Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Has Russia really changed?,1,445255.story?coll=la-headlines-world

With a journalist recently murdered, after publishing disparaging articles about the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin (who discussed the crime with "President" Bush), how far has Russia come from the oppressive goverment of the Stalin regime? Yes, the communists have been deposed, which of course is good news for capitalist America, but if a journalist is murdered after criticizing the government, has anything really changed?
Putin, in a Bushesque move, granted a cursory sympathy for the murdered journalist, while implying that her articles "damaged" Russia and that she was killed not by government agents sent to protect Russia's interests, but by exiles seeking to tarnish Russia's international reputation. Using a tragic event to instill fear and patriotism in the masses. But unlike 9/11, which actually was committed by America's enemies (however ill-informed the US government was), Putin has no proof of his paranoid assumption, or at least hasn't made this proof public. Considering that the murdered journalist was a vocal critic of Putin, his comments are suspect to say the least. He appears to be trying to deflect the blame off of himself and his supporters (although it's unlikely that Putin himself had anything to do with the murder, but that might be the subject of another "paranoid theory" post) and onto enemies of the nation, just as Bush and his league of evil call their war tactics, which have left thousands dead and the Middle East no less in chaos, necessary to spread democracy and protect America.
But unfortunately for Putin, this murdered journalist had many admirers, who call her a "true patriot" for exposing the corruption that is undermining the liberties of Russian citizens. I can't say for certain how popular Putin currently is in Russia, but if his approval rating is anything like Bush's (in the 30s and falling), the public likely isn't buying his assertions. But if one journalist is any indication, or her articles detailing abuses by the Russian government, Putin and his staff and supporters do not take dissent lightly. Undermining the memory of a murder victim and using the crime to cast blame on real or imagined enemies. Funny, you don't hear Ann Coulter calling Putin a "media whore."

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