EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 19, 2013

Column: Uncle Sam is Russia's go-to scapegoat

Dale McFeatters
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Dale McFeatters

If something bad happens in Russia, Russian officials have an instant explanation: It’s the United States’ fault.

They must have standing instructions in the event of an unfortunate event: “Blame America first, and we’ll get around to the real explanation later.”

The blame begins at the top: At the 2009 economic forum in Davos, Russian leader Vladimir Putin blamed the U.S. for the global economic slowdown.

The demonstrations following Putin’s blatantly rigged election to the presidency in 2011: The work of U.S. agents acting under the orders of Hillary Clinton.

In 2012, Russian space officials blamed a series of launch and satellite failures on “foreign sabotage,” making it clear that the foreigner was the United States.

On Friday, a meteor the size of a city bus flashed across the Ural Mountains and exploded in spectacular fashion miles up in the atmosphere not far from the city of Chelyabinsk, injuring, at first reports, about 1,000 people and shattering glass over a wide region.

And whose fault was the great flash in the sky and the accompanying tremors from the explosion? The U.S., of course.

“Those aren’t meteors falling; it’s the Americans testing new weapons,” explained Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and one of Russia’s flakier lawmakers.

Dale McFeatters writes for the Scripps Howard News Service.