Rowan Atkinson based his Mr Bean character on his brother Rodney. And, having met Rodney, I can testify that, though devoid of Rowan’s talent, he’s fully his match in creating make-believe.
He exercises this ability in supposedly serious articles, whose stock in trade should be truth, not fantasy. Specifically, he writes hysterical pro-Putin pieces wholly based on KGB/FSB propaganda.
Mr Bean’s ignorant rants are only worth debunking because some cleverer people than him also act as Putin’s useful idiots, a concept first popularised by Lenin. Alas, unlike the syphilitic dictator, Putin recruits that group mainly on the right.
In Mr Bean’s virtual world the West is in the grips of unaccountable and unprovoked Russophobia. For example, he writes “…a Syrian or Iraqi hospital bombed mistakenly by Russia is called a war crime but when US aircraft bomb a hospital for hours it is called a mistake!”
Yet both claims are true. Just look at the ordnance used by both parties.
The Americans mostly deploy guided projectiles designed for precision strikes. Obviously, bombing paramilitary forces using civilians as live shields will cause collateral damage. But only a liar will claim that mass murder is the Americans’ aim.
By contrast, the Russians widely use high-altitude bombing with free-falling fragmentation blockbusters first developed in 1956. Each explodes into 11,500 fragments, creating a killing zone of 14.5 square miles. This explains why the Russians have already killed more civilians than ISIS has managed.
Segueing from ignorance to madness. Mr Bean then accuses the Ukraine of belligerence towards Russia. Yes, and Poland was belligerent towards Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in 1939.
Russia committed criminal acts by invading the Crimea and two Ukrainian provinces, Donetsk and Luhansk. What better proofs of Ukrainian belligerence would one want? Yet Mr Bean obligingly provides them:
“Banning communist deputies.” One could argue that a party committed to destroying parliaments must be denied parliamentary representation. Moreover, communists murdered millions of Ukrainians, at least five million in Holdomor, the artificial famine organised in 1932-33 specially for that purpose.
Can you explain why banning heirs to those crimes constitutes belligerence against Russia? Mr Bean can.
“Overturning a democratically elected Government”. ‘Government’ shouldn’t be capitalised in English, but Mr Bean’s prose does read like a translation from German. Nor does he understand the situation in the Ukraine.
The country gained independence from Holodomor murderers 25 years ago. Yet Putin refuses to regard the former Soviet republics as anything other than parts of the ‘Russian space’ to be reclaimed.
To that end, the Russians put in place puppet regimes wherever they can. One such was Yanukovych’s government. Referring to it as ‘democratically elected’ is either mendacious or stupid. In places with no democratic tradition, but with a long experience of institutionalised lies and corruption, it’s impossible to take elections seriously.
But let’s assume for the sake of argument that ousting Yanukovych wasn’t nice. What business is it of Russia? The Ukraine is an independent country that can run its affairs as it sees fit.
“Banning the Russian language”. Judging by Mr Bean’s command of his own tongue, I’m not surprised he can’t tell Russian from Ukrainian. Yet Russian remains the dominant everyday language east of the Dnieper, including Kiev. However, all official business is indeed transacted in the country’s official language. Awful, isn’t it?
“Bombing civilians in East Ukraine”. Meaning the bandit units, armed and augmented by Putin’s army, that occupied the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. Interestingly, most Russophone refugees from these areas flee west, not east. They want to remain in the Ukraine, not become chattels of Putin’s junta.
Mr Bean then demonstrates his command of Google by stating that the Crimea was “Russian for over 220 years”, which supposedly justifies Putin’s invasion. Now India was British for almost the same 220 years – should we annex a part of it on that basis?
He then reconfirms his unshakeable trust in the ballot box by informing us that “the retrieval of the Crimea is backed by an unambiguous vote of the Crimeans themselves”.
What made the vote definitely ambiguous was the presence of Putin’s armed invaders at every polling station. Also the large Tartar community, decimated by Putin’s precursors, boycotted the election altogether: they know what to expect from a KGB-run Russia.
Those Western Russophobes shout about the danger of further Russian aggression against the Ukraine. Specifically, “NATO’s former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Sir Richard Shirreff, takes his madness into the realm of pseudo fiction.”
‘Pseudo’ fiction means it’s not fiction, but Rodney writes his own English. And, in addition to understanding matters martial better than Gen. Shirreff does, he also has his own facts.
Russia has deployed 40,000 armoured troops on the Ukrainian border, including the elite First Guards Tank Army, comprising, among other units, two of the country’s best divisions: the Taman and the Kantemir.
Hardly an hour goes by that one of Putin’s mouthpieces doesn’t brag about being able to take Kiev in a few hours and Warsaw in a few days. All Gen. Shirreff wrote was that NATO should take such a possibility seriously and prepare for it.
Mr Bean must be privy to Putin’s innermost thoughts. He knows that Putin has no hostile intentions, which is more than he can say for NATO and its dastardly aggression against “the post Soviet” space.
Rodney is as dismissive of facts as he is of hyphens. Otherwise he would have offered examples of NATO’s annexation of ‘post Soviet’ countries or portions thereof. But useful idiots are useless when it comes to truth.