FRIDAY APRIL 17 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Russia to Obama — Drop Dead!
(2) EDITORIAL: Blasphemy at Belsan
(3) EDITORIAL: More Ridiculous Lies from Vladimir Frolov
(4) EDITORIAL: Annals of the Keystone Rooskies
(5) Putin and the Bomb
NOTE: LR founder and publisher Kim Zigfeld’s latest installment of her Russia column on the prestigious American Thinker blog is up and running. In it, she condemns Russia’s horrifying repudiation of the rule of law, focusing on recent statements by the Chief Justice of Russia’s Supreme Court that validate authoritarian rule by the KGB.
NOTE: For those who read Russian, Novaya Gazeta has published its interview with Russian “president” Dima Medvedev. As an early commenter states, he talks much but says nothing. The Moscow Times has an English summary.
Russia to Obama — Drop Dead!
At a news conference in Strasbourg, France following a meeting with French President Nicholas Sarkozy on April 4th, Barack Obama stated in response to a question from an Austrian reporter:
It was also interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There’s a lot of — I don’t know what the term is in Austrian — wheeling and dealing — and, you know, people are pursuing their interests, and everybody has their own particular issues and their own particular politics.
Nobody knows what that term is, Mr. Obama — because there is no “Austrian” language. They speak German in Austria, sir. You need to get out a bit more. Or maybe just reading a tad more widely would do the trick.
It’s just this kind of thing that, quite likely, has led the Russian government to believe that the President of the United States is a moronic patsy, easily duped, and recent events involving Iran tend to confirm this.
Blasphemy at Beslan
Well, it’s another new low for the neo-Soviet Kremlin of Vladimir Putin. Surprise, surprise.
Frolov Plumbs new Depths
Two weeks ago, the streets of Moldova exploded in flames. Thousands of outraged Moldovans took to the streets directly flouting the authority of the Communist regime and sending out echoes of the street protests in Ukraine that marked the famous “orange revolution” that, for the clan of KGB spies that populates the Moscow Kremlin, were terrifying. Russia has been desperately seeking to control the Moldovan state and wedge free a strip of territory along its eastern border in manner very similar to what it tried in Georgia with Abkhazia and Ossetia, with the obvious ultimate goal of resabsorbing the entire country.
The Putin regime reacted with frenzy and panic. Russia’s Foreign Minister wildly accused the protesters of being “pogrom-makers” and state-controlled television portrayed them breathlessly and continuously as criminals and agents of foreign countries.
“The Moscow authorities are afraid of spontaneous mass protests in the regions…and for this reason Russian television is showing what is happening in an exclusively negative light,” said Russian political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin. Yevgeny Volk of the Heritage Foundation agreed: “If the economic situation in Russia deteriorates, such a rebellion could become really possible. Young people will suffer the most from the economic collapse… and this is what the authorities are most afraid of. It’s a serious challenge for the leadership.”
But you’d never know about any of this by reading the crazed rantings of Kremlin stooge Vladimir Frolov in his most recent Moscow Times column.
Annals of the Keystone Rooskies’
It came out earlier this week that Russia had a little bit of trouble with its unmanned drone aircraft during the war with Georgia. Why exactly Russia felt it needed drone aircraft against that tiny country, which has no appreciable airforce, remains unclear.
The point is that it did attempt to fly its home-grown drone, with disastrous and humiliating results. According to Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin: “You could hear it flying from 100 kilometers away.” Meaning that the whole point of the craft, surveillance, was negated. But that wasn’t the worst of it. This Russian drone was proven incapable of identifying itself to Russian guns as friendly, and Russians troops repeatedly opened fire on it. “It returned all shot up,” said Popovkin.
Still not the very worst, though.
Pavel Felgenhauer, writing on the Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasia Daily Monitor, explains why Russia will never give up its nuclear arsenal as Barack Obama seems to hope:
On April 5 President Barack Obama in his speech in Prague, outlined his vision of a nuclear-free world: “This goal will not be reached quickly -perhaps not in my lifetime. It will take patience and persistence. But now we, too, must ignore the voices who tell us that the world cannot change.” Obama argued that if nuclear nations eliminated their arsenals, others would not move to acquire such weapons. He implied that the process of nuclear reduction began in London after a summit with President Dmitry Medvedev when it was agreed to prepare “by the end of this year a legally binding and sufficiently bold” new arms reduction treaty. This treaty, according to Obama “will set the stage for further cuts, and we will seek to include all nuclear weapons states in this endeavor.” He added, “As long as these weapons exist, we will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee that defense to our allies” (AP, April 5).
In the Cold War Russian Communist leaders often used the theme of the elimination of nuclear weapons as a propaganda weapon to prod Western adversaries. Nuclear disarmament per se was never truly considered by the Russian military, but even if the West publicly took up the nuclear disarmament offer at face value, it was considered a safe option: during the Cold War Russia had a clear conventional troop superiority in Europe and an elimination of the nuclear deterrent would have shifted the balance in its favor.
Now the situation is radically different: Russia’s conventional forces are weak and outdated, while Western militaries are in the midst of a military-technical revolution, acquiring new capabilities of precision warfare that the Russians can only dream about. Russia’s nuclear deterrent is seen as practically the only item left that still keeps the country in the league of military superpowers. Safeguarding a credible nuclear deterrent is the main strategic goal of Russian military chiefs, diplomats and political leaders. Obama’s nuclear-free world vision was publicly ignored by the officialdom in Moscow (www.newsru.com, April 7).