Medvedev’s ‘Tough Guy Act’

Jeremy Sapienza, November 25, 2008

According to CBS, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s first six months in office have contradicted the “liberal” reputation he (apparently) had when he was first elected. Maybe it’s a shock to some that one can be “soft spoken” and never have been a KGB spook and yet still, as president, look out of the interests of one’s country. But the examples given for Medvedev’s alleged illiberalism don’t hold water.

Opposition to missile defense? Nearly everyone with a clue is opposed to the US basing a missile defense system, especially one that does not even work, in Poland and the Czech Republic. Being a liberal in either the contemporary American or the classical sense doesn’t preclude opposing US imperial ambitions, anyhow.

Criticizing the US financial system? Hasn’t everyone all the way up to our own president done so by now? Economists have been warning of a collapse for years and classical liberals have been warning about bubbles since before anyone alive on this planet was born. This is hardly a “continu[ation]” of “Cold War rhetoric” on Medvedev’s part.

Georgia. Please. I think any journalist who would like to remain credible at this point should just recognize that Georgia did indeed begin the August conflict, and not desperately reach for something, anything with which to bludgeon Russia — even for filler in a weak hit piece. Really, if all you have is that Russia “used excessive force against Georgia” — not at all an objectively measurable statement — you simply must shut up.

And then, oh no! Russia sends a warship to Venezuela. Somehow, the completely insignificant country of Venezuela has become the boogeyman not just of the right wing, but of the mainstream as well. You don’t have to be a fan of that Chávez clown to be confused by all the wasted breath over a government with no choice but to sell Bush’s America its oil. That Russia wants to add a little luster to its rusty, crumbled image does not make Medvedev suddenly anti-liberal.

No, it’s not Medvedev’s image as a liberal that is in doubt — if it ever existed. It’s CBS’s as a significant source of original journalism. This frivolous, vacuous bit of tripe doesn’t belong on a news page. For more sophisticated analysis of Russia and its foreign (and domestic) policy, I suggest War Nerd.




54 Responses to “Medvedev’s ‘Tough Guy Act’”

  1. A+

    Absolutely agree.

    After Obama was elected and Medvedev said that Russia will retaliate to BMD in Europe by stationing missiles in Kaliningrad the Western press said that now Obama must go ahead with BMD so as not to cave in.

    This was the same Western press that wrote after Medvedev’s election that he must prove to be liberal by releasing the Yukos guy and extraditing Lugovoi.

    How would that not have been “caving in” ?

  2. How ironic that the “loser” of the cold war
    should so soon after emerge as the winner.

    Russia is at peace.

    We Americans should be so lucky.

    Medvedev would have made a far better president
    than Bush I, Clinton, Gore, Bush II and Obama
    all rolled in one.

  3. The gist of this blog’s argument is all very fine, but why do you call Chavez a clown? Is he a clown because he can communicate with his own people and the best of the best of the politicians in America cannot? What do you want anyway? A Mandela or a Gandhi everywhere? Nobody expects praise from you for Chavez, but why ridicule him? Like you can have him for breakfast, and feel belittled when your government tries to make a bogyman out of him? Just leave him and others like him alone. Mind you own business.

  4. This has got to be the dumbest website I have ever seen.. Every article I read is full of shyt… the article is not even close to being objective…

    Without going into discussion if we should have the missile shield in Europe or, lets just focus on the statement that it doesn’t work.. Thats total bs… It has proven to be a promising techonology with more successful tests than not. So to say it doesn’t work.. is stupid, misleading, and ignorant.

    For a site that supposed to be anti-war it has no problem defending Russia and not critizing it for the dispoportionate use of force in Georgia. I guess the site is anti-war when America is in a war, but doesn’t have a problem when Russia attacks Georgia. In addition the investigation is still not complete to determine who started it, so to flat out say Georgia started it (which very well maybe) so early on is irresponsible.

  5. I’ve often observed that people that misuse the ellipses are missing a little something upstairs if you know what I mean. “I guess the site is anti-war when America is in a war, but doesn’t have a problem when Russia attacks Georgia.” – When did that happen? Must have missed it, but then again, I don’t watch CBS. “Thats total bs… It has proven to be a promising techonology with more successful tests than not. ” – Wow, and in a situation where potentially 18,000 nuclear warheads were let loose by various parties, are you prepared to name two or three hundred cities in Europe that would disappear? How about in the U.S.? What would be the point of stopping 16,000 missiles (I’m giving way to much credit to the shield), only to let a few thousand more snuff out all life on earth? “More successful tests than not” seems like kind of a half assed approach to an issue that threatens the existance of life on earth, don’t you think?

  6. LEAVE HUGO CHAVEZ ALONE!!!

  7. I’m guessing your a Georgian. In any case your hardly unbiased. Why should Americans die for South Ossetia?

  8. Nothing fails like success. By the way America didn’t “win” the cold war. The USSR lost by default. That’s a big difference. The world can no more be unipolar then bipolar. The world is destined to be a multi-polar one. And that is probably the best real chance for peace.

  9. Chavez’s only “crime” is that he doesn’t follow Washington’s script.

  10. Agreed. Hugo Chavez is actually improving the lives of his people. Leave him alone.

  11. Ali, your correct in saying that it was pointless to call Chavez a clown. Also we should mind our own business. I think one of the points to make about Chavez is that he is an unrepentant Socialist. We like our Socialist to be repentant. They need to come across as being sorry when they redistribute our money as they see fit. For example: the current round of bailouts. It’s classic doublethink, We hate socialist like Hugo theirfore we can’t be socialist!

    Our rulers are not likely to mind their own business when it comes to Chavez. They consider his country to fall within their sphere of influence. They have felt this way for decades at least as far back as under the Wilson administration. In fact many of the interventionist policies have come from that time, not to mention the FED. Of course now our rulers have just expanded their definition of sphere of influence to include anywhere they think their corporations can make a buck or two. Many of us in the US understand this. However, given the learned helplessness that has been imposed it’s for the most part become useless to speak out against it.

    Peace!

  12. This is not Fox News where anyone is claiming to be fair and balanced. Yes there is a clear adjenda. This site was created with one purpose in mind and if your confused go to the Who we Are link. it states “Antiwar.com is one project of our parent foundation, the Randolph Bourne Institute. It is a program that provides a sounding board of interest to all who are concerned about U.S. foreign policy and its implications”.

    Peace!

  13. Wow! Imagine that. A president of a country who actually care about HIS own country. Why, that has GOT to be anti-American. OR so it would seem to be if we use EVERY US president from “Saint” Ron of Ray-gun to our current resident of the white house over at 1600 Penn Ave. in D.C.
    As to war, there are only 2 reasons for war. To defend OUR homes. And to defend the Bill of Rights. So said General Smedley Butler after receiving the Medal of Honor TWICE and having served as a Marine for 33+ years. I tend to believe the general was 100% correct. Having been in a war, Vietnam 1970-71, I KNOW that war is never the answer. Unfortunately far too many idiot politicians and their fundie religious nut case followers have not figured this truth out yet.
    End ALL wars. There was never a good war,, nor a bad piece, as a more famous person than I’ll ever be has said.
    War, waht is it good for, except obscene profits for the weapons makers?

  14. The American government needs the people to be scared. As soon as they are not scared they start to think too much. Can’t have the peasants looking inward!

  15. The former Georgian ambassador to Russia, a founder of the “Rose Revolution” has said during the Georgian hearings into the start of the war:

    “It was the Georgian government that launched the military action. It doesn’t matter whether it was provoked or not,…”

    “The President [Saakashvilli] told me he wanted to relocate the Georgian capital to Sukhumi in Abkhazia in August, I told him there wasn’t any peaceful way to reach this goal in four months and asked how we could develop relations with such plans in mind?”

    Further via machine translation here: http://tinyurl.com/5h2lug

    ” In summer 2004, the top leadership of Georgia discussed the beginning of large-scale operation in South Ossetia. Georgian invasion of Abkhazia was prepared in April-May 2008, which were brought Israeli instructors. Mikhail Saakashvili even planned to move the capital of Georgia in Sukhumi. The beginning of military operations in August approved Washington.”

    And:

    “I explicitly asked the Minister of Defense – he continues – whether the Georgian army ready for war, he said that such an army, as it has today, will not be in the future four years. He explicitly said that the war will begin in May Year in Abkhazia, although that decision has not yet been taken. ”

    “Kitsmarishvili [said] that the top leadership of Georgia was preparing for a military operation in Abkhazia in spring 2008, which were brought by instructors from Israel,…”

    “With regard to the involvement of Washington Ossetian operation, the Eros Kitsmarishvili, referring to the inner circle of Mikhail Saakashvili, said: “The U.S. leadership has given a green light to Georgia to conduct military operations in South Ossetia.”

    After these statements a scuffle broke out and apparently Kitsmarishvilli was gigged with a thrown pencil.

  16. The Russian military, any military who takes their job seriously would have to counter the missile shield because it must be presumed that it would be used to stop a second strike, that is, after a first strike by the USA. In nuclear game theory, or hell, even football, there is no strict dividing line between offensive and defensive. This combined with published US Military doctrine and recent history, most prominently the US promise that NATO would not expand eastward if Gorbachev ‘just walked away’ from the Soviet Empire, may perhaps shed some light on Russian attitudes toward the defense only missile shield.

  17. My question is this: Is the US media preparing public opinion for Cold War, Part Deux–or even worse?

    I hope not. I hate sequels.

  18. That’s just the problem Brad, Americans (by which I REALLY MEAN the American government) don’t and won’t mind their own business. Indeed have no intention of doing so.

  19. Yes, I saw the CBS agitprop and it inspired disgust. Medvedev is simply reacting to American provocation, no more and no less. As to Chavez, he would have Venezuela join any combination of states antagonistic to American foreign policy at this point. Medvedev’s responces to the common belicosity of Bush/Obama are and were both welcome and predictable in my view. There needs be a counterpoise somewhere to the insanely interventionist arrogance of the system’s leadership. The Europeans are incapable of providing it.

  20. Medvedev is definitely a good guy here, if we were to go all Bush-like and divide the picture into black and white. Russia is lucky.

  21. We should leave Chavez alone. Yet we can still consistently call him what he is: a bozo thug. This is how it would work, if we gave neutrality a chance.

  22. You Eastern Europeans need to relax and learn how to live with Russia in peace in harmony. Baiting the Bear and then hiding behind America’s back can’t be a viable strategy. Sooner or later the US will tire of this BS and walk away.

  23. @Usama Bin Goldstein.

    The brilliant German philosopher Hermann Goering is reported to have said at the Nuremburg Trials:

    “Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

    Yes, someone wants war. Why? I’m not sure.

  24. If the U.S. had any brains it would have left Europe altogether after the Berlin wall fell, Germany was reunited, eastern Europe liberated, the Warsaw Pact dissolved and the USSR broke up into 15 different countries. But no, we decided to expand NATO, when it should have been wound down.

  25. It be very interesting what happened when Evil Empire has to come HOME.
    Poland, Georgia and other satrapS still be next to continent of Russia.

  26. More on Kitsmarishvilli:

    http://civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=20026

  27. Although Goering’s statement was made during the period of the trials, it was not made to the court. It was made privately in Goering’s cell to German-speaking U.S. Army Captain Gustave Gilbert, a psychologist. There is no trial record of the statement and the trials were in recess for Easter at the time.

  28. Chavez is a “bozo thug”, because he accepts the outcome of democratic elections, even he loses them? Or maybe he is a thug because he survived two coups by the American supported opposition through the support of the majority of Venezuelans. That must be it. Surviving the American designs on your country is the ultimate sign of thugish characters.

    Rumsfeld, once called Chavez a Hitler. He wasn’t one for neutrality for the sake of consistency. So perhaps neutrality is the last thing you are giving a chance to, when you call Chavez a “bozo thug”. Politics is still very interesting. The reclaimed confidence, and what a notorious confidence it was, of the old hands in American establishment after Obama’s election is finding its way to the pages of antiwar.com too. This is the second time in a week that I find Chavez called a clown on antiwar.com. The other instance used “despicable clown” to describe him. Obama’s policies are clear by now. But to find antiwar.com paving the way for him is just unbelievable. The only explanation for it is one word: America.

  29. At the risk of diverting the topic somewhat – and for anyone that might object to my doing so, my sincerest apologies in advance – I see today that AIPAC Stephin Fetchit, Obama, has just scored a hat trick, adding Robert Gates to the likely Hitlery Clinton and Jones appointments. I’d have included Rahm Emanuel, but he’s already President and pulling the strings although at first blush you’d thought you were certain that a Chief Of Staff would be just a Chief Of Staff, weren’t you? Some of the best commentary I’ve seen on the incipient Obama Administration, if it can’t be found here, can be found at Counterpunch, there being at least three informative articles there today alone. For anyone that has yet to accept the notion that the two major political parties are simply modes of the same underlying reality, this exercize we’re witnessing ought to convince them otherwise. There’ll certainly be no fundamentally different vision of the Russian relationship in the years to come.

  30. Right on. But not only Europe but also Korea, Japan, South America, etc. It’s definately one of the problems with rulers, they don’t ever want to rule less area. Who wants to step down from Emperor to lowly President? Well, Ron Paul but that’s about it. The rest all want to be the “Leader of the Free World”. Of course the more land they can “Free” using the military the more they get to rule.

    Peace!

  31. Congratulations, Ali, for completely missing the point. I call for the US to lay off Chavez–he’s not our concern. I also note that we can and should practice neutrality and still call a spade a spade. Or a thug a thug.

    Chavez is a tinpot tyrant, one of many. But he poses no threat to us, was elected by the Venezuelan people, and what he does to them is of little import to us. All this, and it’s still the truth to call him a bozo thug. Exactly which part of this didn’t you understand?

  32. Here my Russian 2c worth on Chavez – most people here (politicians included) perceive his as a kind of extravagant Latino leader – which certainly has his charisma and appeal. Think Fedel and Chegevara. This Spanish temperament – blended with Indian mystique for Chavez.

    Granted, this kind of person would be very unappealing to Protestant, Anglo-Saxon culture person, but to Russian, having considerably greater affiliation towards self-expression and risk adversity – Chavez is a fit.

    Anther certain appealing trait of Chavez is the ability to tell TRUTH, as opposed to “politically correct” bullshit.

    His socialist approaches… That is really nobody’s business, other then of people of his country. Since pure, non-corrupt free market is nowhere in sight on this Planet, none of criticism of this kind sounds sincere to me. Getting rid of foreign corporations in the natural resources sector is most often a good decision for the country that wants to be independent and optimal for its own population.

    Speaking on ABM systems being “efficient enough” – Russia have tested couple days ago the new generation of multi-warhead missile, that is not be deployed before the end of 2009, when the last nuclear limitation treaty of Gorbachev legacy expires. Since US did not express much interest in that treaty, and since Russia has only slightly more then 3000 warheads in service now (as opposed to over 4000 the US) has that is a good news for all Russian people. At the very least, Russia should have same number of warheads in service as the US does – but with US ABM efforts, I’d say that 2-3 times as much would be safe.

    Now – is this bad or good for Russia? This certainly makes Russia nuclear superpower, compared to all countries of the world, with possible exception of the US. So, our valuable resources would be well protected (unlike, sic, Arab’s …). Also, all the US proponents of ABM systems should remember recent China’s test of anti-satellite weapons – and keep in mind that Russia certainly has capabilities that match or exceed China’s. Therefore, ABM can be easily rendered useless if worst comes to worse. And then… in the ultimate battle for freedom, Russia has very good chances to win and finally end “The Game” once and for … a while at least :-)

    Shall I remind the proverbal saying of Aleksandr Nevsky (over 1000 years ago) – “Whoever will come to Russia with a sword, shall die from a sword”. Very simple, but worked in the pas, present and will work in the future, unfortunately. More innocent Russian blood as usual, but freedom to have an independent country as well. It’s too bad, that it seems that only by controlling 1/2 of the world it is possible to be relatively safe (like in the days of the USSR).

    Speaking of Eastern Europe… They had proven that they don’t have place (don’t want to be) on the map of the World as independent countries (territories). Maybe, maybe, the only way to handle them is to actually get into that very undesired nuclear fight and make sure these lands are rendered quite useless for life for 50 years of so. I’d say that 4000 short range missiles with nuclear warheads can handle that job. But since first 20 such missiles will be deployed in Poland, ain’t Poles and Czechs are working hard towards that “ultimate solution of Eastern European problem” already :-) ? Ukrainians, eager to integrate with Europe can be hired to work on a new natural gaz pipeline through these devastated lands :-) In case they will not manage to participate in the “ultimate solution” :-)

    Matthew 10:34 – “I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword”

  33. As long as the US is on the same course as British Empire was in relation to the “Big Game” – there would be no change.
    And it seems to me that US wants some hot War to settle the dispute… awful. But it’s better to die standing.

  34. Vassili, We still live with mutually assured destruction (MAD). I would hope that you would no more wish to go to war with me than I would with you. Most people still live under the delusion that a war can somehow be won. It can’t be, no one ever wins in a war. The best hope is to avoid any and all war. In the US I see a constant theme of movies and books in which there is a devestating event of one kind or another. Notice that the hero always survives. That is just not how it works, in reality war takes who it wants when it wants. We would all suffer and don’t count on it that you or your familly would survive.

    I prepare for the worst and so should you, but I hope it never happens. In fact I do what little I can to work against the present and future wars. Obviously you as a Russian should appreciate the devestation of war. What I wonder is can you understand what total nuclear war would do to the world?

    Peace!

  35. Yes, Vassili, the people that make our two-headed Tasmanian Devil possible are just aching for a fight with someone, Russia, Syria, Iran, you name it. With an economy in long term decline in no small part owing to the refusal of a bought-and-paid-for Congress to require client financial institutions to accept the consequences of their past behavior and who instead passed legislation making it possible for taxpayers to bail them out, and two wars the continuation of which would seem solely to serve the interests of a controlling foreign policy lobby, the enduring pugnacity of the United States can hardly be seen as existing in vacuum. Although not a libertarian, one comes to see the underlying point in the axiom, “War is the health of the state.”

  36. Jeremy makes excellent points as usual. The fact that you don’t get a more “balanced” point of view in the major media outlets shows how dependent they are on US gov’t press releases for their stories. Independent media??? The demonization of other nations is an important part of the State’s ability to exercise power over its own people. Watch the BBC documentary “The Power of Nightmares.” It is available free on Google Video.

  37. We all know what happened to the British empire.

  38. The American news media has spent the last three days covering terrorist attacks in India (interrupted by occasional reports of shoppers killing each other). And always the question, whether spoken or not, is “how do we stop this?” And always the answer is “with force”. “Take away their money, take away their weapons, exterminate them” It is never “take away the cause that drives them, take away any justifiable grievance, negociate some reasonable solution”.
    In all that blather, I heard not one discussion about one cause of Indian/Pakistan squabbles being the unsettled territorial disputes in Kashmir. Just like you never hear, on American news anyway, one word about Israeli cruelty to Palestinians being a major cause of Mid East terrorism. Injustice is the mother of suicidal terrorism.
    But, unfortunately, we live in an ignorant, “John Wayne” country with a moron in charge. We also have the biggest hammer in the world with our trillion-dollar-a-year military so we view the world as thousands of nails sticking up, all needing to be beat down.

  39. Maciej SKiba, by your comment you’re actually confirming that U.S. missile shield is directed against Russia – not against Iran and N. Korea as Condoleeza Rice and Co claim. So Russia has all reasons to be concerned about this missiles’ deployment.

  40. Agree with you, Andy !
    A’m a French business man who lived and worked abroad for the last 33 years and in Russia from 1992 to 2007. I would like to add that although the US and NATO think they have won over communism, Russians see themselves as the winners over communism. I makes quite a difference when you speak to them…

  41. Seems Putin was backed by a handful of thieves who stole Russia’s great wealth with “Yeltsin deals” and western money. I think this group called “the oligarchs” thus gained control of Media/propaganda and Oil & Gas etc. I think also, if I am correct, part of Putin’s genius is that when he came to power he sent the military into the TV stations and turned the tables on his own “king makers” & “would be controllers”. I think he then re-claimed the great national assets and is now the first Russian to get the great many out of terrible poverty. The people love him. It seems the opposite of what is happening in the west. AND, they are not only at peace and well defended with countless Nukes but prospering. Trouble is what happens IF they, or even we, get an idiot or a tyrant on throne? EITHER a Russian or Western leader can destroy virtually all of us now so what it the point of Nato “aggression”. It simply profits warmongers who seem to own congress & media etc. This problem can only be remedied by “the masses” in the west not voting for “war puppet” politicians. IT IS ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL THE WHOLE WORLD REDUCES NUKES as, it only a question of time before they start going off either deliberately or by mistake. Only politicians & warmongers want war. The people all want peace, development and sensible trade. We need politicians who will deliver this not put another knife at Russia’s throat, which they should never accept. Would we?

  42. Seems Putin was backed by a handful of thieves who stole Russia’s great wealth with “Yeltsin deals” and western money. I think this group called “the oligarchs” thus gained control of Media/propaganda and Oil & Gas etc. I think also, if I am correct, part of Putin’s genius is that when he came to power he sent the military into the TV stations and turned the tables on his own “king makers” & “would be controllers”. I think he then re-claimed the great national assets and is now the first Russian to get the great many out of terrible poverty. The people love him. It seems the opposite of what is happening in the west. AND, they are not only at peace and well defended with countless Nukes but prospering. Trouble is what happens IF they, or even we, get an idiot or a tyrant on throne? EITHER a Russian or Western leader can destroy virtually all of us now so what it the point of Nato “aggression”. It simply profits warmongers who seem to own congress & media etc. This problem can only be remedied by “the masses” in the west not voting for “war puppet” politicians. IT IS ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL THE WHOLE WORLD REDUCES NUKES as, it only a question of time before they start going off either deliberately or by mistake. Only politicians & warmongers want war. The people all want peace, development and sensible trade. We need politicians who will deliver this not put another knife at Russia’s throat, which they will never accept. Would we?

  43. Well said. The best point ever. “We” are dealing with the symptoms & not the cause. Why? The only logical answer can be “vested interests assets & profits”. Well who is it then? I guess, Banking, Military supply, oil and other. The REAL question is who are the people “at the top” that are driving this agenda through our Government (and probably giving politician donations)? Who also is driving these incredibly dangerous and ant-democratic Police state Laws & Internet filtering etc. I suggest you research Bilderberg Group and the Trilatoral commission. I suspect the wealthiest people on earth might be such supremacists, and, so greedy that they somehow “justify” their agenda to themselves. I imagine they might also be laughing at us.

  44. Its called the military-industrial-congressional complex. And Americans were warned about it as long ago as Eisenhower’s time.

  45. Yes, we STILL live with MAD and it is good – it worked for last 40 years and there is no reason to entertain the idea of trying to win nuclear war by means of superior ABM system. That is as irresponsible and Germany attack on Russia in 1941. It certainly SEEMED to Hitler that Germany can win, in a same way some people in the US elite believe that superior ABM may allow to win. Keep in mind that Germany was in desperate position in terms of economics – they had to start the war – or else the country would collapse due to economic problems – in the same time frame it took them to loose WW.

    And who arranged this situation – back then and now – same New-York/London/Zionist banking system. Notice, that now as then Russia is less dependent of the above mentioned clique, compared to the US at large.

    Now – Russians don’t have any delusion about “winning the war”, but are confident that – “Whoever will come to Russia with a sword, shall die from a sword”. That includes economic aggression as well…

  46. Although I don’t believe in “democracy”, I firmly believe that every nation has the Government that it can live with. That applies to every country – people are not helpless – if 85% of population becomes extremely unhappy with the Govt – it goes away.

    So – wars with Iran, Iraq, Mongolia, Venezuela, Cuba, Korea etc. etc. – these kind of fights are not likely to result in extreme unhappiness of US population – provided economics does not go down completely.

    But war with Russia? nuclear by definition – provided that Russia keeps it’s retaliation potential in good shape, and – unlike Yeltsin’s rule, when systems were going down without replacement and nothing was done to decrease the efficiency of US ABM system being built – yes – MAYBE under these circumstances, US elite would risk of getting significant damage to half dozen major cities – New-York, Chicago, Washington DC, Los Anglos, Seattle, Orlando, Dallas – well – crazy IMHO, but THEY are as crazy as late Brezhnev’s USSR elite I guess. Notice that the MAJOR reason why people in Russia agree with jailing of Khodarkovsky is because his political agenda included giving away ALL – 100% of Russia nuclear forces to the US/NATO. On top of that he expressed an opinion that 30 million population would be enough for Russia (now it is 150 millions). So – THAT plan did not work out. But US elite is so rigid – they are not capable of reacting, they are not response-able :-)

    So – with Putin actively working on not only maintaining, but also enhancing the MAD status – I simply don’t see what are they (US elite) counting on – but after all what Hitler was counting on? Still killed 20 million Russian people…

    One thing we should agree on – the USSR/Russian policy of “peacemaking” with the US (as opposed to containing) did not work out at all. I certainly feel less safe now in terms of nuclear war, as opposed to 1985 – and that is bad.

  47. I’m not aware of any use of military to gain control over TV stations. Putin took away mass media from enemies of Russia by a combination of legal and economic measures – the only allegation that makes any sense is that courts are not independent in Russia – but they are independent from both sides usually.

    Since I believe that in both Russia and the US there are enough “non-crimes” on the books that EVERY person can be put to jail if political need be (cannabis? prostitution? “intellectual property”? taxes?) – I firmly believe that EVERY person with high enough position if tried carefully for combination of those – can be found guilty. Now – in the US there is even the whole “terrorist” dimension to these capabilities – take anybody and just jail him indefinitely – Putin does not have such an “easy” option as a matter of fact.

    And of course I’m very firmly against any reduction to nuclear capabilities of Russia – Russia’s conventional military is much smaller then US alone, not to mention NATO (and even China).

    The only outcome of nuclear forces reduction would be a direct aggression against Russia under any pretext – and we’ve seen TONS of them over last 15 years. Even recent proxy war in Georgia shows that US are pretty much ready to start war with Russia. Any reduction of Russian nuclear forces is deadly dangerous to the world peace – and to US people that would be target of remaining nuclear charges, even after the reduction.

  48. “One thing we should agree on – the USSR/Russian policy of “peacemaking” with the US (as opposed to containing) did not work out at all. I certainly feel less safe now in terms of nuclear war, as opposed to 1985 – and that is bad.”

    And you are right in feeling that way. I share your concerns. The people in the United States whose investments are most threatened by this economic crisis read the tea-leaves about their earlier front man, Bush, and have turned the Presidency over to Rahm Emanuel, a Russia, Iran and Syria hater from way back. President Emanuel won’t have to worry about passport problems after the first nuclear exchange. He’s got a second home eslewhere.

  49. If anything – current events – with monthly reports about “testing of another ICBM with improved ABM penetration capability” – reminds me of 50s or 60s – before I was born.

    Are we to finally see real “Star Wars”, i.e. arm’s race getting into outer space? Once again – with Russia having better capabilities for space delivery in both terms of cost and volume – how smart is that for the US? What possible answer to building military space station – that would be able to contain ABM system being developed by the US now. Tons of “asymmetrical answers”.

    Once again – I can understand US desire of 1945 to contain the USSR – with demonstrated capability to win a conventional war with best Western war power of the day (Germany). But the desire to dominate Russia after it’s unilateral withdrawal from the cold war? Starting proxy wars with Russia – by means of Chechnja and Georgia and little “cold war” now by Poland?

  50. Vassili, Your right about MAD. I would hate to think what the ignorant rulers of the US would do if not for MAD. They may just be ignorant enough to try and take on Russia. Of course there is no way in hell the US would ever come out victorious. It would simply be the end of millions of lives on both sides with the most likely outcome being the end of the US. As far as economic aggression I think the US is about done there too. With the way things are going now the US will be lucky to save itself let alone be able to mess around with anyone else for a good long time.

    It is more than a little scarry living in these times. I actually believe we are now in more danger of WWIII than ever before. My ignorant leaders have backed themselves into a corner both economicaly and militarily. Unfortunately they often think the only answer in using the military. Instead of ending the new “evil empire” that we have created and saving this country. They somehow believe they can fight their way out of the mess they have gotten us into. It’s reminding me more and more of Germany before WWII. And yes, the “New-York/London/Zionist banking system” is a large part of the problem.

    Peace!

  51. I understand you perfectly, R. Nelson. Forgive me for going too far, but perhaps it is you that do not understand yourself and what you are saying. It would be good if you had answered or at least thought about my question as to what has Chavez done that makes you call him a thug? You did not answer that, and go on to insist that it is your right to call people a thug. Fine, it is your right, I suppose. However, you just have to remember one thing. It does not work like that. You ask for the hat, and there will be others who will bring you the head with the hat.

    You also say that what Chavez, “does to” the Venezuelan people is of little import to America. That gives the game away entirely. In fact what Chavez does to the Venezuelans is of no import to Americans, in any case. It is what Chavez is doing FOR the Venezuelans that irks America to the point that its highest ranking officials call him a Hitler, and you call him a thug.

  52. When the only tool you have is a hammer every problem becomes a nail.

  53. Now that we’re agreed on neutrality, let’s check out Chavez and his revolution that marches on: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/14/AR2005071402133.html

    Typical tin pot dictator stuff, with TV stooges singing his praises. Don’t bother excusing Chavez by comparing him with Bush, because I already consider the latter a tyrant of sorts with innocent blood on his hands. No doubt Chavez will do all sorts of things for and to the people of Venezuela–every tyrant does some kind of pandering to keep power while pressing on their necks if necessary. Didn’t Mussolini make the trains run on time?

  54. Great info and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is actually the best place to ask but do you guys have any thoughts on where to get some professional writers? Thank you