Lynda: Hormones are one of the best motivators! I paid attention more to what happened in Russia because you [Krista] thought that guy [Mikhail Khodorkovsky] was hot. I don't think you have anything to feel bad about and if someone chose to focus only that guy, well that's their shortcoming.
Cedric: Just when Krista's really starting to weigh in . . . I think she needs to watch the [Democracy Now!] segment again because Katrina Vanden Heuvel says this:
What has to do with Bush's ongoing talk about democracy has more to do with one oil oligarch who sits in prison, who should not be in prison, but who sits in prison because of the looting of a country, stripping the country's assets for his company's use. There has been a campaign in the United States by public relations people, by lobbyists, by senators who have been contacted by those lobbyists to link that man's fate to the future of democracy in Russia. I think that most economists would argue that you need some form of bringing back those assets which were stripped in the 1990's into the control of the state. One hopes that the state would use it wisely for the purposes of the people. But where has the mainstream press been on focusing on the hundreds of thousands of elderly people, of students, of even military people who have gone into the streets in the last month, six weeks, to protest the undermining, the abolition of their social benefits. These are people whose lives were already impoverished by the shock therapy economic policies and the ruble devaluation. So I’m just saying let's focus on the range of problems in that country, and not simply on the fact that you have one oil oligarch sitting in prison, and that's where the campaign and detention in the rollback on democracy was started and it is fixated at this moment.
Cedric [con't]: She says he doesn't belong in prison, she says there are other issues involving a lot of people and let's not make it all about one person. Other issues have been addressed here. I don't think Krista did anything wrong. And when one person is imprisoned unfairly, that is worth noting.
South Africa's problems could not be reduced to Nelson Madenla but "Free Mandela" became a slogan that caught people's interest. If they took the time, they found out about the abuses of the system in South Africa, they found out that there were historical issues. It wasn't Krista's job to be the Russian expert of the community. She did draw attention to Mikhail Khodorkovsky originally and I'm glad she did. And I'll add something else, I do think it's important when anyone is wrongly imprisoned.
Marcia: Krista's just beginning to learn about a serious situation and if she's paid attention to just what's said here, she knows about the elderly losing benefits and they're protests, she knows about Putin's tendency to run rough shod on everyone, she knows (and this is an issue that's not touched on in the Democracy Now! segment) that it's not just that one man sits wrongfully behind prison but that Yukos appears to be used in some sort of a shell game that will now benefit supporters of Putin. These are just some of the issues that we've focused on and are there others? Yes, there are. And I'm sure they'll be focused on as well. But, and Krista needs to realize this, there is Russia, there is Iraq, there is England, there is Togo, there is East Timor, there is Mexico, there is Haiti, and on and on the list goes. So much to focus on, so little time. This community started in mid-November and I think when Dominick raises issues about Ireland, for instance, it makes us all take a step back from easy assumptions and pay attention.
When Krista did that regarding Russia, the same thing happened. But there's a lot to cover. And if Krista steps away, that's one less person who'll be putting on a focus on a country. I know stories in print and on Democracy Now! about Russia have been highlighted. But before Krista takes the fall on Russia, she needs to remember that she was one of the few members even addressing that country.
Brady: If I e-mail in about 1 issue that catches my attention, I'm not saying that this and only this needs to be paid attention to. I'm saying that this caught my eye on this day for whatever reason. And if I e-mail in about Falluja, that doesn't mean that there's not something going on in Baghdad. Or if I e-mail in about Valerie Plame, that doesn't mean that the administration's only problem is outing Valerie Plame. Right now, I want to draw attention to Sibel Edmonds's web site where you can go and sign a petition in support of releasing the full report from the inspector general of the Justice Department. I think that issue matters and as I write this right now, that's the most important issue to me. But that's not the only issue I care about or think is important.
Lloyd: Anyone in prison that doesn't belong there matters. End of story. It's about justice and fairness. I don't think Krista has any reason to beat herself up.