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Parting Words to the Killers of Anna Politkovskaya PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Saturday, 14 October 2006 13:59

Parting Words to the Killers of Anna Politkovskaya

Empire Burlesque
- Chris Floyd - So what is the crime that has earned me this label of not being "one of us"? I have merely reported what I have witnessed, no more than that. I have written and, less frequently, I have spoken. I am even reluctant to comment, because it reminds me too much of the imposed opinions of my Soviet childhood and youth. It seems to me our readers are capable of interpreting what they read for themselves. That is why my principal genre is reportage, sometimes, admittedly, with my own interjections. I am not an investigating magistrate, but somebody who describes the life around us for those who cannot see it for themselves, because what is shown on television and written about in the overwhelming majority of newspapers is emasculated and doused with ideology. - Murdered Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya

www.PEJ.org

Grave Truths:
Politkovskaya's Parting Shot

Chris Floyd

Empire Burlesque
14 October 2006 



A follow-up to our earlier story on the killing of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. From the grave, Politkovskaya points a prescient finger of strong suspicion at one of the prime suspects for her murder last Saturday: the Kremlin's hand-picked Chechen strongman, Ramzan Kadyrov.


http://www.chris-floyd.com/images/Ram%20and%20Vlad.jpg


Today the Guardian printed an extract from an upcoming book by Politkovskaya. The article -- "A Condemned Woman" -- eloquently portrays her isolation and marginalization in Russia's managed media, and the harsh threats she lived under from both the Kremlin and from Kadyrov. In the passage below, Politkovskaya explains Kadyrov's motives behind his previously expressed wish that she were dead. It was not really the continuing series of articles she'd written exposing the brutal thuggery of his regime; after all, the world wasn't taking any notice, and he was basking in the approval (and money and weapons) of Moscow. No, it was the wounded vanity of a spoiled brat, a man elevated far above his capacities on the strength of his father's name (a previous Kremlin-backed leader of the province who was blown up in a 2004 bomb attack). 


Why has Ramzan vowed to kill me? I once interviewed him and printed the interview just as he gave it, complete with all his characteristic moronic stupidity, ignorance, and satanic inclinations. Ramzan was sure I would completely rewrite the interview, and present him as intelligent and honourable. That is, after all, how the majority of journalists behave now, those who are "on our side".

Is that enough to make someone vow to kill you? The answer is as simple as the morality encouraged personally by Putin. "We are merciless to enemies of the Reich." "Who is not with us is against us." "Those who are against us must be destroyed."


Note that Politkovskaya quotes George W. Bush's famous formulation after 9/11, when he told the world that those who were not for us in the so-called "War on Terror" were against us. Note too how she yokes this barbaric sentiment with the Putin regime's brutal philosophy -- and with those early apostles of unrestrained executive power: the Nazis.

Mark too this passage, in which Politkovskaya goes into more detail about the Kremlin stance toward political opposition, as detailed by one of Putin's top aides:


Some time ago Vladislav Surkov, deputy head of the presidential administration, explained that there were people who were enemies but whom you could talk sense into, and there were incorrigible enemies into whom you couldn't and who simply needed to be "cleansed" from the political arena.

So they are trying to cleanse it of me and others like me.


Make no mistake: this is the precise mindset that animates all those who label U.S. journalists as "traitors" for reporting on the crimes and follies -- or simply the activities -- of the Bush Regime. This the mindset of the Coulters, Limbaughs, D'Souzas, Gingriches, DeLays, Cheneys, Falwells, Dobsons and Roves who for decades now have sought to demonize all political opposition to their agenda of militarized oligarchy, religious extremism and social elitism. They -- and their countless, seething mouthpieces in the media and the blogosphere -- yearn to see a Kremlin-style iron hand take hold of the country and ruthlessly "cleanse" the culture of dissent. And they have gone a long, long way toward making this ugly dream come true.

Mourn for Politkovskaya. Don't forget her work, don't forget the insulted and the injured that she spoke for. But at the same time, realize ? as she realized ? that this stark barbarism is not confined to the Kremlin. It's a living virus in our common human nature, it's always mutating into new forms, adapting itself to whatever local conditions it finds then pushing and pushing to spread and dominate. It's in all of us, this destructive urge toward the Other, this primitive yearning to eradicate and "cleanse" those whom our brains lock onto as enemies. As we fight it and transcend it in ourselves, we must fight it and transcend it in our societies.

The only tool for doing this is the truth. Even if it is uncomfortable, even if it is painful, even if it shatters comforting illusions, even if it makes us feel less safe than fantasies of vengeance and perfect security. The truth, the truth, and nothing but the truth -- as we can find it and understand it, piece by piece, fragment by fragment.

Let's give Politkovskaya the last word:

So what is the crime that has earned me this label of not being "one of us"? I have merely reported what I have witnessed, no more than that. I have written and, less frequently, I have spoken. I am even reluctant to comment, because it reminds me too much of the imposed opinions of my Soviet childhood and youth. It seems to me our readers are capable of interpreting what they read for themselves. That is why my principal genre is reportage, sometimes, admittedly, with my own interjections. I am not an investigating magistrate, but somebody who describes the life around us for those who cannot see it for themselves, because what is shown on television and written about in the overwhelming majority of newspapers is emasculated and doused with ideology.


Last Updated on Saturday, 14 October 2006 13:59
 

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