Obama And Russia - November, 2008

Barak Obama seems to be getting some interesting political advice from "experts".



Obama And Russia

The men behind Barack Obama part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MouUJNG8f2k 

The men behind Barack Obama part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-KJC...eature=related
November, 2008

One of the most serious challenges facing Barack Obama will be finding a way to keep an aggressive Russia under control. Internal developments in Russia are extremely worrying. The Russian economy is beginning to unravel under the impact of collapsing oil prices, and changes to the Russian Constitution are planned that will probably return Vladimir Putin to office and make him president for life. At the same time, Russia is threatening to target American anti-missile installations in Eastern Europe with short-range missiles and, more important, to interfere with them electronically, which is unquestionably the action of a hostile power. Under these circumstances, President Obama, in dealing with Russia, must try to avoid traditional American mistakes. In most cases, the learning curve for an American president in relation to Russia takes up his entire term in office. Obama may not have that luxury. The following are some basic principles for dealing with Russia that can help to cut the learning period short.

1. Don't treat the Russian leader as a "friend." U.S. policy toward Russia must be based on principles, not personalities. It is not possible to "charm" Russian leaders into ignoring what they regard as Russia's national interest, and the attempt to do so at the expense of our principles will destroy our moral capital with the Russian people. Under President Clinton, the emphasis on Boris Yeltsin as the symbol of "democracy" led the U.S. to ignore Russia's complete criminalization--and to become complicit in it, in the eyes of Russians. President Bush's supposed friendship with Putin freed Putin to build an authoritarian regime and pursue a genocidal war in Chechnya without fear of U.S. political pressure or moral censure.

2. Don't assume sincerity. The moral standards Russians cite in political situations don't actually concern them. They defended the right of the Abkhaz and the South Ossetians to secede from Georgia but leveled Grozny when it was a question of Chechnya trying to secede from Russia. They denounce the U.S. anti-ballistic missile system in Eastern Europe while facilitating the threat from Iran against which the systems are intended to defend. As for the passionate denunciations of Western encirclement, Russians understand that NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine poses no military threat but are loath to give their real reason for opposition--which is that the example of democracy in former Soviet republics could inspire demands for democracy in Russia itself. For seven decades, the need to feign belief in Soviet ideology turned Russia into a nation of actors. President Obama should keep this in mind when confronted with Russian "outrage" over some aspect of Western behavior.

3. Don't treat Russia's national interests and the interests of its rulers as identical. Russia's core geopolitical interests are identical to those of the U.S. Like the U.S., Russia is threatened by the rising power of China, Islamic fanaticism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Cooperation with the West, however, is not in the interests of the small group that monopolize Russia's power and wealth. Fearing their own people, they require not friends but enemies. Only with the help of real or imagined enemies can they distract ordinary Russians from the massive corruption that is all around them and organize support for an authoritarian regime. Unfortunately, the enemy of choice is the U.S.

4. Don't listen to "realists." Self-described "realists" have suggested that Russia be given a free hand in the former Soviet republics in return for cooperation on issues that are vital to U.S. and Western security. This call to make a "deal," in addition to its blatant immorality, ignores the fact that it makes sense to reach an understanding only with those who will keep their side of the bargain. The fact that the Russians are seeking to deny the former Soviet republics their rights as sovereign nations is all the indication one needs that an unenforceable "gentleman's agreement" to cooperate with the West will be violated the minute it ceases to be to Russia's advantage. The rejection of a moral framework for relations, meanwhile, will set the stage and help provide the justification for new and more outrageous Russian demands in the future.

5. Base policy on fundamental values. The U.S. needs to defend decent values in its relations with Russia. This means taking a strong stand on such issues as political assassinations (both inside and outside Russia), the squandering of innocent life in hostage situations and the right of former Soviet republics to make their own alliances. Russian leaders try to convince their citizens and themselves that Western leaders have no principles. This is a dangerous illusion because it encourages aggression. The world cannot afford a new round of Russian-inspired conflict. But only if Russia is convinced that the West has principles and is ready to defend them will it hesitate to use force in any situation in which it feels that force can be effective. Defending our principles, because it encourages restraint, is also in Russia's long-term interest. It is the only way to preserve the possibility that Russia will one day take its deserved place as a part of the Western world.

David Satter is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). His most recent book is Darkness at Dawn: the Rise of the Russian Criminal State.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/opinions/2008/...114satter.html

In other news:

Orthodoxy Gets Foothold in Cuba

Orthodoxy gets foothold in Cuba: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50ebTO8tlPk

Cuba has opened its first Orthodox church, a decade and a half after the communist island lifted a ban on religion. Hundreds of people, including the country’s leader Raul Castro turned out to watch the consecration. Russian Metropolitan Kirill blessed the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral, which took two and a half years to build. The opening is a victory for Russian Orthodoxy, which finally has a church in the Caribbean. It comes as Cuba is about to celebrate 50 years of communism. The country eased restrictions on religion in 1992, and since then numerous Catholic cathedrals, synagogues and even a Muslim prayer room have opened. Many Cubans see no conflict between communism and relgion. ”A communist or not, a believer or not, Fidel ordered all to come and greet the Pope in 1998, since then we started feeling comfortable when gathering for Bible readings,” a local resident said. But for many Russian-Cubans, the sight of Raul Castro standing next to Metropolitan Kirill is almost unbelievable. Apart from the domes and bells, the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral was built entirely by the Cuban government. “Cuba isn't the richest state in the world, but they built this church for us and the Cubans are thankful for what Russia has done for Cuba,” Metropolitan Kirill said. Many in Havana are citing its symbolic value, calling it a tribute to shared the history between Russia and Cuba. “This church is part of my origin, I'm an Orthodox, like my mother, and now I have a place to talk to my God here in Havana,” another local Russian-Cuban said. During a month-long tour, the Russian delegation will visit seven countries in Latin America, as part of efforts to promote religious and cultural ties with them. And Cuba is their top priority. “Cuba is more stable, more developed, more tolerant, we have great ongoing relations with this country, as well as new joint projects,” the Russian Ambassador to Cuba, Mikhail Kamynin, said.

Source: http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/32098

Russia May Use 'Overkill' Missiles to Counter U.S. Shield

In addition to deploying tactical missiles near the Polish border, Russia could use precision-guided air-based weapons to counter U.S. missile defense plans, a Russian military expert said on Monday. "Iskander [missile system] is not the most effective combat asset to be used against the ground targets that are now being deployed in some European states. We also have the Air Force, which has precision-guided weapons," said Gen. Pyotr Deinekin, former Air Force commander. He said strategic aviation had, in particular, Kh-55 (AS-15 Kent) long-range cruise missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, with an effective range of 4,500 kilometers. He did not explain why such "overkill" missiles would be needed to engage targets in Central Europe. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates dismissed on Thursday Russia's proposal that the two countries abandon their plans to deploy missiles in Central Europe. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with French daily Le Figaro published on Thursday that Russia would be willing to abandon its plans to deploy short-range missiles near Poland if the U.S. agrees not to set up a missile shield in Central Europe. Gates said Medvedev's recent threat to deploy Iskander missiles in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad was "hardly the welcome a new American administration deserves," and that "such provocative remarks are unnecessary and misguided." Washington earlier said it had provided new proposals to ease Russia's concerns over the planned deployment of 10 U.S. interceptor missiles in Poland and a tracking radar in the Czech Republic, which the Bush administration has said are needed to counter possible attacks from Iran's long-range missiles. Russia views the missile defense system as a threat to its national security, and has said that a security agreement based on respect for common interests would remove the need for a missile shield.

Source: http://en.rian.ru/russia/20081117/118359856.html

I Shot Down McCain

A retired Red Army Lieutenant who fought in Vietnam has confessed to shooting down the plane of defeated presidential candidate, John McCain. Colonel Yuriy Trushechkin told Russia’s Moskovsky Komsomolets he had no regrets about downing the future Senator’s aircraft back in 1967. Journalists from Russia’s most popular tabloid paper found the veteran in a St Petersburg hospital. Trushechkin said he still hated John McCain and wasn’t at all sorry for what he had done all those years ago. He added he was very happy that McCain didn’t make to the White House. ”He always hated the Russians. He knew that it was our rocket that downed his plane,” Trushechkin said. The veteran makes no secret of Soviet involvement in the Vietnam War. He was 28 years old when he came to the Asian country to fight against the U.S. together with local soldiers. He served as an officer in missile guidance for the communist North Vietnamese. Trushechkin remembers the day he shot down McCain. The air alarm sounded, he said, and everybody saw two Phantom F-4 planes approaching. “One of the aircraft was trying to skirt the nearby hills, while the other went straight through the bridge. We fired at the second one," Trushechkin said. Two rockets were fired. The first exploded in the jungle but the second hit the target. The American pilot catapulted and was later captured by the North Vietnamese troops. The documents said it was John McCain. Yuriy Trushechkin said that McCain got lucky because ejected U.S. pilots were usually beaten to death with pickaxes. But McCain avoided execution and was sent to a prison, known as the Hanoi Hilton. The most valuable trophies were the pilots helmet and the so-called “almsman’s flag” – a harsh mark which said that the U.S. citizen was in trouble and needed help in five languages. Trushechkin took McCain’s documents with him and some photos made after he was captured. But the documents were later lost. Yuriy Trushechkin said he recognised McCain when he was watching a programme about the U.S. elections, which showed the pictures of a young Mccain in military uniform. McCain spent 1,967 days (five and a half years) in Vietnamese prisons before being released on March 15, 1973 - just after the signing of the Paris Peace treaty between the U.S. and Vietnam.

Source: http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/33395

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Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult for me because I had no assistance from anywhere. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside urged me to keep going; and I did. When Armenia joined the EEU and integrated into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago I finally felt a deep sense of relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my back. And when Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan reemerged in Armenian politics, I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back as I really needed the rest.

Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the internal urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal.

Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say anything if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however moderate the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what readers of this blog have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments. To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what. If you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or just attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself.

Please appreciate the fact that I have put an enormous amount of information into this blog. In my opinion, most of my blog commentaries and articles, going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Posts in this blog can therefore be revisited by longtime readers and new comers alike. I therefore ask the reader to treat this blog as a depository of important information relating to Eurasian geopolitics. Russian-Armenian relations and humanity's historic fight against Globalism and Westernization.

Thank you for reading.