Over on the powerful and influential American Thinker website, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld reviews Russia’s ongoing nuclear threat to the national security of the United States and the craven failure of the Obama administration to address it. America needs a new Ronald Reagan, and it has a new, poor man’s Jimmy Carter!
Writing for Novaya Gazeta (Russian-language link), Yulia Latynina makes a scathing attack on Greenpeace. But her comments about the arrest of Greenpeace activists in Miami in April 2002 are extremely misleading.
Greenpeace carefully chooses the places where it stages its attacks. No one has heard about Greenpeace in the Persian Gulf or China. Moreover, there is another country where the Greenpeace is not doesn’t dare to provoke legal action very often. This country is called the United States.
The fact is, the United States is a country which is very serious about private property. And while the activists of Greenpeace in Australia got probation for their destruction of genetically modified crops have received probation, in the United States for the same offense a girl named Mary Mason got ten months in prison.
The last time Greenpeace took action in U.S. waters was on a ship in 2003. The ship was carrying mahogany from Brazil. After that, they were all arrested, and the U.S. government filed charges against the Greenpeace. Charges against the organization as a whole.
The law chosen to support the charges by the American prosecutor is very interesting. They were able to find the old law from the 19th Century century, a law which prohibits unauthorized boarding of a vessel by salesmen.
Latynina leaves out quite a few facts from her discussion.
In regard to the Brazilian mahogany protest and arrest in Miami, Greenpeace reports on its website: “The atmosphere was calm and friendly, and the Coast Guard officers permitted the Greenpeace crew to order pizza (although they declined offers to share a slice).” After that, Greenpeace got a tip from inside the U.S. government about the intentions of the ship’s captain, and was able to get him fired before the ship could offload most of its cargo, which was then impounded. The Greenpeace team was given bail, and then when they appeared in court “after the prosecution had rested its case, Greenpeace lawyers filed a motion for a judgement of acquittal. After a short deliberation Judge Jordan granted the motion, acquitting Greenpeace of all federal charges.” Latynina doesn’t give the correct date for the arrest, which was 2002 not 2003. The trial was in 2003.
U.S. government action against Greenpeace in Miami differs markedly from the Russian government’s action against Greenpeace in Murmansk. In Miami, only 14 Greenpeace activists who actually boarded inflatable boats and actually approached the vessel were arrested. In Murmansk, the Kremlin also boarded the Greenpeace mother ship and arrested those who never approached the vessel, taking 30 activists in total. In Miami, the ship in question was in U.S. waters, not international waters like the Russian oil rig that was approached in Murmansk, In Miami the arrest environment was totally different from that in Murmansk, and ultimately all charges against the activists were thrown out. Part of the U.S. government actually assisted Greenpeace, and the organization achieved its goal of blocking the delivery of protected timber. No such things happened in Russia.
In regard to Mary Mason, she was even not a member of Greenpeace at all, but rather was a member of the Earth Liberation Front. Mason is currently serving two decades in prison for numerous acts of arson to which she admitted and which caused millions of dollars in damages. Mason has apologized for the terror her actions caused among her victims. It’s impossible to know what incident in Australia Latynina is referring to since she gives so few details about it, but typically actions by Greenpeace involving modified food don’t involve any property damage whatsoever.
This is what it is to live in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
POLICE PER HUNDRED THOUSAND CITIZENS
United States: 226.7
HOMICIDE PER HUNDRED THOUSAND CITIZENS
United States: 4.7
The worst of all possible worlds. Russia has all the disadvantages of a massive police state with none of the benefits. Freedom, creativity and innovation are destroyed but the streets are not made safer. Russia has twice the police presence that the USA does (and twice the expense and loss of freedom that implies), and twice the crime.
It seems like only yesterday that Vladimir Putin was writing in the New York Times that the will of the United Nations must control what happens in Syria, and that the United States must bow to that will.
If you thought Putin’s hypocrisy in asking the US to do in Syria what Russia refused to do in Chechnya or Georgia was stunning, you had better sit down for this one: Now, after a UN investigation revealed that Putin was lying when he claimed that it was the Syrian rebels, not the regime, who used chemical weapons in Syria (a “war crime” in the words of the UN), Putin is attacking the UN and refusing to follow its will. He doesn’t just accuse the UN of lying about who was responsible for gas attacks, he also accuses them of lying about whether such attacks even took place. His “evidence” for these claims comes exclusively from the tinfoil hat crowd.
This hubris and duplicity on Russia’s part is a new low for an already utterly wretched country. How can any civilized nation possibly take Russia seriously after this? In just a few years, Vladimir Putin has obliterated his nation’s credibility and set it on a course to become a rogue state itself, like Syria, Iran and North Korea. Just when one thinks Russia can’t possibly sink any lower, it delves into depths so hideous that you can’t believe you thought it was bad before.
Writing in the Moscow Times, the chairman of the powerful U.S. House Armed Services Committee has castigated Putin for his dishonest, duplicitous and venal New York Times piece defending genocide and barbarism in Syria. Putin’s refusal to follow the UN’s lead after demanding that the U.S. do so disqualifies Russia from sitting at the table of civilized nations. It can and should be booted out of the G-8 and G-20 organizations, the World Trade Organization and the UN security council. Russia needs to learn what it feels like to be Syria, Iran or North Korea if it is Russia’s ambition to emulate those nations.
It is simply shocking to see how little pushback from his own citizens Putin faces for his outrageous public lies that disgrace their nation. Because they don’t stand up to him, Russians are fully complicit in Putin’s misdeeds and richly deserve the brutal suffering that lies in wait for them.
Above you see a photograph of seven men and a woman, they are the leaders of the so-called “G-8” nations: From left to right you have Japan, Germany, Russia, Britain, USA, France, Canada and Italy. One of these eight sticks out like a sore thumb, and it isn’t Germany because it’s represented by the only female. It’s Russia, in the person of Vladimir Putin.
Russia isn’t in the top 8 nations of the world when ranked for GDP. China, India and Brazil all have more valuable annual economic production than Russia does, yet they are excluded from the G-8 and Russia is included. If you evaluate GDP not in aggregate but in per capita terms, Russia is just a pathetic joke. Russia isn’t in the top 45 countries of the world for per capita nominal GDP.
More importantly, Russia doesn’t share the G-8 values. Not one — not one — of the other seven nations in the G-8 recognized Ossetia and Abkhazia as states after Russia annexed their territories from Georgia. Each and every one of these other nations condemned Russia’s outrageous act of imperialism against Georgia, Germany most vociferously. Putin recently went on Russia Today, the Kremlin’s state-sponsored propaganda network, to denounce the nations of the West and their values. He was particularly brutal in his attack on the USA, the leader of the G-8 and by far the most powerful country in the world, calling it a nation of racist mass-murderers. He painted Russia as being engaged in a heroic, lonely struggle against the evil of Western values in the modern world.
Which is all well and good. Putin can hate the West all he likes, after all he is a proud KGB spy who spent his entire adult life prior to the collapse of the USSR working hard to destroy the West. But why is his KGB fox in the G-7 chicken coop? Six of the G-7 nations (all but Russia and Japan) are members of a military alliance, NATO, whose formative purpose was to oppose Russian aggression in Europe. Isn’t it completely insane for this group to allow an unrepentant KGB spy to participate in their meetings?
As we reported not long ago, Russia doesn’t stack up to the other G-8 countries when viewed in terms of quality of life provided to its citizens. Here, once again, it’s the black sheep. The OECD has shown conclusively that Russia brings up a miserable and distant rear in every aspect of life that would matter to a G-8 citizen.
There’s only one possible legitimate reason for Russia to be in the G-8, and that would be if the other G-7 nations were going to use Russia’s membership as leverage to publicly press forward a human-rights agenda against Russia. But at the recent G-8 summit, the craven G-7 countries did not such thing. They ignored Russia’s barbaric crackdown on homosexuals, they ignored Russia’s barbaric crackdown on political dissidents like Alexei Navalny and Sergei Guriev and Garry Kasparov, and they ignored Russia’s barbaric support for the genocidal dictatorship in Syria.
So now, all the citizens of the G-7 nations must hang their heads in shame as Putin and his KGB minions laugh at us for being the fools we are.
Above you see a chart (click it to see full size) depicting Russia’s inflation rate between May 2011 and April 2013. The chart shows that over the last year Russia’s inflation rate has doubled, from 3.6% to 7%. The rate of 3.6% is the lowest Russian consumer inflation during the entire period under review, two years.
Above is the same information for the United States. As you can see, the highest consumer price inflation rate experienced by the U.S. during this period was essentially the same as the lowest rate Russia ever achieved. Currently, the U.S. inflation rate is less than one third the rate Russians are forced to endure.
In the U.S., 3% inflation is something to panic about. It is viewed as an economic disaster. In Russia, 3% inflation is something to be proud of, because that’s what kind of incredible mess the Russian economy really is. Look at the scales on the left margin of the two charts. The scale needed to measure Russian inflation during this period is more than double the size of that needed to measure inflation in the U.S.
According to Russian pundit Leonid Bershidsky, economic growth in Russia this year is less than half what it was last year and less than one-third what Putin has publicly proclaimed is necessary for the country. Things are so bad that many Russian economists are beginning to argue that Russia should start spending its reserves in order to stave off economic disaster. But dumping piles of cash from the reserves into the economy would be like pouring gasoline on a fire. It could cause inflation to spiral out of control.
Oh and, by the way, the wicked one-two punch of failing economic growth and rising inflation is known as stagflation. You know, the thing perfected in Russia by Leonid Brezhnev and which led to the fall of the USSR. Those who cannot remember history . . .
On the American Thinker, Kim Zigfeld outlines Russia’s demographic nightmare, which will see it’s population go from 4% of the world in 1950 to 1% in 2100, and explains the horrific consequences of this catastrophe for the outside world: Russia will rely more and more on terrorism as it becomes more and more irrelevant.
On Pajamas Media, Zigfeld cheers as U.S. House Speaker John Boehner finally stands up to the Obama regime on Russia, demanding that Obama’s cowardly policy of Chamberlainian appeasement cease. Now, if only the revived Republican Party will translate words into policy, and if only American voters will respond to Obama’s failure appropriately, there may be hope of the US regaining the moral leadership it had under Ronald Reagan.