Note: I thought about not publishing this post, and just using it as one of those cathartic rants that stays forever in the drafts folder but makes one feel better. But I’m grumpy today. So here it is. It’s dedicated to the smart people out there. You know who you are!
It fascinates – and pisses me off – the way that debate about Russia has been turned into a warped zero sum game of Russophobes versus Russophiles.
The only thing that matters is whether you’re for or against Russia and whether you can consistently twist the facts to meet a twisted worldview.
“I am nothing more than a Kremlin shill.
There’s not a lot of room left for the kind of people who are prepared to accept that a bad government can do something right, and that a good government can do something bad. Or, shock horror, even that a good government can occasionally do something wrong, or stupid.
Over the past few months, I’ve written posts that have both criticised and praised Russia. I write them because I think that Russia is often right, although it’s also far too often wrong.
And, far too often, I take crap from people. Usually because of what they think I have said, in the context of their tiny little world views, rather than what I have actually said, in the context of an entire blog post, or a series of posts.
Take this post about the Russo-Georgian war, for example, in which I pointed out that Georgia had been stupid to invade South Ossetia in the face of Russian provocation. Georgia, I argued, had effectively walked into a Russian trap.
One enlightened Russophobe took one look at the article, came to the stunning realisation that I am nothing more than a Kremlin shill:
“Which Gulag in Siberia do you blog from? Perhaps you should change the title to Siberian Lightly censored. I dont know if you receive funds from the Kremlin, but you follow its line.
Before you blog, you ought to at least educate yourself instead of posting untruthful diarrhea all over the internet.
You might be too thick headed to understand. Putin wants to control the flow of oil in Russias backyard. The Georgian pipeline is not under his control. Putin has to bring about regime change in Georgia to get control of the pipeline. That is what this whole conflict is about. You can side with Putin or you can side with the Free world. I am siding with the Free world.”
Or, how about this post, from yesterday, in which I argued that Russia was running diplomatic rings around the EU because it was playing divide and conquer, and didn’t have too many qualms about using energy supplies as a tool of diplomacy.
Guess what. I’m not a Kremlin shill any more.
What a stupid, positively juvenile article. I dont know why I take your RSS sometimes.[…]That Russia poses a danger to the EU was the basic premise of the article, and it is a moronic one.
You know, it’s not really the inane insults that bother me. Or that the people who write the inane insults almost always do so behind the illusory screen of anonymity.
It’s that there are far too many people out there who simply don’t have the intelligence, or the patience to read anything properly any more, and who are too intellectually stunted to see anything outside of their own inflexible worldview.
OK. Rant over.