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by Stephen Lendman
Saturday, Jul. 20, 2013 at 6:52 AM
Russia Bashing Redux
by Stephen Lendman
At issue is independent governance. Washington tolerates it nowhere. It wants all rivals eliminated. It wants unchallenged global dominance.
It stops at nothing. It wages political, economic and hot wars achieve it. What America says goes. Washington rules apply. It demands all nations observe them. Outliers aren't tolerated. US aims are hard-wired.
It's back to the future. Putin's Russia is the new Evil Empire. He's public enemy number one. Beating up on him is relentless. He opposes America's imperial agenda.
Political Washington rebukes him. It does so relentlessly. Media scoundrels regurgitate state propaganda. They do it disgracefully. They're at it again. More on that below.
Russian blogger/Putin critic Aleksey Navalny faced embezzlement charges. He's accused of stealing up 16 million rubles (0,000) from state-owned Kirovles timber company.
On April 17, his trial began. Supporters called it politically motivated. Navalny's a self-serving opportunist. He's tied to Western monied interests. He's a US imperial tool. More on that below.
On July 18, a Kirov court convicted him. It sentenced him to five years in prison. He was fined about ,000. Pending appeal, he and co-defendent Pyotr Ofitserov were conditionally freed. They agreed not to leave Moscow.
Navalny was a volunteer aide to Kirovsk Region's governor. Allegedly he was involved in a dubious Kirovles deal. Substantial losses followed. So did bankruptcy.
Wiretap and witness testimony linked him and Ofitserov to fraud and embezzlement. They rewrote Kivovles supply contracts. They arraigned them through shell company VLK.
Perhaps if profits, not losses, resulted, charges wouldn't have followed. At the same time, evidence against both defendants is weak at best. Apparently enough to convict. Less than prosecutors wanted.
Corruption in Russia's widespread. Huge amounts are involved. Navalny's smalltime. Megacrooks aren't charged. Why Navalny? Why target a minor political opportunist? Why give him added prominence?
At most, he enjoys 10% Muscovite support. He gets about 5% nationwide. He calls charges against him politically motivated - a "boring joke," he said.
"There is no motive. There is no gain. The stated damages are taken out of nowhere."
"All most imported testimony against me has appeared to be false."
"The witness who testified me himself appears to be a member of my criminal syndicate."
He claimed inconsistencies taint charges against him. Whether true or false remains for others to determine. He had his day in court. He'll get a second chance on appeal.
He's a Moscow mayoral candidate. He said if convicted, he'll stand down. Despite charges against him, he can run if he wishes.
September elections are scheduled. He's undecided whether or not to participate. He doesn't have enough support to win.
He's no democrat. He's no populist. He's ideologically driven. He's very much right wing. In 1999, he joined the Yabloko party. It supports free-wheeling capitalism.
It supports neoliberal harshness. It benefits few at the expense of most others. In December 2011 elections, it fared poorly. It won few legislative seats. Since founded in 1993, it participated in six elections. It's best showing was 7.86% popular support. In 2011, it was 3.43%.
In 2005, Navalny participated in the Russian March. It's an annual neo-Nazi event. Yabloko expelled him. He's chauvinistic. He supports "Russia for the Russians." "Stop feeding the Caucasus."
In 2007, he began campaigning against corruption. Russian business broadsheet Nedomosti named him "Person of the Year 2009."
He attended Russia's Peoples' Friendship University, Finance University under the Government of the Russian Federation, and Yale.
He took part in Yale's "world fellows' program." It's for "emerging leaders." It aims to create a pro-Western global network.
He's a lawyer/smalltime politician/financial wheeler-dealer. He's a self-serving opportunist. He's a prominent Putin opponent.
He's a Russian Opposition Coordination Council member. He informally leads the unregistered People's Alliance party. He co-chairs RPR-PARNAS (Republican Party of Russia).
He's a Western media darling. Time magazine called him Russia's Erin Brockovich. He's no environmental activist/consumer advocate.
In 2011, BBC said he's "arguably the only major opposition figure to emerge in Russia in the past five years."
In 2012, the Wall Street Journal called him "the man Vladimir Putin fears most."
Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller said he's a "potential political leader." He's "young, thoughtful, politically astute, crowd-pleasing, and apparently unafraid."
Last year, Time named him one of the world's 100 most influential figures. Hyperbole is standard scoundrel media practice. So is managed news misinformation rubbish.
At most, Navalny's smalltime. In spring 2011, polls showed only 4% Russian population recognition. His LiveJournal blog features political invective.
He claims Russia's ruling United Russia party provides political cover for corrupt officials. Whether true or false, hyperbole substitutes for corroborating evidence.
Former President Medvedev declared war on corruption. It's dangerous for ordinary people to do it. It's disingenuous when politically motivated.
Navalny's a political opportunist. He's self-serving. He's involved for his own benefit. He's a Western stooge. So are Boris Nemtzov, Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Ryzhkov, and others like them.
In 2009, Nemtzov and Kasparov met personally with Obama. They discussed anti-Putin tactics. They have other high-level US connections.
They all get State Department funding. Navalny admits it. It comes through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). It wages war on democracy worldwide. It advances America's interests.
It ruthlessly targets Putin. It finances political initiatives opposing him. It meddles in Russia's presidential and parliamentary elections.
It funds so-called independent NGO election monitor Golos. It's pro-Western. It's well paid to claim fraud. Western media scoundrels regurgitate false charges.
NED, its National Democratic Institute (NDI) arm, the International Republican Institute (IRI), and similar organizations are destabilizing US foreign policy tools.
In dozens of countries worldwide, they support pro-Western and/or regime change initiatives. They're CIA alter egos. They covertly fund opposition groups. They're actively anti-Putin.
Claiming it's a
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