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IF BUSH OR RICE WERE SMART SMART THEY WOULD ACCEPT PUTIN'S OFFER, TO BAD THEY AREN'T

June 26 2007 at 2:42 AM
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By Mark N. Katz Jun 25, 2007, 22:08 GMT

WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) -- Vladimir Putin`s offer to contribute the Soviet-era radar installation in Azerbaijan to a ballistic missile defense system aimed at rogue states was not only a surprise to the United States, but also to Iran.

Russian-U.S. relations had been growing extremely acrimonious over the Bush administration`s plan to defend against a possible Iranian missile attack by deploying 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a tracking station in the Czech Republic. The Kremlin argued that this could become the basis of a larger missile defense system in Eastern Europe aimed at Russia. The Bush administration, though, was not willing to back down from this plan for the sake of preventing the further deterioration of Russian-American relations. Putin`s offer of the Russian radar installation in Azerbaijan as part of a joint Russian-American ballistic system, by contrast, is an attempt at just this -- as well as an effort to prevent the United States from creating such a system that Moscow finds objectionable in Poland and the Czech Republic.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has already stated that the United States will not accept Putin`s offer if it means giving up the planned deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic. But was this wise? For Putin`s offer represents a clear statement by Moscow that it too considers Iran to be a threat, and wants protection against an attack from it. Washington has long been annoyed at how close Russia`s relations with Tehran have been. By making this offer, however, Putin is clearly signaling that he is now willing to downplay Russia`s ties to Iran in exchange for improved relations with the United States.

This is certainly how many Iranians see Putin`s offer. The Iranian Majlis (parliament) has already criticized Putin`s offer. Several Iranian commentators see Moscow attempting to improve its relations with the West at Iran`s expense. The Iranian Foreign Ministry has attempted to put a brave face on the matter by downplaying its importance. Even then, its spokesman noted that 'we will follow up the case in our next talks with Moscow.'

Should the United States at least consider Putin`s offer? Many have put forth reasons for not doing so. Some have argued that the Russian radar in Azerbaijan is too old to be useful, that it is located too close to Iran to provide the full coverage of the country that one further away in the Czech Republic would allow, and that the United States neither can nor should rely on Russia when it comes to safeguarding both Europe and America.

There are, however, strong counter-arguments to each of these. While the Russian radar in Azerbaijan may be old and too close to Iran to be useful, even more modern American ballistic missile defense systems -- as numerous tests have shown -- are extremely unreliable. This being the case, there can be little assurance that the proposed system that the Bush administration wants to install in Poland and the Czech Republic would work anyway.

In addition, public opinion in Poland and the Czech Republic is opposed to Bush`s plan. Attempting to implement it, then, would not necessarily solidify the U.S. alliance with these countries and Europe generally, but damage it.

Finally, it is not clear that Iran actually has the capacity to launch a missile attack on the West or that Tehran would do so if it did. As wild as many of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad`s statements have been, it is highly likely he understands that such an attack would lead to a swift, devastating retaliation.

This puts in perspective the question of relying on Russia to protect U.S. and European security. Both because ballistic missile defense systems are not particularly reliable and because Iran is not likely to launch an attack for fear of overwhelming retaliation anyway, Russian reliability is not so crucial. On the other hand, the deterioration in Russian-Iranian relations likely to result from Russian-U.S. cooperation on a ballistic missile defense system that is essentially directed against Iran would make such cooperation worthwhile.

For while the Russian-American ballistic missile system may not be all that reliable, Tehran will be less concerned about this than the fact that Russia and America are cooperating against it. For this reason alone, the United States should not say 'no' to Putin`s offer.

(Mark N. Katz is a professor of government and politics at George Mason University.)

http://news.monstersandcritics.com/usa/features/article_1322375.php/Outside_View_America_Russia_and_Iran

 
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AuthorReply

Re: IF BUSH OR RICE WERE SMART SMART THEY WOULD ACCEPT PUTIN'S OFFER, TO BAD THEY AREN'T

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June 26 2007, 2:52 AM 

This writer makes some great points. Russia is ready and willing to toss its relationship with Iran in the trash to improve ties with the US. But he is no longer happy with the junior partner status. Taking up Putin's offer of US and Russian Cooperation in Azerbajian against the "supposed" Iranian missile threat is a signal that Russia is willing to cooperate with Washington in return for the Bush administration not trying to antagonize the Russians. Bush, Gates, Rice, and of course Darth Cheney can't see the importance of this offer. THE WRITER ALSO STATES THAT IRAN DOESN'T HAVE THE CAPABILITY, OR THE DESIRE TO SHOOT MISSILES AT EUROPE, UNLIKE THE LIARS BUSH AND NETANYAHU CLAIM. BUT HE GOES ON TO SAY THAT PUTTING MISSILE DEFENSE IN POLAND IS A SHOT ACROSS RUSSIA'S BOW. FURTHERMORE, THE US REJECTION OF THIS PLAN SERVES ANOTHER PURPOSE THAT THIS WRITER IS NOT SHREWD ENOUGH TO RECOGNIZE. IT IS A TEST, A FEELER BET TO SEE IF THIS EASTERN EUROPEAN SYSTEM IS DIRECTED AT RUSSIA OR DIRECTED AT IRAN. WITH BUSH'S PLACEMENT OF THIS PROGRAM, BUSH HAS SIGNALED WHO THE REAL NEOCON TARGETS OF THIS SYSTEM ARE, THE RUSSIANS. AND MORE SO THEY JUST TIPPED THEIR HAND TO THE CHESS MASTER IN THE KREMLIN, AND DON'T WORRY I AM SURE HE IS PLANNING HIS COUNTERMOVES. BUSH EXPOSED HIS TRUE INTENTIONS TO PUTIN AND TO EVERYONE WHO UNDERSTANDS GEOPOLITICS. NO ONE BUYS THIS BS IRAN BOGEYMAN JUSTIFICATION.

Bush is playing a dangerous game with the Russians, and he is not the kind of guy I trust in a global game of strategy. His advisors are so ideological that they are borderline insane. (see Cheney)The Russians were testing him with this offer. Look at Bush's actions from the Russian perspective. Bush is building bases and alliances all throughout the former Soviet Union republics in Central Asia. Bush the oil man is signing deals in the new Caspian energy producing basin and is simultaneously attempting to gain control of the pipeline distribution route through US friendly territory. Now Bush wants to put missile defense in Poland (Russia's old stomping grounds)that are aimed at a nonexistant Iranian missile threat to Europe. Now you offer to cooperate and put the radar right next door to Iran; and Bush refuses, why? Well the Russians now know the answer thanks to the Bush administrations complete lack of strategic thinking.

 
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Iceman

IF BUSH OR RICE WERE SMART SMART THEY WOULD ACCEPT PUTIN'S OFFER, TO BAD THEY AREN'T

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June 26 2007, 5:19 AM 

You are absolutely and totally correctPOL. But of course Putin is a classic in leadership and political gamery. Bush is a Texas clutz. The issue of oil throughout the entire old Soviet Union has been classic knowledge from the days of the Third reich. It is now a scientific fact. (Oh **** I used those nasty words: "scientific fact"). The new pipeline(primarily a Chevron/Texaco effort) is finished and oil profits are now roaring into Russia, primarily from China and India. The next step is to value oil on the euro and not the dollar, which is one of the things Iran has been kicking around but hesitateing on due to the U.S. efforts at starting a war with them. If Bush continues with his threat to build this rediculious uneeded missle system that could become a Putin step. If it happens gas in the U.S. will immediately go to $4.50 a gallon. I personally think the only reason it hasn't happened thus far is because of the blame issue. Would the U.S. blame Iran or Russia if one of them did it. A indefinate but if either nation believes it would fall on Bush it will happen quickly.

I have laughed at america's idiocy over the Bush-Putin relationship for years. Putin farts and tells Bush its a sausage stand across the street and Bush believes it gets hungry and buys sausage. Meanwhile the old Soviet plutonium generators are winding up for a new and better product.

Gret Post - again.

 
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Re: IF BUSH OR RICE WERE SMART SMART THEY WOULD ACCEPT PUTIN'S OFFER, TO BAD THEY AREN'T

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June 26 2007, 7:15 AM 

The funniest thing ever was when Bush said that he could read Putin's soul. Look, I have problems with a lot of what Putin has done, although I don't support Bush's policy to antagonize them at every turn and push them into a new strategic alliance with Iran and or China. This has already to a lesser extent already taken place. At the end, of the day the Neocon quest for world domination has to capture the world's energy and natural resources. Russia is a world leader in virtually every valuable mineral, fossil fuel, lumber, and precious stones or metals. In the 90s, they suffered from falling commodity prices, but they are slowly starting to gain importance as a result of the inflationary prices of this decade.

The New Russia isn't our bitch anymore, and never really was, but Bush is trying to treat them that way while having them "cooperate". The Neocon idea of "cooperation" is the equivalent of the shower gang rape scene in American History X with Ed Norton. Afterwards, you want vomit and your ass is sore. Their cooperation with Russia includes stringing bases across their sphere of influence, cutting them out of Iraqi oil deals, trying to cut them out of the Caspian pipeline, abrogating and violating various nuclear test ban treaties. We ignored them with Nato expansion and now Putin is sending a clear message, that this type of antagonistic behavior from their perspective can not be tolerated. The rest of the world isn't going to just sit back and let you rule them because they think American's are the greatest thing since blowjobs and pizza delivery. Our nationalism will invariably spur other people's nationalism.

 
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iceman

IF BUSH OR RICE WERE SMART SMART THEY WOULD ACCEPT PUTIN'S OFFER, TO BAD THEY AREN'T

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June 27 2007, 12:07 AM 

POL: Stirring nationalism among the people of old Russia, the Former Soviets and the new alliances can happen for almost no reason. Very determined and tough people. As for Bush reading Putin or anyone else: She-it man! He can't even understand or get along with his wife and kids. Laura wants to dump him and his kids don't want anything to do with him. Don't know what that tells you, but it explains an awful lot to me about this Jerk.

 
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pissedofflawyer

Re: IF BUSH OR RICE WERE SMART SMART THEY WOULD ACCEPT PUTIN'S OFFER, TO BAD THEY AREN'T

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June 27 2007, 11:56 PM 

Putin's war whoop: The impending clash with Russia
By Mike Whitney
Online Journal Contributing Writer


Jun 26, 2007, 01:31

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“What is a ‘unipolar’ world?

It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign -- one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign power itself because it destroys itself from within.

It has nothing in common with democracy, which is the power of the majority in respect to the interests and opinions of the minority.

“In Russia, we are constantly being lectured about democracy. But for some reason those who teach us do not want to learn themselves,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his address to the Munich Conference on Security Policy 2-10-07

The deployment of the US Missile Defense System in Eastern Europe is a de facto declaration of war on the Russian Federation. As Russian President Putin said in a recent press conference, “If this missile system is put in place, it will work automatically with the entire nuclear capability of the United States. It will be an integral part of the US nuclear capability.” This will disrupt the current configuration of international security and force Russia to begin work on a new regime of tactical nuclear weapons. This is a very serious development. Russia will now have to rethink its current policy vis a vis the United States and develop a long-range strategy for fending off further hostile encroachments into former-Soviet states by NATO.

Welcome to the new Cold War.

Putin cannot ignore the gravity of the proposed system or the threat it poses to Russia ’s national security. Bush’s missile defense is not defensive at all, but offensive. It thrusts US military bases -- with nuclear infrastructure and radar -- up to Russia ’s doorstep giving the US a clear advantage in “first-strike” capability. That means that Washington will be able to intimidate Russia on issues that are of critical international importance. Putin cannot allow this. He must force Bush to remove this dagger held to Moscow ’s throat.

Bush’s pyrrhic victory at the G-8

The central issues on the docket at the G-8 meetings were downplayed in the media. The press primarily focused its attention on the “anticipated” conflict between Bush and Putin. But, the brouhaha never materialized; both were respectful and gracious.

President Bush, however, was adamant that his plan for missile defense in the Czech Republic and Poland would go ahead according to schedule. Putin, for the most part remained politely silent. His objections were censored in the media.

But less than 10 hours after the closing ceremonies of the G-8, Putin fired off the first salvo in what will certainly be remembered as “the war that brought down the Empire.”

Putin addressed 200 corporate leaders at the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg and his comments left little doubt that he had already settled on a plan for countering Bush’s missile shield in the Czech Republic.

Putin’s speech articulated his vision of a “Moscow-centered” new world order which would create a “new balance of power” -- less dependent on Washington.

He said, “The new architecture of economic relations requires a completely new approach. Russia intends to become an alternative global financial center and to make the ruble a reserve currency for central banks.”

“The world is changing before our eyes.” Countries that yesterday seemed hopelessly behind are today the fastest growing economies of the world. Institutions such as the World Trade Organization and the IMF are “archaic, undemocratic and inflexible.” They don’t “reflect the new balance of power.”

Putin's speech is defiant rejection of the present system. We can be sure that it has not passed unnoticed by anxious mandarins in the US political establishment. Russia is announcing the beginning of an asymmetrical war; designed to cripple the United States economically, weaken the institutions which have traditionally enhanced its wealth, and precipitate a shift of global power away from Washington.

Putin’s challenge to the US dollar is particularly worrisome. He emphasizes the inherent unfairness of the current system, which relies almost entirely on the dollar and which has an extremely negative effect on many smaller countries’ economies and financial reserves.

"There can be only one answer to this challenge,” he said. “The creation of several world currencies and several financial centers.”

Putin’s remarks are a direct attack on the dollar and its position as the de facto international currency. He imagines a world where goods and resources are traded in rubles or “baskets of currencies” -- not just greenbacks. This would create greater parity between the countries and, hence, a more even distribution of power.

Putin's vision is a clear threat to America ’s ongoing economic dominance. Already, in the last few months, Norway, Iran, Syria, UAE, Kuwait, and Venezuela have announced that they are either cutting back on their USD reserves or converting from the greenback to the euro or a “basket of currencies.” Dollar hegemony is at the very center of American power, and, yet, the downturn is visible everywhere. If the dollar loses its place as the world’s “reserve currency,” the US will have to pay down its monstrous current account deficit and live within its means. America will lose the ability to simply print fiat money and use it in exchange for valuable resources and manufactured goods. Putin is now openly challenging the monetary system that provides the flow of oxygen to the American superpower.

Can he carry it off?

What kind of damage can Russia really inflict on the dollar or on the many lofty sounding organizations (WTO, World Bank, IMF, NATO and Federal Reserve) which prop up the US Empire?

Russia’s power is mushrooming. Its GDP is leaping ahead at 8 percent per annum and by 2020 Russia will be among the five biggest economies in the world. It now has the third largest Forex reserves in the world and it is gradually moving away from the anemic dollar to euros and rubles. Nearly 10 percent of its wealth is currently in gold.

Russia has also overtaken Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading supplier of petroleum. It produces 13 percent of the world’s daily output and has the world’s largest reserves of natural gas. In fact, Putin has worked energetically to create the world’s first Natural Gas cartel -- an alliance between Russia, Qatar, Iran and Algeria. The group could potentially control 40 percent of the world’s remaining natural gas and set prices as it sees fit.

Putin’s ambitions are not limited to the energy sector either -- although he has strengthened the country by turning away foreign investment and “re-nationalizing” vital resources.

As Pavel Korduban says in his recent article “Putin Harvests Political Dividends from Russian Economic Dynamism,” Putin intends to expand beyond energy and focus on technological modernization: “The shift in official discourse to ‘innovations’ reflects an attempt to reorient economic policy from the goal of consolidating the status of ‘energy superpower’ to the emphasis on industrial modernization and catching up with the technological revolution. The key role in formulating this new policy is given to Sergei Ivanov, who promised that by the year 2020 Russia would gain leadership (measured as 10 percent of the world market) in such high-technology sectors as nuclear energy, shipbuilding, aircraft, satellites and delivery systems, and computer software.”

Putin has also strengthened ties with his Central Asian neighbors and engaged in “cooperative” military maneuvers with China.

“Last month it signed deals with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to revive the Soviet-era united system of gas pipelines, which will help Russia strengthen its role of the monopoly supplier from the region.” (Reuters) He has transformed the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) into a formidable economic-military alliance capable of resisting foreign intervention in Central Asia by the United States and NATO.

The CIS is bound to play a major role in regional issues as the real motives behind the “war on terror” are exposed and America's geopolitical objectives in Central Asia become clearer. So far, Washington has established its military bases and outposts throughout the region with impunity. But the mood is darkening in Moscow and Beijing and there may be changes in the future. We should also remember that Putin is surrounded by ex-KGB agents and Soviet-era hardliners. They’ve never trusted America's motives and now they can point to the new US bases, the “colored-coded” revolutions, the broken treaties and the projected missile defense system to prove that Uncle Sam is “up to no good.”

Putin sees himself as leading a global insurgency against the US Empire. He represents the emerging-market economies of China, India and Brazil. These four nations will progressively overtake the “old order.” Last year 60 percent of the world's output was produced outside the G-7 countries. According to Goldman Sachs, by 2050, Brazil, Russia, India and China will be the world's leading economies.

The transition from “superpower rule” is already underway. The centers of geopolitical power are shifting like giant tectonic plates. The trend is irreversible. The deployment of Bush’s missile defense system will only hasten the decline of the “unipolar model” by triggering an asymmetrical war, where Forex reserves, vital resources and political maneuvering will be used as the weapons of choice.

War with Russia is pointless and preventable. There are better choices than confrontation.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_2125.shtml

 
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pissedofflawyer

Re: IF BUSH OR RICE WERE SMART SMART THEY WOULD ACCEPT PUTIN'S OFFER, TO BAD THEY AREN'T

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June 28 2007, 12:00 AM 

Just an update on Bush's assinine European missile defense scheme. A very interesting article, talking about how Russia is convinced (primarily by the actions of the Bush administration) that America is hostile to it and that the American economic and political hegemony needs to be ended. The Russians, are moving to have all international commodity sales take place in rubles and foreign currency bundles not US dollars. Many other nations are following suit, this is a death blow for our economy. All foreign countries would hold dollars in reserve as the international currency, the dollar looses even a little bit of its international standing and we are going to see massive inflation in the US as ten of billions possibly trillions of foreign reserves of dollars get dumped for Euros, Rubles, Yen, and Swiss Francs. Meaning that all of sudden all of our bank accounts and assets that are valued in dollars will just tumble in value.

 
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pissedofflawyer

Re: IF BUSH OR RICE WERE SMART SMART THEY WOULD ACCEPT PUTIN'S OFFER, TO BAD THEY AREN'T

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June 28 2007, 12:55 AM 

JUST SO YOU GUYS KNOW I AM NOT MAKING IT UP, I WROTE THIS FIRST, AND THEN LATER I FOUND THIS GUY WHO IS LITERALLY STATING WORD FOR WORD THE SAME ARGUMENT I MADE A WEEK AGO. THEY DON'T CALL ME NOSTRAFREAKINGDAMUS FOR NOTHING:

Mr. Putin's suggestion that Washington drop plans for missile defense facilities in Europe, and instead cooperate with Russia by sharing a leased radar station in Azerbaijan, was a diplomatic masterstroke.

The suggestion puts the United States in a lose-lose situation. Should Mr. Bush refuse Mr. Putin's offer, he would risk further provoking Moscow. Russian lawmakers have said a refusal would reveal Washington's true intentions: to target not possible missiles from Iran - the American rational for the program - but missiles from Russia. On the other hand, should Mr. Bush accept Mr. Putin's offer, it will appear that Moscow can dictate terms to Washington and Brussels.



http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.putin24jun24,0,1740985.story?coll=bal-oped-headlines

THIS GUY WORD FOR WORD IS WRITING THE SAME THING THAT I WROTE A WEEK AGO, SHEET THE BALTIMORE SUN SHOULD HIRE ME. BUSH GOT TOTALLY OUTMANUEVERED BY PUTIN, AND EVERYONE CAN SEE IT IS CLEAR AS DAY.

 
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