February 25, 2009 (the date of publication in Russian)

Anton Krayev


Barack Obama's handsome gesture ignites an epidemic of "repentance" in Western justice


In "The Crash of the Second International" (1915), Vladimir Lenin determined the major precondition of a revolutionary situation in a particular nation: 1) inability of the "top" to rule as before; 2) inability of the "bottom" to subdue as before; 3) an unprecedented exacerbation of misery and troubles of the oppressed class. He missed one more precondition which he in fact used in his practice, not realizing its significance as it was at hand, in the very atmosphere of Russia of the early XX century: the unprecedented exacerbation of sympathy with the oppressed (or supposedly oppressed) from the political and intellectual establishment.

Meanwhile, this precondition was crucial for the success of the Russian leftist movement. In the Russian Empire, it originated from a shift in the thinking in the system of justice: in 1878, Anatoly F. Koni, the brightest lawyer of that time, convinced the court to acquit Vera Zasulich, a student who performed an armed assault on St. Petersburg Mayor Fyodor Trepov. Justifying the act of terror, committed by an attractive young lady from a revolutionary cell that sentenced Mr. Trepov to death for authorizing whipping of a prisoner, the Russian intelligentsia paved the way to the unleashing epidemic of terror. One more act to be mentioned in the same logic was the decision of the first Provisional Government (March 1917) to free thousands of prisoners, including both radical revolutionists and convicted robbers.

Similarly, a decisive shift in public views happened in 1987, when General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachov initiated a campaign of "repentance" (otherwise known as "the era of mercy") that resulted, particularly, in liberation of a few dozens of liberal dissidents along with "victims of persecution for economic reasons".

Parallels between Gorbachevism in the USSR and Obamanism in the United States have been indicated by authors of this website and other Russian authors. The most striking similarity between USSR-1987 and US-2009 is the decision to liberate all the prisoners of the Guantanamo penitentiary. Astonished conservative observers express anxiety, but their voices are unheard in the euphoria of "change" and "hope".

The first robin of liberation, named Binyam Mohammed, was triumphantly met by his numerous fans in Heathrow on February 23. His popularity would be far smaller if the sufferings of the young Ethiopian were not regularly hyped by the intelligentsia from The Guardian and the Independent. Mohammed is very attractive. A slim youth with large dark eyes and long eyelashes, speaking of the brutal treatment he had undergone, reaps broad compassion and solidarity in hate towards the reported butchers.

Binyam Mohammed was detained in Pakistan in 2002 by US special forces in Western Pakistani highlands. Being suspected of a involvement in a plot of mass poisoning US servicemen and in mastering a "dirty nuclear bomb", he confessed of the first plan (the second charge was subsequently lifted). But today, he claims that the confession was made under torture: the investigators hung him upside down, he says, and cut his penis with a razor, later adding a substance that severed pain.

As Mr. Mohammed's family jewels remained intact, he looks even more attractive, especially after a hunger strike that made his figure slimmer and eyes larger. On his way to London, when the place with him and his team of lawyers, stopped at the CIA-secure Bahamas, Mr. Mohammed delivered a number of interviews to mass media, reporting of having been tortured not only by the CIA but by its British accomplices from MI-5.

Given the massive discredit of special services, comparable of that in Russia in 1903-04 and in the USSR in 1988-89, Mr. Mohammed's revelations are accepted by liberal journalists without a bit of doubt. In Britain, the role of Russian spy-searcher Vladimir Burtsev had been successfully fulfilled by retired operative Richard Tomlinson who disclosed dozens of names of MI-5 officers involved in special foreign missions.

Typically for the "age of mercy", verbal statements of the "prisoner of conscience" are reproduced in mainstream media without quotes and alienating tournures of indirect speech. The youth characterizes his mistreatment as "ordeal", and this term is printed in Guardian's headline Ц before any official scrutiny of even a due inquiry.

One more typical feature of the time is expressed in the doubts of the sober part of the reading audience that has not yet fallen under Mr. Mohammed's charms. Before looking into his eyes that irradiate his dream of vengeance, readers pose a naive question: what on earth was the young British citizen of Ethiopian origin doing in the highlands of Hindukush where his behavior seemed suspicious to US servicemen?

Speaking from Nassau, Mohammed promised to disclose the names of officials involved in torturing him. At Heathrow, his pathos somewhat calmed down: the MI-5 officers were not called by name. Mohammed's lawyer explains that his client has first to recuperate physically, and then mentally. Was he making his exposing statements in an unstable state of mind? Compassionate human right advocates don't raise this question.

The names of MI-5 "butchers" are now expected to be made public at the Supreme Court session in April. The judges are going to study materials received from the CIA. These materials, though "seriously redacted", as liberal authors insist (on what basis?), still contain the exchange between the two national intelligence services, and therefore the names. This awareness of advocates, as well as of Mohammed's team of lawyers, is strangely asymmetric. They cannot definitely say whether the involved service was Mi-5 or MI-6. Mr. Mohammed thanks Foreign office representatives for his liberation, but the blame for the cover-up is laid upon Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

Mr. Mohammed says that physical tortures were not so painful for him as the revelation that particular British servicemen who interrogated him in Pakistan "appeared to be allied" with the CIA. He realized this in Morocco, where he was delivered from Pakistan in 2004. Was the 25-year-old Ethiopian a person of such a high importance that the British officers followed him to Morocco? And why, generally, did he admit that they represented British and not US intelligence?

Human right advocates don't raise these issues. They are focused on the very fact of cooperation between the British Mi-5 and MI-6, the CIA and the notorious Pakistani ISI (Inter-Service Intelligence) that Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a passionate British liberal journalist of Hindu-Ugandan origin, says to be closely allied with Al Qaeda. At least from her father's Ismailian relatives, Mrs. Alibhai-Brown surely knows that Pakistan has got no foreign intelligence service except ISI, and therefore, US and British servicemen have no alternative professional agency there to communicate with.

Thus, the intelligence community is in fact blamed by human right advocates for the very fact of its existence. This attitude perfectly reproduces the hate of Russian proletariat towards the Third (Guard) Department of the Imperial Chancellery, or the Gorbachov-time Democrats to KGB. "Off with the MI-6" Ц and that is all about the solution.


Binyam Mohammed's arrival at the "native" land (in fact, his citizenship is not fully registered) coincided with one more triumph of European liberal intelligentsia, inspired by Obama's "era of mercy": the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to pay a £2500 compensation of moral damage to radical Islamic preacher Omar Mahmud Osman, more famous under the nickname of Abu Qatada.

Abu Qatada, a citizen of Jordan, was granted British citizenship in 1993 as a refugee from a "dictatorial" regime of United Arab Emirates. Since that time and until 2005, he had been safely making use of the Western hospitality for broad propagandist activities, dissemination of radical Sunni (Salafite) literature, and raising funds for various revolutionary enterprises aimed at unification of the Ummah for reconstruction of the Great Caliphate. From London, he encouraged Ц morally and materially Ц the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) and its more radical offshoot, Salafite Group of Preaching and Combat (GSPC) in Algeria, and the Tunisian Combat Group in Tunisia. He instructed his Egyptian disciples to assassinate police officials along with their families.

The Themis of the Thames collected courage to isolate Abu Qatada only in 2005 when one of the organizers of a series of explosions in London identified him as his religious teacher. At the moment of arrest, Abu Qatada was carrying a sum of $170,000, some of this cash being packed in a parcel with a notice "For the Mujahideen of Chechnya".

Abu Qatada's public statements were so radical that even the notorious preacher Abu Hamza preferred to alienate himself from them. His texts, exhaling religious hatred, were found during a search in the New York flat of Mohammed Atta, while one more Al Qaeda suspect, Jamal al Fadl, identified him as "a member of the Fatwa Committee", while Spanish police believes him to be the leader of the whole European network of Al Qaeda.

By the time of arrest, Abu Qatada had been persecuted by police bodies of five nations. This fact did not prevent the British Immigration Court from releasing him on bail. In half a year, he was again detained for violating bail conditions by trying to escape from Britain. Eventually, the House of Lords' Law Committee approved his extradition to Jordan, where he is officially accused of planting a bomb at a government office on the eve of the Millennium celebration in 2000 (the assembly qualified by him as betrayal of Islam). In a few days, however, the EHRC recognized his arrest in London as an unjustified assault on his individual rights for travel, and ruled to pay this well-to-do personality a generous compensation.

"A good week for psychopaths", summarizes Rod Liddle in his Sunday Times column. His ironical piece under this title is likely to arouse a full-scale political scandal on the eve of the Supreme Court's hearings.


Rod Liddle shook the audience rather with style than with facts he discussed. Reciting a media story about a fat rat, tolerated by vendors at a Chinese market but "brutally" captured and mercilessly eaten by a certain Mr.Xian, he deliberately hurts the feelings of liberal and environmentalist intelligentsia and its relevant Obama-adoring mouthpieces. From the next phrase, the reader realizes that his intent was not to offend the Chinese but to associate the image of the parasitizing rodent with a particular type of a British liberal politician: in a most refined version, a hysterical and hyperactive lady, easily corruptible but pathetic; voting for the Iraq war but shedding crocodile tears over supposed victims of ethnic persecution; advocating gay and lesbian rights but at the same time sympathizing with fundamentalist Moslem preachers.

The logic of development of Rod Liddle, a former speechwriter for top Labor Party politicians and a liberal observer, into the author of a sobering documentary "Immigration as a Timebomb" including an interview with British National Party boss Nick Griffin, is not new for Russians. One of the most talented Russian journalists of the late XIX century, Victor Burenin, started his public activity in a group of "nihilists" and eventually shifted to caustic criticism of the liberal and socialist movement. The shift happened to him in late 1870s, at the sight of transformation of the liberal camp into an advocacy of terror and subversion with increasing foreign support. Curiously, one of Burenin's numerous satirical pseudonyms imitated a Circassian last name and was used to ridicule the emerging separatist movement.

The split between British liberal urban and conservative anti-immigrant provincial community attitudes, reflected particularly in the recent piece of William Rees-Mogg, contributes to the above described similarity of an opening abyss, this time in a global dimension. Nothing is new on the Earth, and in liberal thinking particularly. "The Russian intelligentsia has been weeping and slivering over the oppressed class, and no wonder that this class eventually mounted its neck", said one of the characters of Sholokhov's "Quiet Don", the only book that deserved the Noble Prize and broadest recognition in Soviet Russia, becoming as classical as the novels of Nikolay Leskov, chastised in 1860s for his irony over liberals. The mission of a political realist Ц not an alarmist but a keen and sober diagnostic Ц is never pleasant at the time of the concentrating troubles the nation comes across; he tends to be unheard, despised and neglected, but after the troubles are over, eventually highly appreciated by the surviving successors.

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