I do not see how the Russians, past or present, are more brute than the West, from the Romans to the Americans, the apex of Western civilization. I have studied many periods of that history extensively, and it is full of examples of outstanding and horrific, incomprehensible brutaliy. One may assume the Carthagians thought of the Romans as brutes, and the peace after WW I and II was understood to be Carthagian, and not only by the Germans, who had no say in it anyway. The harmless early Christians, male and female, branded as enemies of humanity, probably did not think highly of the Romans either when they were thrown to the lions for the amusement and inoculation of the masses. And as soon as Christianity was understood to be helpful in winning battles, it ceased to be harmless. Charlemagne’s campaign against the stubborn pagan Saxons can only be described as genocide. When Luther retaliated some 700 yrs later, all hell broke lose all over Europe. People ripping out the enemy’s heart and eating it are not stories we have not heard before the current wars in Syria. The first Thirty Years War is at least as insanely brutal as the second one in Europe (1914-45). And it’s not just war. The death penalties in Europe from the Middle Ages until the 19th c would make ISIS recoil in horror. As for “terror”: that word enters the political discourse with the French Revolution, an orgie of violence, even includin genocide of the very people they the revolutionaries sought to liberate. Are the French stereotyped as “brute” because of this? We know about slavery and genide in the US, but does anyone remember what the “patriots” (the actual traitors) did to the “traitors”, the Loyalists? Some 30-40 % of the colonists at the time? The poor people were lynched, tarred and feathered, buried and burned alive, and many went back to England (one of them the only son of Benjamin Franklin, who never forgave his father), to the Bahamas, or to what is now Canada. But, says Trump, to justify declaring Canada a security risk: “didn’t you burn down the White House?’ It was the British, helped along by Loyalists and Tecumseh’s gang. You know: Brutes
“The “anti-Semitism” claim about criticism of Israel’s actual behavior – not its identity, not its religion, not its ethnicity, but its actual behavior – is precisely parallel with someone’s having claimed that criticism of the Soviet Union – and we all know there was a great deal, both at home and abroad, to criticize in the practices of the Soviet Union – was the same thing as hating Russians, what today we would call “Russophobia.”
Anyone can understand the absurdity of that.”
I don’t. If your argumrnt was valid, how come “Jewish Bolshevism” is widely considered as an anti-semitic canard? If the Jews had nothing to do with it, that leaves the Russians? And that’s ok?
Russian leaders, regardless of their ethnicity or gender, have been denounced as tyrants for centuries. Some exceptions apply, like FDR calling the worst of them, the non-Russian Stalin, a democrat, even though he knew better.
Putin is Russian. Demonized beyond reason. McCain dismissed Russia as a gas station with a country wrapped around it. A bonmot based on the old Prussian stereotype (gas station = military), more reasonably applied to Saudi Arabia, A country named after one single family.
The stereotype of the brute Russian has been around for a long time and has nothing to do with Soviet or any other Russia.
There is no factual grounds for painting Russia or Russians darker than the white washed empires of the so-called democratic West
another perspective on Netanyahu, from Gideon Levy:
“In his black jacket, Marshall Lapid would brief his forces: kill, destroy, obliterate, demolish. The nation would cheer and the “leftist” media would be ecstatic – the united chorus of war. Fifty days of elation, of horrific killing in Gaza and anxiety and rockets in Israel, leading nowhere. This is what Lapid meant this week when he said that “this is the right time to employ force.”
Imagine Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay as prime minister. “Quiet is bought by deterrence, not with money,” he wrote this week, as any run-of-the-mill right-winger could have written. Imagine opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who lashed out in a similar way: “Deterrence is created through military strikes,” and “exchange the Hamas leadership for people who cooperate with us.” Imagine Ehud Barak, who quipped that Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, was “humiliating Netanyahu.”
“Imagine the former military chief of staff, Benny Gantz, who held his silence; imagine Avigdor Lieberman, who resigned, or Naftali Bennett, who made threats. Imagine a nightmare. Not one of the demagogues on the left or right (as if there were a difference) offered anything but death and destruction. They simply wanted to placate the media, which has become more bloodthirsty and bellicose than ever, and the public, which only wanted to see dead Gazans, the more the better, with their houses destroyed as much as possible.
Only one person stood up to this surging dark wave without faltering; we must honestly say so and praise him – the prime minister blocked another war with his body. It has been proved yet again that Benjamin Netanyahu is the most resolute war-hater among the country’s leaders. We should reiterate that, whatever his motives, the result suffices to command respect. Due to him no blood was shed. We can’t make light of this, we can’t help but give him credit.
This time he even explained his policy – in Paris on Sunday and next to David Ben-Gurion’s grave on Wednesday. He spoke about the futility of war and the unpopularity of avoiding that path – the epitome of a leader’s statement. If a politician not named Netanyahu talked like that, we’d melt with pleasure. He spoke and he acted. No one praised him, and he’ll pay for it.”
Reminds me a bit of Trump who has been praised loudly by his fiercest critics on the left as. soon as he threw missiles into Syria, also potentially provoking a confrontation with Russia. “ Beauty of our weapons “ etc. Are they completely out of their minds? Is their some secret plot that tries to get Putin to retaliate against Israel, and then call the whole Western alliance to arms to defend poor Israel, the only democracy in the ME, against the dictator Putin defending the dictator Assad? It’s all very strange and sickening