"We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God." James Madison

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Who else are we inadvertantly fighting?

MDCONSERVATIVE posted this article, and it shook me up.

Back to the Cold War? Putin's Policies Head in a Dark Direction
By Joel Himelfarb May 1, 2007
Read the entire article Here

It's difficult to avoid the impression that with Russia, we may be gravitating toward a new cold war. Flush with cash as a result of soaring energy prices, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin behaves like a man who is utterly unconstrained by "world opinion" (however defined), or the possibility of incurring Washington's wrath. We see Russia's use of heavy-handed coercion against neighboring countries, most of them democracies; and a willingness to undercut U.S. foreign policy interests time and again in dealing with rogue states like Iran and Syria and with terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Russia has joined with China to push for the closing of U.S. military bases in strategically critical Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Moscow and Beijing, who have been cooperating on military intelligence matters since the end of the Cold War, have started conducting joint military exercises -- which they claim are not aimed at any other country -- reassurances that aren't taken too seriously in Washington or Taipei. And Moscow is helping fuel Beijing's military buildup, selling it submarines, jet fighters, destroyers and other advanced weaponry.

While cultivating Beijing, Putin, a man who describes the fall of the Soviet Union as "the geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century," has become increasingly shrill in his attacks against Washington. In a Feb. 10 speech to an international security conference in Munich, he delivered a searing, almost Orwellian attack against the United States. Putin painted a picture of an increasingly brutal, violent world, suggesting that the United States, and not terrorist groups or despots, was to blame. He complained that "unilateral" solutions to problems (in other words, American policies) had resulted in a situation in which principles of international law were disdained in a world in which "nobody felt safe." Why, he asked, "is it necessary nowadays to start bombing and shooting on any given occasion?"

The Russian leader attacked the idea of expanding NATO eastward and accused the United States of triggering an international arms race. "One state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way," Putin said. "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." (It's no great leap to say that, in Moscow's view, Ayatollah Khamenei and Kim Jong Il don't want nuclear weapons in order to intimidate other countries, but because they feel a genuine need to protect themselves from Bush Administration bullying.)

In an effort to respond to Putin's concerns, Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week offered to share a missile defense system with Russia -- much as President Reagan offered to share the Strategic Defense Initiative with the Soviet Union. On Thursday, Putin responded by freezing Moscow's commitments under the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, which was negotiated right after the Cold War. Gen. Yuri Balulyevsky, the Russian military chief of general staff, warned that Russia might launch a military attack on components of the missile defense system deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Read the entire article Here

You see, when I was serving in the USN, we had one enemy: the Soviet Union. All other adversaries were of little consequence. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, I personally felt a great burden lift off. Talking to my buddy Jake tonight, he made and interesting statement: "You can take the man out of the KGB, but you can't take the KGB out of the man." Cleary, Putin is intent on reinstating some form of the Soviet Union because of perceived threats from the U.S.- I was curious as to why we are currently chatting with Poland and the Czech Republic about installing missile defense systems in their countries.

Then to underscore the potential threat, Putin has been in cahoots with Beijing, selling them advanced weaponry, Subs and warships. With all the media attention being directed at the war on terror, it has served as an excellent cover for the nefarious activities of Mr. Putin. This concerns me greatly.