Axis of Right

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

Posts Tagged ‘Vladimir Putin’

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

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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 »

Russia’s New President

Posted by Ryan on March 2, 2008

While the voting is not finished over in Russia it’s safe to say that Putin’s hand-picked successor, who’s practically running unopposed by any serious candidate, Dmitry Medvedev will become Russia’s third president.  Somehow I can’t see this guy turning into a Thomas Jefferson-type 3rd President, even though on the surface he seems marginally different than his sponsor.  It is well known that he’s a Putin sycophant who’ll act like a marionette doll more often than not.  I suppose he and Putin will have an obligatory staged public moment of disagreement, but I’m starting to think that the Russian people would see right through the ploy.

Russia’s slide into a one-party democracy is nearly complete, as Putin solidified this concept during his second term.  Yes, I suppose Russia can vote for the other guy, but I have a feeling that fear, lack of competition, poor organization, cynicism, and those pesky poisonings will put votes solidly behind Putin Medvedev.

UPDATE: Medvedev officially wins.

AP photo.

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