Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

Dominoes Are So Last Century

Posted by Mike on August 14, 2008

There were discussions.  There were negotiations.  They lasted years.  For some reason, today is the day Donald Tusk agreed to allow American-made missile interceptors on Polish soil.  In exchange, the United States will provide assistance to Poland so that they can strengthen their military. The timing of today’s agreement is obviously anything but a coincidence.

Having a long history with Russia that includes partition and Communist occupation, few nations have more knowledge of Russia’s national pastime than Poland.  Having experienced firsthand brutal occupation by both Germany and the Soviet Union during the 20th Century and now having witnessed Russia’s forceful return into the “near abroad” within the last week, Poland has decided that teaming up with the United States to strengthen its own forces and to help protect freedom-loving nations around them is in everyone’s best interest.

Free Poland is a country that suffered for too long to turn its back on liberty now.  Today’s agreement is another example of the resolute pride that has sustained Poland throughout its all too interesting history. Kocham Polske!

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Posted in Europe, International Relations, Politics, Russia, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sweet “Sixteen”?

Posted by Ryan on August 14, 2008

I’ve been watching some of the Olympic coverage on part of Obama’s media network, NBC.  All the human interest stories make me puke so I tend to flip around between “Family Guy” reruns and “Hannity and Colmes” before finally settling on the Olympics, which had the US Women’s Gymnastics team going up against China and Russia the other night.  So I watched.

Now, we have some young-looking girls on our team (Shawn Johnson, for example, looks about 12, but is really 16).  So I heard with interest that one has to be at least 16 during the year the Olympics take place in order to compete.  OK, teaching 16 year olds, I know some look very young, but when the Chinese girls got up there I was absolutely shocked that they weren’t all 13. 

Well, some of them might be!

One girl was actually listed as 13 last year.  Suddenly, when pressed, her new birthday is January 1, 1992, making her 16 years old this year!  I didn’t know China was such an amazing place that time had special rules!  In reality, our team should have performed better (obviously having more experience than some of their opponents).  But, it is a legitimate gripe — if China cheated, they should face the consequences.

AP photo.

Posted in International Relations, Sports, tyranny | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

He Can See Clearly Now: Bush Takes A Second Look at Putin

Posted by Mike on August 13, 2008

Most criticism of George W. Bush is off base and will look downright silly in a few years; however, one criticism of Bush is completely warranted. When Bush looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw a man he could trust, he should have done a double take. Today was the double take.

When the Soviet Union Russia invaded Georgia a couple of days ago, President Bush was a little slow in reassuring our ally that the US would stand by its side. At the very moment our ally was invaded by its former slave master, the U.S’s reaction should have been repeated statements of support coupled with actions that would make Russia take notice. Thankfully, John McCain is on record stating that Russia should be kicked out of the G8 and that the U.S. should build a missile defense system in Eastern Europe. Since it is now clear that Iran is not the only threat in the region, that would be fine with me. So would fast tracking Georgia, Ukraine and other willing members of Russia’ near abroad into NATO.

A healthy friendship with Russia is in the United States’ best interest. The thing is, a healthy friendship with the United States is also in Russia’s best interest. The world has basically ignored Russia while it whittled away at its civil liberties, armed American enemies in the Middle East, and poisoned people on foreign soil. The world’s reaction to this crisis has been reassuring. It seems that partying like its 1968 was a step too far.

Reuters photo

Posted in Election 2008, Europe, International Relations, Politics, Russia, tyranny, War on Terror | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

UN Takes on Russian Invasion

Posted by Ryan on August 11, 2008

…And I’m sure Putin is reeeally shuddering!  Of course, it’s only a matter for the UN because Georgia’s Black Sea oil supply-line and port is being targeted, otherwise they’d wait for a few more Russian-on-Georgian calamities, like a decade of famine or ethnic cleansing policies, to take place. Either way, Russia’s Security Council veto will be exercised until Russia’s goals are obtained.  Gotta love the UN!

After an attack coinciding with the Olympic Games, Russia decided not to stop with simply coming to the aid of ethnic Russians in the separatist South Ossetia region (North Ossetia is actually in Russia).  They’ve made airstrikes and incursions into central Georgia Proper — way beyond the mere defense of Russians in South Ossetia.   Possibly one to two thousand people have already died; add all civilians and soldiers and that number should rise once the dust settles.  Plus, the EU tried an unsuccessful ceasefire agreement, 170 American nationals have been taken out of Georgia, and now the majestic UN is involved.

We can learn a few things about this whole incident:  it’s obvious that Putin still controls Russia, the UN cares more about oil pipelines than people, and the old Cold War fear of Russian expansionism is not fully over.

EPA service photo.

Posted in Europe, International Relations, Politics, Russia | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Dmitry Medvedev Replaces Putin, At Least Technically

Posted by Mike on May 6, 2008

Russia inaugurates its new President, Dmitry Medvedev tomorrow, and no one is really sure whether Russia will turn toward democracy as they did under Yeltsin. Many argue that despite Medvedev’s constitutional role, the real power will continue to rest with the puppet-master Vladimir Putin, the soon to be Prime Minister. If this is turns out to be the case, Russian democracy will continue to whither.

New York’s best newspaper printed an interesting overview by the Washington Compost’s Anne Applebaum on this very question. Applebaum overstates (slightly, and I place heavy emphasis on that word) the current state of Russian democracy.

Although Russia sometimes looks like a democracy, it is not a democracy. Elections aren’t merely rigged, they are carefully programmed in advance. Voters aren’t just coerced, they are never given any real choice at all.

I disagree with the use of the term “rigged.” Russia’s political system is corrupt and undemocratic. The media is state-controlled. Opposition assembly is technically allowed, but with severe restrictions. Political opponents seem to literally be dropping –  likeflies. Some will argue that this constitutes rigging and I think that position is reasonable, but we should be careful here because words mean things. It’s undemocratic, dangerous, and sick, just not rigging. People are still technically free to vote as they please. Nevertheless, Applebaum’s point is well taken. Russia has turned away from democracy under Putin and will continue to do so if he turns out to be the one pulling the strings after tomorrow.

No one can be certain about what happens next. Many predict a puppet situation, but I predict a power struggle. Putin currently has standing and political capital. Medvedev will have institutional power. Neither man will want to be the other’s puppet. Struggle is inevitable. That’s just my hunch and could be total crap. In any event, Russia is about to get interesting.

Posted in Europe, Politics, Russia | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Conspiracy Theory Put To Bed, Maybe

Posted by Mike on April 30, 2008

The first conspiracy theory I heard regarding the last Russian tsar’s family was that Princess Anastasia escaped execution by the Bolsheviks and was living somewhere in Europe. Leonard Nimoy (or whatever that dude who played Spock is called, help me out Ryan) even hosted spooky shows about it. That is, until 1991 when the Princesses remains were recovered along with most of the other Romanovs who were murdered by the Communists.

Today, DNA tests have confirmed that Russian Orthodox Saints Czarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria, the last of the Romanovs did not survive. Conspiracy theory over. Actually, I can’t back that up. You never know with those kind of people.

Posted in Europe, Politics, Pop Culture, Religion, Russia | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »