May 01, 2010

Blaming the Messenger

in the aftermath of March’s suicide bombings in the Moscow metro, Kremlin-faithful politicians seem to have decided that the best defense is to go on the attack. Instead of questioning why security forces failed to prevent the explosions, leading to the murder of dozens of innocent people, many politicians reacted by blaming dissenting voices, journalists, and even YouTube.

The United Russia party once again took top honors for the most extreme remarks. “Attempts to ‘shake up’ the political situation, the exacerbation of negative trends in society, is what, in the end, leads to such tragic events,” said United Russia deputy Irina Yarovaya. “With their actions, the terrorists have shown the value of these negative forces permeating our country’s political space.”

Boris Yakemenko, a leader of the pro-Kremlin Nashi movement, all but equated the “opposition” (which he said includes everything from drug addicts to ‘protectors of human rights’ to fascists, and which “greets Russia’s every stumble with vengeful glee”) with the terrorists. “If it’s not the terrorist underground,” Yakemenko wrote on his blog, “then it’s these organizers of protests, anti-police campaigns and other ‘oppositionists’ who can take credit for the 20+ innocent victims. It’s their first success.”

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