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Worsening relations between Russia and the US
May 9, 2007 5:32 PM   Subscribe

Vladimir Putin: You know who else wanted to dominate the world? Also: Russia suspends compliance with treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe. A 2002 analysis of Putin's foreign policy by Clifford Gaddy and Fiona Hill discusses Russia's fear of US unilateralism; a more recent article by Hill notes that high oil prices have made Russia an energy superpower. A 1951 article by George F. Kennan on US policy towards Russia. Previously.
posted by russilwvong (28 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Putin, Godwin.

Godwin, Putin.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:50 PM on May 9, 2007


I wonder if the Roman Empire would've been a more valid comparison?
posted by pax digita at 6:07 PM on May 9, 2007


In non-Soviet Russia, the Evil Empire condemns YOU.
posted by yeloson at 6:09 PM on May 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Seems like all the major figures in the news these days are authoritarian bad guys. Some are lefty (Putin, sorta, and Chavez), some are righty (Bush), but they're all pretty obviously bad for their respective countries.

In American politics; you side with the one that nauseates you least, but all these guys are so terrible that I just can't see supporting any of them.
posted by Malor at 6:58 PM on May 9, 2007


Just give it 30 years and Putin will be an ironic image on a cheap T-shirt sold to American college students.
posted by Falconetti at 7:01 PM on May 9, 2007


Putin is sorta lefty? If propping up the remnants of an authoritarian police state while killing off your opponents, protecting organised crime and shrugging off a growing neo-facsist movement that murders school-girls is "lefty" then I'd hate to see what the Right looks like...
posted by Jimbob at 7:07 PM on May 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


Marcel Theroux, brother of Louie Theroux, visited Russia in 2006.
posted by acro at 7:14 PM on May 9, 2007


(sorry, Louis)
posted by acro at 7:14 PM on May 9, 2007


How to infuriate Russia and the European Union and waste $10 billion a year.
posted by homunculus at 7:18 PM on May 9, 2007


The scariest thing about Putin is the accusations that he was behind the 1999 apartment bombings (blamed on Chechen terrorists) that swept him into power. The guy is scary.
posted by bobo123 at 8:04 PM on May 9, 2007


bobo123, was that posted here recently... the documentary about the bombings with the woman from the U.S. ...?
posted by acro at 8:35 PM on May 9, 2007


(nope) it was via recently posted
posted by acro at 8:40 PM on May 9, 2007


Putin is sorta lefty?

Taxes and spends. Former commie. Wears Birkenstocks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:00 PM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, I'm terming him lefty because of his association (in my mind at least) with the Communists. Ultimately, it doesn't matter much... authoritarianism is pretty much the same, whatever whitewash they put on it.
posted by Malor at 9:26 PM on May 9, 2007


If propping up the remnants of an authoritarian police state while killing off your opponents, protecting organised crime and shrugging off a growing neo-facsist movement that murders school-girls is "lefty" then I'd hate to see what the Right looks like...

I know it's rhetorical, but they look exactly the same from the correct vantage point.

Which is on your back, with a size thirteen on your forehead.
posted by kid ichorous at 10:29 PM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


So who's more likely to bankrupt whom in a new arms race?
posted by Fupped Duck at 10:47 PM on May 9, 2007


Putin is certainly no boy scout, but if you consider how the Bush Administration has been unnecessarily provoking him (accepting the Baltic states into NATO, putting a missile "defense" system in his backyard, etc.) his hard line is somewhat understandable.
posted by three blind mice at 10:49 PM on May 9, 2007


What three blind mice said. Won't somebody tell Bush/NATO that the "good" guys WON the Cold War in 1992? Don't the "Western imperialists" have enough on their plates already?

Maybe the Russian ruling class should convert to Islam. That'd probably go over better with the Third World than former Soviet policy and give the Russians hordes of instant allies world-wide.
posted by davy at 11:34 PM on May 9, 2007


The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is one to watch I think.
On a side note, I see Amnesty wasn't too chuffed with China and Russia allegedly arming the Janjaweed.
posted by Abiezer at 11:56 PM on May 9, 2007


People’s Republic of China, Russian Federation, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Tajikistan and Republic of Uzbekistan. It was established on the basis of the "Shanghai Five" mechanism.

"Shanghai Two and Some Hanger-ons"

But seriously, Putin and Russia -- they're so new money.
posted by geoff. at 12:50 AM on May 10, 2007


Just give it 30 years and Putin will be an ironic image on a cheap T-shirt sold to American college students.

30 years you figure?
posted by dreamsign at 1:13 AM on May 10, 2007


I'm just happy to see some leaders taking public their dissent, even if they have to drag the most harsh comparisons into view regarding U.S. Foreign Policy.

Who, with the last 7 years in mind, would benefit from America's policing the world for another 93 years?
posted by phylum sinter at 2:07 AM on May 10, 2007


authoritarianism is pretty much the same, whatever whitewash they put on it.

Which is a good reason for the existence of the Political Compass.
posted by moonbiter at 2:30 AM on May 10, 2007


One of the biggest factors in the collapse of the Soviet Union was energy prices. That's an area of the world that has always been one of the major oil producers. When oil prices are high, the government is flush with cash, but when they sink, the government can suddenly find a lot of things unfunded. Remember in the 80s when gas prices dropped under 90 cents a gallon (and further in some states)? The Soviets soon found themselves hurting for cash when the oil prices dropped down then. IIRC, it was under $20 a barrel for a while.

Now we have two oilmen in the White House, who have done pretty much everything they can to see to it that the price of oil goes up and stays up. It benefits their finances and especially the finances of their backers. With oil as high as it is, Russia has a lot more money and a lot more clout. They know it and Putin's not afraid to wave that clout around like a sledgehammer. It's ironic to see that the US has helped bring about the resurgence of Russia as an adversarial power.
posted by azpenguin at 2:37 AM on May 10, 2007


azpenguin: One of the biggest factors in the collapse of the Soviet Union was energy prices.

According to Peter Schweizer's Victory, this was a deliberate strategy on the part of the Reagan administration. I haven't been able to find any reviews of Schweizer's book by historians, though.
posted by russilwvong at 10:37 AM on May 10, 2007


In American politics;...

You go to war with the government that nauseates you, not the governement you wish could nauseate you.
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:47 AM on May 10, 2007


There's quite a bit of thought that Russia's energy superpowerism is going to be fleeting - that they are soon to reach their maximum production level and then decline, just like Mexico's Cantarell field is doing now, and like the whole USA did back in the '70s.

So it's pretty murky right now as to whether their energy clout is sustainable.

At the moment, they kinda have Europe over a barrel, though. There's going to be some consternation when and if the EU finds they have to choose between being a friend of the US or being very short on electricity and heating fuel...
posted by zoogleplex at 12:47 PM on May 10, 2007


nifty post.
I think we’ll wind up in bed together though (Uh...the U.S. and Russia I mean).
Whether that kind of relationship will be good or bad remains to be seen.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:19 PM on May 10, 2007


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