The attacks on President Putin ranged from small one page articles to whole exposés featuring abundant photos and even video. There were many but I have had to choose only a few.
The most insidious article was written by Matt Blake and Leon Watson at the UK’s Daily Mail, the article was so long and attempted to cover so much ground that one is left with the feeling that the writers not only hate or are jealous of the Russian leader but have some deeply personal vendetta against him.
They start by implying that 60 years is old for a third term president, false. Do a Google search for “age of presidents” if you disagree. These are the same people who gave kudos to John McCain who at 72 would have been the oldest first-term president in history. The fact that President Putin is popular with young people is also portrayed as something “bad” although in the West this is always something viewed as being a positive. All of this was just in the lead.
Further, the article contains such statements as: “… grip on power appeared as tight as ever,” is this an inference to the fact that despite concerted attempts by the West to cause Russians to question his legitimacy he is still as popular as ever or are they implying the president of Russia should not be in control of the country? Does anyone say these things about Obama or the Queen?
Then they state: “…continues to paint himself as an adventure-loving sex-symbol that oozes machismo” as well as, “…the ultimate ladies’ man, waited on by a gaggle of long-legged women”, such statements attack the president for his excellent health, love of sports, and popularity with the ladies. What is wrong with that? Should he be popular with young men? Perhaps the writers, two young men themselves, are jealous? Maybe even overly so?
The article blasts President Putin for being: “…a tireless and no-nonsense leader contemptuous of domestic and international criticism”, I suppose he should follow Bush’s lead and go on vacation for most of his term or listen to everyone and then become a “flip-flopper” as the West labels those who change their policies every time they are criticized?
Then we have: “…he brushed aside concerns the two-year jail sentence for punk bank Pussy Riot was too severe”, he properly did so as the sentence was the decision of the court. Is Obama asked every time someone innocent “accidently” gets executed in the United States about his opinion?
The writers then deride the president for his position that if someone wants to criticize government policies or the way things work, let them offer a responsible alternative, rather than what the Western funded opposition do, which is attack and deride and offer no concrete option or basis for their attacks which are solely aimed at causing a riff in Russian society and bringing into question the legitimacy of the government (a key ingredient for a “color” revolution). They take issue with the fact that: “…he welcomes opposing views, but that they should come from people willing to take responsibility for running the country.”
Further it only gets worse, they repeat the above groundless claims, in an apparent attempt at: “if you repeat a lie long enough it becomes true” and they cite a “wave of satire” which has hurt his “macho image”, something no one in Russia has seen, perhaps they know Russia better than Russians do?
The way the writers use the term “KGB Spy” as something terrible, is so cliché and cold-war that it is laughable. First off many western presidents and leaders have had ties to the CIA and Mi-5/6, yet they are never derided for it, secondly President Putin was a KGB Officer, not a “spy”! A spy is someone who passes information or performs other functions obtained under a false cover. Either they don’t know what a spy is, or they failed to do their homework.
The Guardian took issue with President Putin supporting the decision of the court in the case of Pussy Riot and played on the assumption that he has influence over court decision undermining the legitimacy of the Russian judiciary. They claim his popularity is dropping by citing unnamed and unknown polls.
Forbes once again, as the West loves to do, paints a picture of convicted serial tax-evader Mikhail Khodorkovsky as a “prisoner of conscience” and takes issue with his 12 year sentence. First of all for similar crimes in the US someone would no doubt be locked up for multiple life terms, second of all how in the world can someone convicted of the crimes he was convicted for be called a “prisoner of conscience”? Does this mean that all of us citizens of the world can stop paying taxes and gain the protection of Amnesty International? Please Louise!
Forbes also attacks President Putin and claims Khodorkovsky would have to get on his knees for a pardon, although President Putin generously said if Khodorkovsky files a petition for an appeal it would be looked at amicably. Forbes claiming that filing a petition for an appeal is the equivalent to “Khodorkovsky getting on his knees” is ignoring the fact that a petition is required in any case before there can be any chance of an appeal being granted by the president.
I wonder what the reaction in the West would be if we started attacking their presidents?