Praise due councilwoman instead of reprimand

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 ( 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.

  1. Carol July 20, 2019 8:09 am Reply

    Mahalo for sharing your thoughts and experiences about the people of Russia. We worked with a group of Russian people for three years during a global ballooning project in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the beginning of which was still the Cold War. After the coup, which happened while we were working together, we saw first-hand some of what these people have been dealing with for many, many years. Vladimir was a general, cosmonaut and head of their cosmonaut training center; his monthly salary went from somewhat comfortable to the equivalent of buying a coat. His wife Lilia, a teacher, could only but a kilogram of cheese. When I asked them how they, as a people, survive the wars, dictators, famine and genocide, they responded that they take care of one another. They have gardens and are close to the land, even those who live in the city. I found them to be very much like the good people of Kaua’i. We all need to look beyond ourselves and the fear that is being fed to us and understand that there are many good people in all nations who have the same needs as we do.

  2. steve July 20, 2019 12:51 pm Reply

    This letter is right up there with “I can see Russia from my house.” I’ve been to mainland China several times (really) and not once did they censor my emails, confiscate my reading materials or try to get me to quote from Chairman Mao’s little red book— I guess that means everything’s ok! We can disband the UN, take down those satellites, get rid of our nukes and retire the military. …Oh, and throw out the Mueller Report! (And while we’re at it get rid of Mainstream Media!) …Ok to goodwill trips. Not ok to foreign meddling on the part of Russian state actors doing the bidding of the ruling kleptocratic criminal enterprise that stole the Russian peoples’ wealth. Promoting the first while prosecuting the second aren’t mutually exclusive enterprises.

  3. Negating July 20, 2019 3:08 pm Reply

    Negating the facts that Russia and its state Dept committed cyber crimes and colluded with Facebook to steal the USA presidential election should not be considered simple hearsay.

    Kauai and the state of Hawaii feels like they are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and don’t feel the effects of a unfit dictator is ludicrous.

    Open your eyes and see the destruction the stolen election has caused. You have a narrow minded approach on something that has hurt so many.

    Do not discredit or discount the many issues that has occurred during the theft of an election by Russian oligarchs.

  4. Lana Anderson July 21, 2019 10:49 am Reply

    János Keoni Samu on behave of Russian-Kauaiian Association and Russian Community would like to THANK YOU for this absolutely wonderful article.
    We hope for the best relationship between Our nations.

  5. Rev Dr. Malama July 24, 2019 12:32 pm Reply

    Yicks! JANOS SAYS ” Don’t bother with the Mueller report” and LANA SAYS “on behalf of the Russian-Kauaiian Association and the Russian people”….. SENT RED LIGHTS OFF IN MY BRAIN SO I took the liberty of looking up who you are and where your loyalty stands….
    Others may do the same by reading all about you on your Facebook page and Google bios.
    I for one believe that the Mueller report is one of the most important issues of our Country’s politics in regard to Russia interference and my own personal experience of living 66 years as an American and now Hawai’ian Kingdom subject on Kauai….. I see foreign investors who are displacing our local people and cultures at an alarming rate.
    A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf and I’m calling foul and fraud on no collusion!

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