Friday, May 22, 2009

Ketchup, Mayo, hold the Imperialism

I got my first obscene comment from a Russian speaker yesteday. While this was no great surprise, given my comments on the statements and actions of the Russian leadership, it does give me cause to reiterate an important point.

I am not anti-Russian.

I love Russian music & literature. I admire both the scientific achievements and the deep spirituality of the Russian people. I speak Russian and appreciate the language.

It's just that Putin & I have very different visions about what is good for Russia. Putin scares off investors by undermining the rule of law and mis-using the Russian legal system to get his own way. He ensures an arc of instability around Russia by beating up on the country's smaller neighbours and undermining their democracies. He neglects the poor while enriching his clan.

In my Russia, the government enjoys democratic legitimacy. The assets of foreign companies are protected by the legal system and foreign investment flows freely in. My Russia respects and is at peace with her neighbours and has a lower military budget as a result. Her focus is on reducing corruption, increasing social spending and boosting investment in infrastructure.

So you see, I'm actually pro-Russia...

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