Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Putin and Bush

What's up with Vladimir Putin, who has been saying all kinds of anti-American things lately and has chosen to make a stink about U.S. plans to install a modest anti-missile installation with components in Poland and the Czech Republic. The 10 missile interceptors planned surely won't be much of a deterrent to Russia's arsenal of 5,000-7,000 missiles. They're designed to defend against a country like Iran, which doesn't yet have missiles that can reach Europe but is working to get them.

What's really going on is that after more than a decade of relative humiliation, Russia (with oil at $65 a barrel and much of Western Europe dependent on Russia for natural gas) is ready to assert itself as a Great Power again. Like most political manifestations it's more than a little absurd to care about this, but there it is. Putin, into whose soul Bush claims to have peered when they first met (ah, the arrogance of ignorance!) knows Bush is weakened by the Iraq war and his lame-duck status. Putin is supposedly term-limited too, but he may decide to run again and if he doesn't he can dictate the outcome, whereas any candidate to be successful in the U.S. will have to run against the increasingly unpopular Bush, even if he's a Republican.

Actually, the rhetoric is not so much aimed at the U.S., but at Central and Eastern Europe, countries that were Soviet satellites back in the supposed glory days but have turned decisively to the West, even joining NATO (which should have been shelved) and the EU. You've had your fun playing to the West, Putin may be saying, but it's time to remember there's a power to the East as well.

So far Bush has played this game poorly and I expect he will do so at the G-8 as well.

1 comment:

Joel Phillips said...

Why I Hate Russia
by Joel Phillips (publisher, www.religiousfreeomwatch.org; owner American Coast Title www.actfortitle.com and proud to be an American and a Scientologist)

When I was a kid we used to have jump under our desks and hide when they rang the air alarm. The teachers said this was in case the Russians came and bombed us.

Well you know what they bombed us and did a good job of it. They have us doing whatever they say.

First of all they are leaders in religious persecution. They closed down the Scientology Center in Saint Petersburg. Now I suppose the fact that the city used to be called Leningrad tells you something. What other country closes down a church?

But they are hypocrites. They have their own church namely the Russian Orthodox Church. This church is controlled by the Russian government. This is not how you get religious freedom!

Second they are sneaky. My website and company have been attacked by Indonesians. I have listed details on my website including those for a substantial reward.

So what happens? Well it turns out the Russians protect their Internet. It turns out my company which is the sponsor of the www.religiousfreedomwatch.org site is being sued by OOO TRANSTELEKOM. This OOO is apparently like the AOL or Earthlink of Russia but under the control of the Russian government. They are suing because an IP address used by one of these Indonesians is their IP address and I posted it to show how I was being harassed.

They are suing for millions of dollars and they are demanding an apology. I have had to meet with Frank Berriz and Linda Blood about it as they are the other owners of American Coast Title and they are named in the lawsuit.

But they are even sneakier as they are also complaining to Stewart Title who are our underwriters. This could quite literally get us shut down all because I go through life according to my religion.

And, it gets worse. Some Russian radio station has sent press releases to my competitors telling them about this. I don’t even get my day in court with OOO and the Russians have already decided I lost.

But the real trick is they are hiding behind the Olympics. OOO is suddenly the official Internet of the Olympics. OOO says this somehow libels the Olympics.

Maybe countries that value religious freedom should boycott the Russian Olympics again. That will teach them a lesson.

So that’s it. I hate Russia. The teachers way back when were right they had us hide from the Russians. Maybe we should of kept doing that. It is clear the Russians are just going to walk all over us. They are going take away our religious freedom and who knows what they will do after that.