Putin Afraid of Political Competition?
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
With a legitimate approval rating exceeding 80%, Putin may be the most popular world leader.
None in the West match his public support, integrity, straightforwardness, advocacy for world peace, and opposition to imperial lawlessness – why US hardliners and media scoundrels hate him.
The neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post is one his harshest critics, inventing reasons to denigrate him – instead of featuring responsible journalism, entirely absent in its geopolitical reporting, notably on Russia.
Vladimir Kara-Murza is vice chairman of the Open Russia movement and chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom.
Open Russia is a pro-Western subversive group, blacklisted by Russian authorities as an “undesirable” organization – founded by former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The late Boris Nemtsov was a Washington-funded Russian opposition politician with little public following.
In the 1990s, he held various government posts under Boris Yeltsin, a Western favorite. He supported Kiev’s US-installed putschist regime.
In 2009, he met with Obama in Washington, discussing anti-Putin tactics.
WaPo gave him featured op-ed space, using it to claim “(i)t is not difficult to win an election when your opponents are not on the ballot.”
Multiple candidates compete in Russian democratic presidential and other elections. They mock America’s sham process, money controlled fantasy democracy, not the real thing.
Putin is overwhelmingly popular, why he easily wins. Russians want no one else leading them.
In next March’s presidential election, numerous candidates registered to run. In 2012, Putin competed against four other aspirants, winning with a 63.6% majority.
Kara-Murza lied claiming “(n)ot once during his 18 years in power has Vladimir Putin faced off against a genuine challenger.”
He faced multiple challengers every time, none matching his overwhelming popularity.
Russian campaigns are short in duration, unlike never-ending ones in America. Kara-Murza invented nonsense about Russian media denigrating Putin opponents.
Unlike US mudslinging, issueless campaigns, Russian ones are mild. With its election in mid-March, Putin’s campaign hasn’t begun.
According to OpenSecrets.org, US presidential candidates spent around $2.4 billion during the 2016 campaign.
Based on Russia’s Central Election Commission data, Putin’s election account has around $7 million. He was elected president three times – in 2000, 2004 and 2012, certain to be reelected again next year.
US elections are farcical when held. Russia’s are open, free and fair.
Kara-Murza: “Two prominent opposition leaders were planning to run against Vladimir Putin in this year’s presidential election” – naming Nemtsov and convicted embezzler Alexey Navalny.
Nemtsov is deceased, Navalny barred because of his criminal record. Nemtsov enjoyed scant support. So does Navalny, both Western favorites, neither with a chance to become Russia’s president.
Kara-Murza: “Western commentators who buy into the Kremlin line about Putin’s ‘popularity’ among Russian citizens would do well to remember that this assertion has never been tested in a free and fair election against credible opponents.”
Kara-Murza is a shameless liar, his feature WaPo op-ed an exercise in turning truth on its head.
Unable to lay a glove on Putin or defeat him electorally, US politicians, media scoundrels, and elements they feature resort to denigrating him.
Kara-Murza’s attempt fell flat.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”