Time and time again, in almost every aspect of Russian-Western relations, we have seen anti-Russian hysteria and pseudo-political correctness raise its ugly head. It is something that many are used to and something that more and more Westerners are beginning to notice.
Recently the Children’s Rights Ombudsman of the Russian Federation Pavel Astakhov and Russian Human Rights Envoy Konstantin Dolgov, attempted to visit a “ranch” for adopted children in remote northwestern Montana. The purpose of the visit was to check on the well-being of the reportedly 10 Russian adoptees that were at the ranch and who according to
On his official website Mr. Astakhov, who has been diligently fighting for the rights of Russian children worldwide, stated the following: "The very fact of the children being there is shocking. What is it, a pre-trial detention facility? A penal colony? Or a trash can for unwanted children?"
"These children are completely isolated from the outside world, which is grounds for violating their rights. It has not been made clear to us whether the children receive the necessary help and treatment, which is why the condition of the Russian kids at the ranch causes concerns," Astakhov said.
Were the children from any other country these concerns would have been granted the level of respect they deserve, especially when the safety and welfare of children are at their core and everything would have been done to ensure that the issue was properly looked at. Sadly this did not occur.
Instead the pseudo politically correct machine that is the U.S. mass media began an onslaught, not on the ranch’s owner, one Joyce Sterkel, but on Mr. Astakhov and the group of Russian government officials that travelled with him.
The AP published a huge piece of more than three pages in length full of anti-Russian quotes by Sterkel, which are not worth repeating here, with almost nothing about the children or Mr. Astakhov’s concerns, even referring to the ombudsman as “one of them.” (
Six days later the AP published 7 sentences regarding the illegality of Ms. Sterkel’s ranch. Which has not had a license to operate since 2010, has been ordered closed and where inspectors have not been allowed. Other problems at the ranch include a failure to show the structures on the ranch meet the building code, no disaster plan and no background checks on employees.
Again nowhere are the stories about the children in question or regarding their well-being - for the U.S. media they are not even a side issue. It is as if they do not exist.
Sterkel has not only denied the Russian inspectors entry onto the so-called ranch but has also denied the Montana state board any information about the children at the ranch according to board attorney Mary Tapper.
Statements in the U.S. press regarding sovereignty, intrusion, and privacy rights have no place in a dialogue involving the safety and welfare of children, wherever they may be from. However the U.S. is a country where in many cases pseudo political correctness comes first and the rights and safety of children come second.
The Reverend Peter Mullen in his blog on the Mail Online put it well when describing the influence of political correctness on adoptions in the Western system: “The scandal is that our Mephistophelian “caring institutions” would rather a child be aborted than that the mother should give birth and so present them with all these tiresome pseudo-problems derived entirely from political correctness.”
Having lived in both Russia and the U.S. for decades I can honestly say that any Russian travelling to the U.S. would be shocked at the number of stories and cases of child abuse and atrocities against children that exist in the United States and that no one hears about in the filtered international U.S. media.
The U.S. culture of death, sex, violence, hypocrisy and perversion is often reflected on the horrors that children become the victims of. The record has shown with regard to Russian orphans that the controls that exist for other orphans are just not there and that many adoptive parents feel that because they somehow “rescued” the children from some “terrible” faraway place they can do whatever they want to the children with impunity.
As for Russia and I can say this honestly and with the insight of an educator, the respect for children is much higher than in the U.S. and the level of crimes and cases of inhumane acts against children are so much lower as to almost be non-existent if one compares them to the U.S.
In the better part of two decades here there have been less than a dozen high profile cases of crimes against children. Once again I can not help but compare the almost daily onslaught in the U.S. media of cases of child abuse, kidnappings, child murders and pedophilia.
Joyce Sterkel did not allow the Russian delegation to inspect the facility in question, nor has she provided the Board of Private Alternative Adolescent Residential and Outdoor Programs any information about the children. She also removed the children from the premises before Mr. Astakhov arrived. What is she so afraid might be discovered? And what is really going on at the isolated and remote Deep Springs Ranch for Kids?
The pseudo-politically-correct U.S. establishment may have a problem asking those questions, but I don’t, and for the sake of the children they must be answered.
The opinions and views expressed here are those of the writer.