The Death of Anna Politkovskaya

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A memorial for Anna Politkovskaya in Finland

A memorial service for Politkovskaya in Finland [uninen / Flickr]

What did she know about Putin’s Russia that we don’t? Politkovskaya was murdered in Moscow this week, shot on the street. A journalist, she spent the last seven years as a columnist for Novaya Gazeta, covering Chechnya and the oligarchs and the list of official sins that continues to grow in Putin’s Russia. She titled collections of her columns Putin’s Russia, A Dirty War and A Small Corner of Hell; it’s not hard to figure out why she made a lot of people uncomfortable.

She had a lot of enemies, they all had motives, and the threat isn’t limited to her. Russian journalist Masha Gessen revealed on the phone this afternoon that, given the choice between a lighthearted piece for a Russian paper on the economy or a more sober look at Putin for an American paper, she’d take the economy. Safer that way.

Several guests we spoke to this afternoon described Politkovskaya as “passionate”; she opened her 2004 book Putin’s Russia with the words “These are my emotional reactions, jotted down in the margins of life as it is lived in Russia today.” She established her own credibility; she was asked to help negotiate the hostage crisis in Beslan and then — she believed — poisoned on the plane on the way down. After the crisis, when it became illegal to sell a newspaper within a hundred meters of a subway entrance or bus stop, she was one of the few fearless journalists left; The Economist described her in an obit on Sunday as brave beyond belief.

And now she’s gone. What does this say about Putin’s Russia? Was an oligarch — or a Chechen, or police sergeant exposed for corruption — angry at what she’d done to his image, or did the Kremlin send a signal? And as we focus our attention on the Middle East, Russia threatens European natural gas supplies and rounds up Georgians as “criminals” for export back to Georgia. Are we completely missing a serious and not-so-new problem?

Masha Gessen

Deputy Editor, Bolshoy Gorod

Raffi Aftandelian

Blogger, Maaskva: Nashimi Glazami

Management consultant working in Russia

Vilhelm Konnander

President and Russia expert, Swedish Society for the Study of Russia, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Blogger, Vilhelm Konnander’s Blog

Edward Lucas

Central and Eastern Europe Correspondent, The Economist

Blogger, Edward Lucas

Extra Credit Reading

Veronica Khokhlova, Anna Politkovskaya’s Murder, Global Voices Online, 10/8/06

Veronica Khokhlova, Monday, October 9, 2006, Neeka’s Backlog, 10/9/06

Anne Applebaum, A Moscow Murder Story, The Washington Post, 10/9/06

Garry Kasparov, What’s Bad for Putin Is Best for Russian, The New York Times, 7/10/06

Vilhelm Konnander, Death & the Kremlin, Vilhelm Konnader’s Blog, 10/8/06

W. Shedd, Russian Journalist Anna Politkovskaya Murdered on the Streets of Moscow, 10/7/06

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  • jdyer

    I am looking forward to hearing this program.

    I hope the guests will address Putin’s schizophrenic policies vis a vis Chenya and the Middle East. On the one hand his behavior in Chechnya is criminal claiming that the rebels there are Islamic fundamentalists, on the other hand he seems to be cuddling Iran and Syria.

    What exactly is he up to?

  • fiddlesticks

    Charlie Rose is interviewing NIALL FERGUSON

    Author of “The War of the World” on his program tonight.

    He is a better interviewer than Mr. Lydon and the show will be very revealing.

  • peggy sue

    Thanks for this show! I appreciated learning something about Anna Politkovskaya. I’d like to know more about Chechnya.

  • hurley

    fiddlesticks says:

    “He is a better interviewer than Mr. Lydon and the show will be very revealing.”

    I hereby pledge a dollar to what I hope will become an ROS fundraising campaign to send fiddlesticks — and some few others on the list should the drive prosper — to a Swiss finishing school, where in theory one learns not to insult ones host, not to piss on the rug, and so forth. If we don’t raise enough money to send fiddlesticks and co. to Switzerland, we might send the money raised to a charity we all agree on. Any takers?

  • fiddlesticks

    Hey hurley, I can buy you and radio open source and still enough left over to get reelected.

  • Ben

    H – I second that rug business, there isn’t enough spot remover to handle the comment activity lately. Though I have to say thanks to fiddlesticks for the Charlie R. update – it will be a good view.

  • jdyer

    The show was pretty good, fiddle sticks.

  • desertrose

    Geography & history (from the point of view of other nations) should be an integral part of higher education, so that our future leaders would know where Pakistan is located on the world map *smile*, and may be then they won’t rush us to never ending wars.

  • desertrose

    My above comment pertained to ‘what should college teach’ sorry.

  • hurley

    fiddlesticks says:

    Hey hurley, I can buy you and radio open source and still enough left over to get reelected.

    Hey Borat, Your comment so priceless only you can afford it. Maybe the finishing school adjoins your bank account.

    Anyway, seriously, have you read a good book recently? Any favorites you might recommend? I’m reading Thomas McEvilley’s The Shape of Ancient Thought, about the links between ancient Greek and Indian philosophy. A busy life’s life’s work, and worth a look. Best novel read recently Wolfgang Koeppen’s Death In Rome. I welcome your suggestions, along with everyone else’s. Maybe best to end these exchanges with a gift, no?

  • MarcMcElroy

    The Russian Rumor is the Americans somehow did it.

    Also I was told some trivia, that she was married to the Grandson of Stalin, also a Russian journalist in the 90’s.

    In general, keep in mind Moscow’s high murder rate, and most go unsolved.

  • Potter

    I heard this show in New York on WNYC and was unablw to comment but at the end of the hour I realized how important it was to focus on this murder ( especially at a time when everyone seems to be talking about N Korea). I am grateful for the show.

    I did think of the Israeli journalist Amira Hass’s courage before Chris mentioned her. Yet Amira Hass, Gideon Levy, Meron Benvenisti while writing courageous pieces that ( should, may, do ) disturb the Israeli conscience, live in a society/culture that welcomes (thrives on) freedom of throught. Indeed the newspaper Haaretz is and has been a beacon.

    Russia is apparently hardly there yet .It’s interesting that you have to go to northern Europe to get an appropriate response to this murder. It reveals the repression that people must feel in Putin’s Russia. It’s dangerous to stick ones neck out.

    I glad that Chris connected the legacy of I.F. Stone and today Seymour Hersh as examples here in our country.

  • scribe5

    “I did think of the Israeli journalist Amira Hass’s courage before Chris mentioned her.”

    Courage? She is getting paid for what she does. No one threatens her.

    It doesn’t take much courage to attack your country if you are celebrated for doing it.

    What rubbish.

    It would take someone like Potter to inject something negative about Israel in a discussion about Russia.

  • Georgian

    In the Politkovkaya show you did not touch on the Georgian topic as promised, so I thought that this small letter from my close Georgian friend who lives in Russia will help to realize the extent to which present Russian society has started to resemble Hitler’s Nazi regime.

    Dark Age in Russia

    It’s been slightly more than a week since Georgian authorities arrested four Russian officers on spying charges and turned them over to European intermediaries four days later. However I feel like months passed since that as things changed dramatically. Russia stopped all transportation between the two countries, stopped money transfers to Georgia, started military maneuvers in the Black Sea. We thought that was pretty tough for retaliation measures but it was just the beginning. Backed by heavy TV propaganda, painting Georgians as “nation whose representatives are responsible for many crimes”, Russian police and other special services mounted a massive attack on ALL GEORGIANS LIVING IN RUSSIA. People were stopped on the streets, taken from restaurants and from their own apartments; there were massive document checks; everyone with Georgian citizenship and even surname was taken for interrogation. At best, they spent several hours in jail and then released but many people (some with perfectly valid visas and registrations) were deported from the country by cargo planes. Then tax authorities and anti-organized-crime units started massive checks in all businesses owned (and even linked) to Georgians (and I mean ethnic Georgians, including Russian citizens)… and guess what – serious violations were found. Majority of Georgian restaurants are closed now (and there are about 150 of them in Moscow) as owners and personnel are afraid to show up. Migration ministry of Russia refused to give work permits to Georgians and publicly accused them of criminal activities. To finish the picture – there was an order for Moscow schools to prepare the lists of students with Georgian names and surrender them to police.

    During this week I not once had a strange feeling that I am sleeping and this is a bad dream, or a movie, something unreal… But this is happening, here and now, in 2006, in Russia. For the first time in my life I am afraid to live home, this feeling of unsafety is something very ugly, I must say. And it’s happening so fast that I still am in dismay and confusion. Perhaps now is the time to leave this country, where I spent about 12 years, I don’t know yet… E ven if these repressions avoid me it is not safe to live in a country with such policies.

    But now it’s really not about me, I am writing to ask you to spread this news – there is ethnic purge going on and innocent people are suffering . THIS IS NOT PERMISSIBLE – NOWHERE. Russian state should understand – even if they have a lot of oil, there is not permissible to persecute people based on their nationality. Unfortunately, Russian society today is too weak and immature to handle this internally, therefore the West should interfere, until this country completes its transformation into dangerous Nazi regime.

    A Georgian Living in Russia for the Last 12 Years

  • jdyer

    Scribe: October 13th, 2006 at 8:04 pm

    Why do you even bother with Pott?

    As for Amira Haas, she is just a shill for Hamas these days. In the past she shilled for Arafat.

  • fiddlesticks

    It was our bigoted host who first brought Hass up.

  • fiddlesticks

    “Anyway, seriously, have you read a good book recently?”

    So you read a book or two, does that make you superior? I’ll raise you a couple.

    I just read “Diplomacy” By Kissinger and am reading now Closing of the American Mind by Bloom.

    Not the mooshine you read, but it keeps me out of trouble.

  • hurley

    fiddlesticks: I was trying to be friendly, not superior, as was fairly plain. And is “mooshine” what you drink, and is this the effect, spiteful wrath at any perceived disagreement? If you meant “moonshine,” neither of the books remotely fits the description. Koeppen’s book part of a trilogy that constitutes the most devastating literary indictment of post-war Germany yet written. McEvilley’s book a work of extraordinary scholarship into the origins of Western civilization, one that’s already beginning to shake-up the field. The books you mention don’t surprise me, but the mere title, The Closing of the American Mind, in the context of your comments denigrating things you know nothing about, another of your poignant ironies.

  • jdyer

    fiddlesticks Says:

    October 14th, 2006 at 7:56 am

    “It was our bigoted host who first brought Hass up.”

    The problem wasn’t that he brought up Amira Hass. He can bring up whomever he wants. The irony is that there wasn’t a Palestinian Amira or Anna that he could bring up.

    Amira is strong on criticizing her country but she never can bother to criticize PA corruption, not to mention their sanctioning of terrorist killings.

    I suspect that that was a problem with Anna’s work too. It shows up the weakness of “international” muckraking by a reporter. You want to criticize the “stronger” country, but have to give a pass to the all too often hideous crimes perpetrated by the “weaker” side.

  • Potter

    Thank you very much Georgian for posting your letter from Russia.

    My above post was complimentary to Israel, NOT negative, and that should be obvious.

    Hass recently wrote a piece critical of both parties which gives lie to the jdyer comment above.:

    Missing the Government of Thieves

    This thread needs moderating. A few posters that still roam these threads, violating guidelines with impunity, injecting a poisonous negativity, name-calling especially if they do not like an opinion, drag the thread and the ROS site down.

    The unnecessary nastiness for it’s own sake, far outweighs any worthy contributions this cabal-forming few make, certainly on this thread. (I refer to Scribe5, Fiddlesticks and jdyer)

  • fiddlesticks

    “The books you mention don’t surprise me, but the mere title, The Closing of the American Mind, in the context of your comments denigrating things you know nothing about, another of your poignant ironies.”

    What does Hurley know what I know or don’t know? Are you clairvoyant?

    When you talk of ironies you are talking about the way you and people like you see the world.

  • fiddlesticks

    Now I am partof a cabal.

    There is a larger cabal here composed of Potter and Co. that darfs any cabal she imagines I belong to.

  • fiddlesticks


    Now I am part of a cabal.

    There is a larger cabal here composed of Potter and Co. that dwarfs any cabal she imagines I belong to. And Potter’s belittling posts are not lacking in nastiness either.

  • hurley

    fiddlesticks says:

    What does Hurley know what I know or don’t know? Are you clairvoyant?

    When you talk of ironies you are talking about the way you and people like you see the world.

    Sorry fiddlesticks, no offfence to your omniscience. I was referring to your dismisal as “mooshine” of two books you hadn’t read (you may have since — chapeau). That’s a recipe for ignorance. I mentioned them as salve to the bickering and as an invitation to seek them out. They’re important and, I like to think, worth your attention.

    The ironies I alluded to, apart from the one I mentioned, include the advocacy of “Diplomacy! from someone so studiously undiplomatic. But that’s Kissinger for you.

    No, I’m not clairvoyant, though you never know. As I stare into my crystal ball I have a hazy prevision of a nasty response to this note. Prove me wrong. Here’s hoping you will.

    Any other recommendations?

  • hurley

    Another thing, fiddlesticks: Best to leave off calling Chris a bigot. That won’t do, unless of course you can back it up.


  • jdyer

    Potter: “Hass recently wrote a piece critical of both parties which gives lie to the jdyer comment above.:”

    “Missing the Government of Thieves”

    “Before the decade of negotiations began – the Madrid Conference in 1991 and then the Oslo process – Israel respected the Palestinian right to freedom of movement. The regime of limiting movement, which began in 1991, only intensified after 1994…”

    This is pretty thin stuff. Haas only criticizes the PA when it doesn’t take an aggressive stance towards Israel. She is not a journalist at all. She practices advocacy “journalism” which is the same as saying that a judge only prejudges “the guilty.”

    This has been documented elsewhere:

    “Ha’aretz’s Hass Scolds Hamas’ Haniyeh”

    And Potts is again calling the kettles black:

    “The unnecessary nastiness for it’s own sake, far outweighs any worthy contributions this cabal-forming few make, certainly on this thread. (I refer to Scribe5, Fiddlesticks and jdyer)”

    When the self righteous and self appointed holier than thou posters want to attack someone they always claim that it is the other person who is attacking them. This is a favorite tactic of all modern day saviors.

    However, as I said elsewhere, I am not interested in getting into another spitting contest with Potts, and I won’t dignify her gratuitous nasty attacks on me with a reply.

  • Potter

    What makes Hass a good journalist is that she knows how to ask questions to get the unexpected responses, perhaps ones that those who only want to demonize don’t want to hear.

    I am familiar with They prefer no criticism of Israel. They want you to believe that they are fair and pointing out bias but they have their own, a decided right wing bias/interpretation. It figures that they would pick on Hass and completely misunderstand and misrepresent what she was doing in that interview ” Hass Scolds Hamas”.

    From Wikipedia:

    “Hass was the recipient of the Press Freedom Hero award from the International Press Institute in 2000, the Bruno Kreisky Human Rights Award in 2002, the UNESCO World Press Freedom Prize in 2003, and the inaugural award from the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund in 2004.

    Her reporting is often sympathetic to the Palestinian point of view and generally critical of Israeli policy towards the Palestinians, but during the years of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Hass also published several very critical articles about the chaos and disorder caused by militias associated with the Fatah party of Yasser Arafat and the bloody war between Palestinian factions in Nablus.

    Due to her frequent reporting of events or voicing of opinions contrary to the official Israeli and Palestinian position, Hass has often been the target of verbal attack and has encountered opposition from both the Israeli and Palestinian authorities.”

    In “Missing the Government of Thieves” she again criticizes both Hamas and Fatah. What makes her courageous is the ability to keep on in her work ( not easy to live in the territories) as she gets attacked by Jews and Israeli’s who typically cannot tolerate not only an entirely different take on the conflict, but the notion that Arabs are people, individuals.

  • jdyer

    Amira Hass among other Jewish antisemites is quoted on many Nazi and Islamicist web sites like the following one.

    I wonder why that is, NOT!

  • Potter

    The term “anti-Semite” has been corrupted it is so overused by those who cannot stand criticism of Israel. It says more about those who use it than who it supposedly describes.

    So Amira Hass is an anti-Semite not because she actually hates Jews or Israel but only because she criticizes an unquestionably cruel occupation and what it is doing to her own people (demoralizing them) as they dehumanize others.

    She describes it and lives it and dares to show that Arabs are human beings, not unlike Jews, with hopes and dreams who suffer and suffer at the hands of Jews and Israel. Palestinians are not an abstract “enemy”. That’s the essence of her work. Few other Israeli’s, are doing this work.

    David Grossman, Gideon Levy, Meron Benvenisti, Amos Oz are other Israeli writers, journalists. But Hass lives in the territories.

    It’s very disturbing, uncomfortable, to the Jewish conscience to absorb this truth and so the response of some of those who don’t wish to know, is to lash out at the messenger, abusing with the worst they can think of: she is an “anti-Semite”. This issuing of a kind of fatwa only from no authority is a futile attempt at excommunication of one’s own.

    If a critical opinion should surface, the mental guns come out, one gets THE LABEL, get’s shunned, denounced. It’s not only shamefully anti-democratic but approaches a fascist frame of mind. It’s the very frame of mind exhibited in the extreme website linked above.

    So too, with this mindset, if Hass is mentioned on an anti-Zionist website, this proves it.

    Why would anyone making a serious argument, and not desperate to grab at anything that could be found, offer this as any proof of anything? Why would one search for such a site a proof of anything? Why would anyone even hang out there to gather evidence except ironically in perverse self-hatred?

    All you have to do is read the Haaretz Talkback beneath Hass’s articles to see how much support she has from sane people everywhere including and most especially in Israel.

    I notice too that Haaretz has been publishing more of her articles lately as well. This is the only way many of us know what is going on in the territories on a daily level. Her reporting is invaluable. Nobel worthy.

    (So too Anna Polikovskaya.)

  • jdyer

    “So Amira Hass is an anti-Semite not because she actually hates Jews or Israel but only because she criticizes an unquestionably cruel occupation and what it is doing to her own people (demoralizing them) as they dehumanize others.”

    Nonsense, whaty has been corrupted is the term “occupation.”

    There is no “cruel occupation.” This term has become a mantra for people ranging from “well meaning” leftists to David Duke and White Supremacists and Islamic genocidal groups who want to wipe out the Jewish State.

    It’s a blood libel term just as the “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” was a blood libel book which became a warrant for genocide.

    I don’t care what Amira Hass’ motives are. The fact that her intemperate and one sided view of the conflict has been praised by people who are without a doubt antisemitic should give those who believe in genuine peace pause.

    Her work is hardly comparable to that of Polikoyavksa.

    btw: Besides as I said above she is not a reporter. She is publishes opinions and not news. Haaretz publishes the opinions of writers with many different points of view. The fact that she is published there doesn’t mean that they endorse her perspective. The paper’s editorials are pretty much middle of the road as far as the conflict with the Palestinian Arabs go.

  • jdyer

    From today’s Haaretz:

    “Hamas wants to create a “balance of terror” with Israel in the Gaza Strip, in order to deter the Israel Defense Forces from making a major ground forces incursion into the territory, IDF officers have concluded on the basis of the organization’s greatly accelerated munitions acquisitions over the past few months.

    Since the beginning of the year, more than 20 tons of explosives, anti-aircraft missiles and antitank missiles have been smuggled into Gaza.

    Senior IDF officers told Haaretz recently that Hamas is working to improve its offensive capabilities, with an emphasis on Qassam and Katyusha rockets, while at the same time establishing a solid defensive position in order to prevent the IDF from entering built-up areas within the Strip. By increasing the range of its missiles, the deadly force of their warheads and above all, by using high-quality blast explosives, Hamas hopes to heighten the threat to the northern and western Negev from the direction of Gaza.

    If Hamas succeeds in improving the rockets in its possession, it will be able to store them for months, as opposed to just days, as it does now. That would enable the organization to fire massive salvos at the Negev for days at a time during periods of escalation, as Hezbollah did in northern Israel during the second Lebanon war.”

  • Potter

    So we go from the free and wanton misuse of the term “anti-semite” to batter anyone with an opinion to the re-definition of occupation, a word that Ariel Sharon used- see . Then we go to “cruel occupation” being uttered by David Duke and used by white supremacists – which I have not checked btw- but using the tactic of guilt by association (same as for Hass being mentioned on the anti-Zionist site). Saying “there is no cruel occupation” is either a total denial and lack of compassion for others, or willful blindness. Then as if that is not enough we are supposed to say “oh yes he’s right” to calling the use of “cruel occcupation” a “blood libel term”. And for the icing on the cake people who praise Hass are anti-semites too “without a doubt” no less. ( who says so?)

    So Amira Hass is not a reporter, not even a journalist. (She merely lives in the territories and reports and has written at least one acclaimed book “Drinking the Sea At Gaza” and won prizes for her work)- see above).

    The attempt above is to denigrate the work, denigrate the person through name-calling, through guilt by the thinnest possible evidence of association if it is even association at all to redefine words and throw in the “Protocols” for good measure. One can’t go wrong with the Protocols, David Duke and white supremacists, a winning combo.

    This is not intemperate and one-sided?

  • scribe5

    Most of the discussion so far is besides the point. This is a thread about the an unfortunate Russiam reporter who was murdered, Anne Politkovskaya.

    Someone stupidly compares her to an Israeli reporter who is no danger at all and every other poster is obliged to take sides in this lame comparison.

    In the meantime I am attacked intemperately by one of the most partisan and ignorant posters here.

    It’s past time the forum was retired.

  • jdyer

    [This comment has been deleted. Please refer to The Rules and keep it civil– Greta]

  • Potter

    Another member of the triad weighs in…

    Let’s get somethings straight and in order Scribe 5.

    Chris Lydon mentioned Hass in comparison to Polikovskaya.

    Fiddlesticks demeaned Chris as a host.

    My initial post, a post which addressed no one, demeaned no one, you respond to with this:

    What rubbish. It would take someone like Potter to inject something negative about Israel in a discussion about Russia.

    failing to understand that I was saying something positive about Israel/Israeli’s -ie that they allow dissent and criticism, failing to understand that Hass still has great courage in the face of loud and vicious criticism as we see even here on this thread.

    Jdyer chimes in with his childish alteration of my name to “Potts”( totally disrepectful and purposely so), his liberal use of the label “anti-semite” ( as is his usual), Read the rest ( as he would say) above.

    This after he has me supposedly “on ignore”, that I am “unimportant” and not going to engage in a spitting contest ( as he spits.)

    Now you chime in, of course not part of any cabal, calling our host by inference “stupid” for comparing Anna P. with Hass who you are sure is in no danger at all living in the territories.

    Of course the only thing that is important is that you, Scribe5 are being attacked while in the same sentence you continue to attack. This latter does not count.

    It’s way past time that the guildelines on this thread should have been imposed. The “unfortunate Russian reporter” deserves better with the notable exception of Georgian’s excellent contribution above.

  • Potter

    jdyer quotes:

    “Nonsense, whaty has been corrupted is the term “occupation.” ..There is no “cruel occupation.”

    Some people here are morally stunted.

  • Potter

    Of the 64 posts in the “Dutch Canary” thread about 47 to of them belong to jdyer. (I am not going to count again to be sure if I am not off one in either direction). Moving on to the the post-game thread of that show 12 of the total 20 belong tojdyer.

    So when he says above of me: She needs to get a life. he must know the problem well. On this thread alone- he outposts me.

  • fiddlesticks

    “Chris Lydon mentioned Hass in comparison to Polikovskaya.

    Fiddlesticks demeaned Chris as a host.”

    Gee, I demeaned Chris? How? By saying that he is not as good a host as Charlie Rose?

    You are fishing for ways to insult other poster, Potter.

  • jdyer

    [This comment has been deleted. Please refer to The Rules and keep it civil– Greta]

  • jdyer

    Brutal occupations:

    In Chechnya, causalities:

    From wikipedia:

    Conservative casualty estimates are 7,500 Russian military, 4,000 Chechen combatants, and no less than 35,000 civilians—a minimum total of 46,500 dead. Others have cited figures in the range 80,000 to 100,000. (These figures pertain only to the first war in Chechnya.

    In Tibet,

    This from wikipedia:

    “In 1950, the People’s Liberation Army entered the Tibetan area of Chamdo, crushing nominal resistance from the ill-equipped Tibetan army. In 1951, the Seventeen Point Agreement was reached, under PLA’s military pressure, by representatives of the Dalai Lama and Beijing affirming Chinese sovereignty over Tibet with a joint administration under representatives of the central government and the Tibetan government. Most of the population of Tibet at that time were peasants, often bound to land owned by monasteries and aristocrats. Any attempt at land redistribution or the redistribution of wealth would have proved unpopular with the established landowners. This agreement was initially put into effect in Tibet proper. However, Eastern Kham and Amdo were outside the administration of the government of Tibet, and were thus treated like any other Chinese province with land redistribution implemented in full. As a result, a rebellion broke out in Amdo and eastern Kham in June of 1956. The insurrection, supported by the American CIA, eventually spread to Lhasa. It was crushed by 1959. Tibetan exiles claim that during this campaign, tens of thousands of Tibetans were killed. The 14th Dalai Lama and other government principals fled to exile in India, but isolated resistance continued in Tibet until 1969 when CIA support was withdrawn.”

    This from

    The data there is too long to post in full, but the cusualty rate is much greater than that of Chechnya and it includes the almost complete destruction of that culture.

    Then there are the occupations in

    Sudan with over half a million killed.

    Here some comparative figures about the Arab Israeli conflict:

    Since 1948 the number of deaths have been far fewer than any of the conflicts cited above.

    A comparison of the Palestinian Intifadas tell the tale:

    The second Intifada yields the following figures:

    “The death toll both military and civilians of the entire conflict in 2000-2006 is estimated to be 3,651 Palestinians and 1007 Israelis,[1] although this number is criticized by some sources for not differentiating between combatants and civilians.[2] During the conflict from September 2000 to January 2004, 36.2% of Palestinians killed were non-combatants caught in crossfire, while 77.6% of Israelis killed were non-combatants who died in bombings or sniper fire.[3] Of the Palestinian victims, at least 118 were killed by fellow Palestinians on suspicion of collaboration with Israel.”

    While during the first intifada the numner of deaths were far fewer:

    “By the time the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993, 1,162 Palestinians (241 of them children, some of whom took an active role in the violence) and 160 Israelis (5 of them children) had died [2]; in the first thirteen months of the intifada, 332 Palestinians and 12 Israelis had been killed. This initially high fatality rate on the Palestinian side was due largely to the Israel Defense Force’s inexperience in pacification and crowd control. Often when facing demonstrators IDF soldiers had no riot control munitions, and would shoot unarmed demonstrators with live fire. The Palestinian fatalities include many killed by their own side as collaborators.”

    Compare these numbers to the hudreds of thousands of killings that took place in Algeria during the same time period.

    As Sharon said no one wants to be under occupation but most of the brutality that occurs under the occupation originates from the Arab Palestinian side. Israel has since 1967 been trying to negotiate a peace treaty which would allow the Palestinians to live under their own government.

    People obssessed with Israel tend not to care about the real brutal occupations in the world today as Potter’s posts show.

    She can’t be bother to post anything about Chechnya because she doesn’t give a shit about them. This on a thread which deal with the Russian occupation of Chechnya. She is typical of the antisemites who get all indignant about “human rights” in the Jewish State. What after all does a David Duke care about Chechnyans?

  • Potter

    This above is by now a standard defense and deflection of the argument about the brutality of Israeli occupation- in essence “look over there” where it’s worse. It’s literally a “talking point”. Someone must have sent out a memo on it.

    The elaboration and obesssion on the subject of occupation is entirely jdyer’s as he continues to use his by now blunted arrow “anti-semite” and then to show he’s really angry he escalates to foul language. This after he says he is done on this thread.

    What indeed does David Duke have to do with Chechnyans except some confusion in the mind of the one who brought it up? So who brought DD up? and for what purpose? Oh yes, guilt by association.

    Now to the substance of the obsession: So over the course of the almost 40 year Israeli occupation what is the death toll of Israeli’s? of Palestinians?

    Quote from this source:

    From UN data, the post-1967 avoidable mortality (excess mortality) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories totals 300,000 and the post-1967 under-5 infant mortality 183,000 (of which 90% has been avoidable) – as compared to 2,178 post-1967 Israeli terrorism deaths (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs figures).

    So the question is: does the fact that more or less numbers of unnecesssary or avoidable deaths have taken place elsewhere somehow erase these facts?

    Another question: Did jdyer bother to post anything about Chechnya prior to his obsession with cutting me down and making himself look foolish?

    Does jdyer care about Chechnyans or brutality elsewhere other than to use as above to desperately defend his views?

  • jdyer

    [This comment has been deleted. Please refer to The Rules and keep it civil– Greta]

  • jdyer

    Message to Brendan:

    Brendan needs to close this thread.

    Potts as usual merely turns my comments around. For example:

    “Does jdyer care about Chechnyans or brutality elsewhere other than to use as above to desperately defend his views? ”

    This is merely what I said to her.

    It doesn’t matter what I care about (thought I did state above that I wanted to hear the show hoping to learn something new about Chechnya. (See the first post).

    Still the larger point is that this is a thread about the murder of a Russian reporter and not about “the occupation.”

  • Potter

    jdyer is coming out with his hands up. Take notice.

    The “insane concept” of excess or avoidable mortality comes from the UN. More specifically:

    quote: Avoidable mortality (technically, excess mortality) is the difference between the actual deaths in a country and the deaths expected for a peaceful, decently-run country with the same demographics (see: ). Post-1967 avoidable mortality (excess mortality) in the Occupied Palestinian Territories totals 300,000 and the post-1967 under-5 infant mortality 183,000 (of which about 90% was avoidable) (estimated from UN Population Division data; see: ). The “annual under-5 infant mortality” (expressed as a percentage of the under-5 infant population) is 0.51% (Occupied Palestinian Territories) as compared to 0.12% (Israel) (2003 figures; see: and the latest UNICEF reports: ).

    As occupier Israel is responsible. Let there be no doubt.

    Furthermore: quote from Professor Peter Singer bioethics, Princeton U., “We are responsible not only for what we do but also for what we could have prevented … We could consider the consequences of what we do and what we decide not to do”

    Any moral person, certainly any moral Jew, who prides himself on the higher standards we try to live by, would have to agree and NOT be shaving accusing and and dissembling.

    So this thread is now again about the murder of Anna Politkovskaya finally and so time to close it. It’s not about the occupation that jdyer took us off into after a mere mention of it on my part. After all his professing and protesting his first comment about Polikovskaya was not complimentary, but critical, as critical as he is of Hass:

    jdyer: I suspect that that was a problem with Anna’s work too. It shows up the weakness of “international” muckraking by a reporter. You want to criticize the “stronger” country, but have to give a pass to the all too often hideous crimes perpetrated by the “weaker” side

    No pass is being given by Hass, nor I suspect by Politkovskaya. Hass is filling a large gaping hole in reporting left by all the rest. So was Anna Politkovskaya.

  • jdyer

    “The “insane concept” of excess or avoidable mortality comes from the UN. More specifically”

    The UN and that’s supposed to prove that it’s not insane. The UN is the premier international antisemitic organization in the world today.

    Even human rights organization not friendly to Israel with an antisemitic track record have said that the UN is spending too much time on Israel and not enough on more dire human rights disasters like the Sudan.

    “Any moral person, certainly any moral Jew,…”

    Bull any moral Jew will fight against antisemitism first and foremost.

    btw: you know nothing about Anna Politkovskaya.

  • jdyer

    Here is a post about Anna from a Jewish pro Israel website:

    Anna Politkovskaia’s Murder

  • jdyer

    Here is a European Jewish tribute:

    Jewish tribute for murdered Russian journalist

  • jdyer

    On UN antisemitism:

    Is the U.N. finally ready to get serious about anti-Semitism?


    Monday, June 21, 2004 11:15 a.m. EDT

  • jdyer

    “The “insane concept” of excess or avoidable mortality comes from the UN.”

    Come to think of it if the UN endorses this idiotic notion of being guilty of “avoidable deaths” then it is itself as guilty as any country it wants to point a finger at.

    Rwanda genocide would not have happened had not the UN not withdrawn its troops from that country. This is just one example of the UN hideous record on “human rights.”

  • Potter

    Jdyer: Bull any moral Jew will fight against antisemitism first and foremost.

    jdyer you are doing more to increase the number of anti-semites on the planet than anyone I know. Not only do you imagine anti-Semites around every corner but I fear your behavior will make those vulnerable tip in that direction.

    jdyer btw: you know nothing about Anna Politkovskaya.

    jdyer- you know absolutely nothing about what I know and what I don’t know. ( but I see you were on a first name basis with her)

    if the UN is being criticized by a human rights organization ( of course one that is anti-Semitic) for spending too much time on Israel that is evidence of being anti-Semitic? BTW your article is old, on a very biased editorial page written by someone from a right-wing think tank ( Bayefsky) and praised by right wing sources mainly if not only. However here is another view regarding the occasion, A UN seminar on Anti-Semitism ( my bold):

    Anne Bayefsky, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University Law School, spoke at the UN’s June Conference on Anti-Semitism. She stated that the seminar was taking place at a time when relations between Jews and the UN were at an all-time low. She continued with the startling statement that the UN is today’s leading global purveyor of anti-Semitism. She outlined the difficult history of Israel at the UN. Whenever possible, the Arab-Muslim bloc has used anti-Semitism and other tactics to sideline Israel from many committees. This has happened because the UN’s structure of national sovereignty does not give the UN administration the power to control individual state decisions.

    During a subsequent discussion, she offered the enigmatic statement that she needed to hear directly from the UN that anti-Semitism meant discrimination against the state of Israel and its occupants. By implication this says – and is frequently used to say – that any criticism of Israeli policy is motivated by anti-Semitism. Many of her supporters maintain this without any acknowledgement of the sufferings of the Palestinians.

    We reject the idea that all criticism of particular policies of the present government of Israel is motivated by anti-Semitism. It is ironically true that criticism of Israeli policy regularly appears in the Israeli press, which is one of the freest in the world, with a tremendous range of opinions. In this respect, freedom of the press is more robust than in the United States. By Bayefsky’s criterion, many articles published in the Israeli press would be called anti-Semitic if published in the US……….

    ……..In the words of Churchill, hardly a peacenik, “it is better to jaw-jaw, than to war-war.” We must also remember that violent words can serve both to light and spread fires. The UN is a mirror of a troubled world. Their conferences are intended to recognize, clarify and respond to serious world tensions, which are deeper than the inflammatory issues of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. The UN is the only forum where such global dialogues can take place.

    that from here:

    I’ll join. They are sane.

  • jdyer

    [This comment has been deleted. Please refer to The Rules and keep it civil– Greta]

  • jdyer

    “BTW your article is old, on a very biased editorial page written by someone from a right-wing think tank…”

    Blah, blah, blah, I prefer “right wing” think tank thinkers who know what they are talking about to someone who makes the same point as David Duke.

    Anne Bayefsky is the American equivalent of the Russian Anna Politkovskaya!

    Now go and compose another ten posts with 25 links to prove to us how moral you are.

  • Potter

    [This comment has been deleted. Please refer to The Rules and keep it civil– Greta]

  • hurley

    Well done, Potter.

  • fiddlesticks

    Oh come on Potter, Dyer cleaned your clock.

    You weren’t able to answer any of the points he brought up.

    Accusations of personal attacks ring hollow coming from you, ROS attack dog.

  • Old Nick

    Hmmm…I guess perceptions of ‘clock-cleaning’ all depends on your prejudices.

    Well done, Potter.

  • fiddlesticks

    Hmmm…I guess perceptions of ‘clock-cleaning’ all depends on your prejudices.

    Well done, Dyer.

  • jdyer

    I have said all I am going to say to Potts. She can have the last word.

  • jdyer

    There is a working assumption here that journalists are courageous individuals struggling to bring us the real news.

    But this isn’t always the case:

    There are two recent stories that make this point:

    “Reuters Cameraman Remanded for Inciting Rock Attacks”

    Tuesday, October 17, 2006 / 25 Tishrei 5767

    and the other one is:

    Camera Obscura

    by Richard Landes

    Only at TNR Online

    “On September 30, 2000, images of 12-year-old Mohammed Al Durah and his father–cowering behind a barrel at Netzarim Junction, in the Gaza Strip–circulated globally, along with a claim that they had been the targeted victims of Israeli fire. If Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount two days earlier had sparked riots, these images triggered all-out war. The ensuing horror and outrage swept away any questions about its reliability. Indignant observers dismissed any Israeli attempt to deny responsibility as “blaming the victim.”

    But, by 2002, two documentaries–one German, one French–raised troubling questions. The raw footage from that day reveals pervasive staging; no evidence (certainly not the most widely circulated tape offers evidence of Israeli fire directed at the barrel, much less of Israelis targeting the pair; given the angles, the Israelis could scarcely have hit the pair at all, much less 12 times (indeed the only two bullets that hit the wall above them came from the Palestinian side, inexplicably 90 degrees off target); there was no sign of blood on the ground where the father and son reportedly bled for 20 minutes; there was no footage of an ambulance evacuation or arrival at the hospital; there was no autopsy; and none of the dozen cameraman present filmed anything that could substantiate the claim that the father and son had been hit, much less that the Israelis had targeted them. These documentaries had limited exposure, in part thanks to France2’s refusal to run the one by a sister station in Germany. But they did spark a demonstration in Paris outside the France2 offices by citizens outraged to discover that so horrendous an image may well have been a fake….”

    Read the whole article. If you don’t have a TNR account you can go to goodle news a type in the articles title: “Camera Obscura” and that will give you a link to the piece which will allow you to read it.

    Tha author of TNR piece is a Professor at Boston University where he teaches

    medieval history.

  • jdyer

    For every brave Politkovsaya there is more than one “brave” Hass or Imad Muhammad Intisar Boghnat who are more interested in manufacturing facts than in reporting the truth.

  • Potter

    Hass does not manufacture facts. You give absolutely no prooff but dishonestly try to make a point about Hass using the Al-Durah story for proof. Mohammed Al-Durah and the continuing uncertainty around his death, staged or real, has nothing to do with Hass. Lay off Hass already jdyer. it’s tiresome. Your subtext is always about anti-Semitism, and the need to defend Israel right or wrong.

    Thanks for the last word. Are you finished?

  • jdyer

    Potter, if you want the last word you go to let go.

    As i said Hass is not a journalist. She is an opinion wirter. You disagree. Let’s leave it at that.

  • babu

    To my ear, the tone of the above exchange is a perfectly credible example of why the President of UMASS Lowell may have been moved to decide he has higher priorities for his money elsewhere.

  • Old Nick

    Well said, babu.

  • Old Nick

    And if babu is right…we need more moderation, not less.

    Slurs like ‘absolute ignoramus’ and the accusation of bigotry inherent in the ridiculous and wearisome ‘anti-Semite!’ are quite likely why the numbers of contributing bylines have diminished so dramatically since July.

  • Potter

    I believe that UMass Lowell had budgetary problems and at the same time was not getting the benefits promised. The students were against this alliance from the beginning. I would not blame the move on this poor thread or the few like it or the blog in general. We have had some really great threads and posts too don’t forget.

    From the Lowell Sun:

    State Sen. Steven Panagiotakos, a Lowell Democrat, noted that as part of the deal with Lydon, the university was also expected to build a new radio station so Lydon could broadcast from Lowell, and add a communications program, in which Lydon would have been an instructor.

    “I don’t think we accomplished either one of those,” Panagiotakos said. “Without those, the benefit on campus is very limited.”

    Panagiotakos and MacKenzie both said the move was not related to Lydon’s performance, which Panagiotakos praised.

    “He did everything he was asked and got us national exposure,” Panagiotakos said. “He’s into 15 of the biggest radio markets in the country, which is great for branding, but there was a local component to bring him in, and we weren’t able to come up with the finances to put that together.”

    Please read the whole article for a better sense of the whole.

    I asked for moderation on this thread in the beginning.(Obvioiusly this has been a devastating weekend for ROS staff. ) I have asked for moderation ( elimination) of jdyer’s attack on me recently elsewhere as well. It’s clear that this person has gotten out of hand and will take advantage when and where he can. I defend myself perhaps too much here but the alternative is to allow him to go on and on attacking me, dominating threads, whenever or wherever without suffering any consequences at all. I fugured he would give up it he got back what he gave.

    I have no doubt that M. jdyer will be right back again if allowed. My hitting back is as hopeless a method as ignoring him is and has only served to help drag this thread down. I apologize for that.

    Moderation was needed from the beginning- here and elsewhere.

    I must also say how appalled I am at the comments Fiddlesticks and jdyer have made on the October Surprise thread- punching their hosts when they are suffering a blow and in need of encouragement. Have they no decency?

  • jdyer

    [This comment has been deleted. Please refer to The Rules and keep it civil– Greta]

  • jdyer

    On more important issues:

    Here is another example of Journalistic courage. Will ROP even take notice of it?

    “Pro-Israeli editor beaten in Bangladesh”


    “A Muslim journalist facing charges of sedition for advocating ties with Israel was recently attacked and beaten by a crowd in Bangladesh that allegedly included leading officials of the country’s ruling party, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

    Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, editor of the Weekly Blitz newspaper, an English-language publication based in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, was working in his office on October 5 when nearly 40 people stormed the premises.

    The mob beat Choudhury, leaving him with a fractured ankle, and looted cash that was kept in the company safe. Choudhury was briefly hospitalized.

    According to a statement appearing on the Web site of the Weekly Blitz, the attackers were led by Helal Khan, international affairs secretary of Jasas, and included Babul Ahmed, Jasas’s secretary-general. Jasas is the cultural wing of the ruling Bangladeshi National Party (BNP).

    During the assault, Ahmed is said to have shouted at Choudhury, labeling him an “agent of the Jews.” …”

  • hurley

    jdyer says:

    Here is another example of Journalistic courage. Will ROP even take notice of it?

    I suspect ROS will. That’s their job. I imagine they read your posts with the same sinking feeling most of us do. But why you bother, given your contempt for all involved, is a mystery you might elucidate. Please do. What’s your point? That pro-Israeli journalists run a risk in the Islamic world? Of course they do. Anyone with doubts on that score need only key in Daniel Pearl. You have no corner on any suffering but your own. If you’re so involved and informed on the subject of pro-Israeli reporters abroad, why not craft a show for ROS on the subject, guests, readings, and so forth? I’ll help. ROS are presumably busy trying to figure out how to keep the show afloat, so maybe better to give them a hand rather than the lash, no?

  • jdyer

    hurley: “You have no corner on any suffering but your own.”

    Calm down and try composing real sentences.

    I never said I have “a corner” on suffering. I am no masochist; and I am no saint.

    I would rather make those who would make me suffer, suffer.

    Your comment, that my point that the very few Arab reporters who are pro Israeli are in mortal danger is a truism, I agree. It is also true that the Israeli reporters who are pro Arab are in no mortal danger. Yet Chris brought it up on his show as if it were true.

    As far as my composing a show for the folks here; forget it. I doubt any one on the ROS crew reads anything I say. There is no evidence of that when the show airs. I have posed reasonable questions and I noticed that the host will go out of his way not to take notice of my posts.

  • longliveanna

    I feel that every lover of freedom and champion of human rights should always ensure that the name of Anna Politkovskaya is remembered. This can be done in four possible ways:

    1) Continue to demand from the Russian authorities the reason she was murdered. Ask how the investigation into her murder is going. If the investigation has been stalled, ask why. Who is behind the stalling of this investigation?

    2) Focus and continue to focus, your attention on the attrocities and political abberations that she uncovered. Why do all credible opposition parties to Putin’s government seem to have bureaurocratic barriers placed against their registration, or their leaders compromised, murdered or kidnapped.

    Why are people who expose the attrocities in Chechnya and Ingushetia kidnapped and murdered, with nobody being held accountable?

    3) Set up an organisation in her name to specifically investigate the attrocities in Chechnya and Ingushetia. This organistaion could be closely aligned to Amnesty International.

    4) Set up a prize in her name for the journalist, each year, who shows the most courage, in working alone against every threat, in order to expose the truth.

    For the sake of future freedom of expression and of human rights in this world, the name of Anna Politskovskaya must never be forgotten.