Sunday, January 27, 2008

Putin, Buddy of Bush, Becoming Russia's New Czar

The BBC leads with this headline: Kasyanov barred from Russian poll

Russia's election officials have barred former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov from running as an opposition candidate in the March presidential election. The Central Election Commission (CEC) said there were many invalid signatures in Mr Kasyanov's list of supporters.

Mr Kasyanov served under President Vladimir Putin, but has become one of his staunchest critics. He called on Russians to boycott "this farce".

Mr Putin's chosen successor, Dmitry Medvedev, is expected to win in March. In a statement, Mr Kasyanov said: "There is no doubt that the decision not to register my candidacy was taken personally by Vladimir Putin."

"The country has finally gone on the slippery slope to totalitarianism."


Slippery slope indeed. I hate to bring up the past, but do i recall a certain naive governor of Texas patting Mr. Putin on the back down at the ranch, telling the Americans that he looked into Putin's soul and found it as pure as the driven snow?

Odd, isn't it, how often this naive governor got lots of things wrong. As a matter of fact, I'm trying to think of one or two that he actually got right. Any help out there?

On a more serious note, the fact that Putin is clearly a unifying force [pun intended] for the Russian people does not bode well for our own nation if it hopes to continue to be the world's number one superpower. This, naturally begs the question: why does America always think it needs to be number one in everything, a question my wife asked me recently.

Nonetheless, the thought of another cold war looming ought to be a wake-up call to all of us. I have not doubt that Putin wants to build its military to a point where it can challenge the United States and thereby act as an agent to keep us from world dominance. Apparently neither the naive governor nor his Machiavellian advisers were watching the sleeping bear while they made plans to invade Iraq. So much for geopolitical wisdom.

Interestingly, none of the GOP candidates are watching Russia either, all but Ron Paul vowing to keep our troops planted in Iraq until 'victory' can be achieved. What dopes. Do the American voters know this or will they be once again bamboozled into blind patriotic fervor? John McCain for one is betting on that.
As a side note, that photo was from their first meeting in June 2001; the BBC's headline from that meeting was, Bush and Putin: Best of friends.

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