Russia 3, Greenpeace 2.

GP02

I like the Russians. You spend enough time studying a foreign people, you sort of fall in love with them, because that’s the beginning of understanding them and their country in any real sense. The accent is on liking the people rather than the leadership, who’re what you’re supposed to be focusing on. Despite how brutal their leadership has been at times, it mostly reflects their citizen’s take on things, especially when it comes to foreign relations.

There’s a well-founded tradition in Russia of being suspicious of any foreigners and their intentions with regard to Mother Russia. It possibly started after the Russian revolution of 1917, when the Western Powers ganged up to invade them in some sort of quixotic effort to restore the hated Romanov dynasty and get Russia back into the war. The only foreigner Stalin ever trusted was Hitler, which is why he went into catatonic shock for the three days following the German surprise invasion of 1941 when operation Barbarossa was on a roll. When you add in nearly fifty years of cold war hostility and more recently the scandalous asset stripping by foreign firms that went on in the aftermath of the USSR’s demise, it’s not difficult to have sympathy with their viewpoint.

Greenpeace’s foray into Russian business in the Arctic and Putin’s reaction to it, is a classic example of a Russian leader telling foreigners in no uncertain terms where to get off, much to the approval of his domestic audience. Contrary to popular opinion and whether you like it or not, he’s very popular there, with approval ratings that move in a range of 65% to 81%, numbers most Western politicians would kill for.

He served in the KGB for over fifteen years, rising to lieutenant colonel, no easy feat believe you me. He wrestles bears bare-chested, led them successfully through two overt wars and a number of covert ones, showed off his martial arts skills to the Japanese on a state visit there, does white water boating, attends all the main Russian Orthodox Church holy days, is an accomplished pianist and even does a good impression of an Ivan Rebroff type of singing style. They just love their little Vladdie to bits.

Best of all as far as the average Russian is concerned, he’s running rings around the West and of course he is. From a position of relative weakness, he’s been giving a master class in foreign policy to the current American administration and more particularly Barack Obama, without a doubt the weakest President since Jimmy Carter. Put face to face up against Putin, Obama blinks every time.

He wanted to bomb his way into the fratricidal mess that Syria has become but Putin stopped him dead in his tracks and then left him slinking out of the UN with his tail between his legs looking for some face-saving compromise, which Putin obligingly provided him with. What passes for a government in Syria was always under Russian protection and the message to similar but possibly unpopular countries, is that Russia honours its commitments to its small allies and more importantly can stop America attacking them. Without Russian intervention, Syria would by now be on the receiving end of a hail of smart bombs. That plays well with small countries fearful of a superpower with an unpredictable and erratic foreign policy.

The US traitor Edward Snowden was supposed to be stuck in a Russian airport temporarily before frantically fleeing on to another country which would dare to give him protection against American opposition. Of course, Putin let him in not only for the sensitive intelligence he undoubtedly traded with the Russians to save his ass, but also not missing the opportunity to yet again give Obama one up the rear in the full view of world opinion.

Snowden negotiated other people’s lives away for sanctuary and to escape a life sentence back home in America, something his fanboys pointedly choose to ignore. If you seriously believe he sat in the international lounge for three weeks doing anything other than that, you’re very innocent. Being a patriot, I can’t find the words to describe such a creature as that, but no doubt there’ll be people who continue to believe him to be some sort of crucified saint but in my view he managed to get one step lower than Hanoi Jane Fonda.

Compared to those two incidents, which potentially had major foreign policy implications if handled clumsily, slinging a few Greenpeace activists into prison for the next fifteen years is barely beneath his notice. Not only that, since his own people don’t give a damn about western environmentalists and Russia is habitually indifferent to hostile foreign opinion anyway, it’s all win-win stuff with no downside for Gospodin Putin.

The only government to lodge a meek protest was the Dutch, because they were obliged to since that was where the Arctic Sunrise is registered, but when you stop to consider the Russians had been protesting to that very same government for the preceding months about the activities of Greenpeace with the boat, that protest was noted, filed and forgotten ten minutes after it was received. Foreign governments will simply go through the motions of consular access once every few months and after the initial furore dies down, once a year, if that.

Abroad, there’s been no great rush to storm Putin’s Winter Palace to get the imprisoned ecowarriors released. Indeed, the comments under articles by the self-appointed climate crusader organs of the MSM who’ve bothered to give the story some space, have not been supportive to say the least. Even on the greenish side of the climate divide, Greenpeace are widely perceived as a bunch of trust fund hooligans just chasing self-serving headlines, with no regard to anything other than their egos, publicity and pumping up the donations. The general feeling is they’re finally getting the slap they’ve been needing for years and the Ruskies are just the boys to deliver it. Apart from a few fading C list celebs who need the PR, there’s little or no popular sympathy for them.

In short, not many people in Russia or abroad give a damn about the self-inflicted predicament of the new age pirates and the ones who should, Greenpeace themselves, seem determined to martyr them for publicity and to shake out a shed load of donations from sympathisers. Holding a weekend of poorly attended protests outside Russia’s embassies is water off a duck’s back and Greenpeace’s Kumi Naidoo’s open letter offer of swapping himself for all of the imprisoned was not ever a serious offer, since he always knew it would cast the Russians in the totally unacceptable role of hostage takers he was bravely negotiating with. What’s being progressed there is his ego, not getting people out.

At the end of the previous article on this issue I posed the question – Are Greenpeace ready to sacrifice their own foot soldiers for a futile PR gesture? Patently, the answer to that is yes.

It goes against the grain to offer this advice but if I were someone trying to get a loved one home from Murmansk, the last people I’d trust would be Greenpeace. Work directly through whatever bilateral consular arrangements are in place there for your country. The whole issue barely lasted on Putin’s agenda for two minutes before he made a decision and he’s already moved on to things of greater importance. You’re now dealing with a Kafkaesque Russian legal bureaucracy, so nothing will happen unless you figure out a bone you can throw them. If you need the hint hammer, since Greenpeace has sold your loved ones out …

I advanced the score to Russia 3, Greenpeace 2, simply because in reply to the latter’s weak responses, the Russians apparently discovered a quantity of illegal drugs on the impounded ship. They can keep adding charges until the methane-farting cows come home. When you look at the footage of activists repeatedly ramming a coastguard boat and then consider the survival time of a man overboard in arctic seas is measured in minutes, that’s an easy attempted murder charge.

They can even ramp it up further by declaring Greenpeace to be a terrorist organisation within Russia, an idea which is already being floated in some of their media – echoes of the old Izvestia and Pravda days. If that happens, all those intelligence sharing gentlemen’s agreements in the fight against global terrorism will have to be balanced against who actually gives a damn about Greenpeace anyhow.

Life can get very difficult when you end up on certain watch lists. For instance, when you’re an international bank transferring billions of Roubles for the Russian government and they point out you’ve got accounts for an organisation they have legally declared to be terrorists, whose business gets refused? A government or company in the habit of donating money to Greenpeace and wanting to chase Russian business won’t be able to both. Any project or organisation receiving funding from Greenpeace won’t be able to operate inside the Russian’s sphere of influence.

I’ve absolutely no problem watching Greenpeace’s own arrogance escalating a setback to the point where they become an international pariah organisation.

Take a look at the picture accompanying this article. They’re activists destroying a genetically modified crop that’s taken years to develop and the researchers have pleaded with them on bended knees not to do it. Every time they do that, it takes the whole project back one growing season. Over the years, Greenpeace have organised many such demonstrations and brought along their own media people to capture the happy event. When militant environmentalism goes into the dustbin of history, and it will, such wanton acts of senseless destruction will end but for now it creates a gap.

That gap is the time between when things like Golden Rice should have reached the people who truly need it and when they’ll actually get it. Those crop-destroying people are on a feel-good ego trip and blissfully ignorant of things like the million kids a year that VAD needlessly claims due to their efforts. At the end of the day, our real job as skeptics is to make that gap smaller, nothing more.

In my heart of hearts, I consider what’s happening in that picture to be murder. If the only rough justice available is thirty of their fellow minions doing time in Russia, well, at least it’s something, because none of those bastards in the picture above will ever face a judge or jury for what they’ve done.

©Pointman

Related articles by Pointman:

Russia 2, Greenpeace 1.

The big green killing machine: What is VAD?

The decline of the environmental lobby’s political influence.

Click for a list of other articles.

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Comments
33 Responses to “Russia 3, Greenpeace 2.”
  1. Lord Galleywood says:

    A Brilliant post, many thanks.

  2. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    Another great post from you, slapping Greenpeace round the ears, and it’s certain the Russians were the wrong people for the Greens to challenge to an arm wrestle.

    Meanwhile, on this side of the planet, over a hundred wildfires are burning around Sydney and the central coast towns on the eastern seaboard. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been lost and, as happens in our annual ‘fire season’, people are struggling to come to terms with the loss of their homes and livelihoods, pets and possessions, fearing for the safety of family and friends.

    In the midst of the conflagration yesterday, as volunteer firefighters risked life and limb in the service of their communities, the Federal Parliament’s only Green MP tried a little Green point-scoring ….

    “Greens MP Adam Bandt tries to make political mileage out of fires”

    http://www.news.com.au/national-news/greens-mp-adam-bandt-tries-to-make-political-mileage-out-of-fires/story-fncynjr2-1226741900565

    “This is what global warming in Australia looks like and it’s going to mean more fires happening more often and some of them more severe when they happen.”

    New Prime Minister Abbott’s legislation to repeal our Carbon Dioxide Tax has not even been presented to Parliament yet and we are still paying Mother Gaia’s blood money, but still our volatile forests burn.

    Community response to the Greens has been swift and sure and though their leader, ex-school-marm Christine Milne waffles and bleats about the catastrophic climate future Abbott is plunging us into, people are responding with anger and derision for anything Green.

    The fact is that regular controlled hazzard-reduction burns need to be carried out in the cooler months to prevent the build-up of scrub and fuel. This has been carried out by our indigenous people for thousands of years with hunting and cooking fires and such forest management has been emulated by modern communities for generations …. until the Greens.

    They have prevented such precautionary measures on the grounds that it is a threat to wildlife, causes polluting smoke haze, releases carbon into the atmosphere and contributes to CAGW. As a result, when fires inevitably break out they burn hotter, bigger and, without firebreaks allowed to be cut around residential areas, roar uncontrolled in every direction.

    It’s only the inner-city cafe latte sippers who still give the Greens any credence whatsoever, so let’s hope this is the year that will see the Greens finally sink in ignominy and disgrace as they so richly deserve.

    • meltemian says:

      Thanks for the link Swanny, I was thinking it was early for the bush fires to strike but apparently it’s not unusual in that area. I was remembering Ozboy’s situation last January but that was in Tasmania.

      http://libertygibbert.com/2013/01/15/tales-of-an-aussie-refugee/

      • Blackswan says:

        G’day Mel – while Sydney has suffered hot westerly winds from the central desert and low humidity, Tasmania has had southern blasts from the Antarctic with snow on our highlands, rain and freezing winds for weeks.

        Imagine, if only we’d paid Mother Gaia a little more cash she might have spared people such angst. In these equinoxial gales the wind turbines won’t work either so the Green Hysterics have little credibility these days and only got 8% of the national vote in the recent elections, so we’re heading in the right direction…. at last.

    • PaulW says:

      I feel that the deliberate blocking of hazard reduction burns via red and green tape is part of a larger strategy. By letting the fuel load increase fires will be worse, unmanageable and as a result an agenda of “look global warming is here” can be established. What better marketing tool than the front page of a local paper covered in desperate fire stories.

      Speaking from experience, the back of our property (bush) had not been burnt for some considerable time. When the RFS (Rural Fire Service) finally got permission the fire was over hot and as a result killed many trees. Through losing the trees and understory we have had an invasion of weeds including lantana.

      For those not familiar with Australian bush, it is genetically disposed to burn. In fact some of the gum trees shed bark as “streamers”, from their branches, specifically to catch fire. There are certain seeds that need the heat and/or ash of a fire to open and germinate their seed pods.

      So by the deliberate policy of refusing hazard reduction burns we end up with conflagrations that kill the native vegetation (let alone the fauna) and allow the invasive weeds in. So any body who opposes burns is in fact, deliberately, killing the Australian bush, and is responsible for the loss of property and worse of all the loss of life.

  3. DirkH says:

    “It possibly started after the Russian revolution of 1917, when the Western Powers ganged up to invade them in some sort of quixotic effort to restore the hated Romanov dynasty and get Russia back into the war.”

    You are ignoring the 5 years of civil war of the Bolsheviks against the White Russians. The Bolsheviks were Wall Street sponsored. The Romanovs actually had a rather advanced civilisation running. USA wanted to destroy the competition. See Anthony Sutton.

    ” The only foreigner Stalin ever trusted was Hitler, which is why he went into catatonic shock for the three days following the German surprise invasion of 1941 when operation Barbarossa was on a roll. ”

    Oh come on. The Bolsheviks tried to take Germany via their German communist proxies Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg and 6 million communists in Germany in 1918 already and were defeated NOT by the passive elected SPD government but by the nationalist free corps; WW I vets.

    Similarly Stalin always planned to take Eastern Europe including as much of the German Reich as he could. And if there was ONE thing Stalin NEVER did, was TRUST anyone.

    He actually knuckle-bended the Nazis into accepting the secret protocol of the Nazi-Soviet treaty, granting Stalin access to the Baltic states and Finland. It was a last minute surprise – Ribbentrop only signed it because there was no alternative at that moment for the Nazis.

    • DirkH says:

      Link; Anthony Sutton

    • DirkH says:

      And, there is so much more to say.
      look at Lenin’s NEP, when he restored a sort of capitalism for the peasant farmers because the bolshevik policies just led to a total collapse of productivity.

      Look at the Holodomor. (7 million Ukrainians starved to death by Stalin)

      Look at the Purge, which killed maybe 30 % of the population. (60% of the males, as it was actually performed in such a way that nearly only males were killed)

      Your characterization of western powers trying to restore the Romanov rule is opposite to what I found. The German Reich allowed Lenin to travel to Russia for the revolution; Woodrow Wilson made sure Trotzky could travel with 250 thugs to St Petersburg.

      The West MADE the USSR. Albert Kahn helped Stalin; building him 630 factories in the first 5 year plan; built by American and German companies, paid for with mineral concessions in Siberia.

      • DirkH says:

        Notice to the downvoters: I harbor no antipathy towards the Russians.If anyone was a victim of the historic developments it was the Russian people first. If you downvoters are fans of Stalin, though, I guess you can just go on downvoting me.

  4. DirkH says:

    “From a position of relative weakness, he’s been giving a master class in foreign policy to the current American administration ”

    Hmmm… why do you think the first thing Obama did during the troup build up was moving the carrier away from the destroyers, all the way through the Suez channel to the Red Sea…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-800_Oniks

    ….yeah that’s right the Russian SUPERSONIC cruise missile…

  5. pitor says:

    Вы понимаете. Старый враг или новый друг?

  6. Pointman says:

    Да. На оба вопроса. “Sorrow happens, hardship happens, the hell with it, who never knew the price of happiness, will not be happy” – Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

    Pointman

  7. Blackswan says:

    An Update:

    One thing is certain; neither the Greenpeace pirates nor their spouses are the sharpest tools in the shed.

    “THE wife of Tasmanian Greenpeace activist Colin Russell says she fears for his health as he faces at least another six weeks in a Russian jail.”

    http://www.themercury.com.au/news/wife-of-tasmanian-greenpeace-activist-colin-russell-fears-for-husbands-health/story-fnj4f7kx-1226742813657

    Late on Thursday night a Russian court refused bail for Mr Russell, 59, a marine radio operator with Greenpeace for the past 14 years.
    “After 25 years together, life feels surreal without Col … if I look to the future I can’t imagine being without him,” she said.
    “I worry about Col in jail. What we know is that he’s in a cell 23 hours a day, the food is poor and he’s lost weight. It’s not easy there and I know he’d want to be at home with us. The frustrating thing is having no personal contact, even a letter.”

    This twerp has been so devotedly attached to his missus that he’s spent the past 14 years getting away from her to roam the Seven Seas with Greenpeace chasing Japanese or Norwegian whaling ships and making a general nuisance of himself. It didn’t occur to her that having a 59 year old husband who behaved like an adolescent sea-going bandit was slightly “surreal”.

    If lack of ‘personal contact’ is so frustrating, perhaps they should have had a little chat about that before he left for the other side of the planet.

    Only another six weeks? Good luck with that Chrissy.

  8. meltemian says:

    Apparently Greenpeace have drafted in 11 Nobel Peace Laureates to plead their case:-

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/press/releases/Eleven-Nobel-Peace-Prize-winners-write-to-Russian-President-Vladimir-Putin-over-Greenpeace-case/

    I don’t imagine it will make any difference to the Russians.

  9. Pointman says:

    Pierre Gosselin over at NoTricksZone is tracking this story as well. I think it could run for years …

    http://notrickszone.com/2013/10/19/young-arctic-sunrise-activist-denied-bail-greenpeace-insists-its-the-moral-conscience-truth-of-the-planet/

    Pointman

  10. Reblogged this on Power To The People and commented:
    Greenpeace Activists Destroying Crops That Feed Poor People. Murder?

  11. A.D. Everard says:

    Any sympathy for Greenpeace and its gangs of thugs is wearing thin. Way back when it was all cuddly polar bears, it seemed a positive and supportive thing to put your hand in your pocket and toss in a few coins. Save the forest? Sure, why not. As the years have gone by, though, their hatred for human advancement and their political arrogance has shown through more and more. Now they’ve reached the level where first and foremost they “demand” whatever they want and have the temerity to expect it AND have the population fawn over them.

    They are living in a bubble of self-delusion. They might still get funding from green-businesses and green-governments, but funding from the man or woman on the street will be way down, and they have not paid attention to the message that brings. Not that they care, so long as Gang-Green still holds political power in most countries. The dough is rolling in.

    When Greenpeace met Russia head-to-head, I think Greenpeace expected the whole world to be behind them and to rise up in stout objection. Russia teaching them some manners is most certainly the slap upside the head they needed, and I hope the first of many. Maybe some other countries will now grow a pair and start standing up against eco-terrorism.

    I hope the Russians throw away the key. I really do. If the 30 get off lightly, they will be straight back into it, laughing all the way. Greenpeace will feel invincible and act as though it’s so. There will be no stopping them.

    Not one of the activists had a care for human health and safety. Had a Russian gone overboard, does anyone think those activists would have helped get him out again? Would they have thrown him a lifeline, or would they have cheered? Be honest, which is more likely?

    The reporters should not get off lightly, either, they are each activists, each after recording the “glorious achievements” of Greenpeace. They knew where they were going and what it was all about. Did they sit around the table arguing for the other 28 to see reason and not push past the warning given to them? Of course not! Pushing ahead was exactly what they lusted after. Capturing it all on film was what it was all about.

    And now they dare whinge about the repercussions?

    It’s time for all things Green to grow up and learn what responsibility means. Better still, it’s time for societies everywhere to scrape them off.

    I, for one, have had enough.

    • Graeme No.3 says:

      Greenpeace has always been at the extreme edge of the “environmental” movement, or at least I hope so as anyone more so would be murderous. They have never regarded truth or safety as an obstacle to their campaigns; the Brent case is merely one example, but with time many people have lost belief in their pronouncements.

      This is a classic case of overreach by an adversary desperate for a success to arrest the continuing slide in their control of the battleground. Putin does have a problem with these pirates as any deaths among them will cause enough outrage to re-fuel Greenpeace. It may well be that the obstinate approach from Naidoo is not mere stupidity or arrogance but based on goading Putin into jailing the pirates under severe conditions in the hope of such a loss. Certainly there is nothing in their previous campaigns to show any moderation or hesitation towards gaining from a sacrifice or two.

      I don’t expect that any of this crew will be free before Christmas or until the end of winter, as Putin holds the whip hand with gas supplies to Europe. After that he may decide to release some in dribs and drabs to gain support. Perhaps an agreement from the home country that the pirate serves out his/her sentence in his/her home country jail. In the meantime, if Greenpeace complains about the conditions of their confinement, he could ask Greenpeace to pay for some better conditions. If they didn’t contribute it would make them look heartless and uncaring, but if they did, it would be conceding that they had been legitimately jailed.

      One thing we would all agree on, is that this will run and run, and the longer it goes on the less will be any sympathy for Greenpeace. The public response will be increasingly Shakespearian “hoist with their own petard”.

      • A.D. Everard says:

        Hi Graeme,

        “Hoist on their own petard” is exactly right. Greens everywhere are in for a rude awakening, they seem oblivious to the fact that they are quite transparent now. I love how the world is onto them.

        As for what’s happening in Russia, I don’t think any deaths among the 30 will cause the outrage that Greenpeace would like, and while they might puff and pant, long prison terms would more likely affect their recruiting adversely. It’s one thing to climb a platform to “save the world” and then brag about it afterwards, it’s quite another to get locked away for a big chunk of your life. Some of the wanna-be activists after a bit of fun and daring will think again, and there will be families not so supportive of their kin teaming up with a terrorist organization.

  12. meltemian says:

    Only a little OT but I thought you might enjoy this:-

    HT Oz’

    • Blackswan says:

      Thanks Mel – that was a ripper.

      The fires are now the worst in NSW for 60 years – on a 300 km front across inaccessible mountain country, with a danger that 3 separate fires could join up and threaten the heavily populated mountain towns.

      Today the Govt gave unprecedented powers to firefighters to forcibly evacuate residents reluctant to leave their homes. And still the Greens are all bleating about CAGW being responsible and how a carbon tax would have saved the situation. It’s beyond lunacy.

      All the 100 fires in the state have been manmade, either by accident or arson. It is becoming increasingly likely that a major blaze was caused by the military who were engaged in demolition training with explosives only hours before a total fire ban was called.

  13. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    In an interview with CNN, the head of the UN’s climate change negotiations, Christiana Figueres, said on Monday that there was a clear link between climate change and bushfires such as those raging in New South Wales.
    Ms Figueres also warned that the Coalition government would pay a high political and financial price for its decision to scrap carbon pricing.

    In a radio interview our newly elected Prime Minister responded;

    ”Well I think the official in question is talking through her hat, if I may say so.”

    Mr Abbott batted away the comments on Wednesday, saying that Australia had had ”bad fires” since the beginning of European settlement.
    ”Climate change is real as I’ve often said and we should take strong action against it. But these fires are certainly not a function of climate change, they’re a function of life in Australia.”

    Excluded from this newspaper report is Abbott’s comment that fire has been an intrinsic part of the Australian landscape since human habitation as the aborigines used fire to “farm” the bush.

    Not to be shouldered aside in this ‘debate’ and struggling to remain relevant to anything, Greens Leader Christine Milne countered with;

    “Tony Abbott is the Prime Minister for science denialism. He thinks his opinion on global warming outranks the evidence of the best scientists in the world. It is arrogance in the extreme,” Senator Milne said in a statement.

    “The Prime Minister’s hubris on global warming will see Australia swelter and burn, and our people suffer.”

    Christine Milne said Mr Abbott had insulted Ms Figueres with his hat comment but that the real losers out of his “science denialism” were future victims of extreme fires, droughts and storms.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/un-official-talking-through-her-hat-on-bushfires-and-climate-change-says-tony-abbott-20131023-2w0mz.html

    This debate has raged for over a week now, with every news report linking CAGW with the fire threat. The ABC especially (the media arm of the Green Socialists) has paraded a succession of ‘climate scientists’ all chanting the Doomsday mantra of Armageddon because the Carbon Dioxide Tax is to be scrapped.

    They outdid themselves this evening by introducing that “Nobel Prize-winning Climate Expert” Vice President Al Gore. He likened Abbott’s stance on Climate to “those pliant politicians” in the thrall of the Tobacco industry. He didn’t suggest who the ‘vested interests’ in CAGW might be, certainly didn’t disclose his own mega-million dollar investments in promoting the Scam and significantly, neither did the dewy-eyed ABC ‘journalist’.

    Undoubtedly the UN’s Ms Figueres is bemoaning the imminent loss of their $10 billion annual share of the loot from the hated tax, though she would never be so crass as to mention it as most Australians have no idea of the UN’s carpetbagging involvement.

    With every day that passes it gets more difficult not to wish that Putin will deliver a major body blow to the Climate Hysterics by extending his hospitality to their footsoldiers for a few more years. I’d really like him to include Christine Milne in his guest list – preferably in Siberia.

  14. Pointman says:

    Signal from head of Greenpeace – “Russia is sending out a clear signal, saying ‘hands off our part of the Arctic and hands off complaining about our right to drill for oil there”

    Russian response will be?

    Pointman

    • Blackswan says:

      News this morning that Putin blinked. Pity about that. Downgrading charges from ‘piracy’ to ‘hooliganism’ is disappointing but it isn’t all bad news – it still carries a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison and it’s more likely they’ll lock up a few of them found guilty of the lesser charge.

      It’s a good thing that Putin happens to be standing on the very carpet under which Greenpeace would like their criminal behaviour swept. They should be grateful that Putin didn’t switch on his industrial-grade vacuum cleaner, fondly named … ‘Siberian Gulag’.

      • Graeme No.3 says:

        He didn’t blink.
        In chess terms he threatened a piece with his queen. Greenpeace supported the piece with a pawn (all they had available). Putin then moved his queen to pin the supporting pawn while still threatening the piece with a bishop (discovered move). While Greenpeace scramble to shore up the position he can make other moves unhindered.

        In real terms the Dutch Gov. tried to bring Russia into the Maritime Court. By dropping the piracy charges Putin can claim that there is no point in the hearing and by handing back the empty ship leave the Dutch Gov. nothing to argue about. Also, by dropping the piracy charges those who thought them too severe can now agree that hooliganism is an internal Russian affair. The noble, naive Nobel Prize winners will be by-passed.

        As I said above I don’t expect that any of this crew will be free before Christmas. After that he may decide to release some in dribs and drabs to gain support. But some of them will get heavy sentences to ram the point home to Greenpeace, who seem very slow on the up-take.

      • johanna says:

        +1

        As usual, Putin is the smartest person in the room. He’s an amoral jerk, but the Russians love him because he’s their amoral jerk, and is utterly unmoved by attempts to manipulate or blackmail him.

        There was an article a few days ago in the (UK) Independent, weeping and wailing about the nasty Russians. The comments were very telling – the Independent’s readers are inclined to support NGOs like Greenpeace. But an awful lot of them don’t have much sympathy for GP and its actions in this case.

        Indeed, this seems to be a real turning point for Greenpeace, who seem to be utterly blindsided by these events. The support they expected – from governments and the grassroots – has not materialised. They have become cut off from the masses to such an extent that the leadership made a colossal blunder, and they don’t know what to do about it. In public.

        It doesn’t really matter now what happens to the ship’s crew. The point has been made, and Greenpeace look like knaves and fools.

        Interestingly, a lot of the comments under the Independent’s article, and the one by the head of GP offering to settle the matter with Vladimir as two Men of the World – identified GP’s mindless campaign against GM food crops as another major blunder which lost them support even from committed environmentalists.

        Could we be witnessing the beginning of the demise of Greenpeace as a major player?

      • Graeme No.3 says:

        I missed the importance of the Winter Olympics in February. Obviously Greenpeace will call for a boycott, and probably be ignored, so Russia will be releasing at least some of the detainees before then. After 2 or 3 months in jail some may have their urge to protest very diminished.

        The “ring leaders” will probably get longer sentences to ram home the point to Greenpeace, but I expect they will be home for Christmas (2014).

  15. ROM says:

    Greenpeace is arguably amongst the greatest killers of all time which includes such notables Ghenghis Khan, Stalin , Mao Zedong who possibly holds the modern record with some 5 million plus deaths when the communists took over China plus perhaps another 30 to 40 millions in the g]ulags and the great man made famines of the Great Proletarian Revolutiuon and the even worse Great Leap Forward with it’s estimate 30 to 40 million deaths from starvation alone

    Then Stalin’s great purges and 1930’s man made famines with their never likely to be known but estimated 30 plus million deaths .
    Plus of course Hitler with at least 30 million dead to his record and Pol Pot, not the largest number at 3 million or so but the largest and most terrible in that it was 1 to 3 million out of a population of just 8 million.

    Greenpeace in it’s fight to get rid of DDT because it was supposedly making some raptor’s egg shells thinner so leading to death in the chicks in the eggs [ Reality was that greenpeace activists were scaling trees to the raptors nests on a very regular basis to supposedly inspect the eggs thereby creating extreme stress in the parent birds. Stress is known to lead to thinner shells in the raptor species and most species of birds ] is responsible for the premature and totally unnecessary deaths of some estimated 40 to 50 million people,[ UN estimates ] mostly small children and babies from Malaria over the last 40 years since greenpeace was the main instrumental force in getting the well proven against the malarial mosquito, the insecticide DDT banned.
    DDT is now once again in full production despite greenpeace’s attempts to again stop DDT production and is being used along with other insecticides to again slow down malaria where ever it occurs around the world.

    Then we have greenpeace’s all out attempts for the last couple of decades to prevent the growing of the Vitamin A producing Golden Rice which has the potential to save millions of rice eaters in Asia from sickness and blindness due to vitamin A deficiency caused by rice being very deficient in vitamin A.
    And for no other reason than Golden Rice has been genetically modified using genes from Maize, one of the world’s largest crops, and a very common soil micro organism to produce Beta carotene in rice which in the human body is converted to vitamin A .
    Beta carotene the same substance that gives carrots their orange color.
    For more information on Golden Rice which has been developed at the International Rice Institute [ IRRI ]in the Philippines which in turn is one of the half dozen world centres for mankind’s main food crops species

    Quoted from the abstract of a paper on vitamin A deficiency.

    <<<>>>>>

    THAT is the level of deliberate deaths that have been created by greenpeace’s pressure and activities to prevent the release of Golden Rice which was to be given to farmers for no costs as can be seen on the IRRI’s website.

    http://www.irri.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=10202&Itemid=100571&lang=en

    Plus the deaths from the banning of DDT due entirely to greenpeace’s pressure and activities.

    In all, possibly some 60 plus millions of avoidable and premature deaths of mostly small kids and infants have been due solely to greenpeace’s activies and opposition to a few very safe chemicals which have the proven capability of giving life and a much better life at that to hundreds of millions of the poorest and weakest on this planet.
    Greenpeace is totally responsible together with a couple of other so called environmental organisations for the unnecessary deaths of perhaps as many as sixty million people over the last 40 years let alone the entirely unnecessary ill health of hundreds of millions of other ordinary people, a criminal murderous toll that if it had occurred with any other organisation would have led to the almost immediate application of the death sentence on the principal figures involved.

    Sadly the Greenpeace instigators of these criminal and murderous events will just walk away utterly convinced that they were saving the planet and all will turn a blind eye to the utterly needless suffering and deaths caused by the sheer evil of these greenpeace criminals.

    I’m barracking the Russians on as it is about time greenpeace was brought to it’s knees and if necessary declared a criminal organisation. Which if greenpeace doesn’t back off its activities and thuggery in a huge way might well occur over the next decade in some country .

    Even Big oil has at last had enough of greenpeace as can be seen in this The New York Post article,

    Following quote from the NYP ;

    Chevron’s landmark lawsuit exposes ‘greenmail’
    <<<<>>>>>

    And from James Delingpole in the Telegraph.

    Chevron accuses environmentalists of ‘greenmail’ – telling lies to further their ‘noble cause’. Ring any bells?

    So to the Russians, big oil, and anybody else who has been severely shaken down by a criminal Greenpeace and / or any other criminaly trending so called environmental organisation any time over the years past, go sic em for everything you can get and then try and lock them up for the duration; ie ; never to be released.

  16. ROM says:

    Seems like my quotes never came out due to my misuse of the whatisnames so here are the quotes again
    Quote one from the abstract of the paper;

    Vitamin A deficiency and attributable mortality among under-5-year-olds.

    “Using vital statistics compiled by UNICEF, we derived population figures and mortality rates for under-5-year-olds. The findings of vitamin A supplementation trials were applied to populations at-risk of endemic vitamin A deficiency to estimate the potential impact of improved vitamin A nutriture in reducing mortality during preschool years. Worldwide, over 124 million children are estimated to be vitamin A deficient. Improved vitamin A nutriture would be expected to prevent approximately 1-2 million deaths annually among children aged 1-4 years. An additional 0.25-0.5 million deaths may be averted if improved vitamin A nutriture can be achieved during the latter half of infancy. Improved vitamin A nutriture alone could prevent 1.3-2.5 million of the nearly 8 million late infancy and preschool-age child deaths that occur each year in the highest-risk developing countries”.

    Quote two from the New York Post

    “In a Manhattan courtroom Tuesday, one of the highest-profile environmental campaigns of recent decades is about to be exposed as nothing more than a fraud and extortion racket — “greenmail.”
    Chevron is suing lawyer Steven Donziger and a number of activist environmental groups in a civil-racketeering suit, claiming that his landmark $19 billion award against the oil company in an Ecuadorean court was the product of a criminal conspiracy.
    Ironically, much of the company’s evidence comes from footage shot for “Crude,” an award-winning pro-Donziger documentary that premiered with much publicity at the Sundance Film Festival.
    In an eight-year suit in Ecuador, Donziger and his environmentalist allies argued that the oil company had wantonly polluted the pristine Ecuadorean rainforest, creating vast areas of poisoned land and causing huge spikes in cancer and other diseases.”

  17. Pointman says:

    With help from a friend like this, the GP pirates don’t need enemies. Saying the deputy PM of Iran is supporting them definitely not a good PR move. And from the Political Director of Greenpeace International.

    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/makingwaves/Arctic-30-receive-political-support/blog/47282/

    Pointman

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