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One "inadvertently missed" is one too many.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
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All Putin needs to say is "we deemed them enemy combatants" and any criticism from the US has no moral or legal legs to stand on. The same thing happens here
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Putin could. But an American President could not, because, under our systems, words (like "enemy combatant") actually do have meaning, and laws--even ones you don't like--must follow due process.

LOL. Never been in court nor jail, have you?

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You're quite right--there is absolutely no difference between the American justice system and the Russian justice system. And with that in mind, do try to stay out of trouble in the future.

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After all the Russia-bashing going on in these comments, what do you all think of this:

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/...uld-face-3-year-sentence-in-germany?lite

Looks like Germany, our trusted ally, might sentence the copycat Pussy Riot protestors, who struck at the Cologne RC cathedral, with a 3 year sentence.

Makes Russia look mild in comparison.

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Ever seen the inside of a German prison, Rybak? They're like Russian hotels. In any case, it is highly unlikely they will receive anything worse than a fine.

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I have never been in prison and I have no such plans for the future, thank you.

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Possibly the most balanced exchange on the subject I have seen:

Pussy Riot: A complex view from Orthodox Moscow


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Originally Posted by StuartK
Possibly the most balanced exchange on the subject I have seen:
Pussy Riot: A complex view from Orthodox Moscow


Hmmm? I do not see that as fair and balanced at all. I see it as more Russia bashing. And I take anything written by Frederica Mathewes-Green with a grain of salt.

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So, a Russian Orthodox, living in Russia, criticizes the political situation in Russia, and you call it bashing. Which is really your way of saying any criticism of Russia is off the table, entirely--Russia can do no wrong (and why not? It is, after all "Holy Mother Russia", the "Third Rome" and New Jerusalem--says so on the label).

The article, by the way, is not by Khouria Frederica (whom I know, and with whom I do not always agree), but by Rod Dreher (with whom I have corresponded and often do not agree). All they did was relay e-mails received by an Orthodox Christian living in Moscow, commenting on the situation in Moscow. Leads me to think you did not read very closely at all.

You don't like the news, so impugn the messenger? Why not try dealing with reality for a change. It's difficult and causes headaches, I know--but it's so much better than waking up with a Cool-Aid hangover.

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And, for what it is worth, the original Matthewes-Green article History, Blasphemy and Russia and podcast very much took the line that the Pussy Riot was an act of inexcusable blasphemy.

The Dreher article to which I linked was mainly the response of one Russian Orthodox Christian to Khouria Frederica's podcast, an attempt to put some much needed context into the discussion.

Context which, I see, a lot of people are going out of their way to avoid.

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Just curious as to why there is such an obsession over the government of another country anyway?

Do those with the obsession over Putin and Russia have a dual citizenship with that country, or do they wish to retire there??

Do those with the obsession have relatives there?

Just trying to put it into perspective, out of curiousity for why this thread keeps on going on and on.

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While I do not have relatives there, I do have friends, and Russia has been an area of personal and professional interest for me and my family for more than thirty years. My daughter returned from two months in Kazan at the beginning of August; this was her fourth extended visit to the country (which includes stays in Moscow, Petersburg, Vladimir and Kazan. Both my wife and might daughter (neither of whom have a drop of Slavic blood) are fully fluent in Russian.

That aside, one should care about what happens in Russia for a number of reasons:

1. We are our brother's keeper.

2. Russia has pretensions of being a great power, bolstered by its possession of some 5000 nuclear warheads and its use of oil and natural gas exports to influence foreign policy within the EU and other countries.

3. Russia strategic objectives and foreign policy are frequently at odds with our own on matters such as Iran's nuclear weapons program, North Korea and Syria.

4. Russia, together with China, has a veto on the UN Security Council, which effectively prevents that body from accomplishing anything useful.

5. Russia is a country with serious systemic problems--social, political, economic and demographic, all of which render it unstable. While Putinist autocracy can render the appearance of stability for a little while by suppressing dissent, this is merely patching over leaks in the boiler, which will eventually explode, with consequences far beyond the borders of Russia.

6. The Orthodox Church is the only nexus of authority within Russia that can lead a moral regeneration of the country, a moral regeneration that is a prerequisite for social, economic and political reform--in other words, a path to to stability and peace. The Church's close association with the state has compromised its moral standing (see the article I posted above), which makes it impossible for the Church to fulfill its evangelical mission. Reform of the Church, therefore, is a precondition for the reform of Russian society, leading to a reform of the Russian government, leading to a reform of the Russian economy.

These are more than enough reasons for caring what happens in Russia, and you should note that those who know and love Russia the best are the ones most deeply concerned about its moral, political and economic collapse. Would you have us just pretend that everything is fine? That's what Russia has always done, to its great detriment and the world's.

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Great comments on Russia -

Until you have been you have no idea how ruthless the Russian people can be against - their own people, and against the Religious.

There are still MANY ex KGB agents running the show - yes even in the Orthodox Church -

Freedom of Religion and separation of Church and State are wonderful things. Russia exterminated more christians (and possible as many or more Jews than Hitler) and we Americans have no idea what that feels like.

We live in a country where we do not experience the levels of poverty, corruption, and outright slavery to the state that exists in MOST of the world.

I think we do not use the GIFT of this freedom to our advantage in our world view.

We need to preserve our own freedoms - or we will end up looking exactly like Russia sooner than we think.

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