Thursday, September 19, 2013

Senator John McCain: Russians deserve better than Putin | McCain slams Putin in opinion piece for Pravda | Putin's New York Times Blunder - By Buck McKeon

McCain slams Putin in opinion piece for Pravda


Republican Sen. John McCain is accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of corruption, repression and self-serving rule in an opinion piece for Pravda that answers the Russian leader's broadside published last week in an American newspaper.
In an op-ed headlined "Russians Deserve Better Than Putin," McCain singles out Putin and his associates for punishing dissent, specifically the death in prison of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. The Russian presidential human rights council found in 2011 that Magnitsky, who had accused Russian officials of colluding with organized criminals, had been beaten and denied medical treatment.
McCain also criticized Putin for siding with Syrian President Bashar Assad in the 2½-year civil war that has killed more than 100,000 people.
McCain insists that he is not anti-Russian but rather "more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today."
"President Putin doesn't believe ... in you. He doesn't believe that human nature at liberty can rise above its weaknesses and build just, peaceful, prosperous societies. Or, at least, he doesn't believe Russians can. So he rules by using those weaknesses, by corruption, repression and violence. He rules for himself, not you," McCain wrote.
The senator submitted the editorial to Pravda and was told it would be posted on Thursday. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the editorial.
McCain assailed Putin and his associates for writing laws that codify bigotry, specifically legislation on sexual orientation. A new Russian law imposes fines and up to 15 days in prison for people accused of spreading "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors.
On Syria, McCain said Putin is siding with a tyrant.
"He is not enhancing Russia's global reputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world," the Arizona senator said.
McCain also criticized the imprisonment of the punk rock band Pussy Riot. The three women were convicted of hooliganism after staging an anti-Putin protest inside a Russian Orthodox Church.
The article by McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, comes just days after the U.S. and Russian officials reached an ambitious agreement that calls for an inventory of Syria's chemical weapons program within a week, and its complete eradication by mid-2014. Diplomatic wrangling continues, however.
Last week, Putin blamed opposition forces for the latest deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria and argued President Barack Obama's remarks about America were self-serving in an opinion piece for The New York Times. Putin also said it was dangerous for America to think of itself as exceptional, a reference to a comment Obama made.
McCain was not the first U.S. lawmaker to respond to Putin. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif., wrote in an editorial for the Moscow Times about the suppression of the Russian people and the disregard for basic human rights. 

Senator John McCain: Russians deserve better than Putin

Senator John McCain: Russians deserve better than Putin. 51143.jpeg
When editor, Dmitry Sudakov, offered to publish my commentary, he referred to me as "an active anti-Russian politician for many years." I'm sure that isn't the first time Russians have heard me characterized as their antagonist. Since my purpose here is to dispel falsehoods used by Russia's rulers to perpetuate their power and excuse their corruption, let me begin with that untruth. I am not anti-Russian. I am pro-Russian, more pro-Russian than the regime that misrules you today.
I make that claim because I respect your dignity and your right to self-determination. I believe you should live according to the dictates of your conscience, not your government. I believe you deserve the opportunity to improve your lives in an economy that is built to last and benefits the many, not just the powerful few. You should be governed by a rule of law that is clear, consistently and impartially enforced and just. I make that claim because I believe the Russian people, no less than Americans, are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
A Russian citizen could not publish a testament like the one I just offered. President Putin and his associates do not believe in these values. They don't respect your dignity or accept your authority over them. They punish dissent and imprison opponents. They rig your elections. They control your media. They harass, threaten, and banish organizations that defend your right to self-governance. To perpetuate their power they foster rampant corruption in your courts and your economy and terrorize and even assassinate journalists who try to expose their corruption. 
They write laws to codify bigotry against people whose sexual orientation they condemn. They throw the members of a punk rock band in jail for the crime of being provocative and vulgar and for having the audacity to protest President Putin's rule.

Sergei Magnistky wasn't a human rights activist. He was an accountant at a Moscow law firm. He was an ordinary Russian who did an extraordinary thing. He exposed one of the largest state thefts of private assets in Russian history. He cared about the rule of law and believed no one should be above it. For his beliefs and his courage, he was held in Butyrka prison without trial, where he was beaten, became ill and died. After his death, he was given a show trial reminiscent of the Stalin-era and was, of course, found guilty. That wasn't only a crime against Sergei Magnitsky. It was a crime against the Russian people and your right to an honest government - a government worthy of Sergei Magnistky and of you. 
President Putin claims his purpose is to restore Russia to greatness at home and among the nations of the world. But by what measure has he restored your greatness? He has given you an economy that is based almost entirely on a few natural resources that will rise and fall with those commodities. Its riches will not last. And, while they do, they will be mostly in the possession of the corrupt and powerful few. Capital is fleeing Russia, which - lacking rule of law and a broad-based economy - is considered too risky for investment and entrepreneurism. He has given you a political system that is sustained by corruption and repression and isn't strong enough to tolerate dissent.
How has he strengthened Russia's international stature? By allying Russia with some of the world's most offensive and threatening tyrannies. By supporting a Syrian regime that is murdering tens of thousands of its own people to remain in power and by blocking the United Nations from even condemning its atrocities. By refusing to consider the massacre of innocents, the plight of millions of refugees, the growing prospect of a conflagration that engulfs other countries in its flames an appropriate subject for the world's attention. He is not enhancing Russia's global reputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world.
President Putin doesn't believe in these values because he doesn't believe in you. He doesn't believe that human nature at liberty can rise above its weaknesses and build just, peaceful, prosperous societies. Or, at least, he doesn't believe Russians can. So he rules by using those weaknesses, by corruption, repression and violence. He rules for himself, not you. 
I do believe in you. I believe in your capacity for self-government and your desire for justice and opportunity. I believe in the greatness of the Russian people, who suffered enormously and fought bravely against terrible adversity to save your nation. I believe in your right to make a civilization worthy of your dreams and sacrifices. When I criticize your government, it is not because I am anti-Russian. It is because I believe you deserve a government that believes in you and answers to you. And, I long for the day when you have it.

» John McCain aims broadside at Vladimir Putin with reply editorial - The Guardian
19/09/13 12:56 from world - Google News
The GuardianJohn McCain aims broadside at Vladimir Putin with reply editorialThe GuardianHe has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous...

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Сенатор Джон Маккейн: "Россияне заслуживают лучшего, чем Путин"

19.09.2013 | Источник:


Я верю в величие российского народа и его стремление жить в обществе справедливости, открытых возможностей и иметь правительство достойное его устремлений и принесенных жертв. Когда я критикую ваше правительство, я делаю это не потому, что я настроен против России. Я делаю это потому, что вы заслуживаете такое правительство, которое верило бы в вас, уважало вас и было бы вам подотчетно. Я надеюсь увидеть тот день, когда это произойдет.

Когда редактор "Правды.Ру" Дмитрий Судаков предложил опубликовать мой комментарий, он назвал меня политиком, "выступающим с антироссийской точкой зрения уже много лет". И действительно, российские граждане уже не в первый раз слышат обо мне как об их противнике. Поскольку моя цель сегодня разрушить фальсификации, используемые правителями России для сохранения их власти и оправдания коррупционности, позвольте мне начать с исправления этой неправды. Я — не антироссийский. Я пророссийский, более пророссийский чем тот режим, который плохо управляет вами сегодня.
Я заявляю это потому, что я уважаю ваше достоинство и ваше право на самоопределение. Я верю, что вы должны жить в соответствии с предписаниями вашей совести, а не правительства. Я верю, что вы заслуживаете возможности улучшить вашу жизнь, живя в стране, где экономика процветает и создает блага для многих, а не только для кучки власть имущих. Вы должны жить в правовом государстве, где законы ясны, справедливы и применяются последовательно и беспристрастно. Я заявляю это потому, что я верю, что люди в России не менее, чем американцы наделены нашим Создателем неотчуждаемыми "правами на жизнь, свободу и стремление к счастью", как гласит американская Декларация Независимости.
Российский гражданин не мог бы опубликовать заявление, подобное тому, которое я сейчас сделал. Президент Путин и его окружение не верят в эти ценности. Они не уважают ваше достоинство и не признают вашу власть над ними. Они наказывают несогласие и арестовывают оппонентов. Они манипулируют вашими выборами. Они контролируют ваши средства массовой информации. Они преследуют, угрожают, и запрещают организации, защищающие ваше право на самоуправление. Чтобы сохранить свою власть, они поощряют процветание коррупции в ваших судах и в экономике, терроризируют и даже убивают журналистов, пытающихся разоблачать их коррупционность.
Они пишут законы, устанавливающие непримиримость в отношении тех, чью сексуальную ориентацию они осуждают. Они сажают в тюрьму участников панк-рок группы за преступление, которое состояло в том, что ее члены были провокационными и вульгарными и имели дерзость протестовать против правления президента Путина.
Сергей Магнитский не был борцом за права человека. Он был бухгалтером в московской юридической фирме. Он был обычным русским человеком, который сделал нечто необычное. Он разоблачил одну из крупнейших в Российской истории краж частных активов государством. Он верил в торжество закона и считал, что никто не может быть выше закона. Из-за его взглядов и мужества он оказался в Бутырской тюрьме, где его держали без суда, где он был избит, заболел и умер. После смерти над ним провели показательный процесс, напоминающий процессы сталинской эпохи, и, конечно, он был признан виновным. Это было преступление не только против Сергея Магнитского. Это было преступление против российских людей и вашего права на честное правительство, правительство достойное Сергея Магнитского и вас.
Президент Путин утверждает, что его цель — восстановить величие России как в глазах сограждан, так и на мировой арене. Но какими средствами он восстановил ваше величие? Он дал вам экономику, которая почти полностью базируется на нескольких природных ресурсах и будет подниматься и падать вместе с ними. Ее процветание не будет длительным. А пока оно будет сохраняться, эти богатства будут во владении кучки коррумпированных власть имущих. Капиталы бегут из России, которая при отсутствии правового государства и диверсифицированной экономики воспринимается слишком рискованной для инвестиций и предпринимательства. Он дал вам политическую систему, которая поддерживается коррупцией и репрессиями и недостаточно сильна, чтобы допустить несогласие.
Как он укрепил международные позиции России? Взяв в союзники России самые агрессивные и угрожающие всем тирании. Поддерживая сохранение у власти сирийского режима, убивающего десятки тысяч собственных граждан, и не допуская даже осуждения этих зверств Организацией Объединенных Наций. Его отказ принимать во внимание уничтожение невинных, тяжелое положение миллионов беженцев, растущую вероятность большого пожара, способного распространить свое пламя на другие страны, должен стать предметом мирового внимания. Он не поднимает репутацию России в мире. Он разрушает ее. Он сделал Россию другом тиранов и врагом угнетаемых, ей не доверяют народы, которые стараются сделать нашу планету более безопасной, мирной и процветающей.
Президент Путин не верит в эти ценности потому, что он не верит в вас. Он не верит, что на свободе человеческая природа может подняться над своими слабостями и построить справедливое, мирное и процветающее общество. Или как минимум, он не верит, что это могут сделать граждане России. Поэтому он правит, используя эти слабости, с помощью коррупции, репрессий и насилия. Он правит для себя, но не для вас.
Я верю в вас. Я верю в вашу способность к самоуправлению и в ваше стремление к справедливости и миру открытых возможностей. Я верю в величие российских людей, которые тяжело страдали и смело боролись с ужасными невзгодами, чтобы спасти свой народ. Я верю в ваше право создать цивилизацию, достойную ваших стремлений и принесенных жертв. Я критикую ваше правительство не потому, что я антироссийски настроен. Я это делаю потому, что я верю, что вы заслуживаете правительство, которое верит в вас и подотчетно вам. Я надеюсь увидеть тот день, когда это произойдет.
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Putin's New York Times Blunder

In his much-discussed op-ed in The New York Times last week, President Vladimir Putin has made a curious case to the American people and the international community about the conflict in Syria. Using flowery language about internationalism, diplomacy and compassion, Putin made a few reasonable points, but by and large he drew entirely the wrong conclusions about the nature of the Syrian conflict and the lessons he should learn about the U.S. response.
Putin wryly characterizes his opposition to Western involvement in Syria as a benevolent appeal of empathy for the innocents and respect for international law. Putin has warned that the violence in Syria would be worsened by U.S. intervention. He humbly omitted Russia's role in that affair: in the millions of tons of equipment, ammunition and arms that he has sent to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. These weapons have killed far more Syrians than chemical weapons. With more than 100,000 Syrian civilians killed, the blood of scores of innocents is on Putin's hands.
The readers of Putin's op-ed know irony when they see it — especially when it's Putin who is urging Americans to observe the rule of law.
Putin speaks grandly on the importance of the United Nations and chides the U.S. for failing to seek UN Security Council authorization for humanitarian interventions. Of course, the U.S. has not been alone in seeking this authorization to deter the Assad regime — and other tyrannical regimes like it across the globe — from committing more crimes against humanity. It is Putin and his Chinese counterparts who have blocked this avenue. The world continues to wait for leadership from Putin or the Chinese Communist Party when it comes to human rights.
My suspicion is that Putin's sudden inspired confidence in the UN isn't so much warmhearted goodwill as it is a place where he has a veto over Western strategic interests. After all, I imagine the Security Council was as surprised as I was to see Putin's tanks rolling towards Tblisi, Georgia in 2008.
I acknowledge that U.S. humanitarian interventions are controversial and often unpopular. We have seen successes and failures. With that said, I welcome any humanitarian comparisons between the Western intervention in Libya and Putin's intervention in Chechnya.
To be fair, Putin did get one thing right. Neither the U.S. nor Russia is interested in seeing a fundamentalist Islamic state emerge from Syria. But with that said, he is spinning a tall tale that the American people don't buy and the international community shouldn't believe.
The Americans who read Putin's op-ed are not dupes. They are aware of the suppression of the Russian people, the intimidation of journalists and the wanton disregard for basic human rights. In addition, they are able to identify irony when they see it — particularly when it is Putin who is making a spontaneous appeal for humanitarianism and the observance of rule of law.
But it is difficult to overlook his glaringly obvious strategic aims. Putin is trying to achieve two simple objectives. First, he wants his puppet Assad to remain in power, and he wants the Russian Navy to have the ability to park their ships at the five heavy piers in Tartus, Syria. Second, Putin wants to mischaracterize the resolve and nature of Americans, suggesting that the U.S. is in decline and rules without a rudder.
Western intervention would likely mean a degradation of Assad's tools of terror. Putin knows that the U.S. may have its challenges, but we have no equal when it comes to destroying a dictator's tools of war. All Putin can do is be a spoiler. No wonder Putin would be interested in bringing any Western initiative before the UN, where he has veto power — his only true measure of great-power status.
Putin miscalculated when he tried to mask his self-interest with benevolence. He also miscalculated in achieving his second objective, using a surreal blend of hypocrisy and convenient ignorance of the facts. No one should confuse U.S. reluctance to use force at this time in Syria with a reluctance to defend our national security or to use all means necessary to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
U.S. President Barack Obama may well not have persuaded Americans that Assad's use of chemical weapons in the midst of the Syrian civil war affects our national security. Likewise, many members of Congress remain unconvinced that the limited military action he proposed would achieve the aims that Obama outlined. Some say that the uncertain outcome of military action with such limited goals isn't worth the strain on U.S. military forces. But this is a temporary failure of leadership, and the current circumstances are unique. Demonstrate to us that vital U.S. interests are at stake, and we will act decisively.
History is on our side. Putin may be a fair-weather UN fan. So be it. But make no mistake: It is the U.S., not the UN, that has provided the strategic framework for stability and peace since World War II.
That responsibility will continue for decades to come — with or without the approval of Putin.

Buck McKeon is a Republican U.S. representative from California and chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services.

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