The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Israel’s Proxy War on Putin

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
May 14, 2012

Jackson Diehl, the Washington Post’s hawkish pro-Israel deputy editorial page editor, criticizes the Obama Administration’s supposed “wooing” of Vladimir Putin, charging it with disregarding “the biggest foreign-policy lesson of Obama’s first term”:

The Arab Spring showed that “engagement” with autocratic leaders isn’t wise if their grip is slipping. With thousands of opposition demonstrators roaming the streets of Moscow and clashing with his security forces, Putin looks more than a little like Hosni Mubarak or Bashar al-Assad when Obama was courting them three years ago: For now he’s in control — but his governing model is broken, and his country is beginning to turn on him.

Instead, Diehl would like to see the administration support the “Magnitsky bill” which he describes as “a piece of legislation, authored by Democrats, that aims to restore human rights to the center of U.S.-Russian relations.” The “Read more about this issue” section at the bottom of Diehl’s piece leaves little doubt as to who’s driving the campaign to “restore human rights to the center of U.S.-Russian relations”:

David J. Kramer and Robert Kagan: Replace Jackson-Vanik with the Magnitsky bill

Ben Cardin: Accountability for Sergei Magnitsky’s killers

Jennifer Rubin: Time to increase pressure on Putin

The Post’s View: Press the Putin regime on human rights

Masha Lipman: Russia’s strongman is losing his grip

One will find remarkably similar “human rights” arguments being made in other media associated with the Israel lobby.

Update: Ariel Cohen, another Israel partisan concerned about “human rights” in Russia, reveals a less noble motive for the Magnitsky Act in this piece:

The legislation could also be applied to the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Khodorkovsky, chairman and CEO of the Yukos oil company, was once Russia’s wealthiest man. In 2003, he was arrested on charges of tax fraud, and in 2005 he was sentenced to nine years in prison. At a second show trial in December 2010, he was sentenced to fourteen years in prison. In 2006, Yukos was auctioned off at a rock-bottom price to Rosneft, Russia’s state-run oil company. Yukos shareholders, including many American small investors and mutual funds, were effectively expropriated by the Russian government without compensation.

In reality, Khodorkovsky ran afoul of the Putin administration due to his calls to curb corruption and because some of Putin’s associates coveted parts of Yukos. The show trial was used to intimidate and control other oligarchs that might have disobeyed the Kremlin. Amnesty International recognized Khodorkovsky as a political prisoner. Today, Russia is the only G-8 country with political prisoners.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

May 14, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. […] from the Washington Post’s championing of the Magnitsky bill, a cursory look at other stridently pro-Israel media such as The Weekly Standard and Commentary […]


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