Moscow (AFP) – It was the year that ended centuries of royal rule, brought two revolutions, ushered in Soviet domination and changed the course of Russian history irrevocably.
A century later, the country seems unsure how to treat the tumultuous events of 1917 that saw it hurtle from the abdication of the last tsar Nicholas II to a Communist dictatorship in a matter of months.
During seven decades of Soviet rule the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks was celebrated with pomp by the Kremlin and the tsarist regime was demonised.
But after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 there was a u-turn that saw the royal family canonised and public opinion increasingly view the upheavals not as a triumph but as a tragedy that sparked generations of bloodshed and suffering in Russia.
Some 500 conferences, round tables, exhibitions and art festivals are planned to mark the centenary — but so far, at least, there are no signs that there will be any major fanfare.
“Russian society needs an objective, honest and profound analysis of these events,” Putin said in a speech last year.
“The lessons of history are needed primarily for reconciliation, to strengthen society,” he said, adding that it is “impermissible to let the splits, malice, resentment and bitterness of the past into our life today.”
A former Soviet-era intelligence officer, Putin has turned himself into what many see as a kind of modern tsar and surrounded himself with a new super-wealthy elite.
His mantra has been restoring stability, strength and unity to the country after the upheaval that followed the end of the Soviet Union, and returning Russia to the conservative values of the past.
Following mass anti-Kremlin rallies in 2011-12 and the ouster of the Russian-backed leader of Ukraine by protesters in 2014, authorities have been increasingly wary of any popular revolt that could impact their grip on power. Read the rest of this entry »
GREG GUTFELD: It’s good to see all these vocal free speech supporters, many of whom were silent when [Ayaan] Hirsi Ali, Condoleezza Rice and others were kept from speaking on campuses. I suppose you only express solidarity when it’s cool, and there’s a neat hashtag.
But as we know, one aids terror by blocking speech through the fabrication of offense. We must fight evil, but what happens when the fight is labeled as “bigoted” by the media, our campuses, our leaders? Terror wins.
And so CNN’s Christiane Amanpour calls terrorists “activists.” I’m really not kidding.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR (in a broadcast on the day of the massacre, perhaps even shortly after it took place, given that CNN considered it “Breaking News”): On this day, these activists found their targets, and their targets were journalists. This was a clear attack on the freedom of expression, on the press, and on satire.
Anyway, and editors worrying more about right-wing reaction to terror than terror itself.
NICHOLAS KRISTOF (at MSNBC on Wednesday, Clip 1): I think they should have been more sensitive. I don’t believe in gratuitously offending people.
NICHOLAS KRISTOF (at MSNBC on Wednesday, Clip 2): We have to be really, really careful not to respond to the extraordinary intolerance of these jihadis with our own intolerance.
DAVID ROTHKOPF (at MSNBC on Wednesday, Clip 3): I think we have to be just as worried about the reaction to the attack from nationalists, from right-wingers, from people who have sought to drive this wedge, as it was described earlier, between the Islamic communities and the mainstream communities in Europe.
GUTFELD: I get it. The enemy is pre-ordained. It’s us. Which means Howard Dean is right. This is a cult, a cult of apologists. But Dean is also right when he says this is not a religious issue, which means, if I don’t see Islam when I fight terror, then you cannot see Islamophobia when I fight it.
What should we see instead? Again, a death cult, one that needs no understanding, just eradication. It would be nice for moderate Muslims to help, but if they don’t, we can handle it, it’s nothing personal, Muslims. Just step aside. Read the rest of this entry »
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Democrat Rep. George Miller thinks GOP is Waging ‘Jihad’ Against American People
I wonder how actual Jihadists feel about this? They’re probably quite offended by Miller’s blasphemous use of their exclusive term. Which–contrary to Miller’s ignorant wisecrack–has a very real, deadly serious meaning. When offended–unlike your average annoying Republican member of Congress–Jihadists tend to have no problem using tactics like mass murder, kidnappings, chest-stabbings, assassinations, beheadings, and, you know, dancing in the blood of their victims, including dead women and children. These things are historically not uncommon. And in recent history, increasingly common. Especially against innocent Christians. And fellow Muslims, too.
At the very least, real Jihadists might consider legal action. Assuming they decline to impose a Fatwa calling for the torture and murder of Rep. George Miller and every member of his family. Which is a perfectly normal Jihadist reaction to feeling offended by rhetoric-spouting infidels, regardless of national origin, political ideology, or party affiliation.
A Jihadist trademark infringement lawsuit against Rep. George Miller might inspire George to think twice about his reckless, inflammatory rhetoric. Terrorists and Jihadists have lawyers, too. And they’ve proven themselves to be very effective at promoting their trade craft, as well as improving and perfecting their violent methods of enforcing obedience.
But–according to Miller–a disagreeable political opponent is no different than a terror-trained chest-stabbing homicide-bombing child-raping woman-torturing bloodthirsty Jihadist mass murderer. Stay classy, Miller. I imagine the voters of California are proud to have patriots like Rep. George Miller on the payroll.