White House's Stupidity, Pentagon Waste Lambasted in Russian Newspaper
And what Russian readers have to say about it
Russia’s largest daily newspaper and one of the country’s top 5 Internet news sources Komsomolskaya Pravda republished a column by RI contributor Edward Lozansky from our Russian language site that had Russians living at home and abroad buzzing.
Here is the column with selected comments to give our English language readers a taste of discussions in the Russian media.
Translated from Russian by Svetlana Kyrzhaly and Rhod Mackenzie
Last week, several well-known Beltway figures made unusual statements.
Gabbard spent two years on the Iraqi front in the US army, and both politicians believe the overthrow of Assad is not only illegal, not having been sanctioned by Congress, but also counterproductive, leading to the takeover of Syria by radical Islamists similarly to what happened in Libya. Some in Congress also believe that Obama’s Middle East policy could lead to direct military confrontation with Russia and ultimately, the Third World War.
The Gabbard/Austin bill is unlikely to pass but the simple fact of submitting it is all the more significant that retired head of military intelligence, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn revealed in an interview that his department warned the White House of the potential danger of the nascent ISIS in 2011 and 2012. Obama's advisers "edited" the reports to mask the danger.
Adding insult to injury, Pentagon auditors found waste exceeding $150 million by civilians serving American troops in Afghanistan. They live in luxurious villas, and their petrol station budgeted at $500 thousand ended up costing 43 million with the audit not yet completed.
Finally, with regard to Turkey, Obama recently repeated almost all Moscow’s accusations against Erdogan, demanding he immediately block the border with Syria through which ISIS fighters, weapons and convoys of stolen oil were being ferried. When Vice President Biden accused Erdogan in even harsher tones, in a speech at Harvard University last October, he had been forced to call Turkey’s President to apologize.
Now one wonders should Biden should apologize for the previous apology?
I read the whole article, and don’t see any smoldering rebellion. These are routine cases that leaders have to deal with. Why make a mountain out of a molehill? I understand the author, it’s a pity that it's not Russia, but the United States that is the world hegemon. Its economy is flourishing, the American people’s standard of living is rising, and we should learn from them, rather than trying to find a bit of tar in a barrel of honey.
Everything there (in the USA) is dependent on backroom tycoons and multinational corporations. Everything is aimed at creating chaos throughout the world and taking resources from other countries. America produces nothing except dollars. All their product manufacturers and resource suppliers are third party countries. Dollars are elevated to a cult.
Isn’t it the same in Russia?
The Pentagon accidentally got into hot water. But cost overruns are the cornerstone of the US economy. It’s how taxpayers’ dollars are pumped from the public pocket to private ones, especially into those close to Government.
The Pentagon’s thieves
will have to walk a long way to reach the level of the [Russian] Ministry of Defense thieves..
You talk like a former Soviet citizen who can’t imagine that the world is different, without thefts, bribes, bootlicking and perpetual war in the boonies.
Yes, I am a former Soviet citizen with extensive time in Washington. I too used to think that mature capitalism should have competition, shouldn’t have bribes, and so on. But you in Russia can’t even imagine the parasitism that thrives in America and Canada.
We too can be proud: only one of our governors, in Sakhalin, kept 200 kilos of cash under his mattress... (a reference to a major corruption scandal in the Sakhalin region - ed)
"If you wake me up in a hundred years and ask me what is happening in Russia, I’ll answer – they drink and steal". (Saltykov-Shchedrin, the famous Russian satirist of the 19th century - ed).
Don’t you care where he lives?
Living in the United States and criticizing their policies is normal. But to live in Russia and criticize its policy is a "betrayal of the national interest" and even an attempt to "overthrow the ruling system" or something like that.
I guess you, live overseas, so you feel free to criticize here?
Americans have an interesting idea of the rule of law: the permission of the US Congress is required to overthrow (!) Assad(!). Is Syria part of the United States?
Another issue has raised my anxiety, the threat of a Third World War. Maybe big nuclear powers should urgently gather and sign a treaty on the status of local military conflicts, to forestall even the slightest possibility of the use of nuclear weapons, when there is no direct territorial threat to another nuclear power. All the nations of the world need at least some "safety cushion" against the threat of the superpowers’ nuclear arsenals going off in small local wars.
They already have an agreement. Russia didn’t violate it, but as soon as the tango bothered the US, they dropped out, leaving only Russia muzzled.
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