Streetwise Professor

April 28, 2012

Who Knew Putinists Were All About Trusting People’s Choices?

Filed under: Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 7:36 pm

Sergei “The Tarantula” Lavrov has no problems with Islamist parties taking power in Arab countries (h/t R):

“Political Islam is a normal phenomenon. It does not raise any concern with us, and we do not have to try hard to learn to work with these parties because we have worked with them, the Islamists, for a very long time,” he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.

“If we talk about trusting the people’s choice, I see nothing terrifying here,” Lavrov added.

To hear a high level Russian government official wax eloquent about “trusting the people’s choice” is just too much.  This is a government that puts obstacle after obstacle in the way of the formation of parties that could challenge the ruling elite.  A government that is paranoid about popular movements.  Where “managed democracy” is all about eliminating real choice.

With respect to Islamic parties in particular, what do you want to bet that Sergei and the gang would not be so equanimous to the formation of Islamic parties in the Caucasus?  A region where “working with them” means “drowning them in the outhouse.”

No, Russia is quite OK with Islamic parties in the Middle East because they are likely to be reliably anti-American, and apt to stir up trouble that will keep up oil prices.  At home, not so much.

Hypocrisy comes natural to diplomats.  By that standard, The Tarantula is one of the world’s greatest.

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