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Friday, June 16, 2006

Here Comes Cold War II: Putin Lashes Out in Anti-U.S. Tirade Full of Insane Arrogance

Some Russians like to get wasted on vodka, others prefer oil revenues and nationalism. Russia is back on the Cold War path which destroyed the USSR, and Russia is no USSR. It just doesn't get it. No wonder Putin is tightening up military conscription -- he'll sure never get Russians to fight for this kind of insane, self-destructive Neo-Soviet dogma voluntarily, that's for sure. La Russophobe can't help noticing how breathtaking it is that the Kremlin can still be so out of touch with reality; it now looks just like Don Quixote tilting and windmills, genuinely doesn't seem to realize the vast difference in size and power betwen itself the the U.S., seems to genuinely belive the world is on its since when in fact it stands utterly without allies (save Iran, Hamas and Venezuala of course) and sure is in for a rude awakening. As that great Russia scholar Mr. T used to say: "Pity the fool."

The Associated Press reports:

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Thursday of throwing its weight around and defended the growing clout of an Asian security group dominated by Russia and China.

Putin, speaking after a summit of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization denied the organization is a military-political bloc aimed at countering U.S. interests.

But in a nearly two-hour meeting in his Shanghai hotel suite, he reeled off a list of complaints about what he described as overbearing behaviour by the United States.

Washington, Putin said, had brought upon itself the eviction of a U.S. military base in Uzbekistan by acting "like a bull in a china shop" and seeking to impose its standards on a volatile region plagued by Islamic radicalism.

The United States fell out with Uzbek President Islam Karimov after criticizing the violent suppression of a revolt in May 2005.

Uzbekistan is one of the members of the SCO, which groups China, Russia and four Central Asian countries and counts Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia as observers.

Putin suggested Washington is displeased at the emergence of a newly influential organization such as the SCO.

"They don't like the fact that countries like China and Russia have joined efforts in solving common problems, that India and Pakistan are taking part and that it has attracted Iran," he said. "Their worry is that they can't influence it."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who took part in the summit, urged China, Russia and other Asian countries Thursday to combine their economic and diplomatic clout to bolster the region's resistance to the United States.

Putin also criticized U.S. demands in negotiations of Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization, including its insistence on compliance with U.S. legislation in certain sectors such as agriculture. The United States is the last country with which Russia needs to strike a bilateral accord to join the global trade body.

"We're not joining the United States, we're joining the WTO," Putin remarked acidly.

He added, however, the WTO accession deal with the United States still could be finalized before the Group of Eight leading industrialized countries meet in St. Petersburg, Russia, in mid-July.

The Russian leader also spoke out strongly against U.S. efforts to mount a financial blockade of the Hamas-led government in the Palestinian territories.

The radical group has refused to renounce the use of violence and recognize Israel's right to exist and the United States and the European Union cut off hundreds of millions of dollars worth of aid.

"This only exacerbates the situation," Putin said of the financial crunch, which has caused growing unrest with Palestinian civil servants going unpaid for weeks.

Putin also laid the blame for the current political crisis in Ukraine - where coalition talks on forming a new cabinet have remained stalled since March's parliamentary elections - on western countries that supported Ukraine's 2004 Orange Revolution protests against election fraud that helped pro-western Viktor Yushchenko win Ukraine's presidency.

The Russian president said he had warned the United States and European states of the likely consequences of the Orange Revolution, which he said had split Ukraine between the largely Russian-speaking east and Ukrainian-speaking west.

"They pushed these people into mass disturbances, it's very dangerous. They pushed Ukraine into a confrontation between different regions, between east and west," he said.

Speaking on other subjects, Putin reaffirmed he wouldn't seek a third term in 2008 - which would require overturning the constitutional bar on a third consecutive term - saying he wouldn't have the moral right to govern if he does.

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