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To: DesertRhino
Granted, elections in Russia are almost as corrupt and preordained as those in Chicago, but the audacity of calling on other countries to punish your homeland because of a failure to see eye to eye politically seems so... Kennedyish (Kenndy-esque?).

This editorial by a Russian took my breath away:
A Galaxy without Putin


...In Washington, the tribune of our people, Nemtsov, has been cooperating with Reagan’s heir, an honest anti-Soviet and anti-communist who fought in Vietnam and is the leading Republican: Senator John McCain. McCain would have become President of the United States, had not Obama been younger, more energetic, more athletic, and more interesting, and had not Obama not been an African-American who could give America the opportunity to forever wash away the stigma of apartheid. Valiant McCain, in contrast to the indifference Barack Obama shows towards our dissidents’ problems, is ready to help Nemtsov, and us, by changing the Jackson-Vanik amendment (there were such people in those days!) into a new ‘Protection of Democracy in Russia Act’. There already is a ‘Protection of Freedom Act’, under which the US cannot allow in Zyuganov, Anpilov, Limonov, Udaltsov, Kim Jong Il, the Chinese ‘comrades’, and Fidel and Raul Castro, but it discriminates in that it really only punishes communist regimes. Our spy gangsters (by this I mean the power elite of the Russian Federation), alas, are not covered by the Act.

But Nemtsov has a brilliant and simple plan: to not allow our little piggies to come to the western table. Let them champ from the swill trough alongside their pets: Hugo Chavez, Lukashenko, Ahmadinejad, and the like. A list has been compiled, headed by Putin and Surkov and as opposed to the ‘Pierre Cardin list’ it will be the ‘Nemtsov list’. Perhaps the little piggies, when not admitted to the European table, will act less like pigs in their homeland? Perhaps they will release Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, release other political prisoners, withdraw their troops from Transdnistria, Abkhazia, and the Tskhinvali region (of South Ossetia), and agree to turn their back on Iran, Cuba, and China, and quit bothering the Ukraine and the Baltic states? The wonderful Nemtsov-McCain project, however, needs to be improved and supplemented in its amendments.


...If the U.S. adopts Nemtsov’s Act, then maybe the EU will follow America’s example. There is, however, a better option: do not repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment, but adopt the Protection of Democracy in Russia Act. Think about it, Jackson and Vanik were good fellows - they wanted to punish the USSR for its sins. Its refusal to let the Jews leave was just one of many crimes. They did not let anybody leave - neither Russians nor Tartars nor Bashkirs. There were many reasons to punish the USSR: Afghanistan... Czechoslovakia... the Evil Empire... the Gulag... the occupation of Eastern Europe... Punitive psychiatry... Political prisoners... Sakharov’s exile... the South Korean airliner... not even the Internet is big enough to enumerate it all.


..As far as the people who remained silent and voted for Putin, Medvedev, and United Russia, I would punish them by exile to a prison Gulag (i.e.: Russia). One must answer for cowardice, meanness, and slavery.

It was not for no reason that Andrei Sakharov called on the United States and Canada not to sell wheat to the USSR. It was in order to kill a totalitarian regime “with the gaunt hand of famine” (which is what one clever British lord said early in the Bolshevik era, but no one would listen). Soviets have no business in Spanish resorts. Let them bathe in Sochi. Cancel entry visas and do not give any to anyone without a permission slip from the democratic opposition...

Valeria Novodvorskaya, December 14th, 2010

3 posted on 02/21/2011 12:05:28 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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Another related article, from today. I cannot find the Washington Post article that they reference, though:
PARNAS: The West must stop flirting with Russian leaders

The West must abandon “Realpolitik with hugs and kisses” with regard to Russian leaders. The co-chairmen of the Party of National Freedom (PARNAS), Mikhail Kasyanov, Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Ryzhkov, and Vladimir Milov, stated this in a letter to the Washington Post. According to the authors, when Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev once again divvy up the government in 2012, Russia will lose its last chance of a peaceful return to democratic development.

“Western leaders must stop closing their eyes to the obvious failure of Russian leaders to carry out their international obligations, especially those related to free and fair elections and basic human rights,” the PARNAS leaders wrote. “The West must stop receiving Russian leaders as equals and granting them a legitimacy, which they clearly do not deserve. The West must expose corruption in the Russian establishment: one of the pillars of this regime’s stability is that it is able to find safe havens abroad to store their ill-gotten gains, as well as always having the option of fleeing Russia for a quiet life in the West. Western countries should impose sanctions targeted against government officials who directly violate the rights of their countrymen.”

According to the authors of the article, such measures will be met with resistance by Putin’s team, especially those who under the auspices of state control are plundering Gazprom and Rosneft, as well as some businesses that “prefer to have a smooth, if somewhat low-key, relationship with the Russian authorities.” “As the leaders of Russia’s united democratic opposition, we call upon the West to stop wrecking our case, and to cease compromising the very principles upon which Western society is based. We are confident that we can achieve our goals through a free and normal democratic process, but only if there is anything left of our country that we can rebuild,” concluded Kasyanov, Milov, Nemtsov and Ryzhkov.

On February 8th, Mikhail Kasyanov, while speaking at the Estonian Foreign Ministry on behalf of the democratic coalition, called on “the true friends of Russia abroad to stop turning a blind eye to Russia’s numerous violations of its international obligations, and require compliance with generally accepted democratic procedures.” According to Kasyanov, the Russian authorities intend to hold the forthcoming parliamentary and presidential elections under the same scenario as the previous ones: by simply appointing the president and members of parliament. “They expect Western observers and foreign leaders to once again take it in stride and simply turn a blind eye to Russia’s violations of its international obligations to hold free and democratic elections,” Kasyanov said.

The Party of National Freedom (PARNAS) was established last December. On February 5th, it held a founding conference for the party’s Moscow branch. In the spring, it plans to finish forming regional offices and will transmit its registration documents to the Justice Ministry shortly thereafter. Its leaders have entered into a coalition and signed agreements on joint participation in parliamentary and presidential elections. If the party is allowed to register, a single presidential candidate will be nominated this summer during a party congress. If the party is refused official registration, its candidate will be selected by a secret ballot of the party congress, with equal representation of the four organizations included in the coalition: ‘Solidarity’, the Russian National Democratic Union, the Republican Party of Russia, and the ‘Democratic Choice’ party. The candidate will be one of four co-chairmen of the Party of National Freedom.

21.02.2011 12:01

4 posted on 02/21/2011 12:47:36 PM PST by struwwelpeter
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