Monday, December 3, 2007
Russia's great leader, the dictator
"Elections" were held in Russia today, and Russian President Vladimir Putin's party won big, taking more than 64% of the vote amid claims of fraud and intimidation. Opposition leaders are calling the election "unfair" and the west--the US and Europe--don't seem to know what to do. Putin's party now controls 350 seats of the 450 seat parliament, pretty much making the outgoing president a dictator by proxy. By rigging the elections, which the results show most likely happened, Putin can maintain his grip on power. Now, this situation in Russia obviously has nothing to do with the Russia we were dealing with in the past. In fact, the communists came in with only 11.6% of the vote, making an ideolgoy that once imposed fear and hopelessness throughout the world a victim of a new movement--a movement led by Vladimir Putin and his team of KGB buddies. Putin is also a harsh critic of the United States and the War in Iraq, even though his administration bombed the chechen people with a ferocity far greater than anything the United States has done in Iraq, and has been aiding Iran in their quest to go nuclear. Not to mention, over the past few years, people have had a tendency to die if they speak out against Putin and the KGB. Just look at Alexander Litvenenko, one of Putin's biggest critics, who was poisoned and subsequently died last year, along with about a dozen other Kremlin critics. In his book, "Blowing Up Russia", Litvenenko even alleges that the KGB carried out the 1999 Apartment bombings, which left hundreds dead and was widely blamed on Chechan militants. Looking at these events, it seems that Putin is a dangerous man who is more than likely than not up to no good.
So what does this mean for the world?
Some political analysts have suggested that Putin and his party want even more power throughout the international community, which is why Russia is alligning itself with oil-rich countries like Iran. By bringing Iran under its wing, Russia can get on top of the Middle Eastern country's vast oil reserves, in addition to the huge quantities it sits on top of already. With the current regime still in power, more weapons are sure to be flowing to Syria, Sudan, and Venezuela. Remember, Syria's missile defense systems are Russian-made, and the Russians supply many of these despotic governments with guns and fighter jets. Russian oppostionists will probably be in the cross-hairs of the KGB, and if I were Garry Kasparov, the chess player turned Putin critic, I would be scared right now. But perhaps one of the biggest worries is Russia's nuclear arsonal, which Putin has suggested could grow. The former Soviet Union has thousands of aging nuclear warheads just lying around, which creates a very real threat of terrorists like Al-Qaeda or Chechen groups acquiring a nuclear warhead. Putin, who himself faces a growing Islamist threat, should be worried about this almost as much as the West should be. The media is too busy salavating over an intelligence report suggesting Iran "may not" be building nuclear weapons to want to report on this danger that in the long run could prove to be even more threatening to global security.
As I write this, I have the O'Reilly Factor on in the background. A moment ago, Pat Buchanan was on whining about China and how China is a growing threat to the United States. Well, China is having its own infaltion problems as well as energy issues. Everyone's complaining about the Chinese, but we have put Russia on the backburner. The Russians are definitely back on stage, and don't seem like their going to wait for the War on terrorism to end before they advance their agenda. The world seems to be getting more dangerous everyday and it looks like things have the potential to get a lot worse before they get better. On one side, we have a war to win in Iraq. In Afghanistan, the Taliban have re-emerged and an Al-Qaeda presence is making itself known. Islamic miliants threaten Pakistan's stability, while genocide is raging in Darfur. Somalia has fallen back into civil war. Islamic terrorists continue to threaten American and European security and Iran still enriches uranium. Now we're dealing with our old enemies--the Russians, only instead of communists we have the dictatorial United Russian party of Vladimir Putin. I find it funny that the American government condemns Pakistani president Musharraf for imposing a state of emergwncy while his nation is under fire, but has little to say about our great ally, President Putin. We need to face the truth and accept that what Putin is doing is not going to benefit the international community, no matter how much we want to believe the Russians are on our side and are looking out for our best intersts. If he paid attention, even Ron Paul could see what's going on here.
This video from NBC news sums up the situation we're dealing with in Russia pretty well. I'm disappointed they chose to overblow the Iran report instead of cover this very big story tonight though. A country like Russia falling into the grip of a dictatorship is a big problem, and whether or not the press wants to cover it, the repercussions will ripple across the globe.