Is President Obama more aligned with Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin than Bush was? And is Liz Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, a better advocate for the Russian opposition that President Obama?
According to this intriguing article By Alexei Victorovich Chadayev for Russia’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the answer to both questions is yes. In fact, he writes, that the reason Obama-mania hasn’t broken out in Russia is that Russians see little difference between the policies of Obama and those of Medvedev and Putin.
To back up his thesis, Chadayev writes of Obama’s speech to the New Economic School in Moscow:
“Perhaps the best confirmation of this theory was offered … by Barack Obama himself, in his extremely surprising Moscow speech to graduates of the New Economic School. What he said was much more like recent statement by United Russia [Russia’s ruling party] than traditional American foreign policy rhetoric. The things that are backed by the Kremlin – and which were explicitly opposed by the Bush Administration – are literally part of every thesis in Obama’s speech.”
Then touching on Liz Cheney’s recent criticism of the speech, Chadayev writes in part:
“There are two versions of the end of the Cold War: ‘The Russian version and the real one,’ rails Liz Cheney in the Wall Street Journal. And now President Obama has revealed himself as an advocate of the Russian version. … Interestingly, it turns out that the nostalgia for ‘Bushism,’ put into early retirement by Obama, isn’t peculiar to American conservatives. No less grief in this regard can be found in Russia’s opposition media. In an article dedicated to the creation of a Russian-American working group on questions of civil society, the Ezhidnevniy Journal complained indignantly about Obama for the, ‘triumph of ‘realism,’ and the rejection of the principle of support for democratic reforms and civil society in other countries.”
‘Realism,’ in their words, has now almost become a mark of shame. For it turns out that the “realism” of Obama has much more in common with the sovereign democracy so hated by [Russia’s] anti-regime fighters than the customary slogans, accusations and promises of American leaders (and the Russian opposition).”
By Alexei Victorovich Chadayev*
Translated By Yekaterina Blinova
July 18, 2009
Russia – Nezavisimaya Gazeta – Original Article (Russia)
Contrary to expectations, Obama-mania hasn’t taken hold in Russia. This was noted with some alarm by American newspapers, as they commented on the outcome of the U.S. president’s visit to our country. You bet. In other countries, masses of curious onlookers lined the streets where the U.S. leader’s motorcade passed. All the local radio stations, newspapers and Internet forums gushed over the visit of the 44th president of the United States. Local TV networks interrupted their entire schedules to show every minute of the global megastar. But to the surprise of American journalists, nothing like that happened in Russia. And by today’s global standards, that’s clearly an anomaly.
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