Saturday, February 23, 2008

More NCW stuff

The Warsaw Business Journal has interviewed me here

I was at the Council for Foreign Relations at a lunch chaired by Jack Matlock and in discussion with Steve Sestanovich. You can see video excerpts here (though not the bit where I explode with anger in response to a pro-Kremlin, anti-Baltic comment)

The Guardian has printed a largely flattering review.

You can read a (rough) transcript here of my event at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty or if you really want listen to the whole 90 minutes of it here.

I had some tough criticism from Andrew Kuchins during the event (also 90 minutes) at the CSIS. You can listen to it here

I was plugging New Cold War on an American (NPR) Radio programme called Fresh Air. You can listen again here


And on Here and Now, another NPR radio programe here

I was on C-Span on the same subject. You can watch it here

And you can see most of Russia Today's attempt to ridicule the book here
video

16 comments:

Willbert said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
stalker said...

I was at the Council for Foreign Relations at a lunch chaired by Jack Matlock and in discussion with Steve Sestanovich. You can see video excerpts here (though not the bit where I explode with anger in response to a pro-Kremlin, anti-Baltic comment)

Do expound, please.

Giustino said...

That Russia Today commentator should really sit down. He's distracting me with his hand gestures and posturing.

George Nikoladze said...

Russiatoday remind me of good old Soviet type KGB run propagandist TV station or media outlet aimed at brainwashing. Russiantoday is a tool of the Russian government to improve its image in the West with western type of programing. However, as it turned out, its same old state run Putinocratic station. Instead of initiating another Putinist TV station (this time in English), Russia should try to ease its grip on media and through democratic actions improve its image in the world. In a country where there is absolutely no free media and journalist are killed regularly, just another brainwashing state control propagandistic station is a bad news for the democratic transition (which has been destroyed in Russia so far) in that country.

Anton said...

Democracy doesn´t happen overnight.
Georgian democracy isn´t a great example either. Nevertheless, even Russia will eventually become a democracy, the transition has to be gradual, no need to rush it.

George Nikoladze said...

Interesting conversion of hope. Well if we look at current Russia, we dont see any "gradual" move towards even the mean sense of democracy. In fact, the tide is diverted other way around, opposite to that gradual move towards Democracy. Russia shifts back to Soviet type state system or even more precisely, Stalinist. Georgian democracy can not be an examplery to Russia, because the country is going through democratic transition (which Russia did not yet even start or is willing to start in near future). But the Georgian experiment with democracy can serve as example for Russia. But I don't think that KGB run state apparatus of Russia is willing to adopt any examples, even from the well established democracies.

Correct, it does not happen overnight, but this process of which you are implying has to commence at least. Lets be realistic, no one in Kremlin intends in commencing this process.

George Nikoladze said...

p.s a nice quote from Claud Lefort: "a dubious democracy, for all its defects, is always better than the dictatorship."

Anton said...

Oh yes indeed, Georgia is experiencing a full transition, I particularly liked the use of high-frequency-wave-gun, very high-tech.

Drugging Irakli Okruashvili and threatening to hurt his family is also pretty democratic, well and of course Sakashvili isn´t at all a corrupt crook, he did´t mean to rigg the elections or shut down the opposition channel, it was an accident, just as the death of Zurab Zhvania. (God bless sarcasm)

Just because Georiga is run by the United States of America,doesn´t make it democratic. As long as Sakashvili and Gang are in power, Georgia will be just as messed up as Russia... The trouble is, that Georgia is a ´friend´, so it is OK for the West to overlook the obvious abuse of Democracy in the country.

There is another nice quoute:
´Don´t piss in my pocket and tell me it´s raining` Georgia is not a democracy.


Well an as for Russia, the people of that country have never had as much freedom as they do now. This idea of Russia going back to Stalinism is crazy, be realistic!
Well and as a matter of fact, we all know where Stalin, Beria, Ordzonikidze and others came from.
Saying that Russia is rolling back to Stalinism is absolutely absurd, I see now concentration camps, well and my neighbours haven´t misteriously dissappeared yet.
Russia will not go back to Socialism and that is a fact, if you can´t understand that, you are not rational and realistic.

Allowing full democracy in Russia will immediately lead to social tensions and conflict, just like we saw it happen in the 90´s. I´d say no Russian would want to go through that again. Russia is accepting the norms of democracy and freedom step by step, slowly but confidently, as they say.


Fight against corruption is top priority on the govt´s agenda, and making jurisdiction more credible and independet is a thing Mr.Medvedev is very keen to do, he is afterall a lawyer. Nevertheless Russia is changing at a correct pase, taking hasty measures will lead to difficulties, because Russia is an absurd country. Never give a Russian too much carrot, he constantly needs to be reminded of the stick.

Anton said...

Have a nice day.

George Nikoladze said...

It was a hilarious post, typical Russo-chauvinist attack rather than constructive dialogue. When it comes to biting fellow Georgian opponents, Russians tend to bring up Orjonikidze, Beria and Stalin, pitiful ammunition of arguments. None of the mentioned had anything to do with Georgia (they were products of Russian imperialism and chauvinism, and those classifications are taken from Lenin). None had any “patriotic” feelings towards their birth-country, on contrary. And it surely does not give you a credit when you are trying to counterweight my arguments with the usage of Bolshevik despots (proud sons of your country, not mine, and I might add proud protégés of your “presidents”). Saakashvilophobia which devours Russian political arena is not a news flash for me or can be used to explain why in Russia we observe highly corrupted, ultra-nationalist or chauvinist, empire dreaming, un-democratic, Putinist (authoritarian) regime. Yeah I can see how free people can express their opinions, especially after your so called presidential elections when people who didn’t buy that staged elections of Stalinist type protested and were taken and bitten by OMON. Yeah, the systematic murder of journalists is another indication of freedom in Russia. Banishment of political opponents, jailing them in Siberia or poisoning them in London with Uranium, etc is strong indication of liberty, prosperity and fraternity in Russia. You may fool yourself or fellow “Nashi” Putin-Jugend radicals but the international community is well aware of your sense of freedom, which sticks of 120,000 Chechen civilian dead and many other crimes which your government has committed against its own people. It might help you to read latest Amnesty International report on your freedom (http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/report/freedom-curtailed-russian-federation-20080226) . But, I don’t see how Amnesty or Putinocrat Medvedev can divert their ailing country from such crisis. The greatest achievement of your President and state was the political initiatives which revived Stalinism back in Russia and which threatens every civilized democratic state in the world, whether its United State, Great Britain or tiny Georgia in the Caucasus. Anyway, nobody really cares in the world what Russians think of their state or their understanding of freedom (that should be your concern) and nobody also takes into account Saakashvili bashing in your country or where Orjonikidze was born. Everything is visible and obvious for the rest of us. The question is how we can protect our democratic values from such a serious threat.

stalker said...

Don't bother, Anton. The likes of George Nikoladze, like Lucas, have become so consumed by their hatred of Russia that they can do no more in the way of argument than dronelike repetition of the mindless drivel of the Western MSM. Their writings are so full of pure unadultered vitriol that it's more amusing than annoying or insulting, anyway.

But just to keep the ball rolling...

"Yeah I can see how free people can express their opinions, especially after your so called presidential elections when people who didn’t buy that staged elections of Stalinist type protested and were taken and bitten by OMON."

The Moscow protestors didn't bother obtaining permission for their rally from the authorities, thus their actions were illegal and the police were fully justified in breaking them up. (They did succeed in getting their mugs on the international press, though, no doubt their main objective). For contrast, 2000 people protested peacefully in St.-Petersburg - not that the Western MSM sees it fit to mention that much - because they had the courtesy to, erm, follow the law.

Of course we all know how free Georgians are to protest against Saakashvili. (500 people hospitalized, blanket ban on gatherings, etc).

"Banishment of political opponents, jailing them in Siberia or poisoning them in London with Uranium, etc is strong indication of liberty, prosperity and fraternity in Russia."

If you're going to make wild, deranged claims at least get the basic facts right (it was polonium, not uranium).

"Anyway, nobody really cares in the world what Russians think of their state or their understanding of freedom (that should be your concern) and nobody also takes into account Saakashvili bashing in your country or where Orjonikidze was born."

Guess what - everybody cares even less what mentally unstable rabidly Russophobic Georgians think about Russia.

Anton said...

"Anyway, nobody really cares in the world what Russians think of their state or their understanding of freedom (that should be your concern)``


Of course they do, people are writing books about it.

Giustino said...

Russia Today is pretty interesting. It's like they copied FOX News, only by making it more obviously biased and laughably uninformative.

It's also interesting because it is in American English, yet most of the language seems copied from Russian state-owned media. So the 'reporters' play with themes that make perfect sense to Russians but would mystify most Europeans or North Americans.

Luis said...

heh funny chap stalker. If someone criticized Russian fascist regime, than logically according to these Putinists are Russophobes or Russia haters. Plutonium or Uranium, its still toxic and radioactive. Its also not really counterargumental to pin down on others the same or far worse symptoms. If Georgia undergoes political crisis, it doe snot mean Russian situation is better. In fact is far more despotic and radical. If you don't like Mr Lucas, what the hell are you doing on his blog? Are you some kind of the masochist? If you can't handle other peoples opinions, than take a validol tablets and avoid places where people can enjoy exchanging different opinions. I understand that it might be alien practice for you (to exchange different opinions openly and freely) because your country has only one opinion which is overly fascist and inhumane.
"Of course they do, people are writing books about it."

Wow and you think that was a cunning answer right? Nop, other way around. Yes people do write books about Russia but very few of them are positive. In fact as in case of Mr Lucas, most scholars agree with the notion that your state is ill and very dangerous for democratic world. Simply as that.

"Western MSM"

LOL, that was funny. Good old Russian mentality comes up again. Dont you people ever change your backward mentality and thinking? There are enemies everywhere, especially in the West :))) And that evil Saakashvili with his Western MSM nation is trying to harm Putins expansionist plans. "dronelike repetition of the mindless drivel." Mindless drivel indeed stalker, but in your case its insane and same old Russian drivel-enemies everywhere, west is bad, Putin (badka) s good, etc.

That gives North Caucasus some hope, that this ailing state will crack some day, because people in it have finally lost their common sense.

Anton said...

The point of my cunning answer was to make a point, that Russia is of great interest to scholars and authors, regardless of their opinion, positive or negative.
Because to say that nobody cares about Russia is simply ignorant, the country is maybe a threat, maybe ill, nevertheless it is interesting, it makes headlines.


To claim that the Russian government is behind the assasination of Litvinienko is an outrageous accusation, no facts.
With all respect to him, Litvinienko was a nobody in the ranks of KGB/FSB, he simply possesed no threat to Putin or anyone in the govt, killing him would be putting the state´s reputation at risk for an unnecessary death.

Of course, you´d like to think the the Kremlin is behind everything evil in this world, it didn´t have anything to do with that assasination. Well, and for Mr.Lucas to be making such accusations without facts, is simply unprofessional.

The claim that in his deathletter he accused Putin is nonsense, if he wanted to leave a testimony, it would have been filmed otherwise.

Going into what if, woulda, shoulda arguement is something I really dislike doing, however if Kremlin wanted really wanted to assasinate Litv., it would have done it more rofesionaly...perhaps use the same poison that killed Badri Patarkatsishvili.

`` What the hell are we doing on this blog, Luis?´´ We are doing the thing most of people on this blog are really bad at, we´re trying to have a look at the opinion of the other end of spectrum, while you people just live in a little box of anti-russian hatred and russophobia, failing even to consider other opinions and possibilities. Atleast sometimes, try thinking beyound your personal opinions and convictions.

stalker said...

@Luis,

Dude, if I'm a "funny chap", you must be a professional comedian, or rather clown. Your post certainly made me chuckle, and really would reflect badly on you rather than us fascist inhumane "Putinists" to any neutral observer.

That said,

If you can't handle other peoples opinions, than take a validol tablets and avoid places where people can enjoy exchanging different opinions. I understand that it might be alien practice for you (to exchange different opinions openly and freely) because your country has only one opinion which is overly fascist and inhumane.

This is a perfect illustration of the hypocrite behind every Russophobe. Obviously, your definition of "opinion" is only one with which you agree; all others are a result of overly fascist and inhumane brainwashing, and as such should leave the discussion. A classic sympton of the totalitarian mind.

For the record, however, I have yet to delete a single negative comment from my Da Russophile blog. The same cannot be said of some Russophobes, especially the one who's name begins with La.

"Western MSM". LOL, that was funny. Good old Russian mentality comes up again. Dont you people ever change your backward mentality and thinking? There are enemies everywhere, especially in the West

Erm, do you know what MSM actually stands for?


Its precisely people like you who disillusion Russians with the West and try to erect barriers to understanding, new Cold Wars, etc (as if one wasn't good enough for you). You do more to bolster Putin's standing in the West, at least amongst neutral intelligent people, than any Russophile spokesperson.