BOSTON (CBS) – George Orwell is one of my favorite writers, especially for his depiction of the modern-day “Orwellian” state, propelled by over-the-top propaganda, disinformation and flat-out denial of the truth.
And when it comes to being Orwellian, it’s hard to top Russia, where the oxymoronically-named Russian Human Rights Commissioner has offered up some unrequested analysis of the situation in Ferguson.
Apparently with a straight face, this guy is criticizing the US for its racial problems, urging us to “try to solve them via legal constitutional practices rather than unjustified and inadequate violence.”
Sounds like a good idea, but consider the source.
Let’s take a look at the latest report from the group Human Rights Watch on Russia, where the Putin regime is continuing a “crackdown on civil society and government critics” that began in earnest two years ago.
Free speech rights, gay rights, even the rights of the disabled and dying are routinely violated by Russian authorities or thugs acting with their blessing. Peaceful efforts to push back are violently squelched.
And let’s not forget the violent annexation of Crimea and the slaughter of innocents aboard that commercial airliner by Putin proxies.
According to the International Human Rights Rank Indicator, which measures a wide range of violations, the US has the world’s 18th-best record, numerically just outside the top ten; Russia ranks 48th, in a virtual tie with China.
Where would you rather live?
Say what you will about America’s warts, but Russia has absolutely no business lecturing anyone about rights, the law or violence.
Orwell would be impressed, and appalled.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: