Symposium: Russians vs. Vladimir Putin?


In this special Frontpage Symposium, we have gathered an All-Star panel to discuss the power of the KGB and the meaning of the new freedom movement in the streets of Russia. This symposium originally ran last week, under the title “Symposium: Putin Forever?,” in our Feb. 17 issue. Due to the panel of titans that gathered and the vital dialogue that occurred, and in light of the events unfolding in Russia, the editors felt it appropriate to rerun this symposium.

Our distinguished guests in this symposium are:

Jim Woolsey, Director of Central Intelligence 1993-95.

Lt. General Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking official to have defected from the former Soviet bloc. Romania’s Communist president Nicolae Ceausescu was executed at the end of a trial whose accusations came almost word for word out of Pacepa’s book Red Horizons, subsequently republished in 27 countries.

Evgeny Legedin, a street-art painter and political activist from Yekaterinburg. As a coordinator of the youth anti-Putin movement “Oborona” and participant in the democratic movement “Solidarity,” he has organized countless rallies and demonstrations of protest, including the all-Russian campaign for freedom of rallies “Strategy-31.” He is the author of the mock prize “Golden Evsyuk,” the “award” given every year to the worst policemen in Yekaterinburg. In fear for being imprisoned on fabricated criminal charges, he fled Russia on August 16 and reached the UK, where he is seeking political asylum.

Dr. Igor Melcuk, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Montreal and Member of the Royal Society of Canada. He left the Soviet Union in 1977 after being expelled from the Institute of Linguistics of the Academy of Sciences because he defended Andrei Sakharov​ in a letter published in The New York Times​.

Dr. Gregory Glazov, a Rhodes scholar who is now Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Immaculate Conception School of Theology, Seton Hall University, USA and Program Coordinator of the Institute for Christian Spirituality’s Great Spiritual Books program which frequently focuses on spiritual writings in Soviet and Nazi prison camps. He is currently completing several manuscripts that include commentaries on The Lord’s Prayer and on The Book of Job, as well as an introduction to Jewish-Catholic relationships, entitled, Brothers in Hope: Models of Judaism in Catholic Perspective (NDU Press), and a translation and commentary on Vladimir Solovyov’s writings on Judaism and Christianity, an interest that bespeaks his spiritual legacy as the son of Russian dissidents, Yuri and Marina Glazov.

Dr. Jay Bergman, a Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, where he teaches Russian and modern European history. He received his bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and his M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D from Yale University. He is the author of Vera Zasulich: A Biography, published by Stanford University Press​ ; and articles in Russian intellectual history. He is also on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Scholars, a nationwide organization of professors committed to reasoned scholarship, intellectual diversity, and nondiscrimination in faculty hiring and student admissions. His newest book is Meeting the Demands of Reason: The Life and Thought of Andrei Sakharov, published by Cornell University Press.

Yuri Yarim-Agaev, a former leading Russian dissident and a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group. Upon arriving in the United States after his forced exile from the Soviet Union, he headed the New York-based Center for Democracy in the USSR.

Dr. Theodore Dalrymple, a world-renowned and critically-acclaimed author, retired physician (prison doctor and psychiatrist), a contributing editor to City Journal and the author of the new book, Anything Goes.


Dr. David Satter, a Rhodes Scholar who is now a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute and a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He was Moscow correspondent of the Financial Times of London from 1976 to 1982, during the height of the Soviet totalitarian period and he is the author of Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State and Age of Delirium: the Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union, which is being made into a documentary film. His new book is It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past.



Abbas’s peace process will only lead to a Palestinian government or state controlled by Iran or the Muslim Brotherhood.

Who says there are no peace talks going on in the Middle East?

The peace process is underway in the Middle East, but not between Israel and the Palestinians. The only peace talks that are taking place these days are between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Abbas has chosen to talk to the enemies of peace who want to destroy Israel and replace it with an Iranian-backed Islamist state. On the one hand, he says he supports the two-state solution. On the other hand, however, he is seeking to form an alliance with all those who are vehemently opposed to the two-state solution.



The British government has unveiled a new “integration strategy” designed to “champion a united British identity.”

The new policy will require immigrants seeking admission to live in the United Kingdom to learn English and adhere to “mainstream” British culture and values such as democracy and the rule of law.

The measures represent a continuation of recent efforts by the government to reverse decades of state-sponsored multicultural policies that have allowed Muslim immigrants to avoid integration and establish a parallel society in Britain.

The new strategy document titled “Creating the Conditions for Integration” was published on February 21 and states: “We will robustly challenge behaviors and views which run counter to our shared values such as democracy, rule of law, equality of opportunity and treatment, freedom of speech and the rights of all men and women to live free from persecution of any kind. We will marginalize and challenge extremists who seek to undermine our society and we will neither engage with nor fund such organizations.”



“Thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee” — Isaiah 49:17
Last month, Barack Obama released a campaign commercial, “America and Israel: An Unbreakable Bond.” The seven-minute video proposes that Obama is the best friend Israel has ever had in the White House.
Helping add substance to this risible claim are none other than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who also appears in the video, says: “I can tell you in a very categoric way, and I believe also in an authoritative way, that we have not had a better friend than President Obama.”
The Obama campaign gleaned these clips from various interviews. The Israelis didn’t actually sit for the ad, though they might as well have. By praising Obama and covering for his obviously anti-Israel policies, Israel’s leadership has essentially become part of Obama’s re-election run.
It’s hard to find a worse example of just how bad Israel’s public diplomacy efforts have become than this campaign commercial — aiding a president who enters office determined to put “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel, insists on an unprecedented Israeli settlement freeze, bars Israel from obtaining offensive weaponry, embraces the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, thwarts Israel from undertaking its efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb, and bows to a Saudi king.


The Grilling of Rick Santorum Posted By Ben Shapiro

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/02/23/the-grilling-of-rick-santorum/

This week, the press has had a field day with Rick Santorum. It’s taken this long mainly because Santorum has only been relevant for the last five minutes or so – or at least since the forces of Mitt Romney carved up Newt Gingrich like a turkey dinner.

Once the digging started, it didn’t stop for Santorum. Matt Drudge headlined a 2008 speech in which Santorum spoke in fiery terms about the cataclysmic spiritual battle being fought in America: “Satan has his sights on the United States of America! … Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition …. This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age? He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions.”

This is the kind of material that reinforces the popular perception of Santorum as a religious extremist focused on restoring American morality via the unbridled power of the state.

Does Santorum really want to use state power as a tool in his arsenal? Probably not. But it’s difficult to tell, since he’s been a big government conservative who has voted in favor of bigger government over and over again.

And then there’s his Washington insider status. This is a campaign of Washington outsiders. So far, Santorum’s been able to escape the scrutiny that sunk Newt Gingrich over his Fannie Mae lobbying work. But Santorum was a big time lobbyist in his own right – he was the point person for the so-called K Street Project, an effort dedicated to getting conservatives into high ranking lobbying positions. The motives behind the K Street Project were good – liberals dominate lobbying, and conservatives had to compete – but the effect was to make Santorum the key figure in a lobbyist-legislator revolving door. Santorum has pulled down an inordinate amount of cash for quasi-lobbying since leaving Congress, making nearly a million bucks per year each of the last two years.

And then there’s Santorum’s record on the unions, which is squishy at best. He voted for a 1993 bill protecting union members from being fired over strikes. He also backed the Davis-Bacon Act, requiring government contracts “to pay workers the local prevailing wage.” He opposed the National Right to Work law in 1996.

So is all of this criticism fair? It’s certainly as fair as any of the material the media dug up about Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, and the rest of the non-Romneys. Gingrich, you’ll remember, was raked over the coals for supposedly bashing Reagan back in the 1980s. Rick Perry was hit by the other candidates on the immigration issue, although they basically agree with his entire immigration agenda (with the exception of the DREAM Act).

Strangely enough, the race has come down to the two candidates (three, if you count Ron Paul) who seem to attract a holier-than-thou segment. Mitt Romney supporters have long looked down their noses as the benighted conservative base that doesn’t trust their man. Ron Paul supporters have always intimated that only Ron Paul is a truly conservative candidate. And now, Rick Santorum’s supporters suggest that attacks on Santorum are attacks on conservatism.

This is sheer and absolute nonsense. Conservatives had better vet these candidates before the liberals have a chance to do so. If the liberals find damaging material you can bet they will hold it until right before the election and then spring it as an October Surprise that suddenly changes everything.


David Brock: Media Matters Madman Posted By Daniel Greenfield

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/02/23/david-brock-media-matters-madman-2/

David Brock is a member of an exclusive club of fake conservatives like Arianna Huffington who, when the winds turned blustery and the money looked better on the other side, crossed the Iron Curtain going the other way and headed to Moscow.

There is something to be said for the right, which has attracted its defectors from the best of the left. And there is something to be said for the left, which has attracted defectors from the worst of the right. While the right has gotten men like Irving Kristol and David Horowitz, the left has gotten a mentally unstable gay man and a woman who married a gay man for the money.

Since joining up with Team Soros, Brock has not engaged in journalism so much as become the head apparatchik of a propaganda corps, the officially unofficial smear corps for the left. Media Matters’ official mission is to correct misinformation. Its actual operation is to conduct character assassinations on behalf of the left. Its operating principle is a paranoid obsession with a vast right-wing conspiracy which justifies the creation of a vast left-wing conspiracy to counter it.


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Read more at: http://times247.com/


For Socrates, it was the unexamined life that was not worth living. In America, we are guilty of too much examination – of our feelings, our relationships, our parenthood, our tastes and our entitlements – even our TV shows are over-analyzed as the media attack of Downton Abbeyitis will attest.

More significantly, American society is beset by a plague of unaccountability across the board. At the highest financial echelons, it manifests itself in bonuses, golden parachutes and government bailouts for people who rightfully should have been fired and/or prosecuted. Educationally, it’s a case of bureaucracy clogging the public school system so that ineffective teachers and uncontrollable students can’t be expelled. It’s also a case of administrators and principals not being axed when known pedophiles are transferred from one school to another. Chancellor Walcott has just promised to fire the teachers and aides who perpetrated these crimes – he said nothing about the enablers who facilitated them. Most significantly, from the perspective of drastic changes to our mores and values, has been the steady rise of single motherhood among women under thirty. Today 53% of children born to women in this age group are illegitimate.


In her new dual biography, Wanted Women: Faith, Lies & the War on Terror: The Lives of Ayaan Hirsi Ali & Aafia Siddiqui , journalist Deborah Scroggins works hard at ferreting out what she calls a “weird symmetry” in the lives of the Somali-born Hirsi Ali, an outspoken critic of Islam as well as a champion of Muslim women and Western humanistic ideals, and the Pakistani Siddiqui, an Islamist terrorist known as “Lady Al-Qaeda” and a fanatic Jew-hater.
By “weird,” Scroggins means to suggest that the two women are uncannily alike. Yet all they basically have in common is their youth, high intelligence, Muslim upbringing, U.S.-education, and bold temperament. Otherwise, what is really weird, in the sense of odd, is Scroggins’s glaringly inappropriate attempt to mesh – find congruity between – the life of the valiant Hirsi Ali and that of the nefarious Siddiqui.


Stealth and violent jihadists have discovered the alchemist’s secret of turning gold into lead – that is, of turning freedom of speech into a risky and unwanted liability. It’s really quite simple, obvious for all to see. The formula is similar to the “good cop/bad cop” routine of detective movies.

Start with a cartoon of Mohammad, or a dozen of them, or with public remarks that directly or indirectly hold Islam and Muslims responsible for terrorism, or publish a scholarly, cogent paper on the totalitarian and brutal natures of Islam, or give a mooning “arse-lifter” on a public street the literal boot in a heart-felt moment of disrespect for a manqué bowing to meteorite and who’s in your way.

Of course, the remarks, the charges, the papers, and even the disrespect are responses to about thirty years of irrational Muslim behavior.

Any one of those actions will precipitate riots, calls for death to apostates and insulters of Islam, noisy, ugly demonstrations, chants of “Islam will dominate,” the waving of black jihad flags, and general pandemonium across the globe. And a few dozen or few score deaths at the hands of the insulted. All incidents starring Muslims. Not to mention the self-censorship of newspapers and book publishers, who abandon the issue for safety reasons; who, to borrow a line from “Seinfeld,” draw their heads into their shells like frightened turtles.