“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."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Russia Unhinged, Needlessly.

It does not take much to rattle the inner paranoia so close and near to the Russian heart. It is always there. I don't know why it is there and to be honest it is not important. It is and that is all that matters. The Clinton and Bush Administrations needlessly and recklessly were too much in Russia's face. Nato expansion, Kosovo and missile defense were all pursued with an abandonment of thought. The thinking should have been simple, "What is the upside and what is the downside of various acts towards Russia?"

Was the expansion of Nato necessary to make Europe safer and did it make for a more reliable military partner? One only has to look at the paltry, timid and anemic participation of Germany in the Afghan war to come to the conclusion that the trade was a bad one.

The downside is apparent. Russia has become unnecessarily agitated. Nato has not been strengthened and neither has US security. The US taxpayer will foot the bill for another three or four hundred billion in unnecessary military systems that will never be used for a problem that need not to have existed. 

We won the Cold War at a considerable cost with remarkably few casualties. It is a victory and peace that should have been understood and built upon. Instead we have non-problems being raised to a crisis of confidence. What fools we have for those that rule us.

General says U.S. looking for fight

By Mike Eckel The Washington Times
December 16, 2007


MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's top military officer yesterday accused the United States of seeking direct confrontation with Moscow and warned again that U.S. plans to deploy missile defenses in Europe would destabilize the continent.

Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky spoke at a joint press conference along with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak, who repeated that Russia would not increase troop levels on its western border even after suspending participation in a key arms treaty.

Among the issues that have most undermined Russian-U.S. relations in recent years is a U.S. plan to put elements of a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic — former Warsaw Pact members that have joined NATO.

Russia has claimed the system will be used to spy on Russian missile and military forces; Washington says it will help defend Europe from a potential missile attack from Iran.

Gen. Baluyevsky said the U.S. missile defense plan would destabilize Europe and he repeated sharp warnings that Russia would respond in some fashion.

"We plan and, depending on the situation, will take appropriate and asymmetric measures aimed at preventing the deterioration of our defense capability," Gen. Baluyevsky was quoted as saying by Interfax. There was no explanation of what he meant by asymmetric.

Gen. Baluyevsky, the chief of Russia's general staff, said U.S. Defense Department policies continued to challenge Moscow openly.

"The question of confrontation with Russia, mildly speaking, including direct confrontation, unfortunately has not been struck from the agenda by my colleagues at the Pentagon," he told reporters. He did not elaborate.
On Wednesday, Moscow formally suspended participation in the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe treaty, which limits the deployment of tanks, aircraft and other heavy weapons across the Continent.

Officials have said the moratorium was not a threat, but rather an effort to persuade NATO nations to ratify a 1999 update of the pact.

Mr. Kislyak repeated that Russia did not intend to increase its force levels on the western border despite the moratorium.


  1. I don't think they are unhinged, needlessly or not. I think it's all hot air. They know they have nothing to fear from the west. But we should't needlessly poke them, and they should't be enabling Iran. I noticed their incoming guy said well maybe in 200, 300 years, when we can all vote from our homes(whatever that meant?) we'll get around to western style democracy! There's got to be some country on earth where things are looking up, but where?

  2. I always figured the EU was a KGB pet project. I doubt it will be long before Russia makes itself full member of the EU, and NATO not long after.

  3. What does Russia (i.e. Russian politicians) want?

    On one level, apparently some R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And why not?

    On another level, they hold rich empty Eastern Siberia -- just across the border from teeming resource-poor China. Russia needs to be prepared to defend that border.

    And on yet another level, Russia is doing very nicely thank you selling oil & gas to the EU. Lots of people, including the Europeans, have forgotten that the EU actually imports more fossil fuels than anywhere else on Earth, including the US. The EU will do what Russia tells it to.

    Might be a case for the US to step back, let Russia squeeze some more money (& maybe even some immigrants) out of the EU and use that to help bolster Russia's eastern border.

  4. Colonel Aharon Gurevich, first Chief Rabbi of the Russian Army since 1917, serves 40,000 Jewish Russian Troops

  5. Looks like Bolivia is coming unhinged in a real way. The four petro-provinces are reported to be seceding.

  6. I'm coming unhinged. Chuck Norris has Jesus supporting the 2nd Amendment!

    Consider these few words of Jesus.

    … let him who has no sword sell his robe and buy one.
    The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied.

    Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

    Far more thrusting are Jesus' subtle and often overlooked four words at the end of this verse, "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me" (Moses is traditionally regarded as the author of the first five books of the Bible).

    The implications of Jesus' words are far-reaching, for in them he not only supports the rights to bear arms but aligns himself with the God of the Old Testament, who prepared people for battle by ordering, "Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'Every man of you put his sword upon his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man …'"
    Chuck Norris


  7. sometimes it's love; sometimes it's Smith & Wesson.

    Chuck Norris

  8. "The words of a dead man get modified in the guts of the living."

  9. "Pootie Poot,
    Pootie Poot,
    Pootie all the way,
    Oh What Fun it is to Poot,
    It's a KGB Display

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  11. Again: