JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TWISTED NEWS COVERAGE OF THE SECOND CONVICTION OF OLIGARCH KHODORKOVSKY BY RUSSIA ‘S COURTS – AND A WORD ON THE AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE   Leave a comment


JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“You shouldn’t express your views about something you don’t have a clue what it is.”

Yes, precisely, but then the author of this comment violates his own sound principle.

What a trivial observation to make comparing two rich men, almost neither of whom the author knows personally or knows a very great deal about.

But this dictum covers exactly the problem with such reportage of events in Russia.

The newspapers have made no real effort to investigate the matter: they report only an interpretation which suits the anti-Russian tone of a great deal of American press coverage.

And America takes the same approach to China and many others.

Never mind that international torture gulag of the CIA’s, of which Guantanamo is only a small part, there being facilities at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and on Diego Garcia which no one is allowed to visit.

Never mind the three thousand prisoners in the early days in Afghanistan who were in American custody but taken out in batches in sealed trucks to suffocate in the desert (then buried in mass graves) by one of the wonderful humanitarian warlords American allied itself to against the Taleban, shedding a minimum of its own blood in its pointless crusade.

And never mind that the United States has the highest proportion of its own citizens behind bars of any Western society, many of them in prison for minor matters, about half of them black, and a substantial number in so-called Super-Max prisons, hell holes where prisoners are kept in terrible isolation forever.

And never mind the many, many reports of American police brutality, America having been cited by Amnesty International and others time and again for inordinate brutality.

Never mind America’s ghastly practices such as sending Canadian citizens, who happen to have been born in the Middle East and end up unfortunately landing in a stopover at an American airport, to exotic lands places for long periods of torture.

And of course the approximately 9,000 Palestinians held illegally and tortured in Israeli prisons are not even to be mentioned. How about a mention of bloody piracy on the high seas? Or the murder of hundreds of children?

But let a billionaire in Russia get in trouble, and the matter is immediately given the colorization of injustice, with never a mention or investigation of the conditions around the fall of the Soviet Union in which people like Khodorkovsky scrambled, elbowing others out of the way, to seize Soviet assets for themselves.

I’d be willing to bet that the journalists who write this bilge, do not have the slightest grasp of Russian laws or courts, nor does the author of the comment I’ve quoted.

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