Friday, February 23, 2007

Why are you writing politics...

"Lenin's Speech to the Party Congress"
Benyamin Ladyzhensky, 1964
Wow, 25 below zero is real. I am not sure I know exactly the conversion between Fahrenheit and Celsius, but I think I remember that somehow the number is about the same at this level.

Went out today with the girl to do a little shopping. She seems to love it really, the cold. She was happy as a clam smiling at everyone, pointing out the birds and the trees. She toddles along pretty well on the ice as well. No one working at the market for fear of frost bite and my girl is singing and dancing. I love it.

This has been an interesting week. The website has taken up most of my time. I think I have most of the bugs worked out of it and added in a section which sort of explains what is going on. There is also a section for essays and such, but I am not sure if this one that I am writing right now should go up there or not.

One interesting thing I got into this week was some conversations on other websites. I was commenting and got into it pretty hard about socialism, which was not what I had in mind. Or maybe it was. The very last letter I got this week simply asked me why I was writing politics. Maybe they were simply quoting that essay I wrote about the two university students who got kicked out for getting arrested at a political rally. Or maybe they were just wondering why I was pushing my luck by writing about such things in Belarus.

About that latter I have a theory that might not make sense to a hard core oppositionist, but it does to me. The theory goers that I am not writing to inflame anyone here, not am I writing against the government, therefore no one has any reason to want to take me down. This means the Belarus people of course.

Now for sure, it is NOT that I am writing what I am writing because I am afraid of any consequences; I am writing what I believe to be true. This is not to say that I am against free speech or about suppressing the media. Far from it, I want this. I am also not against democracy or small business. I very much want these things. But all in all I do feel that I am for the regime because I don't believe in our opposition or how they do their job and I do believe that Lukashenka has the best interests of Belarus at heart. Simple as that.

"Lenin Adressing the Komsomol"
Yuri Smirnov 1968
Why I don't like the opposition is simple: They never say anything other than to complain, make scandals and repetitiously slander the president. To me this means that they, like their euro-backers are nothing but empty promises to Belarus. To my eyes they never offer any new ideas, address any real issues nor ever, ever attempt to make specific point about specific issues other than that we should allow Europe in and they are the panacea.

I mean if Milinkevich has all of these high flying Euro-buddies, why doesn't he just GET US a couple of contracts for tractors and such? Why do we need to go with him BEFORE he does anything for the country? Why should Belarus accept his WORD that thing would be better? Just do it already! To me this would be a really great man. But as it is, you know, I only see this as more and more noise.

Lukashenka on the other hand worked his butt off for a year trying to get Russia to cut Belarus a break. He has since New Years been talking to everyone he could possibly talk to trying to get Belarus a break. He has been willing to allow himself to be interviewed by the foreign press. The Germans at least dealt with him kindly, saying he was an intelligent man, which he is, and allowing a soft and open hand. Reuters however, after treating Belarus fairly in their coverage of the country for months (they were one of my trusted sources in fact), decided to crucify the man when they finally got he call to come and talk. A third interview with Russian "Zaftra" must have been made in clinical shock.

But in any case, the man has been working whereas Milinkevich is all talk. I know that the EU has its agenda as does the US, we all know this, but I'm standing with the president in all of this because I believe that he is doing exactly the job he has been asked to do. I do want some more money for Belarus. I do want a better life for Belarus. But I simply do not believe it is Lukashenka who is strangling the country; I think it is the countries that are in fact using economic sanctions and trade barriers against Belarus that are strangling her. To me the argument that goes "OK, I have my hands on your throat and you will die if you don't agree to kiss me and say I love you." is, again and again and again, fascism. And I don't want that for Belarus' future.

A guy holding together a tiny country made up of communists that votes 83% to stay together makes sense to me. A guy who only convinced 6% of Belarus that the people on the other side of the fence who have been screaming at you and calling you names for a decade and a half does not. And if it doesn't make sense to you, this is only because you refuse to see it or allow that perhaps there are different views than your own.

So this has been what has been going on here. But you know, about this communist argument, do you really find it so hard to believe that it is impossible for a group of people to democratically agree to vote themselves communal? Or for communists to vote democratically for what suits them best? I personally don't have any conflict with this thought. I mean, anything is possible, right.

So let me leave you with that thought and wish all a happy weekend.

More soon…