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Putin Scores Again — Why Now?
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Putin Scores Again

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is picking up as many awards as Al Gore. He already has the highest awards from Germany, France, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and now he is Time‘s Person of the Year.

Interesting name “Vladimir” – it is a combination word in Russian from two roots. “Vlad” is power, while “Mir” can mean peace, world or village. His last name comes from the word for path. “Vladimir Putin” could be interpreted as “the way to a peaceful reign” or “the road to world conquest” – your option.


1 Badtux { 12.20.07 at 5:29 pm }

Well, Adolf Hitler and Stalin were Time’s “Person of the Year” also, so I wouldn’t say it’s so much an award as a recognition of someone who can’t be ignored. Which is not to say that Putin is evil. But anybody who considers Putin a friend is an idiot. Putin is a Russian nationalist to the core, and nations don’t have friends, just national interests.

Sadly, the Busheviks have thrown away one of those shared national interests — Islamic terrorism (which the Russians are plagued by also) — in favor of unwise wars against Russia’s neighbors (or sabre rattling in the case of Iran). Same deal with Syria. Syria’s Baathist government hates, hates, HATES them some Islamic terrorists. They destroyed one of their own cities to exterminate the Muslim Brotherhood (predecessor to al-Qaida) in their country, for cryin’ out loud. I am still just utterly stumped as to what national interest of the United States is being served by the Bush Administration’s actions. There simply is no rational reason for far too many of these actions, e.g. the demonization of Syria, a nation that has tortured people for us — WTF?! Way to turn a friend into an enemy, Busheviks!

2 Bryan { 12.20.07 at 7:18 pm }

Putin is absolutely linear in what he’s done. He is following the directorate manual to the letter, with the minor alterations provided by Gorbachev, i.e. get the West to pay for it, which is all that Glasnost was really about.

Everyone did their best to help after 9/11 and everyone got screwed. If we had stayed with Afghanistan, we would be out of there by now and al Qaeda would be a footnote.

Everything they could do wrong, they did do wrong. This was Repub conservatism’s Great Leap Forward and they ended up in the canyon.

3 Badtux { 12.21.07 at 12:38 am }

Sadly, this Great Leap Forward will have lasted for eight years by the time it’s over. Even Mao wasn’t stupid enough to keep his Great Leap Forward going for eight years once its failure became obvious. But then, Mao was smart enough to run a successful revolution, while the Busheviks… uhm, if they’d been in charge of the Chinese Revolution, it would have ended about ten minutes after it started, after Nationalist troops drug their drunken butts off the pavement and hung’em from the nearest tree. Dumbasses.

As for Putin, I’m not as convinced that he’s operating out of the old KGB manual as you apparently are. While his fundamental approach is straight out of the old KGB manual, the devil is in the details, and the details are, well, interesting. To a certain extent Putin appears to be aiming to be the Kemal Ataturk of Russia — the man who stood up in the wreckage of a once-great empire and put together a modern nation from scratch. Of course, he has one large advantage over Ataturk in that the Soviet Union had a very good educational system thus he has a literate population, unlike the population of the Ottomon Empire which was largely illiterate and uneducated. But both had the task of taking a lethagic population accustomed to being led by a “strong man” and… do what? That’s the question. Ataturk set up the roots of Turkish democracy despite not himself being very democratic. What is Putin’s end-game? I don’t know. All I know is that it’s going to be Russian in nature and nothing that anybody outside of Russia is going to have any say over.

4 Bryan { 12.21.07 at 9:32 am }

Putin is modeling a lot of the external features on Peter the Great’s reign, with the cult of personality aspects included. There is remarkably little real difference between the way the Russian Empire actually worked under the Tsars and the the way the Soviet Union operated under the CPSS – the Party substituted for the aristocracy.

The outside saw massive upheaval, but the basic core of Russia has remained unchanged with the exception of education – that was the one major change. The KGB/FSB/CheKa are the Tsar’s secret police, the people are xenophobic and want a father-figure in charge, security is the most important element in their lives.

Russia is, and always was, a very nationalistic country having paid the price of being too split and regional before the Mongol Invasion. The “buttons” to control the population have worked for centuries, but you occasionally had a leader like Nicholas II who didn’t know how to push them.

Putin understands that being President isn’t important, as the former Soviet leaders often held no government office or title, what’s important is controlling the apparatus. Kalinin was the first president of the Soviet Union, but no one doubted that Lenin was in charge.

The manual that Putin is using isn’t the internal manual – it’s the standard manual for taking over a client nation. He understands the economic side and is using that more than the military to make foreign gains. Gas and oil are more effective weapons than tanks and ICBMs.

While the Busheviks are in charge there is no counter-weight to what Putin is doing, because the US has become the global threat. At the moment it is a toss up as to whether Russia or China will claim control of energy resources as the proven fields decline.

Interesting times, and we have the worst possible crew in charge.