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Vladimir V. Putin: Neo-Con
Seatlle PI ^ | 8/21/08 | Erin Solaro

Posted on 08/24/2008 3:30:09 PM PDT by Bokababe

About a year ago, the Bush administration and the neocon babble-ocracy began touting Vladimir Putin as America's next Man We Love to Hate. This is odd, since by nearly all standards, Mr. Putin is the most successful neocon on the planet. Or perhaps it's jealousy. Since taking power in 2000, Mr. Putin's Russia has dodged chaos, seen its GDP increase six-fold, its poverty fall by half, average monthly real wages rise by 150% and, with the invasion of Georgia, demonstrated to the world that it can no longer be baited, humiliated or ignored without consequences.

In politics, international politics especially, the standard is not perfection, it's the alternative. Putin's no Stalin, either at home or abroad. Nor is he the new tsar. He's a Russian authoritarian, in some ways an autocrat, who is leaving his country better than he found it.

Would that the accomplishments of Mr. Bush and his (and Rupert Murdoch's) neocon minions and shills might receive the same evaluation. But they can't. Mr. Bush will go down in history as our worst president ever in terms of what he squandered, and among the worst in terms of criminality. The neocons have been proven wrong so often that, were they physicians or attorneys or plumbers, they'd have their licenses revoked. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin is currently the most successful leader around and in one very important way, among the most moral and humane.

For in power politics, it is extremely moral to know when to stop and profoundly immoral to posture and preen and make promises you can't keep and issue threats you can't back up.

We shall return to Mr. Putin in a bit. For now, it's necessary to review neoconservatism in its American context, then show why and how they've brought us only ruin...while Russia begins a resurgence that, if properly understood and acknowledged, can only benefit the world.

The present generation of American neocons believes, like many of us, that America is the greatest country on earth. To them, however, the greatest country on earth has to have an empire and a Purpose sufficient to justify whatever we want to do. In fact, for them, without a Mission, America isn't even America. Let's go thump someone and call it spreading democracy, "benevolent hegemony" or whatever. It'll be great fun and they'll thank us later. Or so the neocons told us.

American neocons have a long relationship with Russia, a viscerally hostile relationship that goes back to the Cold War. Sadly, it's a relationship they'd like to revive, now that Saddam's no longer available, Osama's gone missing and bombing Iran lacks popular sizzle.

It's a hostility few Americans have ever shared. Throughout the 20th century, the vast majority of Americans believed that we had no beef (or borscht) with Russia per se, and certainly not with its people. When the Romanov monarchy collapsed in 1917, we cheered Russia's ascent to democracy...and then did nothing to help. When the Bolsheviks took power, we began eighty years of proclaiming that Russia was not the problem. All they had to do was get rid of communism and everything between us would be copasetic. After all, we'd never fought each other (few Americans today know that we landed troops in the Russian far east in 1918, ostensibly and ineffectually to aid Bolshevism's enemies, and kept them there for two years). We'd even been allies during World War II. Nor did we have any obvious geographical or economic conflicts. It was just that darn Communism.

The American neocon movement was born in the aftermath of Vietnam. Its founding generation was composed largely of former liberals and Leftists, even a few cafeteria Trotskyites. Some had drifted away from communism in horror at the excesses of the 1930s, or during the 1950s when the full extent of those excesses began to be known. Many were conventional liberals who broke with the Old Left over Vietnam, which they supported, and with the New Left, whose anti-Vietnam antics they found frivolous, self-centered, self-righteous and self-interested. The neocon movement coalesced during the Carter administration and attained its first real influence during the Reagan years.

The neocons were not traditional conservatives. Some remained unrepentant New Dealers, when they bothered to consider domestic issues at all. They were primarily Manhattan and Beltway types, heavily Jewish, with little use for the "paleocons"-the Old Guard William F. Buckley crowd and Die Hard segregationists, or with the rising Sunbelt evangelicals. The paleocons and Sunbelt types, for their part, returned the sentiment.

The movement came of age with Ronald Reagan and it had but one overriding purpose: win the Cold War. A few senior neocons, such as movement "Godfather" Irving Kristol, took a broader view.

His stated purpose was "to convert the Republican Party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy." But foreign policy was always Job One, and the senior neocons included hard liners such as Henry "Scoop" Jackson of Washington and Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, both Democratic Senators, as well as former Democrat Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Ambassador to the UN under the Reagan Administration. The bipartisan nature of these elder neocons made them very useful to Ronald Reagan, who wisely never got in bed with them, instead keeping them at a distance. As he used to say, "Sometimes the Right hand doesn't know what the Far Right hand is doing." But in private, he and his senior advisers would tell the neocons, "We need you to hold our feet to the fire."

The elder neocons and, increasingly, their junior clique (many of whom were children of the founding generation) were happy to do so. This is because neocons like to play with fire, especially when it's other people getting burned. Throughout the 80s, they agitated incessantly for military action, covert and overt, against the Soviets in places like Nicaragua, El Salvador, Angola, Afghanistan. They were not always wrong.

When Ronald Reagan came to power, most Americans accepted the "mature Cold War" as a permanent fact of international life. This acceptance was based on the perceived realities of Soviet military power. But it was also based on the belief, carefully nurtured by the Soviets and the American academics and CIA types who studied them, that material life was getting continually better for the average Russian.

How nearly everybody got it exactly backwards is a fascinating story in itself. Suffice it to say: Ronald Reagan did not.

His strategy was cold, it was clear, it was thoughtful and purposeful, and it was very definitely his own. Reagan knew intuitively that the Soviet Union was tottering. But he did not want to fight the Soviets, he wanted to bring them to the negotiating table. To that end, he used little, if any, overt force against the Soviet Union. Instead, he developed what in Pentagonese was known as "competitive strategies." In plain English, this meant, "Spend 'em to death." Reagan's aim was to force the Soviet Union to spend money, allocate resources, and occupy technical talent that they either had better use for elsewhere or didn't have. (The best Soviet scientists and engineers were world-class, but they had no real depth, no bench strength.) Supporting the mujahedin in Afghanistan was one way to deplete them. The Strategic Defense Initiative, popularly known as Star Wars-perhaps the most successful weapons system never built or intended to be built-was another.

In short, Ronald Reagan walked the Soviets up to the edge of an economic abyss of their own making, then let them ponder what a revived competition with the United States would mean. Mikhail Gorbachev got the message. He wanted "Perestroika," or "restructuring." He got collapse.

And then we broke our word, which was not so much a set of firm promises as the word that had underlain our attitude toward Russia since 1917. Get rid of communism, call off the global offensive, we'll be friends. We'll even help.

But we didn't. Instead, we pushed them toward their present angry stance. And that is hard to forgive.

We said the right things, from time to time. But as we'd done with Vietnam and Afghanistan, we lost interest and walked away. We got attached to telegenic "celebrities" like Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, which was a huge mistake. When they left power, we lost our frame of reference and were unable to sense the positive qualities of other leaders, such as the late General Alexander Lebed. When Russia's early experiments in democracy segued into anarchy, we shrugged it off. We sent them humanitarian aid, not troubling ourselves too much when it mostly ended up on the black market.

We even sent them Ivy League economists to screw up what was left of their economy by advocating extraordinarily premature privatization. Whole industries were looted or otherwise acquired by well-placed apparatchiks, former communists who'd printed up new business cards, while inflation soared. Both economic and political problems in the former Soviet Union were compounded by the fact that for generations, private business was a crime and "profit" was itself a criminal concept. The result was that criminal penetration of legitimate business activities is pervasive and profound; while organized crime in Russia became a huge business-and we didn't particularly care. If anything, trying to get a handle on organized crime kept the Russians busy. And we were pleased when some of the former Soviet Socialist Republics declared independence (like Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan) or tried to do so (like Chechnya and Dagestan). We could hardly disguise our glee when the Russian Army almost came apart in the First Chechen War.

Democracy, as the neocons liked to gloat, was a' bustin' out all over.

If we'd given a damn, we would have tried to understand this regional fragmentation from their point of view-a point of view that predated communism by five hundred years. If we'd given a damn, we would have helped, seriously helped, the Russians get their economic house in order before making any but the most basic political reforms. We would have understood that a nation with no democratic heritage and no functioning middle class had to go through some messy times, and could not do so on our timetable. We would have understood that a Vladimir Putin had to emerge-because the alternative was worse.

For that matter, if we'd ever cared about our own real greatness, we might have helped the Russians get their own house in order. But America's policy elites totally wasted the 90s with narcissistic navel-gazing. America needed a Purpose, and helping the Russians just wasn't sexy enough. So they were assigned their role in America's New World Order-pathetic, impotent basket case and object lesson-and we left it at that. We had the rest of the planet to play with.

And so the politics of feeling good about yourself came to dominate post-Cold War foreign policy. The "America's Purpose" debate of the 1990s must rank as proof of both the inherent idiocy and the inevitable failure of defining the world as a place for us to administer or save. On one side were the liberal "Muscular Humanitarians," not averse to using force provided we did it "selflessly." On the other were the neocons, the "America's Greatness" crowd, casting about for a lifelong crisis worthy of what they deemed their literary and political talents. They-the younger generation of neocons, especially-had no problem with Madeleine Albright, Clinton's secretary of state, when she asked Colin Powell, "What's the point of having an army if you don't use it?" Indeed, they answered the question General Powell was too furious to address. The neocon response: Let's use force-to turn the Arab world into good little American knock-offs, for starters. And ever since 1991, we've been using our muscle on behalf of Muslims: in Kuwait, in Somalia, in Bosnia, in Kosovo, in Afghanistan, in Iraq.

In Iran?

But what of Russia?

While we were nattering about America's Purpose and getting into war after war, the Russians were slowly putting their internal house in order. But we saw only corruption and crime, suppression and incompetence...when we bothered to look at all. And when we weren't ignoring or dismissing them, we were humiliating them. When the Cold War ended, we congratulated ourselves on how we were too decent to gloat. But we didn't bother to consider the cumulating humiliations we then inflicted upon them both by our indifference and our policies toward others.

We ostentatiously built bases and signed agreements with nations of the former Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact. We got bases in Uzbekistan and Kirghizstan in order to access Afghanistan, which we actually occupy, and have emergency landing rights in Kazakhstan that go beyond international treaties requiring any airport to offer landing rights to any aircraft in distress. NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization established in 1949 to counter the Soviet Union, now found itself without a purpose. So, with American blessing and prodding, NATO began an aggressive Drang nach Osten, moving eastward toward a nonexistent threat in order to have something to do. Today, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, what used to be East Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia are all members of NATO, All except Slovenia, which was part of the former Yugoslavia, were either members of the Warsaw Pact or actually part of the Soviet Union.

And then there was Georgia, still a candidate for membership, along with Ukraine, another former Soviet republic. And today we're busily planning to establish anti-missile systems in these areas, ostensibly to protect Europe from Iranian attack.

We call this expanding democracy and strengthening the "international community." In some ways, it was. But we did it boorishly, rather like a man who flaunts his new mistress in front of her old lover. And we continue to do so today, along with all our threats and admonitions: the empty, ludicrous words of a braggart whose bluff has been called but can't seem to shut up.

The Russians didn't like this militarization of lands near and on their borders. They let us know they didn't like this. They let us know it for a long time, very loudly. That was always the thing about them during the Cold War. If something really bothered them, they let us know, clearly and in a timely manner. This hasn't changed, except-until Georgia-we believed we didn't have to pay attention.

Which brings us to Vladimir Putin, who turns out to be less the Man You Love to Hate than a Russian who intends for his country to be respected...and is prepared to respect us in return. More's the pity that we've given him so little opportunity to do so.

In December 2007, Time Magazine named Putin as "Person of the Year." The magazine described him as "diminutive" (if he is, I'm a supermodel) and "sardonic but humorless. In our hours together, he didn't attempt a joke, and he misread several of our attempts at playfulness." But Time's transcripts of the interview show a man who is unfailingly courteous, even when confronted with outright insolence. Asked if he believed in a Supreme God, Putin replied, "Do you? ... There are things I believe, which should not in my position, at least, be shared with the public at large for everybody's consumption because that would look like self-advertising or a political striptease."

Asked how he viewed the relationship with the United States, Putin replied, "Indeed, Russia and the U.S. were allies during the two tragic conflicts of the Second and the First World Wars, which allows us to think there's something objectively bringing us together in difficult times, and I think-I believe-it has to do with geopolitical interests and also has a moral component. ... The ability to compromise is not a diplomatic politeness toward a partner but rather taking into account and respecting your partner's legitimate interests."

Asked for an example, Putin offered the North Korean nuclear issue: "We were thinking about each other's interests and at the same time about the interests of the country in question, the problems, the issues we were trying to address. Based on such an approach, in the end we resolved the issue to a large extent. At the same time, where we fail to be guided by those basic principles, where we push forward some economic or political self-interest, we fail to arrive at solutions that would realistically address the issue. ... Where we try to take into account each other's interest, we achieve lasting results." A back-and-forth exchange between Putin and Time is as follows:

TIME: Do you think the U.S. wants to see a strong Russia, or a weak Russia? PUTIN: I believe the U.S. already understands and will understand more and more that only a strong Russia will respond to the genuine interests of the United States.

TIME: What is NATO's purpose today? If Russia were invited to join would it do so?

PUTIN: I wouldn't call NATO a putrid corpse of the cold war, but it is a leftover of the past, indeed.... Russia has no intention of joining military-political blocs because that would be tantamount to restricting its sovereignty. But we want to have good relations, both with the U.S. and with other countries, including NATO countries.

Later, after answering a question about chess great and dissident Gary Kasparov's unsuccessful bid for the Presidency, Putin addressed a very large issue: "The bloc system of relations must be replaced by an altogether different system based on common rules that are called international law, and those rules should be strictly abided by. At the end of the day, only this may ensure stability and respect for the interest of small nations and not just large ones and superpowers like the United States."

In a 10,600 word transcript, Putin uses the words interest or interests 23 times. These are not obscurantist subtleties that require a Ph. D. Kremlinologist to interpret. This is a man who has brought his country back from the brink of anarchy, saying in words so plain and simple even a child can understand them, that Russia is a friend and equal of the United States and as such, we must respect their interests-as they respect ours. He was too polite to state the obvious, that it is in the best interests of the United States to respect Russia's interests and that those interests will not be disrespected without consequence. An adult, he did his interviewers the courtesy of assuming they were also adults.

Time Magazine notwithstanding, the US has responded in two ways. First, Putin is increasingly demonized, especially in the Murdoch media apparat. The neocons continue their well-co-ordinated muttering about a new Cold War, and seem quite happy to do so. And why not? For eight years, the Bush administration's acting-out of their fantasies and obsessions have so weakened America, financially and militarily, that only a new threat can justify further expenditures and exertions.

To repeat:

Not so long ago, the neocons wanted Russia to be a basket case, on the verge of famine, corrupt and impotent, so we could have our way in what used to be their empire-and remains their border area. Now, suddenly, the neocons find their resurgence so deliciously alarming that it's already being used as justification for that ultimate indicator of Purpose, increased defense spending.

It's all so obvious, so contrived, so made-to-order, that you feel embarrassed for them.

Russia is never going to be an exemplar of democracy and human rights, no more than Iraq or Afghanistan. But that does not mean that Russia cannot be a decent and humane country. The neocons and the administration do not desire that for Russia, and that is the gravamen of all the verbiage about keeping Russia out of the "international community."

It helped the demonization process that Putin was former KGB. But even if he'd been a former dissident or priest, it wouldn't have mattered. We prefer our Russian leaders evil or, failing that, incompetent. Putin is neither. He is, to borrow a favorite neocon phrase, "tough-minded." And tough-minded people understand that patience is not a limitless virtue.

We brought him to the end of his patience. For a decade, we had been oblivious to Russian humiliation by our ham-handed pursuit of our interests in their own back yard. Then we began to deliberately bait them in a way we would never have dared to do to the old Soviet Union. The final straws were our recognition of Kosovo, part of the former Yugoslavia, as an independent and sovereign state back in February, over both Serbian and Russian protests, the attempt to extend a US anti-ballistic missile shield into the Czech Republic, Poland and Ukraine, and an offer of membership in NATO to the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, a US-supported drama queen of a democracy that was engaged in some very unwise provocations of its own.

In terms of the morality of power politics-a harsh morality that tolerates neither fantasy nor stupidity forever-there are three things wrong with baiting the Russians like this.

First, we didn't just humiliate the Russians; we angered them over their vital interests when there was no reason to. Anger can be very motivating. For over a decade, we humiliated them when they were really in no position to respond. It's when you can't respond that, when you have to just take it, that you are humiliated. When you can engage in the hard, purposeful pleasure of taking action, the humiliation is over. Time's transcript of the Putin interview was read by people who matter in DC-as Putin, a former professional intelligence officer, meant it to be. Putin was saying, clearly and publicly, the time for this nonsense was over; it was time for America to come to an adult understanding of its real interests and act accordingly.

We ignored that message by threatening Russia's very real interests. They didn't like it-they really didn't like it-when former Warsaw Pact nations join NATO, even if it is not quite a putrid corpse. And no one is stupid enough to think that an Iranian missile attack is going to come through Poland or Ukraine. Not even the neocons, and that was a gratuitous insult to Russian intelligence. But offering NATO membership to parts of the former Soviet Union, like Georgia, threatens Russia's right to control its own borders and no nation can tolerate that. Nor should any nation tolerate the hostile and threatening militarization of its neighbors. China didn't in 1950 when US troops approached the Yalu River in Korea. We didn't in 1962 when Khrushchev put missiles in Cuba.

In the end, nations who tolerate threats on their borders pay for it. Israel knows about this. So does the United States with-dare we be honest?-Mexico.

In sum, we have violated a basic tenet of the morality of power politics. Do not threaten the vital interests of others when you yourself have nothing vital to gain. Neither we nor the rest of NATO-including former Warsaw Pact countries like Poland and former Soviet Republics like the Baltics-has anything to gain by admitting Georgia (or Ukraine) to NATO over Russian objections. Rather the opposite. In fact, we've gone out of our way to ignore their positive actions and our commonalities of interest elsewhere. Russia supplies oil and natural gas to Europe and has been quietly very helpful and cooperative to both America and Europe when dealing with terrorism, Islamic and otherwise. Russia could be of enormous help in dealing with the Iranians, if we gave them any reason to be (the Iranians know better than to bait the Russians; doing so to us is safe). Russia also has a dwindling ethnic Russian population and a 2,600 mile border with China, which has a growing population, including a huge surplus of military-age males; in fact, the natural eastern border between Russia and China is the Ussuri River. Nevertheless, Russia holds lands east of the Ussuri, including the major port of Vladivostok, denying China access to the Sea of Japan. Prudent people wonder how long those lands can remain Russian, and the Russians, who are nothing if not prudent, remember the 1969 Ussuri River fighting. Currently, China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and Russia have all signed a treaty limiting troops along their borders, but all those nations know that treaties only last as long as they are in the interests of the signatories.

America might also consider that the United States is for the foreseeable future imprudently dependent on oil, and begin cutting deals with Russia as we wean ourselves, first off Middle Eastern oil, then off of oil itself. America and Europe more generally have an enormous amount to gain from cooperating with Russia, and Russia knows very well it has an enormous amount to gain from cooperating with us. In return for infuriating and alienating the Russians the Georgians offer us-what? Two thousand troops whom we have to equip, transport, and train, to maintain the pretense that our Iraq war is really a "coalition" operation.

And then, unforgivably, our encouragement of Mr. Saakashvili's delusions of democracy and NATO membership got ordinary Georgians killed for nothing.

There has never been the slightest chance we would sacrifice Peoria, or anything else, for Georgia. Even if we had the money and conventional military forces available, any American President who would militarily challenge the Russians for part of their own nation would be justifiably considered certifiable. All we did, all we could have done, by offering NATO membership to Georgia, was get Georgians killed-conscripts, women, children, old men. For nothing. Not even in unilateral American interests. All we can do to the Poles by permitting them, as we have, to sign our missile defense treaty, is endanger them-for nothing, not even our own selfish interests. We have no intention of defending them, and this travesty of a treaty can only further convince the Russians (and anyone else who happens to be watching) of our President's lack of basic common sense and decency. At this point, Russian policy makers are probably less angry than deeply concerned about the collective sanity of the Bush Administration.

Of course, the United States is going to be around long after the neocons-who, not content with having wrecked our military and looted our treasury, are apparently trying to alienate our most powerful potential ally-are gone. We're going to have to fix the mess.

So how should we deal with the Russians?

For a start, look at a map. Russia's real enemies are to the south and east, and none of those folks, Chinese or Islamist, wish us well, either. Second, take a page from the Russians. Our foreign and defense policies have to take a back seat to fundamental economic restructuring because it is our wealth that enables us to implement our policies. Then let's start acting like adults: adults make foreign policy based upon a realistic assessment of their interests and capabilities, and the interests and capabilities of those around them. They don't pick fights they can't win and have nothing to gain from, with people who don't want to fight them.

The real world is a nasty place and America needs friends and allies. Why are we making an unnecessary enemy of a power that by all rights, as well as by logic and morality, ought to be our friend?


TOPICS: Conspiracy; Politics
KEYWORDS: blamebushfirst; gasputin; geopolitics; georgia; putin; russia
Reagan's skill in dealing with the Soviet Union, yet avoiding military confrontation with them, was sheer brilliance -- then we completely dropped the ball in dealing with Russia.
1 posted on 08/24/2008 3:30:09 PM PDT by Bokababe
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To: Bokababe

— then we completely dropped the ball in dealing with Russia.
:::::::
Because we lost the last real American President that cared about his country as his first priority. He cared about America, its founding principles of freedom and liberty for the individual, reduced and controlled government and the sanctity of our beloved Constitution.

He was a 100 year man, and I think it will be a long time, accompanied by much pain, before America has another one and a public that even looks at its government....


2 posted on 08/24/2008 3:36:07 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: Bokababe
"But they can't. Mr. Bush will go down in history as our worst president ever in terms of what he squandered, and among the worst in terms of criminality."

That's enough. I can't read any more. It's pure drivel. What the writer intends to say may or may not make some sense, but since he's a lunatic, I've no interest in it.

3 posted on 08/24/2008 3:38:40 PM PDT by BroJoeK (A little historical perspective....)
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To: EagleUSA
"Because we lost the last real American President that cared about his country as his first priority."

You couldn't be more right about that.

4 posted on 08/24/2008 3:38:40 PM PDT by Bokababe ( http://www.savekosovo.org)
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To: BroJoeK
"That's enough. I can't read any more."

I'm so used to mentally deleted pieces of articles in order to read them, that I presuppose that everyone else does, too.

5 posted on 08/24/2008 3:41:09 PM PDT by Bokababe ( http://www.savekosovo.org)
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To: Bokababe

Who is this guy and why should we care what he thinks about anything? His over stereotypical use of the term “neocon” is never supported in this piece.


6 posted on 08/24/2008 3:41:57 PM PDT by downtownconservative (Intelligence sans reason is vainglorious pulp)
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To: Bokababe

wow!

copacetic or copasetic no less!

anyway, i agree that there was no need to anger the russians, but the united states did.


7 posted on 08/24/2008 3:42:24 PM PDT by ken21 (people die and you never hear from them again.)
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To: BroJoeK

It’s a she. She’s a feminist with military writing experience.


8 posted on 08/24/2008 3:42:57 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Bokababe
Since taking power in 2000, Mr. Putin's Russia has dodged chaos, seen its GDP increase six-fold,

False.

Russia ended 2007 with its ninth straight year of growth, averaging 7% annually since the financial crisis of 1998. CIA - The World Factbook -- Russia

9 years of 7% growth isn't even a double, let alone six-fold.

9 posted on 08/24/2008 3:53:17 PM PDT by Toddsterpatriot (Half the time it could seem funny, the other half's just too sad.)
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To: Bokababe
few Americans today know that we landed troops in the Russian far east in 1918, ostensibly and ineffectually to aid Bolshevism's enemies, and kept them there for two years

Inaccurate. Ostensibly the troops were there to protect the massive amounts of war materiel donated by the Allies to the Russians for use against the Germans.

Why American (and other Allied) intervention is considered shameful is obscure to me. The Bolsheviks took power with the proclaimed intention of overthrowing every other government on the planet. Essentially, they declared war on the rest of the world.

For that matter, the intervention was an international effort in the very best traditions of the later UN. Over 150,000 troops, with the US providing less than 10% and by no means dominant. The author should have loved it.

BTW, we also had troops in the Archangelsk region.

10 posted on 08/24/2008 3:53:27 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (qui)
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To: Bokababe
This article could be summarized in 3 points: Bush is bad. “Neocons” are enemies. Putin is, though imperfect in some minor details, a true leader. The rest is just running in circles.

All 3 points serve mostly to satisfy incandescent rage of a leftist, then represent anything close to reality.

11 posted on 08/24/2008 3:53:37 PM PDT by alecqss
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To: Bokababe

This author managed to pen a whole column and get not a single fact correct. Sure insane babble. Not an accurate, rational thought to be found in it.


12 posted on 08/24/2008 3:54:40 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (http://www.iraqvetsforcongress.com ---- Get involved, make a difference.)
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To: ken21

Russia is the primary backer of Irans nuclear program. Has been for most of the decade. The US has done nothing to “anger the Russians” the Russians have been playing footsie with our foes. If anything we have been far to passive in confronting the reckless behavior of Putin’s regime


13 posted on 08/24/2008 3:57:30 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (http://www.iraqvetsforcongress.com ---- Get involved, make a difference.)
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To: alecqss
"This article could be summarized in 3 points: Bush is bad. “Neocons” are enemies. Putin is, though imperfect in some minor details, a true leader. The rest is just running in circles."

Yes, given so many "Leftists" show clear admiration for the political strategies of Ronald Reagan, as she does. (/sarc off)

14 posted on 08/24/2008 3:59:19 PM PDT by Bokababe ( http://www.savekosovo.org)
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To: MNJohnnie

yes, you are correct about iran.

but kosovo did anger the russians.


15 posted on 08/24/2008 3:59:30 PM PDT by ken21 (people die and you never hear from them again.)
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To: Sherman Logan
"Why American (and other Allied) intervention is considered shameful is obscure to me."

You might want to reread that paragraph for context, because she's using it as an example of US/Russian cooperation, from what I can read.

16 posted on 08/24/2008 4:03:29 PM PDT by Bokababe ( http://www.savekosovo.org)
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To: Bokababe

Author: Fantasist


17 posted on 08/24/2008 4:05:10 PM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: EagleUSA; Bokababe
Again the fantasy about a Reagan that never existed. You mean the Reagan that doubled the size of the Fed Govt in 8 years? That spent record defecits? That raised taxes 6 times? That signed a real illegal amnesty? Appointed a Leftist to the Supreme Court? That Reagan. If Bush had done 1/3 of the stuff Reagan did you all would be screaming for him to be impeached!

You Buchannites are as bad as the Obamites. You simple worship a myth. Love the way the same people who trashed the hell out of Reagan for talking to the USSR in the 1980s when he was in office now suddenly want to manufacture a mythic Reagan who never actually existed.

18 posted on 08/24/2008 4:05:39 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (http://www.iraqvetsforcongress.com ---- Get involved, make a difference.)
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To: Bokababe
Our foreign and defense policies have to take a back seat to fundamental economic restructuring because it is our wealth that enables us to implement our policies

Total idiocy.

US GDP $13,843,825,000,000

Russian GDP $1,289,582,000,000

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

If anyone should be taking a page out of anyone;s book, Russia should be copying us.

19 posted on 08/24/2008 4:10:23 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (http://www.iraqvetsforcongress.com ---- Get involved, make a difference.)
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To: MNJohnnie

The part that struck me was the part where she argues that the U.S. is like a man flaunting his mistress in front of his wife. That, after the section where she argues that the man should’ve bought-off the wife first.


20 posted on 08/24/2008 4:23:03 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Bokababe

One really long-winded SOB, eh?


21 posted on 08/24/2008 4:29:22 PM PDT by Seruzawa (American Government: Providing Middle Class Incomes to Unemployables for Over 200 Years!)
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To: Bokababe
It's tough to judge whether she's a Leftist with the requisite fondness for the Soviet Union (and what might have been), or just a paleo with the all-to-common characteristic to the breed of getting things backwards.

She claims that Reagan ". . . did not want to fight the Soviets, [but] he wanted to bring them to the negotiating table."

Is that the negotiating table he walked away from in Reykjavik, or his negotiating position of referring to the Soviet Union as the "evil empire?"

22 posted on 08/24/2008 4:38:12 PM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: Bokababe
Yep, even Obama likes Reagan, but only as a cover for sniping at current GOP.
23 posted on 08/24/2008 4:41:45 PM PDT by alecqss
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To: Bokababe
It's really hard to know where to begin, but I'll just pull out one point because it exemplifies the upside-down nature of the thinking behind this sort of thing:

But offering NATO membership to parts of the former Soviet Union, like Georgia, threatens Russia's right to control its own borders and no nation can tolerate that.

Nato membership for Georgia, of course, has nothing to do with Russia's right to control its own borders either way. (News flash: Georgia is not situated inside the borders of Russia.) The problem is not Russia's desire to control Russia's borders, the problem is her desire to control other nations' borders.

This is symptomatic of a broader problem that starts and ends with a wrongheaded Russian attitude about her "near abroad" that is utterly devoid of merit: if Russia doesn't want Georgia or Ukraine to enter Nato, they shouldn't. If Russia doesn't want Poland to have missile defense, she shouldn't. If they do anyway, well, why, that's threatening Russia!

Idiocy. Sheer paranoid arrogant idiocy.

The author however has swallowed the kool-aid necessary to accept this Russian imperial-overlordship attitude towards her neighbors and embraces the logic inherent in it, which is presumably how her brain can produce (without exploding) absurd conclusions such as offering Nato membership to Georgia = Russia can't control her own borders. In response to such a claim there is little one can do but point to its self-evident imbecility; further discussion is not warranted.

What warrants further discussion is why a certain faction of the West (Buchananites for example) is prone to romanticize and fall for Russian maximalist claims to neo-imperialism in the first place. What is attractive about this point of view, this pointing at a faraway authoritarian oil regime and saying 'yes it is only right and proper that she controls all her neighbors if she wishes, and we shouldn't stop her because she might get mad at us, when we'd like to be her friend'. Where does this fantastical Russophilia come from?

24 posted on 08/24/2008 4:42:53 PM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: Dr. Frank fan
"Where does this fantastical Russophilia come from?"

It's not "Russophilia".

It's recognizing that Russia doesn't want -- and won't tolerate -- potential threats on their doorstep anymore than we would -- or did in 1962.

It's also coming up with potential alternative solutions for the US to deal with Russia, other than blowing it -- and potentially us -- off the planet.

How does all this posturing with Russia really benefit America? And are there better and more intelligent strategies than continual political and possible military confrontation? Are they willing to deal? Are we? Or are we just going beat our chests like apes at each other until somebody blinks?

25 posted on 08/24/2008 4:55:13 PM PDT by Bokababe ( http://www.savekosovo.org)
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To: Dr. Frank fan
Exactly. For some preventing Russia from making vassals out of independent states, from crashing our friends and allies, from redrawing international borders by military force, from achieving complete monopoly over energy traffic to the Western Europe and over the goods traffic to Central Asia - apparently means that we are threatening Russia!? Amazingly not the other way around!
26 posted on 08/24/2008 5:10:32 PM PDT by alecqss
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To: Bokababe
It's not "Russophilia". It's recognizing that Russia doesn't want -- and won't tolerate -- potential threats on their doorstep anymore than we would -- or did in 1962.

It's Russophilia to think that Russian claims to dictate what neighboring countries do or don't do in pursuit of their self-defense have merit. Well, if it's not Russophilia, I don't know what it is - stupidity? evilness? - Russophilia was in fact the best spin I could put on it.

Of course Russia doesn't want potential threats on their doorstep. I too 'recognize' that. But what "potential threats" would those be in this case? Nato, a defensive alliance? Defensive anti-missile-defense sites in Poland? I recognize that to hear Russian politicians talk, it's unclear that the Russian language has a word for 'defense' as distinct from 'offense' - but the English language certainly does, and you've demonstrated that you read/understand English, so go ahead, explain to me how any of these defensive measures add up to a "potential threat" to Russia.

As for recognizing that Russia "will not tolerate" these occurrences, well I recognize even that too. My point however would be that they are wrong not to tolerate it, have no right not to tolerate it, and need to learn this sooner or later. Your point, I take it, is that it's perfectly okay for Russia to create lists of innocent activities by neighboring sovereign countries which they "will not tolerate", and throw tantrums when the rest of the world en masse doesn't obey those lists. Again, if this attitude of yours towards Russia doesn't come from some sort of Russophilia, I am unable to credit what can possibly lie at its root.

It's also coming up with potential alternative solutions for the US to deal with Russia, other than blowing it -- and potentially us -- off the planet.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I haven't seen anyone here suggest blowing Russia off the planet. What are you talking about?

I'm all for solutions that don't involve blowing Russia off the planet. This need not involving, er, blowing Russia however. It's possible to form the accurate and moral judgment "Russia is in the wrong" without being a planet-blower-offer. Does this weird Russia-subservience come simply from fear, then? You're afraid that if you were ever to admit that Russia was in the wrong about something - no matter how power-grabbing and imperial - that might lend credence to the blow-them-off-the-planet solution that everyone else is supposedly pursuing? Is that it?

How does all this posturing with Russia really benefit America?

What "posturing with Russia"? Russia's done an evil crappy power-grabbing thing and goddamit anyone with a brain and an ounce of integrity ought to be able to recognize it and say so. "How does it benefit America" to say so? I don't know how to answer that specifically; on a broader and more ethereal level though, I guess I like to think that free individiuals exchanging ideas and judgments and truths based on morality and justice benefits America. You?

And are there better and more intelligent strategies than continual political and possible military confrontation?

Maybe, but even if there were, that wouldn't make Russia right. Are you unable to separate the issues (1) whether Russia is right and justified in what she's doing and (2) whether we out to 'make a deal' with her out of realpolitik? Because they are really separate issues, you know.

Or are we just going beat our chests like apes at each other until somebody blinks?

"beat our chests like apes"? I'd really like to understand what you're talking about, but you seem to be making up out of whole cloth about 50% of what you're purportedly responding to. This makes it difficult. It seems to happen in all such threads in which I encounter this type of Russophile. Why is that?

27 posted on 08/24/2008 5:18:56 PM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: Bokababe
For that matter, if we'd ever cared about our own real greatness, we might have helped the Russians get their own house in order. But America's policy elites totally wasted the 90s with narcissistic navel-gazing.

I must have missed the part about neocons being in power throughout the 90s.

That said, I absolutely agree that we should have done more to help the Russian people make the transition to capitalism and democracy. Said so at the time.

However, it seems odd to blame the turmoil on the USA, when it evolved much more naturally as a result of the inner logic of communism.

BTW, most other communist countries, such as the Baltics, Poland and Hungary, made the transition with much less trouble. If anything, they got even more advice from the US, so it seems likely most of the problems were caused by things specific to Russian society.

28 posted on 08/24/2008 6:05:22 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (qui)
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To: Bokababe

I don’t think so. I think she’s pointing out that Americans don’t know that we did fight Russians, specifically the Bolsheviks, although ineffectually and with no real defined mission.

She could also have pointed out that Russia was the Union’s best friend in Europe during our Civil War. The “special relationship” with Russia lasted up till America had the nerve to protest government-sponsored pogroms during the 1890s.


29 posted on 08/24/2008 6:11:27 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (qui)
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To: Sherman Logan

The U.S. under engineer Herbert Hoover also fought to avert mass starvation in Russia during its Civil War of Reds and Whites.


30 posted on 08/24/2008 6:36:54 PM PDT by kenavi ("Yes we can!" Ahmadinejad on nuclear program.)
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To: 1rudeboy

So, she wants to kill our country as well as innocent babies and some delude themselves that she has something to do with conservatism. Paleo is the prefix for anti-American poseurs who are foreign policy cowards and leftists in “paleo” drag.


31 posted on 08/24/2008 6:46:20 PM PDT by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: MNJohnnie
"If anyone should be taking a page out of anyone;s book, Russia should be copying us."

Good point, but your link didn't work for me.

Try this one instead:

World GDP Rankings

32 posted on 08/25/2008 3:54:05 AM PDT by BroJoeK (A little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
Sorry about that -- this link works for sure (I think!):

World GDP Rankings

33 posted on 08/25/2008 3:57:12 AM PDT by BroJoeK (A little historical perspective....)
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To: Bokababe
"I'm so used to mentally deleted pieces of articles in order to read them, that I presuppose that everyone else does, too."

It's not the article's length which is so off-putting, but rather the author's obvious insanity. So, here is my advice to HER:

First go through your words and DELETE all the CR*P. That will reduce the article's length by at least half.

Then restate your opinions in terms that reflect the true motives, for example, you might truthfully say:

"Russia believes it can get away with brutalizing Georgia for the same reasons and in the same way that Hitler got away with brutalizing Czechoslovakia 70 years ago, in 1938."

Then at least we'll know where SHE is coming from.

34 posted on 08/25/2008 4:15:04 AM PDT by BroJoeK (A little historical perspective....)
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To: MNJohnnie
"Again the fantasy about a Reagan that never existed."

I was a 27 year old (female)director for a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation when Reagan took office, and my company's president, Alexander Haig, left to become Secretary of State. I also have friends who knew RR all the way back to his acting days and his presidency of the Screen Actor's Guild. I have far less illusions about Ronald Reagan that you think.

I don't "romanticize or mythologize" Reagan at all, but I do agree that RR loved America and was first, foremost and always for America. He knew how to motivate America and he was brilliantly successful at "the Russia strategy". Those were his great strengths.

You are right about RR's weaknesses as "a real Conservative" and there were more that you did not list.

I know things about RR that I would never post here, so there is no "mythology" involved -- just giving credit where credit is due for the positive things that he did accomplish. To the American people of the time, Ronald Reagan was a great man and a great president.

35 posted on 08/25/2008 8:53:17 AM PDT by Bokababe ( http://www.savekosovo.org)
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To: Dr. Frank fan
"Well, if it's not Russophilia, I don't know what it is - stupidity? evilness? - Russophilia was in fact the best spin I could put on it."

And it's the wrong "spin"

To most of us who lived through the Cold War era, we might have hated what the Soviets did and hated communism even more viscerally than anyone, but we did not hate Russia or Russians. Communism is a political ideology, not an ethnicity. The author is correct on this, we saw communism as the enemy and wanted to be friends with Russia, if only they'd get rid of communism -- largely because we recognized that there were three great powers in the world at the time -- us, Russia and China -- and China was well, China -- unlike us at every level, historically, in terms of religious heritage, race, and cultural outlook -- in short, destined to be a perpetual "other" to us.

"Of course Russia doesn't want potential threats on their doorstep. I too 'recognize' that. But what "potential threats" would those be in this case? Nato, a defensive alliance? Defensive anti-missile-defense sites in Poland? "

NATO was chartered as "a defensive organization" (against the SU during the Cold War), but it broke its own charter in 1999 with the 78 day NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia. That told everyone that NATO was no longer about "defense of NATO nations" -- it was a military force for world government.

"Defensive anti-missile-defense sites in Poland?"

That's like saying, "Don't mind the gun that I have pointed at your head, it's only for defense." That's not just an insult to Russian intelligence, it's an insult to everyone's intelligence.

"the English language certainly does, and you've demonstrated that you read/understand English..."

Yes, English is my native language, because I was born and raised in Fresno, CA, with no "connection to Russia" -- other than being family friends with the Stanford Professor who was the father of Russian and Eastern European Studies at Stanford.

"Does this weird Russia-subservience come simply from fear, then?"

With this neocon ideology, everyone is either "on top" or "on the bottom", "dominating or being dominated" -- it's completely narcissistic and childish.

Russia is and has always been "a power" in the Caucuses and beyond. The fall of communism may temporarily weakened them, and the subservient Gorby and "Yeltsin, the dancing, drunken Bear" image, were just a temporary aberration for anyone with sense of history. Putin IS the real Russia. And like it or not, that is what we need to deal with.

If anyone is truly concerned about the people of Georgia, the Ukraine and that neighborhood, then we need to partner with Russia to make it safe -- based on rule of law, not arbitrary standards that say that we can do what we want, anytime we want and we will continue to use those NATO members near Russia as pawns in our game of Russian Roulette.

"I'm all for solutions that don't involve blowing Russia off the planet."

If we keep pushing and encircling Russia in this needless game of chicken, sooner or later we are going to have a military confrontation. The neocon visceral hate of things Russian, is going to push us there. And it is not just dangerous, it's stupid.

"What "posturing with Russia"? Russia's done an evil crappy power-grabbing thing and goddamit anyone with a brain and an ounce of integrity ought to be able to recognize it and say so."

There is a difference between understanding why Russia did what it did, and defending Russian actions. We are pushing Russia as far as we can and seeing what her limits are, and we just found out. Georgia is so far into our pocket, that she wouldn't have dared make the move she did without us OKing it. To Russia, Georgia (who we have been arming to the teeth for the last several years) is just "an American proxy". If Georgia had been in NATO, which is what we have been pushing (and Germany was the main hold-out), we would be in a military (nuclear) confrontation with Russia right now. So the "blowing each other off the planet" scenario is not as far-fetched as you'd like to think.

The difference between traditional conservatives and neocons, which the author later said didn't make it in the article but should have, was that traditional Conservatives during the Cold War were "largely Catholic" -- and that meant certain cultural values in traditional Conservatism were the Golden Rule and a sense of humility about our limits in "changing the world". Traditional Conservatives respected that the world was the way it was and there were limits to what we could change -- and someone's history and culture were NOT among them -- the point was to create a safe space in America to live in freedom and lead by example.

But neocons didn't and don't see it that way -- they see the world as raw material for a makeover into little "mini-me's" and anyone who gets in the way of that is the enemy. Neocons start wars, that Traditional Conservatives usually ended with, "let's make a deal, tell me your interests and I'll tell you mine and let's figure something out". We weren't out to save the world -- we were and are out to save America.

As I said before, Communism is not an ethnicity, it is an ideology -- as is globalism. While the American people are the least imperialistic people on the face of the earth, I believe that there are corrupt globalist elements influencing our government who are imperialists -- and we have let them run hog wild. We've let them use America to further their financial and political interests and not America's. And to has to how this affects the Russian/Georgian situation, ask Randy Scheunemann.

We have more to fear from inside our American political process these days, than we do from Russia, or (non-Muslim) anywhere else.

This election we have a choice between "soft socialism" (a lie in itself) in Obama, or McCain, whose own chief foreign policy adviser was selling American foreign policy on the open market. But because McCain is "our guy", we are looking the other way, instead of cleaning house as we should.

The day that America's foreign policy is "for sale to the highest bidder", then none of the world will make sense to us or anyone else -- including Russia -- and we will be more vulnerable than safe no matter how many wars we are willing to fight.

36 posted on 08/25/2008 11:31:17 AM PDT by Bokababe ( http://www.savekosovo.org)
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To: All
What amazes me is that no one has yet to attack "the elephant in the room" in this article:

"The American neocon movement was born in the aftermath of Vietnam. Its founding generation was composed largely of former liberals and Leftists, even a few cafeteria Trotskyites. Some had drifted away from communism in horror at the excesses of the 1930s, or during the 1950s when the full extent of those excesses began to be known. Many were conventional liberals who broke with the Old Left over Vietnam, which they supported, and with the New Left, whose anti-Vietnam antics they found frivolous, self-centered, self-righteous and self-interested. The neocon movement coalesced during the Carter administration and attained its first real influence during the Reagan years.

The neocons were not traditional conservatives. Some remained unrepentant New Dealers, when they bothered to consider domestic issues at all. They were primarily Manhattan and Beltway types, heavily Jewish, with little use for the "paleocons"-the Old Guard William F. Buckley crowd and Die Hard segregationists, or with the rising Sunbelt evangelicals. The paleocons and Sunbelt types, for their part, returned the sentiment.

The movement came of age with Ronald Reagan and it had but one overriding purpose: win the Cold War. A few senior neocons, such as movement "Godfather" Irving Kristol, took a broader view.

His stated purpose was "to convert the Republican Party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy." But foreign policy was always Job One, and the senior neocons included hard liners such as Henry "Scoop" Jackson of Washington and Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, both Democratic Senators, as well as former Democrat Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Ambassador to the UN under the Reagan Administration. The bipartisan nature of these elder neocons made them very useful to Ronald Reagan, who wisely never got in bed with them, instead keeping them at a distance. As he used to say, "Sometimes the Right hand doesn't know what the Far Right hand is doing." But in private, he and his senior advisers would tell the neocons, "We need you to hold our feet to the fire."

And we wonder why the Republican Party has moved so far to the Left, cares less about immigration and protecting our borders or the abortion issue-- and seems to be virtually indistinguishable from the Democrats on social issues?

37 posted on 08/25/2008 1:15:30 PM PDT by Bokababe ( http://www.savekosovo.org)
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To: Bokababe
NATO was chartered as "a defensive organization" (against the SU during the Cold War), but it broke its own charter in 1999 with the 78 day NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia. That told everyone that NATO was no longer about "defense of NATO nations" -- it was a military force for world government.

And that is the root of the problem. NATO is no longer what it was supposed to be.

I don't like Russia, long story there, but quite frankly if we had been trying to start a war, our recent actions would be doing just fine. Russia is acting like Russia again, not the USSR. We as a nation had better realize that.

38 posted on 08/25/2008 3:11:23 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Bokababe
NATO was chartered as "a defensive organization" (against the SU during the Cold War), but it broke its own charter in 1999 with the 78 day NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia. That told everyone that NATO was no longer about "defense of NATO nations" -- it was a military force for world government.

And so you think that a Russian belief that NATO would engage in offensive operations against Russia is warranted? Because I think it is insanity-level paranoia. I guess that's where we disagree.

["Defensive anti-missile-defense sites in Poland?"] That's like saying, "Don't mind the gun that I have pointed at your head, it's only for defense."

No, it is not. Read up on the defensive missiles in question. They have no effectiveness as an offensive weapon (unlike a gun).

Putin IS the real Russia. And like it or not, that is what we need to deal with.

Well, sure. Now he's overreaching Russia's rights and authority and we need to deal with that. Sure.

If anyone is truly concerned about the people of Georgia, the Ukraine and that neighborhood, then we need to partner with Russia to make it safe

This presupposes that Russia is interested in "making", and will, "make" those countries "safe". The evidence suggests otherwise.

based on rule of law,

"Russia" and "rule of law" do not belong in the same sentence.

Have you ever been to Russia? Do you know anything about it at all?

If we keep pushing and encircling Russia in this needless game of chicken, sooner or later we are going to have a military confrontation.

We are not "pushing" Russia and we are only "encircling" Russia in the sense that one's neighbors' fences "encircle" one's property. A person has no right whatsoever to complain about neighbors putting up fences on their own fricking property, "encircling" or not, and the same applies here.

The neocon visceral hate of things Russian, is going to push us there.

I'm at the point where virtually all sentences containing the word "neocon" force me to lower my estimate of the author's IQ by 20%. Suffice it to say that I'm not a "neocon", whatever that is, nor do I hate "things Russian", which you would know to be a laughable claim if you knew me.

The real problem is the romanticization and excusal of "things Russian", including the paranoid imperialism prevalent in her foreign policy, that is dangerous. Because it leads people to advocate for unlimited appeasement of and bowing down to any and all Russian supposed grievances and claims to dominance over her neighbors.

There is a difference between understanding why Russia did what it did, and defending Russian actions.

Sure. By any reasonable reading, the author of the above article is squarely on the latter category.

Georgia is so far into our pocket, that she wouldn't have dared make the move she did without us OKing it.

Any even cursory reading of various news sources will reveal that the US tried to discourage the Georgian action.

As I said before, Communism is not an ethnicity, it is an ideology

Not sure what this has to do with anything. No one here is talking about "Communism".

[more "neocon" babble deleted]

There goes another 20%...and another...

39 posted on 08/25/2008 5:49:09 PM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: Dr. Frank fan
"And so you think that a Russian belief that NATO would engage in offensive operations against Russia is warranted? Because I think it is insanity-level paranoia. I guess that's where we disagree.....Read up on the defensive missiles in question. They have no effectiveness as an offensive weapon (unlike a gun)."

The permanent battery of Patriot Missiles that Poland demanded as part of the deal to put that missile defense system there and the American troops at the missile station 115 miles from the Russian border is just "Russian insanity-level paranoia"? If you believe that, you must have stones of steel..

But to hell with the Russians for a second -- part of the Polish missile deal even exceeds NATO's defense promises -- we have now personally guaranteed that the US wiill come to Poland's defense if Russia (or anyone) attacks them. Since when is Poland "part of the USA"?. Did I miss the debut of the 51st State? Poland?

"Well, sure. Now he's (Putin's) overreaching Russia's rights and authority and we need to deal with that. Sure. "

Largest friggin nuclear arsenal in the world, a million soldiers on active duty, exports 30% of the worlds armaments, and we just need "to deal with them", like Russia is some piss ant Balkan backwater nobody. Sure, no problem. Would you like fries with that?

"Russia" and "rule of law" do not belong in the same sentence.

Actually, Russia told us loud and clear that we were breaking all the rules of international law when we unilaterally decided to push for Kosovo independence and we ignored them. They flat-out told us that we were destroying the international order in unilaterally recognizing Kosovo, and we ignored them. They told us that eventually this could force their hand with S. Ossetia and Abkhazia, and we ignored them again. Well, we are not ignoring them now, are we?

"Have you ever been to Russia? Do you know anything about it at all?"

No, never been to Russia. Don't intend to go to or to live either in either Russia or Georgia. Do you? So why are we willing to die for it?

As for "knowing something about Russia", I answered that -- Yes, English is my native language, because I was born and raised in Fresno, CA, with no "connection to Russia" -- other than being family friends with the Professor who was the father of Russian and Eastern European Studies at Stanford.

His name was Wayne Vucinich and he was the professor who virtually everyone from the president of the Carnegie Institute to US Senators learned anything about Russia from. So, no, I am "a neophyte on Russia" -- that's why I am going on about this, I need the typing exercise.

I'm at the point where virtually all sentences containing the word "neocon" force me to lower my estimate of the author's IQ by 20%."

Which is why this is the first time I have ever brought the word "neocon" up in the seven years I've been on FR, in spite of silently watching Conservatism morph into militarism over the last thirty years.

[more "neocon" babble deleted] There goes another 20%...and another..

Yes, sleep tight, Frank. The fact that the probable next US president has a paid foreign agent as his chief foreign policy adviser and likely the US' next National Security Adviser, is just "irrelevant". Pass the popcorn and tune into Dancing with the Stars -- it's as good a way as any to tune out.

40 posted on 08/25/2008 11:33:52 PM PDT by Bokababe ( http://www.savekosovo.org)
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To: Bokababe
The permanent battery of Patriot Missiles that Poland demanded as part of the deal to put that missile defense system there and the American troops at the missile station 115 miles from the Russian border is just "Russian insanity-level paranoia"?

Patriot missiles are surface-to-air missiles. They intercept targets in the air. (Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept Of Target). Pray tell, how could these be used offensively against Russia?

If Russia doesn't ATTACK POLAND?

Please square that circle. PLEASE. I'm all ears.

Does Russia have a God-given right to attack Poland? That's what she seems to think. Is that what you think?

If not then HOW IN THE HELL does a Patriot missile, which intercepts AIR TARGETS, represent a "threat to Russia"?

This is the kind of illogical propagandistic nonsense I have to listen to from bloviated Russian politicians. Do you have to parrot it?

we have now personally guaranteed that the US wiill come to Poland's defense if Russia (or anyone) attacks them

Again: how is this a "threat to Russia" IF RUSSIA DOESN'T ATTACK POLAND?

Why does Russia want to attack Poland? Why does Russia need to attack Poland? Is it Russia's manifest destiny to attack Poland?

Since when is Poland "part of the USA"?. Did I miss the debut of the 51st State? Poland?

Presumably you are unfamiliar with the concept of "allies".

Largest friggin nuclear arsenal in the world, a million soldiers on active duty, exports 30% of the worlds armaments, and we just need "to deal with them", like Russia is some piss ant Balkan backwater nobody.

Actually, Russia is a backwater. "Mexico with nukes" as the saying goes. (Again: Have you been there?)

That nuclear arsenal - how up-to-date is it?

Those "million soldiers on active duty" - you realize these are primarily unmotivated draftees from villages who could not bribe or college their way out, right?

Actually, Russia told us loud and clear that we were breaking all the rules of international law when we unilaterally decided to push for Kosovo independence and we ignored them. They flat-out told us that we were destroying the international order in unilaterally recognizing Kosovo, and we ignored them.

Why does Russia care whether or not this piece of some other country got recognized? Oh, right: they own the countries around them. Right?

They told us that eventually this could force their hand with S. Ossetia and Abkhazia, and we ignored them again. Well, we are not ignoring them now, are we?

No, we are not. Your point? That this all transmogrifies Russia into being correct? Sorry no.

41 posted on 08/26/2008 3:49:49 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: redgolum
"I don't like Russia, long story there, but quite frankly if we had been trying to start a war, our recent actions would be doing just fine. Russia is acting like Russia again, not the USSR. We as a nation had better realize that."

Exactly -- and the Russian Bear is unwilling to be cornered and forcibly neutered, which is precisely what we are attempting to do. It's totally insane.

42 posted on 08/26/2008 11:28:08 AM PDT by Bokababe ( http://www.savekosovo.org)
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