...I had to laugh when I heard the thrilling news that "hundreds of people" marched through the streets of St. Petersburg recently to protest Putin's supposedly repressive regime. This was one of a series of "dissidents' marches" being held by the "opposition" – a seriocomic coalition of chess champion Gary Kasparov and neo-fascist crackpot Eduard Limonov. Hundreds, eh? Hundreds of thousands of antiwar marchers over the years protesting America's policy in Iraq have failed to garner as much publicity as this little band did in record time – now isn't that odd?
Odder still is the nature of the "opposition" itself: Limonov is a punk-rock skinhead "idol" and sometime novelist whose crazed views are best summed up by his National Bolshevik Party's graphic incorporation of Soviet and Nazi symbols to create the single most repulsive party emblem in all of recorded history. Kasparov, aside from his well-known exploits in the game of chess, is a pawn of American neoconservatives: his real constituency isn't in Russia, where he remains an obscure political figure, but in Washington, D.C., where he stands amid such neocon luminaries as Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and James Woolsey as a member of the Center for Security Policy. The Center is a major neocon propaganda outfit headed by longtime neocon activist Frank Gaffney, whose name is virtually synonymous with the military-industrial complex. Kasparov served on the Center's National Security Advisory Council along with Woolsey....
By Justin Raimondo from antiwar.com
If you have viewed the video and were left with a renewed sense of disdain for Putin's government and respect for Kasparov's work, then I wish you well. Your lack of knowledge of Russian politics has just been exploited to feed you propaganda.
It may surprise you to find out that Kasparov associates with a group you know well -- American neocons. In fact, he has received recognition for his work and was given a board seat by the National Security Advisory Council. This organization is promoting the same policy of "peace through American strength" which got US into Iraq and which has a policy of dismembering Russia in order to pass control over its natural resources to Western interests.
Given such a background it shouldn't be surprising that Kasparov is a fringe candidate in Russia and is closely monitored by authorities. Imagine that in the United States, a presidential candidate was advocating overthrowing the government and making US a vassal of another state. In fact there were such candidates in the US! How many of you know of Gus Hall or Angela Davis? Both were presidential/vice-presidential candidates from the United States Communist party. Both were prosecuted and marginalized by the media.
My point isn't to argue pros/cons of alternative systems of government. My point is that each government either in the United States or Russia is concerned first and foremost about its continuity, its self-preservation. Thus, the system's enforcers(FBI, CIA, KGB) closely monitor leaders who advocate the overthrow of the system of government, whether they are Kasparov or Gus Hall.
Everyone loves a good underdog story. Inviting Kasparov is a cheap way for Bill Maher to exploit the underdog perception to get rating. Actually the show has an eerily similarity to how TV shows in the Soviet Union interviewed Gus Hall and Angela Davis. The bottom line is that both sides used this approach to demonize their opponents.
Is everything great under in Russia under Putin? Of course not. The media is controlled by government corporations, the corruption by government officials is a roadblock in doing business in Russia and Russia's economic policy is ineffective in dealing with problems such as inflation. However, one cannot pass judgment on Putin's government based solely on the negatives. The net of Putin's rule is that he will leave the country in a better shape than what he inherited in 1998.
While the vast majority of Russians benefited from Putin's rule, some on the fringes did not. Most oligarchs who stole from the Russian nation under Yeltsin have had their loot taken back from them. Kasparov, like other accomplices of oligarchs lost their positions of power and influence. Now they are trying to restore their power, not by acknowledging the government's successes and offering to continue progress, but by wanting to overthrow the system.
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