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  • Posted May 17, 2009 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Eye on Russia: Opportunity and Influence

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    "Russophobia" ....the symptoms, a cure!

    Do you believe it's your duty as a "patriotic American" to expose  Russia and/or Russians as "alcoholic, corrupt assassin's of journalists, who say their prayers to Joseph Stalin every night before they sleep"?  If you answered MIGHT be a "Russophobe"!!
    "Russophobia" ....the symptoms, the cure!
    I am not a PhD, or an expert on the subject, just a concerned American who recently joined the i-report community.   Upon doing so, I found my way around the site to some interesting reports,  "Russia and Georgia",  and saw to my disappointment that it was over run with
    "Russophobic" reports and rhetoric.
    What is a "Russophobe" you may ask?  Well, in this report you will hopefully get some
    insight into the "condition"...and addressing the topic, we can begin to uncover a cure?
    What is Russophobia?

    A Russophobic virus has infected the air... What is it?   A tiny example is when an English literature teacher in a good school, explaining how to answer an exam question on Comedy, tells your kid: "Don't worry, simply write,  I am Russian, I do not have a sense of humor"!   Or the ease with which jokes like "You are Russian, you must know all about corruption," are made!   Funny...not really?


    "Stereotypes" promoted by the media are now entrenched: "Russian companies are corrupt and are puppets of the state", "minorities are not allowed to speak their languages and males are chauvinist machos" or "The economy survives on pumping gas, while the leadership dreams of conquering half of the world". News from Russia is always bad news. It is hard to blame journalists for reporting what is newsworthy: saying that Russians go to supermarkets and buy the same food as their western counterparts is boring, while writing that Moscow hosts the first ever, all girl mud wrestling competition with stars by the name "Nasha Sasha" is "sexy"?

    1)  Who's to blame?
    Moscow's own actions are only part of the story. In the last few years several constituencies came together to create a new momentum..."the cold warriors" found a mission again (Hallelujah!)
    The existence of a familiar enemy who plays by the rules is more comfortable than the enemy amongst us,  who may work in the corner dry cleaners. Western Liberals and Republican (joining forces)  who had passionately believed in Russia's democratic transformation to their own recipe became disillusioned, turning their energy of embittered idealism into exposing the evils of "Putin's KGB regime". They were joined by immigrants who made their way to a new country by "unveiling the truth" about Russia.
    2)  Why they use the Russia-Georgia conflict, and still talk about it?
    The Russia-Georgia debacle brought these attitudes to the fore again. The reaction of the media and the politicians was overwhelmingly anti-Russian, because their gut feeling told them who was in the wrong. More objective reports appeared much later. Why was the conflict in South Ossetia so important? Because Russia was a party to it... Readers were led to believe that minuscule South Ossetia is a proto-state like Kosovo, while no parallels were ever drawn with NATO action in ex-Yugoslavia in their support of ethnic Albanians.

    3)  Can Russia do anything right?

    Sure, in Russophobes' eyes it should (a) always surrender and apologize, (b) give western companies control over natural reserves because Russians mismanage them anyhow, (c) limit their ambitions to culture and (d) award *Boris Berezovsky (see link below)  a medal for democracy-promotion!  (some of the humor I!).  Or all of the above!!


    4)  What are the effects of Russophobia?

    Economically, as BP and Shell found out, it is harder to do business. Politically, it is impossible to conduct a frank dialogue on issues of common concern, as trust has gone out of the relationship between Russia and U.S.  In the security field, it has resulted in militarization on both sides, undermining the achievements of disarmament. Finally, polarizing language flourishes. Unlike in the 1990s, the Russian elite reads English-language media, getting from it the idea that "the west is against us".  Well, aren't we?



    5)  Why should we care?

    Attitudes matter as Russia is at a crossroads. It can go either towards increased modernization or militarization. It can build pragmatic, but solid relations with the west, or it can indulge in spoiling the international game and setting up anti-western alliances.  WE HAVE OPTIONS PEOPLE....  We can communicate with Russia and find compromises, or continue (through NATO) to agitate them, and force them to promote militarization (it's already happening, read news from Russia sometime).  We are pushing America back into a cold war, and the Russophobes are the "worker bees"'s insane, and we have to put a stop to it now.


    It is not "Anti-American" to expose the "Russophobic" behavior we witness in our country, or dare I say it...on "ireports", and many other sites in the U.S.  It is simply time to use common sense, and realize that the world is changing, perhaps finally for the better.  Let's take some time to educate ourselves and stop living like it's we're facing "cold war, and USSR", that Putin wants to bring "Communism" back to couldn't be further from the truth!  Let's give our "cold war warriors" a nice retirement party, sit them in a nice rocking chair (with a view)...and let's move forward people!!  Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share my opinions here, God Bless America!!




    Russophobia:  A Political Pathology by Justin Raimondo

    August 18, 2008





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