Watch the Other Hand
June 12, 2015 10 Comments
So often what we pay attention is driven by what the media talks about, and that usually has little to do with anything that matters, whether its Olympian athletes who have decided, as the spotlight finally turns away from them, to be a woman to bring it back, or a formerly ragtag group of Islamic extremist starts beheading people because the west doesn’t pay attention to them, and suppress this recurrent fever.
Because while ISIS isn’t going to take over the world, it’s a weak administration indeed that hasn’t the sense to swat flies.
Or maybe it’s a useful diversion for them, to be seen failing to effectively counter a manageable threat, while losing most of our traditional, well friends and allies might be too strong, but more or less friendly acquaintances wouldn’t be. Because while that happens and old enemy reappears.
While so may cry appeasement (justifiably) in the middle east, and with respect to Iran, specifically, the old enemy reappears silently in the wood. Stalin may be dead, but others dream of his power and work to make their dreams happen.
The government of the Russian Federation long ago committed to a policy that embraced the revisionist reconstruction of recent history and the remaking of Russian culture in the mold of an idealized past. For years, it was understood that journalists critical of the conduct of the Russian government were gambling with their lives. It seems likely that the next target of the Kremlin’s campaign to dismantle the reforms of the Gorbachev era will be the nation’s artists and visionaries.
The Russian government has already gone about the process of reintroducing Soviet-style bans on undesirable artistic content. For filmmakers, novelists, bloggers, and playwrights, to write provocative content with explicit language is to risk being charged a substantial fine. Moscow has also begun to censor evocative imagery. The graphic novelist Art Spiegelman was dismayed to discover last month that the Russian Federation has banned his Pulitzer Prize-winning series of books about the Holocaust, Maus, which ran afoul of the nation’s ban on the publication of the Swastika.
And so it goes. And…
To hide the evidence of the illegal war Russia is waging and supporting in neighboring Ukraine following the invasion and annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, American lawmakers allege that Moscow is using mobile crematoriums to destroy the evidence of their involvement in the fighting.
“The Russians are trying to hide their casualties by taking mobile crematoriums with them,” Rep. William “Mac” Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told Bloomberg’s Josh Rogin. “They are trying to hide not only from the world but from the Russian people their involvement.”
The U.S. and NATO have long maintained that thousands of Russian troops are fighting alongside separatists inside eastern Ukraine, and that the Russian government is obscuring not only the presence but also the deaths of its soldiers there. In March, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow told a conference, “Russian leaders are less and less able to conceal the fact that Russian soldiers are fighting — and dying — in large numbers in eastern Ukraine.”
And by the way, the Russians have plans to use prison labor to build the stadium for the World Cup. Nothing quite like one corrupt hand washing the other, is there?
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