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08 July 2008

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linda

it is a neverending source of dismay that these people are never ostracized for their betrayal of this country's values. this past weekend, john yoo was an invited participant at the aspen ideas fest (ugh) where he and another panelist opined on 'the presidency and the constitution' -- to the apparent delight of the audience who was pleased to discover what a normal, likeable guy mr yoo is.

Spider Rider

Out of curiosity, and wanting to know other's opinions, are the Russians considered on par with the US, in terms of economic, military and political influence?

If, for instance, we had a capable US Presidential candidate, would Medvedev (Putin) be considered her equal, in regard to influencing world events?

My impression is the Russians feel they are on par with the US, in terms of hegemony.

I see them as mistaken, if this is correct.

Kieran

Colonel, why is Russia viewed as so exceptionally crucial to our plans re:Iran? I can see the security council veto and potential arms shipments being important issues, but surely China is similarly important there. And if they are so important, why are we simultaneously provoking them by putting missile interceptors in Poland?

eaken

You know, the sad thing is that in Iran, Russia has historically always been viewed as the bad guy.

The fact that Iran is turning to them demonstrates the gravity of our handywork.

Spider Rider

I also found it interesting Russia threatened military action against the US, and NATO, for missile defense implementation in the Czech Republic.

Is this simply reminiscent of cold war rhetoric?

How does this Russian government compare to it's cold war predecessors, through Stalin, even the Czar, say, in redifning itself, post USSR?

The Russian Ministry, IMO, missed a golden opportunity to show up the US, and the neocons, by acting the sophisticated diplomat, rather than the teen age "rap gangsta."

They could have gotten their message across in a much more forceful, effective, mature way.


jon

Kissinger was masterful at building a public relations edifice. The mask is slipping due to weight, time, and furthering distance from power.

The more you learn about what Kissinger actually did and accomplished, the less impressive the work.

If Kissinger had been more insightful about, and tough on, the Shah, their might never have been an Islamic Republic to contend with. Instead SAVAK was emboldened, and those tortured and repressed led to a seething resentment across the country that Khomenei rode to power.

Russia is important to Kissinger's formulation because, primarily, he can't let go of the Cold War and his legacy. Kissinger believes in calibrating countervailing forces to stabilize inherently volatile actors. Here, Russia is useful, not only in bringing Iran to heel, but in boxing in the Chinese and preventing them from gaining a stepping stone to Europe and the Mediterranean.

Russia is also useful because they share a border and a sea with Iran. And it's Russian nuclear technology that Iran is employing.

The US has Iran encircled, and having Russia as an ally will simplify any calculus and complete the encirclement.

Russians also have their own problems with restive islamic minorities and want to find a way to keep their populations under control. I'm sure that one Chechnya is enough.

Russia also has the centuries old desire for a secure warm water port(s) providing ready access to the world's oceans. Iran has lots of just that kind of coast.

Right now Russia is in the catbird seat. It can help itself by befriending Iran, and also if it allies with the US. And they have an interest in stymieing China's access to Iran's oil Unless the benefits are dramatically lopsided, they will likely continue to do both.

Spider Rider

I see Kissinger as completely unrealistic, completely out of touch with the reality around him, from Vietnam, on.

It was very interesting, if not surprising, to learn Bremer was his acolyte, which explains much about the neocons, and that branch of American foreign policy.

It's almost as if everything he did, or represented, in the name of America, was a lie.

Curious

I think Russian's strategy would be fairly simple and obvious.

Let Bush get stuck in Iraq/middle east as long as possible and get the best bargain in europe, central asia, asia and middle east.

So far Russia gains everything they want while pretending to give Condi all she asks for in endless series of meeting. She wouldn't know what hit her until it's too late.

So, all in all, Russia gets fat bonus from oil and mineral market. Selling a lot of weapons to asia and middle east. And getting central asia without shooting a single bullet. It's not even a strategy of containing US. It's strategy of not being stupid.

And europe is giving russia lips service.

All this while russia rebuilding their naval and space asset.

People do know they have $300B in reserve vs. fed having $75B right?

In a currency battle, russia plus one or two more medium ally can bring us down.

With little more time, Russia will get afghanistan and Pakistan without even fighting.

David W.

Well, as the old saying goes, if you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle 'em with bullshit; clearly Henry is showing the avuncular side of the neocons, meaning that they lack any sort of stick to beat the Russians with.

Imho, this is about sucking up to Gazprom, who has been killing the US-led Nabucco, in setting up natural gas pipelines. Medvedev, as previous chairman of Gazprom, holds energy power that makes Cheney look like a poor step-child.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/mar2008/pipe-m24.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gazprom

Gazprom is the third largest holder of gas and oil reserves after SA and Iran, and has been playing the 'great game' from the other side of the map; Connecting its pipeline network to Iran would be a killer to western business competitors.

Spider Rider

Curious wrote:

"So far Russia gains everything they want while pretending to give Condi all she asks for in endless series of meeting. She wouldn't know what hit her until it's too late."

The playing field is not equal, ever, it never appears as it seems.

Bush and Cheney made this mistake, as well as the esteemed Mr. Kissinger.


All I see from Russia is the same specious, precious reasoning I see from the neocons, ending in collapse, and failure.

That's too bad, Dimtry, or Russia, aspiring toward nothing more than Cheney.

Cheney is hardly capable.

jonst

Curious,

What do you mean, "Russia will get afghanistan and Pakistan without even fighting"? Any nation that 'gets' Afghanistan and Pakistan, is the loser.

Curious,

If the United States witness as much goings on, on it's immediate borders, as Russia is witnessing now, and for some time in the past, you might ask yourself how we would respond? And if we saw, in this activity, a link up between a Superpower and nations that we perceived, fairly or not, as our 'historical enemies', I doubt we would respond meekly.

William R. Cumming

Well! Well! No brief asides will ever adequately describe Kissinger and his ascendancy to power and influence in the US foreign policy establishment. If not for Rockerfeller influence probably would never have reached the pinnacle he did. His and President Nixon's relationship can only be adequately described by researching the DSM. A recent book by Robert Dallek "Nixon and Kissinger" trying to be even handed about his influence and impact still reveals Kissinger as acting in a treasonous fashion with respect to Hanoi in 1988 in Paris before the 1988 election. By the way in 1988 I requested as an overseas military person 3 times absentee ballots from my county and never recieved one so denied the vote. Nonetheless Kissinger, now unable to travel to certain countries for fear of being arrested and charged as war criminal (and by the way the employment of agent orange in Vietnam was no doubt a violation of norms and agreements on chemical warfare) as well as the Cambodia incursion limits his influence abroad. Yet he is a wonder. He certainly learned the Nixonian lesson that he who writes the history can influence it mightly.
As to Russia, its nuclear weaponary and its energy make it a first class power but beneath the surface there is a long term problem developing. First demographics and public health. Second, criminal activity and influence. Within 20 years Russia may well be a no man's land and certainly no women (most Russian women under age 50 are desperately trying to flee that country by any means possible.) But the real Russian issue is who will have the boots on the ground to control Siberia and its resources in the second half of the 21st Century. Probably not Russia. Some estimate that 45-50,000 HAN chinese cross the borders with Russia every month. No way can Russia compete with that and its eventual impact. The Germans are skillfully playing both energy and criminal activity in Russia to gain influence, primarily over natural resources. This would be fun to watch except that the US is likely to be directly and adversely impacted whatever the outcome. Watch for Germany to line up the European Union on energy issues. Once it has unified the approach, then Russia is dead. There are alternatives to Russian oil and gas but probably not for the Chinese. They desperately need the resouces of Siberia and have decided on a strategy of infiltration at the as the best approach of the moment. They (the Chinese) have no interest in relying on the Nations of Islam for their energy dependence. Leave that to India and South Asia including Indonesia which is largely Islamic anyway. Kissinger is Eurocentric and always hoped for incorporation of Russia west of the Urals into the European mainstream. It will happen but only after the Chinese nightmare for Russian is reality. Probably around 2050!

Curious

What do you mean, "Russia will get afghanistan and Pakistan without even fighting"? Any nation that 'gets' Afghanistan and Pakistan, is the loser.

If the United States witness as much goings on, on it's immediate borders, as Russia is witnessing now, and for some time in the past, you might ask yourself how we would respond? And if we saw, in this activity, a link up between a Superpower and nations that we perceived, fairly or not, as our 'historical enemies', I doubt we would respond meekly.

Posted by: jonst | 09 July 2008 at 07:41 AM "

that's what I was saying. Russia has immediate geographical interest in afghanistan (control of central asia) while pakistan will make dealing with the rest of middle east that much easier (releasing Iran, India from one front. freeing Russia to focus the other end of burning candle)

Russia control of central asia resource rich area will be guaranteed. With that market control.

Of course letting us rot and spending gigantic sums of money in afghanistan will be next. Afghanistan will a nasty war once any big power in that area decide to start weaponizing taliban.

My point: policy errors and continuing foolishness finally coming home to roost. Adding more troops are not going to cut it anymore without serious look at relationship with great power in central asia and the middle east.

robt willmann

Notice that Kissinger does not say that Russia and America have a "special obligation" to work on nuclear disarmament; he only says that "[b]ecause of their nuclear preponderance, Russia and America have a special obligation to take the lead on global nuclear issues such as proliferation".

Nuclear proliferation is certainly an issue, but nuclear disarmament includes it. The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which the U.S., Britain, and Israel are seeking to destroy, includes the word "nonproliferation" in its title. The treaty addresses nuclear proliferation, disarmament, and nuclear energy for power generation.

There is all this talk about nuclear proliferation because the new drive for hegemony and empire does not want other countries, especially ones not on that bandwagon, such as Arabs and Persians, to have the nuclear big stick to wave around

Mr. Cumming makes interesting observations about Russia, including the known problem of large-scale organized crime. But the immigration of Chinese into Russia was news.

Russian organized crime is also causing problems in Austria and what used to be western Europe, before the "European Union", and also here in the U.S. From the
1970's through at least the early 1990's, many hardcore Russian organized crime members were allowed to immigrate into the U.S., which is leading to real problems, and not small-time street crime.

The Chinese immigration into Russia is intriguing, as it might come to parallel the large immigration from Mexico into the U.S. I personally know that in less than 20 years, areas of San Antonio that were largely Hispanic and in which English was spoken in shops now are such that when you go in, you are spoken to in Spanish, often by someone who obviously knows little or no English.

Furthermore, Mr. Cumming's statement about Russian women wanting to get out sure is true, as they pack the mail order bride solicitations, and some of them are starting to pop up in divorce court here.

How such immigration will overtly affect political authority in the U.S. and Russia
is another matter, but a real one.

JohnS

William R. Cumming

You refer to; "Kissinger as acting in a treasonous fashion with respect to Hanoi in 1988 in Paris before the 1988 election."

I believe you are referring to the 1968 elections and Nixon/Kissinger's use of Chinese born GOP bigwig Anna Chennault to kill LBJs Paris Peace Talks (successful talks would have been a boost to the HHH campaign).

From Wiki: "Chennault played a crucial role in the wrecking of the 1968 Paris peace talks by the Nixon campaign which could have ended the Vietnam War. She had arranged the contact to south Vietnamese ambassador Bui Diem with which Richard Nixon met in secret from July 1968 in New York. FBI files show that Chennault advised Bui Diem to tell Nguyễn Văn Thiệu to stop the talks which Thieu did shortly after."

Charles I

Keep it up, Henry, you and your pals are likely to have your way in this if you persist. pl

And that's the whole dilemma in a nutshell isn't it? With words alone, not a shot fired in the U.S., your country lies supine at the feet of this criminal gang of flatheads. Zimbabwe is a crime against Africa. Bushian America is a crime against the world, enabled by the complete abnegation of civic responsibility by all institutions at all levels - aside from a few informed, dolorously plaintive rhetorical questions bruited about the web.

I mean, Kissinger is an unindicted war criminal who played supra-state international relations during an election, bypassing Congress - and the Constitution, with finesse and without consequences. Your president won his first term by stopping the counting of votes. He then proceeded to violate the law by diverting Congressionally mandated funds from Afghanistan - now obviously lost - to Iraq - obviously lost long ago. The government outs its own spies. The media spew the biggest of big lies without pause. But it seems a pol can't get restrained/punished unless its about his dick.

Iran's present power is the result.

It seems only if they'd been caught in a washroom somewhere would there be a hope of a prosecution. or any hope at all. Just letting all this slide will take you only where this small cabal wants your mighty country to go. Historians will have to judge who is responsible - the crooks, or "the people's tribunes."

Spider Rider

"But it seems a pol can't get restrained/punished unless its about his dick."


OK, but if you look at Kissinger as just one part of a larger US world strategy, a long term strategy, he might have unwittingly played the decoy, of sorts.

I suppose I might try to define what it is the US really represents, does it still believe in the principles the founding fathers set, living those?

And if it does, and if Eisenhower's warnings of the military industrial complex were realized as a truth, way back when, (a world constantly at war, one way or another, to maintain American profit and empire, ostensibly), how best to circumvent the detrimental effects, while maintaining US world strategic position, acting within the freely made decisions of others, from a Kissinger to a Clinton, to a Cheney, to a Saudi King, to a Begin, a Putin, or even British Petroleum, say?


All in the nuclear showdow, of course.

Marcus

Kissinger as the genius international chess player reminds me of failed Reaganomics.

The "trickle-down" in both cases is a warm yellow shower by an exclusive constituency on the majority of Americans.

Nicolas de Koenigsberg

Ahhhh, Kissinger. Lets start by this: Kissinger gave the green light for the Argentine dictatorship in 1976 to kill 30000 Argentine citizens. Among them between 2000 and 3000 jewish people. Further, he has also a responsability of the death af at least one US citizen, and the kidnapping and torture of at least six Americans.

Personally, I had death threats, survived a terrorist bombing, and when the military showed upto pick me up from my work place, I had luckily left the country. Now, it is interesting to know that Kissinger and my father both served in the Counter Intelligence Corps. As Secretay of State, one of his fundamental duties was to protect Americans abroad: so let me say this from the bottom of my heart: Fuck Kissinger

And Colonel, please forget my language :0)

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