“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Little Putka - The Apparatchik

George H. Wittman writing in today's American Spectator has some insight into Vladimir Putin that parallels the thinking of the EB:
Western administrations have done their best to fashion a perception of Vladimir Putin as some form of European social democrat. The recent poisoning death of Alexander Litvinenko in London and the gunning down of the anti-Putin journalist Anna Politkovskaya earlier in Moscow, as well as other "wet affairs," have brought that characterization sharply into question. The real issue, however, is why such a benevolent representation ever existed in the first place.

Little "Putka", as he was called by his boyhood friends on the streets of Leningrad, has been a dedicated apparatchik since his school days when his ambition to join the KGB first began. He hasn't changed -- only the world around him changed -- and he has taken advantage of these changes.
Wittman goes on to say that Putin hasn't authorized the recent spate of killings but has fostered an environment where his former KGB cohorts have been allowed to "run wild" on his behalf. Putin, he says would never authorize such a traceable agent such as polonium to be used. Putin, he says, has lost control.
Putin never would have authorized the killing of a loud but lightweight dissident like Litvinenko. Such action placed Putin in a vulnerable leverage position. Additionally he never would have ordered the use of an exotic killing agent in a situation that required "plausible denial."


  1. Radiation poisoning is my new favourite form of assassination.

  2. I have found it very curious what there is in Putin that Bush always found so attractive. I have my theories.

  3. Whit,

    On the postitive side, Putin will neither surprise nor fool.

  4. Wilds said, "Radiation poisoning is my new favourite form of assassination."

    Employees should not be allowed to use the Polonium-210 synthesis lab to heat their lunches.

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