Skip to comments.Ralph Peters: A Czar Is Born...
Posted on 08/14/2008 1:38:04 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
THE Russians are alcohol-sodden barbarians, but now and then they vomit up a genius.
Prime Minister - and now generalissimo - Vladimir Putin is Mother Russia's latest world-class wonder.
Let's be honest: Putin's the most effective leader in the world today.
That doesn't mean he's good news for anybody - not even for the Russians, in the long run. His ruthless ambition and gambler's audacity may end terribly.
But, for now, give the devil his due: After a long string of successes, from his personal mastery of Russia's government and media to his coldblooded energy brinkmanship, Putin has capped his performance with a stunning success in Georgia.
Not a single free-world leader currently in office can measure up to Czar Vladimir the Great.
Following his turnaround of Russia from bankrupt kleptocracy to flush-with-cash autocracy, he's now openly determined to restore Moscow's old empire.
And he's getting away with it.
As a former intelligence officer, I'm awestruck by the genius with which Putin assessed the strategic environment on the eve of his carefully scripted invasion of Georgia.
With his old KGB skills showing (he must've been a formidable operative), Putin not only sized up President Bush humiliatingly well, but precisely anticipated Europe's nonreaction - while taking a perfect-fit measure of Georgia's mercurial president.
Putin not only knew what he was doing - he knew exactly what others would do.
This is intelligence work at the hall-of-fame level. (For our part, we had all the intelligence pieces in our hands and failed to assemble the puzzle.)
On the military side, the months of meticulous planning and extensive preparations for this invasion were covered by military exercises, disingenuous explanations - and maskirovka, the art of deception the Red Army had mastered. The Russians convinced us to see what we wanted to see.
(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...
I wonder if we (the world) assumes that Hitler was the last great evil dictator/world conqueror? Or Stalin?
Like Napoleon, Stalin and Hitler would just be it, no more. I know we seem to think we as a society have grown above such things, but we may come to realize that we are all just naive.
Could Putin really be the next Hitler? If he has the wealth, and obviously the world fears him. That is the thing that scares me the most, that no one is willing to fight him. That is obvious from this week. He got confirmation that the world won’t touch him.
While the world may not see Georgia as “worth it”, the fact that they know they can just march in and land grab is frightening. It’s like letting a child get out of control. At what point does it become “worth it”?
Russia's economy: Yes, the Russians are currently awash with money (which is why it is interesting to read people on FR still referring to 'rusty ships.' However, that is because it is an energy exporter that also happens to have the world's largest natural gas reserves. With the current price regime for energy, all the 'brains' one needs is to not flush the money down the drain! That doesn't require genius ....just discipline. Furthermore, Russians who are in business are quite hardworking, thus they are responsible for their own success and hence it should not be attributed to Putin. What Putin did is actually let the economy function rather than expose it to 'experiments' (the Chinese have done the same thing, and their economy is also doing much better than anyone could have ever dreamed of 15 years ago)
The military victory in Georgia: What is so amazing about that? It was inevitable that the Russians would defeat the Georgians. After all, Russia had a significant quantitative and qualitative edge, and it appears like the Georgians rushed in without thinking too hard about things. There is nothing amazing about the success in Georgia, and nothing to make Putin into a genius. As a matter of fact, Putin acted in a stupid manner when he rolled past South Ossetia into Georgia proper. Had he merely stayed in SO there would have been no global condemnation, but the moment he started moving into the rest of Georgia it was inevitable that a reaction would arise that would not be to Russia's best interest. Thus, it was not genius but rather rashness.
Playing Georgia's president: Again, another even that doesn't make Putin a genius. Georgia's president is an emotionally volatile character, and the moment the S.Ossetians started shelling Georgian positions it was inevitable that he would overreact. That doesn't make Putin a genius ....all it means is that the Georgian president should lay off the coffee and think several steps ahead.
Europe's non-reaction: Also NOT genius. It was obvious that Western Europe would not do anything since they are too dependent on Russia's natural gas supplies. That just needs someone to be observant ...even Ahmadenijad is 'smart' enough to know that.
Bush's non-reaction: Well, it is obvious that Putin was VERY wrong here. Bush reacted, and did so in a very presidential manner.
Anyways, Putin is shrewd. However I have yet to see the 'genius' aspect of any of this. In my opinion the guy won the battle in Georgia, but in the process lost East and Central Europe.
That is not smart.
Czar Vladimir the Great.
Should be "Vlad The Impaler".
I happened to see a portion of that program - Peters provided a good perspective of the conflict. He really blasted the media for accepting the Russian view of events. I sent an E-mail to Rush and suggested that he watch the program.
LOL. Is Ralph Peters part Polish? ;-)
Illarionov: Russia Lost the Georgian War
The war against Georgia was a brilliant provocation carefully planned and successfully carried out by the Russian leadership. The campaign was practically identical to the plan carried out in another theatre at another time [Chechen warlord Shamil] Basaev’s attack into Dagestan and the beginning of the second Chechen war in 1999.
The military losses of Georgia are greater than those of Russia. At the same time, however, the financial, foreign policy, and moral losses of Russia are much more significant than those of Georgia.
If we want to blow smoke up Putins rear end, we should probably call him a Prince of Princes. IE - The Prime Minister of the Golden Horde.
The first thing I did this morning was roll hubby out of bed to, “So, what's your analysis of the American Enterprise Institute?” He stumbled out of the bathroom with “Geez, Kathy! Can't a guy even get a cup of coffee before you start.” I poured him one and gave him an additional 10 seconds to answer. Okay, so I'm a little driven when I want answers, I'll grant you.
True. The only reason Russia feels secure to move south is that they can stop the West with just the flick of a switch.
Ha! I thought that same thing when I was reading it.
The article's last sentence is a chiller. McCain is the only one who has read Putin correctly from the start. When it comes to people-judging skills, Bush is like the Obama-ites......he only sees what he wants to see..... thus we get "good soul" Putin, Freedom Medal winners Tenet & Bremer, AG Gonzales, Justice Myers, Spokesman Scott McClellan, and ol' "Good-Job" Brownie.
Why doesn't this surprise me (that being a former Intel officer finding himself awestruck).
I like Peters, regarding much, but he is spouting alot of hyperbole nonsense in this one.......(just as he was 2 years back saying Iraq was lost)....
Peters can really sound like an hysterical woman at times. And he’s a pathological Bush basher. I wonder what he said in the late 1970s when the Sovs invaded Afghanistan. Did he predict the death of the West then too?
Bush would have been called an economic hero if he had opened drilling in ANWR.
Things are looking like the run up to WW-II, only things are happening faster, as most things do these days.
And we are going to be stuck with an old man with a reputation as a hothead, or a very useful idiot. Useful to Putin that is.
Along with a Congress full of leftover hippies and peaceniks.
We could, and we did, under Reagan. Now after 20 years of "moderates", Clinton and the Bushes, we may or may not be able to. Entitlements are eating up ever larger parts of the budget, and of the economy. No one seems to even *want* to do anything about the growth of the "untouchable" part of the budget. Not much is left over to spend on the military. We import most of our "black gold" and products made from it. The Russians export it.
It's they who could economically cripple the west, at least Western Europe.
And the speaker of the House is out to "Save the Planet", rather than "Save the US".