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The making of a martyr: Navalny becomes Khashoggi 2.0.

Published: February 19, 2024 | Print Friendly and PDF
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On Friday, Moscow authorities reported that outspoken Russian politician and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has died in jail, leading to a giant uproar in western media and political circles.

If you haven’t been following the news, just log in to your favorite social media application and type in Navalny in the search bar. You would think this level of attention in the west would warrant the news of some MLK-like figure being taken out by a western government. But no, this incident happened in a faraway Siberian prison.

Navalny, who has for some time been *positioned* as a legitimate political alternative to Vladimir Putin, had been serving part of a three decade sentence in Russia’s "Polar Wolf" Arctic penal colony.

 

Navalny was often portrayed in the headlines as the one man who was going to change the system within a historic great power nation.

However, his campaigns were surrounded domestically by allegations of illegitimacy. There are some indications that he and his associates were attempting to sow a foreign-backed revolution in Russia. In addition to this, Navalny advocated for western-style liberalism in a nation where the citizenry supports an authoritarian governance model. The Navalny project never meshed with the general population, and thus he remained consistently very unpopular in Russia. Despite being accused of treason, he nonetheless was charged and convicted of a variety of non-espionage crimes in Russia, such as “extremist activities,” fraud, and embezzlement.

According to the Levada Center, the most reputable public opinion polling organization inside of Russia, Navalny has never been popular in the country. In the most recent poll (from January of 2023) conducted on Mr. Navalny, only 9% of Russians said they agree with his political activities.

Levada Center

Outside of Russia, the western corporate media and political class has deified the late Navalny with all kinds of exaggerated labels, with many now insisting that Moscow got rid of him because he posed a threat to the political order within Russia.

“Make no mistake: Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death,” President Biden said at a White House news conference on Friday. “What has happened to Navalny is even more proof of Putin’s brutality. No one should be fooled.”

For over a decade, the western ruling class has dedicated considerable energy to trying to make a movement out of Navalny, without much success. As the surveys show, the concocted narrative of Navalny as a threatening anti-Putin political force was baseless and it remains baseless.

It may remind some of the infamous Jamal Khashoggi murder, in which the Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist (who faced similar allegations of espionage and treason) ended up paying the ultimate price for attempting to foment an Islamic revolution against the monarchy in Riyadh. Similar to Navalny, Khashoggi was being weaponized as an instrument to bring forth political changes to the country where he was born. Like Navalny, Khashoggi was deeply unpopular in his home country. For Khashoggi, it was his attempts from abroad to revive radical Islamic doctrine (and destabilize the monarch) within a population that was moving in the direction of national revitalization and reform.

Jamal Khashoggi was a jihadist, not a journalist

·
JULY 15, 2022
Jamal Khashoggi was a jihadist, not a journalist

As usual, there’s a lot of nonsense floating around the internet today. This time, it’s about the life and legacy of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi national and “Washington Post columnist” who was killed in 2018. With President Biden visiting Saudi Arabia today, the corporate press and pseudo human rights outfits are in overdrive attempting to ostracize and …

Just as with the Khashoggi murder (which is still brought up incredibly frequently in the press), Americans have the right to opt out of this incident too, as we have plenty of our own issues here. In the grand scheme of things, the death of Alexei Navalny is just not that important, and it has nothing to do with the present and future lives of people living in the United States. There are infinitely more consequential issues that impact our lives in America.

Despite passing away in 2018, the Khashoggi Op still inundates the Western press

The Russian government is well known for its intolerance for dissent, and it is well documented how Moscow treats political dissidents, usually resorting to both clandestine and overt violence to quash criticism. Although Navalny is indeed being used to advance a political agenda, The Kremlin is not the good guy in this story, as a wildly antithetical force to human freedom and dignity. Instead of prosecuting Navalny while upholding due process, Moscow engaged in state-approved savagery behind closed doors. For many decades, these violent hatchet operations have been the modus operandi of the Kremlin.

Yes, the tragic death of Navalny has been turned into a political weapon, and the Biden Administration is also engaging in deeply illiberal behavior against Americans. But for all of our issues at home, celebrating authoritarian regimes abroad is not the answer to our domestic problems. As bad as some things seem in the United States, becoming a groveling brown-noser for morally bankrupt foreign regimes is never the answer.

Putting that aside, it’s worth asking why exactly my fellow Americans are supposed to dedicate our energies to the tragic death or murder of a non-American man over 5,000 miles away from America’s eastern shores. Now that Navalny has been made into a martyr, we can expect the noise level to be dialed up even higher. But that doesn’t mean all of that noise is worth our time.

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