Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

The villain kills innocent people in order to frame Roger Rabbit, that much I remember of the marvellous Zemeckis 88’ cartoon. The movie spoofs Hitchcock private eye films where the hero wades waist-deep in dead bodies, all killed to frame him. Chandler and Hammett developed this genre being bored by always-safe violin-playing Holmesian detectives: their heroes unravel murders while being accused and pursued by police.

The Russian president Vladimir Putin found himself in the uncomfortable position of Roger Rabbit. Soon after the murder of Anna Polikovskaya, an investigative journalist, the defected spy died in London – and accused him on his death bed. The third death, that of obese ex-Prime Minister Gaidar, was avoided but not a new accusation. It appears that every violent or suspicious death is automatically placed at the doorstep of Putin, in the best Chandleresque tradition. Roger Rabbit was framed in order to take over the Toon Town; Putin is framed in order to take over Russia’s policies and resources.

Only a very young, innocent and sincere person may believe that media owners and editors, the Masters of Discourse care about minor Russian political figures like Politkovskaya and Litvinenko. They put Putin on the hot seat so he’ll surrender Iran to the US bombers and Sakhalin-2 to the Western oil companies, sell gas and other national assets at cheap price, forget about his independent political course. They show him and us the impressive might of mass media machine, this unique device built to zombify millions. They can establish the world agenda and present Putin as a killer, Clinton as a sex offender, Chavez as an antisemite, Ahmadinejad as a new Hitler, Palestinians as the offenders and Israelis as victims. Not even the Popes had such power in their best days: whatever they say, goes.

They never fail to mention the KGB career of Putin, though CIA past of Bush and Mossad past of Tsipi Livni is never referred to in a polite society. They remind us of a killed 20 years ago Bulgarian defector, but they do not refer to the greatest organised assassin of our days, of the Jewish state, unless with admiration moderated by political correctness as in Spielberg’s Munich. However, Israel kills, kidnaps and jails its political opponents on daily basis: all Palestinian leaders active 20 years ago were since then assassinated by the Jews. They use poison as well as guided missiles and bunker-busting bombs, and Nes Tsiona centre for chemical and biological warfare produces poisons and other tools for 007, like “bionic killer wasp”.

They used their poison in assassination attempt on Khaled Mashal, the Hamas leader; the assassins were apprehended and caught red-handed. There is no doubt they used poison to assassinate Yasser Arafat: the Haaretz published a clear hint to such an effect; and intelligence-related Israelis are convinced of it. And here we come to the most interesting part: Arafat’s post mortem revealed presence of Polonium-210, the same poisonous medium that killed the Russian defector. However, the Masters of Discourse and their world-opinion-producing machine pooh-poohed this discovery and connected it to chemotherapy treatment possibly given to the Palestinian leader. Now they say this isotope points to Putin, though Polonium-210 is sold over internet in the US freely.

Everything points to Putin. In today’s Israeli paper, a Russian demand of reciprocity in treatment of arrested criminals (quite an ordinary and usual request) is described as “Putin’s blackmail”; a Russian desire to own petrol stations in the West, not only to sell oil at the well, is described as “Putin’s world dominance drive”. Putin is not made of iron like the old Bolsheviks, and he is liable to submit to pressure, to allow Israel to bomb Iran, to let the western oil companies a free run in his land, like Gorbachev and Yeltsin did. Then he will become a darling of the mass media and his alleged crimes forgotten.

This was the case with Muammar Qaddafi – he was personally accused of every mishap and his country was forced to pay zillions for the Lockerby disaster though they had no connection to it, as admitted international observers at the trial. Qaddafi surrendered to the supreme will of the Masters of Discourse, and all attacks on him ceased immediately. It will happen to Putin, too, if he will just fulfil the desire of Israel and expose Iran to bombs.

Wonderful Indian writer Arundhati Roy wrote that all our leaders are awful; but as long as they let the West to steal their assets they are safe. Only when they object to it, they become monsters in the eyes of ever so docile public opinion. We should try to stop this trend; we can’t fight off the US cruise missiles, but we may and must sabotage the Masters of Discourse’s most powerful weapon, their mass media brainwashing machine by never accepting their line.

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In bed with Russophobes
Neil Clark – The Guardian December 4, 2006

The Litvinenko murder is being used by neocons in their campaign against Putin’s national revival…

Three weeks on, we are still no closer to knowing who was responsible for the death of the former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko. The use of polonium 210 as a murder weapon could point in entirely opposite directions. It might suggest that the killing was carried out on behalf of the Russian security service as a public warning to others who might think of betraying it. But it could also be read as an attempt by President Putin’s rich and powerful enemies to discredit the Russian government internationally. Whatever the truth, it has been seized upon across Europe and the US to fuel a growing anti-Russian campaign.

There are certainly grounds for criticising the Russian government from a progressive perspective. Putin has introduced a flat-rate income tax, which greatly benefits the wealthy, and plans the partial marketisation of Russia’s education and health systems. He has pursued a bloody campaign of repression in Chechnya. And while some of Russia’s oligarchs have been bought to justice, others remain free to flaunt their dubiously acquired wealth, in a country where the gap between rich and poor has become chasmic.

Even so, those on the centre-left who have joined the current wave of Putin-bashing ought to consider whose cause they are serving. Long before the deaths of Litvinenko and the campaigning journalist Anna Politkovskaya, Russophobes in the US and their allies in Britain were doing all they could to discredit Putin’s administration. These rightwing hawks are gunning for Putin not because of concern for human rights but because an independent Russia stands in the way of their plans for global hegemony. The neoconservative grand strategy was recorded in the leaked Wolfowitz memorandum, a secret 1990s Pentagon document that targeted Russia as the biggest future threat to US geostrategic ambitions and projected a US-Russian confrontation over Nato expansion.

Even though Putin has acquiesced in the expansion of American influence in former Soviet republics, the limited steps the Russian president has taken to defend his country’s interests have proved too much for Washington’s empire builders. In 2003, Bruce P Jackson, the director of the Project for a New American Century, wrote that Putin’s partial renationalisation of energy companies threatened the west’s “democratic objectives” – and claimed Putin had established a “de facto cold war administration”. Jackson’s prognosis was simple: a new “soft war” against the Kremlin, a call to arms that has been enthusiastically followed in both the US and Britain.

Every measure Putin has taken has been portrayed by the Russophobes as the work of a sinister totalitarian. Gazprom’s decision to start charging Ukraine the going rate for its gas last winter was presented as a threat to the future of western Europe. And while western interference in elections in Ukraine, Georgia and other ex-Soviet republics has been justified on grounds of spreading democracy, any Russian involvement in the affairs of its neighbours has been spun as an attempt to recreate the “evil empire”. As part of their strategy, Washington’s hawks have been busy promoting Chechen separatism in furtherance of their anti-Putin campaign, as well as championing some of Russia’s most notorious oligarchs.

In the absence of genuine evidence of Russian state involvement in the killings of Litvinenko and Politkovskaya, we should be wary about jumping on a bandwagon orchestrated by the people who bought death and destruction to the streets of Baghdad, and whose aim is to neuter any counterweight to the most powerful empire ever seen.

Israel Shamir is a critically acclaimed and respected Russian Israeli writer. He has written extensively and translated Joyce and Homer into Russian. He lives in Jaffa, is a Christian, and an outspoken critic of Israel and Zionism.