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Wednesday, 07 September 2016


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Exactly! The Russian people are a decent lot if given half a chance. Generations of poor governments, blood thirsty governments etc have kept the masses in check. How to unleash these masses in a positive way might be one of the 21st century's greatest challenges.

I agree entirely about Hitchens, except that I tend to see him as a great essayist in his own right, who happened to have a flashier and more deluded brother. (Hitchens' longer books are, strangely, quite laboured and dull.) That article about Russia is superb. Like you, I have no experience of the country and little of its people, so I can't really decide what to think; but it's obvious that the West has been behaving extremely provocatively towards Russia.

If anyone wants a contrary view, I recommend Alexander Boot's blog. He often criticises Hitchens for what he claims is superficiality and a sneaking regard for despotism born of Hitchens' Marxist past. He also writes well, so it's often difficult to make up one's mind. Boot grew up there, and has a rancorous hatred for Putin and his ilk.

David, this might be the link you intended:

The article is interesting, but more than anything points out how great a loss was Christopher. Peter tends to indulge his imagination in questionable ways.

Peter H., like me and many other Anglicans, is seeing a sort of connection with ourselves and Russian Orthodoxy. There is about ten gigabytes too little space to go into the theology of the thing, but, even though we disagree on many points, we see ourselves linked. Putin may be faking his conversion for PR reasons, or he may be sincere and misguided, but we Anglicans have had our own share of 'earthen vessels', too, up to the present day.

Putin appears to be opposing ISIS and thereby running interference for our Orthodox brethren in Syria and Iraq, and he also appears to be in cahoots, somehow, with Assange, whom I have recognized as a traitor, and, yes, our much needed informant on the inner workings of the DC cabal, who most definitely and clearly do NOT have our best interests in mind. It now appears that, while the earlier description of Assange's deeds, one third whistle-blowing and two thirds traitorous espionage, may have been a mathematical error, at least. As is so often the case, skulduggery is camouflaged as 'national security'.

A couple of guys who occasionally read this blog could set me straight, but they probably won't, because the real truth, seven layers deep, would do terrible damage to the actual efforts to protect us.

I only hope that Peter Hitchens is not just as hopelessly naive as I am, and knows more than he is telling.

No one in particular.

Erdogan, as some might be aware, is really really pushing the idea of a 'no fly zone' which - in my humble opinion is, 'a turrible idea' as things are too freshly minted.

Here's a link that's presented "as is" (there's very frequently Error 521 'server problems') and as such, any who might make the journey'll have to provide his own theater of conflict [2.5 depending .. re Syria] assessments.

Bob, I am simply not qualified to comment on Christopher's views. He seemed to remain well to the Left of centre much longer than his brother but I think I am right to discern a shift to the Right in later life.

Peter, on the other hand, seems to be a well established on what might be called the religious Right. Even so, he's a damn good writer backed by a damn good brain - even if, perhaps, I might not follow him to the end!

David, I would also not follow Peter to the end. Or even the middle. Christopher was an excellent writer of wide range and humor and always a thoughtful and well-read iconoclast. You're probably referring to his Iraq War stance as a turn to the right. He was probably more motivated by his hatred for Islamic social norms than a turn toward conservatism.

Well, BoB, you are more familiar with the man than I am but his brother is well worth following.

This summer, I have not only been absent from the pages of D&N but from a number of other places, including my local corner shop or producty. The reason is that I spent some time in hospital following a very small stroke caused by high blood pressure. The guys in the Producty got talking and the result was that a couple of nights ago a physiotherapist turned up on my doorstep. All payment was refused. I will be forever humbled and eternally grateful for the kindness and love shown by my Russian neighbours to this obscure Englishman. When Peter Hitchens speaks of his love for the Russian people I can only state that I know exactly what he means.

Richard, I trust you are mending well? I too had a small stroke some years ago. A life changing experience. The Russian people are not always the same as their government. Same in Britain, the US etc.

Thank you for finding this David, it's a magnificent article.

Keep to your p/t Richard (physical therapy).

It pleases me to hear of you

Richard, it's no use you claiming "Excused boots" status, or whatever, you're on a charge for going a.w.o.l.!

Seriously, that must have been a very frightening experience and I am delighted that you have been so well looked after. Please keep in touch.

The Nazi horde, arguably the most murderous invaders in history, referred to the Russian people as Untermenschen [subhumans]. This sobriquet for the long-suffering Eurasian Slavs, coming as it did from the scum of the nation of swine, was a tribute to the Russian heart and soul.

The true Russian character was definitively revealed at Stalingrad.

Thank you dear Duffers. The article was eye opening.

Even so, Henry, I would remind you that no-one eliminates Russians on a gigantic scale better than other Russians, particularly their leaders!

Dear Miss Red, I'm glad you enjoyed it but I have a complaint to make - where have all your pretty ladies gone?!

Yes, David; Lenin and Stalin were murderous monsters "on a gigantic scale". I am not aware, however, of any other Russians who were monsters on such a scale (i.e., tens of millions of people).

I would remind you, however, that Stalin, though a monster, was our (WWII Allies) monster. Without Stalin, Hitler would have prevailed -- without a doubt in my mind. Also, Stalin, unlike Hitler, was an equal opportunity killer -- he killed everyone whom he perceived to be a threat to his power over the Soviet Union. He also killed many others simply at random to maintain the state of terror through which he projected his total control of the Soviet State.

Sorry, Henry, your defence case has more holes than a fishing net! Stalin was only ever an 'ally' when his partner in crime double-crossed him! Also, I would suggest that there are plenty of Russian leaders from the past whose kill rate was only limited by their lack of modern technology.


What "defense case"? I was stating facts:

(1) Stalin, along with Roosevelt and Churchill were the principal allies in the war against Hitler. What motivated Stalin to join forces with the Anglo-Americans is irrelevant to the fact that he did so. And, in my opinion, the Red Army played the decisive role in crushing the Nazis -- far exceeding the casualties of all other combatants in the European Theater of War, combined.

(2) I specifically restated your "gigantic scale" modifier when I mentioned Lenin's and Stalin's monstrosities, which I was certainly not defending. I may have contrasted the nature of Stalin's monstrosity with Hitler's, but I would never defend such grotesque atrocities.

(3) That there have been other monsters in history is well known -- Mao and Pol Pot come to mind. And, indeed it is quite likely that there have been others who would have liked to be numbered among these monsters of history. But I doubt that the Russian people are uniquely bred to spawn such individuals.

Apropos the Russian people and the 15th anniversary of 9/11/2001:

Tear Drop Monument

Henry et al, I would urge you to find a book called "A Woman in Berlin" written by Anonymous.
It would appear to be a true diary of the couple of weeks after the Russians took Berlin.
I think everybody on the planet should read it. I have just read it and it is truly extraordinary. Grim but there is humour and the comradeship of people in such desperate times is apparent.
A very important book!

Henry - the Teardrop monument is quite beautiful. Thank you for that.


I am quite familiar with what happened in Warsaw, Poland after the Nazi blitzkrieg. In the aftermath, initially in the Warsaw ghetto and subsequently in the Treblinka extermination camp, I lost a great grandfather (who was murdered just after I was born); all four of my grandparents; two uncles; five aunts; and a very young first cousin. I never got to know any of these family members, because my parents (who had married the year before) and my father's two older brothers had the presence of mind to escape from Warsaw into the hinterlands, a few days after the Nazis captured the capital city.

I am afraid that I wouldn't have the stomach to read about a German woman in Berlin who had to endure, for several weeks, the vengeance of the Russian soldiers (after what the Nazis did in Russia), and who, nevertheless, lived for another 56 years (she died in 2001).

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