Russia’s Putin Is A Killer

9 02 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Russia’s dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin is every bit as sinister and evil as Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Mao Tse-tung.[2] He is a ruthless killer—of his own people and others, and of the human spirit.  Recently, he warned against despotism and chaos in Russia[3], which is equivalent to Hitler warning against the death camps, or Stalin and Mao warning against the ravages of communism.  Putin is the face of America’s enemies today, personified, as well as the enemy of free peoples everywhere.  He is responsible for the dismantling of Russia’s incipient democracy.[4] Despots like him are destroyed ultimately.  However, in the interim, the death and destruction they bring about are savage, barbaric and tragic.  Like a Mob boss, Putin is apt to die a cruel and horrible death, mirroring the cruelty that he and his ex-KGB lackeys have brought to so many in Russia and elsewhere.

He was born in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg; and he joined the KGB officially when he was 23, and rose through its ranks.  He came to prominence as a KGB operative in East Germany—or the DDR, as it was known before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Erich Honecker’s government—which was one of the most repressive regimes in the Soviet Union’s orbit, or the Evil Empire.  Russia has a brutal history, especially since the rise of communism; and Putin is a product of that system.  Stalin and Mao were the most ruthless killers of their own people[5], and that is Putin’s heritage.  He learned his craft well; and he must be viewed in this context, not as some Westernized Russian democrat, which he is not.  Under Putin, Stalin’s reputation has undergone a renaissance, despite being the killer of more than 30 million men, women and children who were his own countrymen.[6] Putin is Stalin’s heir.

Some people argue there is a “soft side” to Putin, and that he has been principled and acted in the best interests of Russia.  Indeed, it is argued that he fended off his ex-KGB lackeys in the selection of Dmitry Medvedev as Russia’s President, when Putin was ineligible to run for a third consecutive presidential term because of constitutionally-mandated term limits.  Stalin, Hitler and Mao had soft sides too.  Like Putin, they smiled and were shown in “photo ops” befriending children and women.  In reality, they were butchers just as Putin is.  Yes, the numbers of innocent people killed may differ among the four of them.  However, each one brutally repressed democratic forces, systematically killed their own countrymen and others, and decimated the human spirit.[7] When Putin was coming to power, I was told by an old friend on Capitol Hill that he was a “smoother version” of Stalin, and I will never forget those prescient and ominous words.

Russia is not a Third World country today, but it is close—and certainly it is no longer a superpower.  Based on its gross domestic product (GDP), it ranks behind Italy, Brazil, Spain and Canada; and it is less than nine percent the size of the United States.[8] Its military expenditures are 9.5 percent of the American spending[9]; and its antiquated Soviet-era conscript military was on display in Georgia.  Indeed, Putin left the Olympic games in Beijing and traveled to the Georgian border, where he directed the Kremlin’s cruel aggression against its vastly smaller neighbor.  Today, the U.S. military has no peers; and when arrayed against “paper tigers” and backlot bullies like Putin’s Russia, Americans can be proud of what George W. Bush accomplished.

He kept American safe and strong; however, there are serious questions whether Barack Obama is building on and not diminishing that strength.  The idea that the U.S. and Russia would agree in principle on a deal to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (Start) with a new agreement that would cut each side’s nuclear arsenal is absurd.[10] The Russians cannot be trusted; and Obama’s weakness is on display when he cuts any deals with Putin.  China must be America’s focus of attention, not the backwater country of Russia.  China must be included in any agreement, or else the cart is placed before the horse.  Also, Obama surrendered to Putin by scrapping Bush’s proposed antiballistic missile shield for Eastern Europe—in the Czech Republic and Poland—which emboldened Putin and sent the worst signals possible to our allies in “New Europe.”[11]

Those who “scold” Putin are subjected to harsh dictatorial rebukes, at the very least.[12] His treatment of others is strikingly similar to how Stalin, Hitler and Mao treated their adversaries.  Prison without trial—or “kangaroo trials”—has been commonplace.[13] More often than not, they disappear or are ruthlessly killed to send loud and clear messages to those who challenge the dictator, or otherwise might be considered “enemies of the state.”  Like Stalin before him, the full extent of Putin’s atrocities will never be known; and his “fingerprints” will not be found on the “murder weapons.”  However, make no mistake about it: none of it would have happened without him.

In addition to what has been described above, it is useful to catalog some of the more heinous crimes and horrors that have happened since he came to power, for which he is responsible directly or indirectly:

•  Russian apartment bombings in September 1999, which led the country into the Second Chechen War, and brought Putin to power.[14]

•  The assassination in London of former Russian state security officer Alexander Litvinenko who claimed, inter alia, that Putin ordered the Russian apartment bombings.[15]

•  The Dioxin poisoning of Victor Yushchenko, which left the Ukrainian President’s face greatly disfigured, jaundiced, bloated, and pockmarked.[16]

•  The brutal “Second Chechen War,” in which Russian troops entered Chechnya and took control over the country, with unofficial estimates ranging from 25,000 to 50,000 dead or having “disappeared.”[17]

•  A widespread crackdown on media freedoms, with Russian reporters being killed and muzzled—such as the shooting death of Anna Politkovskaya[18]—and media outlets being shut down.[19]

•  Miscellaneous jailings, killings and disappearances—including one of Putin’s mistresses.[20]

At some point in time, he will be eliminated and disappear from the pages of history, just like so many other two-bit, tinhorn despots before him.  Again, it is apt to happen violently, in an instant.  Regardless of how he departs, one can only hope that it happens soon—and his reign of terror and that of his ex-KGB lackeys ends, like it did for Stalin, Hitler, Mao and their thugs.  The sooner the better.[21]

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g.www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] See, e.g.http://www.naegele.com/documents/StalinMaoHolocausts.pdf

[3] See http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.4578e814909f0ad722594e6c798584f9.4c1&show_article=1

[4] See, e.g., http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fg-russia-democracy24-2010jan24,0,3025105,full.story (“[A] democracy museum about Putin, the man whose ascent to power was marked by the loss of a free press, the unsolved killings of political critics and harsh crackdowns on antigovernment protests”)

[5] See, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/StalinMaoHolocausts.pdf (“Aside from ordering the killing of those in the Soviet hierarchy, it is estimated that Stalin was responsible for the deaths of more than 30 million men, women and children—his own countrymen—including millions during the collectivization of the Soviet farms in the 1930s.  . . .  [A]s the Soviets moved through Germany, they raped at least two million German women in what is now acknowledged as the largest case of mass rape in history.”)

[6] See id.

[7] See, e.g., http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118463398015768385.html?mod=googlenews_wsj (“Russia has become, in the precise sense of the word, a fascist state.  It does not matter here, as the Kremlin’s apologists are so fond of pointing out, that Mr. Putin is wildly popular in Russia: Popularity is what competent despots get when they destroy independent media, stoke nationalistic fervor with military buildups and the cunning exploitation of the Church, and ride a wave of petrodollars to pay off the civil service and balance their budgets.  Nor does it matter that Mr. Putin hasn’t re-nationalized the ‘means of production’ outright; corporatism was at the heart of Hitler’s economic policy, too.”)

[8] See, e.g., https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2195.html (2009 est.) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29 (2009 est.)

[9] See, e.g., http://www.sipri.org/yearbook/2009/05/05A and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures#Chart_by_country_or_organization

[10] See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article7013042.ece; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

[11] See, e.g., http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/18/world/europe/18shield.html; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama; http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/barack-obama-america%E2%80%99s-second-emperor; http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start; http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan%E2%80%99s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/

[12] See, e.g., http://www.kyivpost.com/news/russia/detail/58572/ (“Few Russians in positions of power dare to openly criticise Putin. . . .”); http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6145UJ20100205 (“Putin told the leaders [of his United Russia party] to warn voters of the consequences of voting for untried opposition parties.  United Russia must always explain that ‘proper and well organized leaders are always capable of solving any problems and that in the absence of such leaders, anarchy prevails,’ he said.”)

One of the “untried opposition parties” to which Putin was referring is former World Chess Champion—many people consider him the greatest chess player of all time—Garry Kasparov’s “The Other Russia,” a coalition that opposes Putin’s government.  See http://www.theotherrussia.org/ Indeed, Kasparov has vowed to “restore democracy” to Russia by toppling Putin, of whom he is an outspoken critic.

Kasparov has said: “An anti-democratic regime can be neither reformed nor modernized; it can only be dismantled.  All the hope that goes into finding a way to somehow reform or perfect the current system is in vain.  It’s impossible, because the essence of the system will remain the same.”  See http://www.theotherrussia.org/2010/02/03/kasparov-russias-european-choice/ He adds: “After a year and a half of [Dmitry] Medvedev’s tenure as president of Russia, Putin’s authoritarian regime has only become more severe.”  See id.

[13] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Vladimir_Putin#Relations_with_.22oligarchs.22 (e.g., the criminal prosecution and imprisonment of Russia’s richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, president of Yukos oil company, as payback for his support of Putin’s opponents); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Khodorkovsky

[14] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Vladimir_Putin#Domestic_terrorism_accusations (“The chain of command was as follows: Putin (former director of the secret service, future president) – Patrushev (Putin’s successor as director of the secret service) – secret service General German Ugryumov (director of the counter-terrorism department).  Maxim Lazovsky (the owner of Lanako, the company that employed the secret service agents behind the 1994-5 terrorist attacks) and Lieutenant-Colonel Abubakar were two secret service operatives directly responsible for the practical organization of the bombings.” [Yuri Felshtinsky and Vladimir Pribylovsky, "The Age of Assassins. The Rise and Rise of Vladimir Putin," Gibson Square Books, London, 2008, p. 106]); see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Putin

[15] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Vladimir_Putin#Domestic_terrorism_accusations; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blowing_up_Russia:_Terror_from_within and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lubyanka_Criminal_Group; see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Litvinenko

[16] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Yushchenko#Dioxin_poisoning (“On September 27, 2009 Yushchenko said in an interview . . . that the testimony of the three men who were at a dinner in 2004 at which he believes he was poisoned were staying in Russia.  Ukrainian prosecutors said Russia has refused to extradite one of the men, the former deputy chief of Ukraine’s security service, Volodymyr Satsyuk, because he holds both Russia and Ukrainian citizenship.”)

[17] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Chechen_War; see also, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chechnya#Human_rights (“In 2006 Human Rights Watch reported that pro-Moscow Chechen forces under the effective command of President Ramzan Kadyrov, as well as federal police personnel, used torture to get information about separatist forces.  ‘If you are detained in Chechnya, you face a real and immediate risk of torture.  And there is little chance that your torturer will be held accountable,’ said Holly Cartner, Director Europe and Central Asia division of HRW.”); http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2006/11/12/chechnya-research-shows-widespread-and-systematic-use-torture; see id. (“On July 1, 2009, Amnesty International released a detailed report covering the human rights violations committed by the Russian Federation against Chechnyan citizens.  Among the most prominent features was that those abused had no method of redress against assaults, ranging from kidnapping to torture, while those responsible were never held accountable.  This lead to the conclusion that Chechnya was being ruled without law, being run into further devastating destabilization.”); see http://www.naegele.com/documents/AmnestyInternational-RussianFederation-Rulewithoutlaw.pdf

[18] See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Vladimir_Putin#Allegations_of_political_assassinations_and_muzzling_of_reporters (“On October 7, 2006, Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist who ran a campaign exposing corruption in the Russian army and its conduct in Chechnya, and a strong critic of Putin and the FSB, whom she had accused of trying to set up a Soviet-style dictatorship, was killed.  She was shot dead in the elevator of her apartment building in Moscow.”); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_Politkovskaya

The Federal Security Service—or FSB—is the main domestic security agency of the Russian Federation, and the successor agency of the dreaded Soviet-era Cheka, NKVD and KGB.

[19] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Kabayeva#Marriage_controversy

[20] See, e.g., http://news.oneindia.in/2010/02/08/mumof-vladimir-putins-love-childvanishes.html (“The woman who gave birth to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s love child[, Russian gymnast, Alina Kabayeva,] is said to have vanished”); see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Kabayeva#Marriage_controversy; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Putin#Family_and_personal_life

[21] See alsohttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/12/georgia (Obama adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has described Putin as “following a course that is horrifyingly similar to that taken by Stalin and Hitler in the 1930s”)


Actions

Information

198 responses

14 02 2010
naegeleblog

The Latest Outrage From Barack Obama

As Garry Kasparov states correctly, in his excellent Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, commenting on the first meeting of the loftily-named “U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission’s Civil Society Working Group”:

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s functionaries are happy to pass the time in the world’s capitals being treated as equals instead of being berated for rigging elections and shamed for the growing list of dead Russian opposition figures.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/GarryKasparov-TheUSGoesWobblyonRussia.pdf

Like

15 02 2010
Peter Paulson

Paging Mr. LaRouche.

Like

27 02 2010
naegeleblog

Boycott The Winter Olympics In Sochi!

The Wall Street Journal has a weak-kneed, almost apologetic editorial about Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s decision not to attend the closing ceremony in Vancouver to claim the Olympic flag for Russia, the host of the next winter games in Sochi in 2014. This starry-eyed editorial is befitting “Alice in Wonderland,” not the Journal.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/TheSportsPrideofRussia.pdf

The Olympics should be denied to Russia. This should have been clear from the moment that the Russians invaded Georgia, which is just across the border from Sochi—”where [Russia’s dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin] basks bare-chested when unwinding at his summer dacha.”

See http://premier.gov.ru/eng/premier/press/world/2504/

To allow the Olympic winter games on Russian soil is tantamount to having allowed the summer games to take place in Berlin during Adolf Hitler’s reign. Putin is every bit as sinister and evil as Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

Indeed, as stated in the article above, Putin left the Olympic summer games in Beijing and traveled to the Georgian border, where he directed the Kremlin’s cruel aggression against its vastly smaller neighbor. His contempt for the Olympics was underscored by his actions then, as well as Medvedev’s failure to be present in Vancouver.

Also, under Putin, Stalin’s reputation has undergone a renaissance and resurgence, despite being the killer of more than 30 million men, women and children who were his own countrymen. Putin is Stalin’s brutal heir, and Medvedev is nothing more than Putin’s pathetic stooge.

. . .

Next, “stooge” Medvedev has demanded that Russian sports officials step down over the country’s dismal performance at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Clearly, he would not be doing this without Putin’s direction; and hopefully both of them are gone before 2014.

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100301/ap_on_sp_ol/oly_russia_medvedev_1

. . .

Lastly, dictator-for-life Putin has announced that Russia will build a new strategic bomber—following the development of a stealth fighter, which made its maiden flight in January and was hailed as a big step in military modernization efforts.

See http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9E61MKG2&show_article=1

Why would a Third World-country like Russia need either aircraft, except to (1) intimidate its smaller neighbors and (2) try to revive the “glory years” of the Soviet Union, or the Evil Empire?

Like

5 03 2010
naegeleblog

The Rise Of Stalin!

See http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6241M820100305

None of this would be happening if Russia’s dictator-for-life Putin was not approving of it. One must never forget that it is estimated that Stalin was responsible for the deaths of more than 30 million men, women and children—his own countrymen—including millions during the collectivization of the Soviet farms in the 1930s.

On a positive note, the head of Putin’s dominant United Russia faction in parliament strongly denounced plans to put up posters honoring Stalin:

“There’s nothing to argue about here. Stalin was guilty in the deaths of millions of people,” Boris Gryzlov said this month.

See http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9EL40780&show_article=1; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/

Like

3 01 2011
Vazir Mukhtar

Neither the Olympics committee nor FIFA will deny their competitions to a country unless it’s in a fit of political pique. Neither wants to be seen as an agent of Western foreign policy, especially if will appear that the US gains an advantage by their decisions.
……………………..
As to Stalin, I don’t believe the mass of the Russian people want someone like that to return. What many people resent is the extraordinary wealth of a handful of people, the discrepancy in incomes among the “middle” class, the rise of crime, the increased surliness of bureaucrats, especially the petty bureaucrats, and a sense of disorder, among other things.

Even those whose parents, grandparents and other older relatives lived as quietly as church mice—never having experienced the knock at the door in the middle of the night, never having undergone a KGB search of their apartments and the confiscation of questionably criminal or espionage-related documents—know enough about Stalin’s crimes not to want a reincarnation.

What many people 55 and older want is a sense of order; they want a leader with a fist of iron to put down the disturbances—whether good for the country or manifestations of hooliganism. These people are willing to tolerate the corruption of sales persons, the police, and others. They resent having to pay bribes, but will do so.

I’m not certain the Russian people will soon so tire of their government and the misdemeanors and felonies it commits and countenances to make a revolution as did the French, although we know that when the serfs were liberated some took vengeance on their landowners who had, in their opinions if not in reality, abused them or simply out of pent up rage against something they could not define.

I don’t know how in such a society one educates the people in the principles of self-government, to quit accepting evil and suffering as a matter of course, and become persuaded that government of the people must also be one by the people, not by a gang of criminals or by an -ocracy or -archy that believes it knows best what is best for everyone.

Like

20 03 2010
25 03 2010
naegeleblog

Shoot Down Russian Bombers?

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1260381/Two-Russian-bombers-intercepted-British-airspace.html

This is what lots of Brits are advocating. Just read their comments!

Like

29 03 2010
naegeleblog

Attacks On Russia Are Not Surprising

It is not surprising that the brutality of Russia’s ruthless killer Putin toward the Chechens and others produces attacks against Russians.

See, e.g., http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/03/29/russia.subway.explosion/index.html and http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303410404575151921555065204.html and http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fgw-russia-train-blast4-2010apr04,0,6116781.story

Rallies have been taking place across Russia against the bloodthirsty Putin; and it is not beyond the pale to believe that he and his ex-KGB cronies had a hand in the attacks, and are using them as a pretext to crack down on those who oppose Putin and his thugs, just as Stalin and Hitler did.

See, e.g., http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100320/ts_nm/us_russia_protest and http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100320/wl_afp/russiapoliticsdemoopposition_20100320145257 and http://www.naegele.com/documents/RussianEconomicPolicySpursNationwideProtests.pdf

. . .

Vladimir Putin vowed Tuesday to “drag out of the sewer” the masterminds of the twin suicide bombing of the Moscow subway. . . .

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100330/ap_on_re_eu/eu_russia_subway_blast

Again, it is clear that Putin must go!

See http://www.theotherrussia.org/2010/03/18/a-historical-dead-end-putin-must-go/ and http://www.theotherrussia.org/2010/03/19/protests-gaining-visibility-attracting-more-russians/

The repressive measures that Putin has been using for years now are designed to preserve his regime’s power—which, in turn, has been used by he and his cronies to “rape” Russia.

See, e.g., http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fg-russia-caucasus31-2010mar31,0,1368322,full.story; see also http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a5Abm2FAjqLA

Like

30 03 2010
geo

Funny stuff my friend, but your rather professional appearance in the photo does not correspond with your amateurish conspiracy claims. Mr. Putin is no more a killer than Mr. Bush. He is probably also among the top-3 most humane leaders that Russia has ever had. Don’t be so americentric.

Making difficult choices comes with being a leader, especially in a country as complex as Russia.

I can’t believe they allow radicalized nuts like you make policy.

Like

2 04 2010
8 04 2010
naegeleblog

“Your Humble Servant”: The Vicious Killer Putin

Similar to his role in so many deaths since he began with the KGB many years ago, Putin has the gall to deny any involvement with the crisis taking place in Kyrgyzstan:

“Neither Russia nor your humble servant nor Russian officials have anything to do with these events,” he said, accusing [authoritarian President Kurmanbek] Bakiyev of nepotism.

See, e.g., http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1264307/Kyrgyzstan-President-flees-state-bloody-protests-kill-40-injure-400.html

Putin is as much of a “humble servant” as Hitler and Stalin ever were—and nothing less.

Like

9 04 2010
naegeleblog

Russian Adoption Tragedies

See, e.g., http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304222504575173741062876452.html

This is tragic—for the child, for the mother, and for lots of innocent people—everyone knows that. However, the deeper issues surrounding this adoption involve the inability of so many Americans to adopt children who are born in this country, and the willingness of China and other countries to foist “sick” children on U.S. adoptive parents.

One of my cousins and his wife desperately wanted to adopt more than one child. They tried to adopt in the U.S., but found it was near to impossible, so they turned their attention abroad. First, they adopted a baby from an orphanage in China, and all went well. Then, they sought to adopt a second baby from another Chinese orphanage, and it was an unmitigated disaster.

The child had serious physical problems that were not disclosed to the couple. For a child to have “psychological problems” or to be “mentally unstable,” “violent and angry” or have “severe psychopathic issues”—in the case of the Russian boy—is tragic but not surprising. China wants to get rid of such children, and presumably Russia and other countries do too.

It is easy to be holier-than-thou, and to tar or condemn the adoptive mother or parents as unfit and criminals, yet first those who do so should walk a mile in the person’s or persons’ mocassins. How would we feel, and how would we react? I have searched my own soul with respect to that question, trying to put myself in the shoes of my cousin and his wife, who are wonderful and loving people.

For the the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, to say that he was “deeply shocked by the news” and “very angry that any family would act so callously toward a child that they had legally adopted,” constitutes pure theatrics and political grandstanding by an Obama hack. With the advent of ObamaCare’s healthcare “rationing,” the cost and human toll from dealing with sick children from other countries might overwhelm adoptive families and our medical system.

There should be an international agreement on the conditions for adoptions, the obligations of host families, AND the obligations of those countries that seek to have Americans adopt their children. It is a two-way street, and there is plenty of blame to share.

I do not have much patience with the Russians; and I have enormous contempt for the thoroughly evil Putin regime.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

Perhaps, the easiest way to deal with any Russian concerns is to cut off all adoptions from that country immediately. This will stem the tide of “sick” children being foisted on American adoptees; and the same thing might be done with China and other countries, which are enormously brazen and uncaring.

Like

30 04 2010
naegeleblog

Russia’s Squandered Billions

Russian journalist Yulia Latynina spoke recently about the billions squandered by Putin and his cronies, in an article that is worth reading.

See http://www.theotherrussia.org/2010/03/26/yulia-latynina-on-russias-squandered-billions/

Like

7 05 2010
naegeleblog

Deaths And Everything Connected With Dictatorship

This is how Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has described the former Soviet Union; however, he might just as well have been commenting on Russia today under Vladimir Putin.

See http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.95024ef95b522961d174d30fc2fb45fa.571&show_article=1

On a positive note:

Medvedev rubbished the notion that Stalin won the war for the Soviet Union, saying that “the Great Patriotic War was won by our people, not by Stalin or even the generals.”

Like

13 05 2010
naegeleblog

Obama Bows To Putin

Clearly, Barack Obama seems bent on bowing to lots of people, including the Mayor of Tampa, Florida.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-103; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/#comment-358

However, when Obama bows to Russia’s dictator-for-life Putin, it puts America’s well being and vital national security needs on the line. The latest example is the new START treaty, which is unnecessary and not in America’s best interests, and the U.S. Senate should reject it.

We do not need such an agreement with the Russians—who cannot be trusted under any circumstances—other than existing agreements to safeguard their nuclear weapons so they do not fall into the hands of terrorists. The Russian arsenal today is nothing like the Soviet arsenal at the height of its powers and prowess, because Russia has been suffering economically.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is pleading for the treaty’s ratification by the Senate.

See, e.g., http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703339304575240164048611360.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEFTTopOpinion#articleTabs%3Darticle

He began dealing with the Soviets in 1970, not the Russians; and the “Evil Empire” was subsequently “disemboweled.” It is no more; and Russia today is little more than a Third World country, and a mere shadow of what the U.S.S.R. once was. It is in America’s best interests to keep it that way.

None of this “cooperation” with Putin and his thugs prevented them from invading Georgia, and occupying portions of that country to this day. Having left the Olympic games in Beijing to begin and direct his war, Putin is the last person on the face of this earth to be trusted. We should be doing whatever we can to isolate and ultimately bring down his regime, not cooperate with it.

With all due respect for Gates, whom I like, he is trying to sell a bad treaty that the U.S. does not need. If it is ratified—and hopefully it is not—it should be scrapped on day one by the next Republican administration.

Also, Putin is rubbing Obama’s nose in it, by blocking any meaningful sanctions against Iran.

See, e.g., http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100513/ts_nm/us_russia_iran_us_1

Unfortunately, Obama’s naïveté knows no bounds when it comes to the Russians, or he would have learned not to trust Putin at all, who left George W. Bush’s side at the Olympics in Beijing to launch his war against the Georgians.

Putin needs to be removed from the world’s stage permanently; and the sooner that this is accomplished, the better.

See, e.g., http://www.theotherrussia.org/

Like

27 05 2010
Max Fisher

Mr. Naegele, you’re a good example of a person who I’m sure would be happy to start another Cold War. Wake up already, it’s not 80s anymore. The US and Russia would have much better relations if radicals like you didn’t try to create confrontation between two countries all the time.

I have two questions and one suggestion for you:

Questions:

1. What makes you such a russophobe? You sound like you have some personal issues with Russians.

2. When you go to sleep do you always look under your bed in search of KGB agents?

Suggestion:

To learn what the real Third World is and not your imaginary one you like to mention here go south of LA downtown.

Thank you for your attention.

Like

27 05 2010
naegeleblog

Thank you, Max, for your comments.

First, we never left the Cold War. Russia still has nuclear missiles in their silos that can be targeted at the U.S. within a matter of minutes. It is pure fantasy to think otherwise.

Second, Putin is described adequately in the article above, and in the postings below it. One should not be under any illusions. What he did in Georgia, Chechnya and elsewhere are perfect examples of his brutality.

Third, Garry Kasparov’s party has been documenting Putin’s brutality for a long time now, and you may wish to follow their postings. This is reality, not fantasies.

See http://www.theotherrussia.org/

Fourth, China is our enemy too. If you have any doubts about that, I suggest you read Mark Helprin’s latest fine article in the Wall Street Journal.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/MarkHelprin-FarewelltoAmericasChinaStation.pdf

Fifth, what is most worrisome is the possibility of an EMP Attack, against which the U.S. is not hardened and has no defenses. This is not some made-up dream or fantasy.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

Sixth, as mentioned in my article above, my sensitivities with respect to Putin were heightened many years ago, when he came to power and I was told by a long-time friend on Capitol Hill—whose credentials were impeccable—that Putin was a “smoother version” of Stalin. As stated above, I will never forget those prescient and ominous words.

Like

13 05 2010
naegeleblog

More Travesties From Obama

The Obama Administration is moving toward completion of an agreement with Russia that would head off Moscow’s threat to halt U.S. adoptions of Russian children—which is absurd, and is merely the latest example of Barack Obama bowing to dictator-for-life Putin’s regime.

Clearly, both Russia and China have used the U.S. as dumping grounds for their “sick” children, and Americans have paid dearly for it. Until Russia addresses its own problems, all adoptions from that country should be banned; and the same thing is true of China. Enough is enough!

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703950804575242620932318554.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLEThirdNews; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/problems-with-foreign-adoptions/

Like

22 05 2010
naegeleblog

State-Owned Versus Free-Market Capitalism

There is a fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal about this subject, which states:

The financial crisis and global recession have made it much more difficult for those who believe in free-market capitalism to make their case to those who don’t.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704852004575258541875590852.html?mod=WSJ_hp_editorsPicks

Those who don’t are despots like the killer Putin, who have been profiting from state ownership and control since they came to power, and have zero incentives to stop the gravy train, which keeps them in power and affluence.

The article continues:

U.S. policy-makers might respond to these challenges by building new barriers to foreign investment, particularly from state-owned companies.

. . .

The U.S., European Union, Japan, Canada and Australia are likely to find common cause over the next decade in protecting themselves against the worst effects of this trend. Countries that favor state capitalism will do more business with one another.

. . .

It’s tempting for U.S. companies to believe they can rely on access to hundreds of millions of new consumers in China and other emerging-market countries for the lion’s share of future profits. But they had better be prepared for a wide variety of unforeseen barriers.

Like

29 05 2010
naegeleblog

Thank God!

The highly-respected Rasmussen polling organization is reporting:

This Memorial Day, nearly three-out-of-four Americans (74%) have a favorable opinion of the U.S. military, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Just 12% hold an unfavorable opinion, and 13% are not sure.

These figures have held steady for the past two years.

See http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/lifestyle/holidays/may_2010/74_have_favorable_opinion_of_u_s_military

In the wake of what our Vietnam veterans went through, it is wonderful to see the support for our military, especially with two wars in progress, one of which is winding down.

Barack Obama ought to heed these results, and do nothing to weaken our military; and in fact, he should take all steps necessary to strengthen it in light of deadly challenges from China, Russia, North Korea, terrorists and elsewhere.

See, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/MarkHelprin-FarewelltoAmericasChinaStation.pdf and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/

Like

1 06 2010
16 06 2010
naegeleblog

Putin Is A Killer Like Stalin And Hitler, Who Should Be Terminated

The latest outrage by Putin and his thugs—who should be terminated forthwith—is that Russian police have seized 100,000 copies of a book critical of Putin that activists planned to hand out at an economic forum.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/7833181/Police-seize-100000-anti-Vladimir-Putin-books.html; see also http://www.theotherrussia.org/

Like Stalin and Hitler, Putin’s elimination cannot happen fast enough!

Like

18 06 2010
naegeleblog

Barack Obama Must Be Removed From Office For Weakening America’s Missile Defenses Alone

Obama and his lackeys have taken steps for a long time now to weaken America’s missile defenses, which is a tragedy and grounds for his impeachment and removal from office. Among other things, the Washington Times’ Bill Gertz writes:

The Obama administration is secretly working with Russia to conclude an agreement that many officials fear will limit U.S. missile defenses, a key objective of Moscow since it opposed plans for a U.S. missile defense interceptor base in Eastern Europe, according to American officials involved in arms control issues.

. . .

The secret talks and possible agreement have triggered alarm among pro-missile defense advocates who are concerned that the administration, in its effort to “reset” ties with Moscow, will make further concessions constraining current and future missile defenses.

Pro-arms-control officials within the administration dislike missile defenses, viewing them as an impediment to offensive arms agreements.

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jun/16/inside-the-ring-382424672/; see also http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100617/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_arms_treaty_5

Russia is essentially a Third World country, and it should be kept that way. It is America’s enemy, and must be treated as such; and what Obama and his lackeys have been doing is nothing short of criminal. They are weakening America’s ability to defend itself.

Also, Russia’s killer Putin is touting a new stealth fighter jet, which he claims “will be superior to our main competitor, [America's] F-22, in terms of maneuverability, weaponry and range. . . .” How outrageous for Obama to make any concessions to the Russians, or to enter into treaties with it that would weaken our great country.

See http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65G64820100617?type=politicsNews; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

Like

30 06 2010
naegeleblog

Putin Should Be Dealt With Quickly And Summarily, Just Like Hitler Should Have Been

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Russia’s killer Vladimir Putin has criticized U.S. law enforcement, even as his government acknowledged that its citizens were among the 11 people that American authorities charged were part of a long-running spy operation.

In its article, the Journal states:

“I do not believe this will affect the resetting of our relationship with Russia,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said at a briefing in Washington.

He said Mr. Obama was aware of the alleged spy ring, but the president didn’t discuss the topic in face-to-face meetings last week with [Russian President Dmitry Medvedev].

. . .

Several Russian analysts said the scandal could hinder, or at least delay, Senate ratification of a new treaty between the U.S. and Russia to reduce their nuclear arsenals. The new START accord, signed by Messrs. Obama and Medvedev in April, is the biggest achievement so far in Mr. Obama’s policy toward Moscow, but the treaty faces skepticism among Senate Republicans.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704103904575337041000860662.html?mod=WSJ_hps_MIDDLESecondNews

Obama and Gibbs are fools, who should be removed from public office for their traitorous actions; and the START treaty should not be ratified, but should die in the Senate.

Like

29 07 2010
naegeleblog

KGB’s Successor Agency Given Soviet-Style Repressive Powers

Russia’s Federal Security Service (known as the “FSB”), the KGB’s successor agency, has been given Soviet-style repressive powers in a move that critics say could be used to stifle protests and intimidate government opponents. In a new law signed by Putin’s stooge, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, the FSB has been empowered to detain people suspected of preparing to commit crimes against Russia’s security, which could include participating in anti-government rallies.

Like Stalin before him, Putin has killed those who have challenged him already; and this is simply the latest in a string of events that deprive Russians of their freedoms.

See http://apnews.myway.com/article/20100729/D9H8LTJO1.html; see also http://www.theotherrussia.org

Like

1 08 2010
naegeleblog

Russia Breaks Up Protests, Arrests Leaders

In the latest acts of brutality, the bloody Putin regime shut down civil demonstrations demanding freedom of assembly and the resignation of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The idea that Barack Obama would play “footsy” with Putin, and make any concessions at all, ever, is a travesty of monumental proportions. Putin and his butchers should be treated as pariahs by the world; and concrete steps should be taken to oust them now and destroy their Stalinist regime.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/RussiaBreaksUpProtestsArrestsLeaders.pdf

Like

3 08 2010
naegeleblog

Putin Is Pure Scum

It should surprise no one that democracy in Russia was killed by dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin, who is positioning himself to come back as the country’s president, thereby cementing his ruthless hold on what is in essence a Third-World country. He is the moral equivalent of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler; and he should be removed—however it gets done, brutally or otherwise—as soon as humanly possible for the good of the Russian people and the world.

See http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-russia-putin-fires-20100803,0,1956969,full.story

Like

5 08 2010
naegeleblog

China’s Carrier-Killing Missile Capability Must Be Destroyed

The Associated Press is reporting:

[China is developing] a game-changing weapon . . . — an unprecedented carrier-killing missile called the Dong Feng 21D that could be launched from land with enough accuracy to penetrate the defenses of even the most advanced moving aircraft carrier at a distance of more than 1,500 kilometers (900 miles).

See http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100805/ap_on_re_as/as_china_us_carrier_killer

This might threaten America’s supercarriers and their carrier groups. As stated above:

China is our enemy too. If you have any doubts about that, I suggest you read Mark Helprin’s latest fine article in the Wall Street Journal.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/MarkHelprin-FarewelltoAmericasChinaStation.pdf

Like

18 08 2010
naegeleblog

Russia In Talks To Supply Helicopters To NATO

This is outrageous!

The Wall Street Journal is reporting:

Russia is negotiating the sale of about 20 helicopters for Afghanistan, stepping up efforts to help the country’s U.S.-backed government battle the Taliban insurgency and drug traffickers.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/RussiainTalkstoSupplyHelicopterstoNATO-WSJ.com.pdf

Are we missing something? Isn’t this the same Russia that invaded and destroyed Afghanistan and killed its people, and subjected others to lives of misery? Yes, the former Soviet Union and Russia are essentially one and the same; and Putin was a KGB operative all of his life before he entered politics and became Russia’s dictator-for-life.

Russia is not America’s friend, or a friend of the Afghan people or NATO. It is our enemy, and should be treated as such. The sooner that Putin and his thugs are eliminated permanently, the better this world will be!

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer and http://www.theotherrussia.org/

With respect to the Afghan drug trade that is discussed in the Journal article, I wrote in my article about Afghanistan:

We began in Afghanistan militarily shortly after 9/11, and were successful in taking over the country and ousting the Taliban. The poppy crops should have been eradicated then, so the worldwide supply of heroin would have been reduced dramatically. The Associated Press reported on November 23, 2009: “The poppy crop in Afghanistan, which produces 90 percent of the world’s supply of opium, is linked to corruption, addiction and a drug trade that bankrolls the Taliban insurgency.” Opium poppies are the raw ingredient in making heroin.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/obama-in-afghanistan-doomed-from-the-start/

Query whether any American or foreign politician, such as Barack Obama, has the guts to take a strong stand: the poppy crops must be eradicated!

Like

28 08 2010
naegeleblog

The Cold War Never Ended: Putin And His Brutal Regime Are Our Enemies

The latest actions by the killer Putin involve Russian submarines that are hunting down British Vanguard submarines that carry Trident nuclear missiles, according to senior British Navy officers. This constitutes a return to Cold War tactics that have not been seen for 25 years, the UK’s Navy chiefs have warned.

Such actions are consistent with what Putin has done in Georgia and elsewhere in the world. He can never be trusted, and he must be stopped and removed once and for all.

See, e.g., http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/defence/7969017/Russian-subs-stalk-Trident-in-echo-of-Cold-War.html

Like

30 08 2010
naegeleblog

The World’s Public Enemy #1: Russia’s Killer Putin

Russia's Killer Putin

Like

2 09 2010
naegeleblog

Putin Must Be Eliminated

Reuters is reporting:

Russian police, some armed and masked, raided a prominent opposition magazine on Thursday as part of an unspecified investigation, the deputy editor of the magazine told Reuters.

“About five, some in masks and some armed, came to the office to carry out what they called ‘investigative actions'”, said Ilya Barabanov, deputy editor of the New Times, a weekly magazine.

. . .

The New Times is one of Moscow’s few prominent opposition media outlets and has published exposes of high-level corruption.

The weekly attracted international attention in April after a libel action was brought against it following publication of an investigative article about the much-feared riot police, called OMON.

Police searched the magazine’s premises then, an action condemned by the media rights group Reporters Without Borders, which said it was illegal to conduct a search while an appeal by the New Times was waiting for a hearing.

See http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LDE6810GF.htm

Putin is employing the tactics that he learned so well as a KGB operative in the former DDR (East Germany), which was one of the most brutal and repressive regimes in the communist orbit. Such tactics need to be used against him, to remove him permanently.

Like

5 10 2010
naegeleblog

More About The Killer Putin

The Wall Street Journal has another fine article about Putin’s brutal regime, which is worth reading.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/TruthintheTimeofPutinism.pdf; see also http://www.theotherrussia.org/2010/09/30/kasparov-putin-doomed-to-stay-president-of-russia (“It should be clear to everyone by now that there is no democracy in Russia”—”You have to explain to people that their financial troubles result from the lack of basic freedoms. Until this is understood, democracy will remain impossible”)

Like

12 10 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Both China And Russia Are America’s Enemies . . .

. . . although Russia is a “paper tiger,” and a mere shadow of the former Soviet Union—much less at the Evil Empire’s zenith, both economically and militarily.

Our real enemy in the world today is China, and its young military leaders believe this, as the New York Times notes in a fine article:

Older Chinese officers remember a time, before the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 set relations back, when American and Chinese forces made common cause against the Soviet Union.

The younger officers have known only an anti-American ideology, which casts the United States as bent on thwarting China’s rise.

. . .

“Chinese military men, from the soldiers and platoon captains all the way up to the army commanders, were always taught that America would be their enemy.”

. . .

China is also reported to be building an antiship ballistic missile base in southern China’s Guangdong Province, with missiles capable of reaching the Philippines and Vietnam. The base is regarded as an effort to enforce China’s territorial claims to vast areas of the South China Sea claimed by other nations, and to confront American aircraft carriers that now patrol the area unmolested.

. . .

Chinese military leaders seem less inclined to tolerate . . . old practices now that they have the resources and the confidence to say no.

. . .

Some experts see increased contact as critical. A leading Chinese expert on international security, Zhu Feng of Peking University, says that the Chinese military’s hostility toward the United States is not new, just more open. And that, he says, is not only the result of China’s new assertiveness, but its military’s inexperience on the world stage.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/12/world/asia/12beijing.html?_r=2&hp=&pagewanted=all

One of hopefully-many rays of hope is Liu Xiaobo, who just won the Nobel Peace Prize. He was sentenced to eleven years in prison for putting his name to the “Charter 08″ human-rights manifesto, which says that the Chinese people “see clearly that freedom, equality, and human rights are universal values.” On what grounds was he imprisoned, you ask? “Incitement to subvert state power.”

The Wall Street Journal’s excellent Bret Stephens writes:

Where do political prisoners serve their terms? Often in an archipelago of labor camps scattered across China called Laogai. How many camps are there? At least 909, according to the Laogai Research Foundation. How many prisoners? The low-end estimate is 250,000; the high-end is five million. How does the existence of these camps affect broader Chinese society? The Laogai “is more than a place where rights are violated directly, with beatings, medical neglect and forced labor,” writes Columbia Prof. Andrew Nathan in “Laogai,” a devastating recent book on the subject. “It is also the anchor end of a continuum of rights-violating methods that the regime uses to enforce its form of rule.”

Two final questions: First, what does all this say about China? Last year, Hillary Clinton insisted that human rights could not interfere with the totality of the U.S.-China relationship. That is not possible. Repression isn’t just woven into the fabric of Chinese life. It is the warp and woof. The regime has gone to extraordinary lengths to disguise that fact, just as it disguises the rest of its weaknesses. But a Nobel for Mr. Liu is the disentangling thread—not on Western terms, but on Chinese ones. How powerful can a state be if it is terrified of a single man?

The second question is about the West. No doubt the travails of Greece expose an Achilles heel. But the real test of the West isn’t fiscal. It’s moral. Are we willing to pay a small price to keep faith with a lone dissident, one who is willing to pay a large price to keep faith with us? Last week we did. Which is why the West may not be a spent force after all, and why the year belongs to China—the China of Mr. Liu.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/BretStephens-FromAthenstoBeijing.pdf

Like

27 10 2010
Mike Sharansky

Thank you, Mr. Timothy D. Naegele! When the U.S. election won Barack Obama, all the Russian human rights movement was in shock. One gives us confidence: the existence of people like you, George Bush and John McCain. So we will win!

Sincerely. Mike Sharansky.

Like

31 10 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Mike, for your comments.

Yes, I believe the forces of freedom and democracy will triumph in Russia; and that the Russian people will rid themselves of Putin and his ilk. Again, the sooner the better!

Like

1 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

2,000 Rally In Moscow Demanding Freedom

The Washington Post is reporting:

Nearly 2,000 people gathered in central Moscow on Sunday demanding freedom of assembly in a rare sanctioned rally.

. . .

Opposition activists gathered to protest in two separate rallies Sunday after Moscow City Hall gave a rare approval for the rally but placed a cap on the number of participants at 1,000 people, down from the requested 1,500.

. . .

Popular support for vocal opposition groups is minimal in Russia, and their activities have been thwarted in regions like Moscow, where authorities ban their rallies and police regularly break up their gatherings.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/31/AR2010103102294.html

More brutal anti-democratic actions by Putin and his bloody regime, which must be terminated!

Like

7 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The Very Sick, Depraved Putin Strikes Again, And Must Be Terminated

The Los Angeles Times is reporting:

A crusading Russian reporter was in a coma Saturday after two masked men savagely beat him with metal rods. . . .

Oleg Kashin, a reporter with the daily Kommersant newspaper, was ambushed overnight near his home in central Moscow by two men who witnesses said beat the 30-year-old journalist on the head, legs and hands and then ran away.

[D]octors who initially treated Kashin said his jaw, both legs and several fingers were broken and at least one part of a finger had been torn off. Kashin was not robbed of his cellphone or wallet, television reports said.

Mikhail Fedotov, the secretary of the Russian Union of Journalists, pointed to the bludgeoning of Kashin’s hands as particularly sinister.

“What’s so utterly disgusting about the case is that the attackers did their utmost if not to kill Kashin but to maim him gravely enough to prevent him from ever being physically able to write again,” Fedotov said.

Fedotov said Kashin’s beating was the fifth attack on Russian journalists in just the last 30 days, adding to a climate of intimidation in a country that has seen growing protests over limits on personal liberties.

. . .

“Oleg writes a lot about the public’s growing discontent, about protest actions and opposition demonstrations,” Kommersant reporter Musa Muradov said in an interview with The Times. “He is very young and very brave, and I think he enjoys working on the edge, interviewing people whose voices are not welcome by many in our country.”

Fedotov, who is also the chairman of the Presidential Council for Civil Society Institutions, agreed.

“I have no doubt that it was a political attack directly connected with Kashin’s professional activities,” he said. “This brazen attack demonstrates that there are powerful forces in our country which want to hamper the … democratization of the country.”

In August, the pro-Kremlin youth group Young Guard called Kashin a “reporter-traitor” who should be punished. In a biting piece on the group’s website, a writer accused Kommersant and Kashin personally of “semi-clandestine subversive activities aimed at depraving the readership and discrediting the organs of power.”

See http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-russia-journalist-20101107,0,5991550.story; see also http://www.theotherrussia.org/2010/05/04/putin-and-kadyrov-among-predators-of-press-freedom/

Attacks on journalists like Kashin would never happen unless Russia’s brutal Stalinist dictator-for-life Putin ordered them and/or created a climate in which they happen.

Like

11 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

More From Russia’s Killer Putin And His Pathetic Lapdog Medvedev

The UK’s Daily Mail is reporting:

A Kremlin hit squad is planning to kill the double agent who unveiled Anna Chapman and numerous other spies to U.S authorities, according to reports in Russia.

Officials have sent a contract killer to assassinate the head of Moscow’s deep cover spying operations in the U.S who betrayed at least ten compatriots, including Chapman, in a major blow to Russian intelligence.

In a comment reminiscent of spying in the Cold War era, an unidentified official told Russian newspaper Kommersant that a hit squad was already planning to kill a man identified as Colonel Shcherbakov.

‘He will carry this with him all his life, and will fear retribution every day. We know who he is and where he is. He betrayed us for money, or simply to harm something. Do not doubt that a Mercader has been sent after him already,’ he added, referring to Russian agent Ramon Mercader, who murdered exiled Bolshevik Leon Trotsky with an ice axe in 1940 in Mexico.

The colonel is said to have been the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service’s department for ‘illegal’ spying operations in the U.S.

The newspaper said Shcherbakov—it did not give his first name—had been spirited out of Moscow to the U.S. days before the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation announced in June that it had broken up a Russian spy ring.

Soon after meeting Chapman and the ten-strong spy ring on their return to Russia, prime minister Vladimir Putin—a former KGB spy—warned without naming the man responsible: ‘This was the result of treason—and traitors always end badly.’

Now a massive overhaul of the former KGB’s intelligence work in the West—including America and Britain—is being conducted under the personal orders of President Dmitry Medvedev who decorated the spies for their services to Russia.

Yet, if the Russian version events of what happened this summer is correct, it shows a huge coup for America in recruiting an agent with deep knowledge of the most secret of all spies—those sent abroad usually with false IDs, known as ‘illegals’ or ‘sleepers’.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1328746/Kremlin-hit-squad-planning-kill-double-agent-exposed-spy-Anna-Chapman.html (emphasis added); see also http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101111/wl_nm/us_russia_usa_spies and http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-russia-spy-20101112,0,945201.story

Putin must be terminated, not the heroic “Colonel Shcherbakov,” who should be rewarded by the United States!

Like

18 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

“Colonel Shcherbakov” Has Been Outed, And He Should Receive America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, And Be Protected Forever

The UK’s Telegraph reported:

Russian intelligence sources told local media that the traitor who gave away Anna Chapman and nine others was Colonel Alexander Poteyev who served in the KGB’s elite ‘Zenith’ Special Forces unit during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

A criminal case for ‘state treason’ had been opened against him and he will be tried in absentia like other traitors before him, they said.

The scandal caused huge embarrassment in Russia and triggered the biggest spy swap since the Cold War.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8143693/Ex-KGB-soldier-named-as-double-agent-who-exposed-Anna-Chapman-spy-ring.html; see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2008715/Alexander-Poteyev-given-25-years-betraying-secret-code-Anna-Chapman.html (“Top Russian spy given 25 years after betraying secret code of Anna Chapman and nine other undercover agents to the U.S.”)

Colonel Poteyev is not a traitor, period. He is an American hero and patriot, who should be honored by Barack Obama with the coveted Presidential Medal of Freedom. Also, he and his family must be protected for the rest of their lives, to insure that other Russians come forward and disclose precisely what Putin’s brutal regime has been doing and continues to do.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_Medal_of_Freedom

Like

25 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

America And Georgia Must Block Russia’s Membership In The WTO

The Wall Street Journal is reporting:

Russia and the European Union reached a deal Wednesday that could pave the way for Russia to join the World Trade Organization in 2011.

. . .

Joining requires consent from all 153 members of the Geneva-based body.

Russia cleared a big hurdle with an endorsement from the U.S. in September. The EU is now the main formal obstacle remaining. . . .

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/WithEUDealRussiaPavesWayforWTOMembership.pdf

In a comment at the Journal’s Web site, I wrote:

There are lots of reasons to impeach Barack Obama, but his support for Russia’s membership in the WTO can be added to the list now. It is a travesty, pure and simple; and at the very least, the U.S. and Georgia must block it.

Putin is a killer, and Obama is rewarding him. Our “Community-Organizer-In Chief,” Obama—who is a far-Left, anti-war president—is caving to Russia’s “dictator-for-life” Putin and his stooge Medvedev, which is a crime . . . like embracing Hitler. The sooner that Obama’s presidency ends, the better off America will be.

Among other things, the New Start Treaty must be rejected by the U.S. Senate too, and not ratified. It must be allowed to wither and die. The Republicans are correct, but are not tough enough. Putin must be rebuffed by the United States on a broad series of fronts. Russia is America’s enemy and cannot be trusted—certainly as long as Putin and Medvedev are in power.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ (see also postings beneath the article)

Russia’s “effort to warm relations”—and Obama’s utter naïveté in falling for it (e.g., by supporting WTO membership, and by agreeing to the New Start Treaty, much less in launching a blitz to ratify it)—constitutes a series of sinister and Machiavellian chess moves by Putin and Medvedev. One must never forget that these are the same people who have reportedly ordered a Kremlin hit squad to kill the double agent who unveiled Anna Chapman and numerous other spies to U.S authorities.

Indeed, the UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

“Soon after meeting Chapman and the ten-strong spy ring on their return to Russia, prime minister Vladimir Putin—a former KGB spy—warned without naming the man responsible: ‘This was the result of treason—and traitors always end badly.’

“Now a massive overhaul of the former KGB’s intelligence work in the West—including America and Britain—is being conducted under the personal orders of President Dmitry Medvedev who decorated the spies for their services to Russia.”

If anything, the double agent is an American hero who should be honored by Obama with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Also, he and his family must be protected for the rest of their lives, to insure that other Russians come forward and disclose precisely what Putin’s brutal regime has been doing and continues to do.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-955

Putin left George W. Bush’s side at the Olympic games in Beijing and traveled to the Georgian border, where he directed the Kremlin’s cruel aggression against its vastly smaller neighbor. Putin came to prominence as a KGB operative in East Germany—or the DDR, as it was known before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Erich Honecker’s government—which was one of the most repressive regimes in the Soviet Union’s orbit, or the Evil Empire.

If the brutal Putin—who is a “smoother” version of Stalin, and has effectively snuffed out any “green shoots” of democracy in Russia—truly wanted to “warm relations,” he might begin by withdrawing Russia’s presence from Georgia completely and returning that country to its pre-invasion status. He must not be rewarded for his aggression with WTO membership or the New Start Treaty. We can begin to “reset” relations with Russia once Putin is removed, and not a minute before.

We are witnessing the end of Barack Obama as an American politician—with the mid-term elections representing another milestone along that path. He is desperate, and grasping for straws, and jeopardizing our long-term national security interests in the process.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/the-end-of-barack-obama/

Like

27 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

China Warns U.S. As Korea Tensions Rise

The Wall Street Journal is reporting:

Beijing [has] lodged its first official protest of a joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise planned for Sunday, even as the aircraft carrier USS George Washington steamed toward the region.

North Korea also responded angrily. “The situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war,” the state controlled Korean Central News Agency responded Friday to the maneuvers, which are set to take place in the Yellow Sea between the Koreas and northeastern China.

The strong talk was the latest fallout from North Korea’s hour-long artillery attack of a South Korean island on Tuesday that killed four people. The next day, the U.S. and South Korea said planned joint exercises would go ahead over the weekend, heightening fears in some quarters that already-tense relations between North and South Korea—and their respective international protectors, China and the U.S.—could be heading for a showdown.

Yet China’s outwardly defiant response belies a more delicate political reality: Beijing’s continued support of North Korea’s erratic, martial regime is beginning to extract real costs. China’s statement Friday included a face-saving formulation that appeared to open the door for a scenario China has long sought to avert—a U.S. aircraft carrier, a potent symbol of U.S. military might, plying the edge of Chinese waters.

. . .

China has long frustrated U.S. efforts to bring its nuclear-armed neighbor to heel, fearing any radical change could sow chaos in the region and potentially lead to a unified Korea with a U.S. military presence directly on its border. Beijing refused this week to blame North Korea for Tuesday’s attack. Privately, its officials maintain, the weekend’s exercises could be a grave mistake that risk further provoking the North.

But current and former U.S. officials who have worked on North Korea said Friday that they saw China in a growing quandary in how to square its support for Pyongyang with the regime’s continued provocations.

Beijing has sought in recent months to deepen its economic and strategic relationship with North Korea, despite U.S. objections, arguing it would help contain leader Kim Jong Il’s nuclear work and military provocations. As Pyongyang has continued to challenge the international community, however, China has been placed in an increasingly weakened position to protest U.S. military action.

“China is having a much harder time in defending its policy, but they only have themselves to blame,” said Michael Green, who oversaw Asia policy for the White House during George W. Bush’s first term. “You talk to any Chinese official, and they’re furious with the North Koreans.”

Beijing is also facing renewed criticism from Chinese foreign-policy experts, journalists and Internet activists who question whether unqualified support for North Korea is still in China’s interests.

China’s apparently softened stance on Yellow Sea exercises appears to demonstrate a concern that the North Korean crisis will overshadow a planned trip to Washington in January by President Hu Jintao. It may also reflect an acknowledgment that China would be unlikely to prevent the U.S. and South Korea from staging their drills following the week’s attack, requiring a compromise to avoid appearing weak before an increasingly nationalist and demanding Chinese public.

“The very recent developments put China in an awkward position,” said Jin Canrong, an international relations professor at Renmin University in Beijing. “China’s not pleased to see that, but it has to face it. So its immediate concern is to contain the crisis.”

U.S. military officials insisted Friday that the exercise scheduled for this weekend shouldn’t be interpreted as anything but an attempt to deter North Korea from further attacks on the South.

“This exercise is not directed at China,” said Capt. Darryn James, a Pentagon spokesman. “The purpose is to strengthen the deterrence against North Korea.”

U.S. officials on Friday said the Obama administration continues to focus its diplomacy in Northeast Asia on gaining China’s cooperation to exert more pressure on North Korea.

. . .

[In] a speech by [Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton[,] she said that the U.S. had a national interest in protecting freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Ever since, China and the U.S. have been engaged in a tussle for influence in the region, where many Southeast Asian nations that have territorial disputes with China are looking to beef up defense relations with the U.S.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704008704575638420698918004.html#articleTabs%3Darticle%26commentId%3D1811833%253Fmod%253Ddjemcomnewtrackedcomment (emphasis added)

Like

27 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Senate Ratification Of Obama’s New START Treaty Must Not Take Place: “Obama’s Idea That The Great Powers Must Reduce Their Weapons To Set A Moral Example For The Rest Of The World To Disarm Is Simply Childish”

The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer has another brilliant, compelling, must-read column, which states:

It’s a lame-duck session. Time is running out. Unemployment is high, the economy is dangerously weak and, with five weeks to go, no one knows what tax anyone will be paying on everything from income to dividends to death when the current rates expire Jan. 1. And what is the president demanding that Congress pass as “a top priority”? To what did he devote his latest weekly radio address? Ratification of his New START treaty.

Good grief. Even among national security concerns, New START is way down at the bottom of the list. From the naval treaties of the 1920s to this day, arms control has oscillated between mere symbolism at its best to major harm at its worst, with general uselessness being the norm.

The reason is obvious. The problem is never the weapon; it is the nature of the regime controlling the weapon. That’s why no one stays up nights worrying about British nukes, while everyone worries about Iranian nukes.

In Soviet days, arms control at least could be justified as giving us something to talk about when there was nothing else to talk about, symbolically relieving tensions between mortal enemies. It could be argued that it at least had a soporific and therapeutic effect in the age of “the balance of terror.”

But in post-Soviet days? The Russians are no longer an existential threat. A nuclear exchange between Washington and Moscow is inconceivable. What difference does it make how many nukes Russia builds? If they want to spend themselves into penury creating a bloated nuclear arsenal, be our guest.

President Obama insists that New START is important as a step toward his dream of a nuclear-free world. Where does one begin? A world without nukes would be the ultimate nightmare. We voluntarily disarm while the world’s rogues and psychopaths develop nukes in secret. Just last week we found out about a hidden, unknown, highly advanced North Korean uranium enrichment facility. An ostensibly nuclear-free world would place these weapons in the hands of radical regimes that would not hesitate to use them—against a civilized world that would have given up its deterrent.

Moreover, Obama’s idea that the great powers must reduce their weapons to set a moral example for the rest of the world to disarm is simply childish. Does anyone seriously believe that the mullahs in Iran or the thugs in Pyongyang will in any way be deflected from their pursuit of nukes by a reduction in the U.S. arsenal?

Obama’s New START treaty is 90 percent useless and 10 percent problematic. One difficulty is that it restricts the number of delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons. But because some of these are dual-use, our ability to deliver long-range conventional weapons, a major U.S. strategic advantage, is constrained.

The second problem is the recurrence of language in the treaty preamble linking offensive to defensive nuclear weaponry. We have a huge lead over the rest of the world in missile defenses. Ever since the Reagan days, the Russians have been determined to undo this advantage. The New START treaty affirms the “interrelationship” between offense and defense. And Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has insisted that “the unchangeability of circumstances”—translation: no major advances in U.S. anti-missile deployment—is a condition of the entire treaty.

The worst thing about this treaty, however, is that it is simply a distraction. It gives the illusion of doing something about nuclear danger by addressing a non-problem, Russia, while doing nothing about the real problem—Iran and North Korea. The utter irrelevance of New START to nuclear safety was dramatically underscored last week by the revelation of that North Korean uranium enrichment plant, built with such sophistication that it left the former head of the Los Alamos National Laboratory “stunned.” It could become the ultimate proliferation factory. Pyongyang is already a serial proliferator. It has nothing else to sell. Iran, Syria and al-Qaeda have the money to buy.

Iran’s Islamic Republic lives to bring down the Great Satan. North Korea, nuclear-armed and in a succession crisis, has just shelled South Korean territory for the first time since the Korean armistice. Obama peddling New START is the guy looking for his wallet under the lamppost because that’s where the light is good—even though he lost the wallet on the other side of town.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/25/AR2010112502232.html (emphasis added); see also http://www.naegele.com/documents/NewStart-WhatWouldReaganDo.pdf (Former Reagan stalwarts Ed Meese and Richard Perle: “We worked for Ronald Reagan, and we’re sure [he would not have endorsed it]“) and http://www.naegele.com/documents/DouglasJ.Feith-GroundhogDayonU.S.-RussiaArmsControl.pdf (‘Russian officials . . . asked again for the concessions they had before unsuccessfully demanded from Mr. Bush. Mr. Obama agreed“)

Like

29 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Putin Must Be Terminated Now—Russian Democracy Has Disappeared

Foreign Policy is reporting that U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates observed: “Russian democracy has disappeared and the government was an oligarchy run by the security services.” And of course this assessment is totally accurate.

The article adds:

Russia has not lived up to its agreements following its 2008 war with Georgia.

. . .

Gates’ frank analysis of the Russian government matches the take of top Russian opposition leaders, such as Russia’s former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, who told Foreign Policy last month that, “We have no democracy at all. We don’t have any future of a democratic state. Everything has been lost, everything has been taken from the people by the authorities.”

See http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/11/28/wikileaked_cable_from_bob_gates_russian_democracy_has_disappeared

Putin must be terminated now, just as Hitler and Stalin should have been.

Like

30 11 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Putin’s Russia Is Our Enemy—Make No Mistake About That

In an article entitled, “Russian Missiles Fuel U.S. Worries,” the Wall Street Journal is reporting:

The U.S. believes Russia has moved short-range tactical nuclear warheads to facilities near North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies as recently as this spring, U.S. officials say, adding to questions in Congress about Russian compliance with long-standing pledges ahead of a possible vote on a new arms-control treaty.

U.S. officials say the movement of warheads to facilities bordering NATO allies appeared to run counter to pledges made by Moscow starting in 1991 to pull tactical nuclear weapons back from frontier posts and to reduce their numbers. The U.S. has long voiced concerns about Russia’s lack of transparency when it comes to its arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons, believed to be many times the number possessed by the U.S. . . . underlining deep-seated mistrust between U.S. and Russian armed forces despite improved relations between political leaders.

. . .

Republican critics in the Senate say it was a mistake for President Barack Obama to agree to the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia, or New Start, without dealing with outstanding questions about Moscow’s tactical nuclear weapons. New Start would cap the Russian and U.S. deployed strategic nuclear arsenals at 1,550 per side. It doesn’t address tactical weapons, which are smaller and for use on a battlefield.

. . .

The positioning of Russian tactical nuclear weapons near Eastern European and the Baltic states has alarmed NATO member-states bordering Russia. They see these as potentially a bigger danger than long-range nuclear weapons. Tactical weapons are easier to conceal and may be more vulnerable to theft, say arms-control experts.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis said he raised concerns about the weapons this month with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and senior defense officials in Washington.

“Being a NATO member, of course, someone could say, ‘Don’t worry.’ But when you’re living in the neighborhood, you should always be more cautious,” Mr. Azubalis said. He added that American officials “expressed worry but they also don’t know too much” about where the weapons are and the conditions under which they are kept.

. . .

Sen. Christopher Bond (R., Mo.), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, refused to comment directly on the tactical nuclear warhead issue, but he said the Russians cannot be trusted to make good on their arms-control promises. “We know from published reports of the State Department that the Russians have cheated on all their other treaties, Start, chemical weapons, [biological weapons], Open Skies,” he said.

. . .

[M]istrust runs deep, U.S. diplomatic cables released by the organization WikiLeaks over the weekend showed. A February cable quoted Defense Secretary Robert Gates telling a French official that Russia was an “oligarchy run by the security services,” despite Mr. Medvedev’s “more pragmatic vision.”

. . .

Western officials say the Russian military views its aging arsenal of tactical nuclear weapons as a way to compensate for its diminished conventional capabilities, and as a hedge against the U.S.’s expanded missile defenses and China’s growing might.

. . .

According to the U.S. assessment, Russia has expanded tactical nuclear deployments near NATO allies several times in recent years. An example is Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania. A State Department cable from April 2009 said Russia had warned it would take countermeasures, including putting “missiles” in Kaliningrad, in response to expanded U.S. missile defenses in Europe.

U.S. officials believe the most recent movements of Russian tactical nuclear weapons took place in late spring. In late May, a U.S. Patriot missile battery was deployed in northern Poland, close to Kaliningrad, sparking public protests from Moscow.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704584804575645212272670200.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories#articleTabs%3Darticle (emphasis added)

Clearly Russia cannot be trusted, and the New Start Treaty must be rejected by the U.S. Senate.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1014

Such provocative actions of intimidation against our NATO allies by Russia are consistent with those of an enemy, not a peace-loving nation that is worthy of America’s friendship. much less trust.

. . .

Former President George W. Bush has been criticized for a positive assessment of Putin shortly after meeting him. Indeed, I cringed when I heard this assessment because, inter alia, as Putin was coming to power under Boris Yeltsin, I had been told by a friend on Capitol Hill—with whom I worked—that Putin was a “smoother” version of Stalin, but every bit as evil. Bush regrets his choice of words now.

As noted in his new book, “Decision Points,” the statement was made in the context of comments about a cross that Putin’s mother had given to him. Specifically, Bush writes:

I thought of the emotion in Vladimir’s voice when he shared the story of the cross. “I looked the man in the eye,” I said [to a reporter who had asked if Putin was a man whom Americans could trust] “. . . I was able to get a sense of his soul.” In the years ahead, Putin would give me reasons to revise my opinion.

See Bush, “Decision Points,” p. 196.

Like

2 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Tycoon Alexander Lebedev, Putin’s “Full Of Sex” Mistress Alina Kabayeva, And WikiLeaks [UPDATED]

The Killer Putin

The Daily Mail has reported about threats against Lebedev, as well as the mother of Putin’s illegitimate son, Kabayeva. It adds:

Russia’s reputation—it is ranked 154th in the world for ‘transparency’—is a particularly sensitive issue at a time when the country is bidding to host the 2018 World Cup.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327370/Newspaper-magnate-Alexander-Lebedev-accuses-shadowy-forces-Russia-using-Cosa-Nostra-tactics-block-reform.html

Putin and His Mistress Kabaeva

The Winter Olympics in Putin’s Sochi should be boycotted; and Russia should be denied the opportunity to host the 2018 World Cup and any other international sporting events—at least until Putin is terminated, and Russia’s presence is removed from Georgia.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-226

Also, the WikiLeaks cables (see, e.g., http://wikileaks.org) that have been released recently condemn Russia as “mafia state,” which is not surprising; and conclude that the Kremlin relies on criminals and rewards them with political patronage, while top officials collect bribes “like a personal taxation system.”

The UK Guardian’s excellent article states emphatically:

Russia is a corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy centred on the leadership of Vladimir Putin, in which officials, oligarchs and organised crime are bound together to create a “virtual mafia state”, according to leaked secret diplomatic cables that provide a damning American assessment of its erstwhile rival superpower.

Arms trafficking, money laundering, personal enrichment, protection for gangsters, extortion and kickbacks, suitcases full of money and secret offshore bank accounts in Cyprus: the cables paint a bleak picture of a political system in which bribery alone totals an estimated $300bn a year, and in which it is often hard to distinguish between the activities of the government and organised crime.

. . .

The allegations come hours before Putin was due to address Fifa’s executive committee in Zurich in support of Russia’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup. Putin last night abruptly cancelled his trip, complaining of a smear campaign to “discredit” Fifa members. In an angry interview with CNN’s Larry King Live, recorded before the latest disclosures, Putin also denounced the cables and warned the US not to stick its nose in Russia’s affairs.

. . .

Sometimes the [KGB's successor, the] FSB put crime lords in prison for their own protection. Luckier crime leaders might end up in parliament. “The government of Russia takes the relationship with organised crime leaders still further by granting them privileges of politics, in order to grant them immunity from racketeering charges,” [John Beyrle, US Ambassador to Russia] noted.

The US is not alone in its assessments. In one cable, the [UK] Foreign Office’s Russia director, Michael Davenport, is quoted as calling Russia a “corrupt autocracy”.

The cables also reveal that the Americans believe Putin was likely to have known about the operation to murder Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.

The Kremlin has denied involvement but a remark by another US ambassador in Moscow, Williams Burns, sums up US attitudes towards the new Russia: “Whatever the truth may ultimately be [about Litvinenko]—and it may never be known—the tendency here to almost automatically assume that someone in or close to Putin’s inner-circle is the author of these deaths speaks volumes about expectations of Kremlin behaviour.”

See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-cables-russia-mafia-kleptocracy; see also http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-cables-medvedev-putin-russia and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8175280/WikiLeaks-Vladimir-Putin-likely-to-have-prior-knowledge-of-Alexander-Litvinenko-murder-plot.html

None of this is surprising. However, as my article states above, Russia is not a “superpower” or even close:

Based on its gross domestic product (GDP), it ranks behind Italy, Brazil, Spain and Canada; and it is less than nine percent the size of the United States. Its military expenditures are 9.5 percent of the American spending; and its antiquated Soviet-era conscript military was on display in Georgia.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

. . .

Finally, the lie is over as Putin divorces his wife.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2337048/Russian-president-Putin-wife-Lyudmila-announce-TV-marriage-over.html (“How Putin removed wedding ring while watching the ballet and emerged with his wife to announce their divorce on live TV“); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1139 (“Killer Putin’s Mistress On Cover Of Russian Vogue”)

Like

6 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

WikiLeaks Cables: Poland Wants Missile Shield To Protect Against Russia

The UK’s Guardian is reporting this headline. Clearly, Russia is the enemy, and the countries of “New Europe,” or the former Eastern-bloc countries, know this best.

They know that Russia’s “dictator-for-life” Putin is a butcher who cannot be trusted. Hence, they want the United States’ military “footprint” to grow even larger, while America’s “Hamlet” on the Potomac—Barack Obama—wants to cozy up to Putin, like appeasers tried to embrace Hitler and Stalin too.

See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/06/wikileaks-cables-poland-russia-shield

The sooner that Putin is terminated, and that Obama’s term of office ends, the better America and our allies—and the world—will be.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/

Like

8 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The Next Nobel Peace Prize Should Be Awarded To Russian Dissidents

The Wall Street Journal has a fine article about the fact that Friday’s ceremony to award the Nobel Peace prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo will be the first time that there will be no one to accept the award since 1936.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704447604576007301198796060.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsThird

The next Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded to Russian dissidents who have the courage to oppose “dictator-for-life” Putin’s murderous regime, which has effectively snuffed out democracy in that country.

Putin is the face of America’s enemies today, personified, as well as the enemy of free peoples everywhere. Only a fool would trust him or his brutal regime, now or in the future. The New START Treaty should be allowed to wither and die, and never see the light of day again. It must not be ratified by the Senate. It is fatally flawed—as the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer describes in a compelling, must-read column, whose conclusions are underscored in a Journal op-ed piece by former Reagan stalwarts Ed Meese and Richard Perle.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1014

Putin is evil—a “smoother” version of Stalin, but every bit as evil. One does not appease him, any more than Hitler and Stalin should have been appeased. We should not be concerned about what is “acceptable” to Russia and its military, which savaged both Georgia and Chechnya, any more than we should have been concerned about what was acceptable to the Third Reich.

Americans do not need to “reassure” Putin of anything, ever. Instead, we need to support democratic forces within that country, which will drive Putin and his thugs from power. One way to support them—like Liu Xiaobo and other Chinese dissidents who deserve our support—is to award the next Nobel Peace Prize to one or more of them.

Many others share the foregoing characterizations of Putin and Russia today. They include but are not limited to (1) U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1017 [“Russian democracy has disappeared and the government [is] an oligarchy run by the security services”]); (2) Obama (and former Jimmy Carter) adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski who described Putin as “following a course that is horrifyingly similar to that taken by Stalin and Hitler in the 1930s” (see http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/12/georgia); (3) the Russians, Georgians, and Chechens who have suffered greatly because of Putin and his thugs; (4) members and supporters of Garry Kasparov’s “The Other Russia,” a coalition that opposes Putin’s government (see, e.g., http://www.theotherrussia.org); and (5) many others including those who write for the Journal and other excellent publications in the U.S. and abroad (see, e.g., http://www.naegele.com/documents/TruthintheTimeofPutinism.pdf and http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-cables-russia-mafia-kleptocracy).

Lastly, Stalin was responsible for the deaths of more than 30 million men, women and children—his own countrymen—including millions during the collectivization of the Soviet farms in the 1930s. However, there are no memorials or tributes to those who perished under him. It is only fitting that the world must turn its attention to them, and to those who have suffered so under Stalin’s heir, Putin.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/

It is time to act!

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1009 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1020

Like

9 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Russia Is A Country That Is Fast Approaching A Dead End

The UK’s Economist has a truly excellent article about Russia, which is worth reading, but even it stops short of fully describing the facts today. To say that Putin’s Russia is corrupt is tantamount to describing Hitler’s Germany as benign, or Stalin’s Soviet Union as quaint, or China under Mao as fascinating.

See http://www.economist.com/node/17674075

Putin is a ruthless killer, a “smoother” version of Stalin, and his heir. As mentioned the posting above, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has stated: “Russian democracy has disappeared and the government [is] an oligarchy run by the security services.” Obama (and former Jimmy Carter) adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski has described Putin as “following a course that is horrifyingly similar to that taken by Stalin and Hitler in the 1930s.” These are understatements.

What “dictator-for-life” Putin and his thugs have done to Russia is criminal; and they must be removed, summarily, if democracy is to grow much less flourish in that crumbling quasi-Third World country—which is truly like the late-Soviet period, a country that is fast approaching a dead end.

It is a travesty and repugnant that the 2018 World Cup was awarded to Putin; and that the next Winter Olympic games will take place at Sochi in 2014, where Putin basks bare-chested when unwinding at his summer dacha, just across the border from Georgia that he brutally invaded after leaving the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Both the Winter Olympics and the World Cup soccer matches should be boycotted by the civilized nations of this world.

Like

14 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The New START Treaty: President Obama Is Pushing For A Monumental Surrender To Russia

This is the title of an excellent article in the UK’s Telegraph by Nile Gardiner, which states in pertinent part the following:

The Obama administration has an impeccable track record of caving in to Russian demands, as part of its controversial “reset” policy. Last year, it threw key US allies Poland and the Czech Republic under the bus, ditching plans for Third Site missile defences in deference to Russian opposition. It is now planning another surrender to Moscow, by pressing for Senate ratification of the new START Treaty in the lame duck session of Congress.

Instead of allowing the newly elected Congress to vote on the treaty, the Obama administration is trying to ram New START through without proper debate. No major treaty has ever been forced through Congress in a lame duck session.

There is mounting opposition in Washington to the New START Treaty, which would significantly weaken US security by undermining America’s ability to deploy an effective global missile defence system. Dozens of senators, as well as several leading likely Republican presidential candidates are opposed to the Treaty, including Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.

. . .

As part of its campaign to woo opponents of the Treaty, the Democratic White House has claimed that Ronald Reagan would have backed it, a simply ludicrous assertion. As Reagan’s attorney general Ed Meese, and Assistant Secretary of Defense, Richard Perle noted in The Wall Street Journal, the Gipper would never have backed an arms control agreement that encumbered “the pursuit of advanced ballistic missile defense technology”. . . .

. . .

Simply put, the New START Treaty is a staggeringly bad deal for the United States, and an extraordinarily good one for Vladimir Putin’s increasingly hostile and authoritarian Russia. President Obama needs to respect the will of the American electorate and allow the new Senate to vote on the Treaty, and fully scrutinise and debate the details of an agreement which, if ratified in its current form, will dramatically undercut America’s global missile defences. The White House is pressing for another monumental surrender to Moscow which will only strengthen the hand of a key US adversary.

See http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/nilegardiner/100068351/the-new-start-treaty-president-obama-is-pushing-for-a-monumental-surrender-to-russia; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-428 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-622 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1009 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1014 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1020 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1079 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1105

Like ObamaCare that a majority of American voters opposed and still oppose (see, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1133), Obama and his Democrats are trying to shove the New START Treaty down the throats of the American people, and weaken our national security. They learned nothing from last month’s mid-term elections, in which they were defeated soundly.

Barack Obama is further damaging this great nation’s national security and other vital interests; and the sooner he is gone from the presidency, the better off America will be.

See, e.g., http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/dec/05/obama-us-security-danger-threats

Like

15 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Killer Putin’s Mistress On Cover Of Russian Vogue

Putin's mistress, Alina Kabayeva

The UK’s Telegraph is reporting that Russian “dictator-for-life” Putin’s mistress, Alina Kabayeva, will appear on the cover of the January 2011 issue of the Russian version of Vogue magazine:

[T]he alleged affair has long been the hottest gossip topic among Russia’s elite.

The rumour first came to public prominence in 2008 when a Russian newspaper, owned by billionaire oligarch Alexander Lebedev, quoted a source as insisting the story was true.

Mr Lebedev shut the newspaper down soon afterwards claiming it had not been a commercial success though many suspected the real reason was to appease an angry Mr Putin.

The rumours later escalated when bloggers claimed Miss Kabayeva had subsequently given birth to Mr Putin’s love child. Mr Putin has angrily claimed that there is “not one word of truth” in any of the allegations, while Miss Kabayeva’s spokesperson has refused to discuss what she derided as “nonsense.”

Mr Putin has rarely been seen in public with his wife Ludmila in recent years, citing a heavy workload. He married Ludmila, a former air hostess, in 1983, the same year as Miss Kabayeva was born.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8202295/Vladimir-Putins-mistress-on-cover-of-Russian-Vogue.html; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1028

What about Putin’s son by Alina Kabayeva? There is no mention of him.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer, footnote 20; see also http://news.oneindia.in/2010/02/08/mumof-vladimir-putins-love-childvanishes.html (“The woman who gave birth to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s love child[, Russian gymnast, Alina Kabayeva,] is said to have vanished”) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alina_Kabayeva#Marriage_controversy and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putin_must_go

Like

16 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama And His Democrats Did Not Get The Message—Their Ranks Need To Be Thinned Even More, Starting With Obama

In the lame-duck session of Congress, the “Obama Tax Deal” has cleared its first political hurdle in the U.S. Senate, and now it is heading for passage by the House.

See, e.g., http://www.cnbc.com/id/40672357

As the Wall Street Journal points out in an important editorial that is worthy of repeating in its entirety entitled, “Harry Reid’s Holiday Jam”—which is subtitled, “What the Senate wants to pass while you’re not paying attention”—this is a travesty, pure and simple:

In Majority Leader Harry Reid’s rush to beat the looming expiration of the 111th Congress, the Senate has become the express lane to jam through changes in military rules, a giant spending bill and even an arms treaty—and all with virtually no deliberation. Why are Republicans putting up with it?

The lame duck Congress was supposed to limp out of town this Friday, but yesterday Mr. Reid announced that in the dwindling days before Christmas he plans to pass the bipartisan tax deal, the New Start arms treaty with Russia, the immigration Dream Act, a “lands bill,” and a bill to let gays serve openly in the military. Oh, and yesterday he also dropped on his colleagues a 1,924-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill for fiscal 2011 that no one but a few Appropriators have read, if even they have.

Any one of these issues could warrant at least a week of debate if the Senate were playing its designated constitutional role. But the New Start pact and spending bill in particular deserve at least eight or nine legislative days of debate, with opportunities for Senators to educate the public and offer amendments. As it is, most Americans are preoccupied with their busy holiday lives and have no idea that the world’s greatest deliberative body isn’t deliberating at all.

The rush for New Start is a special affront to Senate prerogatives under the Constitution, which requires a two-thirds vote for ratification precisely to guarantee a considered debate. The Administration claims that failure to ratify the treaty in two weeks will offend the Russians, though the Russians have said they feel no such urgency. GOP leaders have given Mr. Reid dates in either January or February to bring the treaty to the floor, and upwards of a dozen Republicans seem to be leaning in favor of the pact.

At a minimum the GOP ought to insist on a debate that is long enough to clarify the U.S. understanding of the treaty. That’s especially important on missile defenses because the pact’s preamble includes the major blunder of re-linking offensive and defensive weapons. At the time the pact was negotiated, the Russians claimed this language meant they could leave the treaty if the U.S. developed new missile defenses. In remarks at the time, U.S. officials did not forcefully counter that claim.

The Obama Administration has since said the Russians are wrong, but the Senate must make this absolutely clear during the ratification debate. GOP Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl are preparing a formal “understanding” to accompany the treaty that would stipulate that specific future U.S. missile defense plans aren’t part of the deal.

The next decade is likely to see a proliferation of nuclear weapons states with the missiles to hit U.S. or allied soil. The Senate should not tolerate a ratification debate in which Jon Kyl offers one interpretation, Democrat and missile defense opponent Carl Levin offers another, and the Russians are able to exploit the ambiguity.

The last-minute omnibus should also offend Senators who claim to have heard the voters on November 2. This jam-job is a substitute for the 12 individual spending bills that Congress was supposed to have passed during the summer. But for the first time in modern memory, Democrats never got around to passing a budget outline, much less specific spending bills. So now they want to rush one giant bill into law when no one is paying attention.

Congress does have to fund the government, but it can do that with a simple continuing resolution that maintains the status quo for three months or so until the next Congress gets up and running. The catch is that this would mean no earmarks, and no riders for this or that special interest that Members on the Appropriations Committee can write into a formal spending bill. This includes 10 or so GOP Appropriators, some of whom are leaving the Senate and want a last hurrah. Their fellow Senators deserve the chance to offer amendments on the floor at the very least, assuming their staff members get the time to read 2,000 pages.

This rushed, non-transparent, all-about-the-Members brand of legislating is precisely what voters rebelled against a month ago. Senate Republicans have the power to stop this railroad exercise if they stick together and insist that the Senate do its business the right way. Pass the tax bill, fund the government into the New Year, and go home for the holidays.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704694004576019810447429074.html?mod=WSJ_hps_sections_opinion

Hopefully the legislation is killed in the House, and better legislation is written next year when the Republicans control that chamber of the Congress. Indeed, the idea that Obama and his Democrats—who were soundly defeated in last month’s elections—can continue to enact their agenda, is a travesty and a tragedy of unfathomable proportions. Apparently they did not get the message that American voters sent loud and clear.

The ranks of Democrats need to be decimated further, starting with Obama. If necessary, the ranks of the Republicans in Congress need to be thinned too—to remind them that it is not “business as usual” with the American voters.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/

. . .

Obama is using the same tactic that he did when the passage of ObamaCare was in doubt—because a majority of the American people opposed it, and still do—namely, he is telling lawmakers that not passing the tax deal could end his presidency. However, the sooner his presidency ends and he is gone from Washington, the better off America will be.

See http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/133909-obama-tells-lawmakers-not-passing-tax-deal-could-end-presidency-dem-says

The Republicans do not seem to have the courage or skill to kill the legislation, which is pathetic. Not only is this true of the tax deal, but it is true of Senate ratification of the New START Treaty and other measures.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1136) and http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/stop-the-start-treaty-and-senatorial-pork/ (“[B]ring down a Russia increasingly focused on domination and replace it with a democratic nation that lives at peace with the world“)

The Republicans have known for months now that the Democrats planned to ram through legislation during the 2010 lame-duck session of Congress, especially if the Democrats suffered major defeats in the just-completed mid-term elections, which they did. Nonetheless, the Republicans seem sufficiently inept and incompetent that they have no strategy developed—much less implemented—to counteract what the Democrats are doing.

How pathetic, how very pathetic!

The Democrats are “evil,” but the Republicans are weak and spineless. Both should be thrown out of Congress—in wholesale numbers, even more staggering than the mid-term election results—by Independents, “disenchanted” Democrats, and members of the Tea Party movement. It is time to sweep out of office existing members of Congress!

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ and http://www.gallup.com/poll/145238/Congress-Job-Approval-Rating-Worst-Gallup-History.aspx (“Congress’ Job Approval Rating Worst in Gallup History“) and http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/right_direction_or_wrong_track (23% Say USA Heading in Right Direction, Lowest Since Obama Took Office)

. . .

Lastly, most American voters do not believe Obama will win reelection, or that he deserves to. Most see him losing in 2012.

According to Politico.com:

Just 29 percent of the registered voters surveyed by Fox News and Opinion Dynamics said they believed Obama would win in 2012; 64 percent said they expected him to lose.

See http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46499.html

Like

17 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Visa Bans And Asset Seizures Must Be Instituted Against Putin And His Cronies

Putin is a killer, as were Hitler and Stalin—whose heir is Putin. Political pundit and former Bill Clinton adviser Dick Morris probably said it best, about our basic goal: “To bring down a Russia increasingly focused on domination and replace it with a democratic nation that lives at peace with the world.”

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/stop-the-start-treaty-and-senatorial-pork; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

An article in the UK’s Economist states:

It is a rare top Russian official that does not own property or hold a bank account in the West. Getting access to that money and legitimising their wealth is of paramount importance to Russian bureaucrats. (This is one reason why certain members of the Russian elite support [Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president], who is more acceptable [than Putin] in the West.) A blatant violation of the rule of law in [the show trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky] could jeopardise this.

. . .

Similar sanctions have been proposed in America, and are soon to be voted on in [C]ongress. On December 10th John McCain, a US senator [and former presidential candidate], said they should be extended to “other Russian officials who are complicit in human rights violations. We should also block their families from travelling to, studying and vacationing in America—and we should encourage our European allies to do the same.”

. . .

The thought that they could lose access to their foreign accounts fills them with dread.

. . .

[W]hile Mr Putin can create an illusion of stability and order, he can not make Russia stable or orderly. . . . [T]he Kremlin can . . . no longer postpone the dangers caused by the tensions of a political and economic system held together by corruption and violence.

See http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2010/12/mikhail_khodorkovskys_trial; see also http://www.economist.com/node/17674075?story_id=17674075

John McCain is correct, but even more needs to be done. Putin and his entourage must be subjected to a broad range of sanctions—including but not limited to visa bans and arbitrary asset seizures. They must be treated as criminals, and subjected to show trials in the West for being complicit in human rights’ violations, just as those who carried out Hitler’s crimes have been treated in the post-World War II countries of the West.

Like

17 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

China Reveals Aircraft Carrier Plans

The UK’s Financial Times is reporting:

China has confirmed for the first time that it is preparing to build an aircraft carrier, a move set to heighten international concerns over the rapid expansion of its naval power.

. . .

[T]he confirmation is likely to create a stir as anxiety is building among China’s neighbours about its growing assertiveness.

“An aircraft carrier symbolises the ambition to move far beyond your own shores. It is a tool for power projection,” said a defence attache of an Asian country in Beijing. “China’s navy is still a dwarf compared with the US, but this makes it official that they will be rivals.”

The reference to the carrier programme was reported by Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun just as Japan ordered its military to refocus on the threat posed by a rising China.

. . .

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, said earlier this year he had “gone from being curious about where China is headed to being concerned about it”.

See http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fa7f5e6a-09cc-11e0-8b29-00144feabdc0.html#axzz18PUuKHZh

Like

19 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Killer Putin’s Mistress Is Online . . .

Alina Kabaeva, Putin's Mistress

. . . but there is no mention of their child. Alina Kabaeva is silent, and so is “dicator-for-life” Putin.

See http://www.kabaeva-alina.com/

Alina Kabaeva, Putin's Mistress

Like

21 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Russia Warns Against START Changes—So What?

The New START Treaty is a bad treaty, which must be rejected and allowed to wither and die, and never see the light of day again. It is not in the United States’ vital national security interests to ratify it, period. America’s goal must be to “bring down a Russia increasingly focused on domination and replace it with a democratic nation that lives at peace with the world.”

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/stop-the-start-treaty-and-senatorial-pork/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1014 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1137; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1151 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1105

The mere idea that an essentially-Third World country, Russia—which is run by the brutal dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin—would have the chutzpah and audacity to warn the United States about anything, is the moral equivalent of Adolf Hitler warning the United States not to invade and liberate Europe. It is the “Theatre of the Absurd” played out before our eyes, with U.S. Senators of both political parties playing leading roles.

In an article entitled, “Russia Warns Against START Changes,” the Wall Street Journal reports:

Russia Monday warned that any changes to a nuclear-weapons-reduction treaty now facing a tough ratification vote in the U.S. Senate could kill the pact.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703886904576032003686144640.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLETopStories

Thank God. The U.S. senators of both parties who are considering the treaty should use this opportunity to kill the treaty once and for all. The Journal continues:

The pact is a central achievement of the Obama Administration’s effort to ‘reset’ relations with Russia, building a more cooperative relationship with the Kremlin.

The very notions of trying to “reset” relations with the Russians, and seeking to build “a more cooperative relationship with the Kremlin,” are absurd. Putin left George W. Bush at the Olympic games in Beijing and traveled to the Georgian border, where he directed the Kremlin’s cruel aggression against its vastly smaller neighbor; and that country is still divided because of what Putin did. Russia under both Putin and his lapdog Dmitry Medvedev is not the peace-loving democratic country that Obama would like Americans to believe. It is a brutal, despotic regime.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

The Journal article continues:

For Moscow, which is highly dependent on its nuclear forces given its weaker conventional forces, the treaty could help avoid the need to develop costly new nuclear weapons. The Kremlin also hopes to use it to keep open discussions about U.S. plans for missile defense, something Moscow views as a potential threat to its nuclear deterrent.

It should be American policy to spend Russia into oblivion and bankrupt it, not help it. Also, our missile defenses must guard against attacks from China, North Korea, Iran, terrorists, and other enemies of our great nation. The most deadly attack, of course, would constitute an EMP Attack, in which only 30 Million Americans might survive.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

Even the Russians admit that the treaty is not essential. As the Journal article states:

[Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov] seemed to play down the impact of a possible failure to ratify, saying that the improvement in relations “doesn’t depend” just on passage of the treaty.

Putin is a killer, and Stalin’s heir, yet our “Hamlet on the Potomac,” Barack Obama, is intent on ramming another odious legislative goal of his through the Senate, just as he did in the case of ObamaCare and changes to the the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He is doing it as part of the Democrats’ agenda for the lame-duck session of Congress, which was fashioned months ago. The inept Republicans have been unable to stop it, despite their stunning mid-term election victories last month.

Serious thought must be given by Independents, members of the Tea Party movement, and “disenchanted” Democrats alike, to whether the GOP is the “horse” to ride in the future. As Charles Krauthammer wrote so aptly in the Washington Post, about the Democrats’ lame-duck strategy: “Obama [has] fashioned out of thin air his return to relevance,” and the Republicans have helped him do it—which is why I do not believe in either party, after having been a Democrat and then a Republican in the past.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/#comment-1150 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1164

Like

23 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

China Ready To Bail Out The EU?

In an article entitled, “Fresh humiliation for eurozone as China says it will bail out debt-ridden nations,” the UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

China has said it is willing to bail out debt-ridden countries in the euro zone using its $2.7trillion overseas investment fund.

In a fresh humiliation for Europe, Foreign Ministry spokesman Jiang Yu said it was one of the most important areas for China’s foreign exchange investments.

The country has already approached struggling European countries with financial aid, including offering to buy Greece’s debt in October and promising to buy $4billion of Portuguese government debt.

Today Portugal had its credit rating downgraded by the Fitch Ratings agency amid mounting concerns over the country’s ability to raise money in the markets to finance its hefty borrowings.

Fitch said it was reducing its rating on the country’s debt by one notch to A+ from AA- and warned that further downgrades may be in the offing by maintaining its negative outlook.

‘To have any discernible effect China will have to buy a lot more than 5billion euros if they expect to have any impact on the negative sentiment surrounding Europe,’ said Michael Hewson, currency analyst at CMC Markets.

China’s astonishing economic growth has put it on track to overtake America as the world’s economic powerhouse within two years, a recent report claimed.

But experts believed [it may] still be some years before America’s leadership role is really challenged—largely because Beijing has given no indication it is ready to take on the responsibility of shepherding the world’ [sic] economy.

This foray into the future of the euro could be a signal from Beijing that it is ready to change that perception.

. . .

It is still believed that it will be some years before China actually overtakes the U.S. to become the world’s largest economy.

Politicians argue that technology is still behind and much of the country still lives in poverty.

And in another economic measure, output per person, China lags way behind the US.

Last year, the International Monetary Fund calculated gross domestic product per head in the US at $46,000. The GDP breakdown in China was just $4,000 per person.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1341110/Fresh-humiliation-euro-zone-China-says-bail-debt-ridden-nations.html

. . .

In an article insert, the Daily Mail added:

China could overtake America as the world’s biggest economy within two years, according to a leading financial think tank.

As growth in the U.S. slows down to a virtual standstill, China’s economy is revving up into double digits, the Conference Board said in a report published today.

In purely dollar terms, it is going to take much longer than two years for China’s $5 trillion economy to match up to the $15 trillion output in the US.

Even if the Chinese can sustain their current growth, it would take another ten years.

But in terms of purchasing power, taking into account the goods and services a country actually buys at home, China is well on its way to outstripping its fading competitor.

Looking even further ahead, the Conference Board predicts China could account for almost one quarter of the global economy in 2020, compared to 15 per cent for the US and 13 per cent for Western Europe.

The board predicted China’s economy should grow 10 per cent this year and 9.6 per cent in 2011, while America’s 2.6 per cent growth in 2010 will sink to 1.2 per cent next year.

See id.

Like

24 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Republicans Who Voted To Ratify START Should Be Defeated

Those Republican U.S. senators who voted to ratify the New START Treaty should be targeted for defeat in the future. Here they are:

See http://www.dickmorris.com/blog/which-republicans-sold-out/#more-2357

Like

25 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

Bluster About China’s Emergence As A Superpower Is Undermined By National Defense Industries That Can’t Produce What China Needs, But . . .

This is the conclusion set forth in a Washington Post article, which adds:

Although the United States is making changes in response to China’s growing military power, experts and officials believe it will be years, if not decades, before China will be able to produce a much-feared ballistic missile capable of striking a warship or overcome weaknesses that keep it from projecting power far from its shores.

“They’ve made remarkable progress in the development of their arms industry, but this progress shouldn’t be overstated,” said Vasily Kashin, a Beijing-based expert on China’s defense industry. “They have a long tradition of overestimating their capabilities.”

Ruslan Pukhov, the director of the Center for Analysis of Strategic Technologies and an adviser to Russia’s ministry of defense, predicted that China would need a decade to perfect a jet engine, among other key weapons technologies. “China is still dependent on us and will stay that way for some time to come,” he said.

. . .

How China’s military is modernizing is important for the United States and the world. Apart from the conflict with radical Islamism, the United States views China’s growing military strength as the most serious potential threat to U.S. interests around the world.

. . .

The Pentagon, in a report to Congress this year, said that that the pace and scale of China’s military reform “are broad and sweeping.” But, the report noted, “the PLA remains untested in modern combat,” thus making transformation difficult to assess.

‘Could be sitting ducks’

One area in which China is thought to have made the greatest advances is in its submarines, part of what is now the largest fleet of naval vessels in Asia. In October 2006, a Chinese Song-class diesel-powered attack submarine reportedly shadowed the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier and surfaced undetected four miles from the ship. Although the Pentagon never confirmed the report, it sparked concern that China could threaten the carriers that are at the heart of the U.S. Navy’s ability to project power.

China tried to buy Russian nuclear submarines but was rebuffed, so it launched a program to make its own. Over the past two years, it has deployed at least one of a new type of nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine called the Jin class and it may deploy as many as five more.

The Office of Naval Intelligence said the Jin gives China’s navy its first credible second-strike nuclear capability; its missiles have a range of 4,000 miles. But in a report last year, the ONI also noted that the Jin is noisier than nuclear submarines built by the Soviets 30 years ago, leading experts to conclude that it would be detected as soon as it left port.

“There’s a tendency to talk about China as a great new military threat that’s coming,” said Hans M. Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists. But, when it comes to Chinese submarines carrying ballistic missiles, he said, “they could be sitting ducks.”

Another problem is that China’s submariners don’t train very much.

China’s entire fleet of 63 subs conducted only a dozen patrols in 2009, according to U.S. Navy data Kristensen obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, about a tenth of the U.S. Navy’s pace. In addition, Kristensen said there is no record of a Chinese ballistic-missile sub going out on patrol. “You learn how to use your systems on patrol,” he said. “If you don’t patrol, how can you fight?”

Anti-ship capabilities

China’s missile technology has always been the pointy edge of its spear, ever since Qian Xuesen, the gifted rocket scientist who was kicked out of the United States during the McCarthy period in the 1950s, returned to China.

U.S. government scientists have been impressed by China’s capabilities. On Jan. 11, 2007, a Chinese missile traveling at more than four miles a second hit a satellite that was basically a box with three-foot sides, one U.S. government weapons expert said. Over the past several years, China has put into orbit 11 of what are believed to be its first military-only satellites, called Yaogan, which could provide China with the ability to track targets for its rockets.

China is also trying to fashion an anti-ship ballistic missile by taking a short-range rocket, the DF-21, and turning it into what could become an aircraft-carrier killing weapon.

Even though it has yet to be deployed, the system has already sparked changes in the United States. In September, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said China’s “investments in anti-ship weaponry and ballistic missiles could threaten America’s primary way to project power and help allies in the Pacific—particularly our forward bases and carrier strike groups.” The U.S. Navy in 2008 cut the DDG-1000 destroyer program from eight ships to three because the vessels lack a missile-defense capability.

But the challenge for China is that an anti-ship ballistic missile is extremely hard to make. The Russians worked on one for decades and failed. The United States never tried, preferring to rely on cruise missiles and attack submarines to do the job of threatening an opposing navy.

U.S. satellites would detect an ASBM as soon as it was launched, providing a carrier enough warning to move several miles before the missile could reach its target. To hit a moving carrier, a U.S. government weapons specialist said, China’s targeting systems would have to be “better than world-class.”

. . .

Morale trouble

The deployment of a naval task force to the Gulf of Aden last year as part of the international operation against pirates was seen as a huge step forward for China. The implication was that China’s military doctrine had shifted from defending China’s borders to protecting China’s interests, which span the globe. But the expeditionary force has also provided a window into weaknesses of the People’s Liberation Army, according to a new report by Christopher Yung, a former Pentagon official now at the National Defense University.

China’s lack of foreign military bases—it has insisted that it won’t station troops abroad—limits its capacity to maintain its ships on long-term missions. A shortage of helicopters—the workhorses of a naval expeditionary force—makes it hard for the ships to operate with one another. China’s tiny fleet of replenishment ships—it has only three—doesn’t give it enough capacity to do more than one such operation at a time.

China’s navy, according to Yung, also has difficulty maintaining a fresh water supply for its sailors. And poor refrigeration on its ships makes it hard to preserve fruit and vegetables, something that makes for griping on board.

“The sailors during the first deployment had a real morale problem,” Yung said, adding that following their mission, they were taken on a beach vacation “to get morale back up.”

. . .

Tension with the Kremlin

China’s military relations with Russia reveal further weaknesses. Between 1992 and 2006, the total value of Russia’s arms exports to China was $26 billion—almost half of all the weapons Russia sold abroad.

But tensions arose in 2004 over two issues, Russian experts said. Russia was outraged when it discovered that China, which had licensed to produce the Su-27 fighter jet from Russian kits, had actually copied the plane. China was furious that after it signed a contract for a batch of IL-76 military transport planes it discovered that Russia had no way to make them. After receiving 105 out of a contracted 200 Su-27s, China canceled the deal and weapons negotiations were not held for several years.

Purchases of some items continued—S-300 air defense systems and billions of dollars worth of jet engines. An engine China made for its Su-27 knock-off would routinely conk out after 30 hours whereas the Russian engines would need refurbishing after 400, Russian and Chinese experts said.

“Engine systems are the heart disease of our whole military industry,” a Chinese defense publication quoted Wang Tianmin, a military engine designer, as saying in its March issue. “From aircraft production to shipbuilding and the armored vehicles industry, there are no exceptions.”

When weapons talks resumed with Russia in 2008, China found the Russians were driving a harder bargain. For one, it wasn’t offering to let China produce Russian fighters in China. And in November, the Russians said they would only provide the Su-35 for China’s aircraft carrier program if China bought 48—enough to ensure Russian firms a handsome profit before China’s engineers attempted to copy the technology. Russia also announced that the Russian military would buy the S-400 air defense system first and that China could get in line.

“We, too, have learned a few things,” said Vladimir Portyakov, a former Russian diplomat twice posted to Beijing.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/24/AR2010122402788.html?hpid=topnews (emphasis in original)

This is a fine article and assessment of China’s military capabilities . . . assuming it is accurate. It seems at odds, however, with an equally-excellent Wall Street Journal article by Mark Helprin in May of this year, which asserted:

The United States and China are on a collision course in the Western Pacific. Far sooner than once anticipated, China will achieve effective military parity in Asia, general conventional parity, and nuclear parity. Then the short road to superiority will be impossible for it to ignore, as it is already on its way thanks to a brilliant policy borrowed from Japan and Israel.

That is, briefly, since Deng Xiaoping, China has understood that, without catastrophic social dislocation, it can leverage its spectacular economic growth into X increases in per-capita GDP but many-times-X increases in military spending. To wit, between 1988 and 2007, a tenfold increase in per-capita GDP ($256 to $2,539) but a 21-fold purchasing power parity increase in military expenditures to $122 billion from $5.78 billion. The major constraint has been that an ever increasing rate of technical advance can only be absorbed so fast even by a rapidly modernizing military.

Meanwhile, in good times and in bad, under Republicans and under Democrats, with defense spending insufficient across the board the United States has slowed, frozen, or reversed the development of the kind of war-fighting assets that China rallies forward (nuclear weapons, fighter planes, surface combatants, submarines, space surveillance) and those (antisubmarine warfare capacity, carrier battle groups, and fleet missile defense) that China does not yet need to counter us but that we need to counter it.

We have provided as many rationales for neglect as our neglect has created dangers that we rationalize. Never again will we fight two major adversaries simultaneously, although in recent memory this is precisely what our fathers did. Conventional war is a thing of the past, despite the growth and modernization of large conventional forces throughout the world. Appeasement and compromise will turn enemies into friends, if groveling and self-abasement do not first drive friends into the enemy camp. A truly strong country is one in which people are happy and have a lot of things, though at one time, as Edward Gibbon describes it in “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” “So rapid were the motions of the Persian cavalry,” that the prosperous and relaxed citizens of Antioch were surprised while at the theater, and slaughtered as their city burned around them. And the costs of more reliable defense and deterrence are impossible to bear in this economy, even if in far worse times America made itself into the greatest arsenal the world has ever known, while, not coincidentally, breaking the back of the Great Depression.

China is on the cusp of being able to use conventional satellites, swarms of miniature satellites, and networked surface, undersea, and aerial cuing for real-time terminal guidance with which to direct its 1,500 short-range ballistic missiles to the five or six aircraft carriers the United States (after ceding control of the Panama Canal and reducing its carrier fleet by one-third since 1987) could dispatch to meet an invasion of Taiwan. In combination with antiship weapons launched from surface vessels, submarines, and aircraft, the missile barrage is designed to keep carrier battle groups beyond effective range. Had we built more carriers, provided them with sufficient missile defense, not neglected antisubmarine warfare, and dared consider suppression of enemy satellites and protections for our own, this would not be so.

Had we not stopped production of the F-22 at a third of the original requirement, its 2,000-mile range and definitive superiority may have allowed us to dominate the air over Taiwan nonetheless. Nor can we “lillypad” fighters to Taiwan if its airfields are destroyed by Chinese missiles, against which we have no adequate defense.

With the Western Pacific cleared of American naval and air forces sufficient to defend or deter an invasion, Taiwan—without war but because of the threat of war—will capitulate and accept China’s dominion, just as Hong Kong did when the evolving correlation of forces meant that Britain had no practical say in the matter. If this occurs, as likely it will, America’s alliances in the Pacific will collapse. Japan, Korea, and countries in Southeast Asia and even Australasia (when China’s power projection forces mature) will strike a bargain so as to avoid pro forma vassalage, and their chief contribution to the new arrangement will be to rid themselves of American bases.

Now far along in building a blue-water navy, once it dominates its extended home waters China will move to the center of the Pacific and then east, with its primary diplomatic focus acquisition of bases in South and Central America. As at one time we had the China Station, eventually China will have the Americas Station, for this is how nations behave in the international system, independently of their declarations and beliefs as often as not. What awaits us if we do not awake is potentially devastating, and those who think the subtle, indirect pressures of domination inconsequential might inquire of the Chinese their opinion of the experience.

In the military, economic, and social trajectories of the two principals, the shape of the future comes clear. In 2007, a Chinese admiral suggested to Adm. Timothy J. Keating, chief of U.S. Pacific Command, that China and the United States divide the Pacific into two spheres of influence. Though the American admiral firmly declined the invitation, as things go now his successors will not have the means to honor his resolution, and by then the offer may seem generous.

None of this was ever a historical inevitability. Rather, it is the fault of the American people and the governments they have freely chosen. Perhaps five or 10 years remain in which to accomplish a restoration, but only with a miracle of leadership, clarity, and will.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/MarkHelprin-FarewelltoAmericasChinaStation.pdf (emphasis in original)

This is among the many reasons why Barack Obama must not be reelected in 2012.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive“)

Like

26 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The New START Treaty Is Another Obama Travesty—Like ObamaCare—Which The Next GOP Administration Should Withdraw From Immediately

George W. Bush withdrew from the ABM Treaty, which had expressly prevented major advances in missile defense. The next GOP administration must withdraw from the New START Treaty as soon as it comes to power.

A Breitbart article entitled, “Nuclear treaty ‘goes easy on Russia,'” states:

The new Russia-US nuclear arms pact may have been hailed as historic but analysts said that all Moscow really has to do is phase out Soviet-era missiles and warheads that are already out of date.

The new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was ratified by the US Senate on Wednesday after a passionate months-long debate and given initial approval by Russia’s State Duma lower house of parliament two days later.

It will face two more hearings in Russia and almost certainly come into force within the next few months.

. . .

But the required phase-out of old missiles is not the only thing working in Russia’s favour. New counting rules will also allow it to attribute just one warhead per bomber even if it carries more—a point insisted on by Moscow during the treaty negotiations.

. . .

And Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov saw nothing but the treaty’s advantages as he defended it [in] parliament Friday.

“We will not have to make any cuts to our strategic offensive weapons,” Serdyukov told sceptical lawmakers from the Communist opposition. “But the Americans—they will indeed have to make some cuts.”

See http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.cdc63f449543115516a6ee1f2c569704.171&show_article=1

Like

28 12 2010
Timothy D. Naegele

The Verdict Is On Putin’s Russia

This is the Wall Street Journal’s judgment about the conviction of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former Russian oil tycoon who has become a prominent political symbol of what happens to those who dare to defy Russia’s brutal “dictator-for-life” Putin. The Journal adds:

Khodorkovsky . . . will undoubtedly stay behind bars beyond the end of his current prison term next year. The news comes as no surprise. Russia’s Vladimir Putin wanted him out of the way ahead of presidential elections due in 2012. A Moscow judge yesterday obliged by convicting Mr. Khodorkovsky on a fresh batch of embezzlement charges.

The verdict, in fact, is on Mr. Putin’s Russia. The Kremlin again chose to flout the rule of law, the political opposition and human rights. Beginning with Mr. Khodorkovsky’s arrest in 2003 on tax fraud, he has been the target of a political vendetta. Soon after taking power in 2000, the KGB colonel who became Russia’s ruler set out to bring down some of the country’s most successful businessm[e]n.

As with most Russian fortunes made in the turbulent 1990s, Mr. Khodorkovsky bent the rules to build Yukos into an international oil power. His real crime, however, was to assert independence of the Kremlin, daring even to dabble in opposition politics. Offered a luxurious exile, he refused and lost his company and his freedom.

For all this, Mr. Putin has made Mr. Khodorkovsky an unlikely martyr to Russia’s suppressed freedoms. Though popular in polls, Mr. Putin has concentrated power in fewer hands today than at any time in the post-Soviet era. Corruption is rampant. It is an environment that scares away the investment needed to modernize this huge country. With Russians becoming frustrated, it is a recipe for trouble.

The Obama Administration prefers to err on the side of indulging the Kremlin, most recently with a nuclear arms pact that was hailed inside Russia. Expressing their concerns, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton yesterday appealed directly to President Dmitry Medvedev while the court considers a sentence for Mr. Khodorkovsky. It is a display of hopefulness at odds with recent experience.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/APrisonerinPutinsRussia.pdf

This merely underscores the tragic mistake embodied in the U.S. Senate’s ratification of the New START Treaty, which would not have happened except for Republican complicity. Those GOP senators who voted with the Democrats for this latest travesty from Obama must be defeated in the future.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1182

With all due respect for the Journal, its editorial staff and its fine writers—who have been courageous with respect to this and other national security issues—the person who is truly guilty, and needs to be tried and convicted for his many crimes, and terminated, is “the KGB colonel who became Russia’s ruler,” Putin.

The West’s goal must be to bring down a Russia increasingly focused on domination and replace it with a democratic nation that lives at peace with the world.

Like

6 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Putin And His Russian Scum Are Taunting Obama With Respect To The New START Treaty

It is abundantly clear that Barack Obama never should have signed the New START Treaty, and the U.S. Senate never should have ratified it during the lame-duck session of Congress last month, with help from Republicans—who must be driven from political offices forever, because of that one single vote.

Now, however, the brutal killer and despot Putin and his thugs who run Russia today are taunting Obama. For example, it is reported:

Russia’s legislature says the New START nuclear arms treaty ratified last month by the U.S. Senate restricts the U.S. from building and operating missile defenses against nuclear attacks. President Obama says the opposite: that the treaty “places no limitations on the development or deployment of our missile defense programs.”

There may never have been such a huge dispute on such a fundamental aspect of a high profile treaty between two major world powers. As reported by the Voice of Russia on Monday, Russia’s Duma, the lower house of parliament, “plans to confirm the link between the reduction of the strategic offensive arms and the restriction of antimissile defense systems’ deployment in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START),” according to the lawmaking body’s foreign policy chief.

The Russian news agency quoted the chairman of the Duma Committee on International Affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, who was apparently sneering that U.S. negotiators had been tricked. Kosachev claimed, “our American colleagues do not recognize the legal force of the treaty’s preamble. The preamble sets a link between strategic offensive arms and defensive arms.”

. . .

[A]s ABC News pointed out back in April on the eve of the signing of the New START treaty, Russian officials have been saying all along that the agreement restricts U.S. efforts toward building missile defenses.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the time said, “linkage to missile defense is clearly spelled out in the accord and is legally binding.” And Sergei Prikhodko, senior foreign policy adviser to Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, in April issued a written statement claiming that “the negotiators had to insert the inextricable connection between strategic offensive and strategic defensive armaments (i.e. missile defense) into the treaty.”

Prikhodko stated, “This was successfully fulfilled and the importance of this connection when reducing strategic offensive armaments will be included in the treaty and be legally binding.”

He added: “Besides, the United States has already agreed not to refurnish or use ICBM and SLBM launchers for interceptor missile deployment and vice versa.” New START’s provisions “take into account the presence of strategic defensive systems capable of neutralizing strategic offensive armaments. This interconnection has been legally stipulated,” the Medvedev senior adviser stated in April.

In a letter to Republican senators encouraging them to vote for New START, President Obama pledged, “As long as I am President, and as long as the Congress provides the necessary funding, the United States will continue to develop and deploy effective missile defenses to protect the United States, our deployed forces, and our allies and partners.”

As long ago as last March, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates promised that “missile defense is not constrained by this treaty.” But as Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey asked on Wednesday, “if Obama wanted to protect missile defense, why allow it to be mentioned at all? Doesn’t the existence of the at-least confusing language in the preamble have any meaning, and if it didn’t, why even bother to have a preamble?”

See http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Russia-Obama-Missile-Defenses/2011/01/05/id/381908?s=al&promo_code=B694-1; see also http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110114/pl_nm/us_russia_usa_start

What is crystal clear—and has been since before he assumed the presidency—is that Barack Obama is a fool and a feckless naïf, who must not be reelected. Putin and his thugs have made a fool of him; Putin must be terminated, summarily; and America’s goal must be to bring down a Russia increasingly focused on domination and replace it with a democratic nation that lives at peace with the world.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1167

Like

25 01 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Russia: Additional Steps Toward Catastrophe?

These are the views of Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov, who has warned that “dictator-for-life” Putin’s government is creeping more and more towards full-fledged fascism, just as the population is beginning to come together in meaningful political protest. Kasparov’s views are important, and always worth reading.

See http://www.theotherrussia.org/2011/01/11/russia-2010-another-step-towards-catastrophe/

Also, photographs of the palace that has been built for Putin—at an estimated cost of more than $1 billion U.S.—have been published on the Web.

See http://ruleaks.net/1901 and http://www.theotherrussia.org/2011/01/21/ruleaks-posts-pictures-of-putins-black-sea-palace/

Next, Oksana Bashuk Hepburn, a former senior policy advisor to the Canadian government, describes Russia as a danger that the West dismisses at its peril. Her views are worth reading too.

See http://www.theotherrussia.org/2011/01/20/russia-a-danger-the-west-dismisses-at-its-peril/; see also http://finance.yahoo.com/news/AP-Exclusive-Fearful-Russian-apf-203931339.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=6&asset=&ccode= (“Fearful Russian lawmaker flees to US”)

Lastly, approximately 35 people are dead and more than 100 injured following an explosion at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport.

See, e.g., http://www.theotherrussia.org/2011/01/24/more-than-30-dead-in-moscow-aiport-bombing/

Putin has vowed “retribution,” which is what he does best, along with repression. One must never forget that Russian apartment bombings in September 1999, led the country into the Second Chechen War, and brought Putin to power. He thrives on killing others; and surely his brutality will be on full display in the days to come.

He is the problem, not the solution; and he must be terminated.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

Again, America’s goal must be to bring down a Russia increasingly focused on domination and replace it with a democratic nation that lives at peace with the world.

Like

10 02 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

OBAMA MUST BE IMPEACHED!

“WikiLeaks cables: US agrees to tell Russia Britain’s nuclear secrets”


HMS Vanguard

This is the title of the UK Telegraph’s article—subtitled, “The US secretly agreed to give the Russians sensitive information on Britain’s nuclear deterrent to persuade them to sign a key treaty, The Daily Telegraph can disclose”—which states:

Information about every Trident missile the US supplies to Britain will be given to Russia as part of an arms control deal signed by President Barack Obama next week.

. . .

The fact that the Americans used British nuclear secrets as a bargaining chip also sheds new light on the so-called “special relationship”, which is shown often to be a one-sided affair by US diplomatic communications obtained by the WikiLeaks website.

Details of the behind-the-scenes talks are contained in more than 1,400 US embassy cables published to date by the Telegraph, including almost 800 sent from the London Embassy, which are published online today.

. . .

A series of classified messages sent to Washington by US negotiators show how information on Britain’s nuclear capability was crucial to securing Russia’s support for the “New START” deal.

Although the treaty was not supposed to have any impact on Britain, the leaked cables show that Russia used the talks to demand more information about the UK’s Trident missiles, which are manufactured and maintained in the US.

Washington lobbied London in 2009 for permission to supply Moscow with detailed data about the performance of UK missiles. The UK refused, but the US agreed to hand over the serial numbers of Trident missiles it transfers to Britain.

Professor Malcolm Chalmers said: “This appears to be significant because while the UK has announced how many missiles it possesses, there has been no way for the Russians to verify this. Over time, the unique identifiers will provide them with another data point to gauge the size of the British arsenal.”

Duncan Lennox, editor of Jane’s Strategic Weapons Systems, said: “They want to find out whether Britain has more missiles than we say we have, and having the unique identifiers might help them.”

While the US and Russia have long permitted inspections of each other’s nuclear weapons, Britain has sought to maintain some secrecy to compensate for the relatively small size of its arsenal.

William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, last year disclosed that “up to 160” warheads are operational at any one time, but did not confirm the number of missiles.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8304654/WikiLeaks-cables-US-agrees-to-tell-Russia-Britains-nuclear-secrets.html#

Obama must be impeached, now!

He needs to be dumped before the next election. The Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives must begin investigations immediately, laying the basis for the impeachment process.

Russia’s dictator-for-life Putin is our enemy, and cutting any deals with him is equivalent to cutting deals with Adolf Hitler before or during World War II.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

Obama is a traitor. We have always known that!

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/#comment-1357 (“Will Barack Obama Go Down In History As The President Who Lost The Middle East?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1247 (“Obama Trashes Pentagon, And Must Be Impeached!”)

Also, his hatred for the British seems to know no bounds. In his book, “Dreams from My Father,” he set forth his core beliefs, which I have discussed at length in an article. For example:

In Kenya, his alienation is reflected once again when he characterizes other tourists as expressing “a confidence reserved for those born into imperial cultures.” Also, throughout the book, he expresses his intense dislike for “colonialism,” which is perhaps summarized by his thoughts as he rides a train and imagines how a British officer might have felt on its maiden voyage: “Would he have felt a sense of triumph, a confidence that the guiding light of Western civilization had finally penetrated the African darkness? Or did he feel a sense of foreboding, a sudden realization that the entire enterprise was an act of folly, that this land and its people would outlast imperial dreams?”

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

Like

2 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Pentagon Report Reveals China May Have Triggered Economic Crash

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

Terrorists and other ‘financial enemies’ were likely responsible for the near collapse of the U.S. financial system in 2008, a new Pentagon report has concluded.

The 2009 report, Economic Warfare: Risks and Responses, said financial terrorism by Jihadists or countries such as China may have cost the global economy $50 trillion in a series of co-ordinated strikes against the U.S. economy.

In an astonishing conclusion, the report claims two unidentified traders deliberately devalued trillions of dollars’ worth of stocks at the height of the crisis.

The report also concludes that untraceable actors undertook a three-tiered attack beginning in 2007, and that ‘Phase III [of the attack] may be under way right now.’

‘In addition, these same actors have clearly demonstrated the means to carry out such an attack.

‘There is sufficient justification to question whether outside forces triggered, capitalised upon or magnified the economic difficulties of 2008.’

The report concluded that: ‘Without question, there were actors who had the motive to harm the U.S. economy.

The report was commissioned in early 2009 by the Pentagon’s Irregular Warfare Support Program—which prepares U.S. government and military agencies for emerging non-traditional threats.

. . .

Although never classified, sources indicated that the report emerged only after concerned Congressmen and Defence Department officials highlighted its existence to media sources.

. . .

The attacks, according to the report, were part of a three-phase strategy.

The first phase was the deliberate inflation of oil prices in 2007 that generated as much as $2 trillion of excess wealth for oil-producing nations. . . .

. . .

In the second phase, untraceable investors attacked financial institutions such as Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers in a ‘bear raid’.

The term refers to a strategy where investors try to force the value of companies down through malicious rumours or complex financial trades that impact its stock price.

The report says that as the crisis began, ‘virtually overnight’ two relatively small brokers emerged to trade, ‘trillions of dollars worth of U.S. blue chip companies.’

Crucially, these as yet unidentified investors are currently the number one traders in, ‘all financial companies that collapsed or are now financially supported by the U.S. government’ . . . .

Attacks on banks, especially Lehman Brothers which collapsed in 2008, caused interbank lending to seize up and stock markets around the world to collapse.

The U.S. government then had to step in and bail the system out.

Following this, the ‘third phase’ has seen the massive U.S. public debt now threatening the primacy of the dollar as a global currency.

‘Such an event,’ the report says, ‘has already been discussed by finance ministers in major emerging market nations such as China and Russia as well as Iran and the Arab states.

‘In short, a bear raid against the U.S. financial system remains possible and may even be likely.’

The report also points to evidence by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who said in 2008 that the Russian government had made a ‘top-level approach’ to the Chinese, asking them to dump shares in American mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae—forcing both into insolvency.

The Chinese military, according to the report, ‘has been advocating the potential for an economic attack on the U.S. for 12 years or longer as evidenced by the publication of the book Unrestricted Warfare in 1999.’

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1361898/Financial-terrorists-bankrupted-America-New-Pentagon-report-blames-U-S-enemies-financial-crisis.html

There is no question whatsoever that China and “dictator-for-life” Putin’s Russia are America’s enemies. Anyone who ignores this fact, or is oblivious to it, is more than simply naïve. He or she is potentially traitorous. Among other things, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial, “China and Russia have the capability to launch an EMP weapon—and have let us know it.” As a result of such an attack, only 30 Million Americans might survive.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”) ; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

Like

2 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Preserving And Enhancing American Military Might During Difficult Economic Times, And Forever

Author Mark Helprin wrote a fine article in the Wall Street Journal about the need to maintain America’s Navy, and not allow it to decline. I agree with his goals completely.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/TheDeclineofUSNavalPower.pdf

However, there is more to this issue that must be noted.

First, those who venture close enough to the Somali coast to place themselves at risk should not expect the U.S. Navy to rescue them.

It has been suggested that a joint military effort be undertaken by all the countries whose ships have been attacked or are at risk. My understanding is that there are joint operations globally to defend critical shipping lanes. Indeed, even China has contributed military forces to those efforts.

See, e.g., http://www.economist.com/blogs/asiaview/2011/03/chinas_foreign_policy

Yes, it might be ironic if China were to unleash a crippling attack on the Somali pirates and their bases, and thereby earn the respect and admiration of people worldwide. However, the Somali pirates are like gnats: bothersome, but not really dangerous in terms of America’s global commitments.

Yes too, the recent killing of the four sailors went awry, as any hostage taking negotiations can do. I concur that the Somali thugs should be terminated.

Second, Helprin noted: “[W]e are in effect an island nation.” This is how most Americans view their country. Many have never flown on an airplane, nor ventured far from where they grew up; and it is surprising how many sophisticated, wealthy, educated Americans have never been to Europe, or out of the States, or to other parts of the world. Their views are insular, which is reflected in American policies and outlook.

I believe in our great country, and in the inherent wisdom of the American people, and my comments are not intended to disparage them one iota.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/

Third, I concur with Helprin that vital U.S. national security and economic interests demand a large blue-water fleet. He adds: “As China’s navy rises and ours declines, not that far in the future the trajectories will cross.” I concur with that conclusion too. Both China and “dictator-for-life” Putin’s Russia are our enemies, now and in the future.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath both of these two articles)

Fourth, Helprin states:

Abdicating our more than half-century stabilizing role on the oceans, neglecting the military balance, and relinquishing a position we are fully capable of holding will bring tectonic realignments among nations—and ultimately more expense, bloodletting, and heartbreak than the most furious deficit hawk is capable of imagining. A technological nation with a GDP of $14 trillion can afford to build a fleet worthy of its past and sufficient to its future.

I agree; and the same thing is true of other vital military needs and expenditures. Tragically, at present, we have a naïve, anti-war, far-Left, “Hamlet on the Potomac”—or “Jimmy Carter-lite”—narcissistic president, who is a cowardly demagogue. He is determined to weaken our great nation at every turn; and he must not be reelected.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath both of these two articles)

Fifth, it has been suggested that American military expenditures are equal to many times what the next countries combined are spending. Hence, the question arises: where is the money going?

There is no question that—like it or not—the United States must maintain its absolute superiority now and in the future. No nation must be in a position to ever challenge us. Our very survival depends on it.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/

As I told a friend recently, who had commented on a Pentagon report that China may have triggered our economic crash:

[T]he Pentagon does not make claims of this magnitude idly, or without great justification. This is not the way that the Pentagon works. It is very professional and thorough, probably the most outstanding agency in our government.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/#comment-1467

I spent two years working at the Pentagon in intelligence, and then I have worked on and with Capitol Hill for most of my legal career. During this time, I have had an opportunity to see many federal government agencies and programs in action; and I can honestly say that the Pentagon is the best by far. There is no agency or program that is even remotely close.

The people who work at the Pentagon and serve our military—both in uniform and as civilians—are totally dedicated and professional; and they have inspired enormous pride in me over the years. If you read any of my articles, you will realize that I do not spare my criticism of people and institutions; and I am not naïve. Some people might assert that I am cynical; I prefer to believe that I am an idealist, who is repulsed when I encounter something that is less than just or the best.

The Pentagon and our military are not perfect, but they are truly excellent. There are reasons why the Soviet Union collapsed and we are the only superpower in the world today. It did not just happen by chance.

This enormous power must be maintained and nourished. I will repeat—because it deserves emphasis again and again—our very survival depends on it. This is not a “Mary Poppins” world in which we live. There are countries and terrorist groups around the world that want to destroy our great nation, and kill all of us. This is a fact of life, period.

What follows are the comparative numbers relating to our military expenditures vis-à-vis those of other countries. There may be more recent numbers that are available publicly, but I have not seen them.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures#Chart_by_country_or_organization

For better or worse, America protects the free world; we encourage those countries and people who yearn for democracy and freedom; we are winding down a very successful war in Iraq, which I questioned and opposed at the outset, but was impressed that George W. Bush’s “surge” worked and won that war; we are mired in the Afghan War, which Barack Obama does not seem to have the will or determination to win; and we have commitments that are essentially endless.

We have no allies that are capable of doing any “heavy lifting” today. The UK is “gutting” its military; NATO is a mere shell of what it once was; and we are it—with very heavy duties and responsibilities. After having worked in and with government for so many years, I believe government is a vast wasteland, most of which should be eliminated. The one exception would be the Pentagon and our brilliant and, yes, wonderful and awe-inspiring military forces.

. . .

Update:

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

The 14 alleged pirates accused of hijacking a U.S. yacht off the coast of Somalia appeared in court today looking ‘exhausted and confused’.

The men, 13 Somalis and one Yemeni, were indicted on piracy, kidnapping and firearms charges at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, near the Norfolk naval base.

Two U.S. couples were killed on board their own yacht last month after Somali pirates took them hostage off the coast of Oman.

. . .

If convicted, the men could face life in prison—and U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride has not yet ruled out filing further charges.

According to the indictment, by a grand federal jury, at least three of the men shot and killed the four U.S. sailors without provocation. It says they were armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades.

. . .

U.S. special forces boarded the yacht. According to the military, all four hostages were found dead or dying.

U.S. Seals shot two bandits in the ensuing firefight and a further two were found dead on board.

Another 15 were taken into custody, but Mr MacBride today said the last suspect was not charged because he was only a child and was alleged to have had only limited involvement in the hijacking.

. . .

The four sailors who died in February are the first American hostages to have been killed by Somali pirates.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1365156/14-Somali-pirates-accused-killing-U-S-sailors-appear-Virginia-court-yacht-hijack.html (“14 Somali ‘pirates’ accused of killing four U.S. sailors appear in Virginia court over yacht hijack”)

Thus, even though the four sailors apparently placed themselves at risk by venturing into dangerous waters, and they should not have expected the U.S. Navy to rescue them, nonetheless the Navy attempted to do so and is bringing their killers to justice. It is another example of our brilliant military at work.

Like

20 03 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Putin’s Russia Can Never Be Trusted

See, e.g., http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1367857/US-intercepted-Russian-cosmonaut-Vladimir-Komarovs-final-words-rage.html (“U.S. intercepted final words of doomed Russian cosmonaut Komorov as he ‘screamed in rage at people who put him in defective craft’“)

Like

29 04 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Russia Is Recovering From Levels Of Military Strength So Low That It Barely Registers Globally

This is the conclusion of the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer, which is true. However, even more importantly, any growth in dictator-for-life Putin’s Russian military must be snuffed out in its incipiency. America’s and the West’s goal must be to bring down a Russia increasingly focused on domination, and replace it with a democratic nation that lives at peace with the world.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the_obama_doctrine_leading_from_behind/2011/04/28/AFBCy18E_story.html

Putin must suffer the same violent fate as Hitler, and nothing less. His death must be a lesson to other despots that their days in power are finite.

Like

31 05 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Why Barack Obama Must Be Removed From The Presidency

Arnaud de Borchgrave, editor-at-large of The Washington Times and of United Press International—and a foreign policy “guru,” with respect to whom I have enormous admiration and respect—has another fine article that is worth reading and reflecting on, albeit I respectfully disagree with many of his conclusions. Its implications go directly to the future of the United States as the world’s only superpower and the greatest nation on the earth.

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/may/30/shining-citadel-redux/

In it, he stated that “[t]he U.S. owes China $1.3 trillion.” So what? We can refuse to pay them.

Indeed, China is dependent on Americans’ consumer purchases. Hence, China is “in bed” with us. To bring down our economy is to bring down their economy. They have no choice except to ride along, God love ‘em.

In a sense, our debt is “funny money.” It is like playing the game of “Monopoly,” as a kid, except that the U.S. is “too big to fail” and China’s economy is tied into ours. Is it a “zero-sum” game where only one party wins, or the game of “musical chairs” where only one person gets that last seat? Not at all. The global economy, at least with respect to China and the U.S., is too “integrated.” Yes, they might like to “screw” us, but they would end up screwing themselves too. Hence, it can be argued that they are “boxed in”—at least economically, if not militarily.

Next, de Borchgrave asserted:

Default [on America's debt] would rock global markets. By comparison, the Great Depression would look like children losing their weekly allowance. And the rest of the world would begin to look to China as the next global supreme power.

It is not that easy, or straightforward. America cannot lose without China losing bigtime. If our economy comes to a halt, theirs will come to a screeching halt, with their population out of work and mass riots that even their vaulted security apparatus and military might not be able to put down. Then, the “Arab Spring” or the “Scent of Jasmine,” which they have quelled so far, will come to China with a resounding thud.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/#comment-1612 (“The Chinese Communist Party And The Masses Have Drifted Apart, And The Party May Be In Danger Of A Confrontation With The Chinese People”)

Also, de Borchgrave argued:

With the SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in his secret lair a short walk from Pakistan’s prestigious military academy, we have dramatic evidence that small-scale operations can be more effective for changing the course of history than multidivision invasions that inadvertently hand victory to our enemies.

It is highly unlikely that the death of bin Laden “changed the course of history,” or anything close. However, Barack Obama, being the raving narcissist and demagogue that he is, is milking this one completely and will continue to do so. Our heroic intelligence and military personnel pulled it off. Apparently they knew of bin Laden’s whereabouts for quite a while; however, our “Hamlet on the Potomac,” Obama, “dithered” and could not make a decision.

Also, while this was a “small-scale operation,” we need our overwhelming military forces to protect us and our allies, and project American power and might around the world. Make no mistake about it. Among other things, it prevents wars and keeps us safe at home.

De Borchgrave stated:

The $1 trillion we blew on Iraq killed Saddam Hussein, but it was a pyrrhic victory that enhanced Iran’s power and influence in Iraq.

Prior to the commencement of that war, I argued against launching it, inter alia, because I believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (or “WMDs”)—which he would not hesitate to use against our military forces, and they might be at risk.

Having embarked on the war, however, David Petraeus’ “surge”—which George W. Bush approved, despite opposition from the Pentagon—proved to be brilliant and very successful. Whether Iraq can hold on to its fragile democracy remains to be seen. But we should not withdraw from the country despite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s lack of support with respect to this issue. Also, like George H.W. Bush did with respect to the Gulf War (e.g., getting monies from the Saudis and Kuwaitis), we should be receiving Iraqi oil revenues to compensate us for the human and financial costs of the war.

De Borchgrave added:

The U.S. can no longer afford a global military strategy and a defense budget that is almost as large as those of the rest of the world combined.

Obama has increased our budget deficit dramatically; and it was totally foreseeable that he would use that as an excuse to slash our military. Without our military and economic strength, we will be in deep trouble. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said it best—which is quoted in the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Gates knows well that America won’t balance its budget by squeezing the Pentagon. “If you cut the defense budget by 10%, which would be catastrophic in terms of force structure, that’s $55 billion out of a $1.4 trillion deficit,” he told the Journal’s CEO Council conference last November. “We are not the problem.”

See, http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1606 (“Barack Obama’s Sacking Of The Pentagon”)

It is arguable that Barack Obama is destroying the U.S., and that he must be removed from office ASAP, no later than January of 2013. Yes, I know that many Americans may take umbrage at this statement, but the man is a disaster in terms of the future of our great country. He is far worse than Jimmy Carter. At least Carter was a “misguided” patriot, who had gone to Annapolis and served in our military.

Next, de Borchgrave asserted:

[C]onservative think-tank experts are calling for a larger defense budget in order to keep the U.S. dominant on land, sea and air.

I agree with them. In the past, de Borchgrave has catalogued the threat from China alone. The U.S. military must not be weakened one iota; and in fact, it must be strengthened. We have to rebuild after two wars.

De Borchgrave contended:

Carrier-borne F-18 Super Hornets could have reduced Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad house and compound to dust, but that would have destroyed all the intelligence.

The holy grail of defense spending is not as holy as it was before Abbottabad.

The “treasure trove” of intelligence was welcomed and valuable, and bin Laden’s death was a “symbolic” victory, but all of this is a mere drop of water in the vast oceans when compared with China and other enemies around the world that seek to destroy the United States and our allies. Bin Laden’s death cannot be used as an excuse to cut any military expenditures. However, the consummate demagogue Obama is trying to do it. Leon Panetta is not being sent to the Pentagon as our next Secretary of Defense to preside over a military “build up.” Hopefully both he and Obama are on their way out of office no later than January of 2013.

De Borchgrave observed:

Outspending and out-arming the Soviet Union worked at a time when the Soviet empire was on the verge of internal economic collapse. The “American Century” was the politico-military-economic miracle of the 20th century.

This is true today thanks in large part to Ronald Reagan, whom the Democrats hated and tried to destroy politically. Now he is “deified,” and they do not dare open their mouths. However, they tried to bring down his presidency, inter alia, with the so-called “Iran-Contra scandal.” And yes, like Reagan, I was once a Democrat, but never again—to the best of my belief.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/ (“The Rise Of Independents”)

Taking a quasi-defeatist, Jimmy Carter-esque approach, de Borchgrave asserted:

If America has lost some of its luster in the early 21st century, the loss is entirely self-inflicted.

“Self-inflicted” largely by Obama, who has increased our budget deficit dramatically and put us in an “either-or” posture (e.g., either debt reductions or defense). He and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and their Democrats, have come perilously close to bankrupting our great nation.

Next, de Borchgrave argued: “The Iraq war was an expensive mistake.” It was only an “expensive mistake” if the flame of democracy flickers and dies, after we have given it life.

De Borchgrave added:

The Afghan war was an ill-thought-through, expensive punitive expedition that dragged in 42 other nations and, thus far, has cost the hapless U.S. taxpayer almost half a trillion dollars—with still a few years to go before all the troops come home.

It is Barack Obama’s Vietnam—which was Lyndon Johnson’s war.

If de Borchgrave is correct that the Afghan War is futile, it will represent a human tragedy of staggering proportions, especially for Afghan women. I would not give a plug nickel for the lives of Afghan women if the Taliban return to power!

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1102 (“Why We Fight In Afghanistan, And Why American Women Should Demand Barack Obama’s Removal From Office By Impeachment Or Otherwise”)

De Borchgrave contended:

Delusions of grandeur, or whatever it was, kept us spending billions on weapons systems for the last war, not the cyber- and robotic conflicts of the future.

This is the “party line” from the “Kool-Aid” crowd, or far-Left, anti-war Democrats who occupy the White House and other seats of power in Washington, D.C. today, as well as the American media—and I am not suggesting that de Borchgrave is part of that group, nor has he become beguiled by it.

If we go to war with China or North Korea, for example, it will not be a “cyber- and robotic conflict.” If an EMP Attack can be mounted against us, we will not be able to defend against it with “pee shooters.” Yet, this is precisely the Obama-Biden view of the world, and the reason why their presidency must end, sooner rather than later. Our great country cannot go through another four years with them in charge; and yes, I am an Independent, not a Republican.

Next, de Borchgrave contended: “The F-35 will be the last manned fighter bomber built.”

I do not believe this at all. If we are in a shooting war with China or North Korea, for example, we will need fighter jets, bombers and drones. All of our drones in this world will not save us. To argue that they would do so is like arguing that American foot soldiers are obsolete, which is utter nonsense, and more left-wing, anti-war, Democratic “babble.”

De Borchgrave added:

And the Pentagon estimates the total cost of owning and operating the fleet of 2,500 F-35s at $1 trillion dollars over the estimated 50-year life span of the aircraft.

Fifty years is a long time. Neither de Borchgrave nor I will be here then, but hopefully many hundreds of millions of Americans will be. The 50-year argument is a total “red herring,” used by the Democrats to inflate the apparent costs and kill off the weapons systems.

Also, de Borchgrave stated:

The Air Force is training more drone operators than fighter and bomber pilots, a fundamental shift for the 62-year-old service.

I concur that U.S. drones are potentially excellent, but like the American foot soldier, they will never replace fighters and bombers, especially when it comes to possible wars with China and North Korea—or Russia if it ever challenges us again. We need to project America’s power, and drones do not achieve that. Indeed, a logical extension of de Borchgrave’s arguments is that America would do away with our carrier battle groups too, which is absurd.

He asserted as well:

There are now 7,000 drones of various types in the U.S. arsenal.

In Afghanistan, neither old nor new bells and whistles will prevent Taliban from coming back, albeit “reformed” with pledges to keep out bin Laden and his terrorist mob.

First, soldiers on the ground will prevent the Taliban—if enough are deployed, and if we have the will to win, which Obama does not.

Second, Taliban “pledges” in general, and those to treat women humanely, are utter nonsense. They are the equivalent of what happened in Vietnam after America departed, when an estimated million Vietnamese lost their lives.

Third, with the fall of Afghanistan, is Pakistan far behind?

Lastly, de Borchgrave asserted:

In fact, al Qaeda fighters took a powder during the battle of Tora Bora 10 years ago. And killing Afghan guerrillas was not why friends and allies originally signed on.

We have “fair weather” friends and allies. Indeed, our principal ally’s military, that of the UK, is getting “decimated” by its Prime Minister David Cameron, which is what Barack Obama and his Über-Leftists want to do to our great military.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-1591 (“Sun Setting On British Power”)

Like

20 06 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Russian Despot Putin’s Repression Continues, While Obama Is Endorsed

A bloated Putin and his lap dog Medvedev

In an article entitled, “Medvedev hints he and Putin won’t be 2012 rivals,” Reuters has reported:

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev dismissed talk of a deepening rift with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in remarks published Monday, strongly hinting they would not run against each other for president next year.

In a Financial Times interview, he also said he hoped Barack Obama, who has helped improve Russian-U.S. ties, would win a new term as U.S. president next year.

. . .

Many analysts . . . believe it is Putin who will decide whether to return to the country’s top job or endorse his protégé for a second term. With a marginalized opposition, either one would be likely to win.

. . .

Medvedev sounded far less equivocal about the U.S. election in November 2012, praising Obama and accusing some of his opponents of turning Russia into a scapegoat.

“There are representatives of a very conservative wing who are trying to resolve their political tasks in part by whipping up passions about Russia,” he said.

He suggested a Republican victory could chill ties after a period that included the signing of a new nuclear arms reduction pact and U.S. support for Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization.

“I would like Barack Obama to be elected to the office of president of the United States a second time,” he said.

See http://ca.news.yahoo.com/medvedev-hints-putin-wont-2012-rivals-213400461.html

It is not surprising that his lapdog, Medvedev, will not oppose Russia’s “Hitler,” Putin, in perpetuating his brutal de facto dictatorship. Hitler’s henchmen and those of Stalin did not oppose them either.

Similarly, it is not surprising that they would endorse and embrace Barack Obama, who was responsible for giving them the New START Treaty. George W. Bush withdrew from the ABM Treaty, which had expressly prevented major advances in missile defense. The next GOP administration must withdraw from the New START Treaty as soon as it comes to power.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1137 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1147 (“Obama And His Democrats Did Not Get The Message—Their Ranks Need To Be Thinned Even More, Starting With Obama”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1167 (“Russia Warns Against START Changes—So What?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1182 (“Republicans Who Voted To Ratify START Should Be Defeated”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1194 (“The New START Treaty Is Another Obama Travesty—Like ObamaCare—Which The Next GOP Administration Should Withdraw From Immediately”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1245 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1397 (“WikiLeaks cables: US agrees to tell Russia Britain’s nuclear secrets”) and http://www.theotherrussia.org/2011/06/09/russia-nato-missile-defense-negotations-break-down/ (“Russia-NATO Missile Defense Negotations Break Down”)

In important testimony before Congress, former world chess champion and chairman of the United Civil Front—a pro-democracy group—and co-chair of the Russian Solidarity Movement, Garry Kasparov stated:

After I left the sport, I joined the pro-democracy movement in my country, motivated by the disturbing course change away from freedom that Russia was undergoing under President Vladimir Putin. I could not accept that my own children would grow up in a totalitarian state as I had. And to those who have suggested that I should leave Russia for my family’s convenience and safety, I say that it is my country, one I proudly represented around the world for decades, and so let the KGB leave, not me.

. . .

More recently, I traveled across almost all of Russia to talk to and listen to my countrymen, which is the only way for most Russians to hear from a critic of the Putin regime, since we are banned from the mass media. My colleagues and I are dedicated to bringing individual freedom and the rule of law to Russia, and we know very well by now that this cannot happen as long as Putin is in power. We protest in the streets, we provide legal defense for those who are punished for standing up to the regime, and we try to let Russians know that they are not helpless and that they are not alone.

When the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed, we on the other side of the Wall felt far more hope than you can imagine. Yes, there was fear and confusion as well, but thanks to the courage of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and others who followed them, hundreds of millions of people had the opportunity to grasp the freedom that the western world takes for granted. It was a great moment in world history and those leaders who did not forget about us will in turn never be forgotten by us.

For those who do not follow events in Russia, that is often where the story ends. Communism was proved bankrupt, the Cold War ended, and Russia joined the free world. Unfortunately, that last item on the agenda was never quite completed. Russia under Boris Yeltsin quickly acquired many of the mechanisms of democracy and freedom, but the values and traditions that support them never had a chance to put down roots. Economic chaos, rampant corruption, and widespread violence left many Russians with the impression that these were the fruits of democracy. When former KGB lieutenant-colonel Vladimir Putin took control of the country in 2000, he and his cronies were very quick to exploit that impression, just as the Communists had done in the previous election against Yeltsin.

By the way, I refer to Russia’s state security apparatus as the KGB for the expediency of this more widely recognized acronym. Its name has been changed many times over the decades, but calling it the FSB, its current name, does not change its nature. I admit that I had some hopes that the rampant corruption of the last Yeltsin years would be reined in by this unknown but efficient KGB man Putin. I could have never imagined that in just a few years, a bust of Felix Dzerzhinsky, forefather of the KGB, that had been torn down by jubilant crowds over a decade earlier, would soon find its way back to the plaza, both figuratively and literally.

The new regime quickly began the process of dismantling the fragile new institutions of honest elections and a free media. Rivals and dissenters were purged from the political and business realms, power was tightly centralized in the executive, and the flow of federal money from the wealthy center to the rest of the country was reversed, creating what most resembles a feudal oligarchy. The Putin regime also contains elements of Mussolini’s corporate fascism, with giant private monopolies working together with the state. It’s really a combination of Adam Smith and Karl Marx. The expenses are nationalized while profits are privatized.

One of the most common, and most ignorant, commentaries we of the opposition hear about the situation in Russia today is that we should be grateful, because things are better now than they were in the USSR. This is damning with very faint praise! Why go back to the 1970s to make comparisons? What about 1991? Or 1998? We had many problems then, yes, but we also had far more liberty and the potential to stay on a course to join the free world. Putin took that from us. We are also often told that Russians want a strong hand, a Tsar, and do not really want democracy. I reject completely this notion of a mysterious genetic tendency. Consider China and Taiwan, East and West Germany, and the two Koreas.

Putin’s economic miracle is another common myth. If you look at the numbers, the real economy was ready to boom in 2000 even with oil prices in the teens. Russia was recovering from the 1998 default and market reforms were taking effect despite the high corruption level. And yet now, even with oil back near $100, the outlook is still poor. The country is falling apart as the oligarchs steal the money faster than it can be pumped out of the ground. We are quickly becoming a resource-dependent petro-dictatorship. Putin and his gang are not Communists, or nationalists, or anything else. There is no ideology, only power and money.

But we have elections, yes, we do have elections. We go through the motions of voting and put on a show of campaigning and counting, all as if it really mattered—even though we all know it is all only for show. Putin is so secure in his power he did even bother changing the constitution to take another term. He simply put his shadow, Medvedev, in his chair temporarily, and continued business as usual. America and the rest of the free world prefer to go along with the charade, to allow Russia a place in the G-8 as if Russia were a real democracy. To those who say that Putin is popular, and that fake elections and suppression of dissent are irrelevant, I ask them, “how do you know?” Would you trust opinion polls in a police state? If he is so popular, why jail opposition activists, why blacklist so many rivals and so many topics from the media?

As for Medvedev, he is bait for a trap. For more than three years now, first as Putin’s hand-picked “candidate” and now as president, he has been making statements that give credulous Russians and willingly duped foreign officials false hope that he will lead a liberalization movement against Putin. But how can a man be in conflict with his shadow? For all his talk, Medvedev has done nothing to ease the oppression while doing much to make it worse. Laws have been passed that broadly define opposition members as extremists, even terrorists, and the list of political prisoners continues to grow longer. In theory, Dmitri Medvedev can create the Medvedev Era with one stroke of his pen, by signing an order to relieve Vladimir Putin from his post as prime minister. But as the popular joke in Russia goes, “There are two parties in Russia today. The Putin party and the Medvedev party. The problem is Medvedev doesn’t know which one he belongs to.”

A cynic may ask, “why does it matter to us if Russians do not have freedom of speech? We have enough problems now, why take a stand?” For decades, America led the fight to contain the spread of Communism. Not only because it threatened American interests, but because every president understood that being America meant standing up for American ideals worldwide. The USSR was not just a threat, it was, in Reagan’s typically blunt term, the evil empire, to be resisted on moral grounds. Its people were victims to be aided, not enemies to be destroyed.

When the wall fell, the free world celebrated and in so doing, let down its guard. Just as all the professional analysts were surprised by the collapse of the USSR, it seems today few are willing to admit Russia has slipped back into darkness. This is a terrible mistake, as the spread of the corruption of Putin’s corporate state is a serious threat to freedom worldwide. It only imitates capitalism, while in reality it is a state-run machine for looting national resources in Russia and the shareholders of companies abroad. Corruption, not oil or gas, has become Russia’s biggest export. The western appeasement crowd that keeps calling for engagement that will eventually transform Russia cannot see that it is the West, not Russia, that is being transformed by this contact.

Drawn by the lure of big profits, western presidents, prime ministers, and corporations have lined up to sacrifice their professed ideals in order to do business completely on the Kremlin’s terms. Transparency International ranks Russia as 154th of the 178 nations on their corruption index. On their list of the world’s twenty-two largest exporting nations, Russia scores by far the worst in evaluating its corporations’ readiness to pay bribes while doing business abroad. After over a decade of Putin and increasing economic engagement with the rest of the world, Russia’s rankings have gotten worse, not better. The neighboring nations most closely allied with Putin’s government have also dropped steadily in the corruption rankings. The problem inside Russia has become epidemic. According to estimates made by the leading Russian expert in corruption, Georgyi Satarov, the overall amount of bribes in the Russian economy skyrocketed from $33 billion to more than $400 billion per year during Putin’s rule.

Putin is also not above the old-fashioned use of force, as he demonstrated by invading neighboring Georgia and annexing its sovereign territory. Which, by the way, is still occupied by military force and where Putin continues to make threats. Kremlin provocations inside Georgia continue via a series of terrorist bombings that have been strongly linked to Russian intelligence officers operating from the annexed territory of Abkhazia. An official list of these state-sponsored terror attacks issued by the Georgian government is attached to my submitted testimony. The Kremlin has had no qualms blackmailing its neighbors and Europe over natural gas, at one point cutting supplies and causing shortages to half of the European Union during winter. Always looking for new sources of cash, the Kremlin continues to supply military and nuclear technology to belligerent states like Iran, Syria, and Venezuela. It is often said that the US needs Russia’s help in various regions, but it has been clear many times that the Kremlin’s only interest is self interest. Putin is delighted to help the United States stay stuck in Afghanistan and to stir up conflict in the region, as any incident drives up the price of oil, the money from which keeps the oligarchs in power.

. . .

Putin’s closest allies, those who keep him in power, are not faceless gray Politburo members who aspire to nothing more than a nice house or car. Putin’s oligarchs own global companies, buy real estate in London, Biarritz, New York City. The money they have pilfered from Russia’s treasury goes to buy art, yachts, and American and British sports teams. In short, they wish to enjoy the spoils and this makes them vulnerable. Putin needs the West’s support because that is where they all keep their money.

They are vulnerable to limitations on banking, acquisitions and travel, leading to what I call the “Do not Fly, Do not Buy List.” Even the suggestion that their investments abroad might be investigated would cause shockwaves in the Kremlin power structure. So many of their assets come from shady deals and looted properties that if the West ceases to rubber-stamp their money-laundering operations they will cease to treat Putin as the all-powerful guarantor of their wealth. As the famous Washington saying goes, follow the money and you will get results.

This treatment of denying visas and investigating investments must not be reserved for Putin’s wealthy supporters. The entire Kremlin power structure, especially the judiciary, is made up of loyalists with no regard for the rule of law. Those who violate their oaths and betray the laws they should be upholding should not be granted immunity by the civilized world. The police and prosecutors who fabricate evidence, the judges who rubber-stamp the convictions, the officials who rig the elections, they can and must be held accountable. They are following orders from above, yes, but just because they will not pay for their crimes in Russia does not mean they should be treated as decent citizens when they leave the protection of the KGB police state.

. . .

The creation of a new police state in Russia is not an anonymous, blameless crime. I have included with my submitted testimony lists we have compiled of the officials involved in numerous grave violations of Russian law and Russia’s international commitments. There are many precedents for taking action against such individuals. The members and leaders of the Cosa Nostra, the Italian mafia, were above the law in their native Sicily. But many were refused entry to the United States due to their criminal connections. Those who whitewash the murders of journalists and opposition members and those who carry out the repression of Putin’s Russia should be treated with equal scorn by the civilized world. These are not warlords or soldiers, they are bureaucrats who side with power because they want the easy life. If their lives become less easy, you will be surprised at how quickly things can turn.

The final argument is that Russia is too strong, that its oil and gas reserves make the Kremlin too powerful and influential to resist. This is similar to the theory that the US cannot stand up to China on Tibet or anything else because China holds so much American debt. But the Chinese are not fools. They know that the day after America defaults, the Chinese economy would explode to the moon. It’s economic mutually assured destruction, and the same principle is in effect with Russian resources. Russia cannot cease selling oil and gas to the West, despite the occasional threat. The pipelines are in place, the contracts are written, and the entire Kremlin oligarchy depends on the high profit margins to stay in power. Without the cash surplus that comes with $100 per barrel oil, the hollow state of the Russian economy would quickly be revealed.

. . .

I look forward to the day when a strong, independent, and economically and culturally vibrant Russia takes its place among the leading nations of the world as an equal partner. This can only happen when our people are free to choose their leaders and free to achieve their dreams. Our problems are for us to solve; we do not beg for help. What we ask is that America and the other leading nations of the free world live up to their own traditions and rhetoric. End the hypocrisy of treating Putin’s regime like a democratic ally. Stop treating the oligarchs who plunder our nation like legitimate businessmen. Stop allowing the agents of a police state to travel without restrictions or shame.

When I was growing up in the Soviet Union, in Baku, Azerbaijan, we were told America was the enemy. But most of us understood that there must be something good there if the government was so keen on keeping it from us. Generations of American leaders faced down nuclear annihilation to fight for the rights of those behind the Iron Curtain. Surely the threat of Putin’s Russia is nothing in comparison. From the Marshall Plan to Jackson-Vanik, the United States has listened, spoken, and acted. There is no longer a wall that needs to be torn down, but courage is still necessary to protect our most sacred values. I thank you again for inviting me here today and I wish you all the courage to act.

See http://www.theotherrussia.org/2011/06/19/kasparov-asks-congress-to-take-a-courageous-stand/ (“Kasparov to Congress: Take a Courageous Stand [And Stop Treating Vladimir Putin And Other Corrupt Russian Officials As Members Of An Actual Democracy]“) (emphasis added)

The Washington Post’s Fred Hiatt has added with respect to Kasparov:

Given that chess champions are rock stars in Russia, he could have settled into an easy life of celebrity there. Or he could have joined the opposition to Putin’s kleptocracy, as he has, but from a safe and comfortable apartment in London or Manhattan.

Instead, he has maintained a life in Russia, where—given the grisly fate met by many journalists and human rights advocates—he lives with bodyguards and anxiety.

He does not live without hope for Russia’s future, however. And to that end, he came to Washington (meeting with executive and congressional officials) with three essential messages:

First, the ostensible power struggle between Putin, now prime minister, and his hand-picked president, Dmitry Medvedev, is a sham. Putin pulls the strings. Americans, including the Obama administration, have been taken in by this shadow play, Kasparov says, which is useful for Putin—Medvedev gives the regime a friendlier face to the West—but essentially irrelevant.

Second, Putinism is not working, and therefore its continuation is not inevitable. Despite being an oil exporter at a time of sky-high oil prices, Russia’s economy is ailing. Capital is fleeing, infrastructure is decaying, and people are noticing.

. . .

And having quarantined Russia from democracy movements that flared in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, Putin now has to worry about infection from the Arab Spring. “Putin did everything to prevent an Orange Revolution, but now comes the ghost of Tahrir Square,” Kasparov said.

Finally, the United States has at its disposal a practical tool that could help undermine Putin’s hold on power—specifically, a bill sponsored by Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin that would ban visas for and freeze assets of Russian officials implicated in rank abuses of justice or abrogations of freedom inside Russia.

“To outsiders, this may not seem like much,” Kasparov said. But it would undermine what Kasparov sees as the fundamental principle and purpose of Putin’s regime: that officials who are loyal to Putin can accumulate assets and park them abroad—and that Putin can protect them.

“If you are loyal to the boss, to the capo di tutti capi, you are safe, inside Russia and out—in Dubai, London, Lake Geneva,” Kasparov said. “If something happens to even a small group of these people, it will cause a dent in the monolith of power.”

Putin has bought off and corrupted so many European officials that Europe will not act first, Kasparov said. But the United States could—and because Russian oligarchs increasingly are investing in the United States, U.S. action would make a big difference.

“Don’t tell me you don’t have leverage,” Kasparov said.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/post/garry-kasparov-has-a-suggestion/2011/06/17/AGPUyiYH_blog.html

The KGB lieutenant-colonel who became Russia’s ruler, Putin, must be tried, convicted for his many crimes globally, and terminated. His lackey, Medvedev, is also complicit; and he too must be tried, convicted and imprisoned, at the very least.

The West’s goal must be to bring down a Russia increasingly focused on domination and replace it with a democratic nation that lives at peace with the world—and this is true with respect to China as well.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (see also all of the footnotes and comments beneath the article and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/#comment-900)

Like

1 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

China Salutes 90 Years Of Oppression

In a fine article about China that is worth reading entitled, “Chinese Party Marks Nine Decades,” the Wall Street Journal discusses what 90 years of communism has brought to the Chinese people and the world, and what the future may hold. It states in pertinent part the following:

Eager to bolster its legitimacy in the eyes of an increasingly restive and Internet-savvy society, China’s Communist Party is marking its 90th anniversary Friday with a no-holds-barred campaign to reassert its airbrushed version of modern history.

For a Chinese leadership spooked by uprisings in the Arab world, the campaign is designed to hammer home the message that only the party could have engineered China’s emergence as the world’s second-largest economy, and only the party can keep raising living standards, while maintaining social stability.

But for its critics[,] its heavy-handed efforts are only highlighting the party’s failure to evolve politically and to come to terms with its own past, especially the 1958-61 Great Leap Forward—when millions starved to death in a push to jump-start industrialization—and the chaos of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303763404576417503968123210.html

What the Journal’s article fails to emphasize is that China’s ruthless dictator Mao Tse-tung was directly responsible for an estimated 30-40 million deaths between 1958 and 1960, as a result of what his regime hailed as the “Great Leap Forward.” Like the Soviet Union’s equally-brutal dictator, Joseph Stalin, Mao’s crimes involved Chinese peasants, many of whom died of hunger from man-made famines under collectivist orders that stripped them of all private possessions.

Approximately 70 years have passed since this human tragedy of epic proportions occurred in the Soviet Union. Approximately 50 years have passed since the comparable tragedy occurred in China. It is time for the world to pay tribute to more than 60 million people who perished under Stalin and Mao.

While the precise numbers of the victims may never been known, each of us has a duty to honor their memories and take steps to insure that holocausts do not occur anywhere again. These victims are forgotten today, seemingly having disappeared without a trace and having been swallowed up by history, as if they never existed. This compounds the crime against humanity.

Just think of the contributions that the offspring of those who perished might have made to this world, whose numbers might be in the hundreds of millions today.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/

The Journal’s article continues:

The domestic security apparatus, meanwhile, has been using increasingly arbitrary and extrajudicial methods to silence the party’s most prominent critics, including China’s most famous contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, even after many of them have been released from custody.

On Wednesday, Beijing police visited the home of Mao Yushi, an 83-year-old liberal economist who isn’t related to Chairman [Mao Tse-tung] and has been highly critical of his policies, as well as of an increasingly vocal campaign to rehabilitate his memory in the last few months.

The police told him he had to cancel a planned interview with the Voice of America that evening and was no longer permitted to give interviews about the founder of Communist China, Prof. Mao said.

“I was very surprised—I’ve never experienced anything like this in recent times,” said Prof. Mao, who has also received threatening telephone calls and emails since Maoist revivalist websites launched a campaign to have him prosecuted for criticizing Chairman Mao in a recent book review. “The government’s aim is to emphasize the legitimacy of the party—that is their purpose—so they are avoiding talking about the party’s mistakes.”

Like many Chinese of his generation, he said he personally suffered under Chairman Mao, almost dying of hunger during the Great Leap Forward, when he estimated that 80 or more people in his village of 700 starved to death.

He and other liberal Chinese have long hoped the party will edge toward reassessing its past, especially as a new generation of leaders, many of whom were forced to work in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution, prepares to take power next year.

Instead, the party appears to be moving in the opposite direction, growing increasingly reluctant to acknowledge publicly even the mistakes it has admitted in the past.

. . .

Earlier accounts had admitted, for example, that the population dropped 10 million in 1960, but hadn’t given an overall death toll for the Great Leap Forward, which some historians put as high as 30 million-45 million.

China is America’s enemy; and the United States’ and the West’s goal must be to bring down a China increasingly focused on domination, and replace it with a democratic nation that lives at peace with the world. The Chinese people have been oppressed and intimidated long enough, and they deserve nothing less. The same is true of the Russian people, who live under Putin’s barbarous regime—in a country where Stalin’s memory is being rehabilitated as well.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

Like

2 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

The Future Still Belongs To America

American flag

This is the title of an important Wall Street Journal article by Professor Walter Russell Mead—subtitled, “This century will throw challenges at everyone[, but the] U.S. is better positioned to adapt than China, Europe or the Arab world”—which states in pertinent part the following:

It is, the pundits keep telling us, a time of American decline, of a post-American world. The 21st century will belong to someone else. Crippled by debt at home, hammered by the aftermath of a financial crisis, bloodied by long wars in the Middle East, the American Atlas can no longer hold up the sky. Like Britain before us, America is headed into an assisted-living facility for retired global powers.

This fashionable chatter could not be more wrong. Sure, America has big problems. Trillions of dollars in national debt and uncounted trillions more in off-the-books liabilities will give anyone pause. Rising powers are also challenging the international order even as our key Cold War allies sink deeper into decline.

But what is unique about the United States is not our problems. Every major country in the world today faces extraordinary challenges—and the 21st century will throw more at us. Yet looking toward the tumultuous century ahead, no country is better positioned to take advantage of the opportunities or manage the dangers than the United States.

Geopolitically, the doomsayers tell us, China will soon challenge American leadership throughout the world. Perhaps. But to focus exclusively on China is to miss how U.S. interests intersect with Asian realities in ways that cement rather than challenge the U.S. position in world affairs.

. . .

In Asia today China is rising—but so is India, another emerging nuclear superpower with a population on course to pass China’s. Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia and Australia are all vibrant, growing powers that have no intention of falling under China’s sway. Japan remains a formidable presence. . . . Asia today looks like an emerging multipolar region that no single country, however large and dynamic, can hope to control.

This fits American interests precisely. The U.S. has no interest in controlling Asia or in blocking economic prosperity that will benefit the entire Pacific basin, including our part of it. U.S. policy in Asia is not fighting the tide of China’s inexorable rise. Rather, our interests harmonize with the natural course of events. Life rarely moves smoothly and it is likely that Asia will see great political disturbances. But through it all, it appears that the U.S. will be swimming with, rather than against, the tides of history.

Around the world we have no other real rivals. Even the Europeans have stopped talking about a rising EU superpower. The specter of a clash of civilizations between the West and an Islamic world united behind fanatics . . . is less likely than ever. Russia’s demographic decline and poor economic prospects (not to mention its concerns about Islamic radicalism and a rising China) make it a poor prospect as a rival superpower.

When it comes to the world of ideas, the American agenda will also be the global agenda in the 21st century.

. . .

Fascism, like Franco, is still dead. Communism lingers on life support in Pyongyang[, North Korea,] and a handful of other redoubts but shows no signs of regaining the power it has lost since 1989 and the Soviet collapse. “Islamic” fanaticism failed in Iraq, can only cling to power by torture and repression in Iran, and has been marginalized (so far) in the Arab Spring. Nowhere have the fanatics been able to demonstrate that their approach can protect the dignity and enhance the prosperity of people better than liberal capitalism.

. . .

Closer to home, Hugo Chavez and his Axis of Anklebiters are descending towards farce. The economic success of Chile and Brazil cuts the ground out from under the “Bolivarean” caudillos. They may strut and prance on the stage, appear with Fidel on TV and draw a crowd by attacking the Yanquis, but the dream of uniting South America into a great anticapitalist, anti-U.S. bloc is as dead as Che Guevara.

So the geopolitics are favorable and the ideological climate is warming. But on a still-deeper level this is shaping up to be an even more American century than the last. The global game is moving towards America’s home court.

The great trend of this century is the accelerating and deepening wave of change sweeping through every element of human life.

. . .

This tsunami of change affects every society—and turbulent politics in so many countries make for a turbulent international environment.

. . .

This challenge will not go away. On the contrary: It has increased, and it will go on increasing through the rest of our time. The 19th century was more tumultuous than its predecessor; the 20th was more tumultuous still, and the 21st [century] will be the fastest, most exhilarating and most dangerous ride the world has ever seen.

Everybody is going to feel the stress, but the United States of America is better placed to surf this transformation than any other country. Change is our home field. It is who we are and what we do. Brazil may be the country of the future, but America is its hometown.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/TheFutureStillBelongstoAmerica.pdf (bold emphasis added); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”)

The only thing on the horizon that might dampen the American future that Professor Mead has described is a nation-ending EMP Attack, which might kill all except for 30 million Americans, and end any future that we might envision.

Query whether we are totally and absolutely protected against such an attack, or whether America’s “prince of darkness”—and its consummate narcissistic demagogue, “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite”—Barack Obama, is weakening our great nation’s military strength in ways that will dramatically change the course of history?

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/

. . .

In another important article entitled, “World power swings back to America”—and subtitled, “The American phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus”—the UK Telegraph‘s Ambrose Evans-Pritchard added:

Telegraph readers already know about the “shale gas revolution” that has turned America into the world’s number one producer of natural gas, ahead of Russia.

Less known is that the technology of hydraulic fracturing—breaking rocks with jets of water—will also bring a quantum leap in shale oil supply, mostly from the Bakken fields in North Dakota, Eagle Ford in Texas, and other reserves across the Mid-West.

“The US was the single largest contributor to global oil supply growth last year, with a net 395,000 barrels per day (b/d),” said Francisco Blanch from Bank of America, comparing the Dakota fields to a new North Sea.

Total US shale output is “set to expand dramatically” as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009.

The US already meets 72pc of its own oil needs, up from around 50pc a decade ago.

“The implications of this shift are very large for geopolitics, energy security, historical military alliances and economic activity. As US reliance on the Middle East continues to drop, Europe is turning more dependent and will likely become more exposed to rent-seeking behaviour from oligopolistic players,” said Mr Blanch.

Meanwhile, the China-US seesaw is about to swing the other way. Offshoring is out, ‘re-inshoring’ is the new fashion.

“Made in America, Again”—a report this month by Boston Consulting Group—said Chinese wage inflation running at 16pc a year for a decade has closed much of the cost gap. China is no longer the “default location” for cheap plants supplying the US.

A “tipping point” is near in computers, electrical equipment, machinery, autos and motor parts, plastics and rubber, fabricated metals, and even furniture.

“A surprising amount of work that rushed to China over the past decade could soon start to come back,” said BCG’s Harold Sirkin.

The gap in “productivity-adjusted wages” will narrow from 22pc of US levels in 2005 to 43pc (61pc for the US South) by 2015. Add in shipping costs, reliability woes, technology piracy, and the advantage shifts back to the US.

The list of “repatriates” is growing. Farouk Systems is bringing back assembly of hair dryers to Texas after counterfeiting problems; ET Water Systems has switched its irrigation products to California; Master Lock is returning to Milwaukee, and NCR is bringing back its ATM output to Georgia. NatLabs is coming home to Florida.

Boston Consulting expects up to 800,000 manufacturing jobs to return to the US by mid-decade, with a multiplier effect creating 3.2m in total. This would take some sting out of the Long Slump.

As Philadelphia Fed chief Sandra Pianalto said last week, US manufacturing is “very competitive” at the current dollar exchange rate. Whether intended or not, the Fed’s zero rates and $2.3 trillion printing blitz have brought matters to an abrupt head for China.

Fed actions confronted Beijing with a Morton’s Fork of ugly choices: revalue the yuan, or hang onto the mercantilist dollar peg and import a US monetary policy that is far too loose for a red-hot economy at the top of the cycle. Either choice erodes China’s wage advantage. The Communist Party chose inflation.

Foreign exchange effects are subtle. They take a long to time play out as old plant slowly runs down, and fresh investment goes elsewhere. Yet you can see the damage to Europe from an over-strong euro in foreign direct investment (FDI) data.

Flows into the EU collapsed by 63p from 2007 to 2010 (UNCTAD data), and fell by 77pc in Italy. Flows into the US rose by 5pc.

Volkswagen is investing $4bn in America, led by its Chattanooga Passat plant. Korea’s Samsung has begun a $20bn US investment blitz. Meanwhile, Intel, GM, and Caterpillar and other US firms are opting to stay at home rather than invest abroad.

Europe has only itself to blame for the current “hollowing out” of its industrial base. It craved its own reserve currency, without understanding how costly this “exorbitant burden” might prove to be.

China and the rising reserve powers have rotated a large chunk of their $10 trillion stash into EMU bonds to reduce their dollar weighting. The result is a euro too strong for half of EMU.

The European Central Bank has since made matters worse (for Italy, Spain, Portugal, and France) by keeping rates above those of the US, UK, and Japan. That has been a deliberate policy choice. It let real M1 deposits in Italy contract at a 7pc annual rate over the summer. May it live with the consequences.

The trade-weighted dollar has been sliding for a decade, falling 37pc since 2001. This roughly replicates the post-Plaza slide in the late 1980s, which was followed—with a lag—by 3pc of GDP shrinkage in the current account deficit. The US had a surplus by 1991.

Charles Dumas and Diana Choyleva from Lombard Street Research argue that this may happen again in their new book “The American Phoenix”.

The switch in advantage to the US is relative. It does not imply a healthy US recovery. The global depression will grind on as much of the Western world tightens fiscal policy and slowly purges debt, and as China deflates its credit bubble.

Yet America retains a pack of trump cards, and not just in sixteen of the world’s top twenty universities.

It is almost the only economic power with a fertility rate above 2.0—and therefore the ability to outgrow debt—in sharp contrast to the demographic decay awaiting Japan, China, Korea, Germany, Italy, and Russia.

Europe’s EMU soap opera has shown why it matters that America is a genuine nation, forged by shared language and the ancestral chords of memory over two centuries, with institutions that ultimately work and a real central bank able to back-stop the system.

The 21st Century may be American after all, just like the last.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8844646/World-power-swings-back-to-America.html (emphasis added)

It is noteworthy that Evans-Pritchard qualifies his predictions by saying that they will occur in “five years or so.” I concur that America has a very bright future ahead; however, this decade will be “dicey,” and it is difficult if not impossible to predict when there will be light at the end of the tunnel—or when the economic tsunami will have run its course and petered out. What we do know is that the Great Depression of the last century did not end until the onset of World War II, at the earliest; and this depression may last just as long.

Lastly, Russia will continue to be a pygmy when compared to the United States—in terms of America’s vibrant democracy, its growth, military power and economic strength, and all other indicia of global power. The same will be true, to a similar degree, with respect to China, although its future is much brighter than that of Russia.

See, e.g., http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2063117/U-S-Army-tests-hypersonic-weapon-travels-times-speed-sound–ANYWHERE-earth-30mins.html (“U.S. Army tests hypersonic weapon that travels five times the speed of sound… and can hit ANY target on earth in 30mins”)

Like

23 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Gorbachev: Putin Will Turn Russia Into An African-Style Tinpot Dictatorship

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

Vladimir Putin will turn Russia into an African-style tin pot dictatorship if he secures a new term as president, warned last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

If the ex-KGB spy stands and wins in March, he could stay in power for two six-year terms, meaning he would retire only at the age of 71 in 2024.

Gorbachev strongly urged Putin not to reclaim the presidency—which he held previously between 2000 and 2008—from his protege Dmitry Medvedev.

‘If you try to do everything in the country without taking the people into account, while imitating democracy, that will lead to a situation like in Africa where leaders sit and rule for 20 or 30 years,’ blasted Gorbachev, the man who dismantled the authoritarian Soviet Union.

He warned that Putin’s inner circle were bent on centralising power and even advocating dictatorship.

But he urged that Putin and his cronies from St Petersburg should now step aside—’it would be better’.

It was time for rulers from ‘the worst, most amoral, most cynical’ generation, raised in Soviet times, to handover to more democratic successors.

‘More than anything else, I am worried about our electoral system, how they’re whittling it away,’ he said.

‘It reminds me of when we were at school and there was a joke about someone balancing an uneven chair by slightly sawing down one leg and then another until there are no legs left.’

He warned: ‘The Petersburg project in Russia is over. It has run its course.’

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2017783/Russia-turn-African-style-tinpot-dictatorship-Putin-wins-term-president-warns-Gorbachev.html (emphasis added)

Like

24 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Will The Euro Crisis Will Give Germany The Empire It Has Always Dreamed Of?

This issue is discussed in an excellent and very sobering article by Peter Oborne, the UK Telegraph’s chief political commentator, which states in pertinent part as follows:

There was one crucial message from yesterday’s shambolic and panicky eurozone summit: today’s predicament contains terrifying parallels with the situation that prevailed 80 years ago [when Wall Street embarked on a second and even more shattering period of decline, by the end of which shares were worth barely 10 per cent of their value at their peak], although the problem lies (at this stage, at least) with the debt rather than the equity markets.

After the catastrophe of 2008, many believed and argued—as others did in 1929—that it was a one-off event, which could readily be put right by the ingenuity of experts. The truth is sadly different. The aftermath of that financial debacle, like the economic downturn after 1929, falls into a special category. Most recessions are part of the normal, healthy functioning of any market economy—a good example is the downturn of the late 1980s. But in rare cases, they are far more sinister, because their underlying cause is a structural imbalance which cannot be solved by conventional means.

Such recessions, which tend to associated with catastrophic financial events, are dangerous because they herald a long period of economic dislocation and collapse. Their consequences stretch deep into the realm of politics and social life. Indeed, the 1929 crash sparked a decade of economic failure around much of the world, helping bring the Weimar Republic to its knees and easing the way for the rise of German fascism.

The faith of leading European politicians and bankers in monetary union, a system of financial government whose origins can be traced back to the set of temporary political circumstances in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, and which was brought to bear without serious economic analysis, is essentially irrational. Indeed, in many ways, the euro bears comparison to the gold standard. Back in 1929, politicians and central bankers assumed that the convertibility of national currencies into gold (defined by the economist John Maynard Keynes as a “barbaric relic”) was a law of nature, like gravity. European politicians have developed the same superstitious attachment to the single currency. They are determined to persist with it, no matter what suffering it causes, or however brutal its economic and social consequences.

There is only one way of sustaining this policy, as the International Monetary Fund argued ahead of yesterday’s summit in Brussels . . . the only conceivable salvation for the eurozone is to impose greater fiscal integration among member states.

. . .

By authorising a huge expansion in the bail-out fund that is propping up the EU’s peripheral members (largely in order to stop the contagion spreading to Italy and Spain), the eurozone has taken the decisive step to becoming a fiscal union. So long as the settlement is accepted by national parliaments, yesterday will come to be seen as the witching hour after which Europe will cease to be, except vestigially, a collection of nation states. It will have one economic government, one currency, one foreign policy. This integration will be so complete that taxpayers in the more prosperous countries will be expected to pay for the welfare systems and pension plans of failing EU states.

This is the final realisation of the dream that animated the founders of the Common Market more than half a century ago—which is one reason why so many prominent Europeans have privately welcomed the eurozone catastrophe, labelling it a “beneficial crisis”. David Cameron and George Osborne have both indicated that they, too, welcome this fundamental change in the nature and purpose of the European project. The markets have rallied strongly, hailing what is being seen as the best chance of a resolution to the gruelling and drawn-out crisis.

It is conceivable that yesterday’s negotiations may indeed save the eurozone—but it is worth pausing to consider the consequences of European fiscal union. First, it will mean the economic destruction of most of the southern European countries. Indeed, this process is already far advanced. Thanks to their membership of the eurozone, peripheral countries such as Greece and Portugal—and to an increasing extent Spain and Italy—are undergoing a process of forcible deindustrialisation. Their economic sovereignty has been obliterated; they face a future as vassal states, their role reduced to the one enjoyed by the European colonies of the 19th and early 20th centuries. They will provide cheap labour, raw materials, agricultural produce and a ready market for the manufactured goods and services provided by the far more productive and efficient northern Europeans. Their political leaders will, like the hapless George Papandreou of Greece, lose all political legitimacy, becoming local representatives of distant powers who are forced to implement economic programmes from elsewhere in return for massive financial subventions.

While these nations relapse into pre-modern economic systems, Germany is busy turning into one of the most dynamic and productive economies in the world. Despite the grumbling, for the Germans, the bail-outs are worth every penny, because they guarantee a cheap outlet for their manufactured goods. Yesterday’s witching hour of the European Union means that Germany has come very close to realising Bismarck’s dream of an economic empire stretching from central Europe to the Eastern Mediterranean.

History has seen many attempts to unify Europe, from the Habsburgs to the Bourbons and Napoleon. This attempt is likely to fail, too. Indeed, a paradox is at work here. The founders of the European Union were driven by a vision of a peaceful new world after a century of war. Yet nothing could have been more calculated to create civil disorder and national resistance than yesterday’s demented move to salvage the single currency.

See http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peteroborne/100098260/this-crisis-will-give-germany-the-empire-its-always-dreamed-of/ (emphasis added); see also http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/c087c30e-b3be-11e0-855b-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1Smxa2CKN (“Athens’ ability to stay course in doubt”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/8653579/Europe-steps-up-to-the-plate.html (“Europe’s economic recovery is sputtering out”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/8656572/Eurozone-debt-crisis-Europes-politicians-will-be-punished-for-a-deal-dripping-with-moral-hazard.html (“At some point the Germans will realise that the package is a thinly-veiled fiscal union which makes the transfers they funnelled into East Germany look like small change, and they will revolt at the ballot boxes”)

. . .

There are those who preach the tenets of creating a global government; and they maintain that the constitution of a new world order is essential to maintain democracy. Also, they contend that the regulation of the economy by a global financial institution can be a solution to the financial crisis that began in 2007, and such an institution would be a first step towards the creation of a global government, of which the European Union is an illustration.

Barack Obama agrees with this; and it is among the many reasons why he must not be reelected next year. Indeed, he will “retreat” either to Chicago or Hawaii no later than January of 2013, to lick his political wounds and write his memoirs, and work full time on his golf scores and his presidential library.

“Global governance” is pure and utter nonsense. Indeed, lots of Americans would gladly get rid of the UN, and ship it to France or elsewhere in Europe, and let the French or other Europeans pay for it. Global governance is “Mary Poppins-esque” and/or “Alice in Wonderland-esque.”

Americans do not want Germany or France participating in the governance of anything relating to the United States, any more than Hitler’s Germany should have done it. This is among the reasons why World War II was fought by the United States. America’s history abhors “meddling” in our affairs, which is exactly what global governance entails, and much much more. A majority of Americans might be willing to give up their lives fighting to insure that this never happens.

France did not win World War II. Americans saved Frenchmen from “enslavement” by the Germans. But for the United States, the French might be speaking German today as their “native” tongue. Indeed, a German-American—Dwight David Eisenhower—destroyed Hitler and his monstrous “Thousand-Year Reich.” France did not do it. France was flat on its pathetic back.

The United States has real enemies in this world today, who want to destroy us (e.g., China’s military, Putin and his Stalinist thugs in Russia, North Korea, Islamic fascists). We cannot rely on France or Europe to defend us—militarily, economically or in any other way. Indeed, France and Germany are perhaps the last countries in the world to preach to the United States about democracy. Americans have given their lives for it. France has only “talked” about it.

Lastly, Americans are not about to trust their survival, the survival and national security of our great country, and our freedoms and democracy to France or Germany, two countries that lost World War II.

Like

27 07 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Putin Is America’s Enemy, And The West Must Bring Down His Stalinist Regime That Is Increasingly Focused On Domination, And Replace It With A Democratic Nation That Lives At Peace With The World

The latest atrocities involve a Russian attack on America’s embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Washington Times has reported:

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in a classified report late last year that Russia’s military intelligence was responsible for a bomb blast that occurred at an exterior wall of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, in September.

The highly classified report about the Sept. 22 incident was described to The Washington Times by two U.S. officials who have read it. They said the report supports the findings of the Georgian Interior Ministry, which traced the bombing to a Russian military intelligence officer.

The Times reported last week that Shota Utiashvili, director of information and analysis for the Georgian Interior Ministry, said the embassy blast and others in his country were the work of a Russian military intelligence officer named Maj. Yevgeny Borisov.

“It is written without hedges, and it confirms the Georgian account,” said one U.S. official familiar with the U.S. intelligence report.

This official added that it specifically says the Russian military intelligence, or GRU, coordinated the bombings.

. . .

In 2008, Russian troops invaded the Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after skirmishes broke out between Georgian and Russian forces in South Ossetia. To this day, Russian troops remain in the provinces.

The report was drafted by the CIA and had input from the entire U.S. intelligence community. It examined the blast at the embassy as well as the string of bombings that have rocked Georgia since last summer.

The report was completed in December, and members and staff of the House and Senate intelligence committees were briefed on it in January.

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/26/us-report-russia-tied-to-embassy-blast/

The U.S. State Department is a joke, and this has been true for many years. The idea that “the embassy bombing and other alleged bombings . . . have been raised with the Russians at a high level” is absurd. However, the State Department’s reaction gets even worse: “It’s not necessarily pointing a finger, but part of a dialogue expressing our deep concerns.”

Russia’s attack on our embassy was an act of war, and nothing less. The Pentagon and our intelligence agencies should be handling this matter. They know how to teach Putin’s Russians “sobering” lessons that they will never forget.

In a separate article entitled, “Russia threatens to wreck the reset,” it is reported:

Russia has threatened the Obama administration that it will end cooperation on Iran and prevent the transfer of material to Afghanistan if Congress passes a law criticizing Russian human rights practices.

The White House argues that the U.S.-Russian “reset” of relations has had three positive results: the New START nuclear reductions treaty, Moscow’s cooperation in sanctioning Iran, and approval (for a price) for U.S. military goods to transit Russian territory on the way to Afghanistan. But Russia is now using two of those three points as leverage to pressure the administration to get Congress not to pass a bill that would ban visas for Russian officials implicated in human rights crimes.

The legislation, called the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2011, is named after the anti-corruption lawyer who was tortured and died in a Russian prison in 2009. The bill targets his captors, as well as any other Russian officials “responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of human rights.”

The administration admitted the Russian threats in its official comments on the bill. . . . The Washington Post first reported the existence of the administration’s comments today and led with the news that the State Department has quietly put Russian officials connected with the Magnitsky killing on a visa blacklist.

The blacklist appears to be a way for the administration to preempt further legislation. “Secretary Clinton has taken steps to ban individuals associated with the wrongful death of Sergey Magnitskiy from traveling to the United States. The Administration, therefore, does not see the need for this additional legislation,” the administration said in its comments.

But in fact, the current bill no longer just includes officials connected to the Magnitsky case. The Senate version of the bill includes officials connected to a range of human rights cases in Russia, including the case of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an imprisoned Russian dissident.

. . .

Meanwhile, the administration has another problem with the reset—it must find a way to get Congress to repeal the 1974 “Jackson-Vanik” law, which was imposed to penalize the Soviet Union for its treatment of Jewish emigrants. That law stands in the way of designating Russia Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status, which is part of Moscow’s bid to join the WTO.

. . .

It’s extremely doubtful that the GOP-led House would grant Russia PNTR status no matter what, meaning that the Magnitsky Act’s value as a bargaining chip may be minimal. Either way, it’s clear that the Obama administration places great value on maintaining the gains of the reset and doesn’t want anything to get in the way.

See http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/07/26/russia_threatens_to_wreck_the_reset (emphasis in original)

First, there never should have been a “reset” in relations with Putin and the other thugs in his murderous regime. America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite,” Obama—who would do everything in his power to weaken our military if he could get away with it—must be held responsible for this and other disastrous policy changes since the presidency of George W. Bush.

Second, once again, the Pentagon and our intelligence agencies know how to teach Putin’s Russians lessons that they will never forget; and this should be done on a variety of fronts globally.

Third, at the very least, Russia’s membership in the World Trade Organization must be blocked by the United States; Jackson-Vanik must not be repealed; and the New START Treaty must become null and void no later than January of 2013, when Barack Obama’s failed presidency ends and the new Republican president is sworn into office. George W. Bush withdrew from the ABM Treaty, which had expressly prevented major advances in missile defense. The next GOP administration must withdraw from the New START Treaty as soon as it comes to power.

. . .

Among the other news cascading from Putin’s Russia is that it plans to sink the International Space Station, which American taxpayers paid for:

Russia’s space agency announced Wednesday that the International Space Station—a space base the world’s scientists and billions of U.S. tax dollars helped build and maintain some 200 miles above the surface of the Earth—will be de-orbited and allowed to sink into the Pacific Ocean in 2020, just like its Russian predecessor, Mir.

“We will be forced to sink the ISS. We cannot leave it in orbit as it is a very complicated and a heavy object,” Roscosmos’ deputy head Vitaly Davydov said in an interview posted on the agency’s website.

. . .

After sinking hundreds of millions into construction of the space station—billions if you include the cost of the space shuttle flights that carried the ISS modules into orbit—knowledgeable government sources and NASA spokesmen were aghast at Davydov’s plans to sink the station in the ocean.

. . .

NASA agreed to construct the International Space Station on January 29, 1998, in conjunction with representatives from Canada, members of the European Space Agency (ESA), and Japanese and Russian space scientists. And the space agency clearly has a different vision for the station than Russia.

“The partnership is currently working to certify on-orbit elements through 2028,” NASA spokesman Joshua Buck told FoxNews.com.

Buck noted that an international panel including the U.S. and Russia met in March to evaluate the future of the space station. They identified no constraints on continuing operation through 2020—and at the time, emphasized their common intent to continue operation of the world’s first space base into the next decade.

. . .

The Roscosmos comments come a day after the U.S. space agency met with the International board managing the ISS—the most politically complex space exploration program ever undertaken—to discuss not the end of the base but how to use it as a test bed for future tech and science projects.

NASA characterized the meeting dramatically differently, noting that potential future projects about the station include supporting voyages to an asteroid or Mars, or assisting in the development of a permanent base on the moon.

The space station represents a massive, worldwide accomplishment, spanning an area the size of a football field. It has been continuously occupied for nearly 11 years, and has travelled more than 1.5 billion miles—the equivalent of eight round trips to the Sun—over the course of 57,361 orbits around the Earth, NASA notes.

Deorbiting the station in 2020 simply hasn’t been discussed at all, knowledgeable sources told FoxNews.com.

. . .

Meanwhile, China moves ahead with plans for a competing space station of its own. China has an ambitious, decade-long plan beginning with the Tiangong-1 module the country plans to launch this year, which will culminate in a large space station around 2020.

See http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/07/27/russia-plans-to-sink-international-space-station-in-2020/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That”) (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

. . .

Next, it has been reported:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is close to a decision to bid for the presidency in an election next year because he has doubts about his protege, President Dmitry Medvedev, senior political sources say.

Putin ruled as president from 2000 to 2008 before handing over to Medvedev to comply with a constitutional ban on a third consecutive term. He will be free to run in the March presidential election.

Putin, 58, and Medvedev, 45, have repeatedly refused to say which of them will run but as Russia’s paramount leader, officials and diplomats say the decision is Putin’s.

. . .

The source said Putin had been troubled by the perception that his protege, whom he has known for more than two decades, did not have sufficient support among the political and business elite or the electorate to ensure stability if he pushed ahead with plans for political reform.

“Putin has much more support from the people than Medvedev. Medvedev has overestimated his weight inside the system,” he said.

Another highly placed source who declined to be identified said: “Putin wants to return, really wants to return.”

The source said an attempt by Medvedev to assert his authority in recent months had unsettled Putin, but the two leaders communicated well on a regular basis.

. . .

Most officials and foreign diplomats believe that, as the ultimate arbiter between the powerful clans that make up the Russian elite, Putin will have the final say on who will run in 2012.

As Russia’s most popular politician and leader of the ruling party, Putin would be almost certain to win a newly extended six-year term if he decided to return to the presidency.

He could also then run again for another term from 2018 to 2024, a quarter of a century since he rose to power in late 1999. He would turn 72 on Oct. 7, 2024.

See http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/27/russia-election-idUSLDE76Q0G920110727

There is absolutely no question that Russian despot Putin’s repression continues, while he and Barack Obama endorse each other. They are birds of a feather.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1664

. . .

Lastly, in an article entitled, “Putin says U.S. is a ‘parasite’ on global economy,” Reuters reported:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States Monday of living beyond its means “like a parasite” on the global economy and said dollar dominance was a threat to the financial markets.

“They are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy,” Putin told a Kremlin youth group while touring its summer camp north of Moscow.

“They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar.”

. . .

Putin, who has often criticized the United States’ foreign exchange policy, noted that Russia holds a large amount of U.S. bonds and treasuries.

“If over there (in America) there is a systemic malfunction, this will affect everyone,” Putin told the young Russians.

“Countries like Russia and China hold a significant part of their reserves in American securities … There should be other reserve currencies.”

U.S.-Russian relations soured during Vladimir Putin’s 2000-2008 presidency but have warmed significantly under President Barack Obama, who took office in 2009 promising a “reset” in bilateral ties.

See http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/01/us-russia-putin-usa-idUSTRE77052R20110801

As soon as Obama is gone, which will be no later than January of 2013, the so-called “reset” must be reset again, with Russia under Putin’s murderous regime being recognized for what it truly has become. Like Osama bin Laden, Putin is an enemy of the United States who should be terminated.

Like

5 08 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Again, Putin Must Be Terminated

Putin the killer

In an article entitled, “Russia uses dirty tricks despite U.S. ‘reset,’” the Washington Times reported:

In the past four years, Russia’s intelligence services have stepped up a campaign of intimidation and dirty tricks against U.S. officials and diplomats in Russia and the countries that used to form the Soviet Union.

U.S. diplomats and officials have found their homes broken into and vandalized, or altered in ways as trivial as bathroom use; faced anonymous or veiled threats; and in some cases found themselves set up in compromising photos or videos that are later leaked to the local press and presented as a sex scandal.

“The point was to show that ‘we can get to you where you sleep,’” one U.S. intelligence officer told The Washington Times. “It’s a psychological kind of attack.”

Despite a stated policy from President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of warm U.S.-Russian ties, the campaign of intelligence intimidation—or what the CIA calls “direct action”—has persisted throughout what both sides have called a “reset” in the relations.

They have become worse in just the past year, some U.S. officials said. Also, their targets are broadening to include human rights workers and nongovernmental organizations as well as embassy staff.

The most brazen example of this kind of intimidation was the Sept. 22 bombing attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia. A National Intelligence Council assessment sent to Congress last week confirmed that the bombing was ordered by Maj. Yevgeny Borisov of Russian military intelligence, said four U.S. officials who have read the report.

False rape charge

One example of such intimidation occurred in 2009 against a senior U.S. official in the Moscow office of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the congressionally funded nongovernmental organization that promotes democracy throughout the world. The Times has withheld the name of the official at the request of NDI.

According to a Jan. 30, 2009, cable from U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle disclosed by WikiLeaks, USAID employees received an email with a doctored photo of the NDI official reclining with an underage girl.

The email from someone purporting to be a Russian citizen accused the official of raping her 9-year-old daughter.

In the cable, Mr. Beyrle said the embassy thought the Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) was behind the smear attack, which also appeared in Russian newspapers. The FSB is the successor agency of the Soviet-era KGB.

. . .

Former Sen. Christopher S. Bond, who served as the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence between 2007 and 2010, said he had raised the issue of Russian intimidation of U.S. diplomats with the Obama administration.

“We are concerned about the acts of intimidation as well as their record on previous agreements and other activities,” Mr. Bond said. “It’s a real concern, I’ve raised it. It’s not the intelligence committee that fails to understand the problem. It’s the Obama administration.”

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/aug/4/russia-uses-dirty-tricks-despite-us-reset/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1748

I know this happens, because it happened to me on at least one occasion when an intelligence agent from a Soviet-bloc country threatened me.

Barack Obama has been naïve, a total fool and a feckless naïf to believe that he could deal with Putin, and trust him in any respect. Indeed, Putin must be laughing at what an utter buffoon and how pathetic Obama truly is.

This is among the many reasons why Obama must be removed from the American presidency no later than January of 2013, and sent packing either to Chicago or Hawaii to write his memoirs, and work full time on his presidential library.

It cannot happen fast enough for the good of the United States and the American people!

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/ (“Barack Obama Is A Lame-Duck President Who Will Not Be Reelected”) (see also the footnotes and comments beneath the article)

Like

14 08 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Russian Police Disperse Anti-Putin Demonstrators

Press TV in Iran has reported:

Russian police have dispersed anti-Putin demonstrators that gathered near the Kremlin in Moscow on a “Day of Wrath,” detaining 30 protesters.

Russian authorities had denied permission to rally on Friday, and suggested a different venue, but members of a radical opposition group began their march to the presidential administration building to hand over their demands, chanting “Elections are a farce” and “Russia without Putin,” a Press TV correspondent reported from Moscow.

See http://www.presstv.ir/detail/193692.html; see also http://www.theotherrussia.org/2011/08/13/day-of-wrath-unshockingly-quashed-by-police/

Again, Putin must be terminated. He is simply a “smoother” version of Stalin and Hitler before him.

See, http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1766; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-589 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-911 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-928 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-955 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1017 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1079 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1203 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1245 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1332 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1664 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1748

Like

24 09 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

Dictator-For-Life Putin Follows In The Footsteps Of Stalin, Hitler And Mao

Putin's bloated face

Russia’s murderous ex-KGB thug, Putin, will be “running” for the Russian presidency in 2012, ensuring his return to the office he held for eight years and foreshadowing 12 more years of his dictatorial, authoritarian rule.

The AP has reported—in a USA Today-published article:

Because constitutional changes have extended the presidential term to six years from four, Putin’s power is likely to be even more enhanced. If he wins two terms in a row, Putin will have been atop the Russian hierarchy for almost a quarter century.

. . .

Despite apparently growing discontent among ordinary Russians with the party, United Russia exerts such an overwhelming presence in the country’s politics that Putin’s election and Medvedev’s switch to the premiership is virtually ensured.

Not only have genuine opposition parties been marginalized, but Putin’s personal popularity is immense among Russians who laud him as the strong and decisive figure needed by a sprawling country troubled by corruption, an Islamist insurgency and a vast gap between the impoverished and the grandiosely super-rich.

. . .

Putin started a carefully orchestrated series of manuevers at Saturday’s session of the party congress by proposing that Medvedev head the party list for the December elections. Medvedev then proposed that Putin be the party’s presidential candidate, and Putin returned to the stage to accept the proposal and express support for Medvedev as prime minister.

. . .

Moving Medvedev to the premiership could set him up to take the brunt of criticism for austerity measures that Putin has warned will be necessary for Russia amid global economic turmoil.

See http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2011-09-24/Russia-Putin-presidential-run/50536672/1; see also http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/ea4f7162-e69c-11e0-8c5e-00144feab49a.html#axzz1Yo6tkjVn (“This scenario is the worst of all for Russia. This means a new wave of emigration, a new outflow of money abroad, the destruction of the state and the further enrichment of Putin’s friends. . . . This will lead to a new confrontation with the rest of the world. The world is not going to support such an authoritarian course”—”Without political liberalisation there will be a collapse”) and http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2011/09/russias-presidency (“[T]he whole thing is a farce”) and http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/23/russia-targeting-western-diplomats (“Russian spy agency targeting western diplomats—FSB using psychological techniques developed by KGB to intimidate and demoralise diplomatic staff, activists and journalists”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1794 and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8802732/PIC-AND-PUB-PLS-Leaked-document-reveals-plans-to-eliminate-Russias-enemies-overseas.html (“Russia ‘gave agents licence to kill’ enemies of the state”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2045186/Vladimir-Putin-Eurasian-Union-plans-raise-fears-return-Cold-War-days.html#comments (“Back to the USSR? Putin raises fears of return to Cold War days with plans for ‘Eurasian Union’ of former Soviet states”)

. . .

Look carefully at Putin’s bloated face, in the photo above, and in another recent photo too.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1664

He has undergone plastic surgery and/or Botox treatments, and looks more and more like an embalmed Lenin. This may be where he is heading, but not fast enough.

He has become a puffy-faced “dictator-for-life,” following in the footsteps of Stalin, Hitler and Mao.

The article in the UK’s Economist cited above is correct: “[T]he whole thing is a farce”—in exactly the same vein that Stalin, Hitler and Mao were tragic, despicable, blood-thirsty “farces.”

What the article neglected to mention, however, are the killings with respect to which Putin is responsible, with many more to come. Yet, Obama and the West look on, passively and pathetically.

Putin is a brutal killer who must be terminated. While his numbers do not equal those of Stalin, Hitler and Mao thus far, his ruthlessness is every bit as much as theirs. What he has done to the Chechens, Georgians and other opponents is what Stalin, Hitler and Mao did to their opponents.

Indeed, AP has reported:

Gen. Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, cautioned over NATO’s expansion eastward and warned that the risks for Russia to be pulled into local conflicts have “risen sharply.”

Makarov added, according to Russian news agencies, that “under certain conditions local and regional conflicts may develop into a full-scale war involving nuclear weapons.”

A steady decline in Russia’s conventional forces has prompted the Kremlin to rely increasingly on its nuclear deterrent.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russias-military-chief-potential-conflicts-near-russian-borders-may-grow-into-nuclear-war/2011/11/17/gIQAWQTJUN_story.html (“Russia’s military chief warns that heightened risks of conflict near borders may turn nuclear”) (emphasis added)

This is more saber-rattling by Putin’s pygmy state, as he and his lackeys desperately try to regain the “glories” of Russia’s bygone days, during the reign of the Soviet Union and the murderous, Hitler-esque Stalin.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin’s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao’s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”); see also http://news.yahoo.com/medvedev-russia-may-target-missile-defense-sites-123047622.html (Medvedev Warns: Russia may target US missile sites) and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15869047 (“The crowd booed the previously untouchable prime minister [Putin] as he started to speak”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8917352/Garry-Kasparov-Putins-just-like-Al-Capone.html (Garry Kasparov: “You can no longer pretend: it’s Putin’s lifetime dictatorship” and “[t]he regime will collapse and it might be much sooner than anyone expects”) and http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/04/us-russia-election-idUSTRE7B019B20111204 (“Russian voters deal Putin an election blow”) and http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/12/05/russia-election-protest-idINDEE7B40KG20111205 (“Thousands protests against Putin after Russia vote”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8937543/Troops-deployed-on-Moscow-streets-after-Russia-election-protests.html (“Troops deployed on Moscow streets after Russia election protests”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8935855/Vladimir-Putin-the-gremlin-in-the-Kremlin.html (“[T]housands of people took to the streets of Moscow last night in one of the biggest demonstrations against Mr Putin in recent years. . . . ‘People have understood that the king has no clothes‘”) and http://news.yahoo.com/mikhail-gorbachev-calls-vote-russia-120940655.html (“Mikhail Gorbachev calls for a new vote in Russia”) and http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/10/world/europe/russia-protests/index.html?hpt=hp_t2 (“‘Putin Out,’ Russian protesters chant”)

Putin=Hitler

In a Newsweek article entitled, “In Decline, Putin’s Russia Is On Its Way to Global Irrelevance”—and subtitled, “Russia—who cares? With its rampant voter fraud and declining population, the country is careening toward irrelevance”—Niall Ferguson, a professor of history at Harvard University, has written:

The news last week was the poor showing of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party in the elections to the Russian Parliament, the Duma. Despite widespread electoral irregularities, the governing party won less than half the vote. State television, notoriously the propaganda arm of United Russia, showed results in which the total percentage of votes cast exceeded 128 percent. . . .

The Western media excitedly covered protests in Moscow, where the vote rigging was especially egregious. The government crushed these demonstrations, deploying the Interior Ministry’s Dzerzhinsky Division. It’s amazing to me that such a thing even exists: Felix Dzerzhinsky was Lenin’s butcher during the Russian Civil War, the first director of the dreaded Bolshevik secret police, the Cheka.

. . .

Russia isn’t quite “Upper Volta with missiles”—West German chancellor Helmut Schmidt’s immortal phrase. But it’s certainly a shadow of its former Cold War self. The U.S. economy is 10 times larger than Russia’s. Per capita gross domestic product is not much higher than in Turkey. Male life expectancy is significantly lower: 63, compared with 71 on the other side of the Black Sea. And the population is shrinking. There are nearly 7 million fewer Russians today than there were in 1992. By 2055, the United Nations estimates that the population of Egypt will be larger.

. . .

Putin used to think Russia’s vast reserves of natural gas and oil—24 and 6 percent of the global total, respectively—entitled him to act like a global Don Corleone, making offers that trembling energy importers couldn’t refuse. News just in: there is so much untapped oil and refining capacity in North America that the U.S. is about to become a net exporter of petroleum products for the first time in 62 years. And by 2017 Kurdish and Caucasian natural gas should be flowing to Europe via Turkey’s Nabucco pipeline, ending the stranglehold of Russia’s Gazprom on the EU market.

. . . Russian public life remains horribly, and perhaps incurably, deformed by 70 years of communist rule.

See http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/12/11/in-decline-putin-s-russia-is-on-its-way-to-global-irrelevance.html

. . .

The Economist has an important article, which concludes with a poignant and sobering vision:

. . . Russia now looks as vulnerable to shock as the Soviet Union was at the end of its days. The big difference, however, is that the Soviet Union had a clear structure and, in Mikhail Gorbachev, a leader who was not prepared to defend himself with force. Today’s circumstances are very different.

Ominous, but realistic. Putin is prepared to defend himself with force, and will likely fight to his death.

See http://www.economist.com/node/21541444

Like

12 12 2011
Timothy D. Naegele

No more Putin!

“Death To Putin”

This is the chant and the rising chorus that may occur with increasing frequency and volume in the days and months to come, just as the same thing happened with respect to Italy’s Benito Mussolini, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. Indeed, Putin might share a fate similar to theirs, with no mercy being shown—and Russians and others may rejoice that justice will have been rendered finally.

As my article above points out, Putin has been responsible for the deaths of countless Russians and others already, some of whom have been identified, and others not. Like Hitler, Stalin and Mao before him, we may never know the full extent of Putin’s barbarism, such as his activities as a KGB operative in the DDR.

What he has done to journalists alone is worth citing—in an effort to silence his critics since his reign of terror began:

The dangers to journalists in Russia have been well known since the early 1990s but concern at the number of unsolved killings soared after Anna Politkovskaya’s murder in Moscow on 7 October 2006. While international monitors spoke of several dozen deaths, some sources within Russia talked of over two hundred fatalities. The evidence has since been examined and documented in two reports, published in Russian and English, by international organizations.

А wide-ranging investigation by the International Federation of Journalists into the deaths of journalists in Russia was published in June 2009. At the same time the IFJ launched an online database which documents over three hundred deaths and disappearances since 1993.

. . .

In its September 2009 report the Committee to Protect Journalists repeated its conclusion that Russia was one of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists. . . .

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_journalists_killed_in_Russia

. . .

Russian opposition leader Garry Kasparov’s speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. bears on these issues, which stated in part:

Georgia is currently under great pressure from the US and others to allow Russia to join the World Trade Organization, despite two large pieces of Georgian sovereign territory being occupied by Russian forces.

Many in the media and even some governments refer to Abkhazia and South Ossetia as “disputed territories,” not occupied, ignoring the fact they were taken by military force. . . . Despite heavy pressure from Putin’s Russia, Georgia has remained staunchly pro-democratic and pro-western, and yet it appears that getting Russia into the WTO is of greater importance to [the Obama] administration that protecting the rights and territory of an ally.

Putin’s administration has been quick to boast of this success, celebrating how they kept Georgia and Ukraine out of NATO. WTO membership will be another feather in this cap. Putin is making no concessions on Georgia and so far, his belief that doing business with Russia will trump protecting Georgia seems well founded. Even when a series of terror bombings in Tbilisi were tied to Russian intelligence, Hillary Clinton only politely hinted at this atrocity, at least in public. This is just the sort of display of weakness, a fear of public confrontation, that feeds the sense of impunity that has empowered dictators throughout history. The American “reset” policy with Russia began right after the Russian-Georgian war, spitting on the deal negotiated by Sarkozy and giving a clear indication of the Obama administration’s priorities in the region.

I have no qualms about using that word, “dictator” when referring to Vladimir Putin, and nor should anyone else at this point. What has been clear to the Russian opposition for a decade should now be clear to any casual observer. Putin has no intention of ever giving up power. That Russia has these spectacles they call elections does not change anything.

. . .

Here in the US your elections have fixed rules and unpredictable results. In Russia we have unpredictable rules and fixed results!

No new political parties have been registered in Russia since 2004. Putin’s United Russia controls every step of the process: registration of parties, finances, campaigning, the media, and, of course, the counting. With every avenue of political opposition shut down, the regime has turned to closing off every form of public protest as well. In our marches, we are frequently outnumbered by riot police ten to one. Putin understands force, and makes an overwhelming show of force whenever he has the chance.

. . .

In Moscow and St. Petersburg in particular, the voice of the opposition is rarely if ever allowed at all in public. Last week, Medvedev spoke at the Moscow State University journalism department, the famous zhurfak. Except Medvedev did not speak to University students there. The 300 members of the audience had all been brought in from outside groups loyal to the Kremlin while the actual students were no allowed to attend. Three students, three brave girls, who did try to get into the event were detained.

. . .

And please don’t tell me about Putin’s supposed popularity in Russia as a way of diminishing his oppression of the Russian people. . . . Not long ago, Hosni Mubarak enjoyed 90% approval in last December’s elections. Qaddafi was probably near 100%! The high price of oil allows Putin to make payoffs and to increase the budget for internal security forces and propaganda, even while the economic infrastructure collapses. If you must do business with Putin’s Russia, that is business. But do not provide him with democratic credentials.

The systematic destruction of Russia’s nascent democracy by Putin has increased its pace in recent years. This acceleration took place as soon as Putin realized he would face no real opposition in the West, no matter how many journalists were killed, how many activists were jailed, how many times gas to Europe was shut off. Here in the West there is a tragic assumption that dictators follow the same political logic as exists in democracies. In return, Putin’s mentality has always been that democracy in the West is just another form of control, a successful model of keeping people in line. That is, he doesn’t believe it is really about the power of the people or representation, but that the object is to make people think they have a voice, which makes them easier to control.

. . .

Putin is happy to trade some small chips, things he doesn’t really care about, as long as he concedes nothing on the things that really matter to him and his allies. He gives you something in Afghanistan and maybe you do not complain about rigged elections. . . . Putin was a KGB lieutenant-colonel and you can view his regime’s history as a series of case files.

Most of you will be familiar with the famous cases of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his company Yukos. Eight years ago, on this very date, Yukos chairman Khodorkovsky was arrested and jailed. The richest man in Russia was sentenced to eight years, and would have been freed today had the Kremlin not decided to invent further charges against him in 2007, then this year finally sentencing him for another 12 years. In 2003 he was imprisoned for not paying taxes on the oil his company sold. This year, the charges were that he had stolen the oil he was arrested for not paying taxes on! Yukos was dismantled, its assets quickly sold off to Putin’s cronies, and the money cleaned with a western IPO. Now Exxon has been brought in to share the benefits in an Arctic exploration deal with Rosneft, the main protagonist in the looting of Yukos. And by the way, this troubling collusion of American companies does not end with oil. There are serious concerns that the Kremlin is pressuring Microsoft to hand over the encryption keys to their popular online communication service Skype. We in the opposition in Russia, and those resisting many other dictatorships around the world, rely on Skype for our only secure communications.

And you know Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen warlord who boasted of killing his first Russian soldier at the age of 15, now put in charge of the devastated region by Putin. Kadyrov’s agents have assassinated his enemies in other Russian cities as well as on foreign soil. It is hard to compare what Putin has done to the Russian Caucasus to anything else anywhere. He is not interested in attempting to better integrate these peoples, who are, after all, Russian citizens. Putin only wishes to ensure that the unrest does not affect the flow of money into the Kremlin.

And Operation: Reset, what a great KGB success! You thought it was an American plan, but that is why it has been so effective. You have been kept busy with working groups, summits, and other superficialities while Putin changes nothing. The most successful part of it has been Operation: Medvedev. It was a variation of the old Soviet game, letting the West think there is a chance of promoting moderates, of a rift in the hierarchy. Putin’s announcement that he would be reclaiming the presidency makes it clear it was always the trick many of us said it was, that Medvedev has never been anything more than a shadow.

But the US spent considerable time trying to strengthen the supposed Medvedev faction, dreaming about a split between Putin and Medvedev, fantasizing about liberal reform despite all evidence to the contrary. A very successful operation indeed.

The success of Putin’s Magnitsky operation is not yet guaranteed, and you here in this room have a say about its success or failure. The young Russian attorney, active against the Putin administration, died in police custody on November 16, 2009, just days before the one year he could be held without trial was due to expire. He had been tortured and denied visits and medical treatment. There was an impressively impassioned reaction to this horror both inside Russia and abroad. But two years later, we are seeing Russia’s success at watering down these responses on the international front.

. . .

The minions and the oligarchs are loyal to Putin because he is the capo di tutti capi and he offers them protection. They can commit any crimes they like in Russia, but as long as they stay loyal they can get rich and take their money to America, to London, wherever. This is why the possibility of a strong bill hitting such people caused such panic in the Kremlin. Top Putin fixer Vladislav Surkov even came here personally to threaten officials with reciprocity. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has promised Russia will make a ban list even longer than the Magnitsky list. . . .

Pushing back hard and setting a firm, even confrontational line, is the only message the Putin regime will respond to. They respect only strength. All this talk of engagement transforming Russia slowly has been disproven. 20 years ago it was expected that Russia would eventually embrace the manners of the West, but now it’s clear the opposite has happened. Countries dealing with Russia have conformed again and again to the corrupt practices institutionalized by Putin. As I said in my testimony on the Hill last June, the system is not corrupt; corruption IS the system. So if you are going to go after these guys, you have to use banks, not tanks. Hit them in their wallets, because that is what they care about.

. . .

25 years ago, Ronald Reagan met with Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik and the last Soviet leader had an ambitious reset proposal. I remember this meeting well. Reagan refused the offer categorically, refused to make concessions to a system he understood to be evil, refused to compromise on principles where they mattered most.

. . .

Stand up for your principles. Make a reset that supports the Russian people, not our oppressors. Make that distinction clear. As in 1987, resolve is required. You must never be afraid to confront dictators because strength is the only language they understand.

To remove a dangerous virus, a reset or a reboot is not enough. The entire system must be replaced, and that is what we hope to do.

In a “Question and Answer Session” after this speech, Kasparov added:

[W]hen Western leaders keep asking the same questions – we don’t have any bargaining chips, how can we negotiate, because Putin has everything. Yes, he has gas, he has oil, he has aluminium, metals, timber – but the proceeds from these sales, they’re all in the western banks. And don’t tell me that FBI or MI-5 are not aware of all these bank accounts. If you want to get serious by pressing Putin and prevent him from selling nuclear technology to Iran or helping Chavez sell drugs to Mexico, hit them where they feel it. Just, you know, start investigating Abramovich. Or find out who is this mysterious third person in the infamous Hamburg company with Timchenko, a Swedish guy, and a certain name that is not known. So just start looking into what is really important for Putin.

. . .

[W]e may see other attempts of Putin to take over control of Georgia, same way he’s trying to take control of Ukraine and Belorussia.

. . .

[W]e don’t have the state in Russia as people used to know elsewhere. Because it’s privatized. So it’s every segment of the state is in charge of people who are appointed by Putin. . . . [D]o you believe that there is any accountability on the federal level or on the regional level, where bureaucrats are given rights to benefit from the ministries or entities they are given just for temporary use? It’s more like a feudal system, with the center and regions and dues being paid to the centralized power. . . . We do not have a state, and all we should do is start this cleansing operation. Do I believe that we can succeed and this process will bring Russia back to normal? I’m not sure. It might be too late. But every day we’re losing makes the end of the Russian state inevitable. I’ve been saying it for many years. The survival of the Putin regime means the end of my country. So that’s why dismantling the Putin regime – and let me emphasize what we said – dismantling, demontazh, po-russki – dismantling, not ruining, dismantling, it’s like a cattle-engineering process. It’s the only chance for Russia to survive. It might be too late, because we have problems on the east side, where China is gradually grabbing territories. The popular joke in Irkutsk, for instance – the Chinese are crossing our borders in small groups of one hundred thousand each. With the boiling temperature in the North Caucasus, I don’t know whether we can succeed. But we have to try. Because the continuation of this rule means that the country will be wiped out from the map.

See http://www.theotherrussia.org/2011/10/25/why-putin-is-immune-to-the-american-reset/ (emphasis added); see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8963219/Vladimir-Putin-would-lose-honest-presidential-election-says-former-Russian-PM.html (“Vladimir Putin ‘would lose honest presidential election’, says former Russian PM”—”it [is] the beginning of the end for Mr Putin”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1840 (“Dictator-For-Life Putin Follows In The Footsteps Of Stalin, Hitler And Mao”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2078285/Russian-protesters-streets-Moscow-Putin-vote-rigging-claims.html (“Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev calls on Putin to resign“) and http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/25/us-russia-idUSTRE7BN04420111225 (“The protesters shouted ‘Russia without Putin’“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2078554/Tens-thousands-protesters-thronged-Moscow-weekend-unprecedented-defiance-brutality-corruption-Putins-rule.html (“The new Russian Revolution? Tens of thousands of protesters thronged Moscow this weekend in an unprecedented show of defiance against the brutality and corruption of Putin’s rule“) and http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2011/12/protest-russia-1 (“‘I see enough people here to take the Kremlin and the White House [Russian government] right now. But we are a peaceful force. We won’t do that—yet’ . . . ‘Roman Dobrokhotov, a 28-year-old anti-Kremlin activist, released a huge portrait of Mr Putin on a steel frame, attached to helium balloons. “Crawl away, worm!” read the slogan on one. To cheers, the portrait was sucked into the sky, disappearing from view’“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2083556/Meet-girl-blogger-sneaked-inside-Russian-missile-factory–security.html (Comment at Lana Sator’s blog: “Russia [is a] country flying into the abyss against its former greatness“)

. . .

PUTIN IS THE HEIR OF STALIN, MAO AND . . .

Putin is Hitler

. . . HITLER!

Adolf Hitler

See, e.g., http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-russia-putin-rally-20120224,0,2675535.story (“Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin . . . called on voters to prepare for battle to protect the country’s future.” . . . “Putin is flexing his war muscles today to a crowd which doesn’t want war and which doesn’t see any danger to the country”) and http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/04/us-russia-election-idUSTRE8220SP20120304 (“Emperor Putin has decided everything“)

Like

25 12 2011
russian law

Simply wish to say your article is astounding. The clearness for your publish is simply nice and that i can assume you’re an expert in this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to stay up to date with imminent post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

Like

20 02 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Gives Away Alaskan Islands To Russians

See http://times247.com/articles/obama-must-stop-alaskan-islands-giveaway and http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/obamas-giveaway-oil-rich-islands-to-russia/ (“Obama’s giveaway: Oil-rich islands to Russia”)

Russia’s “dictator-for-life” Putin is without a doubt the most despicable human being on the face of this earth—far more so than the worst of the Iranians or North Koreans—and the heir to Stalin, Mao and Hitler.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1910 (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and all of the other comments beneath it); http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/22/us-russia-putin-bomb-idUSTRE81L22H20120222 (“Putin praises Cold War moles for stealing U.S. nuclear secrets”)

This is why reports that Barack Obama is giving away Alaskan islands—or anything else—to the Russians are so disturbing and traitorist. If true, it must be stopped, and Obama must be driven from the presidency for this reason alone, in addition to a myriad of other reasons for doing so. He must not be simply defeated in November.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/barack-obama-is-a-lame-duck-president-who-will-not-be-reelected/#comment-1959

Like

25 02 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Russia After Putin

This is the title of an excellent Wall Street Journal article by Gregory L. White—which is subtitled, “Even the Russian leader’s allies are now contemplating the once unthinkable: a future without him”—that is worth reading. It states in pertinent part as follows:

Well-dressed in the freezing cold and toting their smartphones, the newly energized critics of Vladimir Putin have taken to the streets by the tens of thousands since December, streaming from the offices, classrooms and studios of the new Russia. They wave handmade signs with ironic slogans like “We know you want a third time, but we have a headache,” and they wear white ribbons, demanding a political voice and an end to Mr. Putin’s rule. Prompted by allegations of widespread fraud in parliamentary elections, they have staged the biggest anti-Kremlin protests in decades. On Sunday they plan to form a human ring around downtown Moscow.

. . .

[T]he protests are just the visible cracks from much deeper shifts that are eroding the foundation of [Putin's] support. Russians at the very pinnacle of power in the system that he has built are starting to prepare for the once-unthinkable: life after Putin.

. . .

In September, when Mr. Putin announced he was returning to the presidency, switching jobs with Dmitry Medvedev, the only question seemed to be whether Mr. Medvedev would run in 2024 after Mr. Putin served out his next two terms.

“The pro-Putin majority is either already gone or about to disappear,” says Mikhail Dmitriev, the director of Moscow’s Center for Strategic Research, a think tank set up by the government to help write Mr. Putin’s first presidential program. He warns that Mr. Putin isn’t likely to serve out his six-year term and should find a reliable successor to take power “sooner rather than later,” just as Boris Yeltsin did when he brought in Mr. Putin at the end of 1999.

. . .

“Tectonic changes have now taken place,” says one major businessman. “The system will slowly come apart.”

. . .

The Kremlin methodically crushed or co-opted rival power centers—independent media, regional barons, wealthy tycoons. Those who refused to buckle found themselves in jail or self-imposed exile.

. . .

“We had no way of knowing that the arrival of Putin would coincide with the dismantling of the imperfect democracy” of the Yeltsin era, recalls Mr. Dmitriev. . . .

Even as Mr. Putin consolidated control, events exposed his system’s weaknesses. A string of deadly terror attacks in 2004 was followed by the Orange Revolution in neighboring Ukraine, where mass demonstrations brought a pro-Western president to power over the Moscow-backed candidate. Weeks later, a botched welfare reform at home brought tens of thousands of angry pensioners into the streets.

The Kremlin’s response was steady and harsh. Direct elections for regional governors and members of parliament were eliminated. Convinced that the revolution in Ukraine was a CIA-orchestrated plot, the Kremlin cracked down on opposition parties and NGOs. New antiextremism laws made criticizing the government a crime. Police met opposition demonstrations with overwhelming force, jailing many participants. Pro-government youth groups got lavish funding from the Kremlin to help protect against the perceived threat of “Orange” contagion.

New laws allowed the courts to “liquidate” dozens of political parties. Politicians had a choice: lock-step loyalty or “hard opposition,” which meant blacklisting from the major state media and exclusion from the political process.

. . .

The global financial crisis in 2008 brought an abrupt end to the party. Destitute tycoons raced to the Kremlin for bailouts. Fearing unrest, the government leaned on big companies not to lay off workers. They slashed wages instead. The value of the ruble plunged.

The Kremlin’s billions in subsidies—along with the quick rebound in oil prices—helped to limit the pain of the crisis. But the recovery has been far short of resounding. Economists say that Russia will probably never again see the kind of explosion of wealth experienced in Mr. Putin’s first term.

Meanwhile, Mr. Medvedev, whom Mr. Putin had installed as president in 2008 when he himself couldn’t run because of term limits, had encouraged some in the middle class with promises to fight corruption and ease pressure on business. But inside the Kremlin, Mr. Medvedev struggled to escape the shadow of his patron, Mr. Putin, who remained the country’s supreme leader.

For his part, Mr. Putin stuck to the political theatrics that had served him well for years. When peat-bog fires blanketed Moscow and other big cities with acrid smoke in 2010, he took the controls of a firefighting plane on national TV. Later that summer, he took a road trip across Siberia behind the wheel of a canary-yellow Lada—a symbol of the outdated car maker bailed out by the Kremlin during the crisis.

But Russian society was changing. Bloggers quickly punctured the public-relations balloon, posting photos of several spare Ladas being carried along in Mr. Putin’s motorcade. By then, Russia had become one of the fastest-growing Internet markets in Europe, with some 45 million regular users. Online news and political debate were wide open, in sharp contrast to the traditional media.

. . .

[E]ven the older, more traditionalist voters who had long been the core of the Putin majority were beginning to sour on their onetime hero. Sergei Belanovsky, a researcher at Mr. Dmitriev’s think tank, says that he was shocked when his focus groups in the industrial heartland began showing “a lot of angry emotions” about the Kremlin among voters who had long been stolid loyalists.

Still, Kremlin officials saw few signs that the current election cycle would become so contentious.

Mr. Dmitriev and his colleagues at the think tank weren’t surprised. They drafted a report last spring warning that falling support for the Kremlin could set off a political earthquake as early as the December parliamentary elections if the authorities didn’t take radical steps to open up the system.

. . .

The Kremlin tried to manage the discontent, backing a plan by the billionaire businessman Mikhail Prokhorov to revive a pro-business political party that would help to keep the middle class within the bounds of the system in the December elections. But Mr. Prokhorov chafed against the tight restrictions of his Kremlin minders, who then took the party away.

The real trigger of the public anger that has since shaken the Kremlin was the “rokirovka,” as it has come to be known. It is the Russian chess term for “castling,” and it refers to the September 2011 announcement that Mr. Putin would return to the presidency and make Mr. Medvedev prime minister. The duo’s claim that the decision had been made years before but was then concealed only deepened the insult.

The souring support for Mr. Putin was even worse news for his party, United Russia, which had never been much of a hit with the public. In the December vote, allegations of fraud began showing up on the Internet even before polls closed. Suddenly, it was no longer fashionable to think Mr. Putin was krutoi ["the Russian adjective that became the badge of the time, a hard-edge mix of cool and tough"].

Initially, the Kremlin’s response seemed schizophrenic. Mr. Putin heaped abuse on the demonstrators as effete agents of the U.S. State Department, while aides said that they represented the best of Russian society and should be treated with respect.

By early this year, Mr. Putin’s harder line won out. His new campaign manager cited Lenin’s famous description of the intelligentsia: “not the brains [of the nation] but the s—.” Pro-Kremlin demonstrations have tarred all the critics as foreign agents seeking to spread the “Orange plague” from Ukraine to Russia.

Political consultants are scrambling to give the Kremlin strategies to win back the protesters. The government is pledging to restore some democratic rights that Mr. Putin took away, along with other long-sought reforms. “They expect the middle class could come back to them,” says one person close to the campaign. “People have short memories.”

Mr. Dmitriev is more skeptical. Though the middle class remains a minority overall, it is politically dominant in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities, where polls suggest that Mr. Putin could fail to win even a majority.

“The trend is irreversible,” he says.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203960804577241392587109400.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

. . .

An article in the UK’s Economist entitled, “The beginning of the end of Putin,” added:

A small group of people wholly above the law has, in the past decade, become rich beyond the wildest dreams of the tsars. Mr Putin’s return to power would protect these ill-gotten gains. Reform would put them at risk.

. . .

[R]epression [is not] as easy to pull off as it once was. Mr Putin could ratchet up the pressure on those media that have actively supported the protesters, a process that has already begun with Ekho Moskvy, a liberal radio station, and Novaya Gazeta, a newspaper. But even he has admitted that he would struggle to censor the internet, which has a penetration rate of 50% in Russia (and over 70% in Moscow). He would find it equally hard to cow the whole of the resurgent middle class.

. . .

If he cannot bring himself to reform the state or the economy, if he cannot harness middle-class desire for change, if he cannot see the demonstrations as anything more than a threat to be contained and crushed, then the prospect for President Putin’s next term is grim indeed: protest, disillusion, repression and economic stagnation.

See http://www.economist.com/node/21548941

The forces of democracy are breathing and coming alive once again in Russia. Let us hope and pray that the counter-forces of tyranny and oppression—which the brutal Hitler-esque Putin and his lackeys embody fully—meet their end.

Like

26 02 2012
BNArpa Lvr

Naegele lawyer to the Banksters.. How can anyone believe what this man says?

Like

26 02 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your comments.

With all due respect, the Kremlin ought to replace you with someone who at least understands and addresses the issues. To talk about and disparage American bankers is ludicrous.

The real issue is how many people Putin has killed in Mother Russia; the DDR (East Germany), where he was a KGB “hatchet man”; Chechnya, where unofficial estimates range from 25,000 to 50,000 dead or having “disappeared”; Georgia, which Russia’s conscript army invaded with antiquated Soviet-era equipment; London, where former Russian state security officer Alexander Litvinenko was assassinated; and the list goes on and on.

These are the facts, which Russians are coming to understand more with each passing day. Indeed, the central issue today is what will Russia be like after Putin, which is coming quickly.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-2020; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1910

Like

29 02 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Sobering And Sad

Ever since I worked at the Pentagon as an Army officer, and then on Capitol Hill as a young lawyer—where I had a unique opportunity to see the most important U.S. governmental entities firsthand in action, in an “overview” that few people experience—I have been a strong supporter of America’s military. It is not perfect, but it is the most efficient and effective major governmental organ in the United States and probably anywhere in the world.

By and large, it has done a truly brilliant job, and served our country well. It has been an instrument of American foreign policy and our national security needs; and we remain the only superpower in the world because of it. Under Jimmy Carter, it was in decline, until Ronald Reagan came along and restored the American spirit, and ended the “Evil Empire” of the Soviet Union.

Fast forward to 2012, as our national elections approach, and we are on the verge of being back in the “malaise” that Reagan inherited from Carter. We have fought two wars, in Afghanistan and Iraq; and Americans are “bone-tired” of war, and our military forces have borne the brunt of fighting for ten years now.

Yet, Israel’s Narcissistic demagogue Netanyahu is trying to propel the United States into a third war in the region, against Iran, which is outrageous, pure madness and must be stopped. To Barack Obama’s credit—and I am not a fan is his—he has withstood enormous political pressures and thwarted Netanyahu’s reckless ambitions thus far, and hopefully that will continue.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/20/israels-senseless-killings-and-war-with-iran/#comment-2015 (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and all of the comments beneath it)

Russia’s “dictator-for-life” Putin is pure evil too, and finally the Russian people are rising up and trying to reclaim the country’s fledgling democracy. Hopefully that succeeds, and a newfound democratic Russia emerges in the post-Putin era.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1910 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-2020

What is sobering though are the costs that America’s military has paid, which is underscored by the following comments—from a Russian “sympathizer”—about the decline in America’s fortunes and its military might:

[Y]ou lost the Vietnam war. To the Third World country. Admit it. Without nukes, napalm and carpet bombing your military is nothing. US troops won’t fight without Cola, bio toilets and salary.

You can’t win even Afghanistan despite the ‘First World military’. Russia’s military has won Georgia in 2008 who was equipped by ‘First World’ US arms and advisers. Only 5 days!!!!

Sad, but true in many ways.

The real story about Vietnam is the following, which was told to me by someone whom I know and respect greatly—who is considered by many to be one of America’s great foreign policy experts, and has dealt with essentially everyone who has been important nationally and internationally during this person’s lifetime:

Tim, We won the Vietnam war – and Congress lost it.

Let me explain.

Last US soldier left Vietnam March 29, 1973.

Saigon fell April 15, 1975.

ARVN – South Vietnamese army – did very well on its own for two years with US military assistance, but no US soldiers, not even as advisers to ARVN.

Then Congress, in its infinite wisdom, cut off all further military aid to Saigon.

ARVN saw no point in continuing to fight, stabbed in the back by the US Congress.

Gen. Giap, in his memoirs, says Hanoi was taken by surprise by what Congress did because they thought that taking Saigon would not be within their reach for two more years.

So Giap improvised an offensive – and Saigon fell without a fight.

And it is true too that Russia’s military today is a mere shadow of the former Soviet Union’s military might—and almost that of a Third World country. Yet, the issue is not Russia’s military power (or lack of it), but that of the United States.

As the U.S. and global economies go through even more wrenching experiences during the balance of this decade, and as this world is fraught with even greater dangers ahead, our military must be “second to none”—and we must rebuild it, not weaken it even more.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-2024 (“Plan For An Economic 9/11″) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/the-next-major-war-korea-again/

Like

5 03 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Emperor Putin, The Butcher Of Moscow, Sheds Crocodile Tears

Putin crying

As tears rolled down the brutal dictator-for-life’s face, Russia’s Putin spoke before a crowd after “winning” reelection in a political contest that he and he alone could win. The Wall Street Journal opined in an editorial entitled, “A Putin Coronation”—and subtitled, “The Kremlin chief gives himself a new six-year term”:

Vladimir Putin re-ascended to the Russian presidency Sunday, despite three months of unprecedented demonstrations against his heavy-handed rule. The Kremlin’s political machine was chastened by the ruling party’s poor showing in December’s Duma elections and wasn’t about to leave any doubt this time. The irony is that this may mean less stability for Russia.

Mr. Putin’s victory was arranged long ago. The single serious opposition figure who tried to run, liberal Grigory Yavlinsky, was barred from the ballot. . . . To boost his sagging popularity, Mr. Putin promised about $160 billion of pork, from higher pensions to free plane tickets to this summer’s European soccer championships. He played the anti-American card, blaming Washington for the protests.

Supporters were bused into Moscow to boost Mr. Putin’s vote in the capital, where his support has been below 20% in polls. If December’s elections are a guide, these loyalists were taken on what the opposition calls a “carrousel” to cast ballots repeatedly at various poll stations. Then the puppet electoral commission will fudge the final numbers behind closed doors.

. . .

Mr. Putin’s long record suggests little willingness to compromise. Security services were out in force Sunday in Moscow, along with roving packs from Nashi, the Putin youth fan club. While the opposition protests have been peaceful so far, the powers of the Russian state are at Mr. Putin’s full disposal if the challenges grow more serious. Last week, he said he may run again in 2018 and rule Russia for 24 years, longer than Brezhnev.

His problem is that about 35% of Russians think the elections are illegitimate and 40% distrust the government. Mr. Putin retains support in the provinces, but even there it has grown shallow. Older, lower- and middle-class Russians are grumbling along with young, Internet-savvy urbanites.

The Putin era has floated on high oil prices, but a Citibank study says the Kremlin needs a price of $150 a barrel to finance its current costs and electoral promises. Russia needs more investment, foreign and domestic, but its disdain for the rule of the law makes that unlikely. As in the troubled 1990s, capital and people are fleeing Russia again, and its main markets in Europe are growing slowly, if at all.

President Obama gambled that a “reset” of relations with Russia would lead to more global cooperation, but Mr. Putin has resisted serious sanctions on Iran, propped up Syria’s tottering dictator and threatened to aim missiles at Europe if U.S. missile defenses are deployed against Iran. Mr. Putin’s lack of real democratic legitimacy means he’s likely to keep pressing this Great Russia nationalism.

The anti-Putin protests are the most promising Russian news in years, but Sunday’s faux-election shows the transition to democracy has a long way to go.

See http://www.naegele.com/documents/APutinCoronation.pdf

With all due respect to the Journal‘s editorial staff, there is absolutely nothing courageous in this exceptionally weak, tepid and toothless editorial.

If anything, Putin is likely to be even more brutal and repressive than before; and he may use the United States as a convenient foil—as one of Russia’s “foreign enemies” with whom he must deal, to save the Russian people.

This is how depots act; and he is as sinister as they come, and a fitting heir to—and a “smoother version” of—Joseph Stalin. George W. Bush tried to deal with him; and he left Bush’s side at the Olympic games in Beijing and traveled to the Georgian border, where he directed the Kremlin’s cruel aggression against its vastly smaller neighbor.

America’s “Hamlet on the Potomac” and “Jimmy Carter-lite,” Barack Obama, has tried to deal with him too, with the “reset” of relations and the new START Treaty, which is a travesty. However, Putin has laughed at both of them, and made fools of those who have been naïve enough to trust him.

One must never forget that he came to prominence as a KGB operative in East Germany—or the DDR, as it was known before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Erich Honecker’s government—which was one of the most repressive regimes in the Soviet Union’s orbit, or the Evil Empire.

He learned his craft well; and he must be viewed in this context, not as some Westernized Russian democrat, which he is not.

One wonders whether he cried as his victims were brutally tortured and killed, for example, when Russian troops entered Chechnya and took control over that country, with unofficial estimates ranging from 25,000 to 50,000 dead or having “disappeared.”

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1910 (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and all other comments beneath it)

. . .

In an excellent article that was sent to its readers with the title, “Moscow Weeps,” the UK’s Economist noted:

WITH hundreds of military trucks, menacing police vans, hovering helicopters and tens of thousands of soldiers and riot police in full gear, Moscow felt like an occupied city last night.

And so it was. Manezh Square, in front of the Kremlin, and a good portion of Tverskaya, the city’s main shopping street, were taken by a crowd of some 100,000 grim-looking people dressed mostly in black, who were brought in to celebrate the victory of Vladimir Putin. Russia’s outgoing prime minister officially won more than 64% of the vote in yesterday’s presidential election.

This was a very different crowd from the privileged middle-class Muscovites normally seen on Tverskaya, who largely voted against Mr Putin. Actors and singers tried to warm up the pro-Putin crowd, but few responded with enthusiasm. This was the Moscow Mr Putin addressed with his emotional speech.

“A special thank you to those who gathered today in Moscow, who supported us in every corner of our limitless motherland, to all those who said ‘yes’ to our great Russia.” By “Russia”, Mr Putin meant himself. A tear—later blamed on the cold wind—rolled down his face.

“We won! We won in an open and honest battle! Thank you friends, thank you!” said Mr Putin. This was the speech of a conqueror in a hostile capital. Moscow gave Mr Putin less than half of its votes. More than 20% went to Mikhail Prokhorov, a liberal business tycoon. There were no kind words in Mr Putin’s victory speech for his opponents; no promise to be a president of all the people, including those who voted against him; no offer of a compromise—only of an unrelenting fight.

. . .

In the run-up to the election Mr Putin had called on his supporters to unite for a last battle, against enemies both domestic and foreign. Mr Putin’s “provocations” presumably meant the massive protest marches in Moscow that erupted after December’s dodgy parliamentary elections, where huge crowds demanded “honest elections” and the end of Mr Putin’s personalised, corrupt system of governance.

. . .

The problem for Mr Putin, writes Alexander Baunov, a Russian columnist, is that his legitimacy is not recognised by a large and active minority of Russian people, and by a majority in the capital itself.

The Kremlin can pump up Mr Putin’s ratings and mobilise millions of state employees on election day. But it cannot provide that legitimacy. Many of those who voted for Mr Putin yesterday do not trust him. Sociologists say Mr Putin’s majority is passive, and crumbling.

. . .

The danger is that the Kremlin may now feel the need to justify its mobilisation. And it may find an excuse. A mass demonstration is planned this evening in the centre of Moscow, and although the mayor’s office has granted permission for it to go ahead the dangers of a provocation remain from either side: some protestors may want to go beyond the prescribed march limits and take their protest towards the Kremlin.

Alarmingly, Mr Putin had pre-emptively accused protestors of spoiling for a fight, and might even “knock someone off” so that they can blame the Kremlin. But for the thousands of Muscovites who will take to the streets this evening, the main point is to demonstrate that this city belongs to them.

See http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2012/03/russias-presidential-election (emphasis added); see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/9124909/Russian-riot-police-break-up-protest-against-Vladimir-Putins-election-win.html (“Russian riot police break up protest against Vladimir Putin’s election win”)

The end is coming for Putin, and it may not be pretty or nice.

Like

26 03 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Is A Traitor

Killer Putin and Obama

The Weekly Standard has reported:

President Obama got caught in private conversation with a hot mic today in Seoul, South Korea, telling outgoing Russian president Dmitry Medvedev that Vladimir Putin should give him more “space” and that “[a]fter my election I have more flexibility.”

. . .

President Obama: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.”

President Medvedev: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…”

President Obama: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”

President Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

See http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-russia-after-my-election-i-have-more-flexibility_634473.html (emphasis in original)

Saying this to Russian “dictator-for-life” Putin’s puppet, Medvedev, is the moral equivalent of Franklin D. Roosevelt telling something similar to Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin.

. . .

In an important article entitled, “Budget gridlock imperils national defense,” the Washington Times has reported:

Defense analysts and Capitol Hill insiders are anticipating that automatic federal budget cuts will occur Jan. 1 and force the armed forces to scrap plans for new weapons systems.

Washington’s polarized political landscape shows no signs of a compromise on taxes and spending that would head off the 2011 Budget Control Act’s requirement for across-the-board cuts to begin in nine months.

For the Pentagon, this would mean another 10-year, $500 billion spending cut in addition to the already budgeted $487 billion reduction. In the first year of the automatic spending reductions, the military would need to slash an additional $50 billion from its budget, likely ending a new long-range bomber and a new Army tactical vehicle, and shrinking the Navy’s fleet of 11 aircraft carriers.

“I didn’t use to think this way,” said Daniel Goure, a longtime defense analyst at the pro-business Lexington Institute think tank. “But unless one side or the other sweeps the table in November, I think sequestration will happen.”

Sequestration is the formal name for the automatic spending cuts.

Mr. Goure has watched Republicans and Democrats dig in.

“There is intransigence of both parties to the elements of any deal,” he said. “It’s all budget reductions on one side and mostly tax increases on the other.

“But also, it turns out tragically the United States Congress doesn’t care as much for national defense as was thought when the [budget act] was struck. The assumption was neither side would dare risk national security. Turns out they would.”

Lame-duck hopes

Said a House Republican staffer involved in defense issues: “The president is the big obstacle. The president said a deal is a deal. Sen. Harry Reid [Nevada Democrat and majority leader] said a deal is a deal. We have to be honest with ourselves and realistic. It is near impossible to head off sequestration before the end of the year.”

The staffer said the first sign of prolonged deadlock was the so-called supercommittee, the bipartisan group of senators and representatives that failed to reach a budget deal and was disbanded in November.

Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House Budget Committee, presented a 2013 budget last week that would, he said, head off automatic cuts.

But Senate Democrats dismissed the plan because it would cut domestic spending below figures mandated by the Budget Control Act.

A lingering hope has been that, after November’s elections, a lame-duck Congress would have the political freedom to reach a compromise.

Analysts say don’t count on it.

“It is little more than a dream to suggest that Washington can reclaim bipartisanship and a spirit of compromise in that brief period of time,” writes Mackenzie Eaglen, a former Pentagon official who analyzes defense issues at the American Enterprise Institute.

Winslow Wheeler, a former Senate staffer who advocates budget reform for the Center for Defense Information, said he sees “the lame-duck as a false hope for solving all the budget issues.”

“If the new Congress can be maneuvered into behaving itself in January, it will have many tasks, including doing whatever to the Pentagon part of the sequester that the economy and budget demand at that time,” he said.

“However, there is only one direction for the Pentagon budget in foreseeable economic and budgetary circumstances: It will go lower than the current and 2013 projected levels.

“I would say sequestration is highly likely, given the dysfunction in Congress that will continue after the elections,” Mr. Wheeler said.

A defense industry executive who maintains contact with congressional officials flatly predicted that “it’s going to happen.”

‘Not easy to prevent’

“Whether you have Obama or Mitt Romney as president, I think both of them are going to find it convenient to let sequestration happen,” the executive said. “And I don’t think Congress between now and an election year is going to reverse it. Then you’re going to have a lame-duck president or lame-duck Senate or both. It will be too polarized to act. So sequestration is going to happen.”

Michael O’Hanlon, a defense budget analyst at the Brookings Institution, said, “There is too much optimism that it will somehow be averted, perhaps in a lame-duck session, because the reality of it is too ugly to contemplate.”

He added: “I rate the prospects right at 50-50 and think that the fear of sequestration may have to get worse and more palpable before anybody will try to do anything. And even once they try, it’s not easy to prevent.”

A spokesman for Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican and a House Armed Services Committee member who voted against the Budget Control Act because of its defense cuts, called averting the automatic spending reductions “a tall order.”

“We still need to make the best case possible and make every effort to insulate the defense budget from additional cuts that are sure to damage the military,” said spokesman Joe Kasper.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta in February presented his first round of budget cuts demanded by the Budget Control Act. He achieved spending targets largely by eliminating 92,000 Army and Marine Corps troops, retiring ships and aircraft, and delaying expensive new weapons systems such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

His 2013 base budget, minus war-fighting costs of $525 billion, is $5 billion less than 2012 spending and $45 billion less than what the Pentagon had planned to spend next year.

Because the budget act allows the president to exempt personnel, analysts believe a round of sequestration-dictated budget slashing would hit future weapons systems, not troops—who would be needed to fulfill operational contingencies in the Persian Gulf and the South Pacific.

Mr. Panetta has bemoaned the automatic defense spending cuts, saying they would produce a “hollowed out” military.

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/25/budget-gridlock-imperils-national-defense/

. . .

Also, the Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer has written:

[I]f people knew Obama’s intentions of flexibly caving on missile defense, they might think twice about giving him a second term.

After all, what is Obama doing negotiating on missile defense in the first place? We have no obligation to do so. The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a relic of the Cold War, died in 2002.

We have an unmatched technological lead in this area. It’s a priceless strategic advantage that for three decades Russia has been trying to get us to yield. Why give any of it away?

To placate Putin, Obama had already in 2009 abruptly canceled the missile-defense system the Poles and Czechs had agreed to host in defiance of Russian threats. Why give away more?

It’s unfathomable. In trying to clean up the gaffe, Obama emphasized his intent to “reduce nuclear stockpiles” and “reduce reliance on nuclear weapons.” In which case, he should want to augment missile defenses, not weaken, dismantle or bargain them away. The fewer nukes you have for deterrence, the more you need nuclear defenses. If your professed goal is nuclear disarmament, as is Obama’s, eliminating defenses is completely illogical.

Nonetheless, Obama is telling the Russians not to worry, that once past “my last election” and no longer subject to any electoral accountability, he’ll show “more flexibility” on missile defense. It’s yet another accommodation to advance his cherished Russia “reset” policy.

Why? Hasn’t reset been failure enough?

Let’s do the accounting. In addition to canceling the Polish/Czech missile-defense system, Obama gave the Russians accession to the World Trade Organization, signed a START Treaty that they need and we don’t (their weapons are obsolete and deteriorating rapidly), and turned a scandalously blind eye to their violations of human rights and dismantling of democracy. Obama even gave Putin a congratulatory call for winning his phony election.

In return? Russia consistently watered down or obstructed sanctions on Iran, completed Iran’s nuclear reactor at Bushehr, provides to this day Bashar al-Assad with huge arms shipments used to massacre his own people (while rebuilding the Soviet-era naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus), conducted a virulently anti-American presidential campaign on behalf of Putin, pressured Eastern Europe and threatened Georgia.

On which of “all these issues”—Syria, Iran, Eastern Europe, Georgia, human rights—is Obama ready to offer Putin yet more flexibility as soon as he gets past his last election? Where else will he show U.S. adversaries more flexibility? Yet more aid to North Korea? More weakening of tough Senate sanctions against Iran?

Can you imagine the kind of pressure a reelected Obama will put on Israel, the kind of anxiety he will induce from Georgia to the Persian Gulf, the nervousness among our most loyal East European friends who, having been left out on a limb by Obama once before, are now wondering what new flexibility Obama will show Putin—the man who famously proclaimed that the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century was Russia’s loss of its Soviet empire?

They don’t know. We don’t know. We didn’t even know this was coming—until the mike was left open. Only Putin was to know. “I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” Medvedev assured Obama.

Added Medvedev: “I stand with you.” A nice endorsement from Putin’s puppet, enough to chill friends and allies, democrats and dissidents, all over the world.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-flexibility-doctrine/2012/03/29/gIQA9ZMtjS_story.html#

Sequestration was Obama’s idea—to “gut” America’s military!

Like

28 03 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Romney On Jay Leno

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=1393111

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=1393112

http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=1393113

. . .

Also, Mitt Romney has been blasted for calling Russia “our No. 1 geopolitical foe”:

[I]n Moscow, Romney’s reported comments made headlines and prompted strong reactions, with a report in the Moscow Times musing that the words constituted “perhaps the most hostile remark by a major U.S. politician since President Ronald Reagan’s ‘evil empire’ speech.”

See http://cnsnews.com/news/article/romney-blasted-moscow-calling-russia-our-no-1-geopolitical-foe

“Dictator-for-life” Putin’s Russia is America’s enemy, not merely our “geopolitical foe.”

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-2040 (see also the article itself, as well as the footnotes and other comments beneath it)

Like

5 04 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Russia’s Brutal “Dictator-For-Life,” Hitler-esque Putin Targets Foes’ Central Nervous Systems

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

Mind-bending ‘psychotronic’ guns that can effectively turn people into zombies have been given the go-ahead by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The futuristic weapons—which will attack the central nervous system of their victims—are being developed by the country’s scientists.

They could be used against Russia’s enemies and, perhaps, its own dissidents. . . .

Sources in Moscow say Mr Putin has described the guns, which use electromagnetic radiation like that found in microwave ovens, as ‘entirely new instruments for achieving political and strategic goals’.

Mr Putin added: ‘Such high-tech weapons systems will be comparable in effect to nuclear weapons. . . .

Plans to introduce the super-weapons were announced quietly last week by Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov, fulfilling a little-noticed election campaign pledge by president-elect Putin.

Mr Serdyukov said: ‘The development of weaponry based on new physics principles—direct-energy weapons, geophysical weapons, wave-energy weapons, genetic weapons, psychotronic weapons, and so on—is part of the state arms procurement programme for 2011-2020.’

. . .

[R]esearch has shown that low-frequency waves or beams can affect brain cells, alter psychological states and make it possible to transmit suggestions and commands directly into someone’s thought processes.

High doses of microwaves can damage the functioning of internal organs, control behaviour or even drive victims to suicide. Anatoly Tsyganok, head of the Military Forecasting Centre in Moscow, said: ‘This is a highly serious weapon.

‘When it was used for dispersing a crowd and it was focused on a man, his body temperature went up immediately as if he was thrown into a hot frying pan. Still, we know very little about this weapon and even special forces guys can hardly cope with it.’

The long-term effects are not known, but two years ago a former major in the Russian foreign intelligence agency, the GRU, died in Scotland after making claims about such a weapons programme to MI6.

Sergei Serykh, 43, claimed he was a victim of weapons which he said were ‘many times more powerful than in the Matrix films’.

Mr Serykh died after falling from a Glasgow tower block with his wife and stepson in March 2010. While his death was assumed to be suicide, his family fear there was foul play.

Last night the Ministry of Defence declined to comment.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2123415/Putin-targets-foes-zombie-gun-attack-victims-central-nervous-system.html; see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2123102/Why-Moscows-Brotherhood-Murder-sights-London-We-reveal-weeks-shooting-Russian-banker-series-bloody-vendettas.html (“Why Moscow’s Brotherhood of Murder has its sights on London: . . . last week’s shooting of a Russian banker could be the first in a series of bloody vendettas”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/9190536/Number-of-Russian-spies-in-the-UK-back-to-Cold-War-levels-say-security-services.html (“Number of Russian spies in the UK back to Cold War levels, say security services” . . . “Britain’s close relationship with America is also hugely attractive for Russia who sees it as a ‘back door’ to US intelligence”)

The time has come to target Putin, and bring true democracy and freedoms to the Russian people.

Like

4 05 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Russia Threatens To Strike NATO Missile Defense Sites

The Washington Times has reported:

Russia’s top military officer warned Thursday that Moscow would strike NATO missile-defense sites in Eastern Europe before they are ready for action, if the U.S. pushes ahead with deployment.

“A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov said at an international missile-defense conference in Moscow attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.

Gen. Makarov made the threat amid an apparent stalemate in talks between U.S. and Russian negotiators over the missile-defense system, part of President Obama’s policy to “reset” relations with Moscow. The threat also elicited shock and derision from Western missile-defense analysts.

“It’s remarkable,” said James Ludes of the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. “That Makarov would make this kind of threat in a public forum is chilling.”

“He must have been drunk,” said Barry Blechman, a distinguished fellow at the Stimson Center think tank.

. . .

In March, Mr. Obama privately told outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more “flexibility” to make a deal on missile defense after the election in November. Mr. Obama’s comment was captured accidentally by a live microphone during a summit in Seoul.

Many critics interpreted the remark as a promise by Mr. Obama to give in to Russian demands once the political danger of doing so during an election campaign had passed.

. . .

Russia is not a U.S. ally and has “divergent interests from us and to pretend otherwise to try and placate them is a fool’s errand.”

. . .

Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain, traveling in Lithuania, accused the Russians of using missile defense as an “excuse to have a military buildup in this part of the world, which is at peace.”

The Arizona Republican, who once referred to the look in longtime Russian strongman Vladimir Putin’s eyes as spelling out “K-G-B,” called Kremlin saber-rattling”an egregious example of what might be even viewed as paranoia on the part of Vladimir Putin.”

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/3/russia-threatens-strike-nato-missile-defense-sites/

McCain is correct; and Obama’s comments in Seoul were outrageous, but he will be ousted in November, so he will not be able to do any more damage.

Again, the time has come to target Putin and terminate him, and bring true democracy and freedoms to the Russian people.

Our missile system must blunt Russia’s aged arsenal and render it impotent.

Like

6 05 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Putin’s Storm Troopers Attack Protestors

Putin's thugs

In an article entitled, “Russian police battle anti-Putin protesters,” Reuters has reported:

Russian riot police beat protesters about the head with batons and detained 250 on Sunday after clashes broke out at a Moscow rally by thousands of people against Vladimir Putin on the eve of his return to the presidency.

Opposition leaders Alexei Navalny, Boris Nemtsov and Sergei Udaltsov were among those detained during violence that showed the depth of divisions and tensions in Russia as the former KGB spy starts his six-year third term on Monday.

Police struck out with batons and hit several protesters on the head as they pushed back a crowd of thousands which advanced towards them holding white metal crowd barriers and throwing objects, Reuters reporters at the rally said.

The demonstrators fought back with flagpoles but police formed a line with riot shields to prevent them moving towards a bridge leading across the Moscow river to the Kremlin.

Riot police waded into the crowd in small groups with arms locked, picking out people and hauling them away, then pushed forward in lines to hem protesters in and disperse them.

“Putin has shown his true face, how he ‘loves’ his people—with police force,” said Dmitry Gorbunov, 35, a computer analyst and one of many middle income protesters who have joined protests against Putin in the past five months.

The violence came at the end of a day of protests in several cities against Putin, who will be sworn in at a lavish ceremony inside the Kremlin at which the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, will bless him.

. . .

“I trusted Putin as long as he ruled within the bounds of the constitution but our law limits the presidency to two consecutive terms. He and his clown Medvedev spat on that,” said Andrey Asianov, a 44-year-old protester.

COFFIN OF DEMOCRACY

At least 20,000 people protested in Moscow under banners and flags, chanting “Russia without Putin” and “Putin – thief”. Police said four officers were hurt and Udaltsov, Nemtsov and Navalny had been detained for “incitement to mass disorder”.

Udaltsov, a leftist leader, was taken away as he tried to address the crowd from a stage and Navalny, an anti-corruption blogger, was dragged off after trying to organize a sit-in protest calling for Putin’s inauguration to be scrapped.

In other protests, demonstrators carried a black coffin bearing the word “democracy” through the Pacific port city of Vladivostok. Several people were detained there and at protests in the Urals city of Kurgan and Kemerovo in western Siberia.

The Moscow protest was marred by the death of a photographer who Itar-Tass news said fell from a balcony as he tried to take pictures of the rally.

The clashes were the worst since police moved in to disperse hundreds of protesters at or after rallies the day after Putin’s March 4 election victory, which the opposition said was achieved with the aid of electoral fraud.

See http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/06/us-russia-protests-idUSBRE8440CK20120506

The time has come to target and terminate Putin, and bring true democracy and freedoms to the Russian people. He is a brutal killer of his own people and others.

Like

7 05 2012
Michael

The time has come to target and terminate Putin, and bring true democracy and freedoms to the Russian people
=====================
Just 12 years ago Russian people had it all.
No Putin, freedoms and democracy.
They blew it up. They don’t want it (most of them).
You can’t make them to want democracy.

Like

7 05 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Michael, for your comments.

First, I see that your e-mail address is Russian. I assume you are a Russian, who is physically located in Russia.

Second, yes, I agree with you that the Russian people had it all, and that they or their “leaders” blew it. Putin and his KGB/FSB lackeys moved in, and the rest is history.

Third, I believe the Russian people want freedoms and democracy. Obviously no one can compel them to want either, but Putin and his lackeys are not giving them a choice.

Once again, it is time to terminate him, period, just as he has terminated so many others.

He deserves to face a future comparable to Mussolini, Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

Like

7 05 2012
Michael

I would love to see him in jail some day.

Like

7 05 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Yes, I concur . . . or worse.

Like

7 05 2012
Michael

I was born in Soviet Union, (not in Russia). Now I live in USA.

Like

7 05 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Yet, you retain a Russian e-mail address.

Like

23 05 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

A “Smoother” Version Of Stalin Ruthlessly Rules Russia Again

Russia’s Hitler-esque and Stalin-esque “dictator-for-life,” absolute ruler and ex-KGB and present-day killer and thug, Putin, has continued to target those who oppose him. An AP article has reported:

President Vladimir Putin targeted those who dare oppose him Tuesday, introducing draconian new fines for protesters and handing out Kremlin jobs to widely detested lieutenants despite the public anger they have generated.

A new law introducing a 200-fold increase in fines for taking part in unsanctioned protests was given preliminary approval by the Kremlin-controlled lower house, setting the stage for toughening Putin’s crackdown on dissent.

. . .

Putin has toughened his stance against the opposition since winning a third term in March’s election, rejecting a dialogue with its leaders and stonewalling their demands. Last week he gave a senior government job to a tank factory worker who had offered to come to Moscow with colleagues to help police break up anti-government protests.

. . .

Putin’s re-election bid was challenged by massive demonstrations against his rule that drew up to 100,000 people in Moscow. . . .

A demonstration of at least 20,000 people the day before Putin’s May 7 inauguration turned into a fierce battle with police after some protesters tried to march on the Kremlin. Scores were injured in clashes and hundreds were detained as police chased opposition members around the Russian capital.

See http://news.yahoo.com/russian-lawmakers-slap-big-sanctions-protesters-141542268–finance.html

Putin must be terminated. He deserves a fate no less severe than that of Italy’s Benito Mussolini, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. which is death by hanging or otherwise. As the article and comments above underscore, he is a killer—every bit as much as the others were.

Like

17 06 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Russian Chess Champion And Courageous Champion For Democracy, Garry Kasparov, Is Determined To Bring Down His Country’s Brutal Killer Putin

Kasparov was furious when the U.S. Secretary Of State, Hillary Clinton, expressed hope last month that Putin would “continue democratizing.” Kasparov believes the comments were “horrendous” and “despicable”—and he talks about his strategy for bringing down Putin:

Kasparov [is] very concerned about a series of arrests of leading opposition figures last week by Moscow’s investigative police. Among those carted away were Alexei Navalny, a blogger and lawyer who has emerged as a leading voice against corruption in the Russian government.

. . .

The arrests were in connection to clashes between the police and protesters that occurred on the May 6 election when at least 20,000 people turned out in Moscow to protest Vladimir Putin’s inauguration as president the next day. The Russian police claim that 20 of their officers were injured in the clashes that day. Kasparov, however, said provocateurs had started the clashes and that videos showed dozens of peaceful protesters receiving unprovoked beatings from the police.

. . . Kasparov said he expected more from the Obama administration. He was particularly furious at Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who told CNN on May 8 that the protests expressed the hope that as “the new term that President Putin is about to begin, Russia will be able to continue democratizing, protecting, and respecting the rights of all Russian citizens, ensuring that there is a level playing field for political and economic participation.”

“It’s horrendous. It’s despicable,” Kasparov said of Clinton’s comments on Putin’s inauguration. “When people are facing criminal charges and the regime is about to start massive repression, this is encouragement for Putin to do whatever he wants.”

. . .

Since 2005 Kasparov has been an important leader for the coalition of groups opposing Putin and his party, United Russia. He attempted to run for the presidency in 2008, but was barred from the ballot.

. . .

Kasparov said he wants to play a role in ridding Russia of Putin’s rule. But he is also a realist. “What we know about these regimes is that they can collapse overnight,” he said. “But again, with Putin’s resources and determination to stay in power, we may be facing harsh times ahead of us.”

See http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/17/chessmaster-garry-kasparov-is-determined-to-checkmate-vladimir-putin.html (emphasis added); see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympics/news/9444788/Widow-of-Alexander-Litvinenko-calls-for-protest-at-Vladimir-Putin-visit-to-Olympics.html (“Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion and founder of the opposition group United Civil Front, called for Putin to be banned from visiting the Olympics”) and http://www.theotherrussia.org/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/

There is no question that Putin must be terminated, and share a fate similar to Italy’s Benito Mussolini, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi—with no mercy being shown. The sooner it happens, the better.

Like

18 08 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

When Russian Killer Putin’s Thugs Came After Garry Kasparov

Kasparov carried away

The Wall Street Journal has an article by the former World Chess Champion and courageous democrat, Kasparov, which says:

The only surprise to come out of Friday’s guilty verdict in the trial here of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot was how many people acted surprised. Three young women were sentenced to two years in prison for the prank of singing an anti-Putin “prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Their jailing was the next logical step for Vladimir Putin’s steady crackdown on “acts against the social order,” the Kremlin’s expansive term for any public display of resistance.

In the 100 days since Mr. Putin’s re-election as president, severe new laws against public protest have been passed and the homes of opposition leaders have been raided. These are not the actions of a regime prepared to grant leniency to anyone who offends Mr. Putin’s latest ally, the Orthodox Church and its patriarch.

Unfortunately, I was not there to hear the judge’s decision, which she took several hours to read. The crowds outside the court building made entry nearly impossible, so I stood in a doorway and took questions from journalists. Suddenly, I was dragged away by a group of police—in fact carried away with one policeman on each arm and leg.

The men refused to tell me why I was being arrested and shoved me into a police van. When I got up to again ask why I had been detained, things turned violent. I was restrained, choked and struck several times by a group of officers before being driven to the police station with dozens of other protesters. After several hours I was released, but not before they told me I was being criminally investigated for assaulting a police officer who claimed I had bitten him.

It would be easy to laugh at such a bizarre charge when there are already so many videos and photos of the police assaulting me. But in a country where you can be imprisoned for two years for singing a song, laughter does not come easily. My bruises will heal long before the members of Pussy Riot are free to see their young children again. In the past, Mr. Putin’s critics and enemies have been jailed on a wide variety of spurious criminal charges, from fraud to terrorism.

But now the masks are off. Unlikely as it may be, the three members of Pussy Riot have become our first true political prisoners.

Such a brazen step should raise alarms, but the leaders of the Free World are clearly capable of sleeping through any wake-up call. If this was all business as usual for the Putin justice system, the same was true for the international reaction. A spokesman for the Obama administration called the sentence “disproportionate,” as if the length of the prison term were the only problem with open repression of political speech. The Russian Constitution is freely available online, but this was a medieval show trial with no connection to the criminal code.

Mr. Putin is not worried about what the Western press says, or about celebrities tweeting their support for Pussy Riot. These are not the constituencies that concern him. Friday, the Russian paper Vedomosti reported that former Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Ackermann could be put in charge of managing the hundreds of billions of dollars in the Russian sovereign wealth fund. As long as bankers and other Western elites eagerly line up to do Mr. Putin’s bidding, the situation in Russia will only get worse.

If officials at the U.S. State Department are as “seriously concerned” about free speech in Russia as they say, I suggest they drop their opposition to the Magnitsky Act pending in the Senate. That legislation would bring financial and travel sanctions against the functionaries who enact the Kremlin’s agenda of repression. Mouthing concern only reinforces the fact that no action will be taken.

Mr. Putin could not care less about winning public-relations battles in the Western press, or about fighting them at all. He and his cronies care only about money and power. Today’s events make it clear that they will fight for those things until Russia’s jails are full.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444375104577595811340186308.html; see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/9484871/Pussy-Riot-Garry-Kasparov-faces-jail-threat-over-claim-he-bit-policeman-after-arrest-over-demonstration.html (“Garry Kasparov could be charged with an offence that carries a five year jail term”) and http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/17/chess-champ-garry-kasparov-they-were-trying-to-break-my-leg.html (“Russia has nothing to do with the rule of law. . . . We’ve been saying Putin is a dictator for years who doesn’t care about the law. Today, he proved it”) and http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/18/pussy-riot-modern-russian-women-trapped-in-putin-s-time-machine.html (“[T]he women were speaking the language of the modern world in a country that is rapidly traveling backward in time”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-2194 (“Russian Chess Champion And Courageous Champion For Democracy, Garry Kasparov, Is Determined To Bring Down His Country’s Brutal Killer Putin”) and http://www.france24.com/en/20121027-russia-detains-top-opposition-leaders-moscow (“Russia detains top opposition leaders in Moscow”)

This is only the beginning, and a wake-up call to the world!

Putin must meet a fate far worse than the deaths of Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi—which will never be forgotten by free people everywhere—as soon as humanly possible.

This is yet another reason why the great Putin appeaser, Barack Obama, must be driven from the American presidency no later than this November’s elections. Also, at the very least, there must be a boycott instituted immediately against the next winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014—just across the border from Georgia that Putin brutally invaded after he left the Olympic summer games in Beijing four years ago, and the site of his summer dacha.

As I have written:

To allow the Olympic winter games on Russian soil is tantamount to having allowed the summer games to take place in Berlin during Adolf Hitler’s reign. Putin is every bit as sinister and evil as Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-226; see also http://freebeacon.com/russian-subs-skirt-coast/ (“Russian attack sub detected near [America's] East Coast“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2232949/Back-dark-old-days-Putin-brings-law-makes-treason-talk-foreigner.html (“Back to the dark old days: Putin brings in law which makes it treason to talk to a foreigner”) and http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/28/britain-russia-death-idUSL5E8MS7UH20121128 (“Russian mafia whistleblower found dead outside UK mansion”) and http://www.theotherrussia.org/2012/11/11/razvozzhayev-torture-allegations-brought-to-un/ (“Razvozzhayev Torture Allegations Brought to UN”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2244009/The-21st-century-concentration-camp-Hideous-accounts-life-inside-Russias-womens-prisons.html (“The 21st century concentration camps: Hideous accounts of life inside Russia’s women’s prisons”) and http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a5b15b14-3fcf-11e2-9f71-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2EKKlMC6W (“Clinton vows to thwart new Soviet Union”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/9729583/From-Russia-with-hate-are-Russian-assassins-on-the-loose-in-Britain.html (“From Russia with hate—are Russian assassins on the loose in Britain?”) and http://www.whistleblowersblog.org/2012/12/articles/international-1/congress-passes-magnitsky-act/ (“Congress Passes Magnitsky Act”) and http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/chechnya-russia-closes-paper-after-journalists-laugh-at-vladimir-putin-8429544.html (“Russia closes paper after journalists laugh at Vladimir Putin”) and http://www.theotherrussia.org/ (“The Other Russia: News from the Coalition for Democracy in Russia”)

Putin must be terminated!

Like

29 12 2012
Timothy D. Naegele

Cruel, Sinister, Demonic, Narcissistic Despot And Demagogue, Russia’s Putin, Bans Adoptions By Americans

Putin—a “smoother” version of Stalin, who cares only about his power and survival—has been using American adoptive parents as pawns and playing with the emotions of those who have been waiting for Russian adoptions, which only a truly sinister person like him does without a conscience.

It is part of a larger geopolitical chess game, which tragically the adoptive parents are caught in. As the Wall Street Journal reported:

The adoption ban was included . . . to retaliate for a new U.S. law aimed at punishing . . . Russian human-rights violators. That law was named for Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in prison after exposing . . . a $230 million fraud perpetrated by senior Russian police officials

. . .

Russia is the No. 3 source of international adoptions for the U.S., after China and Ethiopia, according to State Department data. About 70,000 Russian children have been adopted in the U.S. in the last two decades, though the flow has fallen to just under 1,000 annually in recent years.

See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323530404578207390201149074.html

Russia, China and other countries have been cruelly foisting “sick” children on U.S. adoptive parents for many years. Indeed, both Russia and China have used the U.S. as a dumping ground for their sick children, and Americans have paid dearly for it. Until Russia addresses its own problems, all adoptions from that country should be banned; and the same thing is true of China. Enough is enough!

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/problems-with-foreign-adoptions/ (“Problems With Foreign Adoptions”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ (“Russia’s Putin Is A Killer”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”)

There are plenty of kids who can be adopted here in the United States. They are in foster homes and elsewhere; and the kids are searching for a real home and stability, and someone who loves them.

Like

6 01 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Killer Putin Rises

Putin and Stalin

As I wrote in the article above:

When Putin was coming to power, I was told by an old friend on Capitol Hill that he was a “smoother version” of Stalin, and I will never forget those prescient and ominous words.

The New York Times has reported in an article by its Moscow bureau chief Ellen Barry entitled, “As Putin’s Grip Gets Tighter, a Time of Protest Fades in Russia”:

[I]t would be wrong to say nothing changed in the year that Vladimir V. Putin returned to the presidency. The fizzy excitement around last year’s street activism is entirely gone. But in its place is a deepening sense of alienation that poses its own long-term risk to the system.

. . .

Putin reclaimed the presidency last year in the face of unprecedented public opposition from . . . young urban trendsetters who stepped in from the sidelines of politics to tell him his return was not welcome. The Kremlin acted to stop the protests; new laws prescribe draconian punishments for acts of dissent, and the courts have imprisoned a small number of activists. Mr. Putin and those around him have embraced a new, sharply conservative rhetoric, dismissing the urban protesters as traitors and blasphemers, enemies of Russia.

Last year’s protesters, who held out hope that Dmitri A. Medvedev would advance their agenda, are acutely aware that they are seen as outsiders.

. . .

So far, 19 people have been charged in the case dating to May 6 [protests], when a large anti-Putin march ended in a melee between the police and protesters. The only one to be sentenced, a man who inflicted no serious injury and cooperated with prosecutors, received four and a half years.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/world/europe/in-russia-a-trendy-activism-against-putin-loses-its-moment.html?pagewanted=all; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-2263 (“When Russian Killer Putin’s Thugs Came After Garry Kasparov“) and http://www.theotherrussia.org/ (“The Other Russia“)

It can be argued that the Russian people do not know anything except cruel depots like Putin; however, I do not believe this. There is a spirit in the Russian people that yearns for more, something better.

It is time for Russians to rise up and throw off the shackles of Putin and his KGB/FSB police state, and move to a new day for Russia!

Like

4 03 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

KILLER PUTIN ERASES MEDVEDEV’S REFORMS

In an article entitled, “Medvedev is ‘dead man walking’ as Putin undoes his Russian reforms,” the Washington Times has reported:

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, once one of Russia’s most popular leaders, is now politically a “dead man walking” as his former mentor, President Vladimir Putin, undermines him, leading many to predict that the ruthless president is preparing to dump his reform-minded protege.

Mr. Medvedev, 47, was always the junior partner in the Kremlin duo with Mr. Putin, the 60-year-old former KGB officer. They even traded the top government spots so that Mr. Putin could remain in power.

But somewhere between Mr. Medvedev’s term as president from 2008 to 2012 and Mr. Putin’s return to the presidency in May, the political romance faded.

Mr. Putin has been reversing Mr. Medvedev’s reforms, making slander a crime again and imposing Kremlin control over the direct election of Russian governors. Meanwhile, the pro-Putin state-controlled media ignores the prime minister or carries negative stories about him.

Most analysts agree that Mr. Medvedev is facing imminent dismissal and political obscurity.

. . .

Mr. Putin’s irritation with Mr. Medvedev stems in part from his belief that the younger politician’s support for reforms as president gave birth to an anti-Putin protest movement. As prime minister late last year, Mr. Medvedev even expressed public sympathy for Mr. Putin’s critics.

. . .

A poll released by the independent Levada Center last week indicated that only 32 percent of Russians would vote for Mr. Putin if presidential elections were held this month.

See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/4/medvedev-dead-man-walking-putin-undoes-reforms/

The bottom line is that dictator and former KGB agent in the DDR, Putin, is a killer and Medvedev is not. Clearly, Putin must be terminated.

Like

24 03 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

KILLER PUTIN STRIKES AGAIN

As the New York Times has reported:

Boris A. Berezovsky, once the richest and most powerful of the so-called oligarchs who dominated post-Soviet Russia, and a close ally of Boris N. Yeltsin who helped install Vladimir V. Putin as president but later exiled himself to London after a bitter falling out with the Kremlin, died Saturday.

. . .

Mr. Berezovsky was a Soviet mathematician who after the fall of Communism went into business and figured out how to skim profits off what was then Russian’s largest state-owned carmaker. Along with spectacular wealth, he accumulated enormous political influence, becoming a close ally of Mr. Yeltsin’s.

With Mr. Yeltsin’s political career fading, Mr. Berezovsky helped engineer the rise of Mr. Putin, an obscure former K.G.B. agent and onetime aide to the mayor of St. Petersburg who became president of Russia in 2000 and last May returned to the presidency for a third term.

After his election, Mr. Putin began a campaign of tax claims against a group of rich and powerful Russians, including Mr. Berezovsky and Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky, an oil tycoon, who remains jailed in Russia.

Mr. Berezovsky fled to London, where he eventually won political asylum and at one point raised tensions by calling for a coup against Mr. Putin.

. . .

He survived an assassination attempt in 1994, a car bombing in which his driver was killed.

The assassination attempt connected him to a K.G.B. officer, Alexander V. Litvinenko, who was poisoned by the radioactive isotope polonium 210 in London in November 2006.

Mr. Litvinenko, then working for the F.S.B., the domestic successor to the K.G.B., was assigned to investigate the blast, and Mr. Berezovsky became his mentor and later his employer.

Mr. Berezovsky helped Mr. Litvinenko flee Russia in 2000 before he, too, left the country to seek asylum in London.

. . .

Mr. Berezovsky and Mr. Putin had been close, and Mr. Berezovsky aided Mr. Putin’s rise to the presidency. But signs came quickly that Mr. Berezovsky had fallen out of favor. In October 2000, just 10 months after Mr. Yeltsin’s resignation, Mr. Berezovsky was ordered to vacate a spacious government country house and to return the government plates on his limousine. He left Russia for Britain that year.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/24/world/europe/boris-a-berezovsky-a-putin-critic-dies-at-67.html; see also http://news.sky.com/story/1068891/boris-berezovsky-russian-oligarch-found-dead (“It’s certainly not the first case of Russians and people from the former Soviet Union, more broadly, who have been involved in difficult, embarrassing disputes with the Kremlin, to have died in relatively mysterious circumstances, perhaps before you might expect their natural life to end”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2298076/Boris-Berezovsky-dead-Exiled-Russian-tycoon-mansion-Surrey.html and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/9950782/Boris-Berezovsky-death-friend-suggests-he-may-have-been-victim-of-Russian-hit.html (“Boris Berezovsky death: friend suggests he may have been victim of Russian hit”—”Too many people from Russia have been dying recently in Britain, starting with Litvinenko“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/9951385/Berezovsky-did-not-kill-himself-Litvinenkos-wife-says.html (“Berezovsky did not kill himself, Litvinenko’s wife says”) http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_RUSSIA_NGOS_1ST_LD_WRITETHRU?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-03-25-07-48-22 (“[Russia raids] the Moscow headquarters of Amnesty International and several other rights groups Monday, continuing a wave of pressure that activists say is part of President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to stifle dissent”) and http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/25/putin-needs-an-enemy-after-berezovsky-s-death.html (“[C]orrupt Russian officials [must be banned] from entering and holding assets in the West”) and http://www.theotherrussia.org/

We can only hope that Putin and his thugs suffer similar fates . . . and soon.

Hitler, Stalin and Mao are dead, and so are Benito Mussolini, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Hugo Chávez and others. Fidel Castro is hanging on, barely. Now, regardless of whether Putin was responsible for Berezovsky’s death—directly or indirectly—he must be terminated summarily.

Putin is a ruthless killer. This is indisputable.

See also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2301708/Kremlin-target-family-dead-oligarch-Boris-Berezovsky-300m-claims-owes-Russian-state.html (“Kremlin to target family of dead oligarch Boris Berezovsky for £300m it claims he owes Russian state“) and http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21578716-vladimir-putins-crackdown-opponents-protesters-and-activist-groups-may-be-sign-fragility (“Repression ahead“)

Like

25 03 2013
Vitaly

Russia’s dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin is every bit as sinister and evil as Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Mao Tse-tung. He is a ruthless killer—of his own people and others, and of the human spirit.

At first I thought you’re just a troll, but looks like it’s an direct order to pour tons of shit over Putin. Putin is the first guy who stands for Russia’s interests and that’s why all pro-US are pissed off.

Like

25 03 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Vitaly, for your comments.

I assume you work for Putin, or otherwise benefit from him, directly or indirectly.

He stands for what benefits him, first and foremost. Beyond that, he cares for those who keep him in power; no one else.

As stated in my article above:

When Putin was coming to power, I was told by an old friend on Capitol Hill that he was a “smoother version” of Stalin, and I will never forget those prescient and ominous words.

He is pure evil, personified, and a demonic Narcissistic demagogue.

Like

17 07 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

The Wheels Are Coming Off The Whole Of Southern Europe

This is the title of an article by the UK Telegraph‘s International Business Editor, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, which is subtitled:

Europe’s debt-crisis strategy is near collapse. The long-awaited recovery has failed to take wing. Debt ratios across southern Europe are rising at an accelerating pace. Political consent for extreme austerity is breaking down in almost every EMU crisis state. And now the US Federal Reserve has inflicted a full-blown credit shock for good measure.

Evans-Pritchard goes on to state:

None of Euroland’s key actors seems willing to admit that the current strategy is untenable. They hope to paper over the cracks until the German elections in September, as if that is going to make any difference.

A leaked report from the European Commission confirms that Greece will miss its austerity targets yet again by a wide margin. It alleges that Greece lacks the “willingness and capacity” to collect taxes. In fact, Athens is missing targets because the economy is still in freefall and that is because of austerity overkill. The Greek think-tank IOBE expects GDP to fall 5pc this year. It has told journalists privately that the final figure may be -7pc. The Greek stabilisation is a mirage.

Italy’s slow crisis is again flaring up. Its debt trajectory has punched through the danger line over the past two years. The country’s €2.1 trillion (£1.8 trillion) debt—129pc of GDP—may already be beyond the point of no return for a country without its own currency.

Standard & Poor’s did not say this outright when it downgraded the country to near-junk BBB on Tuesday. But if you read between the lines, it is close to saying the game is up for Italy.

Its point is that if “nominal GDP” remains near zero, Rome will have to run a primary surplus of 5pc of GDP each year to stabilise the debt ratio. “Risks to achieving such an outturn appear to be increasing,” it said.

Indeed. The International Monetary Fund has just slashed its growth forecast for Italy this year to -1.8pc. The accumulated fall in Italian output since 2007 will reach 10pc. This is a depression. Yet how is the country supposed to get out of this trap with its currency overvalued by 20pc to 30pc within EMU?

Spain’s crisis has a new twist. The ruling Partido Popular is caught in a slush-fund scandal of such gravity that it cannot plausibly brazen out the allegations any longer, let alone rally the nation behind another year of scorched-earth cuts. El Mundo says a “pre-revolutionary” mood is taking hold.

A magistrate has obtained the original “smoking gun” alleging that Premier Mariano Rajoy accepted illegal payments as a minister. The Left is calling for his head but so are members of the Consejo General del Poder Judicial, the justice watchdog.

“Citizens cannot tolerate a situation where the prime minister has received undeclared payments,” said José Manuel Gómez, a Consejo member. Much of the ruling party appears tainted by a network of covert funding. If proved, said Mr Gomez, it poses a “very grave” threat to Spanish democracy.

Portugal is slipping away. Professor João Ferreira do Amaral’s book—Why We Should Leave The Euro—has been a bestseller for months. He accuses Brussels of serving as an enforcer for Germany and the creditor powers.

Like Greece before it, Portugal is chasing its tail in a downward spiral. Economic contraction of 3pc a year is eroding the tax base, causing Lisbon to miss deficit targets. A new working paper by the Bank of Portugal explains why it has gone wrong. The fiscal multiplier is “twice as large as normal”, or 2.0, in small open economies during crisis times.

What is new is that Vitor Gaspar, the high priest of Portugal’s shock therapy, has thrown in the towel. He blames the fainthearted for refusing to slash with greater vigour. Needless to say, he still refuses to accept that a strategy of wage cuts and deflation in a country with total debt of 370pc of GDP was always likely to fail.

If Portugal does pull off an “internal devaluation” within EMU it will shrink the economic base. Yet the debt burden remains. This is the dreaded denominator effect. Public debt has jumped from 93pc to 123pc since 2010 alone.

The Gaspar exit has closed a chapter. The junior coalition partners are demanding a change of course. I write before knowing whether President Anibal Cavaco Silva will call a snap election, opening the way for a Left-leaning anti-austerity government.

The Portuguese press is already reporting that the European Commission is working secretly on a second bail-out, an admission that the wheels are coming off the original €78bn EU-IMF troika rescue.

This is a political minefield. Any fresh rescue would require a vote in the German Bundestag, certain to demand ferocious conditions if this occurs before the elections.

Europe’s leaders have given a solemn pledge that they will never repeat the error made in Greece of forcing an EMU state into default, with haircuts for banks and pension funds. If Portugal needs debt relief, these leaders will face an ugly choice.

Do they violate this pledge, and shatter market confidence? Or do they admit for the first time that taxpayers will have to foot the bill for holding EMU together? All rescue packages have been loans so far. German, Dutch, Finnish and other creditor parliaments have never yet had to crystallize a single euro in losses.

All this is happening just as tapering talk by the Fed sends shockwaves through credit markets, pushing up borrowing costs by 70 basis points across Europe. Spanish 10-year yields are back to 4.8pc. These are higher than they look, since Spain is already in deflation once tax distortions are stripped out. Real interest rates are soaring.

By doing nothing to offset this, the ECB is allowing “passive tightening” to occur. Mario Draghi’s attempt to talk down yields with his new policy of forward guidance is spitting in the wind. The ECB needs to turn on the monetary spigot full blast—like the Bank of Japan—to head off a slide into deflation trap and enveloping disaster by next year. This is not going to happen.

Der Spiegel reports that the German-led bloc fought vehemently against a rate cut at the last ECB meeting, even though Germany itself has slowed to a crawl as China and the BRICS come off the rails.

Markets have reacted insouciantly so far to these gestating crises across Club Med. They remain entranced by the “Draghi Put”, the ECB’s slowly fraying pledge to backstop Italian and Spanish debt, forgetting that the ECB can only act under strict conditions, triggered first by a vote in the Bundestag.

These conditions can no longer be fulfilled. The politics have curdled everywhere.

Sooner or later, this immense bluff must surely be called.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/10172530/The-wheels-are-coming-off-the-whole-of-southern-Europe.html (emphasis added)

The chickens are coming home to roost. Hold on tight. Things will get very ugly!

Like

1 08 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Russia’s Dictator-For-Life Putin Grants Asylum To Traitor Edward Snowden

It is been reported:

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia and is allowed to enter the country’s territory.

The whistleblower has been granted temporary asylum in Russia, Snowden’s legal representative Anatoly Kucherena said, with his words later confirmed by Russia’s Federal Migration service.

“I have just handed over to him papers from the Russian Immigration Service. They are what he needs to leave the transit zone,” he added.

Kucherena showed a photocopy of the document to the press. According to it, Snowden is free to stay in Russia until at least July 31, 2014. His asylum status may be extended annually upon request.

With his newly-awarded legal status in Russia, Snowden cannot be handed over to the US authorities, even if Washington files an official request. He can now be transported to the United States only if he agrees to go voluntarily.

A statement by the WikiLeaks has revealed the words Snowden said after he was handed the Russian asylum certificate.

“Over the past eight weeks we have seen the Obama administration show no respect for international or domestic law, but in the end the law is winning,” the NSA leaker stressed. “I thank the Russian Federation for granting me asylum in accordance with its laws and international obligations.”

Snowden departed at around 15.30 Moscow time (11.30 GMT), airport sources said. His departure came some 30 minutes before his new refugee status was officially announced.

His present location has not been made public nor will it be disclosed, Kucherena said.

“He is the most wanted person on earth and his security will be a priority,” the attorney explained. “He will deal with personal security issues and lodging himself. I will just consult him as his lawyer.”

Snowden eventually intends to talk to the press in Russia, but needs at least one day of privacy, Kucherena said.

The whistleblower was unaccompanied when he left the airport in a regular taxi, Kucherena added.

However, WikiLeaks contradicted the lawyer, saying the organization’s activist Sarah Harrison accompanied Snowden.

Russia is confident that the latest development in the Snowden case will not affect US President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Moscow, presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said.

“We are aware of the atmosphere being created in the US over Snowden, but we didn’t get any signals [indicating a possible cancellation of the visit] from American authorities,” he told RIA Novosti.

Snowden, a former CIA employee and NSA contractor, came to international prominence after leaking several classified documents detailing massive electronic surveillance by the US government and foreign allies who collaborated with them.

Snowden was hiding out in a Hong Kong hotel when he first went public in May. Amidst mounting US pressure on both Beijing and local authorities in the former-British colony to hand the whistleblower over for prosecution, Snowden flew to Moscow on June 23.

Moscow was initially intended as a temporary stopover on his journey, as Snowden was believed to be headed to Ecuador via Cuba. However, he ended up getting stranded at Sheremetyevo Airport after the US government revoked his passport. Snowden could neither leave Russia nor enter it, forcing him to remain in the airport’s transit zone.

In July, Snowden applied for temporary asylum in Russia, a status that would allow him to live and work in the country for one year. Kucherena earlier said the fugitive whistleblower is considering securing permanent residency in Russia, where he will attempt to build a life.

See http://rt.com/news/snowden-entry-papers-russia-902/; see also http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jul/31/inside-the-ring-russia-boosts-cuba-ties/?page=all#pagebreak (“Russia sends warship to Cuba; Boosting military, intelligence ties…”)

. . .

Even Barack Obama—of whom, I am not a “fan”—and his administration have described the United States and Russia (under Putin) as “a troubled relationship,” in canceling a summit with Putin.

See http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_RUSSIA?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-08-07-09-02-02 and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2386005/Obama-snubs-Putin-cancelling-scheduled-meeting-Russian-leader-grants-Edward-Snowden-temporary-asylum.html

. . .

Killer Putin is America’s enemy—who must be terminated if freedom-loving Russians are to have any real chance for democracy, instead of being harassed, tortured and killed.

Like

13 09 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama’s Epic Incompetence

Obama-incompetence

The Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer has probably made the best case for Barack Obama’s utter incompetence:

The president of the United States takes to the airwaves to urgently persuade the nation to pause before doing something it has no desire to do in the first place.

Strange. And it gets stranger still. That “strike Syria, maybe” speech begins with a heart-rending account of children consigned to a terrible death by a monster dropping poison gas. It proceeds to explain why such behavior must be punished. It culminates with the argument that the proper response—the most effective way to uphold fundamental norms, indeed human decency—is a flea bite: something “limited,” “targeted” or, as so memorably described by Secretary of State John Kerry, “unbelievably small.”

The mind reels, but there’s more. We must respond—but not yet. This “Munich moment” (Kerry again) demands first a pause to find accommodation with that very same toxin-wielding monster, by way of negotiations with his equally cynical, often shirtless, Kremlin patron bearing promises.

The promise is to rid Syria of its chemical weapons. The negotiations are open-ended. Not a word from President Obama about any deadline or ultimatum. And utter passivity: Kerry said hours earlier that he awaited the Russian proposal.

Why? The administration claims (preposterously, but no matter) that Obama has been working on this idea with Putin at previous meetings. Moreover, the idea was first publicly enunciated by Kerry, even though his own State Department immediately walked it back as a slip of the tongue.

Take at face value Obama’s claim of authorship. Then why isn’t he taking ownership? Why isn’t he calling it the “U.S. proposal” and defining it? Why not issue a U.S. plan containing the precise demands, detailed timeline and threat of action should these conditions fail to be met?

Putin doesn’t care one way or the other about chemical weapons. Nor about dead Syrian children. Nor about international norms, parchment treaties and the other niceties of the liberal imagination.

He cares about power and he cares about keeping Bashar al-Assad in power. Assad is the key link in the anti-Western Shiite crescent stretching from Tehran through Damascus and Beirut to the Mediterranean—on which sits Tartus, Russia’s only military base outside the former Soviet Union. This axis frontally challenges the pro-American Sunni Arab Middle East (Jordan, Yemen, the Gulf Arabs, even the North African states), already terrified at the imminent emergence of a nuclear Iran.

At which point the Iran axis and its Russian patron would achieve dominance over the moderate Arab states, allowing Russia to supplant America as regional hegemon for the first time since Egypt switched to our side in the Cold War in 1972.

The hinge of the entire Russian strategy is saving the Assad regime. That’s the very purpose of the “Russian proposal.” Imagine that some supposed arms-control protocol is worked out. The inspectors have to be vetted by Assad, protected by Assad, convoyed by Assad, directed by Assad to every destination. Negotiation, inspection, identification, accounting, transport and safety would require constant cooperation with the regime, and thus acknowledgment of its sovereignty and legitimacy.

So much for Obama’s repeated insistence that Assad must go. Indeed, Putin has openly demanded that any negotiation be conditioned on a U.S. commitment to forswear the use of force against Assad. On Thursday, Assad repeated that demand, warning that without an American pledge not to attack and not to arm the rebels, his government would agree to nothing.

This would abolish the very possibility of America tilting the order of battle in a Syrian war that Assad is now winning thanks to Russian arms, Iranian advisers and Lebanese Hezbollah shock troops. Putin thus assures the survival of his Syrian client and the continued ascendancy of the anti-Western Iranian bloc.

And what does America get? Obama saves face.

Some deal.

As for the peace process, it has about zero chance of disarming Damascus. We’ve spent nine years disarming an infinitely smaller arsenal in Libya—in conditions of peace—and we’re still finding undeclared stockpiles.

Yet consider what’s happened over the last month. Assad uses poison gas on civilians and is branded, by the United States above all, a war criminal. Putin, covering for the war criminal, is exposed, isolated, courting pariah status.

And now? Assad, far from receiving punishment of any kind, goes from monster to peace partner. Putin bestrides the world stage, playing dealmaker. He’s welcomed by America as a constructive partner. Now a world statesman, he takes to the New York Times to blame American interventionist arrogance—a.k.a. “American exceptionalism”—for inducing small states to acquire WMDs in the first place.

And Obama gets to slink away from a Syrian debacle of his own making. Such are the fruits of a diplomacy of epic incompetence.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-the-fruits-of-epic-incompetence/2013/09/12/7e6771d2-1bdf-11e3-a628-7e6dde8f889d_story.html; see also http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/charlescrawford/100235857/syria-assad-must-go-said-obama-but-putin-has-carved-him-down-to-size-and-soon-it-will-be-assad-must-stay/ (“In due course Washington will have so much credibility invested in Syria’s [chemical weapons] non-disarmament that it will start to need Assad to stay in power to guarantee some crumbs of success. . . . The Obama administration knows that it is experiencing unprecedented humiliation. So it proclaims victory. . . . This is something quite new in world affairs: Washington sprawling on its back after falling for the Grandmother of All Putinesque Judo-flips“) and http://nationalreview.com/corner/359557/libya-muslim-brotherhood-and-other-jihadists-grab-massive-amounts-us-weapons-andrew-c (“In Libya, Muslim Brotherhood and Other Jihadists Grab ‘Massive Amounts’ of U.S. Weapons“)

. . .

Once again, Americans need to read (or reread) Obama’s book, “Dreams from My Father,” to realize fully how incompetent he is, and how out of touch he is with Americans who were born and raised on the U.S. mainland.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

He has been exposed for America and the world to see—like the potentate in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

Those Americans who voted for him—not just once, but twice—are getting exactly what they deserve. The rest of us can only count the days until his presidency ends!

Like

21 09 2013
Ardes

Russia’s dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin is every bit as sinister and evil as Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Mao Tse-tung. He is a ruthless killer—of his own people and others, and of the human spirit.

You are so crazy about Putin that it makes me admire you!

And I have a question to you. You write about the russian politics a lot, so you must be very well informed about the russian history. The question is — what is your opinion, who of the historical rulers of Russia were the best, say, 3? Putin and Stalin are the worst, but who are the best, and why?

Sorry for my English, it’s far from perfect, but I hope you understand what I’ve tried to ask.

Like

21 09 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your comments.

First, Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin moved your country away from war and toward peace. Putin, being the ruthless KGB agent that he was, has gone in the opposite direction.

I realize that many Russians like this, because he is seen as restoring the “glory days” of the Soviet Union. However, he has been brutal toward Russian democrats and those who would oppose him. He is, in fact, a Russian dictator; and a sinister one at that.

Second, I assume by your question about “the historical rulers of Russia” that you are asking about rulers over the last several hundred years. I am not in a position to comment about them. I know American history better than pre-communist Russian history.

The last paragraph of my article above sets forth my hopes for Putin.

Like

23 09 2013
Ardes

Thank you for the answer.

Well, I’m not suprised. I think you’re absolutely right, Gorbachev and Yeltsin were much better rulers of Russia than Putin. For the USA, of course, not for the russian people. The russian people remember the years of Gorbachev and Yeltsin as years of a nightmare.

So I’m sure that your problem isn’t Putin. Your problem is Russia. You hate Putin because he has stopped the destruction of Russia. And you would hate Putin as well even if he were an angel, right?

Like

23 09 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your additional comments, which are fascinating.

First, it seems that many Russians today yearn for the “good old days” of Stalin, who was a butcher of his own people. I must assume that you are one of them; and that you accept the fact that Putin is merely a “smoother” version of Stalin.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”)

Second, Russia under Putin is not a Third World country today, but it is close—and certainly it is no longer a superpower. You and Putin must share the dream of restoring Stalinist policies and the Soviet Union, when it was feared around the world.

Like

25 09 2013
Ardes

I’m sorry, but you’re totally wrong about what the Russians dream about. I and the majority of the russian people wouldn’t like to live in the soviet epoch, that’s for sure.

Look, my father was a colonel of the Soviet Army, and he never could afford a personal car. But now my own family have two cars, and my sister’s family have two cars. My sister is a businesswoman, she’s got a small business and hasn’t got any boss. She has bought a flat in a new house. I am building my own house of two floors. My parents couldn’t even dream of it in the soviet era.

Now let’s remember the years of Yeltsin. Have you ever lived in a disfalling country? I have. My family was close to hunger death, literally. The pension of my parents was close to zero. We had to sell our family jewels for survive. My month salary was about $100 and it was pretty good for that time, many of my friends and their parents had less (now it’s about $3000 despite I don’t have a big position in the company I work for).

In the country there was a war, my ex-schoolmates had to fight there, one was wounded. For starting a new business one needed to get a permission from the local mafia first.

And the situation was getting worse and worse. Only the “oligarchs” was getting reacher and reacher and more and more powerful.

So when your stupid propaganda tells that Gorbachev (who managed to totally ruin a great country with no help of an enemy) and Yeltsin were better than Putin, everybody in Russia understands that for you Russia in ruins is much better than Russia in power. And when you abuse Putin and blame him of all crimes, then we know that Putin is doing everything right.

Also thank you for your praising Kasparov and the others, because by doing this you clearly show who is an enemy of Russia and of the russian people. What do you think of Navalny, is he better than Kasparov?

Like

25 09 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you again for your comments.

Yes, I realize that some have been living well in Russia, certainly better than in the past. However, some lived well under Stalin too, yet more than 30 million men, women and children—his own countrymen—lost their lives because of him.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/

With respect to Alexei Navalny, based on what I know about him, he is very courageous.

Like

25 09 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Putin’s Macho Posturing Obscures Russia’s Continuing Decline, And Prevents Action To Avert It

This is the conclusion reached in a fascinating article by Richard Spencer, which appears in the UK’s Telegraph:

As time passes, the more it becomes apparent, as it should have been from the start, that the Russian “triumph” over America on the chemical weapons deal in Syria was an illusion. Vladimir Putin is driving Russia ever deeper into a mire in Syria. The conflict is repeatedly compared to the Iraq war, but the comparison with Afghanistan is much closer. Some have called it “Iran’s Vietnam” but there’s a chance it may become Russia’s Afghanistan all over again. President Obama’s decision to call off air and missile strikes in return for a chemical weapons deal may have been a short-term tactical win for Mr Putin, in that America was stopped, for now, from intervening in Russia’s “patch” (though such an intervention was beginning to look less and less likely anyway). That is one stated goal of Mr Putin. His longer-term goal is to frustrate American expansionism (what Washington likes to see as the spread of Western democratic values).

. . .

We have been told in Britain to worry about hardened jihadists returning from Syria (or Somalia) to strike back home. Yet we are no longer such a target as we were, having pulled out of Iraq, and being about to pull out of Afghanistan. Yet jihadists are being regularly told to focus on the insurgencies in those parts of the Russian Caucasus home to Muslim populations, such as Chechnya, Ingushetya and Daghestan. Remember Beslan? And this is before Russia is sucked militarily into the conflict. A good opportunity for that will come if, as its foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov has promised, it provides troops to defend the chemical weapons inspectors tasked with dealing with the chemical weapons programme under the UN-sponsored deal.

. . . Russian prestige in its announcement depended on the outside world listening to two very strong messages—without noticing that they were contradictory. One, repeated by Vladimir Putin in his article for The New York Times, was that President Assad was innocent of using chemical weapons and that it was the opposition’s doing. The second was that Russia had scored a hit in persuading Mr Assad to give up his chemical weapons. There will be some who are so determined to deny Mr Assad’s guilt that they will insist that this was some act of extraordinary benevolence by both leaders—a supreme example of turning the other cheek, to be the victim of a chemical weapons attack and give up your own in response.

However, if that is the case, the implicit agreement must be that Russia will defend Assad to the end, having taken away its ultimate deterrent, and that Russia has tied its own fortunes to the regime, as it unwittingly did in Afghanistan in the 1980s. It is far more likely, it seems to me, that Russia is convinced that the Aug 21 attack was the work of Mr Assad and that giving up his chemical weapons was its own (despairing) demand in return for continued support. There’s an interesting anecdote (among many) in a New Yorker profile this week of the head of the Iranian al-Quds force in which US intelligence agencies in December saw Assad troops loading up chemical weapons, and, via Russia and Iran, had the attack stopped. It’s unverifiable—of course—but it makes much more sense to see Russia as also tearing its hair out over its Syrian protégé (even Putin has given hints of that). Now Mr Putin has been handed the Syrian brief, but it is one he cannot now win. Russia will be vilified for Assad’s crimes; but if Assad somehow wins—or at least stays in some sort of power—it is Iran whose interests will be preserved. It is not clear, any more, what interests Russia has in Syria, other than pride, and it can’t have a lot of that, can it?

So much for Syria, but that’s just one strategic loss suffered by Mr Putin. It is often said that he is more determined to oppose a UN resolution over Syria because he allowed one over Libya and felt cheated when the West used it to help topple Col Gaddafi. This argument has always seemed odd to me since it was perfectly obvious at the time that this was the intention of the UN resolution Britain and France pushed through, but it remains the case that the fall of Gaddafi also represented the death of someone else who—like Saddam before him—was an albeit eccentric and unreliable part-client of Russia (at least of its arms industry). Of course it needs to defend Assad—from Ceaucescu to Gaddafi, the final moments of Russian proteges have not been pretty. Meanwhile, while Mr Putin’s attention was turned elsewhere, he’s losing elsewhere too: see this Economist article) for how Russia is being replaced by China as the leading influence in Moscow’s former Central Asian colonies.

There is little evidence, to me, that by the time Mr Putin does eventually retire, he will have restored Russia’s place in the world. Much more likely, that his macho posturing will be seen to have obscured Russia’s continuing decline, and prevented action to prevent it. The worst that can be said of President Obama meanwhile is that he is making the same mistake in Syria as President George Bush senior (allegedly) did in Afghanistan. Mrs Thatcher’s famous warning about Mr Bush (“don’t go wobbly, George!) could certainly apply to his current successor. By standing aside as Syria burns in the fallout from the growing inability of Russia to control its fiefdoms, he may well be setting aside trouble for later. Assad is unlikely to win back his northern kingdom, which could easily become a lawless centre for al-Qaeda operations, as Afghanistan did. But the truth is that strategically America has little to lose. It still has its key Middle East allies—Israel, the Gulf states. If a consensus with Iran is formed, unlikely I know but not to be ruled out, it could find its position strengthened, even if conflict continues in Syria. It will not be lost on Russia that if some sort of deal is done allowing Iranian oil back on to the market, prices will fall and its own oil-dependent economy will be in jeopardy. And what of Assad? Will he not be strengthened by this deal? It hardly seems likely. The rebels are still as near to the centre of Damascus as they were on Aug 21. They still control large parts of the country. . . .

See http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/richardspencer/100237864/its-russia-not-america-that-has-most-to-fear-in-syria/ (“It’s Russia, not America, that has most to fear in Syria”); see also http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/12/opinion/putin-plea-for-caution-from-russia-on-syria.html (Putin: “A Plea for Caution From Russia”) and http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21586304-vast-region-chinas-economic-clout-more-match-russias-rising-china-sinking (“Rising China, sinking Russia”)

The article’s bottom line—”Vladimir Putin is driving Russia ever deeper into a mire in Syria”—is worth noting.

Down deep, Barack Obama is a pacifist. In his seminal book, “Dreams from My Father”—which discusses almost every aspect of his life, and sets forth his core beliefs—there is no hint of any militarism or global ambitions.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

Because Obama has hated Apartheid in South Africa and British imperialism with a passion—and he made this crystal clear in his book, and by getting rid of the bust of Winston Churchill as one of his first acts as president—one can understand why he has drawn back from any strikes against Syria or confrontation with Iran.

He will not “carry water” for Benjamin Netanyahu because, on some level, he views the Israeli leader with the same disdain that Putin enjoys. Also, Obama hates the Israeli Apartheid and oppression of the Palestinians.

It is doubtful that Obama will ever intervene militarily in Syria, or Iran, because the American people do not want to be involved in any more wars in the Middle East. Obama understands this, which is consistent with his own innate pacifism.

Most Americans are “America-centric,” and only care about what is in the best interests of the United States. They do not have any allegiance to another country—especially Israel.

Next, Spencer’s observation is worth repeating:

There is little evidence, to me, that by the time Mr Putin does eventually retire, he will have restored Russia’s place in the world. Much more likely, that his macho posturing will be seen to have obscured Russia’s continuing decline, and prevented action to prevent it.

Amen!

Lastly, America’s attention has shifted to the Pacific, and rightly so. China is our greatest threat in the future, with Russia and North Korea behind it—not the Middle East.

See, e.g., http://freebeacon.com/russia-china-hold-large-scale-war-games/ (“Russia, China Hold Large-Scale War Games”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ (“Russia’s Putin Is A Killer”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/the-next-major-war-korea-again/ (“The Next Major War: Korea Again?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”)

Like

29 10 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Killer Putin Recalls Romantic Years Of Soviet Youth

Putin is Hitler

Like those who were immersed in the Hitler Youth movement, Vladimir Putin—a former KGB spy—has revealed that he retains fond memories of the Communist Party’s youth wing:

Putin spoke on the eve of the 95th anniversary of the establishment of the Komsomol, the youth division of the Communist Party, marked on Tuesday.

“This anniversary is an important date in the history of our state, in the lives of millions of people both in Russia and far outside its borders,” Putin said in a statement.

The Russian strongman waxed nostalgic, saying memories of one’s Komsomol youth united people from all walks of life, from scientists and public figures to artists and war veterans.

“Because Komsomol is not only politics, it’s true friendship and love, student years and the romanticism of new roads, common goals and dreams and the most important—being part of the fate of your homeland,” he said on Monday.

Komsomol, an abbreviation of the All-Union Lenin Communist Union of Youth (known in Russian as the VLKSM), was established in 1918, a year after the Bolshevik Revolution.

Membership in the organisation was considered a stepping stone to top jobs, and several generations wore red Komsomol pins featuring Lenin’s profile as a badge of honour.

The Soviet leadership cleverly harnessed the enthusiasm of Komsomol youth to build badly needed infrastructure like the monumental Baikal-Amur railroad.

Putin expressed hope that modern youth groups would find the “time-tested VLKSM traditions” useful in their work.

He once famously said that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.”

Since coming back to the Kremlin for a third term last year, he sharpened his patriotic rhetoric in a bid to rally support after huge protests against his decade-long rule.

See http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hqJlVf8sJcSXk_pbn1rIpqP5XRQw?docId=dee359e8-25b3-4595-89a7-b5c2c22d1f37&hl=en

Hitler might have given a similar speech. And in another life, Putin might have been a “shining” example of the Hitler Youth.

Like

6 12 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Woe To U.S. Allies

This is the title of an article by the Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer, which states:

Three crises, one president, many bewildered friends.

The first crisis, barely noticed here, is Ukraine’s sudden turn away from Europe and back to the Russian embrace.

After years of negotiations for a major trading agreement with the European Union, Ukraine succumbed to characteristically blunt and brutal economic threats from Russia and abruptly walked away. Ukraine is instead considering joining the Moscow-centered Customs Union with Russia’s fellow dictatorships Belarus and Kazakhstan.

This is no trivial matter. Ukraine is not just the largest European country, it’s the linchpin for Vladimir Putin’s dream of a renewed imperial Russia, hegemonic in its neighborhood and rolling back the quarter-century advancement of the “Europe whole and free” bequeathed by America’s victory in the Cold War.

The U.S. response? Almost imperceptible. As with Iran’s ruthlessly crushed Green Revolution of 2009, the hundreds of thousands of protesters who’ve turned out to reverse this betrayal of Ukrainian independence have found no voice in Washington. Can’t this administration even rhetorically support those seeking a democratic future, as we did during Ukraine’s Orange Revolution of 2004?

A Post online headline explains: “With Russia in mind, U.S. takes cautious approach on Ukraine unrest.” We must not offend Putin. We must not jeopardize Obama’s precious “reset,” a farce that has yielded nothing but the well-earned distrust of allies such as Poland and the Czech Republic whom we wantonly undercut in a vain effort to appease Russia on missile defense.

Why not outbid Putin? We’re talking about a $10 billion to $15 billion package from Western economies with more than $30 trillion in GDP to alter the strategic balance between a free Europe and an aggressively authoritarian Russia—and prevent a barely solvent Russian kleptocracy living off oil, gas and vodka, from blackmailing its way to regional hegemony.

The second crisis is the Middle East—the collapse of confidence of U.S. allies as America romances Iran.

The Gulf Arabs are stunned at their double abandonment. In the nuclear negotiations with Iran, the U.S. has overthrown seven years of Security Council resolutions prohibiting uranium enrichment and effectively recognized Iran as a threshold nuclear state. This follows our near-abandonment of the Syrian revolution and de facto recognition of both the Assad regime and Iran’s “Shiite Crescent” of client states stretching to the Mediterranean.

Equally dumbfounded are the Israelis, now trapped by an agreement designed less to stop the Iranian nuclear program than to prevent the Israeli Air Force from stopping the Iranian nuclear program.

Neither Arab nor Israeli can quite fathom Obama’s naivete in imagining some strategic condominium with a regime that defines its very purpose as overthrowing American power and expelling it from the region.

Better diplomacy than war, say Obama’s apologists, an adolescent response implying that all diplomacy is the same, as if a diplomacy of capitulation is no different from a diplomacy of pressure.

What to do? Apply pressure. Congress should immediately pass punishing new sanctions to be implemented exactly six months hence—when the current interim accord is supposed to end—if the Iranians have not lived up to the agreement and refuse to negotiate a final deal that fully liquidates their nuclear weapons program.

The third crisis is unfolding over the East China Sea, where, in open challenge to Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” China has brazenly declared a huge expansion of its airspace into waters claimed by Japan and South Korea.

Obama’s first response—sending B-52s through that airspace without acknowledging the Chinese—was quick and firm. Japan and South Korea followed suit. But when Japan then told its civilian carriers not to comply with Chinese demands for identification, the State Department (and FAA) told U.S. air carriers to submit.

Which, of course, left the Japanese hanging. It got worse. During Vice President Biden’s visit to China, the administration buckled. Rather than insisting on a withdrawal of China’s outrageous claim, we began urging mere nonenforcement.

Again leaving our friends stunned. They need an ally, not an intermediary. Here is the U.S. again going over the heads of allies to accommodate a common adversary. We should be declaring the Chinese claim null and void, ordering our commercial airlines to join Japan in acting accordingly, and supplying them with joint military escorts if necessary.

This would not be an exercise in belligerence but a demonstration that if other countries unilaterally overturn the status quo, they will meet a firm, united, multilateral response from the West.

Led by us. From in front.

No one’s asking for a JFK-like commitment to “bear any burden” to “assure the . . . success of liberty.” Or a Reaganesque tearing down of walls. Or even a Clintonian assertion of America as the indispensable nation. America’s allies are seeking simply a reconsideration of the policy of retreat that marks this administration’s response to red-line challenges all over the world—and leaves them naked.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-woe-to-us-allies/2013/12/05/cdf511ca-5de1-11e3-bc56-c6ca94801fac_story.html (emphasis added)

Like

9 12 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Dictator Putin Dissolves State News Agency, And Tightens Grip On Russian Media

Putin is Stalin in mirror

Reuters has reported:

President Vladimir Putin tightened his control over Russia’s media on Monday by dissolving the main state news agency and replacing it with an organization that is to promote Moscow’s image abroad.

The move to abolish RIA Novosti and create a news agency to be known as Rossiya Segodnya is the second in two weeks strengthening Putin’s hold on the media as he tries to reassert his authority after protests against his rule.

Most Russian media outlets are already loyal to Putin, and opponents get little air time, but the shake-up underlined their importance to Putin keeping power and the Kremlin’s concern about the president’s ratings and image.

The head of the new agency, to be built from the ashes of RIA Novosti, is a conservative news anchor, Dmitry Kiselyov, who once caused outrage by saying the organs of homosexuals should not be used in transplants.

“The main focus of … Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today) is to highlight abroad the state policy and public life of the Russian Federation,” said a decree signed by Putin.

Sergei Ivanov, the head of the presidential administration, told reporters that the changes were intended to save money and improve the state media.

But the new organization has strong similarities to APN, a Soviet-era news agency whose role included writing articles about “the social-economic and cultural life of the Soviet people and items reflecting Soviet society’s point of view on important internal and international events”.

RIA said in an English-language article about Putin’s step: “The move is the latest in a series of shifts in Russia’s news landscape which appear to point towards a tightening of state control in the already heavily regulated media sector.”

Rossiya Segodnya’s focus on building up Russia abroad could solidify Putin’s grip on information by further limiting sources of news for Russians whose TV screens are dominated by state-controlled channels.

Putin’s decree appeared to have little effect on the two other major Russian news agencies, state-run Itar-Tass and private Interfax, but it could benefit both by making RIA’s replacement less of a competitor domestically.

Itar-Tass is the successor of the Soviet official Tass agency, while Interfax has more leeway as a private agency but is restricted by the Kremlin’s dominance.

NEWS BOSS COURTS CONTROVERSY

A prominent member of parliament, Alexei Mitrofanov, described Kiselyov as a “powerful propagandist” but said this was a good thing and that he was suitable for the job.

In his third term, after weathering protests led by urban liberals, the 61-year-old Putin has often appealed to conservatives and championed the Russian Orthodox Church as a moral guide for society.

Kiselyov has proved a loyal Putin supporter as a television presenter, at times making provocative remarks. In 2010 he said homosexuals should be banned from donating blood or sperm and last year said they should also be banned from donating organs.

Putin has been Russia’s dominant leader since he was first elected president in 2000. He began his third term in the Kremlin in May 2012 after stepping aside to serve for four years as prime minister because of constitutional limits.

The opposition staged big street protests against him for several months from December 2011, following a parliamentary election they said was rigged. The demonstrations have faded but Putin’s popularity ratings have declined from their peak during his first two terms—from 2000 until 2008.

The Kremlin extended its grip over radio and television broadcasting on November 26 when the media arm of state-controlled Gazprom bought mining tycoon Vladimir Potanin’s Profmedia.

Through the deal, the ex-Soviet gas ministry—now Russia’s largest firm by revenue—will add TV and radio stations, cinemas and film production and distribution assets to a sprawling portfolio built up around commercial channel NTV.

The Kremlin already funds an English-language TV channel called RT which was initially known as Russia Today. It is not clear whether the two will operate separately and RT’s head, Margarita Simonyan, said she had been unaware of the move.

The new organization will be created in RIA Novosti’s headquarters in central Moscow. The fate of its journalists and other employees was not immediately clear.

RIA Novosti was created as the Soviet Information Bureau in 1941, after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, and issues reports in Russian and foreign languages.

See http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/09/us-russia-media-idUSBRE9B80I120131209 (emphasis added)

The brutal dictator Putin must be terminated. With each day that passes, he resorts more and more to his Stalinist-KGB heritage!

Like

10 12 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Barack Obama Is Gutting Our Military Forces, Which Will Affect Our National Security For Decades To Come

Obama Guts Our Military

As I wrote more than four years ago:

International terrorism and other very real national security concerns still loom, which might produce flashpoints at any time. We have enemies who seek to destroy us—a fact that is sometimes forgotten as 9/11 recedes in our memories. While it might be attractive . . . to take a “meat ax” to the Defense Department, it would be foolhardy to gut our military precisely when it has been performing magnificently and its continued strength is needed most. America’s economic and military strength go hand in hand. Both are indispensable ingredients of our great nation’s future strength.

See http://www.realclearpolitics.com/news/tms/politics/2009/Apr/08/euphoria_or_the_obama_depression_.html (“Euphoria or the Obama Depression?”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/is-obama-the-new-nixon/#comment-3125 (“Obama Accused Of Military Purge”)

John Lehman, who was secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration and a member of the 9/11 Commission, has written in the Wall Street Journal:

As we lament the lack of strategic direction in American foreign policy, it is useful to remember the classic aphorism that diplomatic power is the shadow cast by military power. The many failures and disappointments of American policy in recent years, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Russia and Iran are symptoms of the steady shrinkage of the shadow cast by American military power and the fading credibility and deterrence that depends on it.

Although current U.S. spending on defense adjusted for inflation has been higher than at the height of the Reagan administration, it has been producing less than half of the forces and capabilities of those years. Instead of a 600-ship Navy, we now have a 280-ship Navy, although the world’s seas have not shrunk and our global dependence has grown. Instead of Reagan’s 20-division Army, we have only 10-division equivalents. The Air Force has fewer than half the number of fighters and bombers it had 30 years ago.

Apologists for the shrinkage argue that today’s ships and aircraft are far more capable than those of the ’80s and ’90s. That is as true as “you can keep your health insurance.”

While today’s LCSs—the littoral-class ships that operate close to shore—have their uses, they are far less capable than the Perry-class frigates that they replace. Our newest Aegis ships have been upgraded to keep pace with the newest potential missile threats, but their capability against modern submarines has slipped.

Air Force fighter planes today average 28 years old. Although they have been upgraded to keep pace with the latest aircraft of their potential adversaries, they have no greater relative advantage than they had when they were new. There are merely far fewer of them in relation to the potential threat. In deterrence, quantity has a quality all its own.

There is one great numerical advantage the U.S. has against potential adversaries, however. That is the size of our defense bureaucracy. While the fighting forces have steadily shrunk by more than half since the early 1990s, the civilian and uniformed bureaucracy has more than doubled. According to the latest figures, there are currently more than 1,500,000 full-time civilian employees in the Defense Department—800,000 civil servants and 700,000 contract employees. Today, more than half of our active-duty servicemen and women serve in offices on staffs. The number of various Joint Task Force staffs, for instance, has grown since 1987 from seven to more than 250, according to the Defense Business Board.

The constant growth of the bureaucracy has resulted from reform initiatives from Congress and by executive order, each of which established a new office or expanded an existing one. These new layers have accumulated every year since the founding of the Department of Defense in 1947. Unlike private businesses—disciplined by the market—which require constant pruning and overhead reduction to stay profitable, each expansion of the bureaucracy is, to paraphrase President Reagan, the nearest thing to eternal life to be found on earth.

The Pentagon, like Marley’s ghost, must drag this ever-growing burden of chains without relief. As a result something close to paralysis is approaching. The suffocating bloat of overstaffing in an overly centralized web of bureaucracies drives runaway cost growth in weapons systems great and small. Whereas the immensely complex Polaris missile and submarine system took four years from a draft requirement until its first operational patrol in February 1960, today the average time for all weapons procured under Defense Department acquisition regulations is 22 years.

The latest Government Accountability Office report, released in October, estimates that there is $411 billion of unfunded cost growth in current Pentagon programs, almost as much as the entire 10 years of sequester cuts if they continue. The result has been unilateral disarmament.

What is to be done? As with most great issues, the solution is simple, the execution difficult. First, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel must be supported in his announced intention to cut the bureaucracy of uniformed and civilian by at least 20%. Each 7,000 civilian reductions saves at least $5 billion over five years. Second, clear lines of authority and accountability, now dissipated through many bureaucratic entities, must be restored to a defined hierarchy of human beings with names. Third, real competition for production contracts must be re-established as the rule not the exception. Fourth, weapons programs must be designed to meet an established cost and canceled if they begin to exceed it.

While sequester is an act of desperation that adds more uncertainty to an already dysfunctional system, it does seem to be acting as a spur to focus Congress on the urgent need to stop our unilateral disarmament by making deep cuts in bureaucratic overhead throughout the Pentagon, uniformed and civilian.

The way forward for Republicans is not to default to their traditional solution, which is simply to fight sequester cuts and increase the defense budget. Instead, Republicans should concentrate on slashing and restructuring our dysfunctional and bloated defense bureaucracy. With strong defense chairmen on House and Senate committees already sympathetic to the overhead issue, and a willing secretary of defense, this Congress can do it. That will place the blame for the consequences of sequester and the earlier $500 billion Obama cuts squarely where it belongs, on the president and the Democrats.

The way will thereby be prepared for Republican victory in the 2016 elections based on a Reagan-like rebuilding mandate that can actually be carried out by a newly streamlined and more agile Defense Department.

See http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303562904579227842506498188 (“More Bureaucrats, Fewer Jets and Ships”) (emphasis added)

I respectfully disagree with Lehman. Obama and Hagel seek to gut our military, not make it more efficient. The Pentagon has always been bureaucratic. In fact, it is the only portion of American government that functions effectively and relatively efficiently. It must be strengthened; and we must stop Obama’s unilateral disarmament.

Obamacare is destroying our national health care system—or one-sixth of the American economy. Obama must not be allowed to destroy the U.S. military. Our very survival depends on it!

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/is-obama-the-new-nixon/#comment-3156 (“Why Liberals Are Panicked About Obamacare”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (“China Is America’s Enemy: Make No Mistake About That“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ (“Russia’s Putin Is A Killer“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/the-next-major-war-korea-again/ (“The Next Major War: Korea Again?“) (see also the comments beneath the articles)

Like

12 12 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Vladimir Putin Is A Killer And Delusional

In an article published by the UK’s Telegraph, entitled “Vladimir Putin claims Russia is moral compass of the world,” it is stated:

Russia has asserted that it takes a morally superior world-view to the West and is seeking to resist the tide of “non-traditional values.”

Mr Putin, the Russian president, used his state-of-the-nation address to defend his government’s increasingly conservative values.

Speaking as a worldwide protest movement grows against the Kremlin’s anti-gay stance, Mr Putin upbraided the West for treating “good and evil” equally.

In his 70-minute televised speech from an ornate Kremlin hall, Mr Putin pledged to defend traditional family values, which he said were the foundation of Russia’s greatness and a bulwark against “so-called tolerance—genderless and infertile.” Russia has one of the lowest birth rates of any developed nation.

The remarks also contained a renewed entreaty to Ukraine as it struggles with protests against the president, Victor Yanukovich’s decision to spurn a free-trade agreement with the European Union in favour of closer economic ties with Moscow.

“I’m sure achieving Eurasian integration will only increase interest (in it) from our other neighbours, including from our Ukrainian partners,” Mr Putin said. “I hope that all political sides can successfully reach an agreement in the interests of the Ukrainian people.”

“Our integration project is based on equal rights and real economic interests,” referring to a customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan which Mr Putin plans to develop into a political and trading bloc to be known as the Eurasian Union.

The Russian leader also attacked the prevalence of offshore investment vehicles in the economy. “The main reasons for a slowdown in economic growth are internal, not external,” he said. “We must establish more stability and a good investment climate.”

Half of $50 billion that Russian companies invest abroad every year is sent to offshore jurisdictions, which Putin described as the “transfer of capitals that should be working in Russia.”

Without naming the United States, Mr Putin warned that the development of anti-missile shields and powerful long-range non-nuclear weapons could “reduce to nothing” existing nuclear arms control pacts and upset the post-Cold War strategic balance.

“Nobody should have any illusion about the possibility of gaining military superiority over Russia,” he said. “We will never allow this to happen. Russia will respond to all these challenges, political and military.”

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/10513330/Vladimir-Putin-claims-Russia-is-moral-compass-of-the-world.html (emphasis added)

Russia is a pygmy state—which is struggling to survive economically—ruled by a quintessential demonic despot, Putin, who must be terminated!

Like

20 12 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Obamas, Biden Boycott Killer Putin’s Winter Olympics In Russia

Putin is Stalin

The Washington Post has reported:

The White House announced Tuesday that President Obama, Vice President Biden and the first lady will not attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in February, a pointed snub by an administration that is feuding with Russian leaders on a range of foreign policy and human rights issues.

The U.S. delegation will be led by a former Cabinet secretary and a deputy secretary of state, and it will include two openly gay athletes—tennis legend Billie Jean King and ice hockey player Caitlin Cahow—in an apparent bid to highlight opposition to Russia’s anti-gay laws.

This will mark the first time since the Summer Games in Sydney in 2000 that a U.S. Olympic delegation did not include a president, first lady or vice president. The White House made the announcement in a news release late Tuesday.

Officials said Obama’s schedule would not permit him to attend the Games during a two-week period beginning Feb. 7, although they did not specify what the president would be doing instead. Obama, a major sports fan, is “extremely proud” of the U.S. team and “looks forward to cheering them on from Washington,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye said in a statement.

The U.S. delegation “represents the diversity that is the United States,” Inouye said. “All our delegation members are distinguished by their accomplishments in government service, civic activism, and sports.”

. . .

The Obama administration’s relationship with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin has deteriorated this year as the two countries have clashed on several issues. The United States blamed Russia, along with China, for blocking a United Nations resolution authorizing potential military intervention in Syria in the summer, and the two countries have failed to agree on a pact for broader nuclear disarmament.

The White House also was angered by Russia’s decision to grant temporary political asylum to Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked thousands of classified documents detailing the United States’ broad spying apparatus.

In September, Obama canceled a planned bilateral meeting with Putin ahead of an economic summit in St. Petersburg. . . .

During a news conference in August, Obama said he did not believe it was appropriate for the United States to boycott the Winter Games altogether, as it did in 1980 by staying away from the Summer Games in Moscow after the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

. . .

Cahow, a two-time Olympian, said . . . that she believed it made sense for United States to compete in the Sochi Games, comparing it to the example of Jesse Owens, the black track and field star who competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics in Nazi Germany.

“He demonstrated the greatness of who he was as an African-American athlete,” she said.” It’s precisely the same philosophy we should be taking to Russia. I don’t think any athletes are going to go over there just to protest Russian policy. That makes no sense. They’re going to go over there because they want to compete.”

Janet Napolitano, the former secretary of homeland security who is now the president of the University of California system, will head the U.S. delegation to the opening ceremonies, while Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns will head the delegation for the closing ceremonies.

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul and Obama aide Rob Nabors are also scheduled to attend, along with Olympic medalists Bonnie Blair, Brian Boitano and Eric Heiden.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obamas-biden-to-skip-the-winter-olympics-in-russia/2013/12/17/f7fbb148-676b-11e3-a0b9-249bbb34602c_story.html; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-226 (“Boycott The Winter Olympics In Sochi!“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-1028 (“Tycoon Alexander Lebedev, Putin’s “Full Of Sex” Mistress Alina Kabayeva, And WikiLeaks“) and http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/12/29/russia-train-station-explosion/4239187/ (“Suicide bombing in Russia highlights Olympics security“) and http://world.time.com/2013/12/30/ghosts-of-munich-haunt-sochi-olympics-in-wake-of-russia-bombings/ (“Ghosts of Munich Haunt Sochi Olympics in Wake of Russia Bombings“) and http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OLY_SOCHI_SCENE_FANS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-02-06-03-42-18 (“SOCHI SCENE: WELCOME, WORLD—WHERE ARE YOU?“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3300 (“$60 Oil Will Finish Russia’s Brutal Putin Regime“) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2556121/Too-cold-Sochi-suffers-distinct-lack-atmosphere-stadiums-revealed-seats.html (“The great Olympic no-show: Sochi suffers from a distinct lack of atmosphere as stadiums revealed to be full of empty seats“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust“)

Bravo!

Russia’s dictator-for-life Putin is a brutal killer; and the world needs to recognize him as such.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden have chosen to do so, and they should be praised for their decisions.

For the American president or vice president to attend the Olympics in Sochi—where Putin has a dacha—would be the moral equivalent of attending Hitler’s Olympics in Berlin.

Putin is Stalin’s heir; and Stalin was responsible for the deaths of more than 30 million men, women and children—his own countrymen—including millions during the collectivization of the Soviet farms in the 1930s. Also, as the Soviets moved through Germany at the end of World War II, they raped at least two million German women in what is now acknowledged as the largest case of mass rape in history.

Putin came to prominence as a KGB operative in East Germany—or the DDR, as it was known before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Erich Honecker’s government—which was one of the most repressive regimes in the Soviet Union’s orbit, or the Evil Empire.

Putin’s own repressive regime must be boycotted now. Indeed, it is laudable that neither Obama nor Biden are attending the Olympics in Sochi, which sends a strong message to the world.

Also, the world must never forget that Putin left the Olympic games in Beijing and traveled to the Georgian border, where he personally directed Russian military aggression against Georgia and the killing of Georgians.

This is only a small part of the atrocities that he has committed, which are discussed in my article above and the other comments beneath it.

A colleague of mine in the U.S. Congress told me when Putin came to power that he was a “smoother” version of Stalin; and my friend’s words were prescient.

Like

22 01 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

$60 Oil Will Finish Russia’s Brutal Putin Regime [UPDATED]

Putin the rat

The UK Telegraph‘s International Business Editor in London, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, has written:

There is nothing behind the facade of Vladimir Putin’s regime in Russia, says William Browder from Hermitage Capital Management.

“All it will take is a fall in the price of oil to $60 a barrel and Putin will be gone within a year. You’d be surprised how brittle the system really is,” he told me at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The “fiscal break-even price” of oil needed to balance the Russian budget is now $117 a barrel. A protracted slump in crude would force the government to dig deep into its reserve funds, and that in turn would set off further capital flight.

The hedge fund manager—who describes himself as Putin’s “enemy number one”—says Russia’s $499bn foreign reserves would not prove much a defence in the end. “We saw this in 2008 when everything fell apart in a few months even though Russia had the world’s third biggest reserves. It wasn’t supposed to happen but it did.”

A drop in Brent crude to $60 is not impossible. Both Deutsche Bank and Bank of America have warned of a potential glut in oil this year as sanctions against Iran are phased out and Libya’s exports revive. The US is expected to add more than 1m barrels per day (b/d) this year. The Saudis may choose not to stabilise the market by cutting output, deliberately letting crude slide below the marginal cost of production of shale.

Mr Browder says Russia is already primed for Ukraine-style street protests. The catalyst could be oil, or the secondary effects of Fed tapering as it exposes structural rot across the Brics universe.

“There is no ideological fervour [that] sustain[s] the regime, though Putin is trying to create a new form of ideological conservatism with his attacks on gays. Putin’s allies will abandon him as soon as there is trouble,” he said.

Mr Browder has been sentenced to nine years in prison by the Putin justice machinery, punishment for his campaign in the US for the Magnitsky sanctions against top Russian officials.

He faces an international extradition warrant and must be careful where he travels. Interpol refuses to enforce it, deeming it politicised. Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands tell him they will not respect the warrant, but he has take his chances if he goes anywhere else in Europe, let alone to any state across the world without a fully-functioning rule of law.

It should be obvious to any extradition court that he is a target of state persecution, but he can’t be sure. “They tortured and murdered my lawyer to get at me, like sticking pins into a voodoo doll.”

Ever the bear, Mr Browder has a cautionary warning for those preparing to jump back in the Brics and mini-Brics. “Emerging market stocks are a lot cheaper now, but they are not yet cheap enough.”

“Lot of ill-informed money went into these countries during the credit boom. The next big thing coming is that some of these countries will start to close their capital accounts. We’re already seeing it in Egypt and Brazil in different ways.”

Once it spreads, there could be a chain-reaction. “People will start asking themselves which country is next. Once this start people may find they can’t get their money out again.”

See http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ambroseevans-pritchard/100026424/60-oil-will-finish-russias-putin-regime-says-hermitages-browder/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-3303 (“Russia’s ruble is . . . hitting new lows against the euro, as its economy increasingly looks like a one-act play (oil)“) and http://www.nationaljournal.com/technology/russia-to-snowden-stay-as-long-as-you-like-20140124 (“Russia to Snowden: Stay as Long as You Like“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3232 (“Obamas, Biden To Boycott Killer Putin’s Winter Olympics In Russia“) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnitsky_Act (“Magnitsky Act”)

In a related but subsequent article, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard added:

The simmering crisis in emerging markets has spread to Eastern Europe, forcing Russia and Romania to defend their currencies against capital flight and triggering a sharp rise in Hungary’s borrowing costs.

The Russian central bank vowed “unlimited” intervention to defend the rouble after it fell to a record low against a basket of currencies.

Moscow has already burned through $7bn of reserves since early January. Yields on Russia’s two-year “cross-currency swaps”–closely watched by traders for signs of a liquidity crunch–rocketed by 60 basis on Thursday to 7.6pc. They have risen by 140 points in the past three weeks.

While there is no single cause for the emerging market sell-off, the backdrop is a combined monetary squeeze by the US and China that is draining liquidity from the global system.

Russia’s central bank governor, Elvira Nabiullina, said she would not allow a disorderly rouble slide or risk widespread damage to the financial system, backing away from earlier pledges to free the exchange rate. “We are not planning to quit intervention,” she said.

James Lord and Meena Bassily, from Morgan Stanley, said Russia faces an invidious choice, since any move to defend the rouble automatically tightens monetary policy, pushing up borrowing costs. Russia learnt a hard lesson in 2008-2009 when it spent $200bn of reserves defending the currency but in the process caused a collapse of the money supply and destroyed part of the banking system. Yet it cannot risk a policy of benign neglect at a time of stubbornly high inflation and capital outflows that reached $63bn last year.

Tatiana Orlova, from RBS, said there is a risk of “a run on the currency” unless the authorities take decisive action.

In Hungary, 10-year bonds have jumped 60 points over the past week amid reports that the central bank will be forced to ditch plans for rate cuts to shore up the economy. The bank said it is watching the forint “very carefully” after a 7pc slide this month, a drop seen as “too big” for safety.

“Central and Eastern European currencies are starting to wilt. Hungary is trading on very thin ice, but even Poland is vulnerable,” said sovereign bond strategist Nicholas Spiro.

The fresh ructions came after Turkey’s “shock and awe” move to double interest rates on Tuesday failed to restore confidence in the lira, leaving it unclear what the country can feasibly do next. A less drastic move by South Africa had equally meagre results.

“Our concern is that this could lead to a new phase of the crisis,” said Neal Shearing, from Capital Economics. “These countries are caught between a rock and a hard place.”

Analysts say Turkey has ended up with the worst of both worlds. The rate shock will shatter growth and could trigger recession but the authorities have used up their last credible tool for defending the currency.

Lars Christensen, from Danske Bank, said: “Everybody knows that Turkey cannot raise rates by another 500 basis points and nor can they sustain the current rates for long because it will kill the economy.

“I fear the only way out of this may be capital controls, though it would be disastrous if the world goes down that route. These countries should stop trying to defend quasi-pegs and just let their currencies fall. We now have a very risky situation where several central banks are responding to weakening growth in China by tightening policy, which makes it worse.”

Turkey’s finance minister, Mehmet Simsek, denied that there are any plans for capital controls but admitted that the issue “had come up” and was being studied. It has been widely reported in the Turkish press that premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan favours such curbs as less damaging than a monetary squeeze.

Dominic Byrant, from BNP Paribas, said Turkey is the country most at risk, punished for a current account deficit above 7pc of GDP and external debt equal to almost 180pc of exports. But any state with a trade deficit, sticky inflation that also depends heavily on exports to China, is at risk. “Brazil and Indonesia stand out as obvious candidates: 20pc of Brazil’s exports go to China,” he said.

Kingsmill Bond, from Sberbank, said Russia should be sheltered from the latest storm since it has a big current account surplus and oil is still at $105 a barrel. “It gets hit whenever there is an emerging market shock because 70pc of the free float of the Russian equity and bond market is held by foreigners.”

He said there are concerns that oil prices could start to track the slump seen in other commodities as Iran, Libya and Iraq step up production, although Russia has a “rainy day” fund worth 8pc of GDP to cover shortfalls for a while. “We think oil would have to fall below $80 to become a serious issue,” he said.

The International Monetary Fund said it in its annual health check that Russia’s growth potential has collapsed, exhorting the country to reinvent itself to escape the middle income trap. “Russia needs to embrace a new growth model. The previous model of high growth on the back of rising oil prices cannot be replicated,” it said.

The emerging markets are now at a critical juncture. There have been record redemptions this month from mutual funds that invest in these countries but big insurance companies and sovereign wealth funds have held firm.

“Any sign that institutional money is starting to flee would mark a much more severe escalation of the sell-off,” said Mr Spiro.

See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10608578/Emerging-market-storm-spreads-to-Russia-as-rouble-wobbles.html (“Emerging market storm spreads to Russia as rouble wobbles“)

The brutal Putin’s days are numbered. . . .

Like

15 02 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

How Long Can Killer Putin Figure Skate While The Ice Beneath Him Melts?

Ice melts beneath Putin

This is a question asked by Professor Walter Russell Mead in the Wall Street Journal:

The most daring and acrobatic figure in Sochi this week isn’t a snowboarder; it is Vladimir Putin, whose death-defying geopolitical gamble is the hottest game in town. With more twists and turns than a bobsled race, more fancy footwork than a figure-skating final and more dips and flips than a mogul run, Russian diplomacy is a dazzling spectacle these days—and despite his considerable handicaps, Mr. Putin is skating rings around his clumsy and clueless opponents in Washington and Brussels.

The Russian president’s biggest problem is simple: Post-Soviet Russia is a weak state. Take away its gas and oil resources, nuclear arsenal and Cold War-era intelligence networks, and there is not much of a there there. With an economy the size of Italy’s, an ethnic Russian population in decline, a booming China rising nearby and serious and sustained unrest in the Caucasus, Russia hardly has the look of a great power.

But Mr. Putin can’t tell his citizens to relax and enjoy the decline; unlike Britain or France, Russia can’t let its imperial glory go. The fall of the Soviet Union is too recent, the pain of loss too great.

Soon after Mr. Putin came to power in 1999, he made his name by crushing a breakaway rebellion in Chechnya, which had gained de facto independence, and flattening its capital, Grozny—only to see the secular rebels he killed or jailed supplanted by ruthless Islamists. To stay in power for the long term, Mr. Putin needs to fight terrorism and insurgencies at home, to make Russia powerful and respected abroad and to make progress on the Russian establishment’s dream: to reconstruct the Soviet empire in a postcommunist world.

That goal is still far off, but Mr. Putin has made more progress than many Westerners realize. He stopped NATO’s post-Cold War expansion into Russia’s backyard in its tracks; beyond the three Baltic republics, no other former Soviet state looks to be joining NATO soon. Meanwhile, as the U.S. war in Afghanistan winds down, Russia’s economic and military power in Central Asia grows.

But for Mr. Putin, everything pales beside the battle for Ukraine. After Russia, Ukraine was the largest and most important republic within the Soviet Union; if Ukraine truly aligns its economy with the European Union, Russia can never be more than a secondary European power. Three centuries of empire-building will be over, and Russia—like Great Britain, France and other post-imperial European powers—will have to develop a new self-image and a new foreign policy as it glumly adjusts to a smaller role in the world.

Last fall was a near-death experience for the Putin project. The EU thought Ukraine was ready for an association pact that would have killed Russia’s hopes of rebuilding its empire. But some fast Russian footwork—and the promise of $15 billion (with, presumably, some sweeteners for helpful oligarchs in Kiev)—changed Ukraine’s mind. The EU was left at the altar as Ukraine played runaway bride.

Stunned by Russia’s success, the EU and the U.S. are trying to drag Ukraine back to the wedding chapel—so far without success. The U.S. and EU’s chances haven’t been helped by railing at each other in public and private; “F— the EU!” the Obama administration’s top European diplomat memorably told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in a recording that someone, presumably Russian, recently released to the world on YouTube. (The State Department called the episode “a new low in Russian tradecraft.”) Meanwhile, Mr. Putin continues bullying and bribing. So long as Ukraine dithers (and dithering comes naturally to a divided country with weak political institutions and strong oligarchs), his dream lives on.

Further afield, Mr. Putin has enjoyed striking diplomatic successes in the Middle East. Given the simmering Sunni jihadist insurgency in the Caucasus, plus Moscow’s long-standing ties with Syria and Iran, Mr. Putin thinks Russia will be more secure if the Shiites win the sectarian struggle convulsing the region. Chechens and other Russian citizens are fighting alongside Sunni Arab militants in Syria and Iraq, he notes, and the leaders of Shiite Iran hate and fear Sunni jihadists as much as he does. Moreover, both the Iranians and the Russians would like to see the U.S. cut down to size.

Viewed from Moscow, the past six months have been a dream come true in the Middle East. The Americans kept shooting themselves in the foot, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad danced all over President Obama’s self-declared “red line” against the use of “a whole bunch of chemical weapons,” and the Sunni jihadists fighting Mr. Assad lost ground even as they turned their guns against one another. Washington’s closest regional allies (Saudi Arabia and Israel) have rarely had less confidence in U.S. policy-making or will, and anti-Americanism is the one political idea shared by the post-coup regime in Egypt and its Muslim Brotherhood foes.

Mr. Putin has also advanced on the propaganda front. The Edward Snowden caper was a stunning Russian success—and an embarrassing U.S. failure. An old KGB hand, Mr. Putin knows that intelligence and propaganda were among the Soviet Union’s greatest assets—and now, Russia’s spooks and spinmeisters are back. The former National Security Agency contractor’s revelations about the agency’s surveillance programs weren’t just fun; they drove a wedge between the U.S. and its European allies. Brezhnev and Stalin would have approved.

But time isn’t on Mr. Putin’s side. Russia’s failure since 1989 to build an effective economy keeps his reach short. U.S. diplomacy may be wobbly, but U.S. development of shale oil and gas attacks the core of Russia’s strength. With the U.S. out of the gas-importing business, a lot more natural gas is on world markets, and Gazprom’s customers are demanding better terms. Fracking hurts Mr. Putin in the wallet, and Russia has never had much cash to spare.

Worse, no matter what Russia does, China keeps rising in the East, and Germany is becoming more active in the West. Russia’s population is changing, with Muslim minorities growing rapidly and Christian Slavs fading away. Across Russia’s south, militant Islamists quietly slip into the mosques and madrassas. As Russian power dissolves, Mr. Putin is left to vamp in the spotlights and do what he can to reverse, postpone or hide the decline.

Considered purely on form, Mr. Putin is easily the world’s most accomplished diplomatic tap dancer. (The clumsy Chinese can’t make a move without inflaming neighbors worried about their growing power, and the top diplomats of the EU and the U.S.— Catherine Ashton and John Kerry —are often all left feet.) But how long can Putin figure skate while the ice beneath him melts?

Still, Americans should not get too smug. Sometimes smart underdogs win. For Mr. Putin’s razzle-dazzle diplomacy to succeed, he needs one thing above all: for his opponents to make mistakes. So far, the U.S. and the EU have given him all the opportunities he could want. If the West doesn’t get its act together soon, Mr. Putin just might end up with a brace of gold medals.

See http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304888404579381071171060730 (emphasis added); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3232 (“Obamas, Biden Boycott Killer Putin’s Winter Olympics In Russia“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3300 (“$60 Oil Will Finish Russia’s Brutal Putin Regime“)

Like

16 02 2014
Auturu

I think you are living in fantasy. Try to get some real data about Russia.

Like

16 02 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Auturu, for your comments.

First, “real data” is set forth above, in the article and the comments beneath it.

Second, one must assume that you are a Putin shill, who seeks to spread disinformation about the brutal Putin’s regime.

Like

20 02 2014
Joseph

Extremely knowledgeable comments about Russia. As a former citizen of USSR and frequent visitor in post Soviet countries I am surprised that I still can learn from your blog and comments in WSJ

Like

20 02 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Joseph.

I appreciate your kind words greatly.

Like

20 02 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Ukraine Is On the Verge Of War And Putin Is To Blame

Putin is pure evil

This is the face of pure evil . . .

The title above is that of an article by Michael Weiss—which is subtitled, “Corpses littered the streets of Kiev today and the man to blame for Ukraine’s crisis is none other than the king of Sochi himself”:

Corpses are piling up in the capital city of a European country again, and the main beneficiary of the ongoing Grand Guignol is now the celebrated master of ceremonies at an international sporting competition.

As of this writing, Ukraine is drawing to a close the bloodiest day of a 72-hour pogrom. Dozens have been killed. The government of Viktor Yanukovych, having lost all credibility weeks ago, has decided to behave as if it now has nothing to lose and no one, outside of Moscow, to impress.

“Government” may in fact be too strong a term to use to describe what’s left of power structures. Yanukovych already appears more warlord than president. His police force has been firing indiscriminately into the crowds with automatic weapons, joined by roving gangs of loyalist paramilitary units—titushki—who are conspicuous by their own automatic weapons and their yellow arm bands, the latter to keep the police from shooting at them. Hotels have become field hospitals. Bodies of protestors have been found without heads; others have been laid out in rows reminiscent of Aleppo.

Two Ukrainian journalists were recently yanked out of taxis and beaten savagely, one shot in the chest and killed. Evidence of execution-style gunshots with armor-piercing bullets has emerged. Ukrainian authorities, too, have been shot and killed in what now threatens to become all-out civil war and certainly has the telltale signs of one. Barricades erected line the Maidan, or Independence Square in Kiev, as they do in other cities around the country, sometimes with World War II cannons-cum-monuments. Tires and government buildings have been set alight with Molotov cocktails, their fires burning through the night amidst strangely playful green laser light shows. Before long, this mood suggests, someone’s tanks will be rolling into city streets in a replay of Hungary in 1956 or Prague in 1968.

Perhaps the most salient development today was the report that Russia’s spetsnaz (special forces) have been deployed by Putin to help put down what was once a peaceful protest movement, but now is seen as a mayhem of Molotov cocktails and riots. According to Tyzhden, a Ukrainian weekly, one such officer was “captured” by protestors and displayed before the Euromaidan masses today, his martial insignia of a double-headed eagle, proof to many, if proof were needed, of where he came from and who’s actually running the show in Kiev. (Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the president of Estonia, who knows something about Russia’s infiltration of its next-door neighbors, credited this report as plausible and tweeted a link to the Tyzhden article. The Russian embassy in Tallinn accused him of spreading “lying tweets”—before deleting the accusation.)

Why did I say it was alarming that this present state of affairs was not foreseen by the West? Because Putin told us what was imminent. He always has the courtesy to notify in advance, even if we choose not to listen.

Sergei Glazev is his right-hand-man on Russia’s “integration” with Ukraine, which is more properly understood as re-colonization. Yanuykovych “has a choice,” Glazev last month told the house organ of Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas company and, up until now, Putin’s preferred tool for getting what he wants out of Europe. “Either he defends Ukrainian statehood and puts down the insurrection . . . or he risks losing power, in which case Ukraine faces growing chaos and internal conflict with no escape to be seen.”

The consequences for not putting down the “insurrection” were further spelled out by the Kremlin. When Yanukovych appeared to go wobbly and offered conciliatory gestures to the opposition late last month (like an Arab dictator in trouble, he sacked and swapped his cabinet, mainly for cosmetic effect, in January), Putin threatened to withhold the $15 billion loan which first enticed Yanukovych to defy the majority of Ukrainians by quashing a very modest but symbolically important association agreement with the European Union. Was it a coincidence, then, that the first day the shooting started—Monday—was also the day that Putin’s Finance Ministry announced that Yanukovych’s punishment would not be meted out and that $2 billion of that loan would instead be dispensed after all? Dialogue may get you trade agreements with Brussels, but crushing skulls gets keeps the bribes coming from Moscow.

It pays to remember that while Putin was, since his St. Petersburg days, always an obvious Chekist and mafioso, he didn’t really start to become one in the Western imagination until the end of his first term, after the so-called “color revolutions” kicked off in the former Soviet states, including and especially in Ukraine. This is because his response to these democratic ferments was to eliminate any and all possibility that they might flourish where they started or, [G]od forbid, spread to Russia itself. His scapegoats then, as now, were the United States and Europe, which he blamed for mucking about in his backyard. So began a gradual and fitful process of re-Sovietization which, since Putin’s return to the presidency, has accelerated rapidly. That return, and that acceleration, are not coincidences either.

The Russian Putin blames the most for bungling Ukraine’s Orange Revolution is Dmitry Medvedev, erstwhile placeholder president, now relegated to the position of sinecurist premier and scapegoat for of Russia’s expanding domestic problems. Medvedev is further burdened with being the meek fool who botched the Russo-Georgian summer war of 2008 (he started it too late and finished it too early, according to Putin) and allowed NATO to depose Muammar Gaddafi with a no-fly zone. Never again, Dima.

Medvedev’s antithesis is a man named Vladislav Surkov, the variously and sporadically employed “grey cardinal” of the Kremlin, who is credited with consolidating Putin’s power, post-Orange Revolution, and conceiving of the concept of “sovereign democracy,” now Russia’s second largest export after oil. Indeed, Surkov has become the Scarlet Pimpernel of Euromaidan, allegedly spotted here, there and everywhere in Ukraine, yet existing only (so far) as a sinister rumor.

Surkovian is an adjective that Westerners would do well acquaint themselves with when trying to understand what’s happening in either Kiev or Moscow. It means politics taken to the level of a retrovirus: co-opt anything organic, trick it into thinking it’s still healthy, then liquidate it by slow measures. It means agents provocateurs and pseudo-oppositions and just enough meaningless liberty to make society not care about the real thing. It means fashioning loyalist youth-mobs which set upon a very green and very limited genuine opposition by depicting it as a Nazi fifth column of the U.S. State Department. It means unleashing hell when the moment is right and then presenting the aftermath as a warning of what happens if the status quo is not maintained. There’s also an element of Byzantine absurdity to the Surkovian, a combination of the ludic and the vicious. Holding the most expensive and corrupt Winter Olympics in history as a PR coup, then letting Cossacks horsewhip Russia’s most famous female dissidents in between bobsled races is one example. Phone-tapping American statesmen badmouthing their European counterparts may be pure KGB “tradecraft,” but releasing the audio for all the world to hear is a Surkovian triumph.

Events now unfolding in Ukraine threaten to be yet another, and the options to prevent civil war or the breakup of the country are dwindling. Still, there are options. My friend Edward Lucas has laid out two in Britain’s Daily Telegraph. First, help protect Georgia and Moldova, the other two former Soviet republics now in the “Kremlin’s firing line,” and strengthen our alliance with the Baltic states that keep getting mock-invaded or cyber-attacked by Russia. Second, freeze the U.S. and European-based assets of Yanukovych and his ruling “family”. These are actually very well known to sanctions monitors, and if they require additional assistance, a good place to start is at yanukovich.info.

I’d add to Lucas’ list that Washington and Brussels ought to exploit the cracks now beginning to appear in the Yanukovych monolith. His own functionaries and partisans all seem to realize their man is finished as anything other than a satrap of a revanchist empire-in-the-remaking. More and more of them are resigning, going over to the other side, or declaring their independence. The mayor of Kiev, Volodymyr Makeenko, has left the Party of Regions and promised to re-start the city’s stalled subway system. “None of the oligarchs have died, none of the politicians died. I, as head of the city administration, am taking care of burying tens of bodies of common people every day,” Makeeno said in a letter addressed to Yanukovych. He also said that he planned to assume “personal responsibility for the livelihood of the city of Kiev,” which may mean that the capital, and the country’s centre of finance, will become a semi-autonomous city-state before long, one that could theoretically parlay with the U.S., E.U. and U.N. directly.

Yanukovych also seems to have lost his own Foreign Ministry, which has now put out a statement endorsing the association agreement with the EU as a measure that “can unite us all.”

Meanwhile, Putin’s own method of minatory agitprop should be used against him, repeatedly and without the usual happy-talk hedging. Failed statehood is what happens when you sell out your own people to do a deal with the czar. And this has a habit of affecting not just the politicized man in the street but also the establishment fat-cat or illicitly enriched bureaucrat with real estate and bank accounts everywhere but Russia.

See http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/20/ukraine-is-on-the-verge-of-war-and-putin-is-to-blame.html (emphasis in original; emphasis in bold type added); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3541 (“How Long Can Killer Putin Figure Skate While The Ice Beneath Him Melts?“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/10652767/Financial-crisis-threatens-Russia-as-Ukraine-spins-out-of-control.html (“Financial crisis threatens Russia as Ukraine spins out of control“) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10652821/Ukraine-crisis-Deadly-snipers-extinguish-lives-of-Kievs-protesters.html (“Ukraine crisis: Deadly snipers extinguish lives of Kiev’s protesters“) and http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/death-fire-smoke-and-soot-337264.html (“Bloodlust—At least 75 killed in week of carnage“) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvds2AIiWLA&feature=youtu.be (PLEASE WATCH: “I Am A Ukrainian”) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2565697/House-fit-tyrant-Protestors-storm-sprawling-luxury-estate-Ukraines-fugitive-president-private-zoo-golf-course-half-size-Monaco.html (“House fit for a tyrant: Protestors storm the sprawling, luxury estate of Ukraine’s fugitive president which has its own private zoo, golf course and is half the size of Monaco“)

As I have written above:

[T]he world must never forget that Putin left the Olympic games in Beijing and traveled to the Georgian border, where he personally directed Russian military aggression against Georgia and the killing of Georgians.

This is only a small part of the atrocities that he has committed. . . .

Also, the world must never forget the Dioxin poisoning of Victor Yushchenko that left the Ukrainian President’s face greatly disfigured, jaundiced, bloated, and pockmarked—with respect to which the grotesque Putin is responsible, directly or indirectly.

Kiev under siege

Like

21 02 2014
Peter Ilyk

Excellent article. It’s about time someone spoke the truth…….

Like

21 02 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you so much for your kind words, Peter.

Like

25 02 2014
robert

thank you for this i have always told this facts too anyone who will listen but sadly most people dont want to hear the truth about the evil of Russians and believe the propaganda coming from the Kremlin

Like

15 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Robert.

Like

25 02 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

American Leadership Is Missing

The New York Sun has an editorial that is worth reading, entitled “The American Option”:

It’s one of the most consarned things we’ve ever seen. The revolution in Ukraine is being levied by a citizenry desperate to move out of the orbit of Russia and to become part of the European Union. Yet on the other side of Europe a movement is building for Great Britain to exit the Europe Union and return to English ideas of liberty. Why in the name of George Washington isn’t any American leader—the President, the Secretary of State, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the leader of the opposition—why isn’t someone making the case for an American option?

These columns have been banging on this drum for years now, most recently in May, when we read a headline in the London Financial Times that said: “Obama warns Cameron that Britain would lose influence in the US if it pulls out of EU.” Mr. Obama was then publicly advising Prime Minister Cameron to try to “fix what’s broken” in the European Union rather than pull out. That amounted, we noted in our editorial, to an intervention by Mr. Obama into Britain’s domestic political situation.

That was a reference to the United Kingdom Independence Party that has been challenging Mr. Cameron’s government over Europe. The party forced Mr. Cameron to promise, in January 2013, that if the Conservatives won the next election, a referendum would be held on whether Britain should stay in the European Union. The next election is now little more than a year off, so the question gets hotter, particularly since almost every poll taken in the past year has found more people favored a British exit, or “Brixit,” as it has come to be known. Just the other week the Guardian described the referendum with the word “time bomb.”

Why should it be America’s policy to oppose this? Why should the maundering socialists of Europe be the only option for countries ambitious of freedom? Has America no longer anything—no combination of trade relationships, common language, shared heritage of liberty—to offer in the way of a new pact cementing the special relationship? Can we not think of a way to invite into such a pact other countries who share our values, maybe someday even a free Ukraine that has been tested by time and revolution?

This idea has been met with some derision. . . . The idea that in the Era of Obama, with America in retreat and with our economy hobbled by a dysfunctional system of justice and a hectoring intelligentsia . . . well, let us just say that . . . the American idea as it is now practiced would be a hard sell in Europe.

For our part, we would respond that it’s a question of leadership. Right now, our president is being urged on nearly every quarter to make threats and bluster in respect of Kiev that he has no intention of keeping. He’s like an “oh, dear” in the headlights. He couldn’t even raise a political mandate for an attack on Syria in the midst of its massacre of its own people. How is he going to make a credible threat in the back yard of the Kremlin? The Republicans themselves are hobbled by a rift between the neo-conservative heroes of the Cold War and the libertarian wing that is wary of war and expeditions.

Well, here is an opportunity for both of them. While the Democrats wage their campaign to reduce the Army of the United States to pre-World War II levels, let us engage with the ideas of liberty. Surely something can be put together that is better for the aspiring Ukrainians than the dirigisme of Brussels. Surely the Britons who are polling so consistently that they want out of the trap of the European Union need not be met with opposition from the White House. Surely America can find something to offer other than hollow threats or paeans to retreat. We’d like to think it’s a job that could unite such champions as Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, and Paul Gigot.

See http://www.nysun.com/editorials/the-american-option/88603/ (emphasis added)

This is an excellent editorial. However, it flies in the face of everything that Barack Obama is and stands for.

He was raised in Hawaii and Indonesia, and only came to the American mainland when he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles. He does not believe in American exceptionalism. Rather, he believes in “global exceptionalism,” and the notion of a pan-global government, perhaps under the leadership of the United Nations.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

After World War II, the United States achieved what this editorial is suggesting . . . and much of the world flourished. Obama is going in the opposite direction. He is not the American leader to achieve this. Paul Ryan is not either. After all, he could not even carry his own State for Mitt Romney in 2012.

Ironically, Romney might be the American leader whose beliefs and accomplishments come closest to emulating what this editorial is suggesting.

According to the latest Gallup polling: “Forty-two percent of Americans, on average, identified as political independents in 2013, the highest Gallup has measured since it began conducting interviews by telephone 25 years ago.”

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/the-rise-of-independents/#comment-3244 (see also the article itself, as well as the other comments beneath it)

Americans are thirsty for the type of leadership that this editorial suggests, but they are not finding it. And there is no question that the revolution in Ukraine presents considerable opportunities; the United States has a dysfunctional system of justice; Obama and his Democrats are waging their campaign to weaken our military; the EU has severe problems; the brutal Putin’s Russia is teetering economically; and China is challenging American leadership globally.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3627 (“Ukraine Is On the Verge Of War And Putin Is To Blame”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/is-obama-the-new-nixon/#comment-3207 (“Barack Obama Is Gutting Our Military Forces, Which Will Affect Our National Security For Decades To Come”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-3516 (“The Eurozone Crisis Is Just Getting Started”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3541 (“How Long Can Killer Putin Figure Skate While The Ice Beneath Him Melts?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/#comment-3651 (“US v China: Is This The New Cold War?”)

Like

28 02 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Does Barack Obama Have Any Guts At All, Or Is He Nothing More Than An Empty Suit? [UPDATED]

Obama and Putin

This is essentially the question asked by the Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer in an article entitled, “Putin’s Ukraine gambit,” which states:

Henry Kissinger once pointed out that since Peter the Great, Russia had been expanding at the rate of one Belgium per year. All undone, of course, by the collapse of the Soviet Union, which Russian President Vladimir Putin called “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century.”

Putin’s mission is restoration. First, restore traditional Russian despotism by dismantling its nascent democracy. And then, having created iron-fisted “stability,” march.

Use the 2008 war with Georgia to detach two of its provinces, returning them to the bosom of Mother Russia (by way of Potemkin independence). Then late last year, pressure Ukraine to reject a long-negotiated deal for association with the European Union, to draw Ukraine into Putin’s planned “Eurasian Union” as the core of a new Russian mini-empire.

Turns out, however, Ukraine had other ideas. It overthrew Moscow’s man in Kiev, Viktor Yanu­kovych, and turned to the West. But the West—the E.U. and America—had no idea what to do.

Russia does. Moscow denounces the overthrow as the illegal work of fascist bandits, refuses to recognize the new government created by parliament, withholds all economic assistance and, in a highly provocative escalation, mobilizes its military forces on the Ukrainian border.

The response? The E.U. dithers and Barack Obama slumbers. After near-total silence during the first three months of Ukraine’s struggle for freedom, Obama said on camera last week that in his view Ukraine is no “Cold War chessboard.”

Unfortunately, this is exactly what it is for Putin. He wants Ukraine back.

Obama wants stability, the New York Times reports, quoting internal sources. He sees Ukraine as merely a crisis to be managed rather than an opportunity to alter the increasingly autocratic trajectory of the region, allow Ukrainians to join their destiny to the West and block Russian neo-imperialism.

Sure, Obama is sympathetic to democracy. But it must arise organically, from internal developments. “These democratic movements will be more sustainable if they are seen as . . . coming from within these societies,” says deputy national security adviser Benjamin Rhodes. Democracy must not be imposed by outside intervention but develop on its own.

But Ukraine is never on its own. Not with a bear next door. American neutrality doesn’t allow an authentic Ukrainian polity to emerge. It leaves Ukraine naked to Russian pressure.

What Obama doesn’t seem to understand is that American inaction creates a vacuum. His evacuation from Iraq consigned that country to Iranian hegemony, just as Obama’s writing off Syria invited in Russia, Iran and Hezbollah to reverse the tide of battle.

Putin fully occupies vacuums. In Ukraine, he keeps flaunting his leverage. He’s withdrawn the multibillion-dollar aid package with which he had pulled the now-deposed Ukrainian president away from the E.U. He has suddenly mobilized Russian forces bordering Ukraine. His health officials are even questioning the safety of Ukrainian food exports.

This is no dietary hygiene campaign. This is a message to Kiev: We can shut down your agricultural exports today, your natural gas supplies tomorrow. We can make you broke and we can make you freeze.

Kissinger once also said, “In the end, peace can be achieved only by hegemony or by balance of power.” Either Ukraine will fall to Russian hegemony or finally determine its own future—if America balances Russia’s power.

How? Start with a declaration of full-throated American support for Ukraine’s revolution. Follow that with a serious loan/aid package—say, replacing Moscow’s $15 billion—to get Ukraine through its immediate financial crisis (the announcement of a $1 billion pledge of U.S. loan guarantees is a good first step). Then join with the E.U. to extend a longer substitute package, preferably through the International Monetary Fund.

Secretary of State John Kerry says Russian intervention would be a mistake. Alas, any such declaration from this administration carries the weight of a feather. But better that than nothing. Better still would be backing these words with a naval flotilla in the Black Sea.

Whether anything Obama says or does would stop anyone remains questionable. But surely the West has more financial clout than Russia’s kleptocratic extraction economy that exports little but oil, gas and vodka.

The point is for the United States, leading Europe, to counter Russian pressure and make up for its blandishments/punishments until Ukraine is on firm financial footing.

Yes, $15 billion is a lot of money. But it’s less than one-half of one-tenth of 1 percent of the combined E.U. and U.S. GDP. And expending treasure is infinitely preferable to expending blood. Especially given the strategic stakes: Without Ukraine, there’s no Russian empire.

Putin knows that. Which is why he keeps ratcheting up the pressure. The question is, can this administration muster the counterpressure to give Ukraine a chance to breathe?

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-putins-ukraine-gambit/2014/02/27/93ca1b26-9fe0-11e3-9ba6-800d1192d08b_story.html (emphasis added); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3693 (“American Leadership Is Missing”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3864 (“Putin’s Tactics Are Easily And Accurately Compared To Hitler And Stalin”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3765 (“The Defining Hour For Barack Obama And His Presidency”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4010 (“Putin Must Be Terminated”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4044 (“RUSSIA AND CHINA PUSH FOR CONTROL OF INTERNET”) and http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/26/poll-obamas-disapproval-rating-hits-a-new-high/ (“Poll: Obama’s disapproval rating hits a new high”) and http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/condi-rice-blasts-obama-weakness-leadership_786123.html (“Condi Rice Blasts Obama on Weakness, Leadership”) and http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/ba82430a-bb52-11e3-b2b7-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2y96Ze4oK (“It is striking how often European officials speak warmly of George W Bush’s personal style”)

How long will Barack Obama slumber?

. . .

It has been said that he and his advisers are worried about inflaming tensions with Putin. Is this the same group of spineless, so-called “leaders” who stood aside and offered Europe to Hitler on a silver platter—or their offspring?

The United States and the West did not invade Georgia, and kill Georgians. Putin did—right after he left the Olympics in Beijing. And he did the same thing after the Olympics in Sochi, by invading Ukraine.

He must be crushed, not treated as an equal.

America and the West allowed Hitler to rise, and the cost was enormous—in resources and destroyed-cities, and a whole generation effectively lost. It is said that history repeats itself, but this need not be true.

For once in his professional career, we might expect Barack Obama to rise to the occasion, rather than cower and run, like he has done in Iraq, Afghanistan, Benghazi, Syria and elsewhere.

Does the man have even an ounce of courage, or is he yellow through and through? This is his shining moment, which is fading fast. And we know that Sergeant Hagel was placed at the Pentagon to cut it down to size, pursuant to Obama’s orders.

The buck stops with Obama, and there is every indication that he is a coward. In fact, he has never done anything courageous in his lifetime. Why should we expect anything different now? Courage does not seem to be part of his character or core beliefs.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

All of our other adversaries—such as China, North Korea, the Taliban, terrorist groups around the world—are watching intently. Are the former Eastern Bloc countries next for Putin? What is Europe’s future? Will the balance of power in the Pacific be upset, and will there be wars there too (e.g., China and Japan, North and South Korea, North Korea and Japan)?

See, e.g., http://news.yahoo.com/japan-orders-military-strike-north-korea-missile-launches-035401914–sector.html (“Japan orders military to strike any new North Korea missile launches”)

We live in a dynamic, ever-changing world. Sensing that Obama is impotent, our adversaries may act, and act decisively around the world. Obama’s cowardice, naïveté, and overarching narcissism will have given us this.

. . .

Putin is presiding over a Russia in decline, which is why he is so desperate with respect to Ukraine. The West could drive “Mother Russia” and him into obscurity and irrelevance, as essentially a Third World country, because Russia today has so many problems economically.

Krauthammer is correct, in spades:

[T]he West has more financial clout than Russia’s kleptocratic extraction economy that exports little but oil, gas and vodka.

Despite the damage that Barack Obama has done, and keeps on doing, Americans have less than three years to go of his presidency. Also, the United States is by far the strongest country in the world, both economically and militarily.

. . .

Unless Putin and Russian forces are removed from Crimea and the rest of Ukraine, and the United States shores up our allies’ defenses in all of Europe including the former Eastern Bloc countries, there may be genuine efforts to remove Barack Obama from the presidency by impeachment.

If so, the GOP will have two choices: join the fight, or cower too.

With almost three years left of his seemingly-failed presidency, the world is becoming much more dangerous than most Americans wish to comprehend.

Putin giving Obama the finger

Like

2 03 2014
William Koester aka BravoJuliet @ Politix

It’s what many Americans fail to realize about “vacuums”, if we don’t fill them…our enemies will! But then again, most Americans have no interest in diplomacy or foreign policy and understand it even less!

Like

2 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you as always, William, for your comments.

Yes, of course you are correct.

As I have discussed above:

“[W]e are in effect an island nation.” This is how most Americans view their country. Many have never flown on an airplane, nor ventured far from where they grew up; and it is surprising how many sophisticated, wealthy, educated Americans have never been to Europe, or out of the States, or to other parts of the world. Their views are insular, which is reflected in American policies and outlook.

I believe in our great country, and in the inherent wisdom of the American people, and my comments are not intended to disparage them one iota.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”)

Like

3 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

The Defining Hour For Barack Obama And His Presidency

Destroy Putin

As discussed in earlier comments: “Does Barack Obama Have Any Guts At All, Or Is He Nothing More Than An Empty Suit?”

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3723

The Wall Street Journal has said essentially the same things, in an editorial entitled “Putin Declares War,” which should be read and reread:

Vladimir Putin’s Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula by force on the weekend and now has his sights on the rest of his Slavic neighbor. The brazen aggression brings the threat of war to the heart of Europe for the first time since the end of the Cold War. The question now is what President Obama and free Europe are going to do about it.

With a swiftness and organization that suggests the plans were hatched weeks ago, Mr. Putin is moving to carve up Ukraine after Russia’s satrap in Kiev, former President Viktor Yanukovych, was deposed in a popular democratic uprising. Russian troops have invaded Ukraine’s territory and now control all border crossings, ports and airports in Crimea. The Kremlin’s rubber-stamp parliament on Saturday approved Russian military intervention anywhere in Ukraine, which is nothing less than a declaration of war. The new government in Kiev responded by putting forces on high alert.

***

This is a crisis made entirely in Moscow. Speaking the day Mr. Yanukovych fled his palace in Kiev, Mr. Putin lied to President Obama about Russia’s actions and intentions. So did his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, in calls with Secretary of State John Kerry. If the blitzkrieg succeeds, Russia’s assault could end Ukraine’s 22-year history as a unitary independent state. The peaceful European order that the U.S. has paid such a high price to establish after the collapse of the Soviet Union is also in danger.

Entering his 15th year in power, Mr. Putin has never concealed his ambition to recreate Russia’s regional hegemony. He has replaced Soviet Marxism with ultra-nationalism, contempt for the West and a form of crony state capitalism. He bit off chunks of Georgia in 2008 and paid no price, but Ukraine’s 46 million people and territory on the border of NATO are a bigger prize. His updated Brezhnev Doctrine seeks to entrench authoritarianism in client states and prevent them from joining free Europe.

By Saturday, it was clear that a Russian-held Crimea is only stage one. The upper house of parliament in Moscow unanimously approved the declaration of war, and thousands of pro-Russian demonstrators turned out in the industrial cities of Kharkiv and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine to demand Moscow’s protection. As in Crimea on Thursday, armed men stormed local government buildings and replaced the Ukrainian flag with Russia’s.

The eastern regions of Ukraine are Russian speaking but they voted handily for Ukrainian independence in 1991. No serious separatist movement existed there before this weekend. The local business tycoons, who run politics there, had dropped their support for Mr. Yanukovych and backed the new national government. But Kiev has limited control over military units and police, making the east a tempting target for Mr. Putin to install his own men in power.

Ukraine borders four of America’s NATO allies, who are watching closely how the U.S. and the rest of Europe respond. The U.S. has for more than two decades championed Ukraine’s independence as crucial to European security. In exchange for Kiev’s difficult decision in 1994 to hand over its nuclear weapons to Russia, the U.S., along with Britain and Moscow, promised to assure Ukraine’s territorial integrity in the so-called Budapest Memorandum. Russia is now in breach of this agreement.

Ukraine has neglected its military, spending a little over 1% of GDP on defense, and would be an underdog against Russia. But with some 150,000 soldiers and a million reserves, it wouldn’t be a pushover. The interim government in Kiev, which was appointed by the elected parliament on Thursday, needs to establish control over the chain of command and mobilize forces. Any attempt to retake Crimea would likely fail, but the imminent threat is in the east.

Mr. Putin spoke by telephone to President Obama for 90 minutes on Saturday and was bluntly honest for a change. “In case of any further spread of violence to Eastern Ukraine and Crimea, Russia retains the right to protect its interests and the Russian-speaking population of those areas,” the Kremlin said in its readout of the conversation.

A White House statement on the call said the U.S. “condemns” the Crimean takeover and called it a “breach of international law.” That will have the Kremlin quaking. The only concrete U.S. action was to suspend participation in preparations for June’s G-8 summit in Sochi. Seriously? Mr. Obama and every Western leader ought to immediately pull the plug on that junket and oust Russia from the club of democracies.

There’s more the West can do, notwithstanding the media counsel of defeat that it “has few options.” Russia today is not the isolated Soviet Union, and its leaders and oligarchs need access to Western markets and capital. All trade and banking relationships with Russia ought to be reconsidered, and the U.S. should restrict the access of Russian banks to the global financial system. Aggressive investigations and leaks about the money the oligarchs and Mr. Putin hold in Western banks might raise the pressure in the Kremlin. The U.S. should also expand the list of Russian officials on the Magnitsky Act’s American visa ban and financial assets freeze, including Mr. Putin.

The U.S. can also deploy ships from the Europe-based Sixth Fleet into the Black Sea, and send the newly commissioned George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier to the eastern Mediterranean. NATO has a “distinctive partnership” with Kiev and in 2008 promised Ukraine that it could eventually join. It’s impractical and risky to bring Ukraine in now. But the alliance should do what it can to help Ukraine and certainly boot the Russian mission, a well-known den of spies, from NATO headquarters in Brussels and shut down the useless Russia-NATO Council.

Mr. Obama and the West must act, rather than merely threaten, because it’s clear Mr. Putin believes the American President’s words can’t be taken seriously. After the 2008 invasion of Georgia, President Obama pretended the problem was Dick Cheney and tried to “reset” relations with Moscow. Mr. Putin has defied the civilized world on Syria and Mr. Obama rewarded him by making Russia a partner in phony peace talks. Mr. Putin gave NSA leaker Edward Snowden asylum over U.S. objections, and he got away with that too.

***

In the brutal world of global power politics, Ukraine is in particular a casualty of Mr. Obama’s failure to enforce his “red line” on Syria. When the leader of the world’s only superpower issues a military ultimatum and then blinks, others notice. Adversaries and allies in Asia and the Middle East will be watching President Obama’s response now. China has its eyes on Japanese islands. Iran is counting on U.S. weakness in nuclear talks.

The Ukrainians can’t be left alone to face Russia, and the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea can’t be allowed to stand. Ukraine must remain an independent state with its current borders intact, free to follow its democratic will to join the European Union and NATO if it desires. The world is full of revisionist powers and bad actors looking to exploit the opening created by Mr. Obama’s retreat from global leadership, and Mr. Putin is the leading edge of what could quickly become a new world disorder.

See http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304026804579413900968932702 (emphasis added)

This is the defining hour for Barack Obama and his presidency. It is time for him to act . . . NOT slumber or wobble.

It is time for the United States and the West to quit fooling around with Russia’s pygmy Putin, and shut down his country economically.

Putin is presiding over a Russia in decline, which is why he is so desperate with respect to Ukraine. This process of decline must be hastened and “helped” along.

The world is watching . . .

Also, there are reports that China may be supporting Putin’s “adventures” in Ukraine. China has severe economic problems too, and is very vulnerable.

See http://news.sky.com/story/1219922/russia-and-china-in-agreement-over-ukraine (“Russia And China ‘In Agreement’ Over Ukraine”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/#comment-3651 (“US v China: Is This The New Cold War?”)

Like

6 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

As Long As A Democrat Sits In The White House, America Will Become A Much More Dangerous Place

This is the conclusion of conservative pundit Ann Coulter:

It’s pointless to pay attention to foreign policy when a Democrat is president, unless you enjoy having your stomach in a knot. As long as a Democrat sits in the White House, America will be repeatedly humiliated, the world will become a much more dangerous place—and there’s absolutely nothing anybody can do about it. (Though this information might come in handy when voting for president, America!)

The following stroll down memory lane is but the briefest of summaries. . . . John F. Kennedy was in the White House for less than three years and, if you think he screwed a lot of hookers, just look what he did to our foreign policy.

Six months after becoming president, JFK had his calamitous meeting with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna—a meeting The New York Times described as “one of the more self-destructive American actions of the Cold War, and one that contributed to the most dangerous crisis of the nuclear age.” (The Times admitted that a half-century later. At the time, the Newspaper of Record lied about the meeting.)

For two days, Khrushchev batted Kennedy around, leaving the president’s own advisers white-faced and shaken. Kennedy’s Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Nitze called the meeting “just a disaster.”

Khrushchev was delighted to discover that the U.S. president was so “weak.” A Russian aide said the American president seemed “very inexperienced, even immature.”

Seeing he was dealing with a naif, Khrushchev promptly sent missiles to Cuba. The Kennedy Myth Machine has somehow turned JFK’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis into a brilliant foreign policy coup. The truth is: (1) Russia would never have dared move missiles to Cuba had Khrushchev not realized that JFK was a nincompoop; and (2) it wasn’t a victory.

In exchange for Russia’s laughably empty threats about Cuba, JFK removed our missiles from Turkey—a major retreat. As Khrushchev put it in his memoirs: “It would have been ridiculous for us to go to war over Cuba—for a country 12,000 miles away. For us, war was unthinkable. We ended up getting exactly what we’d wanted all along, security for Fidel Castro’s regime and American missiles removed from Turkey.”

– LBJ:

Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, famously escalated the war in Vietnam simply to prove that the Democrats could be trusted with national security.

As historian David Halberstam describes it, LBJ “would talk to his closest political aides about the McCarthy days, of how Truman lost China and then the Congress and the White House and how, by God, Johnson was not going to be the president who lost Vietnam and then the Congress and the White House.”

LBJ’s incompetent handling of that war allowed liberals to spend the next half-century denouncing every use of American military force as “another Vietnam.”

– CARTER:

Jimmy Carter warned Americans about their “inordinate fear of communism”. . . .

His most inspired strategic move was to abandon the Shah of Iran, a loyal U.S. ally, which gave rise to the global Islamofascist movement we’re still dealing with today. By allowing the Shah to be overthrown by the Ayatollah Khomeini in February 1979, Carter handed Islamic crazies their first state.

Before the end of the year, the Islamic lunatics had taken 52 Americans hostage in Tehran, where they remained for 444 days.

The hostages were released only minutes after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration for reasons succinctly captured in a Jeff MacNelly cartoon. It shows Khomeini reading a telegram aloud: “It’s from Ronald Reagan. It must be about one of the Americans in the Den of Spies, but I don’t recognize the name. It says ‘Remember Hiroshima.’”

– CLINTON:

Bill Clinton’s masterful handling of foreign policy was such a catastrophe that he had to deploy his national security adviser, Sandy Berger, to steal classified documents from the National Archives in 2003 to avoid their discovery by the 9/11 commission.

Twice, when Clinton was president, Sudan had offered to turn over bin Laden to the U.S. But, unfortunately, these offers came in early 1996 when Clinton was busy ejaculating on White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton rebuffed Sudan’s offers.

According to Michael Scheuer, who ran the bin Laden unit at the CIA for many years, Clinton was given eight to 10 chances to kill or capture bin Laden but refused to act, despite bin Laden’s having murdered hundreds of Americans in terrorist attacks around the world. Would that one of those opportunities had arisen on the day of Clinton’s scheduled impeachment! Instead of pointlessly bombing Iraq, he might have finally taken out bin Laden.

– OBAMA:

When Obama took office, al Qaida had been routed in Iraq—from Fallujah, Sadr City and Basra. Muqtada al-Sadr—the Dr. Phil of Islamofascist radicalism—had waddled off in retreat to Iran. The Iraqis had a democracy, a miracle on the order of flush toilets in Afghanistan.

By Bush’s last year in office, monthly casualties in Iraq were coming in slightly below a weekend with Justin Bieber. In 2008, there were more than three times as many homicides in Chicago as U.S. troop deaths in the Iraq War. (Chicago: 509; Iraq: 155).

On May 30, The Washington Post reported: “CIA Director Michael V. Hayden now portrays (al-Qaida) as essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world. . . .” Even hysterics at The New York Times admitted that al-Qaida and other terrorist groups had nearly disappeared from Southeast Asia by 2008.

A few short years into Obama’s presidency—and al-Qaida is back! For purely political reasons, as soon as he became president, Obama removed every last troop from Iraq, despite there being Americans troops deployed in dozens of countries around the world.

In 2004, nearly 100 soldiers, mostly Marines, died in the battle to take Fallujah from al-Qaida. Today, al-Qaida’s black flag flies above Fallujah.

Bush won the war, and Obama gave it back.

Obama couldn’t be bothered with preserving America’s victory in Iraq. He was busy helping to topple a strong American ally in Egypt and a slavish American minion in Libya—in order to install the Muslim Brotherhood in those countries instead. (That didn’t work out so well for U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans murdered in Benghazi.)

So now, another Russian leader is playing cat-and-mouse with an American president—and guess who’s the mouse? Putin has taunted Obama in Iran, in Syria and with Edward Snowden. By now, Obama has become such an object for Putin’s amusement that the fastest way to get the Russians out of Crimea would be for Obama to call on Putin to invade Ukraine.

See http://www.humanevents.com/2014/03/05/crimea-river/ (emphasis added); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/ (“John F. Kennedy: The Most Despicable President In American History”)

However, to be absolutely fair, the Republicans are not blameless either.

We have been through two wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the American people are “bone tired” of wars, and rightly so. Our economic and human treasures have been spent in those wars; and we have led when no other country in the world was capable of leading.

I opposed the war in Iraq because, like so many others, I believed Saddam had WMDs that would be used against our brilliant and courageous military forces, like he had used them against Iran and the Kurds. I did not believe the cost was worth it.

In Afghanistan, we should have destroyed the poppy crops from Day One, which give rise to Heroin trafficking that funds the brutal Taliban. What the Taliban have done to women and young girls has been nothing less than savagery.

In the case of Putin, he is an “old school” Stalinist who learned his trade well as a KGB operative. He must be viewed in this context, not as some Westernized Russian democrat, which he is not.

He only understands raw power; and the niceties of diplomacy are a sign of weakness for him. Like Hitler and Stalin before him, he preys on weakness. To him, Barack Obama is a coward, who can be cowed.

Perhaps Putin has misjudged Obama; and finally Obama may rise to the occasion. Certainly, we have the capabilities to do so.

See, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures#Chart_by_country_or_organization; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3765 (“The Defining Hour For Barack Obama And His Presidency“)

Like

7 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Putin’s Tactics Are Easily And Accurately Compared To Hitler And Stalin

Putin is Hitler

These are the beliefs of chess Grandmaster, former World Chess Champion, and Russian patriot Garry Kasparov in a Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Cut Off the Russian Oligarchs and They’ll Dump Putin”:

For the second time in six years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russian troops across an internationally recognized border to occupy territory. This fact must be stated plainly before any discussion of motives or consequences. Russian troops have taken Crimea and they are not leaving, despite the Ukrainian government’s protests. Five hundred kilometers southeast across the Black Sea, Russian soldiers still occupy parts of Georgia—South Ossetia and Abkhazia—where they have been since Mr. Putin’s 2008 invasion and de facto annexation.

Mr. Putin belongs to an exclusive club, along with Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Miloševic, as one of the very few leaders to invade a neighboring nation in the nuclear age. Such raw expansionist aggression has been out of fashion since the time of Adolf Hitler, who eventually failed, and Joseph Stalin, who succeeded. Stalin’s Red Army had its share of battlefield glory, but his real triumph came at the Yalta Conference in February 1945, three months before the end of the war in Europe. There Stalin bullied a feeble Franklin Roosevelt and a powerless Winston Churchill, redrawing the Polish borders and promising elections in Poland when he knew that the Communist government the Soviets were installing was there to stay.

Although it is a poignant coincidence, there is more to this look back to World War II than the fact that Yalta is located in Crimea. Mr. Putin’s tactics are easily, and accurately, compared to those of the Austrian Anschluss and the Nazi occupation and annexation of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia in 1938. There is the same rhetoric about protecting a threatened population, the same propaganda filled with lies, justifications, and accusations. Most of the Kremlin’s statements about Crimea could have been translated from German, with “Fatherland” replaced by “Motherland.” Mr. Putin is also following the Stalin model on Poland in Yalta: First invade, then negotiate. Crimea will be forced to hold a referendum on joining Russia in just 10 days, a vote on the Kremlin’s preferred terms, at the point of a gun.

Mr. Putin’s move in Crimea came just hours after now-former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych scrambled up his puppet strings from Kiev to his master’s hand in Russia. He left behind thousands of papers and a few palaces, evidence of the vast scale of his personal and political corruption. His ejection, bought in blood by the courageous people of Ukraine, made Mr. Putin look weak. Like any schoolyard bully or crime boss, he immediately found a way to look and feel tough again. The historically pivotal Crimean peninsula, with its large Russia-leaning population and geographic vulnerability (and a Russian naval base), was the obvious choice.

As I have said for years, it is a waste of time to attempt to discern deep strategy in Mr. Putin’s actions. There are no complex national interests in a dictator’s calculations. There are only personal interests, the interests of those close to him who keep him in power, and how best to consolidate that power. Without real elections or a free media, the only way a dictator can communicate with his subjects is through propaganda, and the only way he can validate his power is with regular shows of force.

Inside Russia, that force comes with repression against dissidents and civil rights that only accelerated during the distraction of the Sochi Olympics. Abroad, force in the form of military action, trade sanctions or natural-gas extortion is applied wherever Mr. Putin thinks he can get away with it.

On Monday, the markets plummeted in response to the news that Russia had invaded a European nation. Just a few days later, as cautious statements emanated from the White House and the European Union, most markets had rebounded fully. This was due to an illusion of a resolution, as if it matters little to the fate of the global economy that a huge nuclear power can casually snap off a piece of a neighboring country.

Thanks to their unfettered access to Western markets, Mr. Putin and his gang have exploited Western engagement with Russia in a way that the Soviet Union’s leaders never dreamed of. But this also means that they are vulnerable in a way the Soviets were not. If the West punishes Russia with sanctions and a trade war, that might be effective eventually, but it would also be cruel to the 140 million Russians who live under Mr. Putin’s rule. And it would be unnecessary. Instead, sanction the 140 oligarchs who would dump Mr. Putin in the trash tomorrow if he cannot protect their assets abroad. Target their visas, their mansions and IPOs in London, their yachts and Swiss bank accounts. Use banks, not tanks. Thursday, the U.S. announced such sanctions, but they must be matched by the European Union to be truly effective. Otherwise, Wall Street’s loss is London’s gain, and Mr. Putin’s divide-and-conquer tactics work again.

If Mr. Putin succeeds—and if there is no united Western response, he will have succeeded regardless of whether or not Russian troops stay in Crimea—the world, or at least the world order, as we know it will have ended. The post-1945 universe of territorial integrity has been ripped asunder and it will have a far-reaching impact no matter what the markets and pundits say over the next few days.

For those who ask what the consequences will be of inaction by the free world over Ukraine, I say you are looking at it. This is the price for inaction in Georgia, for inaction in Syria. It means the same thing happening again and again until finally it cannot be ignored. The price of inaction against a dictator’s aggression is always having a next time. And in this market, the longer you wait, the higher that price gets.

See http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303824204579422971651210180 (emphasis added); see also http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/08/business/why-russia-cant-afford-another-cold-war.html?hp (“Why Russia Can’t Afford Another Cold War“) and http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/06/world/europe/us-seeks-to-reduce-ukraines-reliance-on-russia-for-natural-gas.html (“U.S. Hopes Boom in Natural Gas Can Curb Putin“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3541 (“How Long Can Killer Putin Figure Skate While The Ice Beneath Him Melts?“) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3300 (“$60 Oil Will Finish Russia’s Brutal Putin Regime“)

Of course Garry Kasparov is correct; and he has been courageous in opposing the pygmy Putin.

Now, the toughest measures possible must be adopted to crush Putin—or the West will have much more serious problems ahead with him, and we will rue the day that we did not stop him now.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3765 (“The Defining Hour For Barack Obama And His Presidency“) (see also the article itself, as well as the other comments beneath it); see also http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-obamas-inaction-enables-putins-grab-for-ukraine/2014/03/06/c4222690-a55f-11e3-84d4-e59b1709222c_story.html (The Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer: “Would Putin have lunged for Ukraine if he didn’t have such a clueless adversary [in Obama]? No one can say for sure. But it certainly made Putin’s decision easier”) and http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21598639-west-can-punish-putins-russia-its-belligerence-ukraine-only-if-it-prepared (“Putin has trampled over norms that buttress the international order and he has established dangerous precedents that go far beyond Ukraine“) and http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2014/03/who-will-protect-the-crimean-tatars.html (“WHO WILL PROTECT THE CRIMEAN TATARS?”—”[T]hey are punishing [Crimean Tatars] because we do not want Putin here“)

The parallels between Hitler and Putin are real, not imagined. Hitler used the Olympics in Berlin as a “cover” for his atrocities. Putin left the Olympics in Beijing and went immediately to the border with Georgia, and personally oversaw Russia’s aggression against Georgia and the killing of Georgians.

Also, he left the Olympics in Sochi and began his aggression against Ukraine and the killing of Ukrainians. Like Hitler’s “brownshirts,” Putin has used Russians in uniforms that bear no insignias to threaten and attack Ukrainians.

Just listen to the fears and pleas of Ukrainians today, and you will hear the echoes of Hitler’s victims.

See, e.g., http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2014/03/the-abuse-of-ukraines-best-known-poet.html (“THE ABUSE OF UKRAINE’S BEST-KNOWN POET”—”Armed with bats, the pro-Russian [agitators, who many observers suspect were bussed in from Russia,] attacked the mostly college-age activists who had occupied the building on Freedom Square [in Kyiv]. One of the occupiers was [Serhiy Zhadan]. . . . As the attackers were hitting him, the writer said, they told him to kneel and kiss the Russian flag. ‘I told them to go fuck themselves,’ Zhadan wrote, on his Facebook page”)

. . .

A “protracted irregular war” might include the destruction of Russia’s pipelines through Ukraine, by those opposed to Putin’s aggression—just as we assisted the various mujahideen groups in Afghanistan, in their fight against the Soviet Union’s aggression.

America is in the midst of an energy renaissance, and is becoming the largest energy producer in the world once again. It is time to use such leverage and other methods to aid our allies such as Ukraine and Europe, and bury the pygmy Putin economically.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-3226 (“Exporting American Oil”)

. . .

It is time for the various regions of Russia to have internationally-supervised referenda to determine which “government” to associate with: the crazed despot Putin’s Stalinist regime in Moscow, or regional or other governments. It can start with Chechnya, where the vote to disassociate from Russia may be overwhelming.

All the other alienated regions—and ethnic and religious groups—can hold referenda too, choosing to disassociate from Moscow and perhaps associate with the EU or China, or whomever. Barack Obama and John Kerry can help this process along (e.g., by bringing it up at the United Nations).

Like

12 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Kyiv’s Message To Russia’s Pygmy Putin

Ukraine flag

The following is an op-ed piece in the New York Times, which was written by the acting president of Ukraine, Oleksandr V. Turchynov:

AT this very moment, in plain view of the entire world, the final demise of the Soviet empire is unfolding. The plan for its resurrection, long in the works at the Kremlin, has failed: Ukraine has proved that it has matured into an independent state that will determine its own domestic and foreign policy.

It was when Viktor F. Yanukovych, then president, refused to listen to the pro-European yearnings of Ukrainians that the mass protests erupted in Kiev in the fall of 2013. It was when Mr. Yanukovych decided, with the active support of Russia, to resort to force that he lost control of the situation. And it was when Mr. Yanukovych crossed the line and unleashed gunfire against his own people that he lost his legitimacy as the president.

The Kremlin had a strategy designed to weaken Ukraine and its government by prying some regions away from Kiev’s control and establishing enclaves in the south and east similar to Transnistria in Moldova and Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia. Russia needs these frozen conflicts in order to prevent the normal development of the post-Soviet republics and to impede their integration into European and NATO structures.

Moscow’s plan has been foiled. The people of Ukraine proved stronger than a dictator who had been groomed for the role of a puppet ruler. The opposition quickly gained control of the situation, consolidating the authority of Parliament and legitimately appointing a new government. This prompt action calmed the protests within the country, yet it also prompted foreign aggression.

The chronology of events is telling: On Feb. 21, the Ukrainian Constitution of 2004 was reinstated; on Feb. 27, we formed a national unity government; and on Feb. 28, Russian troops moved outside their bases to occupy the Crimean Peninsula. At the same time, Russian forces have massed along the Ukrainian border.

This brazen and unjustified aggression, thinly veiled as “protecting Russian speakers,” pursues an obvious goal: to weaken and dismember Ukraine, to create another zone of instability in Europe and to arrest the process of European integration. Moscow’s purpose, in other words, is to prevent the final demise of the Soviet empire.

In Crimea, Russian troops have blockaded our government buildings, taken over our communications infrastructure and seized our military bases and weapons depots—all the while provoking Ukraine to respond with force and provide a pretext for a full-scale military invasion by Russia. These tactics bear a close resemblance to those deployed in South Ossetia and Abkhazia during the 2008 Russia-Georgia war.

The Ukrainian military and government have done everything possible to avoid this trap and keep the peace. No one should doubt that Ukrainians are prepared to defend their country. But the memory of our people’s terrible losses during the protests in Kiev is still fresh; we cannot permit more bloodshed.

We are fully aware that, should force be used, containing the situation would be impossible. The resolve of Ukrainians to die defending their country, the large stockpiles of weapons, the country’s nuclear power stations and the strategic gas pipelines all point to the potential magnitude of a disaster.

In 1994, Ukraine surrendered its nuclear weapons in exchange for security guarantees from the United States, Russia and Britain, and for their pledge to respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. If this agreement is violated, it may lead to nuclear proliferation around the world. The rule of law and the credibility of international institutions would also be severely undermined as deterrents to military aggression.

An escalation of conflict would be catastrophic for the whole of Western Europe. It would put an end to the global security system, breaching its very foundation. These are very real risks. Yet Russia’s reckless actions would be unbecoming of Somali pirates.

Today, the people of Ukraine are united as never before in the idea of collective security and European values. We choose Western standards and reject this neo-Soviet imperialism. We will no longer play the game of “older and younger brothers.”

Moscow must understand what we discovered at the Maidan in Kiev: The use of force will backfire and, more often than not, yield the opposite of what was intended. Ukraine and Russia are two sovereign states, and the Ukrainian people will determine their path independently. The refusal to accept this fact will lead, at the very least, to a new Cold War.

Ukraine is open to any constructive dialogue with the Russian Federation that is rooted in partnership. We wish to develop fair and mutually beneficial relations. Russia must choose how it will respond.

The Soviet Union is no more. We must all come to terms with that fact and begin a new era of cooperation based on equality and the right of the Ukrainian people to choose their own government and their own destiny.

See http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/12/opinion/ukraines-president-rebuffs-russian-imperialism.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=0 (emphasis added)

If anything, Turchynov’s words should be stronger and more threatening to Putin. However, realistically, they constitute “diplomatic speak.”

It will be left to others to crush Putin once and for all, which must be done forthwith.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3864 (“Putin’s Tactics Are Easily And Accurately Compared To Hitler And Stalin“)

Like

15 03 2014
Mattie

The U.S. has for more than two decades championed Ukraine’s independence as crucial to European security. In exchange for Kiev’s difficult decision in 1994 to hand over its nuclear weapons to Russia, the U.S., along with Britain and Moscow, promised to assure Ukraine’s territorial integrity in the so-called Budapest Memorandum. Russia is now in breach of this agreement.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3765 (“The Defining Hour For Barack Obama And His Presidency”)

And so are the US and Britain if they DON’T come to the aid of Ukraine as promised in 1994 and reaffirmed by Barack Obama in 2009.

Like

15 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Yes, I agree, Mattie.

Like

16 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Putin Must Be Terminated [UPDATED]

Putin and globe

As I concluded in the article above:

At some point in time, he will be eliminated and disappear from the pages of history, just like so many other two-bit, tinhorn despots before him. Again, it is apt to happen violently, in an instant. Regardless of how he departs, one can only hope that it happens soon—and his reign of terror and that of his ex-KGB lackeys ends, like it did for Stalin, Hitler, Mao and their thugs. The sooner the better.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3864 (“Putin’s Tactics Are Easily And Accurately Compared To Hitler And Stalin”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4340 (“WAR IS COMING, KILL THE CANCER THAT IS PUTIN”)

His designs are not short-term “bites of the apple” like his aggression in Georgia. They may go well beyond Ukraine.

He is a Cold Warrior, who learned his craft well as a KGB operative in East Germany—or the DDR, as it was known before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Erich Honecker’s government—which was one of the most repressive regimes in the Soviet Union’s orbit, or the Evil Empire.

He is Stalin’s heir; and Stalin was responsible for the deaths of more than 30 million men, women and children—his own countrymen—including millions during the collectivization of the Soviet farms in the 1930s.

Also, as the Soviets moved through Germany at the end of World War II, they raped at least two million German women in what is now acknowledged as the largest case of mass rape in history. I had a secretary who grew up in Berlin, and was a young girl when it happened. She said that she had seen things no human being should ever experience.

Surely, there are Germans alive today who remember this, or have learned of such barbarism.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/the-silent-voices-of-stalin%E2%80%99s-soviet-holocaust-and-mao%E2%80%99s-chinese-holocaust/ (“The Silent Voices Of Stalin’s Soviet Holocaust And Mao’s Chinese Holocaust”) (see also the comments beneath the article); see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2609016/Six-month-pregnant-journalist-taken-hospital-treatment-pro-Kremlin-political-leader-ordered-aides-violently-rape-press-conference-asked-sanctions-against-Ukraine.html (“Six-month pregnant journalist taken to hospital for treatment after pro-Kremlin political leader ordered his aides to ‘violently rape her’ during press conference when she asked about sanctions against Ukraine”)

This is Putin today. After the Soviet Union’s collapse, he and his cronies and thugs hijacked Russia’s incipient democracy, and have been exploiting it ever since. The Russians deserve better. Also, the world must be cleansed of tyrants like Hitler and him. He must be crushed or history will repeat itself.

Twice now, he has used the Olympics as a “cover” for his naked aggression. First, he left the games in Beijing and went directly to the border with Georgia, and launched his aggression against Georgia and the killing of Georgians—using a conscript army and Soviet-era equipment.

Now, he has left the Olympics in Sochi and begun his aggression in Ukraine. He cannot be humored or pandered to, any more than Hitler. He must be crushed, once and for all, so the world will never forget what happens to crazed despots and their Stalinist regimes.

Russia has severe economic problems, and it is in decline, which can be hastened and “helped” along. Indeed, Putin may have decided that it is better to strike now, rather than wait.

If there were ever a time to confront the United States and the West, he may believe it is now because almost three years remains of the Obama presidency. He may never find opportunities like this again, in all likelihood.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3765 (“The Defining Hour For Barack Obama And His Presidency”)

A “protracted irregular war” might include the destruction of Russia’s pipelines through Ukraine, by those opposed to Putin’s aggression—just as America assisted the various mujahideen groups in Afghanistan, in their fight against the Soviet Union’s aggression.

The United States is in the midst of an energy renaissance, and is becoming the largest energy producer in the world once again. It is time to use such leverage and other methods to aid America’s allies such as Ukraine and Europe, and bury the pygmy Putin economically.

At the very least, the United States needs to flood the markets and depress crude prices, which will send Putin’s Russia into an economic tailspin.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/27/the-economic-tsunami-continues-its-relentless-and-unforgiving-advance-globally/#comment-3226 (“Exporting American Oil”) and http://www.moneynews.com/StreetTalk/George-Soros-oil-Russian-economy/2014/03/27/id/562070/#ixzz2xCL3KC9f (“The United States can devastate Russia’s economy if it wants by releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, says legendary investor George Soros”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/commodities/10823349/Obama-aims-oil-weapon-at-Putin-but-will-he-pull-the-trigger.html (“Putin appears to have forgotten the lesson of his fallen Soviet comrades of the old communist order, and in meddling with world oil markets, he may have laid the foundations for his own economic demise”) and http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-04/u-s-seen-as-biggest-oil-producer-after-overtaking-saudi.html (“U.S. Seen as Biggest Oil Producer After Overtaking Saudi Arabia”)

Deserted and falling apart already, Putin’s Sochi and its Olympics seem a lifetime ago, as photographs reveal “a £31bn Sochi ghost town.” Like the Soviet Union before it, much of Putin’s Russia is a crumbling facade, which will only get worse as its economy collapses. He is desperate, which is among the reasons why he has gambled with respect to the Crimea.

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2589194/How-Sochi-ghost-town-just-weeks-Olympics.html

Also, it is time for Putin’s Russia to be dismembered. It is time for the various regions to have internationally-supervised referenda to determine which “government” to associate with: the crazed despot Putin’s new Nazi regime in Moscow, or regional or other governments. It can start with Chechnya, where the vote to disassociate from Russia may be overwhelming.

All the other alienated regions—and ethnic and religious groups—can hold referenda too, choosing to disassociate from Moscow and perhaps associate with the EU or China, or whomever. Barack Obama, John Kerry and others can help this process along (e.g., by bringing it up at the United Nations).

Next, Russia is at risk of a full-blown financial crisis, which may be Putin’s Achilles Heel. His economy may be devastated, which in turn will crush him. Barack Obama personally picked out drone targets in Afghanistan. Presumably he will enjoy crushing Putin just as much—if not more so—which will prevent Putin from causing problems during the remainder of the Obama presidency.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4452 (“Decimating Putin: America’s Financial Neutron Bomb”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businesslatestnews/10766324/Russias-bond-market-is-Achilles-Heel-as-showdown-with-West-escalates.html (“Russia’s bond market is Achilles Heel as tension with West escalates”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4661 (“The Pygmy Putin Rules Over A Third World Country, Russia”)

When Putin was coming to power, an old friend and colleague on Capitol Hill told me that he was a “smoother version” of Stalin, and I will never forget those prescient words.

Emboldened by Putin’s success, all of our other adversaries may act, and act decisively—such as China, North Korea, the Taliban, and terrorist groups around the world. Are the former Eastern Bloc countries next for Putin? What is Europe’s future? Will the balance of power in the Pacific be upset, and will there be wars there too (e.g., China and Japan, North and South Korea, North Korea and Japan)?

The Soviets left Afghanistan with their tails between their legs, just as they left Berlin. I was in Berlin when it was happening; and they were selling their uniforms and everything else (e.g., plumbing from their barracks), and going back to “tent cities” in the USSR. This needs to happen again.

Crimea and Ukraine might be the linchpins of chaos and disorder—not seen in the West since the Soviet Union collapsed—unless they become Putin’s abyss, or far far worse. He is a malignancy that must be excoriated. He needs to share the fate of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini, now.

Like

16 03 2014
kate

Russia’s dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin is every bit as sinister and evil as Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Mao Tse-tung. He is a ruthless killer—of his own people and others, and of the human spirit.

I sensiraly hope you mad…..nice pics by the way

Like

16 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Obama Has His Munich Moment With Putin And Crimea

Obama and Putin

This is the tile of an article by Michael Goodwin in the New York Post:

Back in September, John Kerry told Washington Democrats that America faced a “Munich moment” in deciding how to respond to Syria’s use of chemical weapons. He called Bashar al-Assad a “two-bit dictator” who would commit more atrocities unless he was stopped.

Right idea, wrong war. The real Munich moment of our times is taking place in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin is on the march, and there’s no telling how far he’ll go if he’s allowed to gobble up Crimea without paying a serious price. That is the lesson of Munich, the infamous agreement in 1938 when Britain’s Neville Chamberlain struck a deal with Adolf Hitler that Chamberlain claimed would lead to “peace for our time.”

Virtually every president faces a Munich moment, usually more than one. It is a test of courage and wisdom over hope and rationalizations. More often than not, it involves Russia. From Stalin and Khrushchev in Soviet days to Putin now, the Bear is either asleep or ravenously hungry.

Now it is Barack Obama’s turn to face the test. Syria was a pop quiz, and we are about to see if he learned anything from his failure to lead after his “red line” pledge.

So far, his resolve remains an unanswered question. And that fits a troubling pattern.

Even as Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, Obama campaigned on the idea that the world automatically would be a better place when he replaced George W. Bush. It was a naïve and self-aggrandizing assumption, yet it was the basis of his “reset” approach to Russia.

Over several years, he could point to modest Russian cooperation on various fronts, but it came at too high a price. Some European allies believe he sacrificed their security to appease Putin.

Even during his re-election campaign in 2012, Obama mocked Mitt Romney’s observation that Russia remained our top geopolitical foe. And he blinked over Kerry’s “Munich moment” in Syria by letting Putin broker the deal that kept Assad in power in exchange for a promise to destroy his chemical weapons. The deal collapsed, and the slaughter continues.

Most important, Russia has been dragging its feet on Iran, giving the impression it wouldn’t mind if the mullahs got the bomb.

The invasion of Crimea should have removed any doubts about whether Russia could be trusted as a partner, yet Obama resisted recognizing the historic parallels. The president’s initial reaction was sleepy, his first public comments conveying a don’t-bother-me-with-distractions attitude. To underscore his indifference, he went to a partisan gab-fest before going on a golfing vacation.

In recent days, the lack of seriousness finally seems to be giving way to a realization that Obama faces a crisis of the first order. Yet what he will do, if anything, remains far from clear.

Part of the problem is that Western Europeans are assuming their usual quisling positions by resisting any meaningful financial and economic penalties. The scenario proves how corrosive the lack of American leadership can be to a stable world. Appeasement is contagious.

Meanwhile, the outcome of the referendum in Crimea is a foregone conclusion and sets the stage for Russian annexation. Obama and Kerry warn vaguely of “consequences,” but Putin is dismissive and seems more likely to extend his reach into eastern Ukraine than to back off. No wonder our allies in Eastern Europe, having lived under the Soviet yoke, are nervous.

They know the stakes. We will learn soon whether Obama does, for his Munich moment has arrived.

See http://nypost.com/2014/03/15/obama-has-his-munich-moment-with-putin-and-crimea/ (emphasis added)

As I have written above:

This is the defining hour for Barack Obama and his presidency. It is time for him to act . . . NOT slumber or wobble.

It is time for the United States and the West to quit fooling around with Russia’s pygmy Putin, and shut down his country economically.

Putin is presiding over a Russia in decline, which is why he is so desperate with respect to Ukraine. This process of decline must be hastened and “helped” along.

The world is watching . . .

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3765 (“The Defining Hour For Barack Obama And His Presidency”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4030 (“Vladimir Putin’s Goals Reach Far Beyond The Crimean Peninsula”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4010 (“Putin Must Be Terminated”)

Like

17 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Vladimir Putin’s Goals Reach Far Beyond The Crimean Peninsula

Putin with pistol

This is the title of an article in the UK’s Financial Times by Andrey Zubov, a professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations:

Crimea is now occupied by Russia—in violation of all norms of international law and treaties signed by Moscow itself. Russia is rapidly emerging as a rogue state from which even its traditional allies are turning away.

Why did Vladimir Putin take these actions, which are incredible from the point of view of modern political practice? What do the Russian president and his colleagues actually need? Is it really Crimea? Hardly.

Of course, Crimea is a tasty slice of historic Russia—a region with the best resorts, beautiful scenery and strategically important military bases. Whoever controls Crimea controls the Black Sea.

But Russians have always been unimpeded in Ukrainian Crimea. As for the Russian navy base, it never reached its staffing limits. The Moscow establishment was not concerned about controlling the Black Sea; it was preoccupied with stuffing its own pockets at the expense of the people.

The invasion of Crimea cannot be explained with concern for the Russian-speaking people of Crimea either. Russia’s rulers do not even care about their own people, robbing them cynically. Why would they suddenly care about their kinsmen in Crimea? And nobody has oppressed the Russians in Crimea. They are first-class citizens, and the official language in Crimea is Russian. Yes, there are poor Russians in Crimea. But all over Ukraine, the majority of the people live in extreme poverty.

I think Mr Putin’s goals are far beyond the Crimean peninsula. First, Moscow’s rulers are terrified that Ukraine’s Maidan protest movement could replicate itself in Russia. The fate of Viktor Yanukovich, the ousted Ukrainian president, frightens them. They are also frightened by the tough anti-communist spirit of the Maidan. The revolution is taking place amid collapsing monuments to Soviet leaders: Lenin, Kirov, Dzerzhinsky. But in neighbouring Russia, 25 years after the ban of the Communist party, Grandpa Lenin is still resting in his mausoleum on Red Square, his monuments still stand. In Russia, we have a metamorphosis of the Communist order; in Ukraine, a decisive parting from it.

This scares the KGB officers in charge of Russia today. It is also one of the reasons why the Russian media has branded the Maidan participants “fascists”. It is a logic familiar to many older Russians: if you oppose the Soviet Union, you are a fascist. Such was the custom in the Stalinist era; it has been now reborn. And by demonising the Ukrainian protesters, converting them into enemies of everything [sacred] to Russo-Soviet man, public opinion will surely turn against the Maidan.

Second, Mr Putin is well aware of the Brezhnev doctrine—the principle of limited sovereignty of the involuntary allies of what was then the Soviet Union. The USSR kept its satellites on a leash, the length of which could adjusted according to taste. Now Mr Putin would like to put Ukraine on such a leash, allowing Kiev the freedom to do some things but not others. The decisive factor would be Moscow.

Of course, the big interests of Russia’s rulers in Ukraine, their personal economic interests, weigh heavily. But even more important is the belief that, in the countries of the former Soviet Union, it is Moscow that must define the rules of the game. Ukraine, like Poland in 1981, Czechoslovakia in 1968 and Hungary in 1956, rose up against this principle of limited sovereignty. And the Russians want to bring Ukraine to heel, just as they did with its western neighbours.

Finally, in the context of growing economic crisis in Russia and a long-term loss of popularity, Mr Putin has resorted to a method that is normally a moral taboo but very potent: the unleashing of national chauvinism. In a country that has recently faced degradation and disintegration, a call for reunification with an oppressed people cut off from the motherland by political foul play has the power to mobilise many.

History teaches us that such a move very quickly robs the people of freedom, and leads to deep poverty, spiritual devastation and political disaster. But for politicians, now is often more important than tomorrow. After all, tomorrow for them may never come.

So the occupation of Crimea is only a means for the current political regime in Russia—a means towards goals that are extremely dangerous for Europe, for Ukraine and for the Russian people itself.

See http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/a6c2e8f6-ab99-11e3-90af-00144feab7de.html#axzz2wAot0d4R (emphasis added); see also http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304914904579441752139339602?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304914904579441752139339602.html&fpid=2,7,121,122,201,401,641,1009 (“[T]he difference between the current leaders of the West who inhabit a fantasy world of international rules and the hard men of the Kremlin who understand the language of power [and seek to revive the 19th-century Russian empire]“)

My issues are not with the Russian people, but with Putin and his colleagues. The people are victims as well.

Crimea and Ukraine may prove to be Putin’s abyss—or far far worse—just as the Soviets’ presence in Afghanistan was decisive.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4010 (see also the article itself, as well as the other comments beneath it)

Putin with rifle

Like

17 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

RUSSIA AND CHINA PUSH FOR CONTROL OF INTERNET

Russia and China control of Internet

Our two major adversaries and/or enemies are trying to step into the breach of American weakness, created by Barack Obama, and control the Internet.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/ and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/ (see also the comments beneath both articles)

Both countries have demonstrated their willingness and ability to manipulate the Internet in their own countries for political and strategic advantages. Imagine the damage they will do to the United States and the West if they control the Internet in any way.

Brendan Sasso has written for the National Journal:

The United States is planning to give up its last remaining authority over the technical management of the Internet.

The Commerce Department announced Friday that it will give the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), an international nonprofit group, control over the database of names and addresses that allows computers around the world to connect to each other.

Administration officials say U.S. authority over the Internet address system was always intended to be temporary and that ultimate power should rest with the “global Internet community.”

But some fear that the Obama administration is opening the door to an Internet takeover by Russia, China, or other countries that are eager to censor speech and limit the flow of ideas.

“If the Obama Administration gives away its oversight of the Internet, it will be gone forever,” wrote Daniel Castro, a senior analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Castro argued that the world “could be faced with a splintered Internet that would stifle innovation, commerce, and the free flow and diversity of ideas that are bedrock tenets of world’s biggest economic engine.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican, called the announcement a “hostile step” against free speech.

“Giving up control of ICANN will allow countries like China and Russia that don’t place the same value in freedom of speech to better define how the internet looks and operates,” she said in a statement.

Critics warn that U.S. control of the domain system has been a check against the influence of authoritarian regimes over ICANN, and in turn the Internet.

But other advocacy groups, businesses, and lawmakers have praised the administration’s announcement—while also saying they plan to watch the transition closely.

The Internet was invented in the United States, and the country has always had a central role in its management. But as the Internet has grown, other countries have demanded a greater voice. Edward Snowden’s leaks about U.S. surveillance have only exacerbated that tension.

China, Russia, Iran, and dozens of other countries are already pushing for more control over the Internet through the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency.

The transition to full ICANN control of the Internet’s address system won’t happen until October 2015, and even then, there likely won’t be any sudden changes. ICANN was already managing the system under a contract from the Commerce Department.

But having the ultimate authority over the domain name system was the most important leverage the United States had in debates over the operation of the Internet. It was a trump card the U.S. could play if it wanted to veto an ICANN decision or fend off an international attack on Internet freedom.

The Obama administration is keenly aware of the potential for an authoritarian regime to seize power over the Internet. ICANN will have to submit a proposal for the new management system to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency within the Commerce Department.

“I want to make clear that we will not accept a proposal that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or an intergovernmental solution,” Larry Strickling, the head of NTIA, said Friday.

Fadi Chehadé, the president and CEO of ICANN, said he will work with governments, businesses, and nonprofits to craft a new oversight system.

“All stakeholders deserve a voice in the management and governance of this global resource as equal partners,” he said.

Verizon, AT&T, Cisco, and other business groups all issued statements applauding the administration’s move. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller argued that the transition will help ensure the Internet remains free and open.

Sen. John Thune, the top Republican on the Commerce Committee, said he will watch the process carefully, but that he trusts “the innovators and entrepreneurs more than the bureaucrats—whether they’re in D.C. or Brussels.”

The transition will reassure the global community that the U.S. is not trying to manipulate the Internet for its own economic or strategic advantage, according to Cameron Kerry, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and the former acting Commerce secretary.

Steve DelBianco, the executive director of NetChoice, a pro-business tech group, said the U.S. was bound to eventually give up its role overseeing Internet addresses. But he said lawmakers and the Obama administration will have to ensure that ICANN will still be held accountable before handing the group the keys to the address system in 2015.

DelBianco warned that without proper safeguards, Russian President Vladimir Putin or another authoritarian leader could pressure ICANN to shut down domains that host critical content.

“That kind of freedom of expression is something that the U.S. has carefully protected,” DelBianco said in an interview. “Whatever replaces the leverage, let’s design it carefully.”

See http://www.nationaljournal.com/tech/when-u-s-steps-back-will-russia-and-china-control-the-internet-20140317 (emphasis added); see also http://www.nationaljournal.com/tech/republicans-fear-obama-will-let-russia-seize-internet-power-20140402 (“Republicans Fear Obama Will Let Russia Seize Internet Power”)

We are on the verge of war with Russia’s dictator-for-life Putin; and China is challenging the United States and our allies in the Pacific. Is there any reason to trust either country?

At a bare minimum, freedom of speech is at stake. Equally at risk are our national security and Internet commerce.

Like

19 03 2014
Bernie Zehr

Our President is too weak for the job. His weakness will lead to a shooting war. Obama leaves destruction wherever he goes and the US press kisses his posterior. His vacationing wife is in China. Hope they keep her!

Like

19 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Bernie, for your comments.

Yes, I agree; he is too weak for the job.

Right after the elections of 2008, I read his book “Dreams from My Father,” written in his own words and setting forth his core beliefs. It was shocking.

I read the book twice, because I wanted to understand fully what he was saying. I made notes, and turned the notes into an article about his beliefs, which quotes what he wrote and provides cites to the book.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/

The book was a roadmap to how he is governing, and what we might expect during the balance of his presidency. If he “folds” with respect to Ukraine, it is “open season” on America and our allies around the world. Our adversaries will be emboldened, like Putin is today in Ukraine.

I agree too that his weakness may lead to one or more shooting wars; and that the media keeps looking the other way, and is irresponsible.

Like

28 03 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

PUTIN’S WARS

Putin in KGB uniform

Barack Obama was doing drugs, while Vladimir Putin was a KGB operative in the DDR, which killed and tortured people.

Two articles are essential reading, one by the Wall Street Journal‘s Peggy Noonan, and the other by the Washington Post‘s Charles Krauthammer.

Noonan begins:

It is not fully remembered or appreciated—to some degree it’s been forced down the memory hole—that a primary reason the American people opposed the Soviet Union and were able to sustain that opposition (and bear its costs) was that the Soviets were not only expansionist but atheistic, and aggressively so. It was part of what communism was about—God is a farce and must be removed as a force. They closed the churches, killed and imprisoned priests and nuns. Wherever communism went there was an attempt to suppress belief.

Americans, more then than now a churchgoing and believing people, knew this and recoiled. That recoil added energy, heft and moral seriousness to America’s long opposition. Americans wouldn’t mind if Russia merely operated under an eccentric economic system—that was their business. They wouldn’t mind if it had dictators—one way or another Russia always had dictators. But that it was expansionist and atheistic—that was different. That was a threat to humanity.

One of the strategically interesting things about Vladimir Putin is that he has been careful not to set himself against religious belief but attempted to align himself with it. He has taken domestic actions that he believes reflect the assumptions of religious conservatives. He has positioned himself so that he can make a claim on a part of the Russian soul, as they used to say, that his forbears could not: He is not anti-God, he is pro-God, pro the old church of the older, great Russia.

That is only one way in which Putinism is different. The Soviets had an overarching world-ideology, Mr. Putin does not. The Soviets had an army of global reach, Mr. Putin has an army of local reach. The Soviet premiers of old, as Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, noted in an interview, operated within “a certain sense of bureaucracy, of restraints.” Mr. Putin’s Russia is “so concentrated economically and politically that we don’t know what constraints there are on his autonomy.” There is cronyism, crackdowns on the press. Mr. Putin has weakened formal institutions—and “institutions are inherently conservative” because “they provide checks and balances.” Mr. Haass added that “Putin’s ambitions and limits are not clear.”

I think we got a deep look at Mr. Putin’s attitudes and goals in his speech last week at the Kremlin, telling the world his reasons for annexing Crimea. It is a remarkable document and deserves more attention. It was a full-throated appeal to Russian nationalism, and an unapologetic expression of Russian grievance. (The translation is from the Prague Post.)

At the top, religious references. Crimea is “where Prince Vladimir was baptized. His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilization and human values that unite the people of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.”

Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia. Yes, in 1954 “the Communist Party head, Nikita Khrushchev” decided to transfer it to Ukraine. “What stood behind this decision of his—a desire to win the support of the Ukrainian political establishment or to atone for the mass oppressions of the 1930s in Ukraine—is for historians to figure out.” But Khrushchev headed “a totalitarian state” and never asked the Crimeans for their views. Decades later, “what seemed impossible became a reality. The U.S.S.R. fell apart. . . . The big country was gone.” Things moved swiftly. Crimeans and others “went to bed in one country and awoke in other ones, overnight becoming ethnic minorities in former [Soviet] republics.” Russia “was not simply robbed, it was plundered.” Crimeans in 1991 felt “they were handed over like a sack of potatoes.”

Russia “humbly accepted the situation.” It was rocked, “incapable of protecting its interests.” Russians knew they’d been treated unjustly, but they chose to “build our good-neighborly relations with independent Ukraine on a new basis.” Russia was accommodating, respectful. But Ukraine was led by successive bad leaders who “milked the country, fought among themselves for power.”

“I understand those who came out on Maidan with peaceful slogans against corruption,” Mr. Putin said. But forces that “stood behind the latest events in Ukraine” had “a different agenda.” They “resorted to terror, murder and riots.” They are “Nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites.” “They continue to set the tone in Ukraine to this day.” They have “foreign sponsors” and “mentors.”

He declared that “there is no legitimate executive authority in Ukraine now,” that government agencies are controlled by “imposters,” often “controlled by radicals.” In that atmosphere residents of Crimea turned to Russia for protection. Russia could not abandon them. It helped them hold a referendum.

“Western Europe and North America” now say Moscow has violated international law. “It’s a good thing that they at least remember that there exists such a thing as international law—better late than never.” And Russia has violated nothing: Its military “never entered Crimea” but was already there, in line with international agreements. Russia chose merely to “enhance” its forces there, within limits previously set. There was not a single armed confrontation, and no casualties. Why? Because Crimeans wanted them there. If it had been an armed intervention, he said, surely a shot would have been fired.

In the decades since the Soviet Union’s fall—or, as Mr. Putin called it, since “the dissolution of bipolarity on the planet”—the world has become less stable. The U.S. is guided not by international law but by “the rule of the gun.” Americans think they are exceptional and can “decide the destinies of the world,” building coalitions on the basis of “if you are not with us, you are against us”—Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya. The “color revolutions” have produced “chaos” instead of freedom, and “the Arab Spring turned into the Arab Winter.”

Mr. Putin cleverly knocked down the idea of European integration. The real problem, he said, is that the West has been moving against “Eurasian integration.” Russia over the years has tried to be cooperative, but the U.S. and its allies have repeatedly lied and “made decisions behind our backs.” NATO expanded to the east; a missile-defense system is “moving forward.” The “infamous policy of containment” continues against Russia today. “They are constantly trying to sweep us into a corner. . . . But there is a limit to everything.”

Russia does not want to harm Ukraine. “We do not want to divide Ukraine; we do not need that.” But Kiev had best not join NATO, and Ukrainians should “put their own house in order.”

What does this remarkable speech tell us? It presents a rationale for moving further. Ukraine, for instance, is a government full of schemers controlled by others—it may require further attention. It expresses a stark sense of historical grievance and assumes it is shared by its immediate audience. It makes clear a formal animus toward the U.S. It shows he has grown comfortable in confrontation. It posits the presence of a new Russia, one that is “an independent, active participant in international affairs.” It suggests a new era, one that doesn’t have a name yet. But the decades following the collapse of the Soviet Union were one thing, and this is something else—something rougher, darker and more aggressive.

It tells us this isn’t about Crimea.

It tells us this isn’t over.

See http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303325204579465891689400908 (emphasis added)

Krauthammer adds:

“The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game. That’s the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War.”

— Barack Obama, March 24

Should. Lovely sentiment. As lovely as what Obama said five years ago to the United Nations: “No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.”

That’s the kind of sentiment you expect from a Miss America contestant asked to name her fondest wish, not from the leader of the free world explaining his foreign policy.

The East Europeans know they inhabit the battleground between the West and a Russia that wants to return them to its sphere of influence. Ukrainians see tens of thousands of Russian troops across their border and know they are looking down the barrel of quite a zero-sum game.

Obama thinks otherwise. He says that Vladimir Putin’s kind of neo-imperialist thinking is a relic of the past—and advises Putin to transcend the Cold War.

Good God. Putin hasn’t transcended the Russian revolution. Did no one give Obama a copy of Putin’s speech last week upon the annexation of Crimea? Putin railed not only at Russia’s loss of empire in the 1990s. He went back to the 1920s: “After the revolution, the Bolsheviks . . . may God judge them, added large sections of the historical South of Russia to the Republic of Ukraine.” Putin was referring not to Crimea (which came two sentences later) but to his next potential target: Kharkiv and Donetsk and the rest of southeastern Ukraine.

Putin’s irredentist grievances go very deep. Obama seems unable to fathom them. Asked whether he’d misjudged Russia, whether it really is our greatest geopolitical foe, he disdainfully replied that Russia is nothing but “a regional power” acting “out of weakness.”

Where does one begin? Hitler’s Germany and Tojo’s Japan were also regional powers, yet managed to leave behind at least 50 million dead. And yes, Russia should be no match for the American superpower. Yet under this president, Russia has run rings around America, from the attempted ingratiation of the “reset” to America’s empty threats of “consequences” were Russia to annex Crimea.

Annex Crimea it did. For which the “consequences” have been risible. Numberless 19th- and 20th-century European soldiers died for Crimea. Putin conquered it in a swift and stealthy campaign that took three weeks and cost his forces not a sprained ankle. That’s “weakness”?

Indeed, Obama’s dismissal of Russia as a regional power makes his own leadership of the one superpower all the more embarrassing. For seven decades since the Japanese surrender, our role under 11 presidents had been as offshore balancer protecting smaller allies from potential regional hegemons.

What are the allies thinking now? Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and other Pacific Rim friends are wondering where this America will be as China expands its reach and claims. The Gulf states are near panic as they see the United States playacting nuclear negotiations with Iran that, at best, will leave their mortal Shiite enemy just weeks away from the bomb.

America never sought the role that history gave it after World War II to bear unbidden burdens “to assure the survival and the success of liberty,” as movingly described by John Kennedy. We have an appropriate aversion to the stark fact that the alternative to U.S. leadership is either global chaos or dominance by the likes of China, Russia and Iran.

But Obama doesn’t even seem to recognize this truth. In his major Brussels address Wednesday, the very day Russia seized the last Ukrainian naval vessel in Crimea, Obama made vague references to further measures should Russia march deeper into Ukraine, while still emphasizing the centrality of international law, international norms and international institutions such as the United Nations.

Such fanciful thinking will leave our allies with two choices: bend a knee—or arm to the teeth. Either acquiesce to the regional bully or gird your loins, i.e., go nuclear. As surely will the Gulf states. As will, in time, Japan and South Korea.

Even Ukrainians are expressing regret at having given up their nukes in return for paper guarantees of territorial integrity. The 1994 Budapest Memorandum was ahead of its time—the perfect example of the kind of advanced 21st-century thinking so cherished by our president. Perhaps the captain of that last Ukrainian vessel should have waved the document at the Russian fleet that took his ship.

See http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-obama-vs-putin-the-mismatch/2014/03/27/e26a27f2-b5d5-11e3-8cb6-284052554d74_story.html (emphasis added)

As I asked about Obama in the last paragraph of this blog’s first article:

In the final analysis, will he be viewed as a fad and a feckless naïf, and a tragic Shakespearean figure who is forgotten and consigned to the dustheap of history? Will his naïveté have been matched by his overarching narcissism, and will he be considered more starry-eyed and “dangerous” than Jimmy Carter? Will his presidency be considered a sad watershed in history? Or will he succeed and prove his detractors wrong, and be viewed as the “anointed one” and a true political “messiah”? Even Abraham Lincoln was never accorded such accolades, much less during his lifetime. And Barack Obama’s core beliefs are light years away from those of Ronald Reagan.

Obama missed his chance to travel to Kyiv and demonstrate American solidarity with the courageous Ukrainians who have put their lives on the line, like Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy did in Berlin. Also, he is much more dangerous than Jimmy Carter ever was. After all, Carter was a graduate of our Naval Academy and a military officer.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3723 (“Does Barack Obama Have Any Guts At All, Or Is He Nothing More Than An Empty Suit?”); but see http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4010 (“Putin Must Be Terminated”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3864 (“Putin’s Tactics Are Easily And Accurately Compared To Hitler And Stalin”) and http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/03/ukraine-fingers-russian-advisors-and-ex-president-yanukovych-in-february-massacre.html (“New Evidence: Russian Spies Backed Kiev’s Killers”)

Perhaps the proper comparison is between Kennedy and Obama. Indeed, it has been written:

Khrushchev was delighted to discover that the U.S. president was so “weak.” A Russian aide said the American president seemed “very inexperienced, even immature.”

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/john-f-kennedy-the-most-despicable-president-in-american-history/#comment-4131 (see also the article itself, as well as the other comments beneath it)

This is Obama in spades.

Obama smoking pot

Like

2 04 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Putin Is The Thief, Liar And Murderer Who Rules Russia

Putin is Hitler

These are the words of Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., in a Wall Street Journal article entitled “What Putin Is Afraid Of”:

What good is an intelligence establishment if it can’t answer questions we want answered?

Bank Rossiya, slapped with U.S. sanctions last month, is the “personal bank” of top Russian officials, the U.S. Treasury tells us. Its chief, Yuri Kovalchuk, “has been referred” to as one of President Vladimir Putin’s “cashiers.”

But the identical allegation was floated a decade ago by Ivan Rybkin, an opposition candidate in Russia’s 2004 presidential election, as anybody using Google can find out. What does the U.S. government know that Google doesn’t?

Bank Rossiya is suspected of involvement in the diversion of $93 million, intended for food imports, to Mr. Putin when he was deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, as alleged in a 1992 investigation by the city’s elected food commissioner.

The bank, according to detailed allegations by former business colleague Sergei Kolesnikov, was central to the diversion of funds intended for St. Petersburg’s hospitals to build a $1 billion “palace” on the Black Sea for Mr. Putin’s personal use.

Though Russia’s president spouts patriotic rhetoric, the bank and his associates appear to benefit in questionable ways from his nation’s resource patrimony. One of the bank’s reported shareholders is Gennady Timchenko, founder of a private, Swiss-based trading company that handles a conspicuous share of oil exports for state-owned giant Rosneft. Bank Rossiya itself has gained control of state-owned Gazprom’s pension, insurance and financial arms, on terms the bank says were above-board but that the Financial Times suggested “opened the way for deals that drained billions of dollars of value out of Gazprom.”

One foreigner sits on the bank’s board: Matthias Warnig, a former East German Stasi agent and acquaintance from Mr. Putin’s KGB days who now serves as managing director of Nord Stream, a German company with high political connections in Berlin whose practical consequence is to maintain Germany’s energy dependence on Russia.

Mr. Putin fears his people taking to the streets. He fears his friends deciding their billions are no longer safe with him in control. He is not immune. Moscow is a modern city in many ways, but its elite rivalries are prosecuted through primitive and dark arts of character assassination—”kompromat.” That Black Sea “palace” is not a retirement home for Mr. Putin—it’s a testament to his insecurity, a recognition by Mr. Putin and his cronies that he must rule in perpetuity if they are to escape accountability for their alleged crimes.

Of all the unanswered questions, the greatest concern what Russians call their 9/11. A supposedly Chechen-inspired terrorist bombing campaign in September 1999 killed nearly 300 apartment dwellers in Moscow and other cities and led directly to Mr. Putin’s political rise. In the free-wheeling Russian press of the day, respected journalists from Russia’s Moskovskaya Pravda, Italy’s La Stampa and Sweden’s Svenska Dagbladet reported that such a terror wave was coming—and that it would be sponsored by the Russian state.

In the middle of the bombing campaign, Gennadiy Seleznyov, speaker of the Russian Duma, took to the rostrum on Sept. 13, 1999, to announce that an apartment building in Volgodonsk had been bombed the previous night—but the Volgodonsk bombing would not take place until three days later.

The campaign came to an abrupt halt after three perpetrators were caught planting explosives in an apartment block in Ryazan. The three turned out to be Russian security agents. After 36 hours of contradictory statements, the Kremlin cited a training exercise.

A crude kind of democratic accountability is not entirely dead in Russia. A Radio Free Europe survey of the media landscape describes two Russias: a “Television Russia,” dominated by Putin propaganda and becoming more so, and an “Internet Russia,” where the 60% of Russians with Internet access consume detailed reporting and speculation about the thievery of their betters.

Anders Aslund, the noted Swedish economist and Russia expert, once chided the West for ignoring “the greatest corruption story in history.” Western governments had reasons for ignoring it. They wanted to work with Mr. Putin. They were relying on him to keep a lid on Russia.

Even without apparent U.S. help, photographic evidence has appeared on the Web to suggest Moscow-supplied snipers positioned on rooftops in Kiev were responsible for most of the bloodshed during the Ukrainian uprising. The U.S., according to recent Edward Snowden leaks, can record every phone call in a target country and store them for 30 days. What do U.S. files and the files of its European allies say about Mr. Putin, whose spokesmen and associates have regularly denied all charges of wrongdoing?

Relentless applications of the truth alone might not be enough to undermine the alleged thief, liar and murderer who rules Russia. But more than any time in history, the facts have a power of their own. The possibility shouldn’t be ruled out.

See http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303978304579475390435294428 (emphasis added)

Putin must be crushed. This much is crystal clear.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4215 (“PUTIN’S WARS”) (see also the article itself, as well as the other comments beneath it)

Like

4 04 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Putin’s Drive To Destroy Ukraine: Crimean Crimes

Putin is mad

In a fine article by this title, the Kyiv Post has reported:

Fresh off the theft of Crimea, the autocrats in Moscow took a victory lap this week to boast in pageantry and ceremonial flag-raisings seemingly designed to insult Ukraine’s honor and dignity.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev flaunted the Kremlin’s takeover of the Black Sea peninsula by visiting Simferopol on March 31, where he promised to pour billions of dollars into the region and create a special economic zone to stimulate investment.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin rubbed salt in Ukraine’s wounds by posting a photo on Twitter of him standing on the seaside shortly after his arrival in Ukraine’s Crimea with the words “Crimea is ours and that’s that.”

The brazen and illegal takeover, unless reversed, is upsetting the world order and threatens to trigger a permanent rupture with Russia between the West and the rest of Ukraine, especially as Russian soldiers threaten from across the border and Russia issues demands for “federalization” of Ukraine—what many in Ukraine believe is the Kremlin’s code word for dismemberment of the Ukrainian nation.

Here’s a look back at the two-step, three-week process executing the land grab of the century and the war crimes and illegal acts committed in the process:

Step 1: Government takeover at gunpoint

The seizure began at dawn on Feb. 27, when some 100 armed men in military uniform stormed the Crimean parliament and Council of Ministers buildings in Simferopol. Wielding automatic rifles, the masked captors muscled the government security guards and refused to negotiate with then-prime minister Anatoly Mohyliov. Once in control, they allowed into parliament only a handful of Russian journalists along with a cadre of loyal lawmakers who voted swiftly to hold a referendum on the status of Crimea’s autonomy. By nightfall, this rump parliament, with 53 votes according to the Kremlin, chose Sergey Aksyonov as the new Crimean prime minister.

Those reports contrast starkly with the account of Crimean lawmaker Nikolay Sumulidy and his colleagues. Sumulidy said there were no more than 37 lawmakers present during the momentous votes, three short of a quorum, making the whole charade illegitimate from the start. Most Crimean officials and citizens stayed silent out of fear and the threat of violent retaliation.

Step 2: Invade with Russian soldiers, deny their presence; use women, children as human shields

Hours after the votes, armored vehicles believed to be from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet base transported soldiers to strategic targets around the peninsula. Mark Galeotti, a New York University professor and Russian security services expert, called it “an act of war.” Russia began trampling the United Nations Charter and 1975 Helsinki Final Act to respect Ukraine’s sovereign rights and to refrain from the threat or use of force, and its agreement under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum to guarantee Ukraine’s security and territorial integrity, as well as the 1997 Black Sea basing agreement of troop size and movements.

In early March, Crimea teemed with thousands of heavily armed soldiers in unmarked uniforms who moved quickly to surround and then capture Ukrainian military bases and other buildings of importance, using women and children as human shields during the storming of many complexes, in blatant violation of Geneva conventions on acceptable warfare.

The soldiers had Russian guns, wore fatigues similar to those known to be worn by Russian soldiers and spoke with distinctive Russian accents. Some of them even admitted to being Russian soldiers. And still, Putin denied during a news conference on March 4—and on several other occasions—that they were under orders of Moscow, calling the militants “local self-defense forces.”

Crimean residents began calling the soldiers “the little green men” although they knew their identities. It was only on March 16, the day of the bogus referendum on secession, that Crimea’s Vice Premier Rustam Temirgaliyev admitted the presence of Russian soldiers.

“Yes, we have Russian troops in Crimea, but they are absolutely legal,” he said. In the next days many of the soldiers removed their masks, became more talkative and displayed their Russian identification, including the country’s flag, on their uniforms.

Ukraine unpre­pared

Given the swift execution of the Russian operation, experts believe the seizure was long in the making, unbeknownst to the Ukrainian side.

“All, including heads of (Ukrainian) military headquarters, chiefs of military intelligence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were not thinking about possible aggression from Russia,” said Valeriy Chaly, deputy head of the Razumkov Center think tank in Kyiv.

Kyiv’s officials were distracted by the successful EuroMaidan Revolution and preoccupied with setting up a new government to replace the administration of overthrown President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22.

Some, however, said the Russian takeover was flagged in advance, but nobody in Ukraine did anything to stop it.

Svitlana Savchenko, Crimean parliamentarian, told the Kyiv Post that the Alfa special unit of Ukrainian police officers summoned the speaker of the region’s parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov, to the Interior Ministry office in Simferopol on Feb. 26. Konstantinov, however, did not go. Sergiy Kunitsyn, who was nominated on Feb. 27 as interim President Oleksandr Turchynov’s representative in Crimea, said the Alfa unit had the capability to stop the assault, but did not intervene.

On March 24, after Russian troops had flooded the peninsula, Kunitsyn resigned in protest of the inaction from the government in Kyiv. “Every day they (Kyiv authorities) mock our soldiers, and we just convene some meetings,” he said.

Here again, Crimean representatives of Yanukovych’s pro-government Party of Regions may have laid the groundwork for the successful takeover.

For years, the Yanukovych loyalists used pro-Russian and post-Soviet propaganda to suppress independent media and emphasize the differences between Crimea and mainland Ukraine. So, anti-EuroMaidan Revolution sentiment on the peninsula ran high.

“They prepared the basis for this” Russian takeover, said Sergiy Mokrushin, a Simferopol-based investigative journalist, referring to loyalists of the disgraced Yanukovych. “They tried to gain a foothold here but instead opened the way for militiamen and Russia.”

Russia-backed forces employ violence, torture

Along with Russian troops, thousands of Kremlin-backed paramilitary groups began operating on the peninsula to silence opposition to the Kremlin takeover through kidnappings, threats and assaults of Ukrainian activists and journalists.

On March 9, seven people were kidnapped in Crimea by pro-Russian militiamen. Two activists from the local EuroMaidan Revolution movement, Anatoliy Kovalsky and Andriy Shchekun, were abducted at the train station in Simferopol, where they had come to pick up a parcel from Kyiv. Five more people, including AutoMaidan activists Shura Riazantseva and Katheryna Butko, as well as Kyiv journalist Olena Maksymenko, photographer Oles Kromplias and driver Yevhen Rakhno, were captured when they tried to cross into Crimea by car from Kherson Oblast. All were released, but many said they tortured in captivity.

Torture is war crime

“They made me pull the laces out of sneakers, and one of the men started strangling me with the laces. They hit me with their fists to my cheekbone, cut part of my hair. They said they would kill my friends in front of me and cut their heads off. They threatened to cut my ear off,” Olena Maksymenko said at a news conference.

On March 17, Reshat Ametov, a Crimean Tatar activist, was found dead with signs of torture in a village some 60 kilometers from Simferopol. Ametov had been missing since March 3, when uniformed Russian-backed armed men and Crimean self-defense forces abducted him at a Simferopol meeting in support of the EuroMaidan Revolution, his relatives said. “He was just standing there and they took him away,” Ametov’s mother, Refika Ametova, told the Kyiv Post at his funeral on March 18.

On March 19, Russian soldiers kidnapped Ukrainian fleet commander Admiral Serhiy Haiduk from his headquarters in Sevastopol. Haiduk was released the next day after Kyiv threatened to cut off the water and electricity to Crimea, which relies heavily on the mainland for the utilities. But even after Haiduk, dozens more Ukrainian soldiers were abducted.

Ukrainian Air Force Col. Yuliy Mamchur was one of them. He was subjected to psychological pressure while being held captive. “They kept me 3.5 days in solitary cell room… tried to persuade me to betray my military oath to (serve) the Ukrainian people and defect to service in the Russian army,” he said on March 26 after being released.

Today, not even the conquering Putin denies the presence of Russian military forces. He is honoring them as heroes and decorating them with medals.

“The recent events in Crimea were a serious test, which demonstrated both the completely new capabilities of our Armed Forces and the high morale of the personnel,” Putin said. He praised the troops for “avoiding bloodshed” in Crimea, not mentioning the two deaths—that of a Ukrainian officer and a pro-Russian self-defense member—who were shot and killed during a Russian siege on a Ukrainian base in March.

See http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/putins-drive-to-destroy-ukraine-crimean-crimes-342034.html

Where is Barack Obama while all of this is happening?

Like Hitler before him, Putin must be crushed and terminated, period.

See also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4279 (“Putin Is The Thief, Liar And Murderer Who Rules Russia”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4215 (“PUTIN’S WARS”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3864 (“Putin’s Tactics Are Easily And Accurately Compared To Hitler And Stalin”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4010 (“Putin Must Be Terminated”)

Like

6 04 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

WAR IS COMING, KILL THE CANCER THAT IS PUTIN

Putin and Hitler

This is the title of and words in an article by Mikheil Saakashvili, former President of Georgia, which appears in Foreign Affairs:

In early March, the Russian Federation, after staging a referendum under Kalashnikovs in Crimea, proceeded to annex the region and laid the groundwork—according to Moscow—for “new political-legal realities,” that is to say, a new Russian paradigm for a lawless world. As German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in her speech to the Bundestag on March 13, Russia is bringing the law of the jungle to the table. For those of us who have lived through Vladimir Putin’s attempts to reverse the results of what he calls “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century—the dissolution of the Soviet Union—what is happening in Ukraine is not unexpected. Nor does it mark the last act of the drama.

It should be abundantly clear now that Putin’s initial plan of taking eastern Ukraine by mobilizing the Russian population there has failed. But that doesn’t mean he’s giving up. Russian strategists are talking about a “weekend of rage” that could involve some kind of armed siege of government buildings in southern and eastern Ukraine. If these local provocateurs and “self-defense forces” manage to hold these buildings as they did in Crimea, it might serve as a basis for further military intervention. Not that we should be surprised by this cynical playbook any more.

History can be a useful guide for politicians: first, to help prevent new disasters, and second, to help react to disasters that inevitably happen anyway, despite the best laid plans. And yet, plenty of politicians are making the same mistakes they should have learned from decades ago. These days, I can’t help but be reminded of Yogi Berra’s famous quote, “It’s déjà vu, all over again.”

In Chechnya, tens of thousands of people were killed just to make Putin president and consolidate his power. Then, when the Colored Revolutions—and their successful reforms—became a menace to his rule, he invaded Georgia in order to kill this contagious model and again reconfirm his power. Now, as before, faced with eroding popularity in Russia, a shale gas revolution in North America, and the need for consistent port access to equip his allies in the Middle East, Putin attacked Ukraine and seized Crimea.

And yet, even with these myriad examples, the West continues to misunderstand or excuse Putin’s aggression. These days, many pundits are busy with soul-searching, with one of the constant refrains being how the West overreached with NATO and EU expansion, and how it needlessly provoked the Russian bear. The conclusion they come to is that part of the reason for Russia’s behavior, however petulant, lies in Western activism. It’s a particular kind of intellectual self-flagellation and, for Putin, a reflection of Western weakness that only emboldens him.

Neville Chamberlain, when presenting the case for the great European powers to acquiesce to Hitler’s occupation of the Sudetenland, argued that Europeans should not care about a “quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing.” I hear a lot of pundits now talking about the “asymmetry of interests,” implying that Russia is entitled to annex neighboring countries’ lands for the simple reason that it cares for these lands more than the West. Others opine that we should all get used to the idea that the Crimea is gone, and that Russia will never give it back. This is exactly what I was told in the summer of 2008—that I should be resigned to the idea that a part of Georgian territory, then occupied by Russia, was gone for good.

But this logic has its continuation. As we know from history, the cycles of appeasement usually get shorter with geometric progression. Soon, the same pundits may declare—with their best poker faces on—that now Moldova is “lost,” or Latvia “lost,” even some province of Poland. And just because Russia is not in the mood to give it back.

The biggest casualty for the West will not be the countries which already are, or strive to be, Western allies, but rather the principles on which the Western world is built. The truth is that Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova are being punished by Russia for their desire to live in a free and democratic society—one very different from the Putin model.

Certainly, Moscow didn’t seem to care much about the minority Russian populations in its near abroad—so long as they were comfortably ruled by corrupt cronies of the Kremlin. But over the ensuing decade, Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova have learned to look to the West, not so much because of geopolitical priorities, but because people there aspire to a Western way of life that respects human rights and universal values. For this reason, the West must shelter these countries not just out of pragmatic calculations, but for the very principles that turned the Western democracies into the most successful societies in history.

The basic facts are very clear. Russia presents the greatest challenge to international law and order since the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan. And even though the West has much greater superiority over Russia—both economically and militarily—than it ever had over the Soviet Union, today’s leaders are reluctant to take advantage of this asymmetry.

The problem, perhaps, is due to the ambivalence of most regional experts that guide Western leaders’ thinking. Their fundamental misreading of Russia is based on the fact that they don’t understand the difference between the Soviet nomenclatura and modern Russia’s corrupt elite. They grossly underestimate the attachment of Russian elites to their mansions and bank accounts in the West. Likewise, Moscow’s key decision-makers are way more dependent financially and psychologically on the West than the bureaucrats of the Brezhnev era. Sanctions can successfully divide this group from Putin’s inside circle, but they have to go further and exact greater pain.

And yet, despite President Barack Obama’s rhetoric, the West—particularly Europe—appears reluctant to impose tougher sanctions. Unlike during the Cold War, Western companies draw much more benefit from Russia today, and thus they too will have to pay the price of sanctions. But after the first round of sanctions, stocks rebounded as markets were relieved that the measures didn’t seem far-reaching. So how does the West expect to be taken seriously by Putin when even Wall Street isn’t buying the seriousness of the Western alliance’s intentions? The dilemma is simple: Is the West willing to pay this price now, or delay the decision and pay a much higher price in the future?

The choice can best be described in medical terms. The cancer of Russian aggression first showed up in Georgia, but the West decided to neglect the diagnosis and preferred to treat the illness with aspirin. Crimea is the metastasis of what happened in Georgia, and yet the West is still excluding the surgical option—that is to say military intervention—as carrying too high a risk. But at least it should apply chemotherapy. Yes, this means that the West will feel the effects of its own drugs, and particularly European companies in the short term. But in the long term, this painful dose is the only way to help kill the cancer that is Putin.

Winston Churchill once prophetically told Hitler’s appeasers: “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war.” Surely, we cannot expect modern-day politicians obsessed with polls and midterm elections to be Churchillian all the time. But at a minimum they should not want to go down in history as the Neville Chamberlains of the 21st century. And misreading Putin for the man that he is—and has always been—is at the heart of appeasement.

See http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/04/04/war_is_coming_ukraine_putin (emphasis added); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4010 (“Putin Must Be Terminated”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3864 (“Putin’s Tactics Are Easily And Accurately Compared To Hitler And Stalin”)

Crimea and Ukraine must become Putin’s abyss—or far far worse. He is a malignancy that must be excoriated.

Like

8 04 2014
Saint Vladimir

God protects President Putin Mr. Naegele. Satan rules the US and the EU. Putin and like minded individuals will unify the Slavs one day and all Anti-Slavs can burn in Hell with their father the devil. The US and EU will perish in flames…Amen.

Like

9 04 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your comments.

If any Americans or others in the West had doubts about who the enemy is, Putin and his shills—including you—have made it crystal clear.

The Cold War never really ended. It is simply morphing into a slightly-new form, albeit with a Soviet Union—oops, Russia—that has been decimated.

My issues are not with the Russian people, but with Putin and his thugs. The people are victims as well.

Rather than afford the Russian people true democracy and genuine freedoms, Putin and his lackeys prefer to extract power and riches at the expense of deserving Russians.

Ultimately, the price they pay may be similar to the fate of Benito Mussolini and others of his ilk—and it cannot happen fast enough, as my article above concludes.

Like

14 04 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

BARACK OBAMA’S COWARDLY BETRAYAL OF UKRAINE

Barack Obama is a coward

Barack Obama is not black. He is yellow through and through.

For once in his professional career, we might expect Obama to rise to the occasion, rather than cower and run—like he has done in Iraq, Afghanistan, Benghazi, Syria and elsewhere.

He and his lackeys are rank amateurs on the global stage. While they try to bully and intimidate their foes domestically—which apparently some of them learned in Chicago—they are lightweights internationally, and the world knows this in spades.

If Obama had any guts at all, he would have gone to Kyiv himself when he was in Europe, to demonstrate solidarity with the courageous Ukrainians, like Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy went to Berlin.

The United States and the West are at a historic juncture, not seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the “end” of the Cold War. Sensing that Barack Obama is impotent, Putin has decided to act now, with almost three years remaining of the failed Obama presidency.

Emboldened by Putin’s success, all of our other adversaries may act, and act decisively—such as China, North Korea, the Taliban, and terrorist groups around the world. Are the former Eastern Bloc countries next for Putin? What is Europe’s future? Will the balance of power in the Pacific be upset, and will there be wars there too (e.g., China and Japan, North and South Korea, North Korea and Japan)?

Obama’s cowardice, naïveté, and overarching narcissism will have given us this.

Indeed, he has never done anything courageous in his lifetime. Why should we expect something different now? Courage does not seem to be part of his character or core beliefs.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3723 (“Does Barack Obama Have Any Guts At All, Or Is He Nothing More Than An Empty Suit?”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (see also the articles themselves, as well as the other comments beneath them)

While some people will scoff at the comparison, the world stood by in the 1930s while Hitler moved through Europe. One cannot ignore his Olympics in Berlin, and the deaths and destruction that followed. Twice now, Putin has used the Olympics of the 21st Century as a “cover” for his naked aggression.

First, he left the games in Beijing and went directly to the border with Georgia, and launched his aggression against Georgia and the killing of Georgians—using a conscript army and Soviet-era equipment.

Now, he has left the Olympics in Sochi and begun his aggression in Ukraine. He cannot be humored or pandered to, any more than Hitler. He must be crushed, once and for all, so the world will never forget what happens to crazed despots and their Stalinist regimes.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4010 (“Putin Must Be Terminated”)

The Wall Street Journal‘s Matthew Kaminski—a member of its editorial board—has written a fine article, which is worth reading:

Kiev, Ukraine

‘We’re the chosen generation,” says Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine’s interim prime minister. He’s referring to all those who made this winter’s European revolution. For the first time since 1654, when Ukrainian Cossacks formed a fateful alliance with Moscow against Polish rulers, Ukrainians are heading back West.

Their timing is terrible. Two decades ago, when the Berlin Wall fell, the West embraced another generation of Eastern Europeans. Ukraine has gotten a different welcoming committee. An economically feeble European Union gorges on Russian energy and dirty money while lecturing Ukraine on Western values but refusing to defend it. Asking for Washington’s help against Russian attack, Kiev finds a man “chosen” in the past two presidential elections to get America out of the world’s trouble spots.

Vladimir Putin sees a West made soft by money, led by weak men and women, unwilling to make sacrifices to defend their so-called ideals. In the Ukrainian crisis, the image fits. Russia’s president is many things, but most of all he is resolute. He took the EU and America’s measure and annexed Crimea last month at minimal cost. Ignoring Western pleas for “de-escalation,” Russia this weekend invaded eastern Ukraine. Just don’t look for video of T-72 tanks rolling across the borders, not yet at least.

Russian intelligence and special forces on Saturday directed local crime bosses and thugs in coordinated attacks on police stations and other government buildings in towns across eastern Ukraine. These men were dressed and equipped like the elite Russian special forces (“little green men,” as Ukrainians called them) who took Crimea. Ukrainian participants got the equivalent of $500 to storm and $40 to occupy buildings, according to journalists who spoke to them. Fighting broke out on Sunday in Slovyansk, a sleepy town in the working-class Donbas region that hadn’t seen any “pro-Russia” protests. A Ukrainian security officer was killed.

Kiev is on a war footing. Radio commercials ask for donations to the defense budget by mobile-telephone texts. The government’s decision to cede Crimea without firing a shot cost the defense minister his job and wasn’t popular. Western praise for Ukrainians’ “restraint” got them nothing. The fight for Ukraine’s east will be different.

This invasion was stealthy enough to let Brussels and Washington not use the i-word in their toothless statements. The EU’s high representative, Catherine Ashton, called herself “gravely concerned” and commended Ukraine’s “measured response.” There was no mention of sanctions or blame. The U.S. State Department on Saturday said that John Kerry warned his diplomatic counterpart, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, that “if Russia did not take steps to de-escalate in eastern Ukraine and move its troops back from Ukraine’s border, there would be additional consequences.”

By now, the Ukrainians ought to have seen enough to know that they’re on their own. Moscow has reached the same conclusion. These perceptions of the West are shaping events.

A month ago, the EU sanctioned 21 marginal Russian officials and quickly tried to get back to business as usual. On Friday, the U.S. added to its sanctions list seven Russian citizens and one company, all in Crimea. What a relief for Moscow’s elites, who were speculating in recent days about who might end up on the list. Slovyansk fell the next day.

Any revolution brings a hangover. Ukrainians expected problems: an economic downturn, some of the old politics-as-usual in Kiev, including fisticuffs last week in parliament, and trouble from Russia. Abandonment by the West is the unexpected blow. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fought, and 100 died, for their chance to join the world’s democracies.

As an institution, the EU always found excuses to deny Ukraine the prospect of membership in the bloc one day. But Bill Clinton and George W. Bush never recognized Russian domination over Ukraine. Billions were spent—Kiev was the third-largest recipient of U.S. aid in the 1990s—and American promises were made to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty. In return, Ukraine took active part in NATO discussions and missions, sending thousands of troops to the Balkans and Iraq.

When Russia invaded Crimea and massed 40,000 or more troops in the east, Ukraine turned to an old friend, the United States, and asked for light arms, antitank weapons, intelligence help and nonlethal aid. The Obama administration agreed to deliver 300,000 meals-ready-to-eat. As this newspaper reported Friday, military transport planes were deemed too provocative for Russia, so the food was shipped by commercial trucks. The administration refused Kiev’s requests for intelligence-sharing and other supplies, lethal or not.

Boris Tarasiuk, Ukraine’s former foreign minister, barely disguises his anger. He says: “We’ve not seen the same reaction from the U.S.” as during Russia’s 2008 attack on Georgia. U.S. Navy warships were deployed off the Georgian Black Sea coast. Large Air Force transport planes flew into Tbilisi with emergency humanitarian supplies. But who really knew for sure what was on board the planes? That was the point. Russian troops on the road to the Georgian capital saw them above and soon after turned back. The Bush administration dropped the ball on follow-up sanctions but may have saved Georgia.

By contrast, the Obama administration seems to think that pre-emptive concessions will pacify Mr. Putin. So the president in March ruled out U.S. military intervention in Ukraine. Maybe, but why say so? Late last month at a news conference in Brussels, Mr. Obama also openly discouraged the idea of Georgia or Ukraine joining NATO.

The next diplomatic “off ramp” touted by the Obama administration will be the negotiations involving Russia, Ukraine, the EU and the U.S. scheduled for later this week. Petro Poroshenko, the leading Ukrainian presidential candidate, tells me that these “talks for the sake of talks” send “a very wrong signal” about the West’s commitment to sanctions. It’s a case of the blind faith in “diplomacy” undermining diplomacy. See the Obama record on Syria for the past three years.

The West looks scared of Russia, which encourages Mr. Putin’s bullying. But on the Ukrainian side, the sense of abandonment brings unappreciated consequences. Ukraine’s political elites have taken into account that Russia could reimpose its will—perhaps that anticorruption law demanded by the EU isn’t so necessary after all?

While millions of Ukrainians have united against Russia, out in the east of the country many people are fence-sitters. The fight there, as in Crimea, won’t be over any genuine desire to rejoin Russia. Before last month, polls in Crimea and eastern Ukraine put support for separatists in single digits. But the locals’ historical memory teaches them to respect force and side with winners. Left to fend for itself by the West, Ukraine looks like a loser to them, notes Kiev academic Andreas Umland.

The U.S. Army won’t save Slovyansk. But Ukraine expects and deserves America’s support by every other means that Washington has refused so far. Betrayal is an ugly word and an uglier deed. Europe and the U.S. will pay dearly for it in Ukraine.

See http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304117904579499762012132306 (“The West Leaves Ukraine to Putin”) (emphasis added); see also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businesslatestnews/10766324/Russias-bond-market-is-Achilles-Heel-as-showdown-with-West-escalates.html (“Russia’s bond market is Achilles Heel as tension with West escalates”)

Putin’s Russia is very weak today, and now is the time to bring him to his knees. Crimea and Ukraine must become his abyss, or far far worse. He is a malignancy that must be excoriated.

Obama and G7

Like

16 04 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

WORLD WAR III [UPDATED]

World War III-Drudge

Has it begun already?

Is this what Barack Obama’s betrayal of Ukraine thus far has given us? Will he go down in history as the Neville Chamberlain of our times, who handed Crimea, Ukraine and more to Russia’s Putin without a fight, like Hitler was appeased? Will Obama be viewed by history as a coward, a racist and a liar—and much much worse?

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4422 (“BARACK OBAMA’S COWARDLY BETRAYAL OF UKRAINE”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”) and http://washingtonexaminer.com/poll-most-americans-believe-obama-lies-on-important-issues/article/2547367 (“Poll: Most Americans believe Obama lies on important issues”)

Both Drudge and Edward Lucas—writing for the UK’s Daily Mail—have raised the specter of World War III, having begun already with Putin’s aggression, like Hitler before him. Lucas states:

Deep in the flat and featureless landscape of eastern Ukraine, it is all too ­possible that the outline of World War III is taking shape.

Whipped up by the Kremlin ­propaganda machine and led by Russian ­military intelligence, armed men are erecting road blocks, storming police stations and ripping down the country’s flag.

They are demolishing not just their own country—bankrupt, ill-run and beleaguered—but also the post-war order that has kept most of Europe and us, here in Britain, safe and free for decades.

Vladimir Putin is striking at the heart of the West.

His target is our inability to work with allies in defence against common threats. The profoundly depressing fact is that the events of the past few months, as Russia has annexed the Crimea and ­suppressed opposition in Ukraine, have shown the West to be divided, humiliated and powerless in the face of these land grabs.

We are soon to face a bleak choice. We can chose to surrender any responsibility we have to protect Ukraine and the Baltic states—almost certainly Putin’s next target—from further Russian incursion. Or we can mount a last-ditch attempt to deter Russia from furthering its imperial ambitions.

If we do choose to resist Putin, we will risk a terrifying military escalation, which I do not think it an exaggeration to say could bring us to the brink of nuclear war.

Putin knows that. And he believes we will choose surrender. For the real story of recent events in Ukraine is not about whether that country has a free-trade deal with Brussels or gets its gas from Moscow.

It is about brute power. It is about whether Putin’s Russia—a rogue state on Europe’s doorstep—can hold its neighbours to ­ransom, and whether we have the will to resist him. So far the answer to the first question is yes. And to the second a bleak no.

The Russian leader believes the collapse of the Soviet Union was a ‘geopolitical catastrophe’. He believes Russia was stripped of its empire by the West’s chicanery. And quite simply, he wants it back.

When the Soviet Union was ­dissolved in 1991, the former captive nations of Eastern Europe scrambled into Nato and the protection it offered as fast as they could.

But the bitter truth is that Russia did not reform its ambitions in 1991. The Kremlin has always retained its imperialist outlook.

While modern Germany has ­forsworn militarism and empire, and is liked and admired even by countries such as Poland, which suffered horribly at Hitler’s hands, Russia has not.

Putin believes its historic destiny gives Russia the right to seize land, intimidate and blockade its neighbours. The Russian leader sees Ukraine not as a real country, just a territory, and one he is determined to dominate.

First he took ­Crimea. Now he has launched an operation in the east and south of Ukraine.

Russian troops are prowling the border as the Ukrainian authorities launch a desperate attempt to regain control of government buildings and police stations in key ­cities that have been seized and occupied in recent days.

Only yesterday it was reported that between four and 11 people had been killed as Ukrainian troops re-took Kramatorsk ­airfield from pro-Russian forces.

Putin has presented the Ukrainian leaders with an impossible choice. Either they consent to the dismemberment of their country. Or they fight a war they cannot win.

Ukraine’s ill-trained, ill-equipped and ill-led soldiers are quite unsuited to deal with the fraught challenge facing them.

Any bloodshed against a single Russian soldier will give Putin a pretext to use his military might. For her part, Russia has played a brutally clever game. She has ­deliberately sought to humiliate and destabilise Ukraine.

Now Putin can claim his soldiers must be allowed to intervene because the very social disorder his outriders have engineered demonstrates that the authorities cannot maintain order.

The hypocrisy is breath-taking. But the Ukraine adventure is ­stoking a patriotic frenzy at home which ­distracts the public from his regime’s incompetence and thievery.

But the biggest benefit to the ­Russian president lies abroad. He makes no secret of his hatred for the West. He is contemptuous of, yet fears, our soft power. He resents the laws, liberty and prosperity that our citizens enjoy. They throw into bleak contrast the dismal life that his own ­corrupt and incompetent rule offers Russians.

He also despises our weakness. He sees a Europe and America that talk tough but have failed to ­provide a united response to the growing catastrophe. Yes, we talk a good game—Foreign Secretary William Hague has called for ‘a clear and united international response’—but our deeds do not match our words, and Putin knows it.

In his bleak world view, only force and money count. He believes we in the West are too weak to defend ourselves when threatened. So far, his assessment looks right. Even Nato—the bulwark of our security since 1949—is creaking under the strain of the Ukraine crisis.

Nato’s gutsy commander, General Philip Breedlove, wants to share international intelligence with Ukraine and boost Nato’s forces in its most vulnerable member countries: Poland and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

But the White House has blocked the first recommendation. And European countries such as ­Germany are blocking the second.

Vainly, our leaders hope diplomacy will make Putin back down. Surely he can be made to understand that confrontation is not in Russia’s interests? The markets are already punishing the rouble and big ­Russian companies.

But that approach fundamentally misunderstands a man like Putin. He is prepared to make his people suffer economic pain and risk war for what be believes is their national interest. We in the West are not.

Having taken Ukraine, he will turn his attention to the Baltic states. Members of the EU and Nato, their lawful societies, elections and ­thriving economies are an implicit rebuke to those who preside over sleaze and brutality in Russia.

Now Putin sees a chance to humiliate them—and the West. He does not need to invade, just to provoke. Using social division and agitation he will raise the pressure—whether economic or political—on one or more of the Baltic states until it becomes unbearable.

Nato and the EU—on current form—will merely appeal for ­dialogue and threaten sanctions. ­But nothing will happen. Which means the Baltics will buckle, and Putin will take back lands which he believes are rightly Russia’s.

That will be the end of Nato—and the dawn of a terrifying new world in which international rules count for nothing and the strong dominate the weak. Russia—ruthless and greedy—can play divide and rule for decades to come.

Suppose we do try to resist, with our shrunken armed forces and craven allies? With the latest round of cuts, the British Army is about to become the smallest it’s been since the Napoleonic wars.

Meanwhile, our once ‘special ­relationship’ with America was tested by our ­failure to support Obama over intervention in Syria.

What’s worse, the West’s ­intelligence operations have been severely ­compromised by the exploits of Edward Snowden, the former U.S. intelligence contractor who has taken refuge in Moscow, having stolen tens of thousands of secret state documents.

Deplorably, the complacent and self-indulgent journalists who so damagingly published the West’s intelligence secrets and effectively blinded our spies have been awarded America’s greatest journalistic honour, the Pulitzer Prize.

If the West does stand up to ­Russia, Putin will put its nuclear forces on alert, all the while decrying our ‘aggressive behaviour’.

As the centenary of the Great War in July approaches, historians are vying to pinpoint the chain of events which started that conflict.

I may be wrong, but in 100 years time, will their successors look back at the events in Ukraine to make sense of the beginnings of the next world conflagration?

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2605578/Edward-Lucas-I-hope-Im-wrong-historians-look-say-start-World-War-III.html (emphasis added); see also http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/04/17/jews-ordered-to-register-in-east-ukraine/7816951/ (“Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine“) and http://www.jpost.com/International/Odessa-Jewish-community-mulls-emergency-evacuation-351334 (“Odessa Jewish community mulls emergency evacuation“) and http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-News/Ukrainian-Jews-form-defense-force-to-combat-anti-Semitic-attacks-351701 (“Ukrainian Jews form defense force to combat anti-Semitic attacks“)

Lucas is correct that the Cold War never ended. It merely morphed into a different form, with Putin becoming Stalin’s heir—or Hitler’s, take your pick.

What Lucas fails to recognize is that the United States is still the world’s only Superpower, and the most powerful nation on earth, both militarily and economically. It has a broad array of more than adequate “non-military” tools at its disposal to decimate a weak Russia economically, and bring the pygmy Putin to his knees.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4010 and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4452 (“Decimating Putin: America’s Financial Neutron Bomb”); see also http://watchdog.org/138940/solar-flare-emp/ (“Experts: Civilians not ready for EMP-caused blackout”)

War has begun. Russia must be dismembered; and Putin must be terminated.

Like

26 04 2014
carlloeber

Thank you .. I have been trying to say the same thing ..

Like

1 06 2014
James Livingston

My father fought against neo facists who shared your views. Perhaps you would improve your contributions if you studied a little WW2 history.

Like

1 06 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you for your comments.

What country did your father serve? Clearly, you favor Putinism, which is simply a “smoother version” of Stalinism.

Like

17 04 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Decimating Putin: America’s Financial Neutron Bomb [UPDATED]

America's Financial Neutron Bomb

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the UK’s Telegraph has written:

The United States has constructed a financial neutron bomb. For the past 12 years an elite cell at the US Treasury has been sharpening the tools of economic warfare, designing ways to bring almost any country to its knees without firing a shot.

The strategy relies on hegemonic control over the global banking system, buttressed by a network of allies and the reluctant acquiescence of neutral states. Let us call this the Manhattan Project of the early 21st century.

“It is a new kind of war, like a creeping financial insurgency, intended to constrict our enemies’ financial lifeblood, unprecedented in its reach and effectiveness,” says Juan Zarate, the Treasury and White House official who helped spearhead policy after 9/11.

“The new geo-economic game may be more efficient and subtle than past geopolitical competitions, but it is no less ruthless and destructive,” he writes in his book Treasury’s War: the Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare.

Bear this in mind as Washington tightens the noose on Vladimir Putin’s Russia, slowly shutting off market access for Russian banks, companies and state bodies with $714bn of dollar debt (Sberbank data).

The stealth weapon is a “scarlet letter”, devised under Section 311 of the US Patriot Act. Once a bank is tainted in this way—accused of money-laundering or underwriting terrorist activities, a suitably loose offence—it becomes radioactive, caught in the “boa constrictor’s lethal embrace”, as Mr Zarate puts it.

This can be a death sentence even if the lender has no operations in the US. European banks do not dare to defy US regulators. They sever all dealings with the victim.

So do the Chinese, as became clear in 2005 when the US hit Banco Delta Asia (BDA) in Macao for serving as a conduit for North Korean commercial piracy. China pulled the plug. BDA collapsed within two weeks. China also tipped off Washington when Mr Putin proposed a joint Sino-Russian attack on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds in 2008, aiming to precipitate a dollar crash.

Mr Zarate told me that the US can “go it alone” with sanctions if necessary. It therefore hardly matters whether or not the EU drags its feet over Ukraine, opting for the lowest common denominator to keep Bulgaria, Cyprus, Hungary and Luxembourg on board. Washington has the power to dictate the pace for them.

The new arsenal was first deployed against Ukraine—of all places—in December 2002. Its banks were accused of laundering funds from Russia’s organised crime rings. Kiev capitulated in short order.

Nairu, Burma, North Cyprus, Belarus and Latvia were felled one by one, all forced to comply with US demands. North Korea was then paralysed. The biggest prize yet has been Iran, finally brought to the table. “A hidden war is under way, on a very far-reaching global scale. This is a kind of war, though, which the enemy assumes it can defeat the Iranian nation,” said then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Iran’s Majlis. He meant it defiantly. Instead it was prescient.

. . .

President Putin knows exactly what the US can do with its financial weapons. Russia was brought into the loop when the two countries were for a while “allies” in the fight against Jihadi terrorism. Mr Putin appointed loyalist Viktor Zubkov—later prime minister—to handle dealings with the US Treasury.

Mr Zarate said the Obama White House has waited too long to strike in earnest, clinging to the hope that Putin would stop short of tearing up the global rule book. “They should take the gloves off. The longer the wait, the more maximalist they may have to be,” he said.

. . .

He thinks it may already too late to stop Eastern Ukraine spinning out of control, but not too late to inflict a high cost. “If the US Treasury says three Russian banks are “primary money-laundering concerns”, do you think that UBS, or Standard Chartered will have anything to do with them?”

This will graduate to sanctions on Russian defence firms, mineral exports and energy—trying not to hurt BP assets in Russia too much, he adds tactfully—culminating in a squeeze on Gazprom should all else fail. Whether you are for or against such action, be under no illusion as to what it means. We would be living in a different world, and Wall Street’s S&P 500 would not be trading anywhere near 1,850.

. . .

This is not a repeat of the Cold War. There is no plausible equivalence between Russia and the West, and no ideological mystique.

It has $470bn of foreign reserves but these have already fallen by $35bn since the crisis began as the central bank fights capital flight and defends the rouble. Moscow cannot easily deploy the reserves in a slump without causing the money supply to shrink, deepening a recession that is almost certainly under way. Finance minister Anton Siluanov says growth may be zero this year. The World Bank fears -1.8pc, while Danske Banks says it could be -4pc.

Putin cannot count on global allies to carry him through. Only Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Belarus, North Korea[], Syria, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Armenia lined up behind Mr Putin at the United Nations over Crimea, a roll-call of the irrelevant.

. . .

Chancellor George Osborne must have been let into the secret of US plans by now. Perhaps that is why he issued last week’s alert in Washington, warning City bankers to prepare for a sanctions fall-out. The City is precious, he said, “but that doesn’t mean its interests will come above the national security interests of our country”.

The greatest risk is surely an “asymmetric” riposte by the Kremlin. Russia’s cyber-warfare experts are among the best, and they had their own trial run on Estonia in 2007. A cyber shutdown of an Illinois water system was tracked to Russian sources in 2011. We don’t know whether US Homeland Security can counter a full-blown “denial-of-service” attack on electricity grids, water systems, air traffic control, or indeed the New York Stock Exchange, and nor does Washington.

“If we were in a cyberwar today, the US would lose. We’re simply the most dependent and most vulnerable,” said US spy chief Mike McConnell in 2010.

The US defence secretary Leon Panetta warned of a cyber-Pearl Harbour in 2012. “They could shut down the power grid across large parts of the country. They could derail passenger trains or, even more dangerous, derail passenger trains loaded with lethal chemicals. They could contaminate the water supply in major cities, or shut down the power grid across large parts of the country,” he said. Slapstick exaggeration to extract more funds from Congress? We may find out.

Sanctions are as old as time. So are the salutary lessons. Pericles tried to cow the city state of Megara in 432 BC by cutting off trade access to markets of the Athenian Empire. He set off the Pelopennesian Wars, bringing Sparta’s hoplite infantry crashing down on Athens. Greece’s economic system was left in ruins, at the mercy of Persia. That was a taste of asymmetry.

See https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/us-financial-showdown-russia-more-182452709.html (emphasis added); see also http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/36e988ea-c576-11e3-89a9-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2zN5oLfMD (“Banks retreat from Moscow deals”) and http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303663604579503433988345564 (“What Putin Is Costing Russia”—”Former finance minister Alexi Kudrin projects up to $160 billion in capital will flee this year”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/10791167/BP-and-Shell-exposed-as-US-prepares-first-warning-shot-against-Russias-oil-and-gas-industry.html (“BP and Shell exposed as US prepares first warning shot against Russia’s oil and gas industry”) and http://apnews.myway.com/article/20140505/us-irs-russia-511772f005.html (“US to unleash IRS on Russian banks”) and http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304431104579547233042293464 (“European Business Hit By Russian Slowdown”) and and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financialcrisis/10817511/ECB-capital-flight-from-Russia-has-hit-220bn.html (“ECB: capital flight from Russia has hit $220bn”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/10974799/West-tightens-noose-on-Russias-energy-sector-as-geopolitical-crisis-deepens.html (“West tightens noose on Russia’s energy sector as geopolitical crisis deepens”)

It is time to crush Stalin’s heir, the pygmy Putin, so he never rears his head again; and so democratic forces within Russia can be unleashed—which should have happened before Putin and his cronies and thugs hijacked the country’s incipient democracy. They have been exploiting it ever since, and the Russian people deserve better.

In the process, the various regions should have internationally-supervised referenda to determine which “government” to associate with: vestiges of the crazed despot Putin’s Stalinist regime in Moscow, or regional or other governments. It can start with Chechnya, where the vote to disassociate from Russia may be overwhelming.

All the other alienated regions—and ethnic and religious groups—can hold referenda too, choosing to disassociate from Moscow and perhaps associate with the EU or China, or whomever.

It has been written:

[T]he situation for Putin is simple. He is fighting for his life, and he will do whatever he needs to do to keep power, lest he be deposed and hanged. It is 1938 again, so we know how this will develop.

The stark choice is whether to confront Putin now or put it off until he is even stronger. Delay is not our friend. A strong military mobilization by the EU and US is the only rational response. To hope for Putin to be satisfied by part or even all of Ukraine is folly. If the EU and US mobilize, Putin’s weakness will be clear to the Russian people. Otherwise, Putin will continue his opportunistic expansion as long as he is permitted to do so.

While the EU and US desire peace, Putin can’t afford it, for it will mean his downfall. Once this inherent asymmetry is understood, the need for a strong response to Putin is clear. Putin will be ousted by the Russian people once his treachery is understood. The Internet will get the truth through to the Russian people despite Putin’s conventional propaganda. This process can only happen if Putin’s expansion is stopped. The sooner we do this, the sooner we will see the end of Putin.

See http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/3c8495d0-c0ba-11e3-a74d-00144feabdc0.html#comment-7185142; see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4661 (“The Pygmy Putin Rules Over A Third World Country, Russia”) and http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4010 (“Putin Must Be Terminated”)

Crimea and Ukraine must become Putin’s abyss, or far far worse. He is a malignancy that must be excoriated.

He needs to share the fate of Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, and other dictators and tyrants before him.

Like

15 07 2014
jimmy b

dude, you need to get off crack… Vlad is going no where, thanks to morons like Obomba and joe mama Biden

Like

18 04 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

THE END OF PUTIN IS DRAWING NEAR

Putin's death

A consensus is emerging that Putin—like Adolf Hitler—must be terminated, or history will repeat itself.

The risks to the established world order that has existed since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Iron Curtain and the fall of the Berlin Wall—in which the people walked out from under their oppressors with scarcely a backward glance—are simply too great to take or tolerate.

Putin is caught between three seemingly irreconcilable threads that run through his personal and political lives.

First, he is a genuine Cold Warrior, who learned his craft well as a KGB operative in East Germany—or the DDR, as it was known before the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Erich Honecker’s government—which was one of the most repressive regimes in the Soviet Union’s orbit, or the Evil Empire.

His domestic and world views, and his hatred of the West, have been shaped by such experiences. Indeed, he has said that “the collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the [20th] century.”

Second, Russia is in decline, and there is no way for him to stem it. Demographic changes are occurring, which include a slowly growing or declining population, especially among ethnic Russians.

Also, as Senator John McCain has said:

Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country.

As Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post put it:

[T]he West has more financial clout than Russia’s kleptocratic extraction economy that exports little but oil, gas and vodka.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-3723

This is especially true because the United States is in the midst of an energy renaissance, and is becoming the largest energy producer in the world once again.

Such leverage and other methods can be used to aid America’s allies such as Ukraine and Europe, and hurt Putin irreparably. The United States can flood the markets and depress crude prices as well, which would send Russia into an economic tailspin.

Next, Russia is at risk of a full-blown financial crisis, which may be Putin’s Achilles Heel. His economy might be devastated by America’s “Financial Neutron Bomb,” which in turn would crush him.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4010

Third, Putin’s physical survival is at stake. After the Soviet Union’s collapse, he and his cronies and thugs hijacked Russia’s incipient democracy, and have been exploiting it ever since. The people of Russia—especially ethnic non-Russians—deserve far better.

It has been written:

[Putin] is fighting for his life, and he will do whatever he needs to do to keep power, lest he be deposed and hanged.

. . .

If the EU and US mobilize, Putin’s weakness will be clear to the Russian people.

. . .

While the EU and US desire peace, Putin can’t afford it, for it will mean his downfall. . . . Putin will be ousted by the Russian people once his treachery is understood. The Internet will get the truth through to the Russian people despite Putin’s conventional propaganda.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4452 (“Decimating Putin: America’s Financial Neutron Bomb”); see also http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4661 (“The Pygmy Putin Rules Over A Third World Country, Russia”)

All of this foretells the economic collapse of Russia, and possibly its dismemberment; the collapse of the country’s military; and the end of Putin—like Benito Mussolini, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, and other dictators and tyrants before him.

Exactly when these events converge is unknown, but it is predicted to occur before the end of this decade.

See http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304810904579507993006523488 and http://www.kyivpost.com/content/ukraine/prosecutor-general-yanukovych-took-32-billion-to-russia-financing-separatism-in-ukraine-345544.html (“[Disgraced former Ukrainian President Viktor] Yanukovych took $32 billion to Russia, financing separatism in Ukraine”) and http://freebeacon.com/national-security/collision-course/ (“Russian jet nearly collides with U.S. surveillance aircraft in ‘reckless’ intercept in Asia”) and http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/10/the-west-should-boycott-putin-s-2018-world-cup.html (“Let’s Take Away the 2018 World Cup from Putin’s Russia”) and http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB120277726156660765 (“Putin’s Torture Colonies”) and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10981586/Alexander-Litvinenko-murder-public-inquiry-to-be-held.html (“Alexander Litvinenko murder [by Putin]: public inquiry to be held”) and http://online.wsj.com/articles/rebels-confiscate-evidence-at-malaysia-airlines-crash-ukraine-says-1405766927?mod=WSJ_Home_largeHeadline (“Concern Grows Over Rebel Hold on Malaysia Airlines Crash Site in Ukraine”)

When the Malaysia Airlines flight crashed—which killed 298 people in eastern Ukraine—it was done not by “rebels” or so-called “separatists,” but by Putin’s Russian operatives, acting on his orders directly or indirectly.

Putin must pay with his life. Nothing less will suffice.

If this had happened with Mussolini, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, and other dictators and tyrants before Putin—including Stalin—millions of innocent lives would have been saved.

Among other groups, Muslims may target Putin. Malaysia is predominately an Islamic country, and Muslims died in this crash but did not receive proper or timely burials because of Putin and his thugs. Also, last year, he ordered a crackdown on Muslims; and he may have a “bullseye” on his back for Chechens and others.

Like

27 05 2014
francis liew

Dr you look an intelligent person. You even hold a PhD. so whay are you speaking and writing so dumb?
1. Tell me what is Gabon steel production compared to Russia
2. Tell me how many advanced jet planes and submarines did the Philippines make
3. What advances in Science and Technologies di Haiti make?
4. As for China imploding, this is the dumbest of all remarks. Who is the largest trading nation in the world and who has 3.8 trillion USD in foreign reserves?
Dr, have some self respect and don’t write like the proverbial western apparatchik

Like

27 05 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Francis, for your comments.

First, Russia is little more than a Third World country.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4661 (“The Pygmy Putin Rules Over A Third World Country, Russia”)

Second, China is not in great shape either; however, it is in much better shape than Russia.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/#comment-4623 (“China’s Speculative Bubble”)

Like

21 04 2014
Tom Lauer

Interesting blog!

My firm was one of the first private equity managers into Eastern Europe after the collapse. We were naïve about Russia at first, but got the lay of the land pretty quickly. A foreign investor cannot make money in that country. Russians regard profit as a form of theft and think nothing of extortion. It was, after all, stolen money to begin with. So private capital inflow to that awful place ended more than a decade ago.

You get to know which countries are approaching collapse by the size of capital outflow. Developing countries should not be exporting capital. When they do it’s a pretty good sign that the elite see the endgame and are monetizing their power. Note the impact of Russian money on London & NYC home prices.

I’d agree that Putin’s survival is at stake, literally.

Like

21 04 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Tom, for your comments—with which I agree completely.

As noted in the comments above, entitled “Decimating Putin: America’s Financial Neutron Bomb,” serious outflows from Russia are well underway, which will only increase—coupled with the fact that banks and other entities are treating Russia as a pariah state.

See, e.g., http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/09/russias-putin-is-a-killer/#comment-4452 (“Decimating Putin: America’s Financial Neutron Bomb”) and http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/36e988ea-c576-11e3-89a9-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2zN5oLfMD (“Banks retreat from Moscow deals”) and http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303663604579503433988345564 (“What Putin Is Costing Russia”—”Former finance minister Alexi Kudrin projects up to $160 billion in capital will flee this year”)

Putin’s days are numbered . . . as long as Barack Obama does not flinch.

Obama isolating Putin

Like

30 04 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Where Americans Stand

Americans are isolationists

The Wall Street Journal has an article about the latest polling results, which reflect the desires of nearly half of those Americans who were surveyed to pull back from the world stage:

The poll findings, combined with the results of prior Journal/NBC surveys this year, portray a public weary of foreign entanglements and disenchanted with a U.S. economic system that many believe is stacked against them. The 47% of respondents who called for a less-active role in world affairs marked a larger share than in similar polling in 2001, 1997 and 1995.

See http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304163604579532050055966782 (“Americans Want to Pull Back From World Stage, Poll Finds”)

None of this is surprising.

The fascinating thing about the wonderful American people—of all sizes, shapes, colors, ethnic backgrounds, and religious preferences—is they are essentially isolationists, or “Anti—Interventionists” as the article suggests. They view the United States as if it were an island, bounded by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, which has been true for decades if not generations.

They do not articulate this, or probably even understand it fully; however, it undergirds their collective views about America’s role in the world. Many have never moved far from where they were born and raised; and a vast number have never traveled abroad.

All of us, or our ancestors, came here from somewhere else. Even the American Indians are descended from those who crossed the Bering Strait—or the “Bering land bridge”—according to anthropologists. Yet, we are Americans now.

See http://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”)

To many, the Middle East would be difficult to locate on any map. Before our wars there, many had never heard of Iraq or Afghanistan, muc