Jan 29, 2009

Putin: "We Are Not Invalids"

Leopolis sends along this absolutely priceless Putin-ism. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Putin offered the opening keynote. That's when Dell Computer founder Michael Dell figured it was a great time to ask a question about helping Russia's IT sector. Bad idea.

Dell asked, asked "How can we help" you with your country's IT infrastructure? Putin immediately rebuffed the PC company's founder. "We don't need your help. We are not invalids. We don't have limited mental capacity."
Seriously, "limited mental capacity"?

If anything, this is a great argument in favor of a free press in Russia. When the only people who ever get to ask Putin an unscripted question have just been forcefed three grams of polonium, the poor guy doesn't get much practice answering real questions from the public.

Either that, or Putin has also been forced to deal with Dell’s customer services reps in India. In that case, his comments are entirely justified.


Ern said...

That makes absolutely no sense to me. Did someone say Russia had limited mental capacity? Because I missed that news.

Igor said...

Nasty SOB, and he's not even our SOB!

Pirates(and)Diplomats said...

Yeah, he really went way beyond the question.

jaybird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jaybird said...

(sorry for hte delete! I can't spel)

Russian programmers would never come up with Vista..and I mean that as a compliment.

Pirates(and)Diplomats said...

"Hello, I'm a Mac. And I'm a [Russian] PC."

Think of the possibilities...!

Anonymous said...

Watch Putin snap at exactly 1:02.


Putin said "we aren't poor" but the translator whitewashed that to "we aren't of a limited capacity."

He sure knows how to monologue.

Ern said...

You know, I wonder how the question was translated.

Pirates(and)Diplomats said...

Hmm, well, he does say "we are not invalids," which makes no sence given the question.

Either he mis-understood, it was not translated correctly, or he's taking hints from the Lavrov school of public diplomacy.

Joe said...

The fact is, his response does make sense. Leopolis says:

Putin said "we aren't poor" but the translator whitewashed that to "we aren't of a limited capacity."

However, that's not correct. The translator delayed in traslating "invadidi" to "invalids", and when he finally spoke "invalids", Putin was then saying that "we aren't of limited capacity." It was after that, that he said not "we are not poor" but "nado pomogat' bednie", which means "[it is necessary] to help the poor".

Putin didn't exactly lash out. He took Dell's question to imply that Russia couldn't take care of it themselves, and Russia has long had a complex about being able to take care of itself.

"We are not invalids" is used to say, "we don't need the interference and help of some computer company as if we couldn't take care of ourselves." Invalids is here a sort of metaphor. Of course he doesn't think Russia's being accused of being literal invalids.