Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Russia: Western Media 'Myopic' in Reporting of Assassination Attempt on Putin, Says Russia Expert

SOURCE Russia Insights

Reporting of the assassination attempt on Russian President Vladimir Putin has exposed the hypocrisy of the Western media, according to Srdja Trifkovic, foreign affairs editor of Chronicles magazine.

Trifkovic said, "The news that a plot by Chechen terrorists to kill Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has been foiled by Russian and Ukrainian security services was greeted in the Western media by skepticism bordering on scorn.

"The New York Times set the tone with a long quote by a ferocious Russian critic of the Kremlin, Dmitri Oreshkin, who claimed that 'the real leaders of Mr. Putin's political structure, the people from the Federal Security Service, are trying to mobilize public opinion.'

" quoted unidentified Russian 'posters on blog platforms' as saying this was but 'a good PR move for the country's main thief.' Like the rest of the pack, Australia's ABC suggested that the timing of the announcement was meant to help 'the Russian strongman' at next week's presidential election.

"Not one major Western daily paper or TV channel has bothered to look into the substance of the story itself. Is it actually true, or likely to be true, regardless of any political effect? What is the track record of the accused? If the official story is suspect, are they then the victims of a sting operation, or just plain innocent?

"One hoped in vain for a commentator on either side of the Atlantic to point out the obvious: If the plot, uncovered earlier this month, was meant to be executed right after the election, then it is hardly surprising that the announcement was made shortly before the election. By contrast, only two weeks earlier, no mainstream outlet had wondered if the news of an alleged plot to kill President Barack Obama was meant to increase his popularity in the presidential election year.

"For many Western media analysts "Vladimir Putin" has long ceased to be a political figure, having morphed into a dark metaphysical concept. Whatever the Russian premier does or says will be processed through a very dark lens by the bien-pensants who see him as the embodiment of what they loath: a patriotic leader who believes in - and upholds! - the right of sovereign nations to be the masters of their own destiny within their borders.

"Accordingly, if Russia vetoes a Security Council resolution that could be manipulated in order to justify military intervention against Syria - just as the one on Libya was manipulated almost a year ago - it is because Putin is in cohorts with a blood-stained dictator. But when the United States vetoed resolutions condemning meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign states (1979), forbidding use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states (1979, 2007), or advocating a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty (2008), it was business as usual. While in some of those instances (and many others, notably involving Israel) the United States was right to use its veto power, this is not the issue here. Hypocrisy is.

"That same hypocrisy is on display when Putin's 'KGB roots' are routinely invoked to 'explain' his views and intentions, even though he was but a field office administrator in East Germany. Two decades ago, however, President George H.W. Bush's earlier job as the head of the CIA was deemed irrelevant in explaining his motives for invading Panama, launching the First Gulf War, or intervening in Somalia.

"Anti-Putin protesters are lionized, and a 'Russian Spring' wished for, regardless of the strong support which he continues to enjoy outside the narrow confines of Moscow's Bohemian Bourgeoisie. On the other hand, brutal clampdowns on grassroots movements and peaceful protesters are ignored or belittled if they involve pliant clients such as Bahrain, or below-the-radar-screen 'backwaters' like Senegal.

"It is futile, however, to look for consistency, logic, or mere honesty in the ongoing anti-Putin-fest. The core problem with Putin, for those who keep attacking him with such monotonous predictability, is that he puts his country first. He does not accept that a 'democratic' Russia can be only the one subservient domestically and externally to the demands and ideological concepts of the Western elite class. For that reason the forthcoming presidential election will be deemed 'undemocratic' in some Western quarters, and the legitimacy of Putin's imminent victory in that election will be disputed.

"So be it. The people of Russia will decide what they want, whether the chattering classes of Hampstead and the Upper East Side like it or not."