T Nation

The Resurection of the USSR

I find this stuff interesting. Putin, the old communist teddy bear he is, seems to be missing the good old days. Over the last 7 years he has done his level best to undermine all the progress Russia has made in the '90’s. I do not think is will be long before the iron curtain will come crashing down again.

Russian history is just one shit storm after another. I pity the average Russian workers who’ve had to endure dictatorships and incompetent monarchies for so long.

Not to mention the ass-freezing winters!

Agreed. However, Putin apparently enjoys massive popularity there. He’s seen as the great strong leader who is “bringing the nation back to greatness.”

Truthfully, the U.S. really fucked this one up over the past decade or decade and a half. Bush especially, but the Clinton administration too. When the curtain fell we should’ve been so loudly and warmly in their faces, embracing them with hugs and kisses, about how much we wanted to team up with them and be their friends and partners and do everything together (trade, military, environment, etc., etc.) that it should’ve gotten to the point that people were almost sick of hearing it. But instead we managed to slowly turn them back into an enemy. It’s not fully our fault, don’t get me wrong. Putin has always been of the old-school, cold war mindset, but we did just about everything we could to create reason in his mind to be suspicious and distrusting of us.

[quote]LiftSmart wrote:
Russian history is just one shit storm after another. I pity the average Russian workers who’ve had to endure dictatorships and incompetent monarchies for so long.

Not to mention the ass-freezing winters![/quote]

[quote]Damici wrote:
Agreed. However, Putin apparently enjoys massive popularity there. He’s seen as the great strong leader who is “bringing the nation back to greatness.”

Truthfully, the U.S. really fucked this one up over the past decade or decade and a half. Bush especially, but the Clinton administration too. When the curtain fell we should’ve been so loudly and warmly in their faces, embracing them with hugs and kisses, about how much we wanted to team up with them and be their friends and partners and do everything together (trade, military, environment, etc., etc.) that it should’ve gotten to the point that people were almost sick of hearing it. But instead we managed to slowly turn them back into an enemy. It’s not fully our fault, don’t get me wrong. Putin has always been of the old-school, cold war mindset, but we did just about everything we could to create reason in his mind to be suspicious and distrusting of us.

LiftSmart wrote:
Russian history is just one shit storm after another. I pity the average Russian workers who’ve had to endure dictatorships and incompetent monarchies for so long.

Not to mention the ass-freezing winters!

[/quote]

It was all Russia’s choice. They kept us at arms length and blackmailed us into giving them billions or else they would “accidentally” lose nuclear weapons to terrorists.

They had no interest in being friendly.

I’ve never heard anything about them blackmailing us like that, so I’m not sure what to think about that.

But we definitely essentially kicked them in the nuts several times. Many people (in this country) don’t seem to be aware of this, but they were hugely pissed off about us interfering with (and we definitely did) elections in a lot of their eastern bloc neighbors, right in their backyard. (The Ukraine comes to mind as the most visible example, but there were several others). Trust me, we wouldn’t be happy if Russia interfered and pulled a lot of strings to change the election outcomes in Mexico and Canada. We’d feel REAL suspicious and antagonistic about them then.

Bush also just tore up the nuclear arms treaty (why is the name of it escaping me now?) that we’d had with them, saying it was no longer valid because it was signed with the Soviet Union, which no longer existed, and not with present-day Russia. Well, yeah, technically that might be true, but you’re talking about the same nation full of people (essentially), who are controlling those very same weapons that you were talking about controlling, from the very some Kremlin building. It could’ve been gone about MUCH more diplomatically than that. Total bitch-slap.

THEN, Bush decided to try to install a “missile shield,” of dubious benefit at best, right in their backyard (Poland and Czech) to guard against missiles from Iran, to protect Western Europe. Missiles from Iran – which doesn’t yet have the capability to hit Western Europe. Nor would it have any reason or desire to target Western freaking Europe. Silly, silly, unnecessary, fantasy-based scare-mongering which was COMPLETELY unnecessary and caused the Russians to be further freaked out about us.

Imagine if the Russians said they were going to install a “defensive missile shield” in the Dominican Republic to defend their friend Cuba against possible missile threats from Chile. That’s how fucking stupid that is. Literally.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Damici wrote:
Agreed. However, Putin apparently enjoys massive popularity there. He’s seen as the great strong leader who is “bringing the nation back to greatness.”

Truthfully, the U.S. really fucked this one up over the past decade or decade and a half. Bush especially, but the Clinton administration too. When the curtain fell we should’ve been so loudly and warmly in their faces, embracing them with hugs and kisses, about how much we wanted to team up with them and be their friends and partners and do everything together (trade, military, environment, etc., etc.) that it should’ve gotten to the point that people were almost sick of hearing it. But instead we managed to slowly turn them back into an enemy. It’s not fully our fault, don’t get me wrong. Putin has always been of the old-school, cold war mindset, but we did just about everything we could to create reason in his mind to be suspicious and distrusting of us.

LiftSmart wrote:
Russian history is just one shit storm after another. I pity the average Russian workers who’ve had to endure dictatorships and incompetent monarchies for so long.

Not to mention the ass-freezing winters!

It was all Russia’s choice. They kept us at arms length and blackmailed us into giving them billions or else they would “accidentally” lose nuclear weapons to terrorists.

They had no interest in being friendly.[/quote]

PS: They had EVERY interest in being friendly – if only we’d made that properly clear to them. Can you imagine two former super-powers teaming up? Having beneficial trade and economic arrangements, doing joint military exercises, working TOGETHER for both nations’ best interests? How unstoppably awesome would THAT be for both parties?!

But we failed to make that clear to them.

[quote]Damici wrote:
I’ve never heard anything about them blackmailing us like that, so I’m not sure what to think about that.

…Imagine if the Russians said they were going to install a “defensive missile shield” in the Dominican Republic to defend their friend Cuba against possible missile threats from Chile. That’s how fucking stupid that is. Literally.

…[/quote]

Their reasoning was they couldn’t pay the guards at the nuke sites so they hit the US up for payoffs. Obvious blackmail but what are you going to do?

The Russians know our defensive shield will not work against their missiles, they have far too many. Hopefully it will work against everyone else’s.

I’ve honestly never heard about the blackmail thing. Where have you read that? Can you show me an article? I’m not necessarily doubting it, just not convinced either until I see it.

Our missiles in Europe might not be able to hit Russia, but that’s almost beside the point: We’re completely meddling (militarily, no less), TOTALLY unnecessarily, right in their backyard. Iran is not going to attack Western Europe. For them to do so would be pure folly, and they know it. It is literally analogous to the example I gave about Russia, Cuba and Chile. This is wholly unnecessary cage-rattling of Russia on our part, and it’s stupid.

For the record, it is also VERY debatable as to how effective such a shield would actually be anyway, even if Iran were to do such a thing (which would be of ZERO benefit to them) as attacking Western freaking Europe. This is stupid, stupid, stupid.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Damici wrote:
I’ve never heard anything about them blackmailing us like that, so I’m not sure what to think about that.

…Imagine if the Russians said they were going to install a “defensive missile shield” in the Dominican Republic to defend their friend Cuba against possible missile threats from Chile. That’s how fucking stupid that is. Literally.

Their reasoning was they couldn’t pay the guards at the nuke sites so they hit the US up for payoffs. Obvious blackmail but what are you going to do?

The Russians know our defensive shield will not work against their missiles, they have far too many. Hopefully it will work against everyone else’s. [/quote]

[quote]Damici wrote:
I’ve honestly never heard about the blackmail thing. Where have you read that? Can you show me an article? I’m not necessarily doubting it, just not convinced either until I see it.

[/quote]

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/terrorism/jan-june05/russia_5-4.html

http://www.bellona.org/english_import_area/international/russia/nuke-weapons/nonproliferation/24803

I thought it was pretty common knowledge that the US pay tons of money for the privilege of helping the Russkies secure their own weapons.

It was obvious blackmail on the Russians part. Those weapons were not going anywhere without Moscows approval but unless we paid there was a real fear they would sell them to the bad guys. The Russian Mafia knows a thing or two about blackmail!

No one likes to talk about it because being the victim of blackmail makes the US look weak but make no mistake we are still paying this protection money to the Russians and their rulers are no friends of ours.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Their reasoning was they couldn’t pay the guards at the nuke sites so they hit the US up for payoffs. Obvious blackmail but what are you going to do? [/quote]

Attacking countries who don’t have WMDs because they may lose them to terrorists: Billions and billions of dollars.

Ensure nuke sites from the cold war era are properly protected: Too expensive and considered blackmail.

Given that the US has a hand in the arms race and the USSR going broke, I’d say the request (provided Russia indeed made one as you claim), is reasonable.

Thanks. I’m tied up with work right now but will try to get around to reading them today.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Damici wrote:
I’ve honestly never heard about the blackmail thing. Where have you read that? Can you show me an article? I’m not necessarily doubting it, just not convinced either until I see it.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/terrorism/jan-june05/russia_5-4.html

http://www.bellona.org/english_import_area/international/russia/nuke-weapons/nonproliferation/24803

I thought it was pretty common knowledge that the US pay tons of money for the privilege of helping the Russkies secure their own weapons.

It was obvious blackmail on the Russians part. Those weapons were not going anywhere without Moscows approval but unless we paid there was a real fear they would sell them to the bad guys. The Russian Mafia knows a thing or two about blackmail!

No one likes to talk about it because being the victim of blackmail makes the US look weak but make no mistake we are still paying this protection money to the Russians and their rulers are no friends of ours.[/quote]

[quote]lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Their reasoning was they couldn’t pay the guards at the nuke sites so they hit the US up for payoffs. Obvious blackmail but what are you going to do?

Attacking countries who don’t have WMDs because they may lose them to terrorists: Billions and billions of dollars.

Ensure nuke sites from the cold war era are properly protected: Too expensive and considered blackmail.

…[/quote]

Also costs billions and billions of dollars but instead of a semi-friendly government in charge like in Iraq we get a hostile government like in Russia.

Seems like a bad deal to me.

If I point a gun at your head will you pay me and thank me for the privilege? You probably would but your buddies would detonate their vests.

I’d say your both right. The U.S. did not do due diligence on getting Russia on our side early on in 2000 when we had the prime opportunity. Putin would prefer to pull away and be Czar, but it would have been a lot harder had the U.S. and Russia, had a proper sexual relationship. Now we are just getting fucked in the ass because Russia is making nice with our enemies. Cocksuckers.

[quote]pat36 wrote:
I’d say your both right. The U.S. did not do due diligence on getting Russia on our side early on in 2000 when we had the prime opportunity. Putin would prefer to pull away and be Czar, but it would have been a lot harder had the U.S. and Russia, had a proper sexual relationship. Now we are just getting fucked in the ass because Russia is making nice with our enemies. Cocksuckers.
[/quote]

It went way back before Putin. Russia ramped up its spy network against the US throughout the 90’s. Yeltsin was not a big teddy bear.

Russia will always do what is best for Russia and they often think that countering the US goals (no matter what they are) is best for them.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:

[/quote]

I don’t think you got my point. I am arguing that securing the world’s largest nuclear arsenal should take precedence. The US government has been bitching about WMDs falling into the wrong hands and that was the main argument to bomb and invade Iraq. Corruption is rampant in Russia, and any terrorist group would be better off greasing their way into nukes than trying to get them from Iraq (which as it turned out, had none of those).

Given all the lives and money spent - with you cheering - to make sure non-existing WMDs get into the hands of terrorist, your post about Russia alluding to the loose security around their nuclear sites to get money from the US comes off as silly.

[quote]lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:

I don’t think you got my point. I am arguing that securing the world’s largest nuclear arsenal should take precedence. The US government has been bitching about WMDs falling into the wrong hands and that was the main argument to bomb and invade Iraq. Corruption is rampant in Russia, and any terrorist group would be better off greasing their way into nukes than trying to get them from Iraq (which as it turned out, had none of those).

Given all the lives and money spent - with you cheering - to make sure non-existing WMDs get into the hands of terrorist, your post about Russia alluding to the loose security around their nuclear sites to get money from the US comes off as silly.[/quote]

We have secured it. We are giving the Russians their payoff. Do you propose we invade?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy8mxh0P63M

[quote]Damici wrote:
I’ve never heard anything about them blackmailing us like that, so I’m not sure what to think about that.

But we definitely essentially kicked them in the nuts several times. Many people (in this country) don’t seem to be aware of this, but they were hugely pissed off about us interfering with (and we definitely did) elections in a lot of their eastern bloc neighbors, right in their backyard. (The Ukraine comes to mind as the most visible example, but there were several others). Trust me, we wouldn’t be happy if Russia interfered and pulled a lot of strings to change the election outcomes in Mexico and Canada. We’d feel REAL suspicious and antagonistic about them then.

Bush also just tore up the nuclear arms treaty (why is the name of it escaping me now?) that we’d had with them, saying it was no longer valid because it was signed with the Soviet Union, which no longer existed, and not with present-day Russia. Well, yeah, technically that might be true, but you’re talking about the same nation full of people (essentially), who are controlling those very same weapons that you were talking about controlling, from the very some Kremlin building. It could’ve been gone about MUCH more diplomatically than that. Total bitch-slap.

THEN, Bush decided to try to install a “missile shield,” of dubious benefit at best, right in their backyard (Poland and Czech) to guard against missiles from Iran, to protect Western Europe. Missiles from Iran – which doesn’t yet have the capability to hit Western Europe. Nor would it have any reason or desire to target Western freaking Europe. Silly, silly, unnecessary, fantasy-based scare-mongering which was COMPLETELY unnecessary and caused the Russians to be further freaked out about us.

Imagine if the Russians said they were going to install a “defensive missile shield” in the Dominican Republic to defend their friend Cuba against possible missile threats from Chile. That’s how fucking stupid that is. Literally.
[/quote]

Good post. And for all the vaunted morality of the “freedom agenda”, our SOBs are often just as bad as theirs (see Georgia, Ukraine to some extent). Russia should be our natural ally against Islamism, take a look at their backyard in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Instead we needlessly provoke them.

Their legitimate issues with us are primarily centered around our intrusion into the affairs of states in what they regard as their natural sphere of influence.

More generally though, Russia is an extremely diverse country with strong centrifugal forces pulling it apart. The use of the external enemy and aggressive nationalism as a counter to this is a natural response to the situation. Moreover, the aggressive nationalism sells effectively on the domestic political scene as there otherwise remains an ideological void in the post commy world. The old communist system was to a large extent Russian nationalism/imperialism under a veneer of socialism (look at the uneasy relationship between the USSR and other communist societies outside the Iron Curtain for examples). Now they get the straight dope nationalism.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:

They kept us at arms length and blackmailed us into giving them billions or else they would “accidentally” lose nuclear weapons to terrorists.

If I point a gun at your head will you pay me and thank me for the privilege? quote]