"We need the full range of military capabilities. We don't know what's going to develop in places like Russia and China, in North Korea, in Iran and elsewhere."
That's the next Secretary of Defense Robert Gates (pictured, left) testifying before the Armed Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives last week and laying to rest all doubt as to whether Russia has provoked a second cold war with the United States in the ultimate act of self-destruction yet seen in the annals of human history. And this came before he heard the outrageous remarks delivered by Russian "President" Vladimir Putin a few days later at the annual Munich security conference. That's right: He lumps Russia in with international pariahs and rogue states like Iran, North Korea and China. Can you imagine what he thought of Russia after hearing . . .
"The US has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is very dangerous, nobody feels secure any more because nobody can hide behind international law. People are always teaching us democracy but the people who teach us democracy don't want to learn it themselves."That's Vladimir Putin, "president" of Russia, speaking at the Munich security conference last week. Did he really say that Russia, with no opposition parties, appointed governors and no independent TV news is as democratic as America? Yes, that's just what he did. Putin has apparently decided as well that he gets to decree where the "national borders" of the United States are. Democrat Joseph Lieberman called Putin's comments "provocative," adding that the claims the US "aspired to unipolar power or acted unilaterally is just not borne out by the facts."
Has Russia "overstepped its national borders" in Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine and the Baltics? Oh no, heaven forbid, of course not, no need to ask the people who live there either, because their opinions mean nothing next to that of Vladmir Putin, Holy Russian Emperor. Has the US overstepped its borders even in Russia? Why yes, apparently it has invaded that country too, and China, and "every" other country in the world. Gracious. But if the U.S. is as powerful as all that and ill-intentioned, shouldn't the president of Russia be at least a bit less provocative in his remarks? After all, his country is already losing 1 million from the population every year and working for $2.50 an hour on average. It seems not. Just call him Vladimir Quixputin, sacrificing Russia to rid the world of the evil of America.
Is Vladimir Putin going to lead a "coalition of the willing" (North Korea, Iran, Libya, Syria) against the United States and NATO in Cold War II? Is it really that delusional, already, that high oil fumes, that self-destructive? It would appear so. Welcome to Cold War II, the one Russia can't possibly survive.
Putin has now even succeeded in alienating his best friend in the West, George Dubya Bush, who "looked into Pooty-Poot's eyes." The White House responded to Putin's crazed, egomaniacal tirade as follows: "His accusations are wrong. We are surprised and disappointed with President Putin's comments." Just look at Putin and Gates sitting next to each other in the photograph above right. Is that really the relationship Russia wants with the world's most powerful nation?
Don't forget, dear readers, that LR told you this was going to happen, starting back last April. And she's telling you now that it's going to get much worse before it gets any better. Don't forget the context: Putin's comments come in the wake of a massive military buildup in impoverished Russia, a buildup which all by itself, without any menacing rhetoric, would be more than enough cause to conclude that a new cold war had begun. Instead of trying to soothe concerns about that buildup, Putin throws gasoline on the fire. Welcome back to the USSR!
Speaking at the same conference after Putin made his outrageously provocative remarks, Gates handed the malignant little troll the ultimate disrespect, putting him in is place as neat as you please. Giving him nothing to take home to the people, Gates dismissed Putin with a joke about silly cold war rhetoric and then ignored him -- as if to say, we will let our actions speak for us, whilst you can only rely on empty words. Mr. Gates appears to be quite a good man for the job.
Google News now has over 1,500 international news articles reporting on Putin's declaration of Cold War II with the United States. Estonia's president condemned Putin's remarks, using them as an opportunity "to urge the EU to rethink relations with 'a country that considers democracy on its borders as a threat, or despotism inside its borders as a source of stability.'" Sweden's Foreign Minister stated: "We should take him at his word. This was the real Russia of now, and possibly in four or five years time it could go further in this direction. We have to have a dialogue with Russia but we must be hard-nosed and realistic. We must stand up for our values." Czech Republic's Foreign Minister sarcastically thanked Putin, saying he had vindicated NATO's decision to take in members from the former Soviet east over the past decade. LR would also like to thank President Putin very kindly! Ron Asmus, executive director of the Transatlantic Centre think tank in Brussels, stated "This Munich conference is normally about the Americans and Europeans bitching at each other. It will be interesting to see whether Putin actually managed to bring us together."
A reader offers the following observations about Putin's insane tirade and its consequences for Russia and the world:
I'm sure it has not escaped your notice that Putin has just made a speech at some kind of international conference, launching into the United States in almost an unprecedented way, and apparently blaming the US for the current drive by certain countries towards nuclear proliferation. I think he is clearly taking advantage of the current situation in which you have a lame duck president who is very unlikely to respond with an appropriate counter-attack. If I was speaking for the US I would say the following:It bears repeating: Don't forget, dear readers, that LR told you this was going to happen, starting back last April. And she's telling you now that it's going to get much worse before it gets any better.
There is no doubt about the countries that Mr Putin is principally referring to. North Korea (the psychopath state created by the Soviet Union) recently tested its first atomic bomb, after all of the US brokered attempts to prevent it by diplomatic means and imposition of sanctions failed. Russia's part in the negotiations ranged from indifference to obstruction, and after NK first announced that it had the bomb the official Russian reaction was "North Korea does not have the required technical capability." Putin did play an active roll in relations with style North Korea however. Soon after his appointment as president, he invited Kim Jong Il to the Kremlin, and soon after that made an agreement to sell arms to him.
The other main country which we, and the rest of the world are referring to is of course Iran. Let us be quite clear about this, the fact that Iran will soon be capable of producing Nuclear weapons is a situation that would not exist without Russia's help. In the early 1990s Russia made an agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran to sell two nuclear power stations to it, and no other country was willing to do so. I don't know how many people are aware of the following two facts but: First, the most favoured non-renewable energy source for power stations in the developed world in recent years is natural gas. This is considered the least bad option environmentally, and makes very sound economic sense unless the price of the gas is too high. Secondly, Iran has the second largest proven reserves of natural gas in the world after Russia. These two facts together make the sale of nuclear power plants to Iran the nearest thing there could possibly be to selling freezers to Inuits. Hence right from the outset, the powers that be in Russia must have been aware that Iran's primary objective in obtaining nuclear power plants was to produce nuclear weapons. Subsequent events have born out this assumption amply. Again, Russia's relations with Iran: It is a valued economic partner and a valued client for its burgeoning arms market. Most recently it has sold them one billion dollars worth of high tech anti-aircraft missiles. Clearly the fact that Iran has taught a generation of its people to regularly chant "death to America" is considered desirable by the man who claims to be America's partner in the "war on terror".
Perhaps Mr Putin considers his recent and projected sales of arms to third world countries and pariah states is a force for stability. One example is the new MiG 35 fighter plane. Russia can congratulate itself on the fact that this is widely considered to be equivalent to the new American Super Hornet. Doubtless Putin thinks that the world can feel reassurance from the fact that, after selling large numbers of these to India, Russia intends to sell them to: Syria, Iran, Libya, and last but not least Sudan Incidentally, as I'm sure you know, the Sudanese government is responsible for Africa's worst humanitarian catastrophe, in Darfur and it may have been stopped if it had not been for Russia and China continually blocking sanctions on it. To watch a video regarding the airplane, click here.