Trump on Putin

Wednesday, February 8, AD 2017

Guest post by commentator Greg Mockeridge:

 

Just barely two weeks into his presidency, Donald Trump has managed, over the course of just one interview, to do much to vindicate the Never Trump movement. It was the Super Bowl interview with Bill O’Reilly where the following exchange took place:

O’REILLY: Putin’s a killer.

TRUMP: We’ve got a lot of killers. Boy, you think our country’s so innocent? You think our country’s so innocent?

O’REILLY: I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers.

TRUMP: Well, take a look at what we’ve done too. We’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.

O’REILLY: Mistakes are different than –

TRUMP: A lot of mistakes, okay, but a lot of people were killed. So a lot of killers around, believe me.

What we have here is President Trump engaging in moral equivalence between the United States and present day Russia and Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush. Whatever one may think regarding the Iraq war, comparing President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq with the murderous thuggery of Vladimir Putin is beyond revolting. Over at the Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro pretty much nails it, so I don’t see the need to add much to what he says. But I would like to answer a question he poses:

“…will mainstream conservatives go silent on Trump no matter what he does? Has the halo effect of victory relieved Trump of any pressure to behave with even the most remote semblance of decency? Will Republicans go along with anything Trump says, lying for him like Pence, because they like his policy preferences?”

Well, from what I’ve seen, they (meaning mainstream conservatives) haven’t necessarily “gone silent”. In addition to Vice President Pence not only insulting any reasonably intellectually honest person’s intelligence, but impugning his own integrity, I just heard David Horowitz, of Front Page Magazine, on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox deny that it was moral equivalence in much the same way Pence did.

To his credit, Sen. Marco Rubio, who I am not at all fond of, did denounce Trump in a Twitter post.

Not only do I believe the conservative commentariat needs to denounce President Trump’s moral equivalence in the strongest terms, conservatives serving in his administration should demand the President retract that statement, in the form of a “clarification” perhaps, failing which will result in mass resignations. They need to make clear to President Trump that they refuse to serve in an administration that actively engages in undermining our moral standing in the world.

Unfortunately, I don’t see either happening, at least in any meaningful way, particularly with those in the administration. Whatever one can say about Donald Trump, he has good instincts in choosing yes men to surround himself with. In the case of his choice for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he picked another set of lips to plant on Putin’s backside.

Will we hold President Trump to at least the same standard we held President Obama to? Or will we, in exchange for some good SCOTUS picks and other sort of conservative policies, sacrifice our own principles?

I am afraid that the nomination of Donald Trump as its presidential candidate will be one of the darkest periods in GOP history. Perhaps its very darkest. I would like to be wrong. But its starting to look like I am right.

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19 Responses to Trump on Putin

  • I’m just a dumb slug, but my first thought when I heard that interview was, ah-ha, now he’s gonna spill the beans on Clinton…then Planned Parenthood. People interpret stuff the way they want. Good grief.

  • He does have a point. It’s not like the US never got involved in overthrowing other governments, or never “droned” a US citizen w/o charges or trial. I am also not convinced that Iraq was a mistake (in the sense the USGov did not know enough facts) but was simply believing what it wanted to believe to justify its actions.

  • sorry Greg, I just can’t be horrified by that. Trump is practical. I am horrified by the Bill O’Reilly’s reaction. He could help this country but seems more interested in getting a big splash.
    Bill O’Reilly said he didn’t know of any government leaders that are killers–( Gaddafi? Seth Conrad Rich? ) Perhaps Bill’s interest in getting a “scoop” for attention was why he responded the way he did. Instead he could have moved on since O’Reilly surely does now the truth of Trump’s statement– instead O’Reilly wanted to encourage sensationalism rather an talking seriously and doing what he could to help our country now .
    worried about “moral equivalence? or are we worried about our exceptionalism? Our country is filled with enemies of the “American Way” as it used to be posited in the old Superman shows. Our American way is seen now in the 9th district judges. our American way is co-opted. Let’s don’t waste time in myopia land Greg. We have to be practical and realistic and get behind this opportunity the Lord has given us in this administration.

  • Greg, quit being a pearl clucher. If you believe that our own intelligence agencies are that Simon Pure, you’re living in a dream world. The major deference between the old KGB and the CIA is that the KGB was a gang of hitmen who’s main purpose was to eliminate opposition to the Communist Party, while the CIA’s job was to gather and coordinate intelligence gathering efforts overseas.

  • Yeah, the neo-cons are stuck in Cold War thinking under which we can’t possibly think about some strategic, limited partnerships with Russia. And politics is always the art of the practical, so yes, I will gladly accept the one to three SCOTUS appointments, the hundreds of lower federal court appointments, the countless other positive executive actions halting or reversing Obama’s revolution, in exchange for a foreign policy disagreement here or there. I’m always amazed at these people who expect a politician to exactly mirror their policy preferences in every particular. Seems juvenile.

  • Putin is a KGB thug who acts as if he is Tsar. I hope that Trump’s misconception of him will last no longer than the first time Putin crosses him, which should not be long in coming.

  • I don’t feel I have to defend everything Trump says. As a matter of fact, I’ve stopped listening to him. If anyone asks me about something he says, I just say: “Well, he’s better than Hillary.”

  • I was pretty well offended by Trump’s statement which was intended as a reflection on Bush Jr’s character since in virtually the same breath he goes into the diatribe about the Iraq War. Bush Jr for all his faults is a Godly man. He made mistakes regarding Iraq but darn it, Saddam Hussein needed to be deposed.
    .
    Now if as someone above suggested Trump had said, “The US had murderous thugs too – look at Cecile Roberts and Planned Parenthood’s baby murdering,” then he would have been justified in his statement. I would have said it. But I am a nobody.

  • I don’t mean to pile on, but I think I fall in with a large number of folks in flyover country. Putin is a Russian semi-autocrat and he acts like one. I wouldn’t want that form of government in Texas, but he’s not from here. As long as they are not commies, I don’t much care what they do – just Europeans acting like Europeans always have, until Western Europe turned into a bunch of America – dependent dilettantes. I’m not an isolationist, but I have far more personal interest in the fate of, say, Costa Rica or Tamaulipas (Mex.) state than I do in the fate of Angela Merkel. Who cares? We may indeed have legitimate conflicts with Russia, but the issues we seem to be having with them currently (Syria, Ukraine) aren’t them.

  • Almost everyone who uses the term ‘neocon’ is an anti-semite or a trafficker in nonsense memes (most having to do with either Trotskyists or Leo Strauss).

    Trump’s trafficking in moral equivalence sophistries (of the sort favored by palaeotwits) is rather off-key when juxtaposed to his promotion of patriotism.

    As for V. Putin, he’s a stone-cold Machiavellian machine boss. He’s an irritant, but not a peril at this point in time. Russia may have been more benevolently governed during the period running from 1905-17 and from 1988-2004; that aside, he’s one of the more congenial characters to have ruled Russia since 1789. He has a vigorous base of support among the Russian public because he’s presided over a genuine (if partial) turn-around re production levels, labor market function, debt-servicing, crime control, and public health.

  • It’s pretty obvious that Trump desires a good relationship with Putin’s Russia to..
    -for one thing “wipe ISIS off the face of the Earth”.
    To do that, he will spout rhetoric that while is offensive to our ears, is not.. entirely.. untrue.
    Wasn’t it Clinton who approved the killing of Gaddafi? Did not the Kennedy administration try to assassinate Castro many times? Didn’t Bush invade a country and destabilize an entire region with millions dead? What of Obama’s extensive use of drones, a total of 563 strikes?

    That’s just Trump being Trump. Don’t focus on what he says, focus on what he does. The “talk” is just the prelude to the “deal”. Honestly, haven’t you ever heard of good cop, bad copy.
    i would much rather have a man imprudent in speech, then imprudent in action.

  • Art Deco wrote, “As for V. Putin, he’s a stone-cold Machiavellian machine boss. He’s an irritant, but not a peril at this point in time.”

    I believe his support for the Assad regime makes him very dangerous indeed.

    The only existential threat to Israel would come from a nuclear-armed Iran and anything that strengthens the Shia Crescent (Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Shias of Iraq and the Houtis in Yemen) increases that threat.

    ISIS, insofar as it is making life difficult for Iran and its allies, should be left to pursue its course.

  • What Trump said about America is klutzy. And both true and impliedly false, too.

    But the bottom line is that with respect to Putin, I don’t see why people are panting for a more confrontational stance vis-a-vis Russia.
    Russia is a problem to be managed and finessed, not something to be turned into Cold War II.

  • Lucius Q C: “Bush Jr for all his faults is a Godly man. He made mistakes regarding Iraq but darn it, Saddam Hussein needed to be deposed.”

    I just wish, militarily, GW Bush had just strangled the viper (Saddam Hussein, could be confused with George Soros) by continuing to blockade him from the north (the Kurdish state) and the south (Basra and the Shi’ites). I never did get the enormous Operation Overlord buildup, cost, and commitment of Desert Storm and its resultantly withered fruit.

    Let Saddam remain virtual mayor of Chicago (Have you noticed, Bagdad and Chicago are pretty similar in crime and violence. In fact, maybe now Bagdad is safer.)

  • The criticism of Trump is overwrought. My take away from the O’Reilly exchange is we don’t have to worry about Trump getting in to it with Russia. Trump is a business guy. Fighting is bad for business. Better to make a deal both parties can live with.

  • (Have you noticed, Bagdad and Chicago are pretty similar in crime and violence. In fact, maybe now Bagdad is safer.)

    Not likely. Greater Chicago has a population of about 8.4 million. About 2/3 live in areas where the homicide rate is 2.3 per 100,000. Another 25% live in areas where it’s been about 5.6 per 100,000. About 12% live in four disconnected zones (a bloc of neighborhoods on the south side with a population of 600,000; a bloc of neighborhoods on the west side with a population of 350,000; Gary and East Chicago, Indiana; and the suburban township of Harvey, Ill) with a homicide rate of 47 per 100,000. Or at least it was until the spike in recent years. Chicago’s police force, given the population in the core city, is as amply staffed as the NYPD, but it operates under a different set of procedural norms and in a different political matrix, so it is much less effective.

  • In reality, Trump is the perfect slice of Swiss cheese. Sometimes you get nutrition, long needed, and sometimes you get awful holes. Near perfect leaders, we left a long time ago somewhere in the culture revolution of the past century.
    I pray we dodged the Hillary/establishment fatal disease with a mere case of gout that pains us now and then.

  • “…or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” our First Amendment. Self-defense is inscribed in The Preamble. Self-defense and an invasion are the difference between armed forces and violence, between good will and criminal intent; the same difference between heaven and hell.

  • Stephen, of course I am not saying we are perfect. Please give me credit for being less naive than that. Acknowledging our imperfections is quite different than drawing moral equivalence between us and the thugocracy that is Putin’s Russia. The same people defending or passing over in silence Trump’s remarks are the same ones who wet their pants with outrage when Obama did similar things. The cult-like loyalty of Trump supporters, many of whom were hitherto credible conservative voices, is more disturbing than Trump himself.

    Analyze, explain to me how drawing moral equivalence between us and Putin’s Russia is practical. What do you think was going through Putin’s mind when he heard the President say that? Probably something along the lines of, “Well done, Donnie boy, my useful idiot!”

    If you don’t find a sitting president actively undermining our moral standing on the world stage horrifying, I don’t know what to say to you.

Impotence as Foreign Policy

Saturday, April 26, AD 2014

Foreign Policy as Bad Joke

Since 2008 I have often suspected that the Obama administration is one huge, unfunny, practical joke.  That is certainly the only rational explanation for the reaction of the Obama administration to the ongoing slicing and dicing of Ukraine by Mother Russia under the leadership of Vladimir “Fearless Leader” Putin.  James Taranto at The Wall Street Journal gives us the details:

 

Here’s a case in point. On March 13, a week or so after that interview was published, Samantha Power, America’s ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted about Moscow’s intervention in Crimea: “I missed the day at law school where self-determination was defined as #Russia-determination. Russia must halt its military action.” Two days later, she added: “Russia can veto a Security Council resolution, but it can’t veto the truth.”

It would appear the State Department is seeking to maintain the balance of power through a strategy of mutually assured derision.

One problem with using sarcasm as a weapon is that its proliferation is uncontrollable and widespread. Even the Canadians have it. In a column for the Toronto Sun, Ezra Levant mocked “the ironically named Ambassador Power.”

Another problem, as Levant suggested, is that the Russians appear to be better at mockery than their American counterparts. After a phone conversation between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, Levant wrote, “the Kremlin release[d] this note: ‘Mr. Obama congratulated Mr. Putin on the success of the Paralympic Games and asked Mr. Putin to pass on his greetings to the athletes.’ . . . At least Samantha Power stomped her feet and wrote a mean Twitter tweet. But Obama personally congratulated Putin, during a phone call about a war?”

Wait, it gets worse. Some of Foggy Bottom’s tweeters are deadly earnest, making them totally defenseless against post-Soviet sarcasm. On March 26 Jen Psaki, State’s top spokesman, tweeted this: “To echo @BarackObama today-proud to stand #UnitedForUkraine World should stand together with one voice.” In an accompanying photo, a smiling Psaki gave a left-handed thumbs-up while holding up in her right hand a sign with the #UnitedForUkraine hashtag and her Twitter handle, @statedeptspox.

Yesterday, National Review Online’s Patrick Brennan reports, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official Twitter account started including the hashtag in its tweets on the subject. Example: “[Foreign Minister Sergey] #Lavrov: Our US counterparts must compel the acting officials in Kiev to bear responsibility for the current situation #UnitedForUkraine.”

Barack Obama’s political operation frequently sees its Twitter hashtags “hijacked” by conservative antagonists. Remember #WHYouth? But in domestic politics, mutually assured derision is just good clean fun. Partisan politics thrives on antagonism. If the purpose of the domestic hashtags is to motivate Democratic base voters, conservative mockery is a help rather than a hindrance.

At Foggy Bottom, however, they seem utterly clueless as to what the Russians are up to. Brennan notes that Macon Phillips, who runs the department’s Bureau of International Information Programs, tweeted in response: “Welcome to the #UnitedForUkraine hashtag @mfa_russia! 2 steps to join in: First watch an intro video [titled ‘Sanctions: How Did We Get Here?’], then RT!”

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16 Responses to Impotence as Foreign Policy

  • Is this diplomacy today? Who put these mouthy immature no- knowledge or respect-for-history-or- civilization people in charge!?

  • A majority of the American people who voted in the last two presidential elections unfortunately.

  • I can see the power of social media for organizing grass roots, regular folks who don’t have a state department and the largest most powerful military on the planet at their immediate command. However one would hope that this administration would have a foreign policy based on more than aggressive tweeting.

  • Yes I know what you are saying – that the president gets to appoint and does so out of his own framework
    I know we didn’t vote for John Foster Dulles or Dag Hammarskjold. Maybe Presidents then had a better pool to draw from. There seemed to be a higher and deeper level of education then.
    Are these the best and brightest in the liberal camp. Surely there could be statesmen.

  • “Are these the best and brightest in the liberal camp.”

    The port side of our politics long ago lost liberals with even a passing familiarity as to how real world, as opposed to cloud kookoo land, foreign policy should be conducted. The idiot male gold digger John F. Kerry as Secretary of State symbolizes what fools, and worse, currently are charting our course with the rest of the world.

  • I watched TV with a terrible contortion on my face when Powers and Hegel were being approved in the Senate. By the time of Kerry the muscles in my grimace had gone slack
    Shod be a hue and cry over some of the business as usual..
    Yes I wish there was more depth than tweeting. Apparently shallow president and correspondingly shallow administration.

  • No foreign leader with a modicum of competency respects the narcissist President more interested in golfing and Beyonce than in the safety of the Republic. He is a baby murdering, sexual filth promoting godless man of sin and depravity intent on vacationing with Moochelle Jezebel while Rome burns. I despise, loathe, detest and abhor liberal progressivism.

  • One difficulty you have with these situations is that the President’s mouth is invariably running ahead of whatever tools he has on hand to enforce compliance or impose costs. His subordinates take their cues from him.

    You notice he has twice put working politicians with next to no experience as line administrators in charge of the diplomatic corps and has put the military and its auxilliaries under the command of a man with some military and business background but no history of superintending organizations with more than a two digit census of personnel; he also appears to suffer from intellectual deficits. Before entering politics full time, John Kerry was a perfectly common-and-garden rank and file attorney working in Boston; Hillary Clinton was a skeezy small-city corporate and commercial lawyer who had been sanctioned by superiors for unethical conduct before the ink was dry on the notice of her bar exam results. That’s who these guys are, yet in the minds of many journalists and partisan Democrats, the dimensions of these two expand (like a gas) to fill the space of whatever office they have occupied.

    Say what you want about Ronald Reagan, the man built the finest apparat of any occupant of the office in the last fifty-odd years, one which accomplished (within the limits set by Congress) what he wanted accomplished with only light intervention from him. The current incumbent hires people who share his defects.

  • Paul. Don’t mix words…..how do you honestly feel? 🙂

    I’m with you Mr. Primavera! 100%

  • It is definitely amateur hour. As with everything else that the Democrats do. Except pandering to voters and rigging elections.

  • I am pleased that an adult such as Mr. McClarey wrote this piece and I agree with his viewpoints. Obumbler never had any foreign policy interests, other than appeasing Muslims. Obumbler could not care less if Putin gobbles up all of Ukraine – what’s it to Obumbler? Nothing. The small Ukrainian diaspora and descendants of Ukranian immigrants from long ago aren’t nearly numerous enough to make Obumbler notice.

    Putin knows weakness and will prey on it. I think that Russian Eastern Ukraine is next on his hit list, followed by some sort of union with Belarus. Putin won’t likely go farther West because Poland will fight to the last man – and Poland has started fracking to get their own natural gas supplies.

  • “Paul. Don’t mix words…..how do you honestly feel? 🙂
    I’m with you Mr. Primavera! 100%”
    .
    Add my name to your list, Paul.

  • I will add to the title, Impotence as Foreign Policy, the following:

    Impotence as Energy Policy – San Onofre 2 and 3 shut down, Vermont Yankee shut down, Crystal River shut down, Kewanee shut down.

    Impotence as Health Care Policy: Obamacare, infanticide of the unborn, state sponsored euthanasia of the useless

    Impotence as Education Policy: common core, liberal Academia.

    Impotence as Military Policy: homosexuality among the troops, a green Navy instead of a Nuclear Navy.

    The list of impotencies is endless.

  • PS thank you Philip and Mary

  • Perhaps, the President should look for someone from the divinity schools.

    Talleyrand had been notable as a student of divinity, both at Sâint-Sulpice and the Sorbonne and he was fond of saying that it was to theology that he owed “that instinctive sagacity, that measure in thought and expression [cette sagacité instinctive, cette mesure d’esprit et d’expression] that had been remarked on in his handling of great affairs. Richelieu, Mazarin and the Abbé Sieyès (whom Lord Acton called the only statesman of the Revolution) are other names that spring to mind.
    In modern times, we have Père Louis de la Trinité (Georges Thierry d’Argenlieu), who rose to the rank of Admiral in the Free French Forces and became one of General de Gaulle’s most trusted diplomats

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Religious Cleansing in the Crimea

Sunday, March 30, AD 2014

4 Responses to Religious Cleansing in the Crimea

  • To be fair, there was one Russian czar who allowed the Jesuits to stay in his realm when, under the urging of certain French and Spanish royalty, the Society of Jesus was being suppressed.

    The Russian government, whoever runs it, hates the Catholic Church because –
    The Orthodox Church in Russia has almost always been under government control;
    The Catholic Church is something from the feared and hated West (e.g., Poland).

    I read a few news stories about the supposed decline of the Catholic Church in Poland. An unbelievably stupid 20-something was quoted as saying that she wanted Muslims to come to Poland to add to the cultural diversity and that she was an atheist who thought the Church has too much influence in Poland. This appears to be a much too common belief in Poland among those born after the fall of Communism.

    If nothing else, Putin has sounded a wake up call. The young people that thought they had nothing to gear from Russia will have to learn the hard way…and it wasn’t atheism or Muslims who kept Poland alive during the Partition or during Communism.

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  • The Orthodox see Eastern Catholics not as Catholics, but as Orthodox quislings. The Russian Orthodox see the creation of the Eastern Catholic Churches as a illegitimate union forced on Orthodox Christians by Catholic Poland and/or Austria as these nations expanded eastward in history. The most Catholic part of Ukraine in the West was part of Austria until WWI and part of Poland between the wars. Continued loyalty to the Catholic Church after the “Great Orthodox Nation” has driven these “foreigners” out is thought of not as a religious choice, but as loyalty to the foreign powers. Furthermore, WWII is still a sore spot as many Ukrainians sided with Hitler against Stalin. Let’s just say it is a very nasty history all around.

  • “The Orthodox see Eastern Catholics not as Catholics, but as Orthodox quislings.”

    Russian Orthodox have often been Russian first and Orthodox a very poor second, and it is traditional for the rulers of Russia to use the Russian Orthodox Church as an organ of state power, especially since “Russia” has always contained large minority groups not pleased at all to be ruled from Moscow or Saint Petersburg.

Useful Idiots

Tuesday, March 25, AD 2014

6 Responses to Useful Idiots

  • The Katym Forest Massacre was a mass execution of Polish nationals carried out by the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), the Soviet secret police, in April and May 1940. The massacre was prompted by NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria’s proposal to execute all captive members of the Polish Officer Corps, dated 5 March 1940. The number of victims is estimated at about 22,000, with 21,768 being a lower limit. The victims were murdered in the Katyn Forest in Russia, the Kalinin and Kharkiv prisons and elsewhere. Of the total killed, about 8,000 were officers taken prisoner during the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, another 6,000 were police officers, and the rest were arrested Polish intelligentsia the Soviets deemed to be “intelligence agents, gendarmes, landowners, saboteurs, factory owners, lawyers, officials and priests”. The massacre was intended to weaken the Polish nation. information taken from Wikipedia

    .
    Russia wants us to support the unsupportable

  • The most amazing thing about the left is that they never realize that their ideas are garbage. The Nation is a pile of stinking, steaming leftist drivel, with writers who either carried Mao’s Little Red book or have parents who did.

    On a more serious – and joyful note – today, March 25, is the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the single greatest event since the creation of the universe. On this day we celebrate that God became man, in the form of a baby in His mother’s womb.

  • The Nation has been for more than 35 years an example of a political magazine that took no interest in public policy. Ultimately, their whole shtick was one summarized by Scott Nearing: we are fine people posted in this sinkhole of vulgarity. (See Thomas Sowell and Paul Hollander for detailed treatments of this mentality). It has no purpose outside of feeding the amour propre of its readers and contributors.

  • The thing about the leftist “drivel”
    Is their determination to be true believers in the face of the facts.

  • Ghost written by Boris Badenov:
    “the proposal calls for a Ukrainian national assembly to draft a constitution that would create a new federal system in which regions would have a reasonable degree of autonomy, confirm Russian as a second official language and, critically, uphold Ukraine’s military and political nonalignment—that is, maintain Ukraine’s geopolitical independence from Russia as well as the West, which will require an end to NATO expansion.”

  • Hi, Mary,

    A small correction – it was the Katyn massacre. In the days when Stalin was an ally of Hitler, the NKVD took full revenge for the Polish victory that occurred in the Polish Soviet War – the Miracle of the Vistula. Stalin was a Red Army officer in that was and was chronically inept at it.

    After WWI, the Austrians and Russians withdrew from Poland. Germany did not, having every intention of keeping the land they seized in the 1790s. Polish troops threw them out. Pilsudski later kicked out the Soviets, who under Lenin hoped to steamroll into Germany and make Europe Communist by conquest.

    Stalin and his Red Army were brutal in the 1939 invasion of Poland and were brutal again in letting the German Army and the SS level Warsaw during the Uprising. Later Stalin rounded up the Polish Home Army and had them arrested, labeling them as criminals.

    In the book FDR Goes to War, the authors take great pains to show that FDR knew it was the NKVD who committed the murders at Katyn and conspired to keep any of the truth from coming out, lest FDR lose the 1944 election.

    The youngest of Poland’s adults typically have not been all that willing to remember their country’s past, instead focusing on the future – and their own entertainment. Putin’s actions have reminded all of Poland who their neighbor really is. I am sure the Polish government and their military know damned well what kind of man Putin is and they will NEVER forget who it is on the other side of Ukraine.

    There is an article today at The American Spectator covering a book about Woodrow Wilson. Glenn Beck and many others hold Wilson in deep contempt and kinda sorta blame Wilson for getting involved in WWI and causing Hitler to take power in Germany. It is the fault of the 1930s Germans that the Nazis took power and nobody else. Among Wilson’s 14 Points for Peace was the reestablishment of the Polish state, something the French and British were not that keen on.

Once KGB, Always KGB

Thursday, March 20, AD 2014

 

KGB Thug

The Pope! How many divisions has he got?

Joseph Stalin to Pierre Laval, 1936

You may tell my son Joseph he will meet my divisions in heaven.

The perhaps apocryphal response of Pius XII

 

Fearless Leader’s old outfit the KGB always had a special hatred for Catholics, viewing them, quite correctly, as being part of a global organization opposed to everything the KGB stood.  Well, I guess you can take the Fearless Leader out of the KGB, but you can’t take the KGB out of the Fearless Leader.  Hattip to Bridget Johnson at PJ Media:

 

 

The backslide toward Soviet days in the Crimea includes persecution of the Church, according to a sobering article by the Catholic News Agency that warned “total persecution” had enveloped the peninsula:

Referring to the kidnapping of three Ukrainian Greek Catholic priests in Crimea by pro-Russian forces over the weekend, Fr. Zhdan stressed that one such case could be called a mistake, but that “multiple kidnappings are not an accident.”

 

 

On March 15 Fr. Mykola Kvych, a naval chaplain stationed in Sevastopol, was detained immediately after celebrating a “parastas,” a memorial prayer service for the dead. The following day Fr. Bohdan Kosteskiy of Yevpatoria and Fr. Ihor Gabryliv of Yalta were also reported missing.

Later that night all three were said to be alive and safe, with Fr. Kvych confirming that he had escaped to the mainland of Ukraine with the help of parishioners.

Fr. Kvych told the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church’s information department that he was held and questioned for eight hours by representatives of the Crimean self-defense force and Russian intelligence officers.

According to Fr. Kvych, they accused him of “provocations” and of supplying the Ukrainian navy with weapons. Fr. Kvych maintained that he helped organize the delivery of food to a blockaded naval base, and that he gave two bulletproof vests to journalists.

Upon seeing a Ukrainian flag at his home and portraits of Roman Shukhevych and Stepan Bandera – Ukrainian nationalists who fought against both the Nazis and the Soviets in the 1940s and 50s — inside, Fr. Kvych’s captors accused him of being in the “SS Army,” a reference to Nazi Germany… Fr. Kvych has been charged with “extremism,” which in the Russian Federation can carry a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

…According to the Religious Information Service of Ukraine, an important 130-foot electrical cable was stolen from a small chapel in the Kherson region north of Crimea over the weekend. On March 15 a parish in Kolomyya was vandalized and another in Dora was burned to the ground, reportedly from arson. Both damaged parishes are in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, which borders Romania in the west of Ukraine.

In Crimea, clergy have received threatening phone calls and messages. At the home of one apprehended priest, a note was left that read this should be “a lesson to all Vatican agents.”

“This is not new,” Bishop Vasyl Ivasyuk, who served as Exarch of Odesa-Krym from 2003 to 2014, told CNA.

“During Soviet times, we were always accused of being ‘agents’ of the Vatican,” Bishop Ivasyuk continued. “Of course not all people in Crimea think we are spies, but there is a very active pro-Russian group there that does.”

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was heavily persecuted during the Soviet era; it was considered illegal, and operated completely underground until 1989.

The Church isn’t alone in this neo-Soviet persecution. Ominous signs are threatening Crimean Tatars, secular Muslims in the style of their Turkic roots. Reshat Ametov, 39, participated in a March 3 protest against the Russian troops’ occupation before he was kidnapped by pro-Russia “self-defense forces.” His body was found Sunday bearing signs of torture, including tape wrapped around his head and shackles on legs.

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One Response to Once KGB, Always KGB

And Down Goes Lenin!

Sunday, February 23, AD 2014

10 Responses to And Down Goes Lenin!

  • Lenin was a liar and a monster. Lenin did not practice what he preached. He considered himself above the law to which he set other people to submit, making of himself an hypocrite, tyrant and demon. Stalin, less than an evil genius, ham-handed, tried to measure up to Lenin’s monstrosity, but he could not, even with starving 30 million people in the Ukraine. When the statues of Lenin fell, I thought: “pig”, but the pigs ran headlong into the sea and drowned themselves.

  • The population of Western Ukraine has always been very mixed, with the old Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, with its capital at Lviv being three-quarters Polish. It also includes Ruthenia.

  • Ukraine’s history is complex, to say the least, which is why there is so much turmoil today. Putin one told then President Bush that “Ukraine is not a country”. Eastern and Southern Ukraine is basically populated by Russians. It is in the western half of Ukraine that Ukrainian language, culture, the desire for freedom from Russia – and Poland – and the Ukrainian Catholic Church is strongest.

    Kiev – Kyiv in Ukrainian – is seen as the birthplace of the Rus – Russia. Kyiv is the historical home of the Church brought to the Eastern Slavs by Sts. Cyril and Methodius. It was from Kyiv to Moscow that the See of the Church of the Rus – the Russian Orthodox Church was moved. The Russian Orthodox Church sees all of Ukraine as its territory and every so often the Russian Orthodox hierarchy reminds Rome of this whenever a meeting is suggested between the Russian Patriarch and the Pope.

    Modern day Western Ukraine was long a part of the old Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. Lviv – Lvov in Polish – was long an important Polish city. Stalin moved around people in the 40s after WWII – the people he didn’t kill before or during the war – and established the modern borders.

    Putin has a puppet who runs Belarus and he wanted the same in Ukraine. Ukranians – both Orthodox and Catholic – really don’t want anything to do with Putin.

    Poland passed laws after the fall of the Commies in 1989 mandating the removal of street names and monuments honoring Communists. The Ukranians have not forgotten their history and this is a sign of hope.

  • On Wednesday supreme knight Karl Anderson ( Knights of Columbus ) in solidarity with Pope Francis, has asked all knights around the world to pray the prayer of St. Francis for the Ukrainian peoples.
    I ask you to join in as well if you wish.
    Thanks in advance.
    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/knights-urge-prayers-to-st-Francis-for-peace-in-ukraine/

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  • Couldn’t happen to a nicer………………………………………..statue. 😉

  • “Reports from RT

    Sunday 23 February 11:23 GMT:
    Nearly 3,000 people have gathered in Kharkov, a city in north-eastern Ukraine, to take part in a rally aiming to defend the local statue of Lenin. Participants of the event booed opposition television stations correspondents, asking them to leave the site immediately. Police officers are currently patrolling the area.

    Saturday 22 February 23:40 GMT:
    Meanwhile in Kharkov, a few thousand opposition supporters – both locals and from other parts of the country – are trying to demolish Lenin’s statue, the head of the Russian parliamentary commission on foreign affairs, Aleksey Pushkov, wrote on Twitter.”

    It stands in Freedom Square (formerly Dzerzhinsky Square, named after Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Checka) where the victorious Red Army raised the workers’ banner, on 23 August 1943, after the Fourth Battle of Kharkov and the final expulsion of fascist forces from the city.

  • I am glad that you, Michael Paterson-Seymour and Penguins Fan, all of you, know all this.

  • Why were the statues still even standing? Most other post-Soviet countries de-Leninized almost immediately after the occupiers departed.

  • Iowahawk quoted at Instapundit, ” . . . if you wonder who the good guys in Ukraine are, they’re the ones pulling down the statues of Lenin. Always a useful metric. . . .’

Obama is Charlie Brown to Putin’s Lucy

Tuesday, September 10, AD 2013

18 Responses to Obama is Charlie Brown to Putin’s Lucy

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  • OK, so if the Bumbler in Chief is Charlie Brown, and Comrade Putin is Lucy . . . who’s going to be the big fat guy and where do we get one?

  • Here’s a commentary on last night’s speech from “National Review” online:
    http://nationalreview.com/corner/358176/weak-late-jim-talent
    Posted on the “Corner” blog.

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  • Honestly, this is pretty petty. I’m no Obama supporter, but I can’t understand WHY anyone/everyone even CARES about Syria. Syria was never a US ally, nor was it any threat to major US interests in the region. It has a VERY notable, sizeable and historically important Christian minority which is the ONLY thing ANY Catholic (i.e. true Christian) should be concerned about. Frankly, I hope Obama does keep on “bumblng” if it means inaction in a conflict that the US should absolutely keep out of (save providing humanitarian aid to our Christian brethren) and NOT by ANY means helping the Mohammedan terrorists there!

  • “Honestly, this is pretty petty.”

    No, this is pretty descriptive of what has happened.

    “but I can’t understand WHY anyone/everyone even CARES about Syria.”

    No doubt quite a few Syrians would disagree with you.

    “Syria was never a US ally, nor was it any threat to major US interests in the region.”
    Syria was actually our ally in the Gulf War, but your overall point is correct.

    “(save providing humanitarian aid to our Christian brethren)”

    How can we do that effectively so long as the civil war grinds on and the body count mounts? Once again I do not think we should intervene, but no intervention means that our ability to help any Syrians, Christian or not, is extremely limited.

    “It has a VERY notable, sizeable and historically important Christian minority which is the ONLY thing ANY Catholic (i.e. true Christian) should be concerned about.”

    What, me be concerned about those wretched Samaritans? I do not believe we should get involved in Syria, but that quite a few innocent Syrians, and not just the Christians, are being slaughtered is something that should bother all of us. That we can’t do something effective about it, because the contending major factions are all bad, is the sad reality of the situation.

  • How can we do that effectively so long as the civil war grinds on and the body count mounts?

    We do what we always do: we work through Catholic charities (of which there are MANY operating in the region; including Syria). I would recommend Aid to the Church in Need. Although they do not have it currently listed, I can assure you they do have a mission in Syria which has been instrumental here.

    And I guess my comment about the post being petty stands: if you are not for intervention, wouldn’t it be a better idea to take on this topic from a different angle, rather than poking a dog? It’s like saying, “Well, he’s a wimp. I don’t want him to do anything anyway, but he’s still a wimp.” What possible charitable good can come from such a tact?

    As an orthodox/Traditional Catholic, I’m alarmed at several of like-minded websites taking this tone not only with Obama, but with the Jesuits as well. Yes, they didn’t speak out against Obama’s pro-abortion stance.

  • (CONT…sorry, my son sat on my lap/hit submit before I could finish the thought)

    But still, when the Jesuits finally DID speak out against Obama’s recent proposals on military intervention in Syria (which will HARM the Christian communities further, as it did in Iraq) the traditional communities thumbed their noses at the Jesuits and said “yeah, yeah! where were you when we needed you!? too little/too late”. I personally never side with the heretic, nor with the Mohammedan; regardless of the cause or convenience as a justification. However, on this issue, where there are many MANY human CHRISTIAN lives at stake, I think it’s best to underscore and reassure those in power when they are making the correct decision/course of action, rather than take an opportunity to snipe.

    That’s all.

  • Cardinal Richelieu, speaking of the Thirty Year’s War, said that the wars of religion in Europe would only end when those who were willing to die for the cause had been given every opportunity to do so.

    War is a great evil, but it can bring lasting peace, when it ends in a crushing victory or mutual exhaustion. Outside intervention, as often as not, fails to address the underlying causes, arrests the process and allows each side to regroup and rearm.

  • “We do what we always do: we work through Catholic charities”

    Which is almost totally ineffective in the midst of a civil war of this magnitude and does not get to the root of the problem. Such aid is praiseworthy, but people should not delude themselves that it is anything but a bandage that is being placed as a patient dies of a thousand wound.

    “wouldn’t it be a better idea to take on this topic from a different angle, rather than poking a dog?”

    No, because the level of ineptitude and folly displayed by Obama emboldens our enemies, makes a major war more likely and encourages bad actors like Assad and Putin.

    “What possible charitable good can come from such a tact?”
    That more people can see what happens when the American people, through ignorance, indifference and greed, puts a man like Obama at the helm of this Republic.

    “Jesuits finally DID speak out”

    Considering the slavish worship, and I use the term advisedly, that most Jesuits in this country have tendered to Obama, my reaction to any opposition they might have to any of their policies would be, “Who did you think he was?”

    “I personally never side with the heretic, nor with the Mohammedan; regardless of the cause or convenience as a justification”

    Christ took a much broader view than you do. All men are brothers as He taught. Sometimes we have to oppose our brothers when they are in the wrong, but His parable of the Good Samaritan is quite clear that all of humanity is bound together under God, and we are expected to remember this always.

  • “Cardinal Richelieu, speaking of the Thirty Year’s War, said that the wars of religion in Europe would only end when those who were willing to die for the cause had been given every opportunity to do so.”

    If there is a God, Richelieu will have much to answer for. If there is not, he lived a successful life. -attributed to Pope Urban VIII

  • Donald R McClarey

    We can only hope that the Cardinal profited from the guidance of his spiritual director (and founder of the French Intelligence Service) the Capuchin, Përe Joseph du Tremblay. Tremblay’s “Introduction to the spiritual life by an easy method of prayer” is an adaptation of St Igantius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises to the Franciscan spirituality. Published in 1616, the « Introduction à la vie spirituelle par une facile méthode d’oraison » has never been out of print.

  • “Which is almost totally ineffective in the midst of a civil war of this magnitude”

    Do you have any proof AT ALL here? No? Moving on…

    “Christ took a much broader view than you do”

    LOL, I have found very little “Christ-like” in your posts, so I’m not really receptive on your opinion on my view vis-a-vis the teachings of Our Lord and Savior. I never said all men aren’t brothers. However, Our Lord was very specific on to whom His mission was based. He performed miracles to gentiles and Samaritans as an exception…not the rule. My number 1 concern is the Christians in need. Your agenda is clearly secular in nature.

  • Qualis Rex

    But St Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, says, “Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith. ” (Gal 6:10)

  • “Do you have any proof AT ALL here? No? Moving on…”

    Don’t be obtuse when you suddenly realize you have an indefensible position.

    “LOL, I have found very little “Christ-like” in your posts,”

    LOL, attacking someone’s religious faith when you once again have nothing to defend your position. Time to dust off the Bible on your shelf and read the New Testament again, with special emphasis on the parable of the Good Samaritan, the woman at the well, and the centurion’s servant. To give you time to do so, I am banning you from this site. Have fun finding other venues to spread your “unique” perspective on Catholicism.

  • I feel like we are missing the resident Russophile’s take on this. Paging Bonchamps…

In Defense of Mother Russia

Friday, August 24, AD 2012

I haven’t heard much about the ongoing dispute between the Russian government and the Western media over the fate of the faux “punk rock band” ***** Riot in the American Catholic media. But this is a dispute in which I believe we ought to take sides as Catholics.

[No, I will not give the vulgar hate group the sociopathic pleasure of having yet another Christian publication use their name]

Three members of the vulgar hate group were arrested following their desecration of Moscow’s largest Orthodox cathedral. They have now been sentenced to two-year prison terms, with the six months spent at trial counting as time served.

My position on this incident is pretty clear. I stand 110% with the Russian government, the Orthodox Church, and the tens of millions of Russian Orthodox who have condemned the vulgar hate group – and I believe all Catholics in all countries ought to do likewise.

Not simply because this appears to me to be a deliberate ploy encouraged and promoted by anti-Russian elements in Europe and the United States; not simply because in all of the Western countries hypocritically condemning Russia these same actions could be and likely would be regarded as hate crimes according to their own established laws; not simply because the right to free speech does not, never has, and God willing, never will mean the right to invade any space one chooses and defecate on the floor; not simply because I respect the religious sensibilities of the Russian people; not even because I am fairly certain that being on the opposite side of whatever cause the degenerate celebritariat is championing is almost always the best and wisest choice – ???. Not just for those reasons.

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59 Responses to In Defense of Mother Russia

  • Here in Scotland, it is the offence of Profanity to disturb worship. The essence of the offence is the disturbance and annoyance of the minister and congregation, and the interruption of their devotions.

    A building enjoys no special protection and it is not an aggravation of a breach of the peace or of mobbing and rioting that it is committed in a place used for worship.

    This seems to me a proper distinction.

    Of course, any wilful damage to the fabric or plenishments of the building is the crime of malicious mischief.

  • You summed it up well, Bonchamps: “The sad thing is that I believe that much of this anti-Christian hatred – and I am now speaking generally and globally – is motivated merely by the fact that vulgar, hateful people cannot tolerate the existence of other people who, even though they are as oppressed by sin as everyone else, aspire to be something more than mindless animals who do nothing but hump one another and follow the latest idiotic trends. Sloshing about in a sewer filled with their own spiritual feces, they must pull everyone else down into it, and erase any suggestion that it might be possible to escape. That is the only way it can be enjoyed.”

  • The problem with calling the group in question a “hate group” is that, despite the name, they do not hate Christianity. As I understand it what they’re protesting is the perversion of the Russian Orthodox Church by the Russian government. Disagree with their methods, and even disagree with their point of view about the Church hierarchy, but this isn’t a Madonna situation where they were being needlessly provocative in an effort to harass Christians. They’re calling attention to something which is legitimately troubling. John O’Sullivan has more details about them here and here.

  • The jerks have a point. There’s something wrong in Russia, and the Orthodox Church is happily cooperating with it.

    There was a case in Chicago in 2008 where a group of protesters disrupted a mass being said by the Cardinal. They received probation, community service, and a $2600 fine (to pay for cleaning the fake blood out of the carpet). That seems appropriate.

  • No, Paul. I will not sign on to what seems to me to be a morally and spiritually blind bandwagon assault on the Russian state. In a world in which millions of Christians live under direct Islamic oppression and are increasingly marginalized in the secular West, Russia stands out as a beacon of hope for afflicted Christians.

    In my view, and in the view of millions of believers, this group’s act was OBJECTIVELY hateful. It had the effect of rallying the average Russian around this supposedly dangerous regime. Even if you’re right and they don’t hate Christianity – frankly I find it impossible to reconcile their actions with any sort of love for it – they have violated Christianity. All theological and historical disputes with the Orthodox aside (and we can’t just forget those either), they willingly and knowingly defiled a sacred space. In my view, this is a hateful act. Maybe their subjective rage is channeled at Putin, but their objective victim is Christianity.

    And it is far from their first anti-social act. Other members of this group have engaged in public orgies, for heaven’s sake. A Ukrainian sympathizer also cut down a cross memorializing the victims of Stalin’s genocidal campaign. Their very name is an affront to any sort of public Christian morality.

    Nope, I’m not on the anti-Russia bandwagon, and not going to get on it any time soon just because they don’t like the neoconservative foreign policy (yeah yeah “neoconservatism doesn’t exist”, whatever) of remaking the Middle East, which has included the ousting of secular regimes relatively friendly to the millions of Christians in the region and their replacement with Islamic fanatics who murder and oppress them. I actually have family in that part of the world.

    No, what I see here is a government under assault from a gaggle of Western anti-Christs who are enraged at the existence of a country whose leadership isn’t afraid to openly profess a traditional form of Christianity. I absolutely will not side with them or the filth they seek to defend.

  • Pinky,

    “There was a case in Chicago in 2008 where a group of protesters disrupted a mass being said by the Cardinal. They received probation, community service, and a $2600 fine (to pay for cleaning the fake blood out of the carpet). That seems appropriate.”

    There was a time when they would have been publicly disemboweled. If they did this in a mosque in the Middle East, they would have been torn to pieces. If they did it in a mosque in Europe, they would probably go to jail for longer than two years.

    I think 18 months behind bars is comparatively light. Maybe it will cause them to think long and hard about the seriousness of defiling a sacred space and disrupting social order. If this was some kind of first-time offense by a group of silly teenagers, I would agree with you. But this is a group of anti-social provocateurs that have repeatedly engaged in public acts of blasphemy and obscenity. They are finally getting their just deserts.

  • With all due respect, I believe that Bonchamps’ responses to Paul Z. and Pinky are correct. I agree.

  • “Since its formation in presumably 2008 Voina has staged in public a succession of extreme actions described as performance art. These have included the painting of a male phallus on a St. Petersburg Bridge, the staging of a public orgy at the Timiryazev Museum in Moscow involving nudity and (apparently) full penetrative sex (Tolokonnikova was a participant though heavily pregnant), the throwing of live cats at the staff of a McDonald’s restaurant in Moscow, the overturning of police cars apparently on one occasion with a policeman inside, the firebombing of property with petrol bombs, the staged hanging of an immigrant and a homosexual in a supermarket, the projection of a skull and crossbones onto the building housing the Russian government, the spilling of large live cockroaches onto the stomach of a pregnant member of the group (Tolokonnikova again) and the theft of a frozen chicken from a supermarket, which was stuffed up the vagina of one of the women members (apparently Maria Alyokhina, Tolokonnikova apparently was also present).”

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/118287.html

    No civilized nation should be forced to tolerate this. They ought to all be institutionalized, truth be told.

  • this isn’t a Madonna situation where they were being needlessly provocative in an effort to harass Christians.

    In Madonna’s situation, it is nothing but a marketing strategy to prolong her already far too long public career.

    I am with Bonchamps on this one. At least the Russians seem to take Christianity seriously.

  • n a world in which millions of Christians live under direct Islamic oppression and are increasingly marginalized in the secular West, Russia stands out as a beacon of hope for afflicted Christians.

    Russia is essentially a state run by organized criminals, headed by a pseudo-authoritarian regime. It continues to flex its muscles over its former satellite countries.

    All theological and historical disputes with the Orthodox aside (and we can’t just forget those either), they willingly and knowingly defiled a sacred space. In my view, this is a hateful act.

    I don’t disagree with that, nor do I disagree that their act is otherwise repugnant. I am merely contending that their motivation is distinct from cowards like Madonna and others who employ shock for the sake of shock.

    Nope, I’m not on the anti-Russia bandwagon, and not going to get on it any time soon just because they don’t like the neoconservative foreign policy

    A complete non sequiter.

    No, what I see here is a government under assault from a gaggle of Western anti-Christs who are enraged at the existence of a country whose leadership isn’t afraid to openly profess a traditional form of Christianity.

    I think you are blinded to what Putin and the Russian leadership is about. They are about as “Christian” as the current American ruling regime.

  • Paul,

    We’re not going to see eye to eye on this. You subscribe to one narrative about Russia, and I find the truth better represented in a different set of facts and perspectives.

    Even if Putin in his heart was a cold, dark atheist, his public support for the Orthodox Church means something and has a significance apart form whatever he and his lieutenants actually believe.

    Oh, and what I said was absolutely not a “non sequiter.” That is exactly why many in the West oppose Russia. I don’t give a damn if it “flexes its muscles over its former satellite countries.” For a country that developed the Monroe Doctrine and has been actively trying to preserve global hegemony to be miffed by that is beyond hysterical.

  • Bon, you seem to be ascribing bad motives to those who disagree with you. Personally, I’ve seen no information on which to build a positive narrative about Russia. All indications are that any kind of dissent is silenced by the government. I can’t get that worked up in support of this punk band doing some terrible things, but if the reaction to it is emblematic of a regression toward totalitarianism, then it’s definitely to be criticized.

  • Pinky,

    What “bad motives”? I don’t attribute any bad motives to you or Paul. If you mean the Western media establishment and the neocons, yes, guilty as charged, I think their motives are bad and their pontificating on the evils of Russia to be among the most hilariously hypocritical things I have seen in my life.

    It is simply false that “any kind of dissent is silenced by the government” – anti-government protests involving tens of thousands of people have taken place in Russia with no more or less police concern than that which you will see at the RNC and DNC conventions this year.

    The reaction to this band is also most emphatically not a “regression towards totalitarianism” either. The laws under which these disgusting criminals were prosecuted are similar to laws that exist on the books in every Western country – laws that would be quickly invoked and enforced if a politically-protected group was the target of a similar outrage.

    Maybe you haven’t seen any positive information about Russia because you haven’t even consider the possibility that it might exist. It does.

  • What these people did violated the rights of Russian Christians and the Russian Orthodox Church. They deserve to be punished, and I would call for the same punishment if it were done to a Catholic Church here.

    In fact, some imitators HAVE done this sort of thing in Catholic Churches in Europe, and are now facing similar sentences!

    Is the Catholic Church in Germany and the German government “regressing towards totalitarianism”? To ask such an absurd question is to answer it.

    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/24/13454525-copycat-pussy-riot-protesters-could-face-3-year-sentence-in-germany?lite

  • Don’t you people get it? This is about Christian rights. Forget your views about Putin and the Russian government. The movement, the people supporting the vulgar hate group are doing so because they want to encourage MORE obscene violations of Christian holy places. They want to take away our rights to have our own sacred, protected times and places.

    This is a time to stand in solidarity with, if not the Russian state, at least your fellow Christians!

  • I worry about my fellow Christians in Russia. I see a far greater threat to their future from Putin than from that band. Their actions, while offensive and ridiculous, were dwarfed by ongoing anti-government rallies alleging electoral fraud and widespread political corruption.

  • Well Pinky,

    I completely disagree with you. In fact I find your statement to be quite at odds with demonstrable fact and reality. Putin has restored the Orthodox Church to prominence and importance in the nation.

    You really need to take a good, long look at the international forces arrayed against the Russian government and the Orthodox Church – what they believe, what they stand for, what they want to accomplish, what they have accomplished in the West. I will without hesitation and with a measure of pride take the side of the Russian establishment over the morally and spiritually degenerate Western establishments any day of the week. What a government publicly endorses and promotes is as important as what it “really does”; what our governments promote are impiety and anti-Christian prejudice, and what the Russian government promotes is piety and respect for established Christian institutions (without, to my knowledge, violating anyone’s individual rights to religious liberty). I don’t care if they get something politically out of it. It has effects that are only good, that are in fact the greatest good for a society.

    Every country, even the United States, has been rocked by allegations of massive electoral fraud and political corruption. We had one president who was impeached recently, another who ascended to the White House in spite of losing the popular vote (which was extremely close), and an administration that is almost certainly complicit in sending illegal guns to Mexico for the purpose of creating a pretext to crackdown on the 2nd amendment. Frankly I see nothing taking place in Russia that is any more alarming than what I see in any other country, certainly nothing worthy of special, explicit hostility.

  • I’d also still like to know if the German Catholic Church and government are displaying signs of totalitarianism and repression in the charges they have brought up against the copycat sympathy protesters, linked in my previous post.

  • Bonchamps, with respect, your entire argument in defense of Russia seems to be based on the idea that all the other western countries are gripped in the throes of secularism. While this might be true to a certain extent, that fact does nothing to exculpate Russia from the charges that its administration or government are corrupt. I think anyone who has studied Russia from afar could tell you that many aspects of Russian life, at least in the political sense, are not much improved since the days of the USSR.

    I don’t care if they get something politically out of it. It has effects that are only good, that are in fact the greatest good for a society.

    This is fairly naive and horrifying. Naive in the sense that you seem to take Putin’s “piety” at face value. Putin is acting not to solidify the Church and sanctify his people, but rather cynically to ensure that the Church has his back. It’s horrifying because you’re essentially saying that cynical piety is all right because it keeps the people in line.

    Frankly I see nothing taking place in Russia that is any more alarming than what I see in any other country, certainly nothing worthy of special, explicit hostility.

    When political opponents here are murdered or almost murdered with the regularity they are in Russia, then I might be more inclined to agree with you.

  • Paul,

    I stand by what I said, and naturally, I reject your spin on it.

    I am absolutely not saying that it is ok to lie about piety to “keep people in line.” I do believe that the government probably considers all of the costs and benefits of its policy decisions (as all governments do), and that there is really nothing wrong with benefit from mutual interests, even if both parties have different reasons for having that interest. Government-promoted piety is positively good, regardless of why it is done. The “why” will matter as far as their individual souls are concerned, but those who benefit from living in an explicitly Christian culture will also benefit. There is nothing “horrifying about this.”

    I take Putin’s belief that the public restoration of Orthodoxy as a defining aspect of Russian culture and politics is good for Russia as a nation at face value. His personal piety is a different story.

    Since we obviously don’t agree on these issues, we should probably both move on before this gets as ugly as I fear it can get.

  • The German case is quite different. There, the protesters disturbed public worship. Every state in Europe guarantees freedom of worship and such actions are rightly criminal.

    That is a very different matter to staging a protest in a building sometimes used for worship, but when no service was in progress.

  • I don’t think it is “very different.” It is somewhat different, but these are differences of degree and not kind. I’m not positive but I believe there were people in the cathedral at the time trying to pray.

  • I mean, what the hell would be the point of a protest if there were no people around to see it?

  • The Russian Orthodox Church has valid Holy Orders and valid Sacraments, though it is not in union with Rome. Even Rome recognizes the validity of Eastern Orthodox Churches, of which the Russian one is an autonomous, autocephalus member. As such, isn’t there a Tabernacle in the Church where the Pussy Riot was staged, and doesn’t that Tabernacle contain the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Blessed Lord and Savior? Don’t Eastern Orthodox do it the same way? Orthodox Anglicans do. So the actions of the Pussy Rioters are even more reprehensible.

    Get out of thinking that the Roman jurisdiction is the only Catholic one. It demonstrably is not, and Rome’s recognition of the validity of Eastern Orthodox Holy Orders and Sacraments is a case in point. BTW, even the Pope had kind words to say about the recent meeting between Patriarch Cyril of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Archbishop of Poland.

  • While this doesn’t relate to the merits of the case (I’m in agreement with Pinky and Paul Zummo on them), for informational purposes:

    “As such, isn’t there a Tabernacle in the Church where the Pussy Riot was staged, and doesn’t that Tabernacle contain the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Blessed Lord and Savior? ”

    The Russian Orthodox do not reserve the sacrament in a tabernacle, because the bread and wine are combined and served out of a single chalice (the intinctioned cube of Eucharist is dropped into the communicant’s open mouth by the priest using a a golden spoon).

    Actually, I’ve had some Russian Orthodox folks online (which, as we all know from Catholic combox wars can be a weird sample) tell me that they consider the Catholic practice of reserving the sacrament in the tabernacle and most especially the Catholic practice of Eucharistic adoration, to be idolatrous. “It misses the point that the Eucharist is food” was the way it was put to me.

    While it in no way excuses the behavior of the punk band, there is, honestly, reason to be concerned about the Russian Orthodox Church and its place in modern Russia. Keep in mind, despite the official atheism of the Soviet regime, there were strong and disturbing ties between the ROC and the communist regime. These ties have continued in Putin’s Russia, where not only are a lot of ex-KGB types running the government, but Patriarch Kirill himself has been strongly implicated as having been a long term KGB informant and collaborator.

  • Thank you for the clarification, Darwin.

  • “I’m in agreement with Pinky and Paul Zummo on them”

    I’m not the least surprised about that.

    “there is, honestly, reason to be concerned about the Russian Orthodox Church and its place in modern Russia”

    I’m more concerned about the place of the Church in the West and under Islamic rule. I don’t see why it is any of our concern at all what happens in Russia, which is not persecuting Christians, which is not threatening any of our legitimate interests, and which has a government that has the overwhelming support of the people.

  • One might care because they like to threaten Catholic Poland at times, or because although the Orthodox are not officially persecuted by the state, the Orthodox have consistently used the state to harass Catholics in Russia — going so far as to effectively kick Catholic clergy out of Russia by revoking their visas.

    One might also consider it problematic for a Christian church to explicitly align itself with an oppressive and at times murderous regime. That can seem helpful at times (especially when the other options seem fairly barbaric — though that’s not the case with Russia) but in the long run being too cozy with nasty people never seems to work out very well.

  • “One might care because they like to threaten Catholic Poland at times”

    Oh please. When did the post-Soviet Russian government threaten Poland? Other than, perhaps, in response to NATO’s belligerent insistence upon a missile shield (why do we have a divine right to that again?)’

    “or because although the Orthodox are not officially persecuted by the state, the Orthodox have consistently used the state to harass Catholics in Russia”

    Ok. That’s a legitimate problem and it should be addressed. I’ll grant that one, no question. But it is hardly a matter that warrants Russophobia, or joining in the obscene chorus of celebrities, government officials and media personalities condemning Russia on the grounds that these hideous criminals were simply “expressing themselves.”

    “One might also consider it problematic for a Christian church to explicitly align itself with an oppressive and at times murderous regime. ”

    You really need to take off the nationalist blinders. This country has only been free of racial apartheid for a generation, has supported murderous regimes around the world for geopolitical gains, and has killed millions in “wars of choice.” I’m not saying that all of these acts were totally unjustifiable, but together they constitute the thinnest of glass houses from which no stone ought to be cast.

    The bottom line is that the forces arrayed against Russia in this case are enemies of Christianity. In this case, Catholics ought to stand in solidarity with the Russian Orthodox against the onslaught of hypocritical condemnation coming from people like Obama, Madonna, the rest of the vapid Western media-government complex.

  • You really need to take off the nationalist blinders. This country has only been free of racial apartheid for a generation, has supported murderous regimes around the world for geopolitical gains, and has killed millions in “wars of choice.” I’m not saying that all of these acts were totally unjustifiable, but together they constitute the thinnest of glass houses from which no stone ought to be cast.

    If the Catholic Church (or any other) was as totally subservient to the US government and US national interests as the Russian Orthodox Church is to Russia’s, I would consider that very, very problematic as well.

    And that’s despite the fact I think it’s clear that the US is a much safer and better power to have controlling the international scene than the Russians. I’m about as comfortable with Putin’s Russia as I am with what China has developed into. It’s not an “evil empire”, and Putin is certainly no Stalin, but that’s praising with faint damns.

    Am I joining the chorus of people decrying Russia’s action? Not at the moment. The band does basically sound like hooligans to me (even if they’re hooligans on the right side when it comes to Putin) and if you’re going to stage a protest such as theirs in Putin’s Russia, you can’t be surprised to land in prison for a couple years. So my reaction to the celebrity fuss is basically, “What, this is what it took to make you notice the repressive regime in Russia?”

    But I do not think that Putin’s regime is good for Russia, and I don’t think it’s remotely a benevolent force in the world.

  • Darwin,

    Suffice to say, I disagree with you across the board. I’m particularly disturbed by the fact that you are more concerned with getting in shots at “Putin’s Russia” than you are the the sanctity of holy places and the rights and sensibilities of fellow Christians. I believe your priorities are completely wrong, and I’ll leave it at that.

  • While I think that what they did was bad — I think that Putin’s attempt (successful, thus far) to coopt the Russian Orthodox Church to support his own corrupt and violent ends is more blasphemous than anything that these bozo protesters have done.

  • Well, let me put it this way. In the future, I’ll make another big foreign policy post with special emphasis on Russia/Putin and we can hash it all out then. I’m neither willing or able to do it now, though.

  • It is perhaps worth recalling that the Kram Khrista Spasitela was built by the blood-spattered tyrant, Tsar Alexander to commemorate the defeat of Napoléon. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture was commissioned and first performed at its dedication.

    It is a monument to the victory of despotism and ignorance over freedom and enlightenment and to the defeat of that Grande Armée, whom Hilaire Belloc hailed:

    “You who put down the mighty from their seat
    Who strove to fill the hungry with good things
    Who turned the rich man empty to the street
    And trailed your scabbards in the halls of kings…”

    It could be truly said of Moscow, as was written of Jerusalem, “If you had known the time of your deliverance…” Alas! its priests, too, then as now, had “no king but Caesar.”

  • I mean seriously, anyone who praises Napoleon while denouncing another ruler as “blood-spattered” is brain-damaged. And the suggestion that Napoleon’s army was bringing “enlightenment” and “freedom” is just as arrogant, deluded, and disgusting as the illusions of people who think they can bomb and mass murder the Muslim world into democracy.

    From now on, leave your sanctimonious comments and pedantic lectures on someone else’s posts. They aren’t welcome here.

  • Against the bigoted, ignorant, Russophobic filth penned by Belloc (whom I’ve never cared for) and praised by MPS, I offer a passage from the Marquis de Custine’s multi-volume work “The Empire of the Czar”, written in 1843:

    “Moscow is everywhere picturesque. The sky, without being clear, has a silvery brightness: the models of every species of architecture are heaped together without order or plan; no structures are perfect, nonetheless, the whole strikes, not with admiration, but with astonishment. The inequalities of the surface multiply the points of view. The magic glories of multitudes of cupolas sparkle in the air. Innumerable gilded steeples, in form like minarets, Oriental pavilions, and Indian domes, transport you to Delhi; donjon keeps and turrets bring you back to Europe in the times of the crusades; the sentinel, mounted on the top of his watch tower, reminds you of the muezzin inviting the faithful to prayer; while, to complete the confusion of ideas, the cross, which glitters in every direction, commanding the people to prostrate themselves before the Word, seems as though fallen from heaven amid an assembly of Asiatic nations, to point out to them the narrow way of salvation. It was doubtless before this poetical picture that Madame de Stael exclaimed – Moscow is the Rome of the North!”

  • Well, de Custine went to Russia looking for arguments against democratic governments which he opposed. He liked the Russians but was appalled at the autocracy he found. Many of his quotations are absolutely damning, and could apply to Putin’s regime today:

    “I don’t reproach the Russians for being what they are; what I blame them for is their desire to appear to be what we [Europeans] are…. They are much less interested in being civilized than in making us believe them so… They would be quite content to be in effect more awful and barbaric than they actually are, if only others could thereby be made to believe them better and more civilized.”

    “Russia is a nation of mutes; some magician has changed sixty million men into automatons.”

    I heartily recommend his Letters From Russia which gives a nice overview of what he saw in Russia.

    http://www.oxonianreview.org/wp/the-marquis-de-custine-and-the-question-of-russian-history/

  • I don’t have a problem with the Russian government’s prosecution per se. But two years in prison seems wildly excessive.

  • Donald,

    I don’t particularly care for autocracy, or for the head of the state to be the head of the church – these are aspects of Russia I can do without.

    But a nation that produced Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakriev, Borodin, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Shostakovitch, Prokofiev, and many lesser known but equally talented artists and musicians is not a nation of mutes and automatons. The Russian 19th century produced some of the most enduring and amazing artwork I’ve ever known.

  • I don’t have a problem with the Russian government’s prosecution per se. But two years in prison seems wildly excessive.

    These broads are serial public nuisances, so something more severe than parole after 20 days might be expected.

  • “The Russian 19th century produced some of the most enduring and amazing artwork I’ve ever known.”

    I have long been a student of not only Russian history but also its culture. I even took three semesters of Russian language as an undergrad, to the detriment of my gpa, alas. There is much to admire in Russian culture. As to Russian government, I am afraid that an all too accurate assessment was given by a Russian nobleman after the murder of Paul I in 1801: “Despotism tempered by assassination, that is our Magna Carta.” A good book on Russian culture is James Billington’s The Icon and the Axe.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Icon-Axe-Interpretive-History/dp/0394708466

  • Art Deco,

    They’ve already been in jail for six months. I don’t think you can call that getting off easy.

  • Although it seems clear that Vladimir Putin is up to no good in co-opting the Orthodox church to his grandiose plans, nonetheless these punks have deliberately chosen to insult the memory of millions of victims of Communism by cavorting at the restored Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, which was destroyed at the orders of the monster Stalin.

  • >Oh please. When did the post-Soviet Russian government threaten Poland? Other than, perhaps, in response to NATO’s belligerent insistence upon a missile shield (why do we have a divine right to that again?)’

    Um … how does a missile *shield* signify belligerence? All it does is prevent missiles from destroying a country. Yes, I know, Russia thinks it’ll just protect us from nuclear retaliation if we attack them. But to you seriously think any president (real or potential) – Bush, Obama, Romney, Ryan or another realistic candidate – wants to incinerate innocent Russians in an aggressive nuclear strike?

    Poland’s desire to be defended from Russia is understandable, given the recent East European history – Russia dominating Poland in the 18th century, the Partitions at the end of said epoch, the Russian occupation of central Poland in the 19th century (and the brutal repression of any and all Polish rebellions during that time), the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1920-21 or so, and of course Stalin’s betrayal of the Warsaw rebels and subsequent establishment of a Communist puppet state in that land after World War II. And that’s not even counting the rivalry between Moscow and Poland for Eastern Europe in the centuries before Peter the Great.

    Even if we forget Poland (since, given history, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Kremlin thought trying to dominate/occupy/control that country is too much trouble than it’s worth) , there’s still the ex-Soviet republics, which Putin’s Russia is trying hard to dominate. Just think about the 2002 hacking of Estonia, Russia’s interference with the 2004-2005 Ukranian elections (Putin was on the losing side of the Orange Revolution), and the 2008 invasion of Georgia, among other things. Want to know why Alexander Lukashenko is still dictator of Belarus. Because he and Putin are BFFs.

    Honestly, I find it quite ironic that such a devoted opponent of US imperialism (real or otherwise) seems to be just find and dandy with Russia’s very real imperialism in eastern Europe and the Caucasus region.

  • They’ve already been in jail for six months. I don’t think you can call that getting off easy.

    Did I even imply it was?

    These women are attention whores. They thrive off challenging authority with paying trivial prices for it. Give them small (but escalating) jail terms for each instance of vandalism, disorderly conduct, disruption of a religious service (a class A misdemeanor in New York, btw), criminal trespass, and resisting arrest. Eventually, though, it is not unjust to point the cannon at the cat. They ought to do themselves and everyone else a favor and get normal jobs.

    As for Russia, it is a foreign irritant, not a peril. As for the Russian political order, regrets but the attempt at democratic institutions was contemporary with an economic catastrophe. One ought to hope for a recovery in fertility, successful improvements in the effectiveness and reliability of police and courts, and a regulatory regime that does not ratify or promote rent-seeking before one hopes for a restoration of competitive elections. (Even so, Putin’s regime is likely the most liberal-democratic in the civic realm of any outside the periods running from 1905 to 1918 and 1988 to 1999).

  • >As for Russia, it is a foreign irritant, not a peril.
    Tell that to the people of Eastern Europe…

  • The basis of the the ABM Treaty is that in the realm of ballistic missiles so called defensive weapons tend to destabilise existing deterrents. If the Russians had wanted to use their missiles against the Poles, the propitious time was in 1989; that era is long gone now. The Poles should not rely on bear baiters in the Pentagon for support, but instead come to a regional understanding with the other Europeans including the Russians.

  • Tommy,

    To answer your questions…

    “Um … how does a missile *shield* signify belligerence? All it does is prevent missiles from destroying a country. Yes, I know, Russia thinks it’ll just protect us from nuclear retaliation if we attack them. But to you seriously think any president (real or potential) – Bush, Obama, Romney, Ryan or another realistic candidate – wants to incinerate innocent Russians in an aggressive nuclear strike?”

    Do I think that any of these people want to attack Russia unprovoked? No. Well, maybe John McCain… but this is besides the point. To deprive Russia of first-strike capability can only be interpreted as hostile. Do you seriously expect Russia to just assume the permanent good intentions of the West? You speak of “recent history” going all the way back to the 18th century. Russia only needs to go back as far as Operation Barbarossa to justify the maintaining of a sphere of influence and nuclear first-strike capabilities.

    It is unreasonable to demand of others what you would find unreasonable if demanded of you. You would not rest on the assumption of Russia’s permanent benevolence, and so it is absurd and almost dehumanizing to expect them to do likewise.

    “Poland’s desire to be defended from Russia is understandable, given the recent East European history”

    Poland really has nothing to do with this. It was brought up by Darwin as an example of Russia’s offenses against another Christian nation – as if no two other Christian nations have gone to war, as if all three Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox nations haven’t engaged in regrettable belligerence and war with one another.

    A NATO missile shield isn’t about protecting Poland from a nuclear strike, for heaven’s sake. It is about limiting Russia’s offensive and defensive capabilities.

    “there’s still the ex-Soviet republics, which Putin’s Russia is trying hard to dominate.”

    Oh really? There’s no other power using its own international spy agency to ferment political upheaval and regional opposition to Moscow in these republics? There’s no power whose actions are obviously aimed at the complete encirclement of Russia?

    Russia would be insane not to oppose the West. The color revolutions are CIA-engineered shams.

    “Honestly, I find it quite ironic that such a devoted opponent of US imperialism (real or otherwise) seems to be just find and dandy with Russia’s very real imperialism in eastern Europe and the Caucasus region.”

    I am not opposed to imperialism as an abstract category. I don’t have an abstract, moral problem with say, the Monroe Doctrine. But – and I will elaborate on these issues much more when I eventually do a big foreign policy post (maybe after the elections) – I do believe that

    a) Russia is completely right in identifying Western actions in the ex-Soviet republics as encirclement, and this is fundamentally hostile
    b) Russia is completely justified as a nation in opposing Western attempts to encircle it
    c) Russia, in supporting the secular dictatorships of the “Islamic” region of the world (North Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, etc.) is objectively supporting the Christians who live relatively unmolested under these regimes, while recent US support for Islamic fanatics in Lybia, Egypt and now Syria is – among other things – a direct threat to tens of millions of Christians around the world.

  • Russia is repressive. Nice to see you’re sadistically enjoying P**y Riot’s suffering (clearly, you find femininity&female organs scary) When Russia passed its antigay laws… the first man arrested wasn’t gay, but a straight married man. Russia has been against free speech for years. Read about Dostoevsky and Tolstoy.

    You’re defending oppression&censorship. P**y Riot isn’t sociopathic;they were battling the sociopathic Vladimir Putin.

    How to sweet someone who revels in the censorship and oppression of others. You’re just like Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor. You HATE women and freedom.

  • Susan, the pu$$y rioters defiled a Christian Church. If their intent was to protest against Putin, then they should have carried their protest to a govt bldg, NOT a Christian Church.

    Having pro-sodomy filth laws isn’t fre speech. It’s promotion of godless sexual idolatry and iniquity. The gays who won’t repent belong back in the closet where they belong, and Christianity belongs front and center in the public square.

    As for the first man arrested who was straight, if he was promoting homosexual filth, then his arrest, regardless of his sexual orientation, was right and correct. There are only human rights, and the filth of these sexually promiscuous creatures does not qualify as a human right. Indeed, for this kind of filth God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • How to sweet someone who revels in the censorship and oppression of others. You’re just like Dostoevsky’s Grand Inquisitor. You HATE women and freedom.

    If that’s the way you want to put it, sister, go ahead. Betwixt and between hating women and freedom I have little time for vulgar professional adolescents who deface public property and disrupt other peoples’ common activities.

  • I will leave the judgement on Putin’s Russia to historians who will doubtless have better access to the information needed to make that judgment than any of us is likely to get.

    What is clear is that this band willfully defiled a church. In any country, rights are not absolute, but need to be balanced against other rights. If they had been sent to jail for two years for making their “protest” in Red Square, I would be supporting their right to free speech (even if I very definitely disagree with much of what they are saying). They do not however, have a right to enter a church or other non-governmental or non-publically owned space in order to make that protest.

    Personally, I get the impression that they wanted to be arrested; they got what they wanted and I am not going to loose too much sleep over it.

  • Susan,

    The most frightening thing about your kind is your complete inability an unwillingness to recognize the rights and freedoms of others. In your sick, twisted, limited world view, religious worshipers have no rights and freedom. If you decide you want to stomp into our churches and menstruate on the floor, you believe you should have that right, and that we have an obligation to sit there and like it.

    Well, let me tell you something sister. Under the laws of civilized nations, you don’t have this right, not in Russia, not in the U.S., not anywhere. If you think preventing and punishing such vile, hateful acts is “censorship”, then you are sick in the head and you belong in a mental institution. In a just society, a rational society, you would have already been committed.

  • May God bless Bonchamps, Maryland Bill and Art Deco.

  • God Bless all of us. Just because people disagree with Bonchamps about the nature of the Russian government, that doesn’t make them the enemy (and even if they were, we still should ask God to bless them).

    I do have reservations about Putin’s government, a lot of them. But I know I don’t know enough to be sure one way or the other. I also know that to a certain extent, whether Putin is a saint or a sinner, it doesn’t change the wrongness of what this “band” did in a Church.

  • Susan, I disagree with Bonchamps about this, but I wouldn’t accuse him of hating women or freedom. Attacking someone’s motivations is bad form. And also, just because Putin is a sociopath, that doesn’t mean his oppnents aren’t.

  • The Russian Orthodox do not reserve the sacrament in a tabernacle, because the bread and wine are combined and served out of a single chalice (the intinctioned cube of Eucharist is dropped into the communicant’s open mouth by the priest using a a golden spoon).

    Darwin, you are wrong. We do in fact keep the reserved Sacrament in a tabernacle on the Holy Table at all times, for Presanctified Liturgies during Lent and for the communion of the sick at all times of the year. Just because we don’t have a practice of Eucharistic Adoration outside of a liturgical context doesn’t mean that the Altar does not at all times have the Holy Gifts placed on it.

Poland And Russia Battle Over WWII History

Tuesday, September 1, AD 2009

Today is the 70th anniversary of the beginning of World War II as Germany bombarded Westerplatte with canon fire.  Katyn massacre posterEventually Germany made peace with their neighbors by recognizing the role they played in the devastation of Europe.  Since then Europe has experienced only one conflict[1] since the end of World War II.

But Russia remains another matter.

Russia continues to be belligerent in their interpretation of the war.  Denying much culpability in their conflict with Poland and even insinuating of Polish-German designs on the Soviet Union.

In the days leading up to anniversary, Russian media has aired a string of accusations against Poland, claiming that Warsaw intended to collaborate with Hitler in an invasion of the Soviet Union, and that Jozef Beck, Poland’s foreign minister in 1939, was a German agent. Moscow broadcasters have also claimed that there was a “German hand” in the 1940 Katyn massacre of thousands of Polish PoWs, an atrocity generally held to have been the exclusive work of Stalin’s secret police.

In fairness, the de facto ruler of Russia, Vladimir Putin, did offer a conciliatory tone relating to Russia’s aggression towards Poland:

“Our duty is to remove the burden of distrust and prejudice left from the past in Polish-Russian relations,” wrote Mr Putin, who went on to describe the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact as “immoral”, and also thanked Poland “from the bottom of my heart” for the 600,000 Poles who fought on the Eastern Front under Red Army command.

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12 Responses to Poland And Russia Battle Over WWII History

  • Great post, Tito–and an important reminder of the world-spanning nightmare that began on this day.

    I grit my teeth to say this, given that Putin is nothing short of a murderous thug, but his statement is an excellent one. Given where Russia is now, his opinion counts for more than the increasingly rabid pro-state media’s. Or Dmitri Medvedev’s.

  • I agree, Mr. Medvedev is nothing more than a symbolic leader.

    I don’t see Russia apologizing for anything in the near future. If the current Oil drop in prices hasn’t shaken Russia, then nothing will.

    Russia needs to admit their role in World War II of being more than a ‘benevolent liberator’.

  • I grit my teeth to say this, given that Putin is nothing short of a murderous thug…

    As if the ex-KGB, who himself was responsible for many heinous crimes, could actually be considered anything less than.

  • It’s nitpicking, but I think the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, to cite but one instance, would count as another European conflict post-1945.

  • This is the kind of “nitpicking” I actually appreciate.

    Well done.

  • Putin might also call immoral the fact that the Red Army stood by and did nothing after the Polish Home Army rose in revolt in Warsaw in 1944 while the Soviets were at the very gates of Warsaw. For 63 days the Soviets did nothing to aid the uprising. They allowed the use of Soviet air bases by the Western Allies dropping supplies to the Poles only near the end of the rising after the Soviets knew it was nearing defeat. As ever, Stalin was only too happy to have Hitler kill Poles for him.

  • Don:

    You can hardly blame the Soviets for being the Soviets. A successful Polish Home Army would have been a potential contender for power in post war Poland.

    As Professor Norman Davies points out in his history of the Warsaw Rising much of the blame for the rising failure can be laid at the feet of the British and the US governments which encouraged the Poles to revolt and promised assistance when they had no way to provide such assistance and knew such resistance would be futile but would aid them by tying up German troops.

    http://www.warsawuprising.com/paper/davies1.htm

    The Poles – as before the war – were fools to depend on the assurances of countries that had no means by which to provide assistance.

  • Bloody murderers Awakaman can always be blamed for being bloody murderers. I have read Davies’ book and as usual he mixes insight and rubbish. It was the Polish government in exile in England that was pushing for the revolt. The Americans and Brits could care less since holding down troops in Poland, which never amounted to more than a few low grade Wehrmacht divisions diverted from the Eastern front, was of little consequence to the Western allies. They wanted more recruits for the Polish forces fighting in the West and operations in Poland were a very low priority for the Brits and the Americans.

    As for the Poles being fools, they fought gallantly throughout WW2 against foes seeking to exterminate them. They engaged in no action against Hitler or Stalin in 1939, but they were a marked nation. Against all the odds they have outlived as a people both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. I regard them not as fools but as rather one of the more heroic nations that fought in WW2.

  • BA,

    Not at all, it isn’t nitpicking.

    I’m a history aficionado and so I’m surprised that I forgot about the Hungarian Revolution of ’56.

    Good catch!

  • As Professor Norman Davies points out in his history of the Warsaw Rising much of the blame for the rising failure can be laid at the feet of the British and the US governments

    And professors can always be blamed for being professors.

    “What is the function of intellectuals, but to tell us that things are not as ordinary people perceive them?” – Fr. Neuhaus.

  • usa stood by and watched more than 20 million russians getting killed. When the Sovietuning was standing before poland they “interveined”.
    Usa the great liberator….

    Who else when not russia?

  • What complete rubbish. The US provided extensive lend lease aid to the Soviets throughout the war, which included hundreds of thousands of vehicle and extensive food aid to feed the Red Army. The British and the Americans tied down one-third of the Wehrmacht in the West throughout the war, and the bomber fleets of the British and the Americans devastated Germany and forced the Luftwaffe to redeploy from the Russian front many of their fighter squadrons in order to defend Germany from the Allied bombers.