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A Dangerous Game, or Why is the West Criticizing the Sochi Games?

Mon, Feb 17, 2014

Russia

By Israel SHAMIR

A Dangerous Game, or Why is the West Criticizing the Sochi Games?

There is a Russian proverb very similar to “Pride Goeth Before a Fall.” Russians are not easily offended, as opposed to, for example, my Israeli compatriots, who are hypervigilant to conspiracies and anti-Semitism.  Russians just aren’t like that, and even the manufactured word “Russophobia” never really caught on, except within the select audiences of the blogosphere.

It started with the campaign by same-sex activists to boycott the Olympics.  That was launched by the comedian Stephen Fry, “as a Jew and a homosexual,” in a reference to the Holocaust.  But his joke fell flat because shortly before that incident Fry had caused an outcry in the Jewish world when he stated on television that Jews had stored up more misery for mankind than any other group of people.  The topic of gay rights continues to rankle – the Americans sent a delegation to Sochi consisting entirely of supporters of same-sex relationships, hoping to “troll” Putin – but nothing has ignited, despite their efforts.  The only demonstration on this issue in Sochi was staged by some American guests who were upset about the legalization of same-sex marriage in many US states.

Then came the horror stories about “Sochi – the city of double toilets.” Despite the fact that the photos and legends were debunked as fast as they appeared – they had their effect.  An Austrian journalist photographed a bad road in Vienna and tweeted it with the hashtag SochiFails.  CNN acquired the photo and it was retweeted 477 times.  Then the journalist admitted he had pulled a fast one – but that confession was only retweeted four times, which proves that this was truly an organized campaign to discredit both Sochi and the Games.

President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych waving national flag as the Ukrainian team advanced to the stadium during Opening ceremony, Sochi, February 7, 2014.

President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovych waving national flag as the Ukrainian team advanced to the stadium during Opening ceremony, Sochi, February 7, 2014.

The opening ceremony saw some surprising and deliberate incidents: although spectators in the stadium and television viewers in Russia could see the president of Ukraine,Viktor Yanukovych, in his sky box, standing with a flag as the Ukrainian athletes entered the stadium, viewers overseas saw only an empty spot.  American television viewers did not see some of the section of the presentation that depicted the Soviet period, which was most likely cut because it did not include the gulags.

And finally, in conclusion there appeared a series of detailed articles.  The “bloody slander” by Dominic Sandbrook is an excellent example.  This was a fatwa, a call for murder and war from the lips of a respected British professor from Oxford and Cambridge.  Here’s another example: “The Stench of Sochi,” in which Putin is described as a bloody dictator and the games as an act of collusion. [1]

One could debate each point of the charges listed and either agree with them or take offense.  I’ve spent the greater part of the last three years in Russia.  It’s not the most comfortable place in the world.  The weather is oppressive.  We have ice and snow on a level unimaginable to Scandinavians or Canadians.  Beelzebub himself designed Moscow’s traffic.  I assure you it’s a country where the bureaucracy exhausts new arrivals and which begets a profusion of unnecessary hardships, all of which have helped to forge the indomitable Russian spirit.  You’ll get no argument from me! But only someone who has lost all touch with reality could brand the lenient rule of the liberal-conservative Putin as the “murderous and corrupt regime” of a gangster, when he has never executed anyone, holds an electoral mandate, and has yet to break up a single legal demonstration.

The vulgar anti-Sochi propaganda campaign is hardly reaching the international audience.

A vulgar anti-Sochi propaganda campaign is hardly reaching the international audience.

This widespread campaign leaves one no choice but to believe without a shadow of a doubt that what we have here is a deliberately fabricated, orchestrated, and organized campaign to target Russia and its president.  Why is this? If athletic competitions in Israel were being written about in this manner we would conclude that the instigators of the campaign were vile anti-Semites.  We could use the formula of President George W. Bush, who suggested “they hate our freedoms” as a motive for 9/11.  But there’s an even better explanation.

The unified Western propaganda machine is able to demonize its potential victims much better than the antediluvian mechanism used by Goebbels – if for no other reason than because it penetrates every corner of the globe.  It is centered in London and New York, and its branches operate in France, Germany, and even Russia.  It is fully integrated into the social networks.  If you (justifiably) do not trust the mainstream media and turn to the Internet – there you will find the same message, copied and retweeted by thousands of obedient robots.

This machine moves in when its owners want something from their victim.  For example, Muammar Gaddafi was the best friend of Paris, London, and Washington.  But he took exception once, and that was when Goldman Sachs lost 98% of Libya’s investments.  He paid dearly for his complaints.  He was utterly demonized and then NATO bombed Libya and destroyed that flourishing country.  Fifty billion dollars went missing – Libya’s sovereign wealth funds that had been invested in Western banks.

This is why the campaign against Sochi is so troubling.  What do the owners of the international mainstream media want from Russia and Putin? For him to marry President Obama? For him to abandon the Stabilization Fund in favor of Goldman Sachs? For him to sell oil and gas to Western companies in exchange for US Treasury bonds? Or – in regard to more compelling matters – for him to hand over Ukraine to neo-Nazis and Syria to Al-Qaeda? In any event, this has nothing to do with sports.  This is a different, and far more dangerous game.

[1] (OR Note) The reason why the Western sponsored media were so anxious about Russian resources being invested into the development of the national infrastructure projects and its soft power of the global reach, is pretty transparent. Since 2010 Russia has been gradually reducing its share in the US Treasury holdings (from around USD 176 billion in October 2010 to less than USD 140 billion in November 2013) and plans for more. Exactly this tribute, routinely pumped into greedy abyss of the Wall Street deposits for years, has been eventually spent for the national development and advance in Sochi. A gloomy mixture of envy, disrespect, panic and malice motivates those who hire the likes of Dominic Sandbrook, Alex Berenson, Alexander Gentelev, Regis Gente, Michael Weiss,  etc to condemn “Putin’s Games”. The outstanding success of the ongoing Olympic Games is the powerful and compelling response to these scribblers.

Source in Russian: Free Press

Translated by ORIENTAL REVIEW.

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1 Comments For This Post

  1. Karen Says:

    Thank you Oriental Review for another brilliant commentary. Those of who love Russia and the Russians have long sensed that an undeclared war has been waged on Russia. However, we did not know why the media warfare against took such an ugly turn in the last few years. There was and still is pure hate toward anything Russian in the Western media. I find this frightening because we can sense hate directed at Russia and the Russian people. I often feel angry but in other times I feel frightened by the intensity of the hatred expressed by the Western media toward Russia. We can sense the reasons for the media war against Russia as geopolitical in nature- and that Putin has been singled out as a villain because he dared to make Russian stable and strong again. We sensed that the corporate elites of the West and their oligarchic segments inside Russia want to use the Sochi games to conduct massive media warfare against Russia. I firmly believe they failed to do that because Russia stood firm. Russia prevailed over the haters- and yes- Russia prevailed over the wicked Russophobes. I often watch how well Russia is doing partially because I want to show my support to the Russian people. It is great to see the Sochi games are going well and even greater that Russian athletes are doing so well in Sochi 2014. In 2010 Russia did not do well in Vancouver but today after one week of competition Russia is sitting in the second place of the Gold medal count and is tied in the first place for the overall medal counts (18). It seems the athletes are happy and Western attack dogs have started doing some reporting of the actual sporting events. Most disappoint thing is the total silence of left in the West. There are 6M American in the U.S. prison complex but black Americans and Obama felt it necessary to lecture Russia about human rights rather than deal with the human rights crisis in the U.S. racial justice.

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