Monday, June 25, 2007

Putin's Miscalculation

Russian President Putin is at the propaganda podium again.

THE history of the Soviet Union had fewer black pages in its history than certain other countries, not least the US, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said in a speech.


It's a short article. The question I have is, who is he trying to convince? Himself?

Let's take a look at the Soviet Union. Revolution brought the deaths of the Czar and his family, as well as those that supported him. After Stalin came to power, the deaths by government (democide) were astronomical.

China, Cuba, and Iran also had their democidal moments immediately post revolution. Even France had its "Reign Of Terror".

But where did we read that Americans executed British soldiers and those that sympathized with them, immediately after the American Revolution was won?

If you want to use the American nation as a measuring stick, that's fine. There are some moments in our history that we were not the bright shining city on a hill, but nowhere (save the War Between The States) did Americans kill other Americans for their political beliefs, certainly not in the numbers that the USSR and other despotic regimes did.

Want numbers? Look here.

Really want to learn something? Peruse Dr. R.J. Rummel's work at the University of Hawaii. Do this, then come back here and tell us all how utterly horrible the United States has been throughout its short history.


Addendum:

Some people know first hand the influence Maoist ideology brings to a society and they do not like it. And when a Hollywood star that thinks it's chic to wear such apparel that glorifies murderous thugs like Mao (in their presence), they find out real quick just how offensive the apparel can be. Details here.


19 comments:

Greg said...

THE history of the Soviet Union had fewer black pages in its history than certain other countries, not least the US, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said in a speech.

So, Putin's a hard left Democrat. :)

Seriously, though, here's another opportunity for me to plug Natan Sharansky's book, "The Case for Democracy." Great history of the Soviet Union, and how the US destroyed it with a combination of strong defense and superior values. Everyone must read it.

LASunsett said...

Greg,

//here's another opportunity for me to plug Natan Sharansky's book, "The Case for Democracy."//

I have it on my list with several others.

Those that don't believe that democracy does make a difference will not read it, because their minds are already made up. Those of us that do believe it makes a difference are already sold.

Mary Ellen said...

Americans aren't angels, LA. What about black slavery? Do you honestly think they liked being slaves..beaten, raped, and starved, in many cases?

How about what we did to the American Indian population? We killed them, drove them from their lands, raped their women and almost wiped out their food supply by killing more buffalo than could ever be eaten, just for the hell of it!

You think Putin is the only one who uses propaganda? What about Bush? News if fed to Fox News and they spew it out...it doesn't matter if it's true.

How about the rendition of innocent Iraqi's to other countries so we could torture them without being caught? Poland had already admitted that this is true.

How about the carnage that we have inflicted on Iraq and their citizens for oil? I never thought I'd say it, but there were fewer deaths when Saddam Hussein was in power. He had torture rooms...we had Abu Ghraib. He had rape rooms...we had soldiers and private security forces who not only raped women, but made prisoners rape their own family members as a form of torture, or they raped their women in front of family members.

Saddam was a despot, but what is Bush?

We are not any better than any other country in the world, especially since Bush has come into power. Of course, now we have a new branch of government to deal with, The Cheney Branch.

Greg said...

M-E, even the most evil man in human history (Bush, of course) didn't approve of Abu Ghraib, which paled in comparison to what happened there under Hussein. The perpetrators of Abu Ghraib were apprehended and severely punished.

In America, you can say anything you want about your President. In the Soviet Union, if you said, "Democracy might be good for us," you might find yourself in jail without trial.

Bush isn't a despot. He's checked by other, legitimately independent, branches of gov't. And his term is definite - it will end, you will be happy to learn. Compare/contrast with Hussein or his hero, Stalin.

Perspective, please. Abu Ghraib ain't Hussein's rape rooms. And GITMO ain't the gulag.

LASunsett said...

ME,

//We are not any better than any other country in the world, especially since Bush has come into power. Of course, now we have a new branch of government to deal with, The Cheney Branch.//

Irrelevant to the argument here. This isn't about Bush. Why must arguments always lead back to Bush?

LASunsett said...

From the dictionary:

Despot - a : a ruler with absolute power and authority b : a person exercising power tyrannically

Like Greg says, there are checks and balances that are in place to prevent any president from becoming a despot.

So, one can say that hate Bush based on whatever reasoning they choose. So, to ask the question "What is Bush?", one can say for a certainty what he is not. In this case, he is not a despot.

A.C. McCloud said...

What about black slavery? Do you honestly think they liked being slaves..beaten, raped, and starved, in many cases?

Of course not, that's why America fought a war with itself over slavery and later outlawed it. Just look at the wealth and prestige of blacks in America today compared to how they were treated in the past, and in other countries.

As to us being bad, sure America is capable of bad actions--all people and governments are--it's that our system is based on the idea of correcting those actions. For example, in a fascist/socialist/Islamist country your views would not be "tolerated". Here is America we can openly speak our minds on talk radio, blogs, TV programs and newspapers.

Mary Ellen said...

Greg

I forgot...you guys get your news from Fox. A.G. doesn't compare to what S.H. did? There is more information and more pictures coming out on that. Look again.

The only ones who were punished for A.G. were a few lower ranked G.I's and one woman General who was kept from going into that area by higher ranking Generals. Read her book, you'll be amazed.

What checks and balances, LA? Like the ones that Cheney and Bush have ignored? How about that new branch of government Cheney invented. Even the Republicans and expert Constitutional lawyers said his hiding behind this so-called "new" branch of office is illegal.

Checks and balances don't work when you have one party in control with members who refuse to do oversight. Now that there is oversight, those who are afraid of what it will make clear, are whining about it.

I don't think my argument is irrelevant. You said that Putin remarked that Soviet Union had fewer black pages in its history than the US. I pointed out that he may not be far off the mark. Which is evident in our history of the Indians and of Bush's presidency which is producing history of war, torture and propaganda. How is that off the mark?

despot: any tyrant or oppressor

Bush has done all he can to oppress the middle class and poor by cutting social programs in order to give tax breaks to the rich, and cut benefits for the soldiers who are fighting his war for oil in Iraq. Despot: George W. Bush.

Mary Ellen said...

a.c. mcloud

Just look at the wealth and prestige of blacks in America today compared to how they were treated in the past, and in other countries.

What country do you live in? Yeah, there are some black who are rich,but the majority are not. In fact, I believe the majority of all poor in America are black. Not to mention, the majority of inmates in our prisons are black. They can't afford lawyers and pull strings like guys such as Scooter Libby. Are you telling me that blacks actually have equal rights in America? Puuuhleeeese!!!!

You're right...we did fight the civil war to make changes, just as wars were fought in Russia to make changes. I never said we were the worst in the world, but we aren't angels to be sure.

I also don't think Putin is someone you want to turn your back on, but at least with him you know what you're getting. With Bush...well, at least we already know his capability to do more damage to a country and its military and economy than anyone can ever have imagined. Oh wait...I forgot, we have all those rich blacks to boost our economy, don't we?

LASunsett said...

ME,

//Despot: George W. Bush.//

Nice hyperbole. But the hyperbole contest was last week.

BEING HAD said...

You have to remember that it was because the USSR was born of revolution that the leaders (most specifically Stalin) were especially attuned to any potential counter revolution. But then again, a very common game in the FSU is called "Who's guilty?" It is played by defining exactly how each player either is or is not responsible for an action or comment. The object is never to be responsible or accountable. Probably a life skill. I think though all he was saying is: Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself.

Mary Ellen said...

LA

How is what I said "hyperbole"? I made a perfectly good point that George Bush has oppressed many Americans, the poor and middle class, by taking away social programs that they depended on and giving tax breaks for the rich. He did do that and he also took away benefits for our military soldiers. Now, why is that not oppressing a certain group of Americans in favor of another. Does that not make him an oppressor, therefor a despot?

I'm not exaggerating. I think he has done more harm to the poor and middle class than any President than I can recall in the recent past. You may not want to admit that he has acted as a tyrant, but I would venture to guess that you are in the minority.

You shouldn't dismiss my comments as hyperbole, LA. I back up everything I say with facts.

being had has a very good point, Putin was just pointing out the obvious. Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

A.C. McCloud said...

ME, you're missing the point, badly. Blacks are no longer 3/5ths of a person and held in slavery in this country. Meanwhile some Arab Muslim tribes still enslave black Africans and have no intention of changing unless forced to. Look at Darfur--it will not be changed unless the west, led by America, uses military force.

Good Lord, nobody is saying America is full of angels. Yes, a LOT of things are wrong or going wrong here but you've got to look at America on balance of the good we've done theough history compared to the bad. The former far outweighs the latter. The immigration debate alone is proof positive the world doesn't hate us.

They can't afford lawyers and pull strings like guys such as Scooter Libby.

Is that why Libby is just a few weeks from entering prison w/o a presidential pardon? Is that why Paris Hilton served more time than a normal person charged with that crime? Is that why the Duke Lacrosse players were dragged through a year of hell because the poor innocent 'victim' couldn't get justice? Is that why OJ got away with murder? Sorry, not convinced.

Are you telling me that blacks actually have equal rights in America? Puuuhleeeese!!!!

Of course they do. The discrimination comes from individuals, both liberals and conservatives I might add, who play favorites. BTW, when blacks reach power (would you like me to list all the black mayors in this country?) they tend to play the same game with their friends. I know, it happens in Memphis all the time.

Greg said...

I forgot...you guys get your news from Fox.

Or...we just looked at the facts and came to a different conclusion.

LASunsett said...

ME,

//You shouldn't dismiss my comments as hyperbole, LA. I back up everything I say with facts.//

It is by definition, hyperbole. The "facts" you cite are your opinions. Nothing more.

How has Bush oppressed the poor? Facts please.

How has been a tyrant according to the current accepted political definition? Facts please.

How has he been a despot? Facts please.

My facts were in the links I provided. Did you even look at the numbers? Can you dispute Dr Rummel's numbers? Or does it suffice you to invoke George Bush's name anytime you want to vent your frustration with him?

You can call your prose whatever you want. You can define Bush however you want. That is your right and your privilege. But it doesn't make it so by claiming you are providing facts, when you are not. It's not going to fly, by saying that most of the American people say it is so, when you have no scientific poll (as weak as they may be) to back it up.

So, if you are going to make faulty assumptions based on your feelings, you are going to have a hard time convincing most objective and educated people that George Bush is on the same level as a Stalin, a Hitler, a Pol Pot, a Castro, or anyone else throughout the annals of history that earned that title.

You can say that you think he is the worst President in history and say why you feel that way, all day long. That's perfectly fine. But to claim someone is something they are clearly not, based on definitions that have been around long before the man you want to affix that label to, you are going to have to do better than that. I do not now, nor will I ever accept your arguments (as you have so far stated), as anything but hyperbole and baseless deductions based on your opinions and emotions.

I too have a college degree, I too took a wealth of classes that taught me to think for myself and most of them were taught by liberal Democrat profs. I too took some Poli Sci classes and not one of the profs would even think to affix the label of tyrant or despot to Bush, and still be expected to be considered an intellectual in the academic community.

Mary Ellen said...

LA

But to claim someone is something they are clearly not, based on definitions that have been around long before the man you want to affix that label to, you are going to have to do better than that. I do not now, nor will I ever accept your arguments (as you have so far stated), as anything but hyperbole and baseless deductions based on your opinions and emotions.

Personally I don't care if you accept my description of Bush as a despot. I know who and what Bush is, and you are among the very, very small minority of Americans who support the guy. What can I say, other than I was able to foresee exactly the mess our government would be in if he became President and you still can't face it, even after the fact! As much as you think I may be impressed by your academic record, it only makes me wonder if it did you any good since you still aren't able to discern the difference from propaganda and truth. So, go ahead and think of my comments as hyperbole, that doesn't bother me in the least. Keep getting your information from Drudge and Bill O'Reilly (he's a real genius all right! LOL!).

To be honest, I don't think it's my calling Bush a despot that bothers you as much as the fact that I refuse to join your cheerleading squad for the guy. You shouldn't let this become so personal, LA, it takes away the fun of blogging! Relax..have a beer! '-)

LASunsett said...

ME,

//I know who and what Bush is, and you are among the very, very small minority of Americans who support the guy.//

Again, your opinion. But I would caution that not accepting your definition of him as a despot, does not translate into support on all things.

I have made my criticisms of him known and I will continue to do so. But just because I do not consider him a tryant, a despot, or Satan incarnate, does not mean him and I are swapping spit in the shower. I defended Bill Clinton when I thought he was right and criticized him when I thought he was wrong. And I will do the same of the next President, whoever it may end up being.

As far as you irking me over your beliefs not being in line with mine, I think you are mistaken. I have no desire to change anyone. I only put out my thoughts and beliefs as I see them and have no regrets about any of them.

No, I am not upset at all. You should know that I do not take any of this personally, I have said it here, on SF, and through our e-mails. Life's too short kiddo. As far as fun is concerned, I am having it and I hope you are too. ;)

But, should you come with some real solid facts to back up your assertions or you find something that refutes Dr. Rummel's numbers that puts tyranny and despotism into a valid perspective, I hope you do not mind that I will go with his arguments, over yours.

Mustang said...

I’m not sure that Russia today fits any of the conventional descriptions; it certainly isn’t Communist, and it has never been a Democracy. Perhaps one might argue that it is a federalist republic – but that would be a generous definition. More importantly, maybe all of this is mere political rhetoric, and “government organization” is simply the means that justifies the end. Apparently, it is not difficult to fool most of Russia’s citizens into thinking that their government has embraced democratic ideals; in truth, Russia remains a totalitarian state.

A recent news report suggested that many young Russians fear that the United States intends to invade Russia. According to this argument, since the US invaded Iraq for its oil, the US will likely invade Russia for its oil. Don’t laugh – because what this demonstrates (to me) is that propaganda is alive and well in Russia. It isn’t necessary that the propaganda is based on any credible evidence – only that people believe it. I have never been to Russia, but I have read a great deal about it, and especially the military campaigns fought there. I cannot imagine one Russian thing that we want or need – including frozen oil. We ought to wonder why young Russians are told such things, and it should make us wary of Mr. Putin’s agenda.

On a separate note, I wonder why people are still arguing about slavery in the United States; this issue was settled 142 years ago. Meanwhile, people throughout the world continue to be enslaved, either as a result of politics or theology. Women continue to kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery, and yet this does not seem to matter not a wit to those who are fixated on the enslavement of Africans. This tends to demonstrate (to me) that liberals are myopic -- they only see what they want to, and they understand even less.

LASunsett said...

Mustang,

//This tends to demonstrate (to me) that liberals are myopic -- they only see what they want to, and they understand even less.//

Those that narrow their vision and focus miss a lot of things that go into the making of the big picture. Sadly, the big picture is not looked at by these people. (Which brings them to many erroneous conclusions.)