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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

EDITORIAL: Russia, the Mother of All Rogue Regimes


The Mother of all Rogue Regimes

This scowling countenance, which gives every impression of being that of a maniac, is that of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, a member of the dictator Vladimir Putin’s closest inner circle. If his face makes you nervous, you’d better turn away now, because his face is nothing compared to his words, uttered at the 12th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 8th and reported by the Other Russia opposition coalition:

Our business participates in the transportation support of wars led by other nations. We earn income from wars, however cynical that may sound. The government, at any rate, does not impede our business of carrying out military transports on behalf of other nations. We will continue to do this.

Ivanov dreams big dreams. He’s in the process of creating an umbrella organization called Rostekhnologia whose purpose will be to deliver Russian armaments into world conflicts faster and better than ever before. And Other Russia concludes that the organization may be doing double duty as a means of further consolidating Putin’s totalitarian grip on the nation:

As many as 600 companies may become a part of Rostekhnologia, which has raised the ire of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) and the Finance Ministry. FAS has raised questions about transferring shares of privately-owned companies, such as vehicle manufacturers Kamaz and UAZ, to a state corporation. The Finance Ministry, for its part, has protested the inclusion of enterprises not directly involved in the military-industrial complex into Rostekhnologia.

This isn’t to say, of course, that Russia is content to allow its weapons to be used by others to promote global mayhem. As we've previously reported, Russia is among the ten least peaceful nations on the planet as rated by an independent peace organization. After an investigation, the United Nations recently concluded that a Russian fighter shot down a Georgian surveillance aircraft in Georgian airspace, without question an act of war. Russia is engaged in an ongoing effort to split off a western region of Georgia and annex it to Russia, undoubtedly part of an overall scheme to destabilize Georgia, keep it out of NATO and ultimately annex the whole country to Russia just as was the case in the times of the USSR.

Russia is the mother of all rogue regimes. Run by a proud KGB spy who has been clothed in the legitimacy of “elections,” it is armed to the teeth with ICBM’s and full of just as much hatred for Western values like democracy as Iran or North Korea ever were. It’s also prepared to weaponize its energy assets, and just as in Soviet times it couldn’t care less about diverting vital resources from a sick and diminishing population to foment geopolitical confrontation. Whether it knows it or not, the world’s democracies are in another cold war with another evil empire. If you listen to Vladimir Putin’s propaganda, then you believe that Russia is flush with wealth — and that means these arms sales are entirely gratuitous and unnecessary except as a political weapon.

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