Putin is a pipsqueak on the world stage. As is Russia which bis dying demographically and destined to lose its minerial rich far east to the Chinese.
After BHO, the U.S. will build an effective missile shield and let the mopuse Putin roar to his heart’s content.
“…In the Cold War context, if either the US or the USSR tried to do that, the othe power would consider this to be a destabilizing threat to the mutually assured destruction concept that stabilized US-Soviet relations and kept the Cold War cold. Putin wants the balance of terror maintained;”
WRM, general theories of international politics attempt to offer insight into nation’s behavior towards each other (Power to Power). Your descripition of Putin’s world view suggests “offensive realism.” That is, Putin appears to be operating under the maxim: “that international politics has always been a ruthless and dangerous business…great powers fear each other and always compete with each other for power. the overriding goal of each is to maximize its share of world power, which means gaining power at the expense of other states.”
Putin’s manifesto, as you describe it, appears to be lamenting Russia’s decline as a Great Power in international system and it yearns for the sense of security that the power balance of Cold War availed the former USSR (Putin obviously believes he sees the world as it is not as it used to be).
Is this new “soft power” that the United States possess anything more than the people of free countries reaching out to help the people in oppressed countries? The targets of this soft power are those that have access to the internet and realize how much better life is in western countries.
In Putin’s cold war days, it was easier to isolate people from western influences by walls, iron curtains and jamming of Voice of America. Today, the ubiquitous presence of the internet and the ability of ordinary people to get information outside of official channels, poses a real problem to Mr. Putin and his friends.
Putin’s anti-Americanism is, of course, nothing more than an attempt to divert the attention of Russia’s population from the problems within. The danger is that as the internal situation deteriorates, he will go too far.
in these interesting times? may you live in interesting times. The chinese course
1. When the “thoughtful and creative people…in the Russian democracy movement” had power under Yeltsin, there was chaos. Why would things work out differently if they had another chance? That’s the first thing I’d want to know if I were Russian.
2. Articles of faith: the American Left has global warming, and the American Right has missile defense. The likelihood of each is too low to rely on and too high to ignore.
Re #5, I don’t think Putins foreign policy is based around distraction, it’s far more devious.
Putin remembers how deeply unpopular Yeltsin eventually became. The reason Putin isn’t as unpopular as Yeltsin was is that the price of oil has skyrocketed under his watch. He knows instability in the middle east will keep prices high and increase Russia’s oil revenue. He isnt anti-Anerican, he is simply insifferent to the long term damage his short termsurvival strategy will cause.
Post-USSR Russia was chaotic for many of the same reasons that Egypt and Libya are chaotic today: too many people believed that mere democracy was sufficient to keep the peace, and stopped short of establishing the protections, checks, and balances that supplement democracy to assure what really keeps the peace … rights-respecting governance.
Until nations that have adopted such governance are willing to insist upon establishing such governance in nations that do not have it … to the point of resolve that might involve blood and treasure … the chaos will continue.
Memo to Mr. Putin: You want peace? Establish rights-respecting governance in your own nation, then join other free nations in insisting that others go beyond “democracy” and adopt it as well.
Do that, and America will not be a threat to the people of your nation. Do it not, and America will be only one threat, among many, to your whims, for you will find yourself working against peace …
… for without freedom – and the respect for, and protection of, it by those who govern – peace is just an illusion.
“However, the activities of “pseudo-NGOs” and other agencies that try to destabilize other countries with outside support are unacceptable.”
So is this a genuine change of heart from his old Communist “agitprop” days, or is it breathtaking hypocrisy?
He makes an interesting point, though, about “absolute security”. I’ve often thought that one of the more impossible ambitions of the Blue Model was the government-led elimination of risk from any aspect of human life. This has led to the elimination of too much of what has made America great.
Consider our space program: 32 months after Challenger disintegrated, killing its entire crew, we were just barely launching people into space again. 29 months after Columbia disintegrated, killing its entire crew, we were just barely launching people into space again.
30 months after Apollo 1 burned on the launch pad, killing its entire crew, we were on the Moon.
I’m not saying that we should all take up unarmed, bare-chested polar bear hunting. I’m certainly not saying we should weaken ourselves such that we’re at the mercy of the likes of Putin.
What I’m saying is that the sort of ambition that is going to be necessary for survival in a post-Blue world is not going to be encouraged or inculcated by a government whose goal is to make sure nothing bad ever happens to you, or the people you ought to be responsible for.
Any follow-on to the Blue model should try to find a healthy philosophy about the fact that risk is acceptable in the pursuit of inspiration — in other words, it needs to make room for the human spirit.
“Absolute invulnerability” would indeed tempt the US with adventurism. On the other hand, the US tends to react poorly to its enemies violently exploiting its vulnerabilities.
[email protected]: “That’s the first thing I’d want to know if I were Russian.”
Ah, but for your opinion to really count, one needs democracy…
word on the street is that the russians have stolen the top secret u.s. election stealing hardware/software that was to be used in the last presidential election in honduras. obama wasn’t able to get his illegal marxist candidate (x prez) on the ballot though, due to the hondurans standing firm behind their constitution. hard to fix a win if your guy isn’t on the ballot. some reports say this stuff has already been tried out to great effect in at least one other (close) u.s. election. <>
All of the criticism of Mr. Putin I read here boils down to one: Russians need to stop acting like Russians. Figure the odds.
Even had Russia never had the legacy of Soviet Communism–still in the living memory of millions of Russians today–it would still do its best to pursue its own interests (the lost business Mr. Putin refers to), driven by a sense of historical destiny that makes that of the French look like the soul of modesty.
As for his strongest critique–that we have yet to learn from the law of unintended consequences with regards to our campaigns in the Middle East since 9/11–if only we would take heed! Mark Steyn’s most recent column at NRO is an apt summary of the results of over a decade of strategy-free tactical victories and the wake of chaos they are leaving behind. If all we’re going to do is go somewhere, beat up the bad guys, and then leave a vacuum for dictators and terrorists to fill, why should anyone trust us that we’re sincere about spreading democracy and the rule of law?
I suspect that when Putin opens his mouth to speak, his primary motivation is perhaps not to share what’s on his mind.
So what can we make of this?
– Destabilization bad: as I mentioned before, breathtaking hypocrisy if true.
Russia probably wants to remind China about the potential terrors of destabilization in the name of Democracy; it’s to his advantage for them to be in this frame of mind.
– Putin will veto any resolutions re: Syria; this renders moot any dealmaking that might go on behind the scenes for the US to put together an anti-Syrian coalition, or provides cover for others to decline to participate, putting us in the position of “going it alone” again.
This, Putin “warns” about, giving the irresolute an occasion to doubt even further. The fact that he thinks this way is neither here nor there; he’s unlikely to do anything about it one way or another. It’s pure peer pressure.
It’s interesting to hear what he has to say; it takes a little bit of thought to determine what it actually implies about his policies, though.
Putin is not power hungry, he doesn’t like killings of inoccent mothers, bebies and the old. He wants peace for all !! Russians where never a greedy nation like our brothers in all western countries including usa. Ones a old polish man said, when americans do die, he does bet on it that the last word that comes out is “money” because they are so greedy. i was wondering about that, what that old polish guy knew.