Odds and Ends
Say hello to my little friend
4 3, 2:01am
"Only that coverage is shorter than cooking instruction on pack of spaghetti. And several times shorter than "rubber duck" article, which was on the main page on BBC, among few other news from last few days."
So you cherry-pick one article you don't like and claim western media didn't cover a particular protest - and when I show you they did with one link, you change your claim to basically "but that's only ONE link - and my duck-story is much longer!".
Well that one link was a video, which makes it kind of hard to compare in length to an article.
Also, that link is obviously not the only one reporting on that protest in western media.
It's obvious you just have a preconceived opinion that you're not willing to change, no matter what anyone else shows you.
Well the fact is that of course media in the west covers what happens in Russia, as Russia is one of the most important countries in the world.
But like I said before, all regular media - in every country - is more interested in national stories then international stories - because that's what their readers are most interested in.
They will obviously cover national, and even local stories, in more detail then they do international.
The same is true in Russia as well.
On top of that, Russia is a difficult country to work in for foreign journalists. Any country where journalists are routinely murdered or jailed for reporting stories the government doesn't want to see in print, obviously is.
So while Russia obviously is covered in western media, their coverage will not usually be as full and in depth as the coverage you can find in what few independent media that still remains in Russia.
"No, *he* wants people to believe these protests do not happen at all and that villa Selgren is not owned by him. He wants everything to be quiet, so he can maintain his corrupted status quo."
He wants that too.
But like I said, he also wants you to believe this:
"You BELIEVE that western media could only possibly be interested in what happens in Russia if it shows examples of oppression or can be used to fuel a red scare - and unfortunately that's precisely what Putin (and before him Soviet propaganda) WANTS all Russians to believe."
Those are two different things, but both are important to create the false narrative that strengthens his grip on power.
He wants Russians to believe that most people are behind him, a simple man of the people, only working selflessly for Mother Russia - like you said, more or less.
AND he wants Russians to see foreigners - especially the west and the US - as the enemy that only he can defend you all from.
The first lie is to make himself out to be the only suitable leader for all Russians to unite behind - the other lie is to claim there is an enemy that Russians must unite against.
Without either of those lies, there wouldn't be a need for him.
"hey, it isn't me asking things like "you won't get in trouble for watching that movie?" and "are there any independent media in your country?". As well as not me claiming that Putin has broad support of people whom he shits on 24/7 for past six years. I make conclusions based on *my own* observations."
I ask those things because I don't live in Russia so I don't know how bad things actually are. You do - so I ask you.
The news reports we get in the west does of course not answer all questions. We know Russian media is being suppressed - but not exactly how the suppression works.
I'm old enough to remember the Soviet Union, and have spoken to people who grew up there, so I know a little about how bad it was back then - but I'm not sure how complete the suppression of truth and information is today.
The FSB could certainly be surveilling internet traffic of ordinary Russians if they wanted - but from your replies it doesn't seem that's anything you're worried about anyway.
Regarding Putin's support, it's the common analysis in the west that Putin does enjoy rather broad support in Russia.
That's not to say that he has legitimately earned that support - but rather that he, by controlling the media and suppressing any real threats to his position, have framed himself as the only real option for many Russians.
Meaning that this support isn't actually earned, but fabricated.
And given a real, democratic choice, it's quite probable that he wouldn't be reelected again.
So it's not that we in the west believe that Russians enthusiastically support Putin - it's more that we believe that many Russians believe that they have no other choice, and that many - especially older Russians, who remember the Soviet Union - probably doesn't dare oppose the government.
You may disagree and that analysis may be wrong - but that's the picture we get in the west anyway.
"Though, in age of monarchy we kept switching friends like white gloves on a ball, befriending England, France, England again, Prussia and Austria, then having Crimean War and hating everybody for brief moment, then befriending France and England again... Then being invaded by them during Civil War... Though that's another story."
Most great powers did at that time. It was easy switching allegiance when the leaders didn't have to convince their people that a country that had just been their enemy was now their friend and vice versa.
"And in USSR existed that idea of "Friendship of Nations", not in first half of Union's existence, but in the second one, when country became more open - despite the "Iron Curtain" idea was that humanity can coexist in peace and unite, just some parts of it need more time to grow into communism. Did not exactly worked same way as it was on paper, but never the less - people were given idea of viewing foreigners not as enemies - that is among common, regular citizens."
Yes, everything became better after Stalin of course. And the propaganda frankly smarter. Suspecting anyone who's ever talked to a foreigner of being a spy and sending them all to the Gulags or shooting them wasn't a very sustainable idea.
Continuing down that Stalinist path is what made present day North Korea into the hellhole it is.
"And nowadays, well... What do you know, government claims that we are invincible, that sanctions and other conflicts do not harm - benefit even - our economy, and that there is no serious conflict at all. Sure, there are few sources that are sowing distrust, but still appears it isn't a main aim of state media's rhetorics."
Well, if I got Putin right from his propaganda speech the other day, his story is that now that Putin is in charge, the rest of the world must listen to Russia.
Before we apparently all tried to screw you over, but then Big Daddy Putin built some magical wonder weapons, and now all Russians are safe and the rest of us quiver in our boots at Russia's might.
Well, as I've told you before, that talk about the US missile defenses are just stupid propaganda. No serious analyst in the west has even ever claimed they could stop a massive Russian launch of missiles - that's just not true.
They have a decent chance of stopping on-off missiles from small nations like Iran or North Korea, who only has the capacity to launch one or two missiles at once.
These missiles are small an incredibly fast - it's REALLY hard to shot them down.
But if you have to track just one or two you can focus all your tracking radars at them and have a decent chance, launching multiple missiles to intercept.
While a massive launch from Russia is just impossible to stop - Russia has more ICBM:s then the US has anti-missile battery's of the kind that could even track them.
So as I said before - Russia doesn't actually need new nuclear submarines as no one would dare strike you anyway. And you don't need missiles to evade a US anti-missile system that could never stop a massive Russian launch anyway - and was never even designed too.
Reagan talked up his "Star Wars"-program in the 80's - satellites with lasers shooting down ICBM:s in space - but that never worked and was never built.
But Putin obviously want to restart a cold war in hopes of getting the Russian people to support him, in fear of the evil west.
While we in the west are much more interested in our latest TV shows and celebrity gossip.
The sanctions are there because Putin invaded Crimea and are messing with the Ukraine. That most westerns doesn't like, because we believe that if you don't stop a bully when he picks on someone - you might well be next.
And now of course Putin is only upping the ante, by messing with almost every election in the west, trying to undermine our democratic institutions.
Which of course will only lead to more sanctions, sooner or later.
Then Russian athletes got barred from competing under the Russian flag in the winter Olympics - again because Putin pushed government supported doping on a massive scale in the Sochi Olympics.
So all of this is just based on Putin's own actions - but of course he won't admit that to the Russian people. So I guess it's all presented as the evil west's plan against Russia, just because we hate you without any rational reason.
And Putin himself probably sees either result as a win. Either the rest of the world let's him get away with it - or we take some action to stop him, and then he uses that as an excuse to tell his own people the rest of the world all hates Russia.
Well we don't - but we don't like bullies like Putin.
"It is, actually, independent bloggers and websites that claim that now, when off-shore accounts of many officials are frozen, they can be forced into following interests of foreign governments for sake of preserving their wealth. Though from my observations - they hardly follow any of our national interests, since our market is overflown with imports even now, and since our main exports are still raw materials. *Cheap* raw materials. Raw materials from our soil, a thing that have been historically called "natural riches" - which flows in Europe and China for prices able to make laugh even a cashier at village supermarket."
I don't think that would ever happen - and there is certainly no evidence of it so far.
Instead, Putin only seems to be doubling down on this conflict with the west, and the only action he seems to be taking is to try to get the sanction targeting the men around him personally revoked - the so called "Magnitsky Act".
That was what the meeting between the Russians and Trumps son and other campaign leaders in Trump Tower before the US election was all about - Putin only cares about lifting the Magnitsky Act, because that's the one hurting him and his friends personally.
They've stashed away billions abroad in real estate and other property, as well as bank accounts, and now that's all frozen.
All those money they worked so hard to steal from the Russian people, just sitting there.
Note that the larger economic sanctions against Russia is not what Putin wanted Trump to rescind - because those sanctions doesn't directly hurt him and his friends, and they give him a grievance to attack the west over.
No, what he wanted Trump to do was release his own and his friends personal fortunes - because that's what he really cares about, of course.
No, of course Putin isn't promoting Russia's national interest - he's only doing what's best for himself, personally.
Economic sanctions from the west over Russia's occupation of the Crimea and the intervention in the Ukraine isn't in Russia's national interest of course - and neither are the occupation or the intervention itself.
Focusing on Russia's national interests would be to develop your infrastructure, diversify your economical base away from relying on exports of cheap natural resources to more refined products, investing more in education, healthcare and social programs and less in pointless new nuclear subs.
That would strengthens Russia long-term. But strongmen like Putin isn't interested in the long-term - they only want to cling on to power as long as they can, and suck out as much profit as they can along the way.
Which is why the Magnitsky Act is such a good idea - because it hit's Putin and his cronies right in the balls.
Such an act could never have worked on Hitler for instance - because he wasn't in power to enrich himself personally. He had a fucked-up ideological plan for Germany that he actually followed and he never stashed away money abroad in case he would have lost power. While strongmen like Putin always have a back-up plan and a helicopter on stand-by, waiting to fly them away from the angry crowd if their people ever turn on then.
Then their money and contact can buy them a safe retirement in some dictatorship or other, where they can live comfortably for the rest of their lives.
"So, are you certain there are ~no~ people on other side of RF border who are interested in our country being screwed up..? And instead of developing industry and innovations - selling raw oil, timber and grain as it's main exports?"
Oh, I never said that! Of course there are always people wanting to make a quick buck. They're called "venture capitalists" today - but they've always been around throughout history.
But you get that "interested in our country being screwed up"-part wrong.
Those people doesn't care what country they hurt - they're only in it for the money.
Swedish venture capitalists happily fucks Sweden and Swedes over any chance they get - because they think making money is an excuse that absolves all sins.
And the same goes for American or British or French venture capitalist in their own nations as well.
Applying this old nationalist view that foreigners wish your country harm is most often simply wrong. They're only in it for the money, they have no ideological or nationalist motive for their actions.
Also, the worst such cases can only happen if the country in question doesn't have the will to stop the exploitation - and that's up to the leadership in the country.
Countries ruled by strongmen like Putin usually sell of state property dirt cheap to foreigners - because as I said, they don't have a long-term interest in the nation, but are only out to make as much profit as they can why they're still in power.
That's one of the major reason Cuba turned Communist and ended up firmly on the side of the Soviet Union, actually.
While Castro was conducting his guerilla campaign, before he came to power, he repeatedly stated that he was not a communist and didn't want to break of relation with the US or anything like that.
He only wanted his people to have a better deal then they where getting under the US-backed dictator Batista.
Then he took power, and the reality was that Batista had sold of most of the fertile lands of Cuba to the US-owned United Fruit Company.
Cuba couldn't feed it's own people on the land that was left, because United Fruit was growing cheap cash crops like bananas for US consumption.
So Castro traveled to the US and said that Cuba must get to buy some of this land back as cheaply as it was sold - or their people would starve.
Well the US congress refused, instead backing the United Fruit Company and demanding that Castro and the new government honor the contracts Batista had signed.
While everyone of course knew that Batista had sold his peoples land for basically nothing, since he didn't care if they starved anyway.
Well of course no country can accept such extortion, and the US backing the failed Bay of Pigs invasion didn't make relations better either.
So Castro went to Moscow, declared himself a communist and Cuba ended up in the Warsaw-pact camp.
With Soviet protection Castro could nationalize the land and feed his people - and United Fruit got nothing at all in compensation.
But the United Fruit Company didn't buy that land to specifically screw Cuba - they just wanted somewhere to grow their cheap bananas to make a profit in the US.
They didn't care that they hurt Cuba or the Cuban people, no - but they also didn't specifically set out to do that.
They where just greedy - and for that they ended up getting nothing when the Cuban state simply took the land back without paying anything for it.
Which is probably what will happen in Russia as well, the day Putin is gone and you get an honest leader that cares about Russia in place.
Not that I think there are many foreign companies owning a lot of land in Russia - but there are certainly a lot of Russians around Putin, who have bought things from the Russian state for almost nothing that will sooner all later lose what they basically stole.
That's why they need to stash all that profit overseas - where they hoped it was safe from the Russian people ever getting it back.