, what about providing us with a grant for such a huge task?

Can you provide us also visa and bodygards in R.?

Conservative Swede said...

Henrik,

Oh. Only journalists...?

I broadened the extension to include any political assassination or attempted assassination. But the focus is still the claim how Putin is behind the killing of hundreds of journalists since 1992, of course.

The point is that if we are going to make any sense out of anything here, we will have to stop for a moment and look at (to start with) a single case in depth. I think you are someone who actually can understand why, and you are one of the few I'm hoping could provide a proper case to have a look at.

The charge, in the comment that you deleted, of how Putin caused the Chechnya war by bombing apartment blocks, could also be investigated. I don't shy off of such a challenge. But if we are going to have a chance to make any sense of anything here we have to take one thing at a time.

I think you will agree with me that if indeed Putin is behind hundreds of political assassinations, that it should be possible to pick up at least one that hold water and that doesn't fall apart like a house of card as soon as it is investigated any closer. I think that you agree with me that if not such a case can be found that the claims of Putin having killed hundreds of journalists since 1992 is nothing but fake and indeed hate propaganda.

God Jul fellow Scandinavian!

no2liberals said...

"Failure to even coming up with such a single case, failure to even try, will surely look like you do not really believe yourself in what you are saying, right?"

Wrong.
Your attempt to frame one tiny aspect of the dysfunctional nature of the Russian government, is silly.
That you seem to think you have any credibility in this discussion, much less to issue any challenges, makes me think you are a legend in your own mind.
You believe Western media and NGO's are spreading hateful propaganda about Russia? Where is your evidence?
You believe official Russian media is a reliable source, and not propaganda? Dubious...at best.
I don't know why you think you are the arbiter of truth about the Russian government, but will leave that to you to explain.
I'm not buying what you are selling.

Henrik R Clausen said...

CS, you're making a good and valid point. The 'hundreds of assassinations' idea, if false, constitutes blood libel, which is a quite serious thing. Being unable to substantiate even a handful of cases should give people a pause for reflection, for example the dangerous practice of promoting rotten prejudices and false accusations.

Russia has its share of problems, but so does the US, and the European Union, in different areas. After the Soviet Union fell away, it's hard to claim that the West unconditionally has the moral higher ground - Balkans is a rough example to the opposite.

Confronting those that undermine democracy in the West is radically more urgent than pointing fingers at Russia.

Henrik R Clausen said...

CS, også glædelig jul til dig :)

babs said...

CS,
I just thought I would take this opportunity to tell you that I will never again engage in a discussion or debate with you on this site. You are rude and condescending. You degrade this site with personal attacks against others.
Rather than debate in a civil way, you question other's reading comprehension and claim that yet others have hallucinations... Rather than saying you object to a position or disagree, you need to be nasty.
I see no reason to engage with someone like you and as of late have started skipping over your comments entirely.

Merry Christmas to all fellow readers of GOV and especially to our wonderful hosts!

no2liberals said...

A most excellent piece at IBD.
A Russian Bailout? Not On Our Dime.

"It also should be forced to quit harassing opposition parties to restore investor confidence, and end repression of the embattled free press, which is why a distrustful, frustrated, public doesn't believe anything it reads in the news anymore and riots as a result.

But in Russia's case, there's also a big need for something else that no IMF or World Bank bailout program has the wherewithal to impose for bailout loans — political policy reform.
----------
It has also ignored all responsible international citizenship by selling weapons — on credit — to the world's weakest and gamiest nations, like Venezuela, Yemen and possibly Iran, making the world a less stable, safe, peaceful place, and certainly a less prosperous one.

It has even used its high oil earnings to finance its brutal invasion of tiny neighboring Georgia last August, thumbing its nose at all international norms for resolution of disputes. Without soaring oil, the assault on Georgia never would have happened.

Russia uses its energy resources as an economic weapon too, cutting off gas shipments to Ukraine and Belarus in the last three years.
-----------
Given Russia's record of belligerence and economic hostility to its neighbors and the U.S., the only responsible path now is to let the laws of economics do their work and keep a bailout off the table.

If Russia can live by the oil boom, it can die by the bust."

xlbrl said...

The responses to the question have not been worthy because:

Swedes critics are not worthy, or--

The question is not worthy.

I, too, an not motivated to read the link.
Putin is not at all the most powerful man in Russia as a President would be the most powerful man in America. Putin, in some fasion to his credit, is more powerful than all combined powers in Russia.
If I am to assume those powers in America you may assume some things would begin happening without my knowledge, and continue to happen, while others would never happen.
True free-lancing does not occur in states of this sort.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

"Will no-one rid me of this meddlesome priest?" is what Henry the second declared shortly before the murder of St Thomas Becket by four knights, who believed they were acting on behalf of the king. And perhaps they were.

Putin wouldn't have to say "kill these people" for them to be killed on his behalf. Whether they were or not is open to debate. The fact that so many of those killed were highly critical of the Putin government makes their deaths highly suspicious.

Someone is ridding Putin of his meddlesome journalists.

Natalie said...

Oh, if we're not just doing journalists, can we please talk about Alexander Litvinenko?

Conservative Swede, since I'm not in the target group, does that mean you won't take my suggestion? I mean, being that no one else is really rising to the challenge and I have now provided not one but two excellent examples ;)

Babs, I don't mean to be rude, but I really don't understand your comment. I have always found Conservative Swede to be very civil in his comments--and no, I don't always agree with him on everything. Even when I've disagreed with him, he's always been civil.

spackle said...

I think this argument is silly in a lot of ways. It almost presupposes that Russia is either all good or all bad when IMO it is a mixed bag at best. I find it almost entertaining the hold and mystique Russia holds on some people. It almost harkens back to the early days of the Soviet Union when a good portion of the world was seduced into seeing Russia as the savior of mankind. We all know how that turned out.

Now we seem to have that same projected view. Only this time coming from the right. On a seperate note. While I have enjoyed reading some of CSs comments over time, I have to agree with some of the previous commenters. On this topic in particular you quite often come off as a bully and egomaniacal. I remember one quote from some time ago where you claimed the rest of us had to "catch up to you". That left me with my jaw on the ground for an entire day.

I think a softer touch and some humility would carry this discussion a lot further. This simply is not a black and white issue. I wish it was, but it is not. Thats just this one mans opinion. Merry Christmas everyone. You too Swede. I am outta here.

Avery Bullard said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Avery Bullard said...

Czechmade: all these ungrateful crowds unable to admire his supermegagiga centralization, his wonderful ant-ification of his unisono subjects, his rebuilding of Kremlin power pyramid, his ruling by decrees and unelected governors, his private united 100% agreeing Duma, his doctrine "una patria, una rafineria, una miseria, una lobotomia".

So what do you think of the EU then Czechmade? Bureaucratic empire, centralisation of power, ignoring referenda, overruling national courts and parliaments, and now plans to imprison people for 'racism', 'xenophobia' and 'homophobia'. But, hey, why worry about all that when we can condemn Russia instead. Good luck.

Baron Bodissey said...

Avery Bullard --

Gates of Vienna's rules about comments require that they be civil, temperate, on-topic, and show decorum. Your comment violated the last of these rules. We keep a PG-13 blog, and exclude foul language, explicit descriptions, and epithets. This is why I deleted your comment.

Use of asterisks is an appropriate alternative.

----------------------

Avery Bullard said...

Those American liberals (including GOP supporters) who are always going on about slain journalists in Russia and what it all says about Russia never expressed much interest in the mysterious deaths under Bill Clinton (Google 'Clinton body count') and what those deaths say about American democracy.

Speaking of journalists, complaints about lack of media freedom in Russia ring hollow to me as an observer of how the Western media operate an unofficial virtual black-out policy of news that contradicts liberal myths. The sycophantic coverage of the Obama campaign tells me all I need to know about Western liberal hypocrisy on freedom of speech and media bias issues. The media may not have been ordered by government to spread propaganda but the result was the same. (I was just reading at Russia Blog about how the Russian media is very respectful of Russian Orthodoxy. It's even hip for celebrities in Russia to be Christians! In America and Britain the media have been in a 4decades long all-out war against Christianity and all things Western and look around you at the impact they've had).

Russia is no angel. (The 'Russophiles' here are certainly not knee-jerk champions of sycophancy unlike the 'America, f*** yeah' Bush-bots of the neoconservative blogosphere). But Russia is no enemy either. Russia may be an outlier of sorts but it is a part of European Christian civilisation - unlike Detroit, Brixton, and Clichy-sous-Bois.

Artfldgr said...

I can give him names... but he will not be able to do what he is challenged to do with anything recent. thats teh game of the challenge.

for an example from history.

everyone knows that joe mccarthy is the person for whom mccarthyism is coined for.

the man who coined the phrase, was a man accused by mccarthy. his name was lattimore. he wrote a book, and in that boko coined the term and it has stuck

was lattimore a spy? yes. but we didnt know till many years later.

he also skeweed the game. he said journalists... so we are not allowed to point to a man who drank some very expensive and rare polonium... no?

heck... we didnt know till last year or the year before that beria killed stalin by poison. oh everyone kind of knew it, but we finally KNOW from archives.

then there was a bunch of killings that were unknown to be such, till the guy that did them defected and showed them the tube device that would spray in a face get breathed in and cause a heart attack.

he is trying to bait us into a game ending move that is invalid.

if we pick someone, he gets to dash off the other 300 journalists killed since putin took office. the argumetn was phrased like some moral game of my best against your best and winner takes all.

its a sucker bet from a chess type player.

Anna Politkovskaya

he will claim not enough information, and i will show the games of the kangaroo court and the lies. like claiming the jury wanted it closed only to hear that the jury said they were lying.

its the name he wanted...

a second choice may be

Paul Klebnikov

the main issue here is that how can one prove what a totalitarian state did or didnt do?

one cant, because tis a closed state, so the game here is to get someone to accept the challenge, and then play them, then use that as a means of discrediting all the others.

Elena Tregubova

these are all good names, but the game in espionage and such is to not leave enough information, or to leave misleading inforamtion.

here are some more... but it will not matter... since it will be 30 years before the information is out if ever.

Igor Domnikov, Novaya Gazeta (probably mistaken for Oleg Sultanov when clubbed in his entryway)

Sergey Novikov, Radio Vesna (shot four times in his stairwell)

Iskandar Khatloni, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (was attacked in his appartment by an axe weilding assailant)

Sergey Ivanov, Lada-TV
(shot five times at his apartmen building)

Adam Tepsurgayev, Reuters (shot at a neighbors house)

Eduard Markevich, Novy Reft (severly beatin in 98, killed by shot i back in 2001)

Natalya Skryl, Nashe Vremya (beaten to death with a heavy object on the way home)

Valery Ivanov, Tolyattinskoye (shot 8 times at point blank range outside his home).

Aleksei Sidorov, Tolyattinskoye Obozreniye (also editor of the same paper ivanov was at, stabbed in the chest with an ice pick near his home)

Dmitry Shvets, TV-21 Northwestern Broadcasting (shot outside the station).

Magomedzagid Varisov, Novoye Delo weekly (shot by machine gun as his wife and he returned home)


there is about another 250 i can list..

how about someone who survived the games?

Larisa Arap (forced into a mental hospital, and drugged. she is now a shell of her former self)


i am not playing the game... let someone pick one of these... cause the answer will be the same and was worked out ahead of time like a trick bar bet.

Czechmade said...

Henrik, Avery Bullard

you fall easily under the ban of moral relativism.
Henrik knows I am strictly against EU. EU is still not appointing presidents-governors. EU does not own the grounds on which our private buildings are etc. etc.

EU does not have a successful rich bully class trained in pure stalinism. EU does not have a population kept artificially poor and brutal(ized) for decades, hopeless for centuries.

Natalie said...

Artfldgr, come on--there's no way Klebnikov was killed by Putin or even remotely on his orders. Klebnikov was most likely a victim of Boris Berezovsky, who currently lives safely in England and finances Islamic jihad with his massive, most likely illegally acquired fortune. I for one would love to see him extradited back to Russia.

Avery Bullard said...

Baron,

Sorry, I didn't realise swear words were a complete no-no. The term comes from the movie Team America: World Police and I've seen it used around the blogosphere where someone will say something about America's uniqueness and greatness then use the term.

Czechmade,

Is Putin threatening freedom of speech in North America and Western Europe? No.

Is he forcing any other kind of PC totalitarian agenda on us? No.

Is he forcing the mass immigration of non-Westerners on us? No.

Is he brainwashing us by spreading an anti-Christian, pro-Third World agenda via the media and our education systems down our throats? No.


Is he conning us into fighting wars in the Middle East that have nothing to do with our national security? No.

Is he making individual self-defence illegal or hampering our individual rights in other ways? No.

He has no impact on our loss of sovereignty, confidence, and freedom. But the EU and our national governments, including the 'conservative' Bush, Sarkozy, and Harper governments are engaged in all those activities that are detrimental (fatal?) to our civilisation.

Russia is showing more backbone than the West at standing up to internal threats - NGOs, media Marxists, Muslim agitators. It is zero threat to the West so why are so many focused on turning it into an enemy?

Artfldgr said...

Natalie,
historically speaking here, what your claiming is that a external force is capable of mounting murders in a totalitarian state, and yet, not end up on the butcher table themselves.

this just after putin extended the length of the presidency. expanded the treason laws till anyone talking to anyone or knowing it is a traitor, at the same time of removing juries from such trials.


now comes the bigger question. why would Berezovsky get Klebnikov?

klebenikov was to appear on the last free speech show, the day it was closed down. he was very critical of the situation, and had little to do with Berezovsky.

while the west loves to imagine money = power, that is not true at all, and murders by state people or others, is not taken lightly or easily and have to serve a purpose.

what was Berezovsky's benifit from Klebnikovs death?

and given PRIOR history, rich in such things, odds are that Berezovsky actually works for putin, not actually against him

the tactic has a name, hammer and anvil, controlling both sides of an issue to catch the opponents in between both surfaces and crush them. the creation of false altercations and things for the purpose of "creating history" not reacting to it.

on another note... how about we discuss Berezovsky and his relations with yeltsin and family?

even if you wanted to say its was because of aeroflot, how does knocking off a journalist serve that purpose? even if he had the worlds worst damning evidence, how would killing him prevent that? (dead mans trigger)

this is why journalists in the west are not targets that much... and editors and owners of papers are muc more likely to die of old age or desease than murder.

the only reason to do things like this are for internal control...

external control you just buy the company, or tons of shares, or visit the mans wife and child and say hi... and give the child a gift...

when they get together the wife will tell the husband what was said to her, and the child will say look at the nice gift someone gave me.

heck you can skew them just by changing who is invited or disinvited to press confrences and critical news.


nope... the death of a journalist in russia NEVER freezes the external world, its always done for internal purposes, since thats where the effect gives its payout.

Artfldgr said...

let me point something out too... and first apologize for being so long.

i am not a russophobe.. the russian people are not what are scary... the russian leadership is. the vast majority of the people in the west, have VERY little knowlege of what has been going on in the shadows, and of course, most think that a lot of it is made up.

its not. and if you dont know the political theories and operation of that state, you will not 'get it'.

one thing i will point out... take a look how many were killed near or in their homes. they werent robbed, just killed and often in weird ways..

Ilyas Shurpayev
The corpse had multiple stab wounds, although experts diagnosed the cause of death as strangulation with a belt. Law enforcement officials said they believed that the perpetrators may have started the house fire as an attempt to cover their tracks.
Police have ruled out robbery as a motive, as a laptop computer and other valuables in Shurpaev’s apartment were left untouched

at the same time that Gadzhy Abashilov was also killed (shot in a drive by).


historically speaking its a purge... not unlike the ones in the past... by the way, each time they happened inthe past we refuesed to believe it either.


though i think Magomed Yevloyev is the hard one to explain. he came up with a way to show that the 98% vote for medvedev was false! and so he was working to show that putin and medvedev was faking and playing he elections like true stalinists.

that might be a reason why the owner of the paper was creamed.

and can anyone say what happened to Ali Astamirov?

Jason_Pappas said...

Obviously a single name in the end won’t prove or disprove a pattern but it is disappointing that there isn’t agreement on a single name for the sake of Swede’s challenge. It may be difficult to prove or disprove a single death-by-state in a dictatorial society. But it isn’t always impossible. But let the Swede have a go at it. What’s the most obvious case? Is there one case that most can agree on?

Natalie said...

Artfldgr, you're wrong. Klebnikov published a book about Berezovsky called Godfather of the Kremlin. In it, he exposes Berezovsky for what he is: a thug and criminal, hugely corrupt, with an illegally acquired fortune. Berezovsky obviously didn't take too kindly to this, and there's no doubt in my mind that he is somehow behind Klebnikov's murder. Berezovsky has loads of money, and with the right amount of money, you can buy anything. The person who had nothing to gain from Klebnikov's death would be Putin himself, as Klebnikov was not a Kremlin critic.

babs said...

Natilie said:
Babs, I don't mean to be rude, but I really don't understand your comment. I have always found Conservative Swede to be very civil in his comments--and no, I don't always agree with him on everything. Even when I've disagreed with him, he's always been civil.

I guess Natalie you have been out sick for the last couple of threads that touched on Russia...
You need only review these threads to find that CS needed to question one commenter's reading comprehension and his several claims of "hippie hallucination" for another. I do not find that civil and, I do not think someone that needs to attack another, who is merely trying to debate an issue, in such a personal way to be worthy of further engagement.
In this thread alone CS referred to those responding as follows:

"I must say that so far the responses are very disappointing. But on the other hand I cannot say that I had any higher thoughts of these people."

Well, if CS thinks so poorly of those that try to engage in a discussion at this site, I suggest he take his challenge and his "truth" elsewhere... I shan't waste my manicure on reciting what he has made perfectly clear are his beliefs. After all, he spouts them repeatedly. I get it but, I just don't happen to agree and, no matter how many times he states them I will still not agree. I think several others on this site feel the same way. Hence, he is stuck with debasing the commenter and not the position. I'm no longer interested.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Czechmade, I don't accept your blanket statement that I'm falling into "moral relativism" (or "moral equivalence"). CS is making a good point that Russophobes are repeating and quite possibly exaggerating the problems there.

I'm old enough to remember the Soviet Union, and I've been to the East Blok during those days. It was amazing how problems in the West, large or small, would be exploited by Pravda etc. to divert attention from the problems in the East. That strategy imploded when Chernobyl exploded.

Today, Western media and political leaders tend to do the same. Politiken, which is radically worse than New York Times, does so with a vengeance. It engages in rabid Russophobia - while complaining about those Islamophobes who mock that poor religion. Crappy newspaper.

Which brings me to another point: Western mainstream media suck. Reporters Without Borders, Freedom House etc. give Western countries high marks on press freedom, but the reality is observably different, as we can see in reporting on Israel, Islam, Immigration etc. While the methology of RWB, FH etc. has not change, the world has.

Most of the Western press is 'Finlandized' to a great extent, probably partly due to ownership issues, where the owners have certain 'guidelines' as to what they want to see covered, and how. Or, like most television, simply so busy catering to the lowest common denominator that there is no space for useful broadcasts.

Natalie would know better, but I guess the grassroots press in Russia, reporting on local matters via the Internet, is doing fine?

Avery Bullard lists a great list or reasons we shouldn't even bother getting into Russophobia: Russia constitutes no threat to the West or democracy.

As for the style of CS, I too find it rude, though not excessively so. It makes me sometimes go spend my debate time elsewhere, but I'm not making a big thing of it.

But the point he makes here is more important than issues of style. Accuracy and honesty in reporting is extremely vital for a democratic society. I can't express it better than Einstein did:

Condemnation without investigation is the height of ignorance.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Actually, Henrick, that's not entirely true. Russia does pose a huge problem for the west in the realm of energy supplies. And, with all fair criticism of western governments for not securing their energy supplies effectively, the fact that Russia is currently using its stranglehold on european energy, and is allying itself with the largest energy suppliers in the world, poses a huge, huge threat.

And, for the record, if CS calls me a "hippie libertarian" again, I'm off. He's not just a little bit rude, he's arrogant and superior and I'm quite tired of dealing with the insults he loves to hand out so freely.

Merry Christmas.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Graham, the energy supply problem is just everyday dealings of trade and politics. Problems of this kind has existed for millenia, and is a reason we elect able politicians for their jobs. People who have skill and courage to face up to the problems and stand firm for our interests.

To put it another way, the problem is in Brussels, not in Moscow.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Except Russia has already been known to use its grip on energy supplies to bring recalcitrant states on its border to heel. I don't deny that our own leadership have been remiss in not securing altenrative energy supplies, however the fact remains that Russia is already using its grip on those supplies to influence the foreign policies of several west european countries, especially Germany. I call that a threat. I don't care how we got to it, I don't care that it's Russia using an advantage. If I'm holding a gun to your head it's no less a threat to your life because you gave it to me in the first place.

Denying a threat prevents an effective solution to the threat. In this case, it's your own favourite of energy diversification. Denying the Russian threat to our energy supplies prevents the effective pursuit of policies that would mitigate it. Russia is a threat to us in that respect. We must act accordingly. Russia is allying with other energy producers - notably Iran and Venezuela - in order to increase its grip on western energy supplies. That, too, is a threat to us and we must acknowledge that and act accordingly. We can blame our leaders all we want but if we, the people, refuse to acknowledge the threat then what hope do they have?

The threat, already realised, is using energy supplies to influence foreign policy. That foreign policy influence is in favour of Russia, which is understandable, but also in favour of Russia's allies. And her alliances amongst the Jihadi states are becoming stronger and more numerous.

Russia has a seat on the security counci. Russia allies with jihad states. Russia uses her energy supply power to influence other security council members toward her position. Her position favours jihadi states. That is the threat!

Henrik R Clausen said...

I call that a threat.

It is a threat. Which is why we need able politicians to deal with it. The current EU-will-solve-all-our-problems elite is useless.

Still, however, it is business as usual in international politics. Each nation plays its cards to perceived maximum advantage. It's only that our incompetent scumbag elite starts negotiating by granting 50 % to the other part at the outset, then negotiate the other half away in the process. We've seen that in detail in the EU-Turkey negotiations, where the Turks have cheated us over and over.

This is where Putin has things to teach us.

I want politicians who start out by demanding at least 100 % to our advantage, aiming for more :)

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Ok, I'm not going to argue with that. :)

Czechmade said...

R. is a threat because R. does not care even for the dignity of their own people. Do you expect such a thing to respect your dignity? Why?

You do not have to link R. thing to all the troubles you experience at home as a prove of something good.

More R. people die in the R. military every year than US soldiers do in Iraq. Many are maimed or mistreated for fun or even prostituted for money (the soldiers in petersburg serving the homosexual market).

And here you find commentators telling us "they have backbone, they care more for their nation".

Maybe they care for their nation...which is obviously not made up of their own people.

We have to draw our strengths from ourselves only and abandone any reverie/rêverie of big unreliable brothers. We are enough people with a good address. So what?

CS promotes EU indirectly via Bismarck, Russia, Napoleon. He is wrong. He speaks of morality and buries it in one second.

It is a waste of time and energy, we get stuck. I am not so fearful or helpless to expect some nebulous empire to fulfill my expectations.
I prefer standing on my ground and rely on those who do the same.
Right now it is Danemark, Ireland, Austria and Czech Rep., Poland standing more firmly, so support us and we support you next time. You can expect lot of interaction from us - no imperial ambitions, no extortion.

Baron Bodissey said...

Graham --

Yes, I’m tired of the rudeness, too. Some people here are unfailingly courteous. Others seem unable to entertain ideas that differ from their own without insulting the person who formulated them. Often those ideas are both as sincerely held and carefully thought through as those of the person who is doing the insulting.

Most people who hold strong opinions are deeply convinced they are right. If it has taken them many years to amass the evidence that led them to their conclusions, they will not be convinced they are in error by calling them names.

That’s why insults and name-calling are counterproductive. They never help to change anybody’s mind.

I’m left with the conclusion that the primary purpose of someone who uses insults in arguments is not to change another person’s mind, but to demonstrate his moral superiority and enhanced mental capabilities to himself and those who already agree with him.

What else could he hope to achieve?

Henrik R Clausen said...

Czechmade, if the US would lower its imperial ambitions to the more moderate level of Russia, I believe the world would be a better place.

Further, it'd probably benefit the US Federal budget.

Natalie said...

My question is, where is Conservative Swede? I may not have been in the group of people you were targeting with your challenge, but I am still holding you to it ;)

Czechmade said...

Henrik,

then offer your country to R. as compensation for the loss of the countries that are fed up with them.

R. empire has horrible Phantomschmerzen - help them, be altruistic.

Dymphna said...

@Natalie--

My question is, where is Conservative Swede?

Last I heard he was sick with a bad cold and taking medicine for it.

I hope you're enjoying your Christmas vacation. For some people, coming home at the end of first semester can be jarring -- you're not the same old person, but everyone else still is! It gets better, though...

Avery Bullard said...

CzechMarxist: R. is a threat because R. does not care even for the dignity of their own people. Do you expect such a thing to respect your dignity?

Are you new to politics?

In America and Canada men are regularly imprisoned, where they are often gang raped, based entirely on the word of vindictive ex-wives. No evidence never mind proof required. Innocent until proved guilty means nothing in North American family courts. I've heard of cases where men accused of not paying child support showed up at court with receipts, etc, proving otherwise yet they were still being imprisoned, sometimes for months, by so-called family courts (ie. Marxist feminist show trials). That's merely scratching the surface of American Marxist totalitarianism. We could talk for hours about cops in black cities like Detroit given decades long prison terms for merely doing their jobs but being accused of racism - the American equivalent of 'crimes against the state'.

In Britain the police send agents into pubs to listen in on conversations and can issue on the spot fines for 'racism', 'sexism', 'homophobia'. In Germany and Austria you can spend many years in prison for questioning the government version of WW2. Then there's Belgium and its treatment of Flemish patriots. The Australian state of Victoria plans to openly encourage discrimination against white males in all areas of society.

But in Czechmade's fantasy where, bizarrely enough, the West is actually free (he must get his news from leftist CNN or neocon Fox news) only Russia abuses its citizens. Only Russia is totalitarian.

Czechmade doesn't realise that suicidal cultural Marxism is far more prevalent in America and the rest of the West than it is in the old Soviet bloc countries. People like communist activist Daniel Cohn-Bendit are not only respectable, but hip, in the West. Vaclav Klaus is seen as a Nazi for resisting EU demands.

Perhaps when Czechmade is arrested for protesting the Third World colonisation of his neighbourhood or for logging on to Gates of Vienna he will realise that his nation's existence and his own personal freedom are not threatened by Putin's Russia, but by the American-led West with its deep-seated Marxist values.

Natalie said...

Dymphna,

That would explain his rather conspicuous absence from this thread, then. I hope he feels better soon.

I've been enjoying break. The best thing is not having to study and being able to sleep late :)

australianmedia said...

Conservative Swede. Regarding your challenge, do you mean that Putin himself is to be behind the killing or can we assume that you mean the Siloviki, i.e. the old security service personalities in Russian politics of which Putin is just one of the main figures and face to the outside world?

It would be very difficult to separate Putin, the Siloviki, and the various intelligence services in Russia.

Czechmade said...

Avery,

start travelling. Then come back and you will find your fight easy and enjoyable. Sitting in one spot makes you complice of the totalitarian tendency which are there, but in a stage which is impressive only on media level as you correctly note.

Czech emigrants were not leftist and were pointing to your totalitarian tendencies decades ago. They were despised by Western people for being right wing or simply realistic and had to undergo students scrutiny on various universities etc. Our noses were trained by communism. We supported you at ballot boxes and people on the right wing knew that very well. We were welcome that way.

Now I undergo similar scrutiny from the right wing which has some romantic tendencies to mix completely their principles up and join some imaginary big brother to have a solution or crutches which will make them look so ridiculous that they are defeated in advance.

I can foresee a total Monty Python:
The right wing defeats itself, the left wing defeats itself, Russia defeats itself, islam defeats itself. Accidently at the same time.

You will get a huge area with people unable to articulate anything. Every word will melt down like snow touching the ground.

All will become logophobic, rationally anticipating new disasters as soon as they open their mouths.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Czechmade, please go a bit easy on the sarcasm...

For imperialism, try looking at the Balkans and the destruction of Yugoslavia. That was aided and abetted by the European Union and the US, the latter getting a strategically important military base (Bondsteel) as a reward for its efforts. The fact that they gave drug-smugglers and other assorted criminals a statelet in the process is seen as benign.

Now, let's turn it around.

South of the United States of America are the United States of Mexico. Suppose a violent, drug-smuggling 'freedom movement' was to arise there (that's not far from Mexican reality today), aided logistically and diplomatically by Russia. That said movement would succeed in destablizing USM, create a carpet of statelets, including one of its own, granting Russia a large military base in its area.

Wouldn't the US, rightfully, react in force to such a scenario? The Russian reaction to what the US has done in the Balkans has been mild compared to what the US would have done in the mirror scenario.

Add to the mix that the US supports Muslim states in the Balkans, not Christian ones.

American 'imperialism' (or whatever we'll call it) used to be good and useful for freedom, and we owe much to it. But since the end of the Cold War, the US government has had significant difficulty discerning friends from enemies, frequently supporting states (Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, to name three) that we just can't rely on.

In contrast to the Soviet Union, Russia doesn't seem to have any ambition to be leader of the World, but prefers to concentrate on challenges percieved as directly related to Russia. But does so with a vengeance that we find hard to handle.

Czechmade said...

Henrik, you do not have to teach me about Yougoslavia.

But you miss the point. The primal force to meddle in Yougoslavia was Germany. The US was in the beginning slightly more proSerbian.
France was traditionally rather proSerbian. Klaus Kinkel was meddling there already as early as after the death of Tito. Later he became CDU Minister of foreign affairs, at that time - (after Tito) he was heading the Intelligence.

US, France and GB were blitzkrieged by the sudden and independent decision made by Germany to recognize fascist Croatia. You are more sofisticated than CS, please spare me some accusations of antiGerman tendency. I just point to the facts and my links to the choicest Germans are excellent.

What was long term policy in Germany (EU?), became some crazy improvisation in US. There is a lot to study. The Serbs can be crazy as well, of course it does not make them guilty the way some journalists wants us to think of them. It makes our study only more difficult.

I never hinted in my comments any sort of support of Kosovo. Why should I play the role of an idiot swallowing CNN, BBC etc. is beyond my comprehension.

There seem to be crowds of uneducated people fooling each other. And making some ad hoc bazaar deals. Their motivations might be primitive, the result is complicated to read.

The same Klaus Kinkel was fighting Cohn-Bendit for years focusing on his pedofile writings and 2 years running some kindergarten. Confusing? A business as usual.

Czechmade said...

To be exact - one has to correct also the meaning of "proSerbian". Are you proSerbian if you support Miloshevitch personal/party interests? Maybe you are antiSerbian?
Every detail in the story can change your opinion. Do you know some Bosnian muslims fought with the Serbs the Izetbegovitch forces? Do you know Christian Albanians fought in Old Kosovo the Turks along with the Serbs?

For sure Beograd is right now the best place - no witness to ethnic cleansing. The soundest place for a Western minded independent person.

And the people in Beograd are welcoming even for the Americans.
Taste that sort of freedom. It is a good place to be for any Western person.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Czechmade, we have been through some of the same material about the Balkans - but that was not really the point I was interested in here.

As for US involvment, there's Operation Storm to consider, the main ethnic cleansing that was executed in the former Yugoslavia, faster and more conclusive than the trickle of anti-Serbian ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Where the US lead the assault on the Serbs, also tempted by an obvious offer to get an advance military base in the Balkans. Power politics at its worst.

But my main point was that EU/US interference in the Balkans has been of such a nature that a similar interference in Mexico would have provoked a very strong US response.

Which goes back to my point before that US is acting in an overly imperialistic manner, causing damage to the struggle against Jihad and to European interests - like stopping drug and arms smuggling from the Balkans.

BTW, I happened to read the finishing chapters of Defeating Jihad in a sideway café in Beograd. As I was reading the very last pages, the café opened the large doors behind me, and a piano player set in with "My Way".

I was touch to tears and weeping openly.

Czechmade said...

Henrik

"EU/US" still wrong,

you have to identify those who pushed
under the cover of EU.

EU is a perfect cover. We should refuse it, there were hidden interests promoted by very specific administrations.

Avery Bullard said...

Czechmade: Avery,

start travelling. Then come back and you will find your fight easy and enjoyable. Sitting in one spot makes you complice of the totalitarian tendency which are there


Disagree with me and make your case. You have a different perspective that may be worth listening to. But don't patronise me.

In all likelihood I have traveled more than you. I was raised on three continents, attending school with the locals in each location. In one of those places my father's first task each morning was checking under our car for bombs as he was a 'legitimate target' of a Marxist/Nationalist-inspired terrorist organisation.

My adult years have been split between North America and Europe, though I've never east of Warsaw. (I have spent time in Prague, especially the Zizkov neighbourhood, and I've been to Olomouc).

In the post-war years the Czechs were much more trusting of the Russians than were the Poles. as their history was not as contentious with Russia as that of most of their neighbours. Today after the Soviet years Czechs are more cynical about any government in Moscow. This is understandable but it is a parochial characteristic - kind of like Britain's often childish and outdated anti-German mindset. Ditto the anti-English Irish attitude. The West as a whole is threatened and the specific quarrels each nation of the West has with each other are not as important as the present-day civilisational challenge we face due to internal enemies.

Czechmade said...

"But don't patronise me. ...."

"any government in Moscow"...what is the larger choice? Zero. So this is a baseless point.

"Parochial"...patronising me?
Zizkov - lot of lower budget foreigners, depends how many "parochial" locals you met. If the foreigner is stupid (suppose we are not stupid) we get tired of explaining something and keep small-talk. Expats.cz had a telling discussion: half of them were claiming we are very open, the other half we are very close. Think of it.

Russia is not a Western nation. You can be beaten up in Moscow just like in Pakistan for being an American. Better you do not say it suppose you are a Jew.

The Western stupidity is also "understandable". "Childish, kind of outdated mindset". We deal with it every day in Prague. You cannot raise an adult foreigner as a child from zero. Either he comes with some knowledge and brains - and we can add something - learning from him as well. Or you see the foreigner as a stupid creature and do not waste your time.


"Czechs are more cynical..." - do you mean I am a
mainstream robot unable to draw individual conclusions? This is a very patronising approach.

Because you need R. in your equation you promote it as a whole. The job would be finding propre partners - with some power or without. That is too much work for you all. It is much more easy to start condescending/patronising talk to someone unfit for your simple childish fantasy power equation.

GoV shifts slowly in my direction.
Is there any danger? Yes. Than study all the implications. I do not ask you to be Czech or cynical, just study and quit wishful thinking.

no2liberals said...

One holiday down, one more to go.

This is my final thought and comment on this thread, if anyone is interested or sees it.
This "challenge" was inspired from another thread, from about a week before this one. CS addressed a comment I made about Russia, and became insistent that I produce one, just one, example of how Russia was stifling political free speech. I gave two links to videos at youtube, that gave different examples of how the Russian government is repressing journalist. Which, by the way, was not the only reason I had expressed my disdain for the current Russian government.
After that, he didn't reply to my comment with the links. Not an "interesting" or an "I had not seen those" or even claiming that those videos were lies and "propaganda." Nothing.
Instead, he dreams up this "challenge." Russia's issues are far more complicated than just this one aspect.
What I find particularly disturbing, is that he just didn't address me then and there, but instead asks the Baron to get involved by creating this thread. I understand the Baron and CS have a good relationship, that is not a problem for me. I would never ask a friend to fight my fights for me, and I have little respect for those that do.
That is why I chose not to play this little game.
I don't know if anyone noticed, but CS never once revealed any of the supposed information he claims to have, pertaining to treatment of journalists in Russia.
I may not be as frequent a contributor as many of you, but one thing I do not do, is make wild, sweeping assertions. That CS made that claim about me, doesn't matter to me, as I knew it was untrue. That his ego is so fragile, that he needs to play games, and ask others to fight his battles, so he can demonstrate that he is some how superior, leaves me in disgust.

Here is an excellent summary of Putin's murdered enemies and critics.
If I'm lying, I'm dying, and I can assure you, I am very much alive.
/unlike Pooty-Putes enemies

no2liberals said...

I stand corrected, CS did respond to the videos I posted, well after I had last checked it.
His reply? That the journalists in the videos are proven liars.
I don't know why, but the term "political commissar" just leaps out at me.

Baron Bodissey said...

no2liberals --

What I find particularly disturbing, is that he just didn't address me then and there, but instead asks the Baron to get involved by creating this thread. I understand the Baron and CS have a good relationship, that is not a problem for me. I would never ask a friend to fight my fights for me, and I have little respect for those that do.

Don’t bruise yourself jumping to conclusions.

Conservative Swede didn’t ask me to do anything. In fact, I probably annoyed him by removing his challenge from its original context. Without consulting anyone, I decided to re-post it here, since otherwise it might have gone unnoticed.

I would have done the same for anyone who posed such an interesting challenge, especially given that it was worded carefully and reasonably.

Sometimes I agree with CS, and sometimes I disagree with him. But, like many of our other commenters, he adds value to these discussions by insisting that people think outside of their customary zones.

I don’t have to agree with everything that everybody says. I appreciate a good argument, provided that it’s held in a civil manner.

We received a brief email from CS a couple of days ago saying that he’s contracted a bad cold. But he’ll be back in due course.

no2liberals said...

Baron,
Thanks for the reply.
I already stated, I stand in correction, that he did indeed reply on the old thread.
I was unaware, til now, that this thread was unsolicited, and remove my displeasure.

no2liberals said...

Something to watch, in coming days.
It’s Russo-Ukrainian gas crisis time!

Conservative Swede said...

As Dymphna explained I have been very ill. I'm still ill, but better and I have just caught up with the reading.

And thanks Baron for explaining the background for your post. I got some criticism also here, most of it the typical sort of escape from the topic from those who didn't have anything of substance to say in defence if their position. But in one case the criticism has been valid, the case of Graham. I recently treated him unfairly and too hard. The background was that I felt particularly bad about everything when writing that, and was on the verge of giving it all up -- the West that is. I sort of let Graham represent the West there, and took out too much of it on him.

So I was on my way out of here. I definitely didn't ask the Baron to post this. But I'm sure the sneaky Baron did it partly as a way to make me stay around here (he knew exactly how I felt about things, I had told him by email). Now I'm sort of stuck with this challenge for at least a while.

I'll get back to the actual challenge soon. I just wanted to get the thing with Graham out of the way since I have truly been regretting this over Christmas.

So Graham, I offer you my apology. Just don't accept it too easily, because that will make you look like a "softie". And since that is the side of you that I find the most problematic, I'd rather see you angry with me for some additional time.

(There are some smileys in the text above, but as so often otherwise I haven't put them out. Either a joke works or not, it's cheating to use canned laughter.)

Homophobic Horse said...

Russia: Hope and Reality

"The Orthodox politician and commentator, Natalia Narochnitskaya, was recently asked what she thought about such events, whether the world is moving to Resurrection or the Apocalypse. She
replied: ‘I think that as with anyone, this comes and goes in waves. There is sadness and worry, there is hope and inspiration. But it is not the government that has foisted on us the discussion in society about the rebirth of Russia, about faith, about our homeland or about social justice. All of a sudden society has itself put these questions onto the agenda after a decade of wild materialism. That inspires optimism. My friends, who are European conservatives, simply look to Russia with hope. They say, you were frozen by Communism and so did not have to go through the degeneration that we went through. And now you have thawed out, you have the chance to fight for those values which are largely lost in Europe…’. "


Real life isn't like that. Real life includes Vladimir Putin presenting Stalin in Russian education as a "great manager" and white-washing the Ukraine famine.

Homophobic Horse said...

"Perhaps when Czechmade is arrested for protesting the Third World colonisation of his neighbourhood or for logging on to Gates of Vienna he will realise that his nation's existence and his own personal freedom are not threatened by Putin's Russia, but by the American-led West with its deep-seated Marxist values."

This is true. Comparing Russian domination to cultural-marxism is like comparing living in a freezing cold house with no heating (because of Russia's crappy infrastructure unable to supply enough gas cheaply) to watching your country suffer a slow motion genocide and the reign of anti-humanity personified by the likes of Red Danny.

Conservative Swede said...

To all:

No this is not a game. This is a very basic and strictly scientific verification procedure. When there is the claim of the existence of hundreds of examples of a certain phenomenon, one should be able to pass through a scientific procedure of picking one case that can be investigated closely and still hold water. It's the same approach that the one we often use in the face of the claim of the multitude of moderate Muslims, an illusion that is upheld by: i) naming a multitude of examples sweepingly, and ii) hammering this in as a general image by repeatedly mentioning it over and over. But at the same time backing off from and closer investigation of the evidence, or any closer investigation of the concept "moderate Muslim".

If the people who make the original sweeping claim do not have the confidence to pick such a case, one can only assume that they are simply not confident about the sweeping claim as such. Instead all the mental energy is spent on blaming everything that can be found under the sun, and discrediting a scientific approach.

Their lack of ability to pick such a case does of course not prove anything in itself. It says more about the mindset of the people speaking sweepingly about Putin and the Russian government, than the reality as such. It *is* possible that at the same time Putin, and people around him, order political assassinations, while the obtusely anti-Russian crowd have no substantive insight in anything of this kind, but only use any death, that some spin doctor feels can be twisted in such a way, for mudslinging at Putin. So no, the failure of the anti-Russian people here does not free Putin or the Russian government. But it leaves us in a situation where: i) the claims are unproven, and ii) the people who make the claims have shown a lack of confidence in their own claims.

The only one who has actually picked names is Natalie. She picked two names: Politkovskaya and Litvinenko. And these are probably the two most well-known cases, so surely they are worth looking into just because of that. Natalie, however, isn't driven by anti-Russian sentiments, but by curiosity (quite as myself). And no, I'm not surprised that the serious picks comes from such a direction.

People driven by myths and fears simply do not want things investigated, they just want people to show that they are committed to the party line, and true to the cause. It has all become a matter of faith and those who ask questions and want to investigate things are considered evil. Here is a thread where I ask for concrete evidence for the sweeping claims that Russia is helping Iran building a nuclear bomb. Zenster and Babs considered me evil for even asking for evidence. They tried to silence such fair questions with bullying, character assassination, etc. And this is a situation I'm very used to be in. Be it anti-American leftists, or anti-Russian Americans, people team up against me. I'm usually alone against a whole group of people who are anything but fair and tempered in their attacks. And as they say, if someone verbally attacks you in the street, the people around will see you as aggressive too, unless you would capitulate completely (which I don't). My curiosity and my drive to find out about things is to strong to succumb to this sort of bullying. The people who claim that I'm using foul methods are almost always they ones who at some point have been part of attacking my in group in this way. And yes I'm tough, and yes I'm sure I made some people leave this forum. But my methods are not foul or rude or anything of the kind, but in fact fair and penetrating. I'm only human and do mistakes though. A recent one was with Graham, where I was over the top, and regret it. The easiest way to never act wrongly is to never take risks and to never put yourself under heat, but the way I'm acting I'm bound to do many mistakes.

Still, even knowing all this, I'm still surprised that not a single anti-Russian has picked any case. I think the advantage is really for their side here. Neither has any alternative verification procedures been suggested -- it's all an open market. No, instead there's been sour grapes...

Well, this is as much as I had energy to write today. I'll be back tomorrow with answers to Artfldgr, Australianmedia, Jason Pappas and others.

Conservative Swede said...

Jason_Pappas,

Hi Jason. Long time no see. Good to see you here!

Obviously a single name in the end won’t prove or disprove a pattern but it is disappointing that there isn’t agreement on a single name for the sake of Swede’s challenge. It may be difficult to prove or disprove a single death-by-state in a dictatorial society. But it isn’t always impossible. But let the Swede have a go at it. What’s the most obvious case? Is there one case that most can agree on?

When I formulated this challenge I understood that we might end up with more than one name. It's in the nature of things that this would lead to 2-3 names by the end of the process, which would be all OK. However, each person should at least be able to make only one pick himself. But now we are actually in a situation where none of the addressed people have made any picks. Not a single one! And with the addressed people I mean those who make sweeping claims of how Putin is behind the murder of hundreds of journalists since 1992. Natalie is the only one who made a pick, but she doesn't belong in this category.

So Jason, you are free to make a pick too. I hope you do it. I can tell you about the cases that I have looked at so far, it is obvious that it's not a murder being ordered from the highest level in Russia, and in some cases it does not even look likely that it is murder at all. So if you can pick a case where at least it does not require tin-foil-hat conspiracy craze to imagine how "Putin was behind it", you will have moved the positions forward for the Putin-killed-hundreds-of-journalists side a whole lot.

If you read my link with the background -- which I instructed everybody to do -- you will find that I have not at all demanded anything to be proved or disproved. I quote here what the last paragraph of what I wrote there:

These sort of claims of how Putin killed 30 journalists every year since 1992 do not impress me, as long as I have not been able to find even one single case which upon closer investigation still makes it at all likely that Putin was behind, or even that the person was killed at all. The people who claim that Putin is behind killing a whole company of journalists, will have to bring up ONE case, at least a single one case, where the evidence suggest so and do not fall apart upon closer investigation. It's not that I cannot imagine how Putin would kill a single journalist, I certainly can. I expect any politician to being able of that. The point here is instead that the people who claim that Putin regularly have journalists killed, that he's behind killing hundreds of them, that this is one of the most characteristic features of the media situation in Russia, they will have to (for starters) to being able to come up with at least one case, where upon closer investigation it is at least likely that: i) the person was actually killed, and ii) that Putin was behind it. I'm naturally not asking for a case where it can be proved that Putin is behind (I don't expect we'd find that). But a case where it looks like a likely and best possible explanation, and at least cannot easily be excluded (e.g. because the person does not seem to have been killed at all).

So far of the cases I have looked into more closely they have literally fallen apart upon closer investigation, and in some cases it's even highly in doubt that there was even a murder at all. So if you can at least pick a case where the idea that "Putin is behind it" is not easily excluded after looking closer at it, you will have moved the positions forward for such a view with hundreds of miles. We are not even close to the ballpark of proving anything, and I agree with you that we probably never will be able to, and this is not what I expect.

We are actually still even lacking a case where there is even reasonable room for doubt that Putin could have been behind it. And even in this situation none of the Russophobes are able to pick a case. Not even one!

I'm actually hereby relaxing the original formulation, which was very loose as it was. But I'm doing it since I'm curious was will come up. The motivation for relaxing now is that absolutely nothing has come up so far. So instead of a case where any reasonable person would find it to be the most likely explanation (the most educated guess) that "Putin is behind it", I'm now asking for even cases which leave at least a minimal of doubt that "Putin did it", and do not fall apart like a house of cards as soon as it is looked at more closely.

Conservative Swede said...

I'm now asking for even cases which leave at least a minimal of doubt that "Putin did it", and do not fall apart like a house of cards as soon as it is looked at more closely.

The reason I ask for this is that I haven't yet seen a single case like this myself. But I am sure there are cases like this out there, and I still hope someone will help me bringing it up. I was naive enough to think that all this confident and smug talk about Putin as a journalist killer machine would at least produce that. But so far it hasn't...

australianmedia said...

My initial investigation confirms that neither Putin nor his Siloviki friends seem to have been behind any of the cases of killed journalists. In fact, the number of political contract killings have actually decreased under Putin as compared to the -90 Yeltsin years. Moreover, even Putin appointed politicians have been murdered.

There's certainly a fair number of killed journalists in Russia - the third most dangerous country in the word for journalists - but I cannot find any evidence or even suspicion leading back to Putin and the Siloviki. Local politicians in the regions seem to be behind most of them, especially in the southern regions such as Dagestan and Chechnya. To be fair, it could be argued that the Kremlin is ultimately responsible for not doing enough to prevent these killings and bring the guilty to justice. However, the politicians most likely to be behind the killings may or may not be supportive of the Kremlin, there doesn't seem to be a pattern here.

A lot of the contract killings on journalists appear to be ordered by Putin's antagonists, the Oligarchs, i.e. the business tycoons who profited from the privatisations in the -90s and other powerful businessmen.

Zenster said...

Go through the cases you have, then pick your best case, and I will have a closer look at that in a fair and balanced way. Just pick one case. Listing hundreds of names that Putin supposedly killed since 1992 does not lead us anywhere. Pick just one case that you think holds water. With one case we are able to look at it in depth. It will naturally have to be a case where there is at least some public material, preferably more than minimal.

How precious. An invitation to play "pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey" with Vladmir Putin, a man who has spent more time studying and practicing the art of plausible deniability than most PhDs have devoted to their thesis.

Zonka: So heads up -- Putin is directly responsible, tails up -- Putin is responsible for a failed state

As an ostensible leader, Putin bears direct responsibility for the current atmosphere of repression and violent retribution in Russia. The continuing pattern of Russia adopting nearly identical alliances which triangulate against Western interests and global security all point towards a set of aims which amounts to Old Soviet Wine in a New Russian Bottle.

Natalie said...

Conservative Swede, I still hope you'll take my considerations into account, especially being that: 1) no one else has really offered up any specific cases, and 2) the two people I chose are both high-profile ones easily recognizable to most people in the West.

Conservative Swede said...

Natalie,

Your requests will be considered, in spite of being outside of the scope of this challenge. You see, you are not naming Politkovskaya and Litvinenko because you: i) hold on to the view that Putin is behind hundreds of political assassinations, and ii) that you consider any of your suggested cases as the clearest proof of the existence of any such case. You simply name these cases because you are interested in having them more deeply investigated. Which are very good reasons in itself.

And as shown with your treatment of the Klebnikov case, you have the curiosity and the mind to do these sort of investigations yourself. So I might actually ask you for some help with e.g. the Politkovskaya case, when I get there.

Conservative Swede said...

australianmedia,

My initial investigation confirms that neither Putin nor his Siloviki friends seem to have been behind any of the cases of killed journalists. In fact, the number of political contract killings have actually decreased under Putin as compared to the -90 Yeltsin years. Moreover, even Putin appointed politicians have been murdered.

I'm glad to see someone else actually looking into specific cases. Yes, the whole picture changes drastically then. If you have interesting results I suggest that you share it with Baron B in the form of an article.

Regarding what you write above, notice how I have over and over used formulations about how Putin is behind the killing of hundreds of journalists since 1992. How could he possibly be guilty of any killings 1992-99? Still nobody reacted to this formulation so far. I picked up this from one of the videos linked by No2liberals, and I continued to use it as a sort of a test -- compare it to how Trifkovic said to D'Sousa how the Koran is organized from the shortest verses to the longest as a test. And the test says that people in general do not pay attention the details, fairness and reasonability when it comes to sweeping statements about Russia and Putin.

There is an arrogance from the anti-Russian people here of the same kind as we know from the pro-multiculturalists. They consider themselves as being above facts. They consider it as conclusive evidence just to declare their emotions. For them this is not an issue of finding the truth, instead it is considered an axiom that Putin is guilty. And all energy is spent exclusively on repeating old propaganda lies, which they have never checked. Several commenters here have made quite clear that, even if we would be able to show that Putin is actually fighting this problem and his rule has decreased such cases, that they would still consider it all Putin's fault. It's all already encoded in the axiom, right. Thus the complete lack of interest -- which has been so ostensibly shown in this thread -- for looking into the facts behind the propaganda lies they are so fond of spreading.

Local politicians in the regions seem to be behind most of them, especially in the southern regions such as Dagestan and Chechnya.
...
A lot of the contract killings on journalists appear to be ordered by Putin's antagonists, the Oligarchs, i.e. the business tycoons who profited from the privatisations in the -90s and other powerful businessmen.


This is my general impression too. People vastly overestimate the power and control that Putin have. They see everything through their USSR mythology glasses. Russia today is very different. And then again, if Putin really was such an omnipotent autocrat that so many Westerners are so fond of fantasizing about, and he wanted to get rid of people, they would have ended up in prison camps or mental institutions. Killing people in the streets is the method of the small chieftains.

PS. Considering your original question: Yes, connecting a case to the Siloviki, while not being the full monty, would certainly be incriminating enough in my eyes. But we haven't seen anything like that yet. However, if anyone has such a case, please bring it up. So far there is nothing, nichts, nada, niente, zilch.

PPS. I also owe an answer to Artfldgr who named a very long list of names, but was never able to pick anyone. But I still go little by little because of my cold. So it will have to wait until tomorrow.

Conservative Swede said...

Henrik,

CS, you're making a good and valid point. The 'hundreds of assassinations' idea, if false, constitutes blood libel, which is a quite serious thing. Being unable to substantiate even a handful of cases should give people a pause for reflection, for example the dangerous practice of promoting rotten prejudices and false accusations.

Thanks Henrik. I knew you would be one of the people understanding the whole point of this challenge.

Could you see if you could come up with a case? I mean, at least you hold a middle position on Russia (even if Czechmade considers you a Russophile). As you understand the standards are very low now, so you do not need to feel any pressure. Even a pinky toe of a case would be a start at this point.

Armance said...

First, in order to understand what is happening in Russia, we have to understand how media works in post-communist countries with high levels of corruption. I can give the example of Romania, where the situation is not as bad as in the Russian Federation (at least the journalists are not killed), but there are some similarities, especially regarding the financial power behind the media and the links between politics, business and media. I think from that we can draw some conclusions about Russia, too.

At least 80% of the mainstream media (from TV channels and the newspapers with the biggest circulation to... women's magazines and cultural publications, etc.) are owned by 4 (four) billionaires. Each one of them has more power, at least in terms of influencing the public opinion, than the president and the government together. Similarly to the Russian oligarchs, they got rich in the early 90's, during the "privatization" process, which was basically a huge robbery from the state budget in a period of chaos. Their businesses, at least in the beginning, were dubious, to say the least. But as they say, nobody asks you how you made the first million of dollars.

The journalists are free to criticize the politicians, the government and the president as much as they want, even to curse them, if they please. But they know that these 4 men and their business partners are untouchable as long as they work for their media trusts. If they cross the line, they will lose their jobs and will be subjected to character assassination by the very publication or TV channel they worked for. Fortunately, the oligarchs don't have the courage to assassinate them, but this is what they would do if they had the possibility, like in Russia.

Sometimes the oligarchs support a political candidate or another, depending on who is the best for their economical interests. Some of them are involved in politics themselves because they have business contracts with the state and the central or local authorities. But no politician has the power to threaten or intimidate a journalist by himself, without the backing of the oligarchs.

The worst situation is for the journalists working in the province, in distant corners of the country, away from the public scrutiny, when they write about the businesses of the local oligarchs. A few of them have been beaten by "unknown persons" in the last years - the most serious cases of intimidation. Now, going back to Russia, here it is the Wikipedia list with Russian journalists killed:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia

So, 4 journalists were killed in 2008: 3 from Dagestan and one from Ingushetiya (hmm, all the four come from Muslim republics. I wonder why).

Ilyas Shurpayev, Dagestani journalist responsible for news coverage of Northern Caucasus on Channel One, was strangled with a belt in Moscow.
Gaji Abashilov, chief of Dagestan outlet of VGTRK, shot in his car.
Magomed Yevloyev, owner of Ingushetiya.ru, shot by Ingush policemans which convoyed him to Nazran procurator office.
Abdulla Alishayev, Dagestani journalist fatally wounded by unknown assailants.


This is definitely the pattern of "the province journalists". I cannot think of Putin as the first reason of their death for the same reason I cannot suspect the president of Romania for the intimidation of a journalist in a distant corner of the country. I know that Putin (or Medvedev, his man) has a lot of power and influence, but still: when there are so many local interests to suppress the voice of these journalists (from the local authorities or oligarchs), why should I think directly to the head of the state? It is not serious. Especially since I know how the things work over here.

It might be said that the justice hasn't done enough to solve these cases. But the justice is corrupted to the bones in this part of the world. Many judges and prosecutors can be bribed with a thousand euros. Again: it takes a lot of time to crush this octopus, maybe a generation. Even Putin cannot do this in 8 years. And I bet most judiciaries are not bribed or threatened by Putin himself. I expect Putin to do more to improve the justice system in Russia, but it is difficult as hell in Romania, supposedly an EU country - in Russia the situation is even more complicated. And again, the first source of influencing the judiciary is not the president or the prime minister, but the joining interests of the oligarchs and their puppets in the administration.

Another interesting phenomenon is this: working in these circumstances, the most influential journalists sign the pact with the devil themselves, which means they are used by their masters to blackmail their economical or political competitors and are heavily paid in exchange of their services. Some of them become involved in suspect business transactions themselves. I don't want to blame the victims, but the Wikipedia stories of the 4 journalists killed in 2008 have dubious elements, if you read between the lines. E.g.Gaji Abashilov, a TV boss, a perfect example of the links between media, politics and business, a pattern that exists also in Romania:

In 1991–2006 he was chief editor of "Molodezh' Dagestana" (Молодежь Дагестана, Youths of Dagestan).

In 1999 he was elected a member of local legislature, then was appointed deputy head of republican Ministry of information. In January 2007 he became a chief of TV company "Dagestan", local outlet of VGTRK.
Gaji Abashilov was assassinated in the evening of March 21; his car was fired on in the central part of Makhachkala. In the early hours of the same day another Dagestani journalist, Ilyas Shurpayev, who had worked for years in the republic as a correspondent of NTV and Channel One was found strangled.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaji_Abashilov

Definitely I cannot see Putin behind this story. To make a long story short, The Russian Federation doesn't seem a friendly country for the journalists, but not because Putin's power. On the contrary: I pity him a little bit for being a leader in such a, hmm, complicated country. And definitely regarding some aspects, like the judiciary, I would like to see Russia more "Westernized", the same as I would like to see the West more "Russianized" in other aspects, like national and cultural pride.

Armance said...

Something else worries me more than the killing of these journalists - an increasing trend in the Russian authorities' actions, both central and regional, to satisfy any crazy demands of the Muslims living in Russia. It is very disappointing and a bad sign for the future. For example, this story looks very Western-like. Geez, if one changes the name Russia with the UK, I wouldn't notice too much difference.
Briefly: the officials in Nizhny Novgorod launched a competition for choosing the regional anthem, suggesting that it should include the sound of church bells, like the national anthem. As usually, the Muslims protested - even if they are a small minority in the region.
The result:

The authorities have now decided to scrap the competition and hire a professional composer instead. Hopefully, the end result will be something that all sides can agree on.

http://www.russiatoday.com/features/news/35346

Or this:

First Muslim clinic opens in Moscow
A health centre specifically designed for Muslims has opened its doors in the Russian capital. The clinic aims to provide followers of Islam with the chance to receive medical treatment without compromising the strict rules of their religion.


http://www.russiatoday.com/features/news/18139

If they continue like that with 20 million Muslims living on their soil, I see troubles. So much about Putin's power.

But this is a different discussion.

Armance said...

I want to add one more thing and I'm over: I hope we all agree that Putin is not stupid. The same about the KGB/FSB officers, like him. Whatever we might say about Putin - and a lot of criticism can be made regarding his person - definitely stupidity is not among his flaws. Now look at the methods used to kill the 4 journalists assassinated in 2008. I mean, c'mon: a former KGB officer, be it Putin or his entourage, ordering that people should be strangled with a belt or shot in their cars, especially when the world is watching them and they have so many enemies? The same about the stories of Politkovskaya or Yushcenko poisoned at some point in their life, but just a little bit, not until death.
Sorry for being so cynical, but this is amateurs' work in search of instant revenge, not professionals'. I am not Putin and had nothing to do with the KGB, but I can still think of a hundred more intelligent ways to get rid of my opponents. They can die "by accident" in a car crash. They can be hit by a tramway on their way to the office. They can fall from a cliff while skiing during the winter holidays. Etc.
And it's not even necessary to kill them. You can blackmail them. As we know, most of us have moments that we are ashamed of, even vices we don't want to be made public. Some photos or films of a man in a brothel or of a married woman with her lover, in exchange of their silence, can do wonders.

At least these were the methods used by the Securitate, the former secret police of Ceausescu. And KGB was much more evil and cunning than them (as exemplified in the interview with the KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov).

Armance said...

The primal force to meddle in Yougoslavia was Germany. The US was in the beginning slightly more proSerbian.
France was traditionally rather proSerbian. Klaus Kinkel was meddling there already as early as after the death of Tito. Later he became CDU Minister of foreign affairs, at that time - (after Tito) he was heading the Intelligence.

US, France and GB were blitzkrieged by the sudden and independent decision made by Germany to recognize fascist Croatia.


One more little comment though: Czechmade is absolutely correct in pointing this (thanks for reminding me such a distant memory).
Yes, in the first phase of the Yugoslavian war, when only the Serbs and the Croatians were involved, Germany suddenly and passionately sided with the Croatians, the same as Russia instinctively positioned itself on the Serbian side. The US and the EU (as a whole) intervened in a later phase of the war, when the poor oppressed Muslims were attacked. The French philosopher, public intellectual and media star Bernard-Henri Levy had a huge influence on convincing the French public that the Serbs were the bad guys in the story (because the French were not so pro-Muslims in the beginning). I remember that in the late 90's, when I read French magazines and newspapers, I was surprised to see that some of them published also pro-Serb viewpoints. This changed very quickly.

Which means once again that things are very complicated, in Europe as well as in Russia, and sometimes the details are very important.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

There now, Armance has a much more convincing argument. THe idea of journalists being killed by competing factions vying for power sounds much more reasonable, to me.

However, I think what's been lost in this is that we've ended up chasing the reductio unto the very depths of the absurd. This argument about journalists is nitpicking when the broader picture of Russia's behaviour reveals that she's treading a very dangerous path - dangerous for her and for us. As much as denying that Islam is in itself a problem, denying Russian involvement in the affairs of certain jihadi states prevents a balanced assessment of the threats - just, too, as denying American and European complicity in some of these events would also prevent us making a fair assessment. If we refuse to acknowledge the reality of all of this, then we may as well just give up and go back to sleep.

Natalie said...

Conservative Swede:

You're right: I picked both Politkovskaya and Litvinenko because I am interested in pursuing these cases further. They are both high-profile and familiar to Westerners. Yet our supposedly "free" media (which I would argue is not free at all) reported on them very one-sidedly. I remember hearing about them in the news and all I heard was, "Putin did it." No consideration that this was simply a speculation. The media condemned Putin for being an ex-KGB agent, yet made no light whatsoever on the fact that Litvinenko is ex-KGB as well. They also never mentioned how Politkovskaya had made many enemies, including a powerful Chechen leader. I guess these two important facts were inconvenient truths to them.

So yes, I'd be thrilled to help you with Litvinenko and Politkovskaya, or even Klebnikov if he comes up again.

Conservative Swede said...

Graham wrote:
However, I think what's been lost in this is that we've ended up chasing the reductio unto the very depths of the absurd. This argument about journalists is nitpicking when the broader picture of Russia's behaviour reveals that she's treading a very dangerous path - dangerous for her and for us.

I think Henrik put this better than anyone else, how these anti-Russian propaganda lies constitutes blood libel and how the failure to substantiate even a handful of cases should give people a pause for reflection. But for Graham there is no such pause for reflection. Graham, being among the most intelligent among the anti-Russians, has realized that this issue had come to a point where it looks lost to the anti-Russians, so he's quick to declare the issue as "nitpicking". And he's even quicker back on track with sweeping claims about Russia, in the very same sentence without even a comma for a pause, writing "the broader picture of Russia's behaviour reveals that she's treading a very dangerous path".

This is the modus operandi of the anti-Russians. Negative sweeping claims about Russia and Putin must be accepted at face value. Any investigation about any specific issue is considered "nitpicking" (or alternatively: evil). Obviously sweeping claims as such cannot be investigated, only specific things can, and only one by one. But this is dismissed as misguided "reductio" by Graham. And when he complains about how the reductio is taken "unto the very depths of the absurd", I think it's his way of complaining that this issue didn't go his way.

Graham gives the impression that he thinks there is no value in investigating issues regarding Russia; that he considers that "nitpicking" and "absurd". That we should stick to what he calls the "broader picture", i.e. negative sweeping claims about Russia and Putin. And that he is unwilling to pause for reflection even for a second, when one of these sweeping claims has fallen apart as a house of cards. He will just dismiss it as "nitpicking" and "absurd" and be quickly back on track about what he calls the "broader picture" (preferably so broad that it essentially lacks any content, and therefore itself cannot be checked.).

Thus it becomes a perfectly sealed mental bubble, where no investigations will ever be considered valuable -- i.e. no new information can enter the system -- and where any prejudice will be possible to uphold forever.

Zenster said...

Archonix: However, I think what's been lost in this is that we've ended up chasing the reductio unto the very depths of the absurd. This argument about journalists is nitpicking when the broader picture of Russia's behaviour reveals that she's treading a very dangerous path - dangerous for her and for us. As much as denying that Islam is in itself a problem, denying Russian involvement in the affairs of certain jihadi states prevents a balanced assessment of the threats - just, too, as denying American and European complicity in some of these events would also prevent us making a fair assessment. If we refuse to acknowledge the reality of all of this, then we may as well just give up and go back to sleep.

At day's end, this is the real issue. Russia is, indeed, "treading a very dangerous path - dangerous for her and for us." Putin is leading his country down a blood-soaked and insanely expensive primrose path of spiraling military countermeasures plus all the global instability that comes with them. The numerous similarities to Soviet era foreign policy go without saying.

By upgrading the weapon systems of such terrorist nations as Iran and Syria, Russia itself becomes a pariah state. Whatever inability to dismantle the current oligarchic elite traces too easily back to either participation in or benefit from gaming that system. There is little evidence to date that Putin is doing much else.

Then again there is little, if any, reliable legal evidence of whatever sort emerging from this nascent hellhole. Due to that, this entire discussion approaches near folly in that the amount of actually admissible legal evidence is on the order of zero.

As I noted earlier on, Putin is a past master at manipulating the media, legal systems and whatever other apparatus is available to help him achieve his ends. I will close with a caveat that only continues to take on increasing gravity in this world of fauxtography and truthiness:

ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IS NOT EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE.

Conservative Swede said...

Zenster,

Then again there is little, if any, reliable legal evidence of whatever sort emerging from this nascent hellhole. Due to that, this entire discussion approaches near folly in that the amount of actually admissible legal evidence is on the order of zero.

How would you be able to judge what's folly when you haven't even conceived the meaning of this discussion? It's not even in the ballpark of discussing legal evidence. The fact is that there are zero cases, nada, zilch! In the search for a dog one has not even encountered a quadruped. But in the mind of Zenster, Putin is still killing journalists. He thinks that the result of this discussion is just that there is lack of legal evidence. But the fact is that there is a lack of evidence altogether, even circumstantial evidence. In fact there is a lack of cases. Not a single case can be mentioned. But the anti-Russians have no shame in their body. In spite of being completely unable to present evidence or even cases, they just go on and on with their blood libel. But Zenster knows Putin kills journalists, nevertheless. I guess Zenster is a Kantian and that this is one of his synthetic a prioris.

"ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IS NOT EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE."

Shameless people eager to spread propagandistic lies will come up with any sort of rationalization to being able to continue their blood libel.

Mob mentality doesn't have a fingertip feeling for whom the burden of proof lies on. Take the Obamaniacs. According to them it's up to the ones who have doubts about where Obama is born, to prove what it says in Obama's birth certificate which he makes sure is kept looked up in Hawaii.

Zenster lacks the same fingertip feeling. Absence of evidence means that you have nothing. But Zenster is prepared to base his whole case against Russia on nothing. And then he turns around the whole burden of proof expecting "evidence of absence", and in the absence of such he plans to forcefully continue his blood libel. This criterion for "justice" (re)invented by Zenster here is well-known from the Inquisition. Fjordman has also written about it as the new EU directives for punishing people for racism, here about how it's applied in Norway:

"Stortinget, the Norwegian parliament, in April 2005 passed a new Discrimination Act. The act says in pretty clear words that in cases of suspected direct or indirect discrimination due to religion or ethnicity, Norwegians are guilty until proven otherwise."

This applies in all of Europe. It's enough for any "minority" person to accuse you of racism, and you will thereby immediately be guilty, by the power of the mere accusation. The same "justice" principle is applied by Zenster on Russia. It's enough that Zenster, Graham, No2liberals, Czechmade or Babs accuse Russia of blood libel and she's already guilty. No evidence needs to be given. And Russia will remain guilty unless it can prove "evidence of absence". None of them are concerned by the fact that it is no more easy today to prove a negative than during the Inquisition. Instead they all seem to be pretty fine with that. It makes each of them very powerful (in their own eyes), just by the mere accusation from any of them, Russia is already guilty.

Zenster said...

Conservative Swede: In the search for a dog one has not even encountered a quadruped.

Watch my lips move: ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IS NOT EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE.

Conservative Swede: But in the mind of Zenster, Putin is still killing journalists.

Nice straw man there, ConSwede. Now go ahead and show the studio audience and all the folks at home exactly where I have ever asserted that Putin is directly responsible for the killing of journalists in Russia.

Be sure to include precise cites with specific dates and thread URLs that substantiate your claim of how: "... in the mind of Zenster, Putin is still killing journalists."

Provide it damn quick or tender a clear and unambiguous apology. I'm fed up to HERE with your intellectual dishonesty. You pollute this board with dishonest debate and insincere engagement.

NOW COUGH UP.

Conservative Swede said...

Zenster,

exactly where I have ever asserted that Putin is directly responsible for the killing of journalists in Russia.

You cannot ask me for something I never claimed. I claimed it's in your mind, not in writing. It was straightforwardly inferred however (which I can easily show how).

Anyway, let's resolve this with a simple question. Many of us here have concluded that it's very unlikely that Putin would be responsible for the killing of journalists in Russia. Do you agree with us?

Zenster said...

Conservative Swede: You cannot ask me for something I never claimed.

Pure hogwash.

By saying that "... in the mind of Zenster, Putin is still killing journalists", YOU DIRECTLY IMPUTE THAT I HAVE SOMEWHERE STATED SUCH.

Either that or you are somehow able to read my mind, and even then you would STILL BE A FRAUD, because that is not what I think. You then further bloviate by saying that such a position "was straightforwardly inferred". Again, without any quotes or cites. Produce them or admit to this board that you have lied.

So either you apologize for attempting such a pathetic and intellectually bankrupt sort of straw man argument or you stand exposed as a dishonest player. WHICH IS IT?

You have falsely accused me of holding a position which I have nowhere stated AT ANY TIME, and either you admit that in writing before this board or be known from now on as a cheat and liar. WHICH IS IT?

I am sick and tired of dealing with your underhanded and dishonest argumentative methods. You sully everything that this board stands for and make a disgrace of the otherwise open and exceptionally fair debate that happens here.

Zenster said...

Archonix: Russia does pose a huge problem for the west in the realm of energy supplies. And, with all fair criticism of western governments for not securing their energy supplies effectively, the fact that Russia is currently using its stranglehold on european energy, and is allying itself with the largest energy suppliers in the world, poses a huge, huge threat.

And, for the record, if CS calls me a "hippie libertarian" again, I'm off. He's not just a little bit rude, he's arrogant and superior and I'm quite tired of dealing with the insults he loves to hand out so freely.


Agreed on both counts. Remember folks, the above comes from a GoV participant who is unfailingly polite and consistently honest in his exchanges.

Here's another little corker buried in the dreck:

Conservative Swede: Zenster and Babs considered me evil for even asking for evidence. They tried to silence such fair questions with bullying, character assassination, etc.

More horseradish! I have only said how your consistent and willful underplaying of the immense global danger posed by Putin's abetting of known terrorist states like Iran and Syria is what makes you evil. Nowhere have I "tried to silence such fair questions with bullying, character assassination". That is your preferred method and, one more time, you have remained true to form.

Babs took you apart like a cheap dime store toy over your whitewashing of Russia's assistance to Iran's nuclear program and you hurriedly moved that argument's goalposts well down field in order to conceal your dishonest engagement. If holding your feet to the fire is "bullying" or "character assassination", then you are guilty of far more dire offenses at this board.

I, for one, am fed up to the teeth with such intellectual dishonesty and feel compelled to both defend my integrity and expose you for the fraud that you are.

Zenster said...

The usually loquacious Swede has become deafeningly silent.

Notice the effort to divert attention away from his chicanery by requesting my stance vis Putin's alleged involvement in suppressing Russia's free press, as in:

Anyway, let's resolve this with a simple question. Many of us here have concluded that it's very unlikely that Putin would be responsible for the killing of journalists in Russia. Do you agree with us?

This is symptomatic of his usual attempt at moving the proverbial goal posts. Nowhere do we see an adequate response regarding his use of straw man arguments or intentional mischaracterization of my own position. Such is the nature of his fraud.

I will be happy to address his question once he has adequately resolved his own willful violation of fair play. With all due respect to this board's denizens, I will not let this matter drop until Swede substantiates his accusations against me or admits to patent intellectual dishonesty.