Skip to comments.Risky Russky Business (Analysis of Putin's Russia Politics and Business)
Posted on 06/28/2006 2:15:09 PM PDT by sergey1973
The Wests need for Russias energy and cooperation regarding Iran, Iraq, China, and the War on Terrorism will likely lower the standard demanded for a full membership in the G8 group, to allow Moscows ascendance to the rich nations club, at the St. Petersburg meeting in July.
In the six years since he pledged to uphold democracy as a 'dictatorship of law,' President Vladimir Putin has increased the role of the police and security services in governing Russia and wielded the power of the courts for political ends, says the Director of the London based Foreign Policy Centre, Stephen Twig. Indeed, according to the former director of Communist Romanias intelligence service Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, while the Soviet Union had one KGB officer for every 428 citizens. Putins Russia has one FSB-ist (Federal Security Service) for every 297 citizens.
This huge increase in security personnel did little to control the rising corruption that plagues Russia. On the contrary; more state agents demand more bribes from Russian citizens and foreigners doing business in Russia.
In 2005 alone, Russian businesses paid an estimated $316 billion in bribes, about 20 percent the countrys GDP that year, according a report by the Moscow based Indem Foundation. And corruption is not limited to business; Russian citizens are forced to pay bribes to receive basic services that the government is supposed to provide for free. Want your drivers license in the near future? Your passport ready before your flight takes off? Your marriage license? Pay up.
(Excerpt) Read more at frontpagemag.com ...
While there will be talks of a New Cold War, I still hope it won't be the case because situation is quite different with resurgent Islamists trying to destroy Infidels left and right. There is always hope that circumstances will force Putin regime to act responsibly no matter how disappointing the situation is.
"No circumstances could ever force anyone to change one's fundamental nature, although occasionally one might be forced to act against it [this always breeds deepest resentment, and for this reason such situations are transient]. It is "not there", and under no circumstances will cows fly."
Gee-GSlob--we need to establish the great FR thinkers hall of fame and give you the honorary place there -:))) !
Then to answer your argument, I would hope that Putin be forced to act against his fundamental nature -:))))
But they will not stop, because the soros/buffet/gates liberal crowd NEEDS them to finish stealing ALL of the CHRISTIAN'S lands in Kosovo.
You are right, Lion. Political stupidity and Myopia unfortunately are universal among Non-Muslim countries who instead of uniting against Islamo-Nazi thugs are still trying to use these Islamo-Nazis against each other. It's playing with fire
Yes, you could force him to do so - say [as a figurative illustration] by keeping a gun to his head. And then the question becomes, how long could you maintain [or even keep increasing due to the building resentment] such a pressure, and what would happen if you weaken or remove it. Identities are extremely resilient things, as the Israelis have found over last 60+ years, and as Russia itself found, and is finding, in places like Poland or Chechnya. To force him into behaving against what he is would be quite a trick.
Playing with fire indeed it is!!
"Identities are extremely resilient things, as the Israelis have found over last 60+ years, and as Russia itself found, and is finding, in places like Poland or Chechnya."
Well--let's not mix a number of conflicts together. Russian domination over Poland was a gross injustice and morally harmful to both Poland and Russia. It was Christians oppressing other Christians and hence it's more intra-civilizational conflict althought some would argue that Catholic and Eastern Orthodox are separate civilizations. Maybe it's partly true, but it's also true that Orthodox and Catholic Christians are far close to each other than each of them to Muslims. They should remember this.
Russian-Chechen War and Israeli-"Palestinian" War are "clash of civilizations". Israel could have avoided much of the tragedies by simply offering in 1967 incentives to "Palestinians" (really Arabs and other Middle East Islamic tribes) to relocate from Judea, Samaria (aka West Bank) and Gaza to other Arab countries. "Peace Process" was in fact a surrender to Israel's vicious enemies the territories Israel won in a just 1967 war of self-defence.
Russian-Chechen conflict is a bit different because Russia was spreading militarily into Muslim-held territory for centuries. However, knowing the nature of Islam, from political stand-point it made sense. Having said that, much of the brutalities of the latest Russian-Chechen wars could have been avoided if Russia simply relocated the Chechen population into decent refugee centers away from the war zone. It could also offer all its Muslims who want to live under Islamic Laws a one way ticket to Haj in Saudi Arabia with condition not to come back.
Overall, the clash of civilizations is real and was going on since the dawn of civilization itself and it's impossible to walk away from that. Being fair and objective in civilizational struggle is simply impossible because ultimately nobody fights fairly. Each civilization wants an absolute domination and all of us have no choice but to choose which civilization we are backing.
"And then it turns out that Huntington's "Orthodox civ", while nominally Christian, is much closer to Islamic and Sinic civilizations than to anything else."
Here I would argue with Huntington. Definitely Orthodox Russia as Orthodox Byzantium created after split of Roman Empire into two, developed as despotic civilizations. Nevertheless, Islam still destroyed Orthodox Byzantium and Orthodox Russia was at war with Islamic Ottoman Empire.
In the end, Christianity "both lungs" (as John Paul II proclaimed), will need to unite for Christian Civilization to survive.
So what? In the "international of despots" there are - bound to be - squabbles and fallings out now and then. When the whole world had nothing but despotisms, great and small, were these despotisms at peace with one another? At peace - no, in kinship - yes. What is claimed is that they have more in common with one another than with anybody outside the circle.
Despots still could belong to different civilizations and democracies could fight each other too -:))))
What do you think?
Since you claimed, I believe, to have kegebun in-laws, have them sift through the archives - why should I make your job any easier?
Papeca should never be quoted as an "Expert" on the FSB/KGB. He, like so many of the "defectors for profit" write what they think their audience wants to read. And it pays the bills. His figures are frickin' laughable. I think it was last year or the year before that the FSB was lamenting it's personnel shortage and recruiting using newspaper ads. I read an ad in a Russian newspaper and thought it was a joke, it wasn't.
Do the math - if a young Russian has foreign language skills and an advanced degree they'll get a job with a Western company that pays good $$$$. Why would they waste themselves at the FSB making approx. $70/month starting out.
Here's what real analysts say about it:
"By 2000, the FSBs total personnel was assessed at 92,000. Applicant levels however had fallen from 10 per opening at the FSB Academy in 1997 to 6 per opening in 2001. Because of personnel shortages, writes Bennett, the FSB began to accept back some of its former officers who left the services in the 1990s to work for commercial companies or other government organizations. Pay remains low: at the end of 2000, a lieutenant entering FSB received 2,000 rubles ($70) a month; in 2001, this rarely rose over 3,000 rubles ($100), though officers could supplement their pay both legally, through bonuses for tasks and perks, and illegally, through moonlighting, providing krysha services, or selling classified information (including to foreign governments, as was acknowledged in June 2000 by the head of the FSBs Internal Security Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Smirnov, as well as by Patrushev himself). The FSBs budget has however been rising. In 2002, the FSB was reportedly to receive roughly $600 million, though this figure, as Bennett notes, was set before September 11, 2001, and must have been subsequently adjusted to meet renewed priorities. According to former FSB director Nikolai Kovalev (in a September 2001 interview), the FSB has been receiving enough funds to pay personnel but not enough to develop the technical equipment required or to conduct scientific research to produce equipment necessary for combating terrorism. In 2005, in the wake of the Beslan attack, the FSB budget (whose amount is classified) was increased by 25%, though Prime Minister Fradkov publicly noted that some parts of the FSB budget have grown so much the agency is already having trouble spending all the money.32"