A few days ago I was routinely checking my google news as the first thing to do in the morning (quoted from one of my friends: morning is whenever you first detach yourself from the good-old bed). By random chances a headline caught my attention. The title is: German award ceremony cancelled after outcry over prize for Putin. I was curious to know why they decided to give the award to Putin and why they withdrew the decision afterwards. I had to click on the button to read more about it (as I always do). Here is the story: the annual Quadriga award, which is set by a non-profit organization in Berlin to praise individuals or groups for their outstanding commitment to innovation, renewal, and a pioneering spirit through political, economic, and cultural activities, was proposed to Russian former President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin this year for his outstanding efforts in creating “stability through the interplay of prosperity, economy and identity,” and is, “in the tradition of Peter the Great, a switchman in the direction of the future.” So the Germans wanted to kiss Putin’s ass. Fair enough. If Germany thinks: hey let’s befriend with Russia, because it’s really important to have a friendly Russia to us. I would say it’s alright, though the ass-kissing is a bit overdone and too obvious. But what’s more interesting is that as soon as the German media discovered that this Quadriga award is going to be given to Putin, there was an overwhelming outcry from everywhere (especially in Germany) that hysterically condemned the decision to award Putin for the Quadriga this year.
“Former president of the Czech Republic and previous Quadriga recipient Vaclav Havel had threatened to return his prize should Putin be honored. Germany’s Green Party Chairman Cem Özdemir and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales had declared their resignation from Quadriga’s board of trustees in protest against Putin receiving the award＂.
“All week long, (German) politicians from across the spectrum have condemned Mr. Putin, while editorials in the nation’s leading newspapers detailed his record as president and prime minister of Russia. The deaths of activists and the ongoing imprisonment of a rival, Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, on flimsy charges have provided plenty of fodder for the opponents of Mr. Putin, who as a K.G.B. agent was stationed in East Germany from 1985 to 1990.”
Why? Well, because in those people’s mind (liberals I guess?), Putin is no difference to Gaddafi, a dictator who repressed dissents by all means just to retain himself in power. Is he? Is he really the one who sabotaged mother Russia and chopped down liberty, freedom and human rights in his motherland? Let’s see. First, he does enjoy a ridiculously high popularity in his country, which all western politicians are so jealous to the point that they just chose to deny with the massive facts and decry the lack of transparency and political freedom for the opposition party. Sure, Russia is a totalitarian state, but it serves them right. There is a reason why Russian men want to be him, Russian women want to marry him. A simple reason: he made Russians believe in themselves again. He was fighting against some oligarchs, successfully campaigned in Chechnya, and most of all, he gave Russia a new hope for their economy and stability. The west likes Gorbachev but Russians dislike him for his appeasement to the West and the dissolution of powerful Soviet; the Russians like Putin but the west hates him for Putin somehow gave Russians the hope to stand up firmly against the West again. I am not saying Putin is a cool guy or whatsoever. All I am saying is that he doesn’t deserve the public decry from those so-called politicians and celebrities (plus German media).
Unfortunately, this public decry was powerful enough to make the organizers to completely cancel this year’s awarding ceremony, after everyone in Germany started to shout out loud against this decision as if they have mistakenly acquitted a damned murderer. So they won. But what did they win? This is absolutely a blasphemy to the value of liberty and human rights itself, for those smug righteous people have already made the judgement even before the actual trial. As for Putin, I don’t think he would really care for this award anyway. But I am sure lots of Russians would get pissed at the Germans. The bottom line is: Russian is better off WITH him, and the west (liberals and conservatives as well) would keep hating him as usual. As for the award organizer, I would really sympathize them for receiving the collateral damage from the liberal bombing. Having said that, when I looked at the list of award recipients since 2003, I would really like to question the motivation of even putting Putin in the first place in that award, which was previously given to people including lousy politicians like Erdoğan (whose wife wore veil in Turkey), Karzai (an ill-tempered US puppet), and a bunch of hipster hippie musicians and “humanitarian activists” I never heard of.
So I understand Germany just got out of from one extreme and doesn’t really want to go back there. Then you don’t really have to go to the other extreme to prove you are the coolest kid in the block either.