July 12, 2009 — Contents

MONDAY JULY 12 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  Obaby Makes a Mess in Moscow

(2)  Another Original LR Translation:  Into the Russian Cesspit

(3)  Medvedev’s “Ludicrous” Nuke Deal with Obama

(4)  Obama’s Historical Ignorance Exposed

(5)  Russia has already been Defeated by NATO

NOTE:  The Georgian Daily newspaper has republished our latest editorial about the failure of the Russian economy.  We’re delighted to offer any support we can to the besieged people of Georgia as they struggle against Russian aggression.

NOTE: In yet another bitter humiliation for Putin’s Russia, its male tennis team has been eliminated 0-3 from the Davis Cup competition by — of all countries — lowly Israel.  Ouch.

7 responses to “July 12, 2009 — Contents

  1. David Ignatius has a great column in The Washington Post that sums up quite nicely what La Russophobe and others have been saying here for years. His conclusion:

    “High oil prices convinced Russians that they live in a rich country. Their best economic hope is to admit that they don’t — and to adopt the tough modernization policies that have brought real prosperity to countries such as South Korea and Malaysia. Otherwise, says Inozemtsev, oil-rich Russia will “end up in a mess like Venezuela, Nigeria or Angola.”

    In last week’s summit with President Obama, Russia’s leaders asked to be taken seriously as a global player. But until they fix their economy, this will remain an empty demand. The numbers show that today’s Russia is a declining power, not a rising one. ”

    Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/10/AR2009071002931.html

  2. The article is indeed excellent.

    It also points out that Russian industrial production has declined from 1994 to 2008, and the rooshan bureaucracy is incapable of managing anything more sophisticated than an oil well.

    And they are bungling even that, even though petro income managed to mask that for a while.

    “As if running the clock backward,” she says, Putin decided that “modernization should be started only when he held tight all the controls.”

  3. Otherwise, says Inozemtsev, oil-rich Russia will “end up in a mess like Venezuela, Nigeria or Angola.”

    Not will, but, when.

    Their banks are riddled with bad loans, investors are dumping emerging market stocks and aren’t going to be putting any capital into Russia any time soon, inflation is out of control and there are no good ideas in the Kremlin.

    13% inflation alone is a huge wealth killer for anyone that made it into the middle class the past decade.

    The sad part is that Ivan Sixpack as economically challenged as he is and spoon fed the Putin network’s swill will draw the wrong conclusion that the Kremlin couldn’t have averted this.

  4. Here is a historical case that is quite relevant to Russia: Argentina. In the 1920s, Argentina was one of the ten richest countries. It was richer than Canada and Australia, and almost as rich as France, and its per capita GDP was actually higher than either France or Italy. Today, in nominal GDP, Argentina ranks 30th. What happened?

    Well according to a nice article by the FT:

    “The Depression brought FDR and a more active federal government to the US. To Argentina it brought dictatorship. Nationalism and self-sufficiency became attractive; hapless democratic governments passing power ineffectually between each other did not. The man who came to embody the new doctrine, Juan Perón, was one of the leaders of a military coup in 1943. He became president in 1946 and projected an ­assertive, disciplined nationalism. He encouraged a cult of personality and urged Nazi-style economic self-sufficiency and “corporatism” – a strong government, organised labour and industrial conglomerates jointly directing and managing growth. These ideas came to the US, too, but few took them seriously.”

    Does this sound familiar?

    The one excerpt of course does not do this piece justice, but if you read it looking at the parallels between Argentina and its fall and contemporary Russia, you will notice some stark similarities.

    Source: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/778193e4-44d8-11de-82d6-00144feabdc0.html

  5. Thanks, Michel.

    You know what’s sad and scary, Putin will probably survive his mismanagement. There isn’t a readily available Plan B for the public to put in place even if they wanted. It was the same situation in Argentina that the opposition didn’t have the strengh to overtake Perone. They are much weaker and more fragmented in Russia.

    Unless there is some incredible off of the radar event abruptly dismantling the siloviki, Russia continues its decline.

  6. A group of British academics including the historian Orlando Figes and the poet and translator Robert Chandler have spoken out after authorities in Russia closed down a website dealing with the country’s controversial Soviet past.

    On 19 June the home affairs ministry in St Petersburg shut down the site http://www.hrono.info. The website had been Russia’s largest online history resource, widely used by scholars in Russia and elsewhere as a unique source of biographical and historical material.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/13/russia-shuts-history-website

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