In the Jan. 14, 2017 issue of TGI, a scandalous writing was presented as National View to the readers from Georgie Anne Geyer under the title, “Hatred for west ingrained in Russia’s history.” The article is a shortened version of her article published under the same title in the Albany Herald the day before and a slightly modified version of her writing also under the same title on January 10, 2017 in the internet blog Uexpress.
The article is widely misleading about the presumed hatred of Russians toward the West. If it indeed represents the national view as presented, it is bad news for the American nation, because it is false and fearmongering.
The writer claims that in the relationship between Russia and the United States “there is no fixing, not resetting and no redoing” plus that Russia is not flexible, not malleable and not changeable.
She goes even further in her speculations wondering how Russia has chosen Putin to rule it forgetting that she can also wonder how Trump was elected — by the will of the people. The huge difference is that most Russians speak about their president with respect, just like they speak about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump with respect.
This shows that it wasn’t hatred that was ingrained in the Russians, but rather respect toward elders, their leaders and the leaders of other nations as well. I know: it is in sharp contrast with the current American culture – which no longer seems to practice respect forgetting that leaders of nations — even if they act contrary to selfish American interests — have a large load on their shoulders.
The most outrageous statement from Ms. Geyer is that the leader of the East wants to destroy the leader of the West. I have the courage to state that it is an outrageous lie and my statement is based on my experience, because during the past 50 years I have been in Russia at least 16 times and I talked to people from all segments of life — teachers, peasants, miners, soldiers, professors, politicians, engineers etc. and not only in the capital, but all over Russia and formerly in the Soviet Union, from Leningrad to Murmansk, from Arkhangelsk to Novosibirsk.
I have even been places where I was not allowed to be officially. While the majority of my travels in Russia were business trips as a technical interpreter, I to visited there with my family privately as well. I speak their language, I learned their culture and we enjoyed their hospitality. I visited Russian factories, schools, and also stayed in their homes, ate their food and we talked freely. I understood their concerns, and I saw their happiness too. Yes, the Russians have some problems, but less than the Americans do. Alas, show me a country that has no problems!
There was, however, one thing that always stood out both 50 years ago and even recently — all Russians on every level of life were firm in not wanting war, although they were ready to defend their homeland if attacked. The Russians never failed to mention that that they had lost an awful lot of their people during the wars, and they don’t want those miseries again. Most of them admire the achievements of the West, but they are confident that in time and in peace they can do better.
Ms. Geyer is jumping on the bandwagon of those who are leading the witch hunt against Donald Trump trying to discredit his election victory by saying that the Russian leadership influenced the Americans’ election by revealing some hacked truth from the e-mails of the Democrats. I know; the 17 intelligence agency in the US claim proof of the Russian hacking — unrevealable though to the public — but I vividly remember General Powell’s presentation at the UN Security Council showing the map with the locations of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, confirmed by the same 17 intelligence agency of the US, which as you know turned out to be false.
Ms. Geyer was introduced to us as a foreign correspondent. In her sketchy autobiography on the web she claims to speak Russian too. I don’t know if she does or doesn’t, but it appears to me that either she has never been to Russia and not reading even the Russian newspapers or she is deliberately depicting the Russians as a threat to America serving knowingly the neocons who always look for a new enemy to secure the prosperity and dominance of the American military hardware complex.
With some sketchy details about the Mongolian invasion she is trying to convince us that hatred for the West is ingrained in the Russian society, but she is conveniently forgetting about the French influence in Russia invited by Peter the Great and nurtured further by Catherine II.
So her writing is definitely misleading you and the world. We don’t need to go back for centuries in history; instead we need to learn more about the culture of the Russians. One way to do this is to travel to Russia, meet the Russian people, talk to them, find out how they live now, and what their dreams and their values are. This is a better way to assure that the specter of hatred will not find home on our shores.
János Keoni Samu is a Kalaheo resident.