Congratulations comrades! We all just ticked off the Kremlin. Again.
It appears that I’m the subject of a blistering article in the Russian state propaganda organ, Sputnik, over my recent criticism of Green party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s visit to Moscow last winter.
Stein went to Russia to attend a “gala” celebrating the 10th anniversary of another Russian state propaganda organ, RT (formerly known as Russia Today, until they realized they needed to nix the word “Russia” in their name if they were going to be successful in getting audiences to buy the Kremlin’s propaganda).
At the gala’s dinner, Stein sat at a table with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and with a key foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump, retired General Michael Flynn.
After the event, Stein filmed a video on Red Square in which she talks about what she did while in Moscow. The video talks about how Stein spent her time in Russia criticizing the US, on human rights among other things, but the video doesn’t say a word about the abhorrent human rights abuses of the country Stein was visiting, Russia.
Russia, as you know, has a horrific record of LGBT rights abuses, including the government enabling neo-Nazis gangs to kidnap, torture and extort money from gay and trans people in that country. The neo-Nazis claim to have kidnapped over 1,500 LGBT people.
The Russian government did nothing about the gangs, and even denied their existence. Mind you, it wasn’t rocket science — the kidnappers filmed the kidnappings and torture sessions, and didn’t even hide their faces. We knew several of their names and the cities they lived in. The Russian government refused to act, because Putin was happy to let the neo-Nazis do his dirty work. It wasn’t until activists in the west, with my blog at the lead, documented the ongoing abuse, that the Kremlin was finally forced to act. The lead neo-Nazi was finally sentenced to 5 years in prison, but has now had his sentence reduced to 3 years.
That’s what Jill Stein refused to criticize in Moscow.
Stein did, however, criticize the US while in Russia, and expressed a surprised pleasure in her video that Vladimir Putin agreed with her. Gee, ya think, Jill?
So, it appears the Kremlin is mad at us again, this time for criticizing Vladimir Putin’s new bff, Jill Stein. And this time it only took us 48 hours to get the Kremlin’s attention. I think that’s a new AMERICAblog record.
The fact that the Kremlin is now openly-defending Jill Stein should not come as a surprise. Putin has already involved himself in the election in order to help Trump win, and just as importantly, in order to defeat Hillary Clinton. Putin hates Hillary because she publicly challenged the validity of the Russian elections in 2011. (That’s what you’re supposed to with dictators, stand up — not suck up — to them.)
So the Kremlin is actively pushing Trump as their preferred candidate, and Trump is gladly willing to parrot many of the Kremlin’s top talking points (about NATO being unnecessary, about America not needing to defend our NATO allies if Russia invade them, about America not having the right to criticize human rights abroad because we’re so “bad” at home). Putin’s support for Stein is similar. He knows there’s a better chance of disaffected lefties voting for Stein than for Trump, so Putin is also doing what he can to push liberal voters to Stein. All to hurt Hillary, and all to get Trump elected.
We even saw an influx of Russian sock puppet trolls on AMERICAblog on Saturday when the piece about Stein in Moscow was published. The trolls all wrote in fluent, but not-quite-right, English that had a decided slavic accent to it. (Leaving off “the,” having difficulties with prepositions, etc.) (For a really scary read about how sophisticated Russian sock puppets now are, and how they’re rooting for Trump, read this Daily Beast piece.)
In the end, it appears the criticism hit too close to home for the Russians. They were already caught red-handed stealing the DNC emails, And now we’ve been successful in undercutting their useful-idiot surrogates, like Trump and now Stein. And we caught some of their sock puppets too.
Oh, and we’re still waiting to hear if Jill Stein said anything about Russian human rights abuses against the LGBT community, journalists (Putin has enabled their murders as well), political opponents (who Putin puts in jail, and kills), or any others.
Hope springs eternal.
PS And for anyone pulling the old “you don’t criticize your host” card, Hillary did when she went to Beijing in 1995. She was happy to hold the Chinese government accountable for their human rights abuses. That was over 20 years ago. So don’t tell me it’s not done. It’s only not done by those who lack courage.
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