Valery Gergiev blames President Obama for war in Syria

Valery Gergiev blames President Obama for war in Syria


norman lebrecht

March 14, 2015

In an interview with German NDR network, airing tonight, the incoming conductor of the Munich Philharmonic attacks the US president for the rise of Islamic State in Syria. Here’s the pre-quote released by the broadcasters:

Gergiev : ‘It is not always Russia that makes the wrong decisions. This is a very honest admission from me… Two years ago, Obama made the wrong decision when he did failed to heed advice by Putin to support the President of Syria, Assad.’

Russian President Putin presents a Hero of Labour award to Mariinsky theatre director Gergiev during an awards ceremony in St. Petersburg


  • MacroV says:

    Syria and ISIS are admittedly complicated, but of course Putin’s support of Assad is arguably also a cause of the rise of ISIS, and ISIS has very grisly PR but Assad has killed far more people. He is one of the rulers out there unequivocally worse than Putin; does Gergiev really want to be supporting him, too?

  • Greg Hlatky says:

    Putin has kinda vanished. That’s now President Gergiev to you!

  • Anon says:

    He is stating the obvious. The US “policy” in the middle east is quite simple. Are you a son of a bitch who sees Iran as a foe? You are our friend (err… useful idiot). Are you a son of a bitch who sees Iran as a friend? We will give lots of money to your enemies, even if they are the worst extremists. Isn’t the prevalent idiocy in the US through all levels of the society wonderful?

  • Olaugh Turchev says:

    Forgetting about the MIT report that showed it was unlikely Assad who used gas contrary to what the West asserted first… but, let’s not get facts block a good bashing.

  • Mark Henriksen says:

    Gergiev isn’t blaming the US at all for the war in Syria. He is simply pointing out what is obvious now; that what Assad said was correct, its not a revolution but an attack by outside forces.

  • ed says:

    Kudos to Gergiev. He is right about Putin’s support of Assad. Anyone following this crisis since 2011 would know that the U.S. has choreographed what began as a clandestine war, and that ISIS was America’s creation, even if it has since become America’s Frankenstein.

    But I suppose the naysayers would also claim that the Ukraine’s constitutionally elected President was not overthrown last year by a U.S. supported junta, he just left.

    • Gonout Backson says:

      He wasn’t “overthrown” and he didn’t “leave”. He ran under cover of the night with as much of his stolen money as he could, with all his “legitimate” friends.

      Then, his own, legal parliament, named a provisional government. There was no junta.

      So, you lie about this, and you lie about that.

      • Anon says:

        Yes, and Santa Claus is a nice man.

        • Gonout Backson says:

          Good technique.

          The sooner you start to lie about things that have just happened, for the whole world to see, the faster people begin to doubt the testimony of their very eyes and their memory.

          The putinesque propaganda, and its megaphones of your kind, began to chant this fairy tale about the “violent coup” where Yanukovich was “overthrown” – the day after Yanukovich fled with his bags of money and disappeared for several days.

          This is the good, old, Soviet technique of “flabbergasting lie”. The most famous case is that of Dobrynin calmly denying there were any missiles in Cuba while Kennedy was showing him pictures where you could see them quite plainly.

          Lately, someone I know was invited to a diplomatic dinner in Riga. Many ambassadors there, including the young, Russian one who declared just as calmly “we have never occupied Latvia”. Absolutely stunned by this blatant lie, nobody reacted.

          You people have been to good school.

          • Anon says:

            It’s quite funny how you argue with an imagined straw man. I couldn’t be further from an associate of the evil Soviet empire, but in your cold war calcified mind you can’t think outside of your simplistic box and anybody who is not with you is against you. That’s how little children think.

            Anyway, the Russian ambassador might better have said nothing, it was insensitive, but technically he said nothing wrong, because “we” from his point is today’s Russia, not the Soviet Union, and legally these are separate entities, so he is correct in saying that today’s Russia never occupied Latvia.

          • Gonout Backson says:

            My Dear Anonymus : I don’t know how close you feel to the “evil Soviet empire”, and I couldn’t care less. All I know is that you speak fluently its propagandist “newspeak”. Comes natural. Even your “cold war” bs comes straight from its textbooks.

            As for the Latvian business, it’s an excellent case in point. Your “technically” is just delightful.

            As you should know (you really should), Putin is brilliant in getting the best of both worlds, in the “now you see USSR, now you see Russia” kind of game. His Russia claims to be the only legitimate heir of USSR as far as all rights (territorial, political, economic, historical, moral, the whole nine yards) are concerned, but denies any connection with it as soon as it comes to responsibilities.

            For instance : the World should know it owes Russia an enormous debt for the victory over fascism, even if it wasn’t Russia, but USSR; but whoever mentions the first two years, one third of the whole WWII, where USSR was fighting hand in hand with Hitler helping him as loyally as it could – is, well, a fascist. And that’s when the aggression, occupation, massive murders and colonization of Latvia took place. But that’s “technically” not Russia.

            Or isn’t it, my dear Anon? Because, as it usually does, Putin’s “Id” speaks up ever so often. For instance, as he, repeatedly and notoriously, justifies the pact with Hitler and the Soviet politics in the same period.

            My bet is the guy who declared the fall of the USSR to be the “major political disaster of the century”, identifies with it much more than you give him credit for.

          • Anon says:

            Mr Backson,
            What I speak is a quite mainstream opinion of educated people in the middle of Europe, who are *not* fully brainwashed by the cold war American mantras. So it would help you not ridiculing yourself further, to stop this funny child cartoon dichotomy that anyone who is not aligned with US brainwashing detergent ingredients is “Putin’s lapdog”. Such infantilism is unworthy of a discussion between adults. Come back when you can argue like an adult. Have a nice day.

  • Anon says:

    The ISIS was just too attractive from a tactical point of view from the US, *not* to be supported. Hitting three targets with one shot:
    -Overthrow Assad
    -sting Shia Iran with Sunni extremism
    -scare irritating Erdogan into compliance

    The US foreign policy in the Middle East after WWII: A showcase for idiocy multiplying with hubris, driven by greed.

    • Schöne Müllerin says:

      you are very right , The US interfere in every country where they could make business and mess up the world – Irak, Afghanistan, Syria. Why don’t they just care of their own business?

  • John Borstlap says:

    Let us not forget that the US not ony created IS, but also the Iranian revolution, and apart from the Syrian civil war also began WW II and occupied W-Germany with a capitalist system, was the cause of N-Korea and the Vietnam crisis, and probably caused the Russian revolution in 1917 but various Western historians are still working on that. O yes, the holocaust did not happen but was American/Jewish propaganda to get a foothold in the Middle-East with Israel.

  • M2N2K says:

    The two favorite fairy tales of lazy minds – “Jewish Conspiracies Rule The World” and “USA Is The Cause Of All Problems” – are usually co-written by the same team of fiction creators: Mr. Envy and Mrs. Jealousy. The nearly universal attraction of the lies that are constantly being invented by that always reliable E&J tandem is quite extraordinary. The simple truth is that Jews are not nearly *that* smart and USA is not nearly *that* powerful.

  • Maria Los says:

    This is just so typical of Putin’s Russian supporters; they hate the West yet they come to work, live and holiday in the West while at the same time they criticize. They also covet Western luxury goods. They are hypocrites, but the West is stupid.

    • Anon says:

      There is also an option of people who think independently, not brainwashed by any of the American or Russian camps. Could you imagine? Probably not…
      In Germany the mainstream opinion is quite unlike yours. And they produce a lot of the “western luxury goods” themselves. Your world view seems strange.

  • Frankster says:

    News bulletin on my iPhone: “‘In the end’ US must negotiate with Assad to end Syria conflict, Kerry tells CBS News.” Turns out Gergiev was right.

  • Gonout Backson says:

    Fun fact : during the “annexation pageant” Putin organized in Russia, one banner caught the attention of some correspondents. Apparently, someone tried to copy the “Je suis Charlie” pattern, but without checking. The banner read : “JE SUIS CRIME”.

    Hello, Dr Sigmund.