Paul Craig Roberts
August 31, 2012
The latest “rights group” to jump on Russia’s President Putin about Pussy Riot is RootsAction. Following the propaganda line that Washington has established, RootsAction’s appeal for money and petition signers states that the three Russian women were sentenced to two years in prison “for the ‘crime’ of performing a song against Russia’s president Vladimir Putin in a Moscow church.”
This statement is a propagandistic misrepresentation of the offense for which the women were tried and convicted.
I have expressed my sympathies for the convicted women, and as a member of Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union, I support human rights.
But I do not support the use of human rights organizations in behalf of Washington’s propaganda.
If Putin or some other official has the power to commute the sentences, I hope he uses it. But I do not think that the concerted Western propaganda campaign against Putin encourages that result. Twice as many Russians support the sentence than oppose it.
If the sentence is commuted in response to the Western propaganda campaign against Putin, Russian nationalists will depict Putin as a weak leader unable to stand up to Western intimidation. The more internal dissension there is in Russia, the easier for Washington to marginalize the country and kick it out of Washington’s path to the overthrow of Syria and Iran by brutal human-rights-violating violence, such as Washington has applied to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.
The State Department, the EU, and human rights groups are sufficiently politically astute to be aware of this fact. Yet, the propaganda continues.
As Putin has said, “we know what Comrade Wolf is up to.” But what about the human rights organizations? What are they up to? Have they been incorporated into Washington’s propaganda machine, like the Western media, or are they latching on to Pussy Riot as a visibility and fundraising issue for themselves?
Do-good organizations hurt for money, because compassion for others is not in abundant supply. Pussy Riot is a fundraising opportunity. If the Russian government succumbs to the propaganda, it provides an opportunity for human rights organizations to tout their influence. In other words, human rights organizations have independent reasons to align with Washington’s propaganda. Their alignment does not necessarily mean that they are conscious tools of Washington.
You can bet your last dollar that Washington, which dismisses as “collateral damage” the hundreds of thousands of women, children, and village elders murdered in Washington’s wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, and Syria, is not concerned with the three Pussy Riot women’s 2-year prison sentence.
Washington has kept the American hero, Bradley Manning in prison for two years without a trial. Washington claims the power, strictly prohibited by the US Constitution, that “scrap of paper,” to hold US citizens indefinitely in prison without due process of law and to murder them on suspicion alone without due process of law. Does any sentient person really believe that such a government gives a hoot about a two-year prison sentence for three Russian women?
The Western media is silent about the collapse of the United States into tyranny. But, on cue from Washington, the Western media is loud about the dire plight of Pussy Riot.
For example, this from the UK’s The Week with First Post: “Beyond Pussy Riot: slow death of freedom in Putin’s Russia.” Louisa Loveluck introduces her report: “The Russian government’s distaste for freedom of expression has been in the headlines recently thanks to the trial and subsequent imprisonment of three members of punk collective Pussy Riot. But the persecution of these women forms only a small part of a much broader crackdown on civil liberties in President Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”
Has Putin, like the Amerikan presidents Bush and Obama, declared that he has the power to throw Russian citizens in a dungeon for life without ever presenting evidence in a court? No, he has not.
Has Putin, like the Amerikan president Obama, declared that he has the power to assassinate Russian citizens without due process of law? No, he has not.
Has Putin, like the Amerikan president Obama, declared that he has the legal authority to invade any country of which he disapproves and to overthrow its government? No, he has not.
So why is the UK’s Louisa Loveluck going on about a two-year prison sentence in Russia when the UK government, in defiance of international law and in obedience to its Amerikan master, refuses safe passage to Ecuador for Julian Assange, who has been granted political asylum? Even “authoritarian” China grants safe passage to those granted asylum.
The hypocrisy of the West, including the rank hypocrisy of human rights organizations, is nauseating. It makes one ashamed.
Julian Assange faces life imprisonment in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London because the puppet UK government is helping Washington make an example of what happens to journalists who dare to publish the truth about Washington’s mendacity and war crimes.
Is Washington paying Louisa Loveluck’s salary or is she, along with the First Post, simply terrified of Washington’s power? Or are Ms. Loveluck and the First Post simply going with the flow and avoiding criticism by not differing from the propaganda line?
No one will investigate, so we will never know.
Meanwhile in “freedom and democracy” america, at their Tampa, Florida, nominating convention, the Republican Party showed its true colors. It is a Brownshirt Party.
The tyrannical Republican machine refused to allow Ron Paul’s name to be mentioned or his delegate count to be presented.
Reports from the Republican nomination convention read like reports of Stalin’s takeover of the Communist Party or the Nazi takeover of the German state. Rules adopted at the convention eliminate any grass roots input. The Republican politburo is supreme. The party is subservient, and the members’ voices are eliminated. Mimicking Lenin, the Republicans declared that Republican rule “means neither more nor less than unlimited power, resting directly on force, not limited by anything, not restricted by any laws, nor any absolute rules. Nothing else but that.”
As Mother Jones reported, Ron Paul supporters shouted from the convention floor, “Fuck You, Tyrants!” http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/08/ron-paul-supporters-rebel-convention-floor-fuck-you-tyrants
The Republicans are the party of “freedom and democracy.” The Republicans are the party most controlled by the neoconservatives, who are strongly allied with Israel’s far right-wing government and are most hostile to the US Constitution. The Republicans are the party that gave us the PATRIOT Act, the first massive assault on the US Constitution. The Republicans are the party that gave us 9/11. The Republicans are the party that gave us the $3 trillion war against Iraq based on the Republican party’s lies about “weapons of mass destruction.” The Republicans are the party that gave us the $3 trillion war in Afghanistan based on lies about Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. The Republicans are the party that gave us the supremacy of the President over both the US Constitution and US statutory law; the executive branch is bound by neither according to the Republican Federalist Society members of the US Department of Justice (sic).
Obama is a despicable patsy, a front man for powerful private interests, and Democrats should be totally ashamed to have elevated such a cowardly lowlife. But as awful as Obama is, a vote for Republicans is a vote for Hitler or Stalin. Indeed, the election of Romney and Ryan would be worse than either.
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is the father of Reaganomics and the former head of policy at the Department of Treasury. He is a columnist and was previously the editor of the Wall Street Journal. His latest book, “How the Economy Was Lost: The War of the Worlds,” details why America is disintegrating.