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Religious Fables, Folklore, Legends, and Stories

How Fables and Legends Get Started:
Russian Lake Disappears
Article written in part by Mark Ames and Submitted by Yuri Klitsenko, Russia

Last week, a lake disappeared in the Russian provinces, east of Moscow. And if the Reuters account of the vanishing lake is to be believed, some local residents blamed the disappearance on the evil Americans. The Western press loves stories like these-it proves that even God has it in for the Russians. And with good reason: they're anti-American, and they're stubbornly backwards, so therefore, bad things naturally happen to them.

It didn't take long for the smug American sneer-machine to respond.

One blogger compiled a list of humorous accounts called, "Memo to

Self: Don't Waterski in Bolotnikovo." An article by Matt McClurg on the cleverly-named e-zine "Spoof.com," titled, "U.S. Steals Lake-Mocks Russian Village," opens with this ham-fisted side-slapper: "The Russian village of Bolotnikovo, where Stalinist Brainwashing remains the religion of choice, is renowned as a peaceful place: But, the greatest pride of tiny Bolotnikovo, the beaming joy of its happy and well-educated serfs turned scientists, was its lake-its splendor slightly greater than a mud hole, but not as extravagant as an oil slick rainbow on wet tarmac. Briefly: it was a place that the Americans were monstrously envious of."

The joke, you see, is that America is so wealthy and advanced that it would have no need for a wretched lake in a dying stretch of Middle Russia. Americans find it funny-the same way that rich bullies get off on sneering at poor, doomed losers.

Why would a cruel act of nature visited upon a poor remote village inspire a seemingly absurd anti-American outburst from its inhabitants, and triumphant bully-humor in response?

The answer, incredibly enough, is because the Americans really did steal that lake.

This isn't just Russian paranoia. There's plenty of analysis and gloating in America. As the CIA-connected intelligence newsletter Stratfor pointed out a few months ago, with Ukraine now firmly in the West's orbit, America, with NATO and the EU, has managed to succeed exactly where Hitler and Napoleon failed: it has dismantled the Russian empire, leaving the rump state exposed, weakened and essentially at the West's mercy. Indeed right after last December's successful US-funded revolution in Kiev, Stratfor observed, "Without Ukraine, Russia's political, economic and military survivability are called into question:To say that Russia is at a turning point is a gross understatement. Without Ukraine, Russia is doomed to a painful slide into geopolitical obsolescence and ultimately, perhaps even non-existence."

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Yuri Klitsenko is a Russian living in Moscow.  He works for the Russian Orthodox Church.

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