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Vladimir Putin. Despot?

Let there be no doubt – if there ever was any – Russia is on a backward slide. Maybe not to communism, but certainly to totalitarianism. Every day that passes sees President Putin further consolidate his power and his grip over The Russian Federation.

Just yesterday he said that if the US goes ahead with a missile shield in Europe that he will be forced to direct the armed forces to choose some nuclear targets in Europe.

Of course, he’s kidding himself, but this isn’t the sort of thing you would expect to hear from an ally. Nor would you expect to see an ally of the West clamping down on the free press. But that’s just what is happening in Russia, where freedom of the press is nonexistent, and 50% of the news must be “happy”. Yeah, no kidding. The government and its cronies now control almost all the media in Russia, and who they can’t buy they seem to be quite willing to kill. Scary stuff.

Of course one of Dubya’s handlers thought it would be a good idea to offer Russia the chance to join up on the missile sheild, so today Dubya offered Vladimir (“I call him Vladimir…” – what a putz) the chance to join in. Total smoke, of course.

The outward reasoning on the missile shield is to defend against “Rogue States”, and not against countries that might actually have missiles. Other that that being a total crock, if Russia wanted to nuke the USA or any of their allies that would pretty much certify them a “Rogue State.” Still, I did like it. I mean, I really liked it. It’s as though Bush held out a gauntlet and slapped Russia in the face with it. Sort of a “Put this in your pipe and smoke it” sentiment. Shit, I loved it.

Each day that passes sees Vladimir Putin solidify his grip on Russia, and it also sees the West’s grip on Russia diminish. The people of Russia haven’t seen the benefits of Democracy that they were promised. I imagine a lot of them miss the days when they could line up for toilet paper…because now they can’t afford to buy it.

We’ve pushed a lot of aid money into Russia in the past decade but we haven’t seen much – if any – benefit from it. Corruption is a large part of the problem, then you have the mafias and everyone else in there messing it up.

With this backward slide, we run the risk of making an enemy once again of Russia. Heck, we might even see a new Soviet Union out of it yet. Add this to the present threat of China, and we’ll be glad to have India on our side.

Published inPolitics

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