Putin's Censored News Conference
Jul 18, 2007
US-Russian relations are back to where they were in the height of the cold war. And now with Putin's refusal to extradite the accused assassin of Litvinenko (which murder occurred in Britain last November), Britain has expelled Russian diplomats, and relations with Britain are also at a low point.
Britain continues to offer safe haven to Boris Berezovsky, one of the Jewish Oligarchs who helped strip Russia bare in the 1990's after "privatization." Russia wants him extradited for crimes, but Britain won't hear of it. Yet Britain wants Russia to extradite one of its citizens. You can't have it both ways. "Yes, but we're in the right" just doesn't cut the mustard.
Putin recently gave a speech in which he set forth his case against America and the causes of the strained relations. Though the speech was open and attended by journalists, very little of it was reported in the Western Media. You can be sure that if Putin had presented a weak case, it would have made front-page news. You can read the article here:
This article will give you the "other side" of the story, which is always helpful, since our own government seldom tells you that there even IS another side. The article concludes this way:
Russia now has the ninth largest economy in the world and has amassed enormous gold and currency reserves--the third largest in the world. It is also one of the leading players in international energy policy with a daily-oil output which now exceeds Saudi Arabia. It is also the largest producer of natural gas in the world. Russia will only get stronger as we get deeper into the century and energy resources become scarcer.
Putin strongly objects to the idea that he is not committed to human rights or is “rolling back democracy”. He points out how truncheon-wielding police in Europe routinely use tear gas, electric-shock devices and water cannons to disperse demonstrators. Is that how the West honors human rights and civil liberties?
As for the Bush administration---Putin produced a copy of Amnesty International’s yearly report condemning the United States conduct in the war on terror. “I have a copy of Amnesty International’s report here, which includes a section on the United States,” he said. “The organization has concluded that the United States IS NOW THE PRINCIPLE VIOLATOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS WORLDWIDE.”
He added, “We have a proverb in Russian, ‘Don’t blame the mirror if your face is crooked.’”
Putin is fiercely nationalistic. He has helped to restore Russia’s self-confidence and rebuild the economy. He’s demonstrated a willingness to compromise with the Bush administration on every substantive issue, but he has been repeatedly rebuffed. The last thing he wants is a nuclear standoff with the United States. But he will do what he must to defend his people from the threat of foreign attack. The deployment of the missile defense system will require that Russia develop its own new weapons systems and change its thinking about trusting the United States. Friendship is not possible in the present climate.
As for “democracy”; Putin said it best himself:
“Am I a ‘pure democrat’? (laughs) Of course I am, absolutely. The problem is that I’m all alone---the only one of my kind in the whole wide world. Just look at what’s happening in North America, it’s simply awful---torture, homeless people, Guantanamo, people detained without trial and investigation. Just look at what’s happening in Europe---harsh treatment of demonstrators, rubber bullets and tear gas used first in one capital then in another, demonstrators killed on the streets….. I have no one to talk to since Mahatma Gandhi died.”
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