Friday, March 09, 2007

Kiss Me I'm Russian

Andrew Sullivan labels me a pro-Putin realist in linking to my commentary on the Safronov case. Fair enough, it is an accurate shorthand description. Although I never hear anyone described as a "anti-Putin Wilsonian" ... perhaps because that's the default position?

I've received some useful feedback on those pieces. But I am less appreciative of the ones that suggest that I'm going to be in trouble with my Kremlin paymasters (because, after all, no one can have my set of positions on Russia without being a stooge or KGB plant--oh, and by the way, to any aspiring vandals seeking to change my Wikipedia entry, if you are going to make me a KGB agent, I want the rank of at least a major, if not a colonel).

Since I have a surname that many Russians describe as being a "nastoiashchaia russkaia familiia" it is so easy to spread the inneundo that I must be from "over there." I don't see why I have to trot out my familial history in order to establish my bona fides as a commentator on U.S. policy. I'm not a naturalized citizen, I don't hold dual citizenship, I'm not eligible for the citizenship of any other state. Don't like my position, fine; disagree with me on issues. But why would my commentary be any more or any less valid if I had a different last name. My son is directly descended from an officer in the Continental Army. Would my commentary be more "acceptable" if I adopted the persona of my Revolutionary War ancestor-by-marriage?

I'm proud of my ethnic heritage, and I've studied it--warts and all. And I claim the right of every American to know and appreciate where I came from (in ancestral terms) without it making me one less iota of an American.

There really are no good justifications for those kinds of attacks against you. I think that when you challenge people's preconceptions of the world and they can't defend their positions rationally, they will usually resort to that sort of behavior.
A soft Marxist and a hard Wilsonian are walking down the street and they run into soft Putinian ....
These types of innuendo are normally considered ad hominem attacks. Cheap political tricks for the clueless masses (bread & circus masses).

That they are made here is a disturbing symptom of the extend to which the leadership classes have been corrupted by power - they are willing to lie to themselves to realize their fantasies.
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