Vladimir Putin’s Plan to Create a Eurasian Union Is about Reclaiming the Russian Empire

October 5, 2011

(Libra Bunda / THE DAILY TELEGRAPH): Vladimir Putin is on a roll. Last month, he revealed he was all set to return to the Russian presidency next year, possibly for as long as twelve years. And on Tuesday, he disclosed he was in the process of creating a new global power bloc, the ‘Eurasian Union,’ on the bones of what used to be the Soviet Union. His dream would see Russia again dominating about one fifth of the earth’s surface with an internal market of almost 300 million people. The new union would include authoritarian Kazakhstan and Belarus to begin with before expanding to take in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and then, Mr Putin hopes, other former Soviet republics. Mr Putin did not say so but it is known that he would dearly like to see Ukraine sign up to his master plan. His is a bold idea and one that immediately and unsurprisingly drew admiration from Russian nationalists. Older Russians, who hark after the paternalism and stability of the defunct Soviet Union, are also likely to appreciate the plan. Mr Putin was at pains to say however that his mission was not to recreate the Soviet Union …other countries ruled by strong men like Mr Putin may well see the idea as a good one. They will of course fight to minimise Russian dominance in the new union. But ultimately they may see the new power bloc as a way of enhancing their marginal voices on the global stage and as a mechanism to shore up their authoritarian regimes at a time when dictators are nervously looking over their shoulders. (MORE PAIN)

I feel less threatened and more pity for any confederation of countries that centralize. It might help tyrannical governments feel less threatened by their own populations, but in a time when there is so much economic instability, It’s about the worst thing one can do for one’s economy… no wait… correct that… it is the worst thing for the richer countries economy… the country of deadbeats gets bailed out. Russia has nothing to gain by bringing potential equivalents of Greece into their sphere. Sure… they might be rich in resources, but a centralized structure will quickly abuse those resources. I don’t feel threatened… I feel bad for them. It has not worked for Europe. It is too bad these totalitarian countries can not bring some proportion of human rights into their government because a stable democracy built on natural resources and a healthy amount of cultural guiding through media public relations to push ideas like equal dignity for genders and tolerance for those who don’t threaten to kick your ass would be ideal. Russia seems ok in the gender department, but many of their former satellite states are Muslim.  Good luck with that. While America and Europe are starting to understand that Democracy is not Democracy because someone says so, but rather Democracy is Democracy because government is kept in check, Russia is figuring out a new way to obscure a dictatorship. G-d help them.

Iran Forces Down Airliner and Abducts Passenger, Where’s the Condemnation?

February 27, 2010

On February 23, a Kyrgyzstan Airways flight from Dubai bound for Bishkek was ordered by the Iranian government to land in Iran and a passenger, Abdol Malik Rigi, was taken off in handcuffs. Have you seen it in the newspapers? Is there an emergency session of the UN General Assembly? Are the British or the French or the Australians complaining?

No, they’re too busy beating Israel over the head about the dispatch of a man for whom a violent end should not have been a surprise. But emerging information about the death of Mohammad al Mabouh in Dubai makes the theory that the Mossad was behind al Mabouh’s death less credible every day, and should be making people wonder what’s going on.
First, the emerging information: According to Dubai authorities, more than 20 people were involved in the killing; all of them primped in front of the ubiquitous security cameras; Mabouh appears to have been tortured and left; two of the conspirators left Dubai for Iran (hardly the destination of choice for Israeli agents); and British passports were matched with American credit cards-all very sloppy and un-Mossad-like. Immediately afterward, Jordan extradited two Fatah-related Palestinians to Dubai, where they seem to have disappeared.
But never mind. The Australians summoned the Israeli ambassador to explain why three Australian passports were used. The British are considering suspending intelligence cooperation with Israel (which one do you think will suffer?), and Germany, France and Ireland are demanding answers. And journalists-including Israeli journalists-are feeding the frenzy, denouncing Mossad and insisting without evidence that Israel is behaving as a rogue nation.
In the meantime, a real rogue nation hijacks an airliner and removes a passenger.
Abdul Malik Rigi is the leader of Jundullah, a Sunni group that claims to provide protection to Iran’s Baluch minority; Iran calls it a terrorist organization and accuses Rigi of masterminding a series of bombings, including one that killed 42 people, including six Revolutionary Guard commanders. The Iranians also claim Rigi is an agent of the CIA, to which Rigi attested in a videotaped “confession” shortly after his arrest. The BBC aired the tape, claiming not to know whether the “confession” was “coerced.” You decide:
Rigi claimed to have been contacted shortly after the 2008 election. “The Americans said… that we don’t have a problem with al Qaeda or the Taliban, but the problem is Iran and we don’t have a military program against Iran.” He further claimed that he was promised U.S. support to launch attacks on Iran in return for the release of Jundullah prisoners. “They [Americans] promised to help us and they said that they would co-operate with us, free our prisoners and would give us [Jundullah] military equipment, bombs, machine guns, and they would give us a base.”
Somebody was slick here, and it wasn’t the Mossad. Western intelligence agencies-the heart of the battle against violent Islamic radicalism-are being slimed with the active assistance of Western governments and journalists, and Iran forces down an airliner and abducts a passenger off the plane without a whisper of criticism.