This article provides some proof that, Putin’s KGBesque bravado aside, Russia’s economy is a house of cards waiting to fall.
Archive for the ‘Russia’ Category
A silver lining to the recession may be that oil prices are going down, though still at far higher levels than they were just a couple years ago. The bravado of Ahmadinejad, Chavez, and Putin may be at least slightly tamed. Authorized Authoritarianism has gone hand in hand with oil wealth in Iran, Venezuela and Russia. Its license may now start to expire.
Seeing Alaska Gov. (and McCain Vice-Presidential nominee) Sarah Palin be interviewed by Katy Couric gave me a strange sense of deja vu. Where had I heard this before? Then it came to me…
Here is the CBS News interview – discussing her foreign policy experience:
And here is what I had heard before:
Underscoring the depth of the challenge to freedom as we know it, no less than NYT Editor Bill Keller led the Week In Review with an analysis of China and Russia’s rise:
If it is not yet an age, it is at least a season: Springtime for autocrats, and not just the minor-league monsters of Zimbabwe and the like, but the giant regimes that seemed so surely bound for the ash heap in 1989.
Russia’s authoritarian dictator-in-building Vladimir Putin has been getting high on the fumes of oil revenues that Russia is reaping from the West (US consumers are propping him and others like Iran’s Ahmadinejad and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez up). The oil boom has helped Russia’s economy thrive for the last few years. This, plus weak leadership from the US and Western Europe, has combined with Putin’s ruthless KGB past to make him into a formidably arrogant threat to democracy and freedom.
His so-far unchecked invasion of Georgia is a threat to the world, with consequences potentially as grave as any development our globe has witnessed since the walls of the Soviet empire crumbled down.
Is the West going to rise to the challenge? Are leadership and principle going to stand? Is civil society going to mobilize? Is media going to do a better job at awakening the world to these dangerous developments?
At a minimum if Russia does not reverse its aggression, it needs to be ousted from the Group of 8. No nation that behaves the way Russia has over the last few years – like a bully – deserves such newly anointed role.
Georgia’s President Saakashvili is not blameless. But nothing Georgia has done merits Russia’s aggression. And if the world does not react forcefully, Russia’s imperialist instincts will only grow stronger and eventually catch up with those who stand by today.