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August 18, 2007 11:13 PM   Subscribe

Newsfilter: Someone is clearly nostalgic for the good old days of the Iron Curtain.
posted by Krrrlson (22 comments total)
I just learned about their B-1 lookalike the other day. It was depressing to hear about the resumed patrols, though one could just view it as political sabre rattling. Still, the scenario played out in the 2001 and 2010 movies where the Russians and the Americans seemed on track to be allies then fell back into being bitter enemies might not be untrue. What to do?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:19 PM on August 18, 2007

In other news, I just saw a bumper sticker on a car at Walmart in Houston that said "Putin '08". I didn't have my camera with me or else I would've linked to a picture of it. Strange.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:20 PM on August 18, 2007

Yeah, it's saber rattling. This isn't really bad news for the West -- it's bad news for Russians.
posted by Krrrlson at 11:21 PM on August 18, 2007

I remember the good ol' days when we had the moral standing to complain about this sort of thing.
posted by RavinDave at 11:24 PM on August 18, 2007 [8 favorites]

He could make this a lot easier for us if he converted to Islam.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:43 PM on August 18, 2007

Gee, I wonder who's idea it was to pull out of ABM treaty and hit Poland up for a space to put a new radar and the interceptors at.
posted by c13 at 11:43 PM on August 18, 2007

What to do?

Elect competent, focused leadership that is capable enough to put in any effort at all to make the US the world leader in energy independence.

The only reason anyone gives a shit about Russia's game playing is because it has energy the world needs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:04 AM on August 19, 2007

Heh... Good luck with that.
posted by c13 at 12:08 AM on August 19, 2007

Possible silver lining: John le Carré writes new Smiley novels. No one should try to replace Alec Guinness in the movie version.
posted by Cranberry at 12:40 AM on August 19, 2007

Vlad's coming to Sydney to help us celebrate APEC, I have a weird premonition that I'm going to bump into him in a pub.

We're going to find ourselves in a fight with some Arab people smugglers. (Australia is just full of Arab people smugglers)

It wont be pretty, Vlad will be ruthless. We'll have the cops on our tail, and he'll give me his gun and vinyl jacket to dump....
posted by mattoxic at 4:05 AM on August 19, 2007

According to a well-travelled and polyglottal pal, the Russian people are absolutely up for all this. The feeling is that the country was sold a pup by Yeltsin and the World Bank - just look at the demographics - and that it's well past time that Russia got the respect it deserves. A fairly direct and unambiguous kind of respect.
posted by Devonian at 7:00 AM on August 19, 2007

I thought this was going to be about the big Shanghai Cooperation Organisation joint military exercise. What a fun few decades we're in for.
posted by Abiezer at 7:26 AM on August 19, 2007


We have tech in Area 51 that will trump all that shit.
posted by reality at 8:07 AM on August 19, 2007

from the Telegraph: In order to justify the about-turn, the political elite needs an enemy.

Change "about turn" to "policy failures" and this hits home in an extremely depressing way. Duck and cover everyone!
posted by nax at 8:20 AM on August 19, 2007

Oh, the jet fuel that will be wasted. Oh well...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:42 AM on August 19, 2007

What!? It can't be!

Bush Looked into his soul!
posted by delmoi at 9:36 AM on August 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

look, a country that sees freedom turned into "see all those natural resources of yours? they belong to various mobsters, now, check out everything they're buying all over the world with it, the yachts, the mansions, the women -- they're theirs, not yours, sucka", a country that loses its role of big bad scary military superpower to boot, loses its (however rusty) empire, loses everything, and exports engineers who end up driving cabs in the West (you're not an engineer/doctor, you don't even drive cabs, you clean toilets instead), a country that has to endure all that shit (I won't mention Chechnya), well, they have a right to get a little feelgood show of military muscle.

doesn't change much, but one of the most sophisticated cultures of the last two centuries, and the second (well, third for a while) strongest military power of the 20th century deserves a little boost to its self-esteem.

I say go ahead, it's like watching military parades in North Korea -- a fun way to spend the Sunday, given the alternatives.
posted by matteo at 10:00 AM on August 19, 2007

Dunno, matteo. I've known too many Russians & been over there myself. Can't just blow them off with a comparison to North Korea.

Their leaders (yes, even Yeltsin) have usually been pretty sharp on the political side, and I've seen a few occasions where they've watched our politics, liked the outcome, and copied it (see Yeltsin's last victory election - I was over there at the time & it was eerie - like watching Clinton campaign. Started right after a summit with Clinton in Vancouver [BC], too... yeh, just eerie).

I know there's a lot of folks over there who think that the good old ways are best. One (Russian) economist told me once "there's nothing wrong with Russia that Stalin couldn't fix." In retrospect, I think he's right. The gangsters, the mafia - yeah, he'd put them out of business (really he'd just own them, but the petty crime would stop).

No, overall I get the feeling that he's copying Bush: set a strong, long-term threat (U.S.? Why not?), use that to consolidate power.

The interesting thing will be to see what I say come October. I'll be over there for most of September. My guess is that most people will look at the U.S. in two tones, like we do: a people, and a government. Hate the government, take each person individually.
posted by volk at 11:32 AM on August 19, 2007

Hrm. Guess I'll add from my perspective - I'm looking at a lot of this anti-US sentiment as being "hopefully temporary." All it takes is a globally-aware leader to take over from Bush.

Although I'm not overly hopeful, looking at the talking heads that are running.
posted by volk at 11:34 AM on August 19, 2007

there is guy named cheney running this country as well ...
posted by specialk420 at 3:48 PM on August 19, 2007

We have tech in Area 51 that will trump all that shit.

Yeah, our flying saucers will totally fuck up their MIRVs. Unfortunately, we only have a couple of them. Not nearly enough to get all 2000 individual warheads that could be lobbed at us, even at warp power.

Not saying it would ever come to that, mind you...
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:42 PM on August 19, 2007

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