Scoundrel Media Putin Bashing
By Stephen Lendman
It's relentless. It never quits. It's for any reason or none at all. Cold War geopolitics never ended.
Since Soviet Russia's 1991 dissolution, Western policy remained hard-wired in place.
Putin defends Russian sovereignty. He opposes US imperial lawlessness. Washington considers him public enemy number one. At stake is world peace.
A previous article discussed Stephen Cohen. He's a Russian expert. He discussed scoundrel media practice. It's longstanding. It's "pervasive," said Cohen. It's reprehensible.
"(E)ssential facts and context" are suppressed. Managed news misinformation substitutes. It's no less ideologically driven than during the Cold War days, Cohen explained.
Putin is viciously demonized. Facts are conveniently twisted. Truth is nowhere in sight.
Cohen sees a "new Cold War divide between West and East" unfolding. Imagine a possible hot one following.
Imagine what could imperil humanity. Imagine the damn fool in the White House risking it.
Washington Post editors are neocon extremists. They endorse confrontation. They bash Putin relentlessly. They invent reasons to do so.
On February 25, they headlined "In Russia, the Games are over and the repression returns."
They discussed a Moscow court sentencing seven May 6, 2012 Bolotnaya Square hooligans.
Eight were charged. One got a suspended sentence. More on WaPo's Putin bashing below.
Rioters disrupted a peaceful march. Video evidence showed what happened.
Troublemakers threw rocks. They attacked police officers. They did it provocatively. They acted disruptively.
They did so ahead of Putin's inauguration. They got sentences ranging from two and a half to four years.
Several hundred protesters were initially detained. They challenged police violently. They tried preventing their most radical members from being arrested.
Over 80 police officers were injured. Property damage was estimated at around $900,000.
Imagine how US law enforcement officials would react to this type violence. Imagine sentences US courts would hand down.
Imagine much harsher treatment. Federal courts are especially unforgiving. They're one-sided. Guilt by accusation suffices.
Thousands of innocent victims languish in America's gulag. It's the world's largest by far. It's one of the most ruthless. Judicial fairness isn't America's long suit.
Central Moscow's Bolotnaya Square rioting wasn't happenstance. It was well planned. In October 2012, Russia's Investigative Committee law enforcement body discovered what happened.
Evidence revealed anti-government Left Front leader Sergey Udaltsov's involvement. He was caught planning street violence with Givi Targmadze.
He's a former Georgian MP. He's a color revolution expert. His involvement perhaps showed agitators want Putin toppled.
Udaltsov was detained. So was one of his aides. They were charged. They face up to 10 years in prison.
Opposition ally Konstantin Lebedev was involved. He accepted a plea bargain. He got two and half years for plotting mass disorder.
Udaltsov, his aide Leonid Razvozzhayev, Targamadze (in absentia), and Lebedev were charged with organizing violent anti-government demonstrations.
Investigators said they "aimed at destabilizing the social-political situation" in Russia. Moscow's Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) said they planned inciting further unrest nationwide.
A PGO statement said:
"For that purpose, the accomplices were organizing the so-called training camps in (several Russian cities) as well as in the republic of Lithuania."
"They were also recruiting participants for planned riots."
Suspects planned street rioting with Georgian officials. In June 2012, they met in Minsk, Belarus. They allegedly got foreign financial backing.
Georgia's Targamadze remains charged in absentia. He's outside Russia. He's on a wanted list. He remains free. Trial proceedings for Udaltsov and his aide Razvozzhayev remain ongoing.
The Bolotnaya Square case remains controversial. Opinion is split. Anti-government elements called sentencing defendants intimidating.
Law and order supporters urged harsher punishment. Rioting had regime change in mind. Insurrection is serious business.
US courts would be unforgiving. They'd hand down long sentences. In some cases perhaps life without parole.
Hundreds of innocent US defendants are treated this way. Many guiltless victims receive capital punishment.
State-sponsored murder claims many lives unjustly. People of color are harmed most.
Since Bolotnaya Square defendants were charged, public demonstrations supported them. At times disruptively.
On February 24, Moscow police detained about 200 demonstrators. They blocked traffic. They tried breaking through police cordons.
Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were involved. So were Putin opponents Ilya Yashin, Aleksey Navalny and Boris Nemtsov.
On February 25, Moscow's Tverskoy District Court sentenced Navalny to seven days in jail. Nemtsov and Yashin got 10 days each.
They were charged with violating police orders against acting disruptively in Manezh Square.
In response, Nemtzov Twittered: "Ruled guilty. Arrest - 10 days. Russia will be free! See you!"
Anti-Putin protesters Nikolai Lyaskin and Nadezhda Mityushkina also got 10 days each. Others still detained may get short sentences. Most held earlier were released.
On February 26, Michael McFaul ended is US ambassadorship to Russia. He won't be missed.
He actively supports anti-Putin opponents. He's a neocon connected to Stanford University's Hoover Institution.
He's a former Freedom House board of directors member. Neocons infest its leadership.
On February 25, ahead of his departure, he Twittered it's "discouraging to see hundreds of detentions of those trying to exercise their constitutional rights of freedom of speech and expression."
They don't permit violent rioting. Late Monday, Russia's human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin arrived in Manezh Square.
He monitored events. He had "no particular reprimands about the actions of police," he said.
"We witnessed no obviously brutal or disrespectful treatment of demonstrators by police," he stressed.
Late Monday, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton called sentences given the Bolotnaya Square defendants "disproportionate in light of the nature of the events and the offenses they are accused of."
They could have been charged with plotting insurrection. Ashton didn't explain.
Washington weighed in as expected. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said:
"The United States is deeply disappointed by the sentences handed down by a Moscow court in the cases of eight individuals arrested after the Bolotnaya Square protests in Moscow in May 2012."
She called their trial "politically motivated." She claimed it lacked "due process."
She called sentences "another example of punish(ing) Russians for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of speech and assembly."
She called on Moscow "to demonstrate its commitment to the rule of law by correcting this injustice."
She ignored longstanding Western abuses. She said nothing about egregious US civil and human rights violations.
She was silent about Washington funding anti-Russian organizations. She ignored US efforts to prevent Putin's reelection.
She turned a blind eye to thousands of political prisoners languishing in America's gulag.
She bashed Russia unjustifiably. It's common Western practice. It's more-so in America. It bears repeating. Putin's geopolitical independence makes him Washington's public enemy number one.
He's US media scoundrels' main punching bag. Putin bashing continues like sport. WaPo editors take full advantage.
They claimed Bolotnaya Square protesters "face imprisonment for the crime of expressing their opinions."
They ignored provocative street violence. Attacking police constitutes physical assault. Try in America and see what happens.
Try it most anywhere in Western society and see harsh punishment following. According to WaPo editors, constitutional rights are "fraying under Mr. Putin's rule."
Violent rioting doesn't matter. WaPo editors dismissed it out of hand. They claimed some accused protesters were "picked at random." They cited no evidence proving it.
They call Putin's courts "czarist" ones. They seize every opportunity to bash him. Their likeminded counterparts do the same thing.
They ignore longstanding egregious US injustice. Guilt by accusation is commonplace.
Prosecutorial unfairness targets America's most disadvantaged. Jurors are intimidated to convict. Long prison terms await many unjustly.
Hanging judges are part of a dirty system. Nothing like America's race to incarcerate exists anywhere else in the world.
Many victims are commodified for profit. Injustice is endemic. Cruel and unusual treatment is commonplace.
Rule of law principles don't matter. Police states operate this way. America is a model of unfairness. Don't expect scoundrel media editors to explain.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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