Friday, August 03, 2007

Newsflash: Young Russians Agree with Putin

Apparently, according to the Washington Post, young Russians consider America their number one threat, just as does Putin. Surprise, surprise.

This quote is interesting:

And while Putin's rhetoric is driving this development, human rights violations associated with U.S. counterterrorism policies have played a role.

Now, this seems a little redundant to me, since Putin controls the media with a pretty tight fist and thus "Putin's rhetoric" and "human rights violations associated with U.S. counterterrorism policies" are really one and the same. Certainly, these same youngsters wouldn't be familiar with Russian counterterrorism policies, and would thus have nothing to compare against.

At times, I think this is all just political posturing, by a nation (Russia) that has long held a collective sense of inferiority. Then again, at other times, I think that things are going to come to a head sometime in the future, and where the Cold War stayed cold (or I wouldn't be writing this), the next one might not be so cool.


W. Shedd said...

Putin hardly controls the media with a "very tight fist".

A more accurate assessment would be that the television news media in Russia remains privately owned (unlike France, UK, and most of Western Europe), albeit owned by Kremlin-friendly corporations. Newspapers and radio are mostly (although not entirely) in a similar situation. The internet is completely open.

You can make a case for media bias in Russia, but to say Putin controls it with a "very tight fist" is completely ludicrous and deliberately misleading.

It's amazing to me that this Washington Post article is getting such play, when Levada polls have been showing for several years that Russians have an increasingly negative view of the United States. Considering our foreign policies and how they appear from Russia, who can blame them?

Mark said...

The "albeit owned by Kremlin-friendly corporations" is the key phrase there. And with journalists being murdered left and right, I think there's some reason suppose that the media's more than just a little biased.

And I don't doubt that Russians have had a poor view the the US for many, many years, given their education and, more recently, Putin's continuous attacks. My wife's from the former Soviet Union, and knows quite a bit about the current state of Russia (she follows it more closely than I do). So far, she agrees with me.

If you want to say that the "very tight fist" description is a little strong, I'll admit that. But I don't find it "completely ludicrous" nor is it deliberately misleading. I can say it's not the latter, because that's certainly not my purpose.