Sunday, May 3, 2009

How do you say 'arrogant imperialist' in Russian?

From Maclean's magazine's Michael Petrou:

Afghanistan is a country for which I have deep affection. I was there in the weeks after 9/11 in the company of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance. It was dangerous. I got sick, shelled, and shot at. Colleagues were killed. But I still remember my time there with fondness and pine to go back. The memory of my Afghan translator, a man who owned very little, pushing gifts into my hands as I left is one I’ll never forget. Because of these memories, even if I believed the Taliban were strictly an Afghan problem, I couldn’t advocate ceding them the country. I care too much about the people who live there... (link)
So, imagine the parallel scene in Russia in say 1986: A Russian journalist with Pravda recalls his days embedded with Russian soldiers in Afghanistan and proclaims that, even if the mujaheddin were not funded by the US and Saudi Arabia, he "could not advocate ceding the mujaheddin the country," because he "cares too much about Afghans." Pretty sick, really. The only responsibility of an (illegal) invader is to get out. No half-measures. No saying, 'We'll get out when we think it's okay to get out.' Just get out.

But comments like Petrou's are considered patriotic and altogether normal in our media. Certainly no commentator would dare point out the rank hypocrisy of such sentiments.

Answer to question in blog entry title: заносчивый империалист

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