Sunday, October 14, 2007

BushCo Misjudges Putin

McClatchy ran a story about the steadily worsening relations between Russia and the US. Back in 2001 George II looked into Putins eyes and saw his soul. At the time I wondered about that sort of reasoning, nothing in Putin's background created such an impression on me as his eyes did George. If the Secret Service were to actually allow such a thing and George got to look into my eyes he'd read anger and disgust, but then, I'm not a KGB case officer. In the grand scheme of things looking into my eyes would probably have a less detrimental effect on world affairs. Now given the man's background I would expect a couple of things, nationalism, authoritarianism, a distrust of the West, and an ability to dissemble.

Given nationalism, a KGB officer for pete's sake, and the position of head of state I would expect that not only would the security concerns of Russia come foremost, but also its perception as a powerful state. Couple that with a distrust of the West, we are talking about the KGB, I'd think it was a particularly stupid idea to poke a stick at the bear. The stick being anti-missile missiles near their border, that stick being a particular stupid poking mechanism since it isn't even proven technology. I don't think it is exactly far fetched thinking to see a nation that was an empire a short while ago as rather sensitive to developments within its former colonies, particularly developments fostered by its previous 'enemy' and biggest competitor for global influence. Here's the really scary part, Condi is supposed to be an expert on Russia. Former NSA head and now Sec State couldn't see this coming - Putin doesn't like the anti-missile missile idea, not at all, and he's hot. (for public consumption)

BushCo has had some idea that Russia could be useful, and it probably could - given that its interests coincided with ours -but unless those interests were very compelling, security and nationalism are going to trump. That the influential neo-cons in the Admin didn't apply their rationales to Russia's agendas is astonishing, it seems they only applied to US interests. I'm beginning to run out of a supply of disgust for these people's ability to project their wishful thinking onto reality. They were going to be "creating reality" while the rest of us were stuck on what's actually there and the word for that kind of thinking is wishful.

I may be slightly blinded by my complete disrespect for these people so I'll ask this, "what exactly have they done that worked out?"

Now they can scarcely be blamed for Russia being Russian, but they certainly might have paid attention to that fact. I won't go into the Iraq, flowers, and oil paying for it thing; beyond, "Really?" "Heck of a job" still looks like an entire mess. I wouldn't go asking anybody below upper middle class how this economy is working out. South America seems to be brimming over with pals of the US. OK, the rich have gotten a lot richer and their corporate cronies are raking it in, but I don't remember that as "public" policy.

These people are making us less secure - economically, militarily, and politically and it is starting to reach the point of dangerous. If Iran is supposed to be such a big threat then why is it that we are poking the outside government with the most influence. Another fourteen months of this may be a stretch.

3 comments:

DA English said...

Chuck,

Putin is definately playing by his own rules. The thought that he may stick around after promising to leave office next year is freighting for Russia and the world.

Russia may very well turn into a nasty dictatorship or revert back to its old communist ways. Either way, things have not gotten much better for the people of that country.

We should be encouraging more transparency and openness in their government, but it's clearly going the other way. Bush has not done enough to reach out to Putin and instead has tried to institute a policy of "your my buddy and I believe you" which burned him.

There are a lot of Russians here in Korea, mostly performers at amusement parks. Some are involved in the "oldest occupation around" if you get my drift. My guess is they come here to make money because things aren't going well in their own country.

By the way, thanks for your comment on my thread yesterday. I don't get too many comments/views over there. Sometimes I think I'm just babbling to myself.

David

Ps-If I call you Chuckie or Chuckles will you kill me?

Chuck Butcher said...

PS: yes

re: babbling to self, get a sitemeter and find out how bad it is. I darn near quit this summer when I hit a 7 day avg of 32. I can take a hint, well I whined and it promptly went over 40 so I figured I couldn't shout off my front porch and get 40 so I stuck, avg over 90/dy now. This spring it was around 120/day.

About 10-15% are international, 50-60% OR, about 30% are guns, cars run 7-10%; guns and cars are consistent.

Zak J. said...

Da English says "We should be encouraging more transparency and openness in their government, but it's clearly going the other way."

How about transparency and openness in OUR government? Bush didn't misjudge Putin; he misrepresented Putin to the public so he'd have an excuse not to deal with it. Putin has never made a secret that his plan for national salvation in Russia is to follow the model of Chile's Pinochet. I know W. doesn't read, but that's been in the press for a decade.

They're a couple of oil men now; they'll always get a long, no matter what cover story they have to feed the public.