Projection and Deflection: Russia’s Infrastructure, by Patrick Armstrong

The American press loves to portray Russia as a country that’s falling apart. Most American journalists, of course, have never been in Russia. From Patrick Armstrong at strategic-culture.org:

When you see a Western piece saying that Russia is deficient in this or that, it’s wise to see it as just a projection of the West’s shortcomings.

One of my most reliable guides to finding subjects to write about in these essays is to see what crimes the West is committing. It’s a very good bet that Russia will be accused of them. If the U.S. “accidentally” destroys an MSF hospital in Kunduz, then Russia must be routinely and intentionally bombing hospitals in Syria; if American officials pick the future prime minister of a foreign country, then Russia must be doing it more often and bigger; if Washington condemns reporters on dodgy evidence than Russians must do worse things. Likewise, Western deficiencies are minor at home but huge in Russia. (Admittedly it’s getting harder to say that – especially with the West’s dismal situation with COVID-19 but that doesn’t stop the trying; vide “U.S. takes the top spot on Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking as vaccine rollout speeds up return to normal.”) And so on: it’s all projection to deflect your attention.

It’s a simple rule that works either way: see what they’re accusing Russia of and it’s a pretty good bet the Western pot is calling the Russian kettle black; note the West’s crimes and misfortunes and expect Russia to be called worse and, if at all possible, twisted to all be Putin’s fault.

Infrastructure is today’s subject and here is Victoria Nuland telling us that

[Russia’s] citizens have grown restive as promised infrastructure spending never appears, and their taxes and the retirement age are going up.

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