Monday, November 26, 2007

Putin: Mein Plan


I have some larger articles in the works for this week, but wanted to pass along this image from volodymir_k, via a conversation with Megan Case.

Along this line, there is something weirdly insecure about a President who enjoys 60% to 70% approval ratings in his country, pointing the finger at other nation's ghostly support of political fringe candidates in Russia.

Is he really so out of touch with reality as to suggest that a "color revolution" might be in the works in Russia?

The Presidentially election isn't until March, but Dr. Case (inside joke) observes that Russians are already suffering election fatigue from Plan Putina.

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20 comments:

Michael Averko said...

"Along this line, there is something weirdly insecure about a President who enjoys 60% to 70% approval ratings in his country, pointing the finger at other nation's ghostly support of political fringe candidates in Russia.

Is he really so out of touch with reality as to suggest that a 'color revolution' might be in the works in Russia?"

****

Another way of looking at it is that he's not keeping his guard down. In Russia, there're others besides him, who are understandably concerned with the kind of foreign intervention that has been evident in post-Soviet Russia and elsewhere. If left unchecked, it can do wonders. There has been a prior history of somewhat successful US government orchestrated efforts to support circumspect political groups in other countries.

How would many in America respond to opposition (non-democrat/non-Republican) political candidates getting foreign money? This reminds one of a claim made at a recent Russia Profile panel discussion on the current political situation in Georgia. One of the panelists said that Russia was likely fomenting the Georgian opposition, much like how the US NGOs backed the Orange side in 2004 and before. Russia has no NGO activity in Georgia and much of the Georgian anti-Saakashvili opposition isn't so Russia friendly.

At play is a difference in attitude. Russia preferably takes a comparatively non-interventionist approach in the internal affairs of other countries. Upon seeing non-Russian foreign intervention in the FSU, Russia takes a somewhat offended stance.

As per the not so distant comments of Al Gore and Pat Buchanan, the development of democracy in Russia is an ongoing process of ups and downs.

Michael Averko said...

Pardon my not spelling Democrat (American political party related) with a capital D.

Chrisius Maximus said...

I think it;s one-half paranoia brought about by living through the (unexpected) collapse of the USSR and one-half demagogic fear-mongering.

By the by, I think the foreign influences he is worried about are not foreign governments so much as Russians residing abroad (we know who they are). And regardless of what we may think I think it is pretty likely that VVP believes they killed both Politkovskaya and Litvinenko in an attempt to get at him, this indicating there is little they will stop at.

Michael Averko said...

Keeping in mind that there's "demagogic fear mongering" against Russia, which in such instances, often means the Russian government as well.

I'm not so sure of the 50-50 percentage split between the legitimate concerns and outright demagoguery from the Russian position. I believe the former to have more of a presence among Russians.

None other than Stephen Cohen noted that contrary to what some believe, Putin isn't in full control of everything politically going on in Russia. In Russia, it's a tough act for a leader to balance the best interests of the state with what many (especially outside of Russia) consider as basic human rights. Thuis leads back to the prior reference at this thread of what Al Gore and Pat Buchanan said.

On a related note, I was informed that the Steven Sackur did a great job challenging Russian neo-conservative Vladimir Bukovsky on the BBC World Service "HARDtalk" show, not carried in the American market. In America, there's a different version of the BBC aired which goes under the name BBC America. It's not as good when compared to the BBC World Service. CNN is the same. CNN America sucks when compared to CNN International; the latter of which is nevertheless flawed as well.

It's tougher to find such a segment on American mass media aired TV (where most Americans get their news). Also, the main French TV station hasn't been so great with a good portion of its former USSR coverage. As good as it is to hear about the mentioned HARDtalk piece, keep in mind the overall spin in English language mass media. I believe that there're some decent folks at such venues, who feel restricted.

W. Shedd said...

I think the foreign influences he is worried about are not foreign governments so much as Russians residing abroad

He's been specifically citing the U.S. State Department in recent news articles, basically accusing them of manipulating the OSCE vote monitors in order to declare the Russian elections invalid later. "Poking their snotty nose" in our business, was the catchy phrase attributed to him earlier this week.

My personal feeling is he and the Kremlin over-react to protestors/dissidents, such as there are, and thereby makes them appear more legitimate.

Michael Averko said...

The manner of some Western "observers" during the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections left something to be desired in terms of impartiality. Orgs. like Freedom House receive a good deal of US government funding in addition to having friendly American government advocates for their position.

I agree that Kasparov scores a bit of a propaganda coup by getting arrested and playing the victim role. At the same time, it's unrealistically off the wall to view him as a reincarnated Soviet era dissident (like Havel or Walesa), who is being denied a key political role because of a dictatorial quashing of freedom.

This plays into the inaccurate Stalin-Putin linkage, when De Gaulle-Putin is a more viable one.

Based on the past, it's understandable though not fully justifiable to see how some political events are currently evident in Russia. Likewise, it's fair to say that some influential forces in the West seek to enhance certain negatives for their own agenda driven reasons.

Megan Case said...

The presidential election may not be til March, but the parliamentary election is this weekend, that's why there's so much Plan Putina stuff about.

Hopefully I'll have time to write a post about the election before Sunday.

Michael Averko said...

"He's been specifically citing the U.S. State Department in recent news articles, basically accusing them of manipulating the OSCE vote monitors in order to declare the Russian elections invalid later. 'Poking their snotty nose' in our business, was the catchy phrase attributed to him earlier this week."

****

On the OSCE, check out the http://www.bhhrg.org report on Belarus. Be sure to click "Next" marked at the bottom of each page. It's easy to overlook the full extent of the given BHHRG report. Some pointed comments about the OSCE and a certain Democratic Party legal politico. This mentioned reference is by no means the only critical review of the OSCE.

Chrisius Maximus said...

Hey, Megan Case is hot! Rrrowr! We need more better-looking bloggers. (No offense meant Wally. :) )

Yes, true enough as to what VVP has said recently, but I have to wonder if he really believes it. I think it may be a matter of repackaging a perceived (real or unreal) threat in a form more easily expressed in a soundbite.

Then again, OSCE and US statements about foreign elections are so blatantly hypocritical, who knows? He might even be right.

But then again, Putin and Bush are as we know friends, and I doubt they would be so chummy if they really thought they were gunning for each other.

W. Shedd said...

Yes, true enough as to what VVP has said recently, but I have to wonder if he really believes it. I think it may be a matter of repackaging a perceived (real or unreal) threat in a form more easily expressed in a soundbite.

Yes, I am always skeptical of the aggressive public comments that I read from Putin or the Kremlin in general. I believe recently Rice made some reference to the difference in tone in private conversations with Russia, vs. their public words, etc.

Still, the "poking snotty noses" comment stood out.

I doubt Megan would complain about you saying she is hot. Kostia might, but I doubt he is that jealous type. :-)

Chrisius Maximus said...

I am probably a decade or so too old for the fetching young Megan Case anyway. Kostia can rest secure!

I think one should never take anything a politician says in a speech seriously. It does not represent what the person thinks -- it was calculated to elicit a reaction in a particular audience. Thus I am constantly bemused by attempts to pick apart public statements by Bush, Putin, etc. in a search for their real intentions or motives. There is nothing to be found.

I think the people in Washington and Moscow have an understanding that they are going to speak bullshit about each other in public for largely domestic political reasons. What they say in public does not matter. What they say to each other in private does.

PS. feel better!

Megan Case said...

Are you making fun of me? I don't even have any hot pictures on my blog.

Chrisius Maximus said...

Nah, that's a good picture in front of the bay.

Megan Case said...

I'm not as young as people seem to think, either.

Chrisius Maximus said...

Hey, I'm going through a pre-mid-life crisis. I notice these things.

Holy Crap, what will the actual midlife crisis be like?!

Michael Averko said...

Putin gets top vote in Moldova
http://www.tiraspoltimes.com/node/1458

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