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Streetwise Professor

February 22, 2011

Never Ascribe to Malice

Filed under: History,Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 11:44 am

The earlier mini-post on Gorbachev prodded me to write a post I’d been planning to do for the last several days but which kept getting put to the bottom of the file.

The post idea came from this cutting and incisive analysis by Yuri Maltsev, an economist who was on Gorbachev’s reform team until leaving for the US in 1989.  Reading it reminded me of my contemporary views on Gorbachev.

I liked him a lot.  Not for the same reason that sent so many in the West into gorbasms.  No, I didn’t like him because he was a new, sophisticated, westernized Soviet leader whom the US could work with.  I liked him because it was clear to me that he was a Sorcerer’s Apprentice whose “reform” efforts were accelerating the collapse of the USSR.  It was evident that his understanding of economics was laughable, and that his attempts to tinker around the edges of the planned economy while retaining a belief in a Leninist core was the best way to exacerbate the internal contradictions (to steal a Marxist phrase) of the Soviet system.  He ripped at the bailing wire and duct tape that was so prevalent in the Soviet economy, not realizing that it was all that was holding the contraption together.

It was, in short, a good thing to have a Useful Idiot on the other side–especially since he was in charge.

Maltsev goes into detail about the idiocy of the Soviet economic system, and  about how Gorbachev’s economic ignorance–rooted in his firm Leninist beliefs–led him to careen from disaster to disaster.  Maltsev’s description of the effects of the ban on alcohol sales is priceless, and the rest of the piece is good too.

And for those who have the impression that Gorbachev was a humane idealist, I suggest you read William Odom’s The Collapse of the Soviet Military, which makes it clear that Gorbachev was more than willing to use force to preserve the USSR, and did it in the Baltics, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia.  Moreover, Odom shows how duplicitous Gorbachev was in his attempts to conceal his role in these actions.  Odom also delves into Gorbachev’s ambiguous relationship with the plotters of the August, 1991 coup.

It is my impression from my reading and talking to Russians that the modal impression of Gorbachev in Russia is that he was a CIA plant.  How very Russian.  Such views are understandable, I guess, because it is quite plain that Gorbachev was indeed the author of the demise of the Soviet Union at that time: it would have died eventually, but he certainly accelerated the collapse.

But whereas Russians are disproportionately are prone to view things in conspiratorial terms, and almost always ascribe result to intent, I think Napoleon’s statement “never ascribe to malice, what can be explained by incompetence” is quite appropriately applied to Gorbachev.  He didn’t intend to destroy the USSR.  But his incompetent attempts to save it did just that.

Lastly, it is more than a little ironic to read Gorbachev criticize Putin’s vanity.  Not because Putin isn’t vain–ha!–but because if there were ever a case of the pot calling the kettle black, this is it.  But that vanity too had its salutary effects, because it encouraged him to plunge ahead on his creatively destructive course.  I often wonder whether Thatcher and Reagan, who praised Gorbachev repeatedly, did so out of legitimate conviction, or because of a shrewd judgment that by doing so they were empowering and encouraging the man that would destroy their most dangerous adversary from within.

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45 Comments »

  1. It’s funny… I came across this blog while searching for information regarding futures market squeezes, contango/backwardation, etc. and found out once again that anyone with even the most basic understanding of economics and financial markets (not that I’m saying that SWP’s understanding is basic by any stretch) is Libertarian.
    I always appreciate links to good Mises.org daily articles. Thanks.

    Comment by Gilad — February 22, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  2. Well, sure. Anything that starts with a “G” is out to destroy Russia at CIA bidding. Google, Gorbachev, Galina (Starovoitova), Gaidar . . . the list goes on and on. Good thing the geniuses who run Russia have figured it out or Russia would have been done for long ago.

    Comment by La Russophobe — February 22, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

  3. @Gilad . . . LOL. Thanks for visiting, and for the kind words. And if you’re interested about manipulation, squeezes, etc. . . you’ve come to the right guy/place. I’d be glad to discuss in more detail.

    Love your workout vids, BTW :)

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 22, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

  4. Yeah, I’ll be happy to read more.
    For example, in one post you mentioned you were interested in squeezes ever since the Japanese tried/succeeded in squeezing the market of the 30yr bond. I’ve been trying to find more information about it but to no avail.

    Best regards,

    Comment by Gilad — February 22, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

  5. Gilad–

    Yeah, B.I.–before internet–so that kind of info is kind of hard to come by. It was one of those things that everybody in the bond market talked about, but was seldom written about.

    The best thing available is probably this article. Cornell and Shapiro look at just about every alternative explanation, but come up empty. As I recall, they conclude that perhaps the best explanation is a squeeze. But if you look at the data the present, it’s hard to come up with any alternative explanation.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    Craig a/k/a SWP

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 22, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  6. maybe Gilad, another fearsome G, is also a mortal threat to Russia’s survival . . .

    Comment by La Russophobe — February 22, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  7. @LR–work those abs!

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 22, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

  8. The reason why people prefer malice as the explanation is that no-one can believe that the culprit could be so incompetent. Gorby was. But there are serious doubts about Yakovlev. Anyway, the last guy is always the fall guy. The fact that Gorby’s predecessors failed to de-militarize the economy for 30 years is his fault? How exactly? Likewise, BO is the devil, but the de-industrialization and debt explosion started long before him.

    Comment by So? — February 22, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

  9. BTW, a fundie is a fundie, regardless of his hang-up.

    Comment by So? — February 22, 2011 @ 8:19 pm

  10. SO?: You mean like people who worship Vladimir Putin, dictatorship, Russian nationalism, etc, etc, right?

    Comment by La Russophobe — February 22, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

  11. Who worships Putin?

    Comment by So? — February 22, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

  12. So? “Who worships Putin?” Anna Chapman? :)

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 22, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

  13. Doubtful. Maybe Kabayeva, and the ?*** ?????? “party”.

    Comment by So? — February 22, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

  14. Gilad,

    I would hardly consider SWP a libertarian. He is your typical southern/Texas right-wing Republican. They share the libertarian desire to leave the free markets alone (until some Wall Street moguls need to be bailed out) and to reduce the government’s non-military budget and size (in order to reduce the taxes on the richest people). However, the southern right-wing Republicans also want to increase the government defense spending, and they hardly share the libertarian preoccupation with civil liberties. On the contrary, southern right-wing Republicans want the Big Brother to listen in on all our telephone conversations and to spy on our bedroom activities. They are also anti-libertarian in their foreign policy, as they supports war, high military spending, cold war with Russia, etc.

    Comment by Ostap Bender — February 23, 2011 @ 4:50 am

  15. > cold war with Russia, etc.

    And the above part is what the whole tirade was really about.

    Last time the U.S. really supported cold war with Russia, the Berlin wall fell and many European nations were freed from Moscow’s oppression and are now developing democratically, which would be impossible without bringing down the previous edition of the Russian empire. So what’s wrong with that?

    Comment by Ivan — February 23, 2011 @ 5:13 am

  16. Have you ever read Gorbachev’s book “Perestroika”? I wanted to cringe over how much he didn’t understand how economies work. It was almost embarrassing to read. The one thing I do believe from the book is that he is an honorable man, just wrong a lot. His comments about Putin’s conceit? Well, I do think he got that one right.

    Comment by Howard Roark — February 23, 2011 @ 8:38 am

  17. @ Ivan, you must remember Ostap is a true example of the Great Russian Chauvinist, to him the subject peoples of the Russian empire were and are worthless subhumans, who should bow down before their great Russian overlords.

    Any attempt by said ethnic groups to assert their rights must be crushed ruthlessly as far as Ostap is concerned, and how dare the Ukrainians, Georgians, Latvians, Poles etc speak their own languages, they should speak only Russian etc etc etc.

    Is it any surprise that the non Russian nations subjected to the repulsive rule of people like Ostap are pro western, and generally anti Russian?

    Of course, to Ostap this is all down to the evil machinations of “right wing Republicans”, or “Nazis”, or “Soros”, or any one of a dozen supposed wreckers and saboteurs of Russian imperial greatness, rather than the fact that it was the Russians own repulsive racism that drove these people to seek protection from western institutions.

    Comment by Andrew — February 23, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

  18. Naivety is the worst crime. Gorby was naive. Unfortunately Yakovlev was most likely not. BTW, Russia put Georgia on the map. Not out of altruism of course, but beggars can’t be choosers.

    Comment by So? — February 23, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

  19. Hmmm, Georgia was on the map long before Russia existed So?, it is a very old place.

    Comment by Andrew — February 23, 2011 @ 11:18 pm

  20. Of course it is. Unfortunately at that point in time only Turks and Persians were well acquainted with the place.

    Comment by So? — February 24, 2011 @ 12:53 am

  21. Andrew, what can I do to get you off of your habit of replying to my posts with your childish libel about me?

    For example, I asked you four times for the explanation of the following lie:

    http://streetwiseprofessor.com/?p=4774#comments

    Andrew wrote: “No Gostapo, but considering that 99% of the Ostap the Bender posts on websites ranging from SWP to the Guardian have the same demented style of writing as yours

    Let me repeat for the 5th time:

    I am kinda flattered that you consider me omnipresent, but I assure you that you are driven by pure paranoia. For example, I don’t recall posting anything to the Guardian pages. I may have read some article some time ago, commented on it and forgot about it; but I doubt if that happened more than twice in my entire life. Please refresh my memory as to how many times I posted there, and what I wrote. Do you have links?

    And I asked 3 more times after that:

    So, Andrew, what’s the story with the Guardian? What did I post there, when, and how many times? Or did you invent your story again?

    Comment by Ostap Bender — February 24, 2011 @ 4:22 am

  22. Now Gostapo, what childish libel?

    That I thought you had posted on the Guardian? Well In can’t be bothered going back and looking.

    However, if you want childish libel, look in the mirror Gostapo, like this one:

    I just got disgusted and shocked by your story that you think that all Russian men are gay and how you stalked a gay bar in Tbilisi and when you saw a blond man leave it, you decided that he was Russian and beat him up, putting him in the hospital. I hope that the next time you try to do this, the police will teach you a lesson that you’ll never forget.

    Comment by Ostap Bender — December 18, 2010 @ 7:09 am

    http://streetwiseprofessor.com/?p=4607#comment-78948

    Now Gostapo, thats pretty childish libel/slander, and the thing is, unlike Georgia, you can be sued for libel/slander in the US.

    So, as you have accused me, I’d like to see your evidence. BTW we can find out where you are thanks to the Patriot act, hooray!

    Comment by Andrew — February 24, 2011 @ 6:43 am

  23. @So?
    Wrong as usual, Georgia was well known by the Greeks of antiquity, was a part of the Roman Empire (its citizens being entitled to Roman citizenship), was an ally of the Byzantine Empire, and was well known to traders and leaders across europe.

    I think you need to stop reading Russian history books old chap, they are only of use as toilet paper.

    Comment by Andrew — February 24, 2011 @ 6:53 am

  24. Glenn // May 14, 2009 at 9:24 am
    Andrew, are you gay?

    Andrew // May 14, 2009 at 9:29 am
    I suspect you are the gay one (usually people insult others with what they fear in themselves).
    ————————

    Really? Very interesting… So, what do you fear in yourself, Andrew?

    ————————
    Andrew // January 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm
    Oh Arthur, just because you are uptight about your homosexuality…… Though maybe you are uptight about your homosexual tendencies because, like Putin, they involve little boys??

    Andrew // April 13, 2009 at 4:37 am
    BTW “I’m Russian” YOU show all the mental conditions of a paedophile, or most likely a pederast.

    Andrew // June 9, 2009 at 10:04 am
    You are the joke “free”, to much of a left wing paedophile to use your name in your post.

    Andrew // June 9, 2009 at 10:22 am
    free, stop going on about little boys. We all know the predilection those such as yourself have for underage males

    Andrew // May 14, 2009 at 9:29 am
    usually people insult others with what they fear in themselves.

    Andrew // April 19, 2009 at 9:40 am
    No Misha,…. pederast Lavrov stated publicly…

    Andrew // February 23, 2009 at 3:20 pm
    Well “Leonid V Marchenko, I am in a much better position to judge the opinion of Georgians than a pederast like you

    Andrew // November 26, 2009 at 4:48 am
    .. a racist little douchebag like yourself kgb pederast.

    Andrew // August 5, 2009 at 5:14 am
    Considering the overwhelming Russian tendency to pederasty and paedophilia I am sure AKM has a lot of experience in lubing up while waiting for it to come again.

    Andrew // May 14, 2009 at 9:29 am
    usually people insult others with what they fear in themselves.

    Andrew // May 8, 2009 at 5:23 pm
    military “officers” pimp out their conscripts to be raped by rich Russian pederasts.

    Andrew // March 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm
    Sphynx, are you a tranny? Or maybe a pederast?

    Andrew // September 12, 2009 at 5:06 am
    Butt-plug is the same sort of slimy, lying little pederast
    vermin like butt-plug

    Andrew // September 12, 2009 at 5:22 am
    Now butt-plug,….

    Andrew // September 12, 2009 at 4:46 am
    Try watching it butt-plug, or are you too busy molesting little boys?… more realisticly called butt-plug from now on… Once again butt-plug

    Andrew // December 31, 2009 at 8:47 am
    Looks like “Jason” is just the latest reincarnation of …. Bi-Gay-Curious Putin worshipper

    Andrew // May 9, 2010 at 3:49 pm
    No, read the report dima dickhead.

    Andrew // May 26, 2009 at 8:43 am
    Well Algymuff, it seems that buggery was pretty normal in Russia…. Medieval Russia was apparently very tolerant of homosexuality.

    Andrew // April 30, 2009 at 7:21 pm
    Hey Pedophile, I mean Russophile

    Andrew // August 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm
    Its a well known fact that those most insecure in their sexuality try the hardest to be “macho”.
    ————————

    Is that why you try the hardest to be “macho”, Andrew?

    ————————
    Andrew // January 16, 2010 at 5:08 am
    There are a lot more about the wonders of gay life in Russia…
    ————————

    Really? How much more? How did you become an expert on the “ wonders of gay life in Russia”, Andrew? Personal experience or nights spent drooling while surfing the gay internet?

    ————————
    Andrew // January 16, 2010 at 5:08 am
    you are the one who defends Putins pederastic tendencies.. Medieval Russia was apparently very tolerant of homosexuality

    Andrew // January 18, 2010 at 11:33 am
    However Russia does have a long and proud tradition of homosexual behaviour in General and pedophilia in particular.

    Andrew // January 18, 2010 at 10:29 am
    So you deny Putin is a paedophile despite film evidence of him kissing a boy on the stomach in public? Or are you and the MBLA still considering that normal behaviour?

    Andrew // June 27, 2010 at 3:39 pm
    you work as a male prostitute for gay Russian ex-pats, you end up in the trailer park….

    Andrew // August 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm
    Well, Medvedev and Putin probably do have THAT sort of relationship according to rumour. And those shirtless photo’s do have to make you wonder.
    ————————

    Images of a shirtless man “ make you wonder”, Andrew? Is that what you do when you go to public beaches in the summer: wonder?

    ————————
    Andrew // August 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm
    Russian gay chat rooms and blogs were particularly intrigued by the photos: some claimed that Putin, by stripping to his waist, was somehow pleading for more tolerance for homosexuality in Russia

    Andrew // January 16, 2010 at 5:08 am
    Medvedev obviously enjouys having another mans hand up his arse…..So you deny Putin is a paedophile… Well I do think that Medvedev and Putin have a passive active relationship. As shown by their somewhat “intense” relationship…However Russia does have a long and proud tradition of homosexual behaviour… the MBLA…

    Andrew // February 4, 2010 at 5:30 am
    Now Arthuretta, don’t project your homosexual fantasies onto others, we all know you get your jollies from perverted dreams of all boys schools, as evidenced by your homoerotic posts…..
    ————————

    ”Homoerotic posts”, eh? Please tell the readers what particular posts from Arthuretta further arose your homosexual erotic feelings, Andrew. Give an example of a sentence that you find “homoerotic”.

    Comment by Ostap Bender — February 24, 2011 @ 10:33 am

  25. Recently, Germany conducted some scientific exploration involving their best scientists. Core drilling samples of earth were taken to a depth of 50m and during the core examinations, small pieces of copper were discovered. After running many arduous tests on these samples, the German government announced that the ancient Germans 25,000 years ago had a nationwide telephone network.

    Naturally, the British government was not that easily impressed. So they ordered their own scientists to take their core samples at a depth of 100m. From these samples, they found small pieces of glass and soon announced that the ancient Brits 35,000 years ago already had a nationwide optical fibre network.

    Irish scientists were outraged. So immediately after this announcement, they ordered their scientist to take samples at a depth of 200m but found absolutely nothing. They concluded that the ancient Irish 55,000 years ago were an even more advanced civilisation, as they already had a mobile telephone network in place.

    Comment by So? — February 24, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

  26. @ Ostap,LOL, just because you are easy to bait….you must have something to hide.
    It is fun to bait Russian ultrnationalists such as yourself, you are sooooo insecure.

    Besides, a lot of the other posters on LR assumed you were a bit queer after you talked about how wonderful it was to be gay and Jewish in Putins Russia….
    That and the fact you were going on about the Russian gay nightlife scene being vibrant and well patronised.

    Now once again Ostap, where did I state I stalked a Georgian gay bar and beat up the 1st person leaving I thought was a Russian?

    Fairly serious slander old chap, and you still haven’t provided any evidence, are you inventing things again as usual?

    BTW, I have still to see any evidence that your parents were “Jewish dissidents” in the USSR, after all, given your resolute defence of the evil Empire I suspect they were Chekists.

    Comment by Andrew — February 24, 2011 @ 10:58 pm

  27. BTW Ostap, I am touched that you are so obsessed with my every word.

    I mean how long did it take you to internet search all of that, or do you lovingly save every post I make?

    But sorry lad, you ain’t my type.

    If you are in Georgia, a place that has the most gorgeous girls in the world, even the devotions of someone like you pale in comparison LOL.

    Comment by Andrew — February 24, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

  28. Genius has no rank.

    Comment by So? — February 25, 2011 @ 1:21 am

  29. @ So? I think you meant to post that on another thread….

    Comment by Andrew — February 25, 2011 @ 1:32 am

  30. Are you talking about these posts, Andrew?:

    Glenn // May 14, 2009 at 9:24 am
    Andrew, are you gay?

    Andrew // May 14, 2009 at 9:29 am
    I suspect you are the gay one (usually people insult others with what they fear in themselves).
    ————————

    Really? Very interesting… So, what do you fear in yourself, Andrew?

    ————————
    Andrew // January 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm
    Oh Arthur, just because you are uptight about your homosexuality…… Though maybe you are uptight about your homosexual tendencies because, like Putin, they involve little boys??

    Andrew // April 13, 2009 at 4:37 am
    BTW “I’m Russian” YOU show all the mental conditions of a paedophile, or most likely a pederast.

    Andrew // June 9, 2009 at 10:04 am
    You are the joke “free”, to much of a left wing paedophile to use your name in your post.

    Andrew // June 9, 2009 at 10:22 am
    free, stop going on about little boys. We all know the predilection those such as yourself have for underage males

    Andrew // May 14, 2009 at 9:29 am
    usually people insult others with what they fear in themselves.

    Andrew // April 19, 2009 at 9:40 am
    No Misha,…. pederast Lavrov stated publicly…

    Andrew // February 23, 2009 at 3:20 pm
    Well “Leonid V Marchenko, I am in a much better position to judge the opinion of Georgians than a pederast like you

    Andrew // November 26, 2009 at 4:48 am
    .. a racist little douchebag like yourself kgb pederast.

    Andrew // August 5, 2009 at 5:14 am
    Considering the overwhelming Russian tendency to pederasty and paedophilia I am sure AKM has a lot of experience in lubing up while waiting for it to come again.

    Andrew // May 14, 2009 at 9:29 am
    usually people insult others with what they fear in themselves.

    Andrew // May 8, 2009 at 5:23 pm
    military “officers” pimp out their conscripts to be raped by rich Russian pederasts.

    Andrew // March 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm
    Sphynx, are you a tranny? Or maybe a pederast?

    Andrew // September 12, 2009 at 5:06 am
    Butt-plug is the same sort of slimy, lying little pederast
    vermin like butt-plug

    Andrew // September 12, 2009 at 5:22 am
    Now butt-plug,….

    Andrew // September 12, 2009 at 4:46 am
    Try watching it butt-plug, or are you too busy molesting little boys?… more realisticly called butt-plug from now on… Once again butt-plug

    Andrew // December 31, 2009 at 8:47 am
    Looks like “Jason” is just the latest reincarnation of …. Bi-Gay-Curious Putin worshipper

    Andrew // May 9, 2010 at 3:49 pm
    No, read the report dima dickhead.

    Andrew // May 26, 2009 at 8:43 am
    Well Algymuff, it seems that buggery was pretty normal in Russia…. Medieval Russia was apparently very tolerant of homosexuality.

    Andrew // April 30, 2009 at 7:21 pm
    Hey Pedophile, I mean Russophile

    Andrew // August 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm
    Its a well known fact that those most insecure in their sexuality try the hardest to be “macho”.
    ————————

    Is that why you try the hardest to be “macho”, Andrew?

    ————————
    Andrew // January 16, 2010 at 5:08 am
    There are a lot more about the wonders of gay life in Russia…
    ————————

    Really? How much more? How did you become an expert on the “ wonders of gay life in Russia”, Andrew? Personal experience or nights spent drooling while surfing the gay internet?

    ————————
    Andrew // January 16, 2010 at 5:08 am
    you are the one who defends Putins pederastic tendencies.. Medieval Russia was apparently very tolerant of homosexuality

    Andrew // January 18, 2010 at 11:33 am
    However Russia does have a long and proud tradition of homosexual behaviour in General and pedophilia in particular.

    Andrew // January 18, 2010 at 10:29 am
    So you deny Putin is a paedophile despite film evidence of him kissing a boy on the stomach in public? Or are you and the MBLA still considering that normal behaviour?

    Andrew // June 27, 2010 at 3:39 pm
    you work as a male prostitute for gay Russian ex-pats, you end up in the trailer park….

    Andrew // August 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm
    Well, Medvedev and Putin probably do have THAT sort of relationship according to rumour. And those shirtless photo’s do have to make you wonder.
    ————————

    Images of a shirtless man “ make you wonder”, Andrew? Is that what you do when you go to public beaches in the summer: wonder?

    ————————
    Andrew // August 11, 2009 at 5:48 pm
    Russian gay chat rooms and blogs were particularly intrigued by the photos: some claimed that Putin, by stripping to his waist, was somehow pleading for more tolerance for homosexuality in Russia

    Andrew // January 16, 2010 at 5:08 am
    Medvedev obviously enjouys having another mans hand up his arse…..So you deny Putin is a paedophile… Well I do think that Medvedev and Putin have a passive active relationship. As shown by their somewhat “intense” relationship…However Russia does have a long and proud tradition of homosexual behaviour… the MBLA…

    Andrew // February 4, 2010 at 5:30 am
    Now Arthuretta, don’t project your homosexual fantasies onto others, we all know you get your jollies from perverted dreams of all boys schools, as evidenced by your homoerotic posts…..
    ————————

    ”Homoerotic posts”, eh? Please tell the readers which particular posts from Arthuretta further arose your homosexual erotic feelings, Andrew. Give an example of a sentence that you find “homoerotic”.

    Comment by Ostap Bender — February 25, 2011 @ 5:46 am

  31. Oh Gostapo, you take everything so seriously.

    No, I am talking about your claims I stalked a Tbilisi nightclub and beat up a person I thought was Russian.

    Come on, fairly serious accusation there Ostap, care to back it up?

    And yes, I was baiting you, every time I accuse you of shirt lifting you go up like a rocket, it really is hillarious how you are unable to come to terms with your inner demons. Of course, you were the one boasting about how great it is to be gay in Putinite Russia.

    I enjoy baiting sick little scumbags like yourself who defend Russian fascism, Communist crimes (in your ever present Red Holocaust denial) etc.

    If you didn’t react I wouldn’t accuse you.

    And seriously dude, you need to see a shrink about your obsession with me LOL

    Comment by Andrew — February 25, 2011 @ 8:56 am

  32. “I would hardly consider SWP a libertarian. He is your typical southern/Texas right-wing Republican. They share the libertarian desire to leave the free markets alone (until some Wall Street moguls need to be bailed out) and to reduce the government’s non-military budget and size (in order to reduce the taxes on the richest people). However, the southern right-wing Republicans also want to increase the government defense spending, and they hardly share the libertarian preoccupation with civil liberties. On the contrary, southern right-wing Republicans want the Big Brother to listen in on all our telephone conversations and to spy on our bedroom activities. They are also anti-libertarian in their foreign policy, as they supports war, high military spending, cold war with Russia, etc.” – Ostap

    Amen, billions for defense and propaganda but not a penny in tribute to Wisconsin public employees! Ron Paul ’12!

    Comment by The Other Ivan — February 25, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

  33. Andrew,

    Most of your obscene posts about “paedophilia”, butt-plugs, and homosexuality are directed towards people who have nothing to do with me. Many were written even before I first showed up at LR. I listed 28 of your posts insultingly accusing others of homosexuality. How many do you need to see before realizing that you have a severe closet problem

    Andrew // May 14, 2009 at 9:29 am
    (usually people insult others with what they fear in themselves).

    Exactly.

    Comment by Ostap Bender — February 26, 2011 @ 1:09 am

  34. Excellent post, SWP. My father-in-law worked for Gorbachev in the 1980′s and your writing matches very closely what I have heard about the man. His vanity was a huge driving force: he didn’t do what he did because he loved freedom but rather becauase he wanted to be beloved by the people. A much smarter, sincere, and decent reformer was Alexander Yakovlev. It’s also good that you remembered the point, often forgotten, that when it looked like his experiment was unraveling Gorbie had no personal or moral qualms about sending in tanks to Lithuania or Baku or in replacing reformers with hardliners (putting them in a position to try to overthrow him).

    Comment by AP — February 26, 2011 @ 10:03 am

  35. Yes, Yakovlev is undeservedly forgotten. So is Sakharov these days.

    Yakovlev was a wonderful, sincere, highly educated, democratic man, unlike Gorbachev or Yeltsin.

    Comment by Ostap Bender — February 27, 2011 @ 1:41 am

  36. Andrew wrote: “I enjoy baiting sick little scumbags like yourself

    Well, I will let a professional psychologist to study whether what you do is “baiting” or “insulting” or whatever. The reality remains is that you are preoccupied with pedophilia and homosexuality in all their aspects constantly and incessantly accuse Putin (“Bi-Gay-Curious”), Medvedev and everybody who likes Russia, of various homosexual acts. Everything that people write, reminds you of “homosexual fantasies” and “homoeroticism”. Everything excites you homoerotic imagination. To you, “shirtless photo’s” of Putin “do have to make you wonder”. You see “paedophilia” and “homoeroticism” in everything. The conclusion is clear:

    Andrew // May 14, 2009 at 9:29 am
    usually people insult others with what they fear in themselves

    Exactly. Now run along, and stop bothering me, and I’ll stop bothering you. Let me post my comments without having to see you reply to each and every one them with your childish insults and fabrications. Do you feel it is your duty to reply to every single comment that you don’t like at SWP and LR? How much does your boss pay you to do this? And does he pay you extra for personal insults and attacks?

    Comment by Ostap Bender — February 27, 2011 @ 1:58 am

  37. There is an “and” missing:

    The reality is that you are preoccupied with pedophilia and homosexuality in all their aspects, AND you constantly and incessantly accuse Putin, Medvedev and everybody who likes Russia, of various homosexual acts.

    Comment by Ostap Bender — February 27, 2011 @ 2:00 am

  38. Now Ostap, once again, where is your evidence that I stalked a club in Tbilisi and beat up the first Russian looking person who came out?

    Were you making things up?

    Yes you were, as usual.

    As for poking fun at your hiding in the closet, well it is the easiest way to upset you, something I take great pleasure in doing seeing as you are a defender of mass murder, ethnic cleansing, and a well known poster of racist bile directed at non slavs in general, and blacks and Georgians in particular.

    Such as your comments about the Williams sisters. You described them as gorillas as I recall.

    After all, you can accuse me of homoseuxuality and I laugh, I accuse you and you jump off the deep end. You are the one with something to hide Ostap.

    And actually, I tend to accuse Russians of being wife bashing, mass murdering, ethnic cleansing, racist freaks, of which you are a prime example. A few posts have made insults directed at the sexuality of scumbags like yourself, but that is usually in response to idiotic statements made by rejects such as yourself.

    Thank God your wife had the intelligence to leave you.

    Comment by Andrew — February 28, 2011 @ 2:44 am

  39. Andrew,

    In that discussion, you wrote a very militant homophobic post addressed at me, in which you, as usual, accused me of committing various sexual crimes. I responded to you in kind. Unfortunately, SWP must have found your post too offensive and removed it. Thus, the reader cannot see what caused my reply to you. Ask SWP to restore your post there, and I will gladly explain why my response was justified.

    And what “wife” that you claim “left” me, are you talking about? Are you hallucinating again?

    Comment by Ostap Bender — February 28, 2011 @ 7:00 am

  40. Hah, there was no such post in the “Buy Pessimism” post Ostap.

    BTW, you claimed on several posts on LR that you stay in the US rather than returning to your paradise of Russia because your children live in the US, and you also talk about your ex-wife, who was supposedly from Odessa. All I can say is she had a lucky escape.

    Now, once again where is your evidence that I claimed to have stalked a club in Tbilisi and beat up the first blonde person I saw leaving it thinking they were Russian?

    That was and is a real lie, and a real slander Ostap, and to think you wet your pants and accused me of slander because I mentioned you posting on the Guardian site.

    Come on Ostap, admit you were lying little man, you never do anything else of course.

    Comment by Andrew — February 28, 2011 @ 9:56 am

  41. Andrew,

    Let me repeat: you wrote an attack on me that was more slanderous than usual. Your attack was later removed by the owner of this blog. I have no control over it.

    However, that very same thread contained lies about me, written by you before my reply. Here are a few of them:

    http://streetwiseprofessor.com/?p=4607

    Of course the fact that you claimed to be posting from a programmers job in California

    No wonder your wife left you.

    Oh and Ostap bender boy, the Russian governments official stats for Georgians living in Russia is around 197,000 with maybe 300,000 undocumented workers. Not the 1,000,000 you previously claimed, then again you were saying 4,000,000 in one post on LR.

    Really? I wrote that I was “posting from a programmers job”? I don’t. I post from my home. Only YOU have the audacity and criminal character to steal from your boss by blogging instead of working.

    And what evidence do you have that my wife “left” me? There’s been no such thing.

    And where did I claim that 4,000,000 Georgians are living in Russia? How can that be if the entire Georgian population is about 5,000,000?

    And this is just one thread. You post lies and libel non-stop.

    You got what you deserve. Now you can see how it feels when the shoe is on the other foot. I strongly recommend you to stop libelous attacks on me and other people.

    Comment by Ostap Bender — March 2, 2011 @ 1:34 am

  42. Well Gostapo, you did claim in your incarnation as VofR on LR that your ex wife and children still used your last name.
    It was during one of your idiotic rants against the recent arrests of Russian spies in the US where you claimed they were simply innocent immigrants doing no harm, once again you were caught out lying when Putin welcomed them home as heroic SVR agents, and gave them state awards.

    As for And where did I claim that 4,000,000 Georgians are living in Russia? How can that be if the entire Georgian population is about 5,000,000?
    That was my reply to your idiotic claim that there were so many Georgians living in Russia.

    Now, as to slander and libel, you routinely slander and libel your opponents, and usually I find it amusing. Anyone who disagrees with your red holocaust denial is always labelled a right wing conspiracy nut, or nazi, or whatever.

    However, claiming I beat someone because of their hair colour is a different matter, so either put up your evidence (of which there wont be any because you are as usual lying) or apologise Gostapo.

    Comment by Andrew — March 2, 2011 @ 8:22 am

  43. So, Andrew, let us review the three lies that you made in that thread alone:

    http://streetwiseprofessor.com/?p=4607

    1. you claimed to be posting from a programmers job in California

    No explanation from you. So, you lied.

    2. your wife left you.

    Your explanation:

    you did claim in your incarnation as VofR on LR that your ex wife and children still used your last name.

    So, in your mind, if a man’s ex-wife and children use his last name, it means that his wife left him?

    Are you purposefully lying, or an idiot, or both?

    And BTW, where are the link and the exact the quote?

    3. you were saying 4,000,000 in one post on LR.

    Your explanation: That was my reply to your idiotic claim that there were so many Georgians living in Russia.

    I didn’t ask you what you were replying to. I asked you if you lied when you wrote: ” you were saying 4,000,000 in one post on LR. Did you? If not – provide the link to where I said that.

    Or are you saying that if you disagree with my political views or figures, you give yourself the right to lie about me and to libel me?

    ——————————–

    So, you had lied three times in that thread, and I taught you a lesson not to lie next time.

    Comment by Ostap Bender — March 3, 2011 @ 12:31 am

  44. @Andrew: “That was my reply to your idiotic claim that there were so many Georgians living in Russia.

    And are you saying that there were not many Georgians living in Russia? Then how do you explain that in 2004, illegal Georgians accounted for 25% of all the money sent home by all illegal immigrants working in Russia?

    http://emigration.russie.ru/news/7/5385_1.html

    Illegal Migrants: Criminals or Victims?

    01.05.2004

    Today, according to experts, the country is home to more than 5 million illegal immigrants.

    Experts estimate that illegal immigrants from the CIS countries annually take home from Russia about $4 billion dollars. Illegal guest workers from Georgia alone take to their homeland, according to conservative estimates, about $1 billion dollars.

    All this is taken into account by the criminals who found their niche in the business of transporting and exploiting illegal migrants. The very composition of the Russian criminal world speaks volumes. The Russian organized crime community is multinational: about 33% are Slavs, 32% of the leaders of the criminal world are Georgians, 8% – Armenians, 5% – Azeris, and the remaining 22% – representatives of the peoples of the Greater Caucasus and Central Asia.

    Comment by Ostap Bender — March 6, 2011 @ 2:42 am

  45. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/eating-with-the-enemy-why-russia-loves-georgian-food-1918859.html

    Part of this is down to the continued presence of a huge Georgian diaspora in Russia. A spokeswoman for the Union of Georgians in Russia estimated that there are between 1 million and 1.5 million ethnic Georgians living in the country. Many of these are well-settled professionals – the chief cardiologist of Moscow, the city’s most famous sculptor and a whole host of media personalities are all Georgian – while others are part of the legion of migrant labourers from former Soviet lands who come to Russia because salaries are higher than in their home countries.

    Comment by Ostap Bender — March 7, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

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