Saturday, March 03, 2007

Putin the New Tony Soprano

So George Bush looked into the soul of Vladmir Putin 5 years ago on his ranch and came back suitably convinced that his new buddy Vladmir was a good guy. Well what a difference five years makes. Putin is now riding a great wave, flushed with petro dollars as the price of oil has skyrocketed, he is not shy to flex his muscle and his mouth it would seem. He is crushing reform and dissent.

He is the undoubted capo di touti capo of Russia. His enemies are jailed or exiled. Personal freedom is checked. The Russian GDP is growing at fast rate and his personal poularity is high. Power is safely held by his ex KGB and Kremlinite friends and the US has been caught on the backfoot - not really looking like a superpower as they get bogged down in Iraq.

He has also cannily recognized that ME instability keeps oil prices high. Since his power comes from high oil prices it is logical that he will do everything he can to continue to keep things unstable. Hence the support of Iran's "peaceful" nuclear ambitions and the deadlock in the Security Council on what to do with them as they continue to blatantly thumb their noses at the world community.

Mr Putin told senior security officials from around the world that nations were “witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations. One state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way.....This is very dangerous. Nobody feels secure anymore because nobody can hide behind international law, This is nourishing an arms race with the desire of countries to get nuclear weapons.”

Tough talk but absolutely dead on......


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