I was surprised to read Mr. Jason Blake’s reprimand among the letters in TGI (June 20). The letter is the continuation of the Western mainstream media’s overblown and misguided Russophobia in blaming Councilmember Cowden for her participation in a local, history-related, short trip to Russia with a delegation.
It is simply an insult to the intelligence of not only Ms. Cowden, but also of all members of the delegation. One can only fantasize when dozing in an armchair about the ways the Russians would sway the tiny group of intelligent and educated Hawaiians and Americans during the two days of consultation. It is total nonsense.
Has Mr. Blake ever been to Russia to get to know the hard-working Russian people who love their country and even love their president and why they do it? Did he ever try to make friends with them or learn what makes them happy and unhappy sometimes? Or perhaps he refrained from going there being afraid of the undue influence by the Russian government? I seriously doubt it.
Due to my job I have been in Russia 16 times, and have seen many places there, talked to many Russians from all facets of life on the streets and in their homes about their joy, happiness and concerns, too, and they never tried to influence me.
Don’t bother with the Mueller report. Instead ask your fellow Hawaiians and Americans how many of them experienced being personally and directly influenced by the Russians before the elections.
I asked more than 100 of them here and elsewhere, and none of them experienced any; they only read about it. So, for them and for me it is just hearsay. Or perhaps Mr. Blake presumes that the Russians are so smart, and the Americans and Hawaiians are so dumb, that we can be influenced without noticing it? That’s what his reprimand implies.
But I am not surprised, because the American media hardly ever published any good news about Russia and the Russians during the past 20 years, but always negative things, which is the typical way of demonization. Unfortunately, only a fool believes that the 144 million Russian citizens living in their country of 6.3 million square miles see there is no progress and there is no happiness. Yes, there is, and the American politicians and media bosses know it, too, but that seems to have become unfit to publish, because that would be a strange beauty mark on the face of the demon. And that would sway away people from the impact of the Russophobic propaganda.
By the way, the incidence of power-grid attacks described by Mr. Blake appears in The New York Times (nyti.ms/2FdpKV1) on June 15, 2019, with a huge difference; with these words: … the United States had planted “crippling malware” inside of Russia’s power grid “with an aggressiveness that had never been tried before. That’s heck of a good peacemaking, isn’t it?
Therefore, we should praise all those who attempt to improve international relationship between nations, and this delegation is one of them.
Instead of diligently wiping out the word “peace” from our dictionaries and vocabularies we should send groups of our students and young adults, too, to Russia, China, Cuba, North Korea and Iran for people-to-people exchanges to learn the truth about those countries, meet their people, make friends and peace with them.
Maybe we can learn something there that will make the future happier for our next generation here when the U.S. attempt to make America great by embargoing, sanctioning and punishing other nations fails.
János Keoni Samu is a resident of Kalaheo.