Russian journalists urge Moscow to challenge US positions in the world

Russia’s privately-owned national television channel REN has expressed openly anti-American views in an editorial report reminiscent of anti-Western state TV commentator Mikhail Leontyev’s Odnako features on Channel One TV, and urged Moscow to challenge the US’ positions in world politics.

Presenter Andrey Dobrov’s report, in late evening news on 18 January, echoed some of Russian state TV’s familiar grievances and views concerning the United States and praised Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s "balanced" foreign policy as a way of taking over America’s role as the "moderator of world politics".

Journalist Maksim Shevchenko, a regular contributor on Gazprom-owned, editorially-independent Ekho Moskvy radio and the presenter of Channel One TV’s judge for yourselves programme, expressed similar views in a post which appeared on the Ekho Moskvy website on the same day.

Shevchenko said that the United States was a modern day Rome trying to "disintegrate" Russia from within, while Russia was a "historical antithesis to Rome", which should beat the United States at its own game and set up a "union of free nations".

This line of thought appeared in Dobrov’s commentary as well. He accused America of strangling nations in its "deadly embraces" (Yugoslavia) and "squeezing oil" out of its defeated opponents (Iraq, Libya), said that Washington played a role in Georgia’s "attack on South Ossetia" and is now "encircling" Russia with its missile defences.

Europe no longer wants US as moderator of world politics

Dobrov argued that having left "stains" of blood and oil behind them "in various regions of the world", the Americans had alienated even their European allies who no longer wanted Washington as the moderator of world politics.

He claimed that America’s standing in Europe was further damaged following the "decision" in 2008 for "everyone to help the States" address the consequences of the credit crunch, the decision which he claimed led to eurozone countries being particularly economically vulnerable now.

"European leaders understand this full well," and "do not want to disrupt the economic ties that either have already been established with our country or can be set up in these difficult times," said Dobrov. No wonder, he observed, that European leaders "have remained silent" about Russia’s parliamentary election, while the Americans have been very critical.

Moscow has chance to take over

Dobrov said that US policies presented Moscow with a good opportunity to take over the role of the moderator: "Russia, as the only superpower with European history, as a country that emerged from the last crisis with even smaller losses than Europe, could quite possibly assume the functions of such moderation in the future, but only if it retains its balanced policy."

US ambassador a Roman procurator

Shevchenko’s post was a reaction to Russian opposition figures’ meeting with Washington’s news ambassador in Moscow, Michael McFaul.

Predictably, he was very unsympathetic towards the opposition, who he said wished Russia’s disintegration, but said that he would not "demonize McFaul as a specialist in orange revolutions".

"He does not give the impression of a man who hates our country. He simply is an American, and as every honest American is serving the interests of his empire. It is in the interests of his empire to break up the Russian Federation, disintegrate it and create in its place many small ethnic states dependant on Washington’s will."

"McFaul is trying to behave as Pontius Pilate, as Rome’s procurator. Why should we be demanding that he not serve Rome’s interests?"

Russia – antithesis of Rome

Instead, Shevchenko said, Russia’s response should be to "free ourselves from the utopia of Rome and set up a union of free nations". "Russia is a historical antithesis to Rome… and our leader from the past is Attila, an educated person, who spoke six languages, who studied in Rome as a young man and went on to destroy the world’s dungeon, Rome," he said.

Shevchenko argued that "we will disappear if we do not mount a spiritual challenge, if we do not say why we do not want to be Rome. Why we do not want to be governed by officials that emulate Rome and its manners".

He said that "we should organize a union of free peoples who have other values. Not the values of serving a big great city, whatever it is called, but completely different, spiritual values." "Our peoples – Russian, Caucasian Turkic – have values that are worth living for and dying for, values that oppose the values of Rome."

Use "orange technologies" against America

Shevchenko said that rather than fearing "orange technologies" (a revolution instigated from abroad), Russia should apply them to its opponents. "The USA can be plunged into chaos. A revolution is far more possible there than in Russia," he said, arguing that "there are plenty of people in the USA who would have been happy if Russia went back to supporting their fight against American imperialism – blacks, Indians, left-wing people, far right, in other words, all sorts of people".

He also suggested that Russia ought to "support Iran, arm Iran, supply it with S-300 air defence systems, supply it with anti-ship Rapira missiles, arm Syria, arm the Palestinian resistance movement, support armed opposition in Afghanistan, recognize Taleban movement, demand that [arms dealer Viktor] But be freed and support the FARC insurgents, let them stage a red colour revolution against the USA in a key Caribbean country. Trust me, the problem of an orange revolution will then disappear from Russia by itself."

Sources: REN TV, Moscow, in Russian 1830 gmt 18 Jan 12; http://www.echo.msk.ru/blog/shevchenkomax/850017-echo

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