A New Low for Russia
It’s simply stunning the depths to which the failed state that is Vladimir Putin’s Russia is prepared to sink these days. Just as in Soviet times, it’s as if Russia has totally lost touch with its perception in the outside world, or simply doesn’t care how it humiliates itself.
We refer of course to Russia’s effort to buy the recognition of its imperialist aggression against Georgia by the tiny island nation of Nauru — population 14,000 — for the shocking price of $50 million.
After more than a year of international lobbying, Russia could not get any nation in the world to endorse the independence of Ossetia other than the rogue states of Venezuela and Nicaragua (both of which, “coincidentally,” soon afterwards signed huge arms/energy deals with Russia on highly favorable terms). Nauru, which the LA Times refers to as an “8-square-mile rock somewhere northeast of Papua New Guinea” has just one claim to fame: So many birds have crapped on it that it’s rich in phosphate fertilizers.
The LAT points out that the USA, too, has paid for influence in Micronesia, but there are two huge differences.
First, for the U.S. it’s icing, not cake. The U.S. already stand at the head of a massive intercontinental military alliance and it received international approval to move against Iraq. Russia stands utterly alone, and it acted unilaterally against Georgia. So when Russia stoops the the pathetic sham of buying influence from an obscure tiny island, it simply emphasizes its total diplomatic failure.
And second, the US is an economic powerhouse with a very high standard of living. It can throw away $50 million on a project like this without breaking a sweat. But Russia simply can’t. Russia doesn’t rank in the top 135 nations of the world for adult lifespan, and its people work for slave wages. As Streetwise Professor notices, Russians don’t even eat very well. There are thousands of projects in Russia which would benefit from $50 million, Russia doesn’t have it to spare, from smoking education to nutrition to healthcare.
But none of that matters to the dictator Vladimir Putin. Like his Soviet predecessors, he simply doesn’t care what happens to the people of the country, nor does he care indeed about reality. He’s content to live in a bizarre world entirely comprised of his own fantasies and, like the infamous Emperor with his “new clothes,” to shoot dead anyone who would dare rouse him.