Hail to the Thief: The New York Times Defends Mikhail Khodorkovsky
On October 25, 2003, Khodorkovsky (below called MK) was arrested for tax evasion and corruption, dating from when the Soviet Union dissolved and state privatizations followed. “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime,” explained Honore de Balzac. Billionaire Russian oligarchs, like MK, illegitimately amassed great wealth, avoiding prosecution during Yeltsin’s tenure (1991 – 1999). Beginning in 1991, various socio-economic measures were implemented without public discussion or parliamentary approval. Most important were Yeltsin’s personal directives, creating a billionaire aristocracy handed the economy’s most important, profitable sectors, free of charge – literally a license to loot.
Changes began slowly under Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev, though not easily. The rot is so widespread and deep. Oligarchs like Boris Berezovsky fled to London, Moscow2, taking with them great fortunes. Others staying behind wish they’d gone after Medvedev announced during an October 2008 Council to Combat Corruption session that: “Corruption in our nation has not simply become wide-scale. It has become a common, everyday phenomenon which characterizes the very life of our society. We are not simply talking about commonplace bribery. We are talking about a severe illness which is corroding the economy and corrupting all society.”
As a result, prosecutions followed. Some 2009 examples against bureaucrats included:
— Nevelsk Mayor Vladimir Pak’s suspension and charge of embezzling 56 million rubles ($1.5 million);
— two Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) Main Directorate officers detained on suspicion of accepting over $100,000 in bribes; and
— MVD Lt. Col. Dmitry Luzgin charged with extorting $1 million from Russian Real Estate House management.
According to MVD figures, annual Russian corruption ranges from $20 – $40 billion. In 2006, Alexander Buksman, deputy general prosecutor first deputy, estimated annual corruption at $240 billion, involving business and bureaucrats. However, a combination of legal loopholes and close private-public alliances lets most offenses go unpunished.
Major Media Defend MK
On October 29, (four days after his arrest), a New York Times editorial headlined, “Putin’s Old-Style KGB Tactics,” saying:
“After laboring to project the image of a rational, law-abiding statesman, President Vladimir Putin of Russia has reverted to the vengeful violence of his old employer….(Arresting MK) was a serious mistake,” citing market plunges “on the fear that the Kremlin was showing its true authoritarian colors.”
An earlier August 13, 2003, Times editorial headlined, “Moscow Machinations,” saying:
“….nobody knows for sure whether President Vladimir Putin is personally behind the sudden crackdown on the giant oil company Yukos….What is clear is that the Kremlin’s strong-arm tactics have little to do with battling economic crime and a lot to do with power and the coming elections in Russia.”
An October 28 Washington Post editorial claimed “no one is safe from arbitrary prosecution, or from the political whims of the Kremlin, and the US State Department suggested that MK’s arrest involved “selective prosecution,” adding that “We are concerned about the rule of law, about maintaining the basic freedom of Russians.”
In fact, MK was summoned for questioning. At the time he headed Yukos and was Russia’s richest oligarch, ranking 16th on Forbes billionaires list. Today, he faces years more in prison. More on that below.
The Times railed about “masked agents” arresting him instead of pursuing him in court. In fact, he defied a court order to appear before prosecutors. Only then did arrest follow. Other allegations suggested Yukos involvement in murders or attempted ones, targeting bureaucrats or business competitors who interfered with company operations. One was committed on MK’s birthday, apparently a gift to the boss.
He began as a Stalinist bureaucrat. In 1987, he used his Komsomol district committee control to organize Menatep, a commercial enterprise to promote inventions and industrial innovations. It later became one of Russia’s largest banks. In the 1990s, through ties with Kremlin bureaucrats, he used funds stolen from the state and unwary investors to amass huge holdings in formerly state-owned enterprises at a fraction of their value. In 1995 he bought Yukos assets for $300 million. In 2003, its market value was $30 billion, a 100-fold ill-gotten gain.Full story
Read the full article for it truly makes for an interesting read.
And in the Good old USA once again top newspapers and media outlets attempt to portray this king of crooks as a good man who was wronged. Most of those chaps that have been sent to the gulags deserved it. Again Google the right subject and you will be amazed and what you will stumble upon. Then all you have to is a little research. The problem is that most people are so brain dead they cannot even make an effort to try to find out if there is another side to the story, even when they have found that these so-called good sources have lied to them in the past. This is Pavlovian training at its best; they want instant gratification even if it means that the satisfaction is short-lived and, in the long run, provides them with a mega dose of pain and suffering.
The same principle applies to food, medicine, and your body. People believe whatever nonsense the food industry spews out, whatever garbage their doctors, health experts, herbalists and nutritionist dish out, and then they ask the silly question Oh my-my what happened to me? There is no polite way to answer that question so we will take the least impolite route. The sad truth Mr or Mrs Brain surgeon is that you got exactly what you asked for. The world is not a fair playing ground; most individuals could give two hoots about your health and well-being because for the most part, you do not care about what is going on around you. At the end of the day you are nothing but a statistic, a random number; you know this because you see evidence all around you indicating this to be true. And yet despite knowing all this, you expect corporations and governments to care about you. The bottom line in this world 90%-95% of the institutions and individuals don’t care about you. This is why if you have a good friend, treasure that friend because that person is more valuable than Gold. You might feel like saying we are trying to be mean. However, take a deep breath and look around and if you still think everyone cares about you, we have a beautiful bridge to nowhere we would love to sell to you.
We always stated that selfishness was good and that being a Good Samaritan was akin to be a corpse eventually. The idea behind this is simple. The term greed is used regarding looking after yourself first, and not going out and being vindictive For example, the word team player is retarded. How can you be a team player if you do not know how to be a good solo, player? So they ask you to be a good team, player. This is not possible because first, you need to know yourself before you attempt to work with others and try to gauge what their needs are.
The same principle applies to individuals who are always trying to help others. How can you help anyone if you cannot help yourself? Have you noticed that most doctors look like death itself and yet people listen to these chaps? How can Mr Death give you advice on how to be healthy? The first rule should be to look at your doctor. If you doctor looks healthy, then that is a good sign. Another example most mechanics have cars that are in terrible shape. We typically ask to see the mechanics car; if the vehicle is in good condition, it means that the mechanic, for the most part, knows what he is doing. Another example; you are told to love your neighbour and treat him or her with respect, etc., etc. Well, if you do not love yourself and treat yourself with respect how can you ever hope to treat another human being with respect.
We could go on and on and on. The point is that you need to know who you are, respect yourself and love yourself and then only can you move to the stage of where you can help others and respect others. So when we talk about being selfish, we talk about it in the context of getting to know yourself and taking care of yourself first. Most people that try to help others without helping themselves first are far more selfish than they let on; try to show them a little ingratitude for what they did for you and see how soon they lose their cool and remind of all the right things they did for you. This old saying is truly valuable for it supports what we have just said “no good deed goes unpunished” or “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
We are talking in general terms; there are always exceptions to the rules. For example, there are some incredibly good doctors out there (in fact brilliant would be the right word) that care about their patients well being, but these chaps are not easy to find. There are also some incredibly good people, but the majority do not fall into this category.