Sunday, August 10, 2008

Miffed is what I am

The American blogosphere has been inundated by comments from Russian contributors who call themselves Anton, Sergey, Ivan, Russian, Rossiyanin or plain Anonymous. To be fair, they appear only on blogs that are writing about the war in the Caucasus (the latest war in the Caucasus as the one in Chechnya remains inadequately resolved).

None of them seem to know much English. They do not simply make ordinary Russian mistakes of occasionally picking the wrong word or leaving out articles (there are none in Slavonic languages so it is easy to get it wrong). No, these Sergeys and Antons seem to have a very rudimentary knowledge of English so they are clearly not among those who have been diligently and at some risk to themselves scanning English-language blogs.

They have checked through Google, found the blogs that are covering the war and have proceeded to take part in the discussion though only after a fashion. What they do is reproduce in that rudimentary English, laboriously translated from Russian, the latest line in Kremlin propaganda.

Because they do not actually know enough of either what is being said or shown in the West or what other commenters are saying (that rudimentary knowledge) they cannot get involved in any discussion. When there is a response they repeat the propaganda, still badly translated but in slightly different words.

This, I must say, is pathetic and falls well short of the high level of propaganda I expect from the Comintern's heirs. For all of that, I am more than a little miffed. I have been blogging on the subject on EUReferendum and on the BrugesGroupBlog but have had no Sergeys or Antons or, even, Ivans producing their illiterate version of the Kremlin point of view. Why not?

Do these people not take us seriously? Do they, perhaps, not take the British blogosphere seriously enough to send their rather immature shock-troops to attack us? This is outrageous.

UPDATE: Hurrah, we've acquired one of them as well on my colleague's thread. Phew what a relief.