Powell and Putin begin to hammer and sickle out the fate of bombs and Chechen ‘terrorists ” Today, Secretary of State Colin Powell alights in Moscow on the sixth stop in his barnstorming tour of yet another of imperial America’s new backyards. He meets with Russian president Vladimir Putin to try to nail down the details of a new agreement dramatically reducing the two countries’ nuclear weapons stockpiles. Both Putin and George Bush committed last month to sharply reducing their respective first strike nuclear armaments, and Powell, working toward that end, has met three times with Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov in the last week. But while media coverage of Powell’s trip will focus on the potentially momentous nuclear breakthrough, a whole host of other pieces of the relationship between Russia and the U. S. are largely operating under media radar.
It is impossible to understand them without understanding what has happened to Russia — a country still in many ways even more complex than the United States — in the ten years since Christmas Day 1991, when Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as president of the U. S. S. R.
, marking the official dissolution of the Soviet Union. Scholars will argue for generations over what combination of factors toppled the Soviet Union. Economic rot from within played a major factor. So, too, did the classic arc of popular revolutions (violent or not), which tend to occur not at times of great repression, war, or starvation (note to those wondering why Saddam is still in power), but when there is hope for improvement, and that hope becomes threatened.
Nuclear Nonproliferation In this paper, I will discover the views of different world countries on the inevitability of nuclear proliferation. I will address what will become of the rising proliferation of nuclear technology. I believe that allowing nuclear weapons to spread will only endanger the world in the long run and that unless we act now, we will not be able to see another two thousand ...
The Communist backlash against Gorbachev’s reforms hastened, rather than slowed, the collapse of Soviet totalitarianism. But a different sort of calamity has taken its place for ordinary Russians, one in which former pieces of the Soviet empire bolted for independence, not to be confused with freedom — hence all those new Central Asian dictatorships you’d never heard of ’til September. And international business interests descended upon a Mother Russia held hostage to the ‘shock treatment’ of capitalism. For ten years, pundits have been blaming the rot of communism for Russia’s economic mess, but oddly, Russia had far fewer worries about, say, unemployment or poor public health (let alone famine) in the bad old days.
Now, when Putin walks away from Russia’s nuclear stockpile, he is also walking away from one of the last reminders that Russians were once part of one of the most powerful countries in the world. Now, it’s another colony for Coca-Cola and Weyerhaueser and people like Colin Powell, and the ‘freedoms’ Russians sought in exchange are being doled out in small, careful doses by organized crime and remodeled KGB executioners like Putin. The biggest nuclear security issue involving Russia isn’t those warheads; Putin is agreeing to cut them in part because they are old and decaying, new generations aren’t being developed (unlike here), and there’s no one and nowhere to aim them at. In dealing with Russia, the fate of the ABM treaty is far more important.
(The Pentagon went ahead with another Star Wars test ten days ago, although it didn’t explicitly break the treaty as once threatened. ) And the fate of all those old nuclear materials, and the scientists with the training to handle them, is also an enormous issue. There have been countless reports in the last decade of former Soviet components of weapons of mass destruction showing up on black markets. Russia is also trying to draw closer to NATO, at this point mostly so it can focus its security worries on its southern flank: China and its former republics, especially the Islamic ones, and especially the Caspian Sea region where Saudi Arabian-sized oil fields await development. As with the forests and minerals of Siberia, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Russia no longer has the influence necessary to lock up those resources for itself; they ” re now going to be shared, at best, with American corporations and allies.
ter> Modern Russia and The Soviet Union: Stalins character was the main reason for his rise to power Stalin was born as Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili on December 21, 1879 in Gori, Georgia. He grew up in a mountain town of about 5,000 people. He was the third and only surviving child of Vissarion Dzhugashvili and Catherine Geladze. His father used to drink and beat him and his mother; this ...
The former empire is being overtaken by the current, and expanding, empire. U. S. relations with Russia are at the core of the geopolitical maneuvering accompanying the public spectacle of the unseating of the Taliban and search for Bin Laden. Apprehending Bin Laden will not stop Al-Qaeda, let alone terrorism, but if in the process new military alliances and economic commitments are cemented in a part of the world where the Soviet collapse has left something of a power vacuum, and where the close friends of an oil-soaked White House stand to make countless fortunes, well, call it more than a happy coincidence.
When viewed at this level, the fate of ordinary Afghans at the hands of Kabul’s newest set of brutal warlords is profoundly irrelevant. So is the fate of Chechnya — a former Soviet republic, mostly Islamic, which Russia has tried dearly to hold on to, at the cost of an enormous number of innocent Chechen lives. It is the great misery of Chechens to live close to the Caspian Sea. Photo-ops like today’s handshakes between Powell and Putin have an ugly subtext; the fate of an entire people, like the citizens of Chechnya, can hang in the balance of someone like Colin Powell ‘sweetening the pot’ for an entirely unrelated issue (e. g.
, a new pipeline in Kazakhstan, or abolition of the ABM treaty) by agreeing to look the other way when Putin reverts to old Stalinist habits of mass extermination. America’s view of Moscow’s handling of the Chechen conflict has shifted notably in the past three months, and as Bush’s team has come to appreciate that Russia still has a few things left to auction off, Powell and Company have become more and more ‘understanding’ of Putin’s need to deal harshly with the ‘terrorist’ Chechens. Alas, the United States is also trying to convince Muslims that the War on Terrorism isn’t a War on Mohammed. But there were, before October, four major ongoing conflicts pitting the Islam against the world, and the U.
During the Cold War, the United States resolved to take a shot at the Soviet Union by siding with Afghanistan and taking great measures to stop Soviet influence and communist ideology. In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in an attempt to expand its influence in the Middle East with the absence of American influence. At this point in the Cold War the United States and Soviet Union were ...
S. had its fingerprints all over two of them: Israel/Palestine, and the sanctions against Iraq. Now, in Islamic eyes, we ” re going for all four. The U. S. is more overtly helping bankroll and support Russia’s attacks on Chechnya, and we are also pressuring Pakistan’s government to rein in the same Islamic fundamentalists that are at the front lines battling India’s incursions into Kashmir.
In other words, the United States is using the very process of burying its old Soviet foe to define and create a new permanent foe. For most of its first year, the Bush Administration seemed to be pining for a new cold war with China, an idiotic proposition given how closely intertwined our two countries’ economies are. But now we have a hot war, and like the old standoff with the Soviets, this one is being designed to last generations. And to think that it was just a year ago that we were worried about hanging chads. The Chicago School? Speaking of the energy industry and the glories of the free market, I’m generally loathe to pass along anonymous Internet humor, but this one was too good to pass up. I can’t claim credit for it, unfortunately, but if anyone knows the author, let me know and I’ll credit them appropriately.
Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income. Enron Venture Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt / equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The Annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Sell one cow to buy a new President of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull. Reclaim History! Things that happened on Dec.
10 that you never had to memorize in school: 1787: Birth of Thomas H. Gallaudet, pioneer of educating the deaf. 1805: Birth of abolitionist, proto-feminist, indigenous rights agitator William Lloyd Garrison. 1869: Wyoming is first U. S. territory to grant women the right to vote.
War unit evaluation In this unit we have been looking at different issues emotional and political that surrounds war. For one of our first lessons we were looking at a propaganda poster. The poster shows a family who is watching the soldiers march off to war. The status is clear; the soldiers have the high status because they are commanding everything that’s happening even though they are small in ...
1906: IWW sponsors first sit-down strike in U. S. , at a General Electric plant in Schenectady, New York. 1931: Jane Addams, founder of Hull House and leader of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, wins Nobel Peace Prize. 1948: United Nations passes Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
1961: SNC C Freedom Rider test of ICC ruling in Albany, Georgia leads to five days of arrests, beginning on this day, of 469-500 students for marching around city hall. Some 350 choose to stay in jail. 1964: Martin Luther King, Jr. awarded Nobel Peace Prize. 1968: Trappist monk, writer, poet, pacifist Thomas Merton accidentally electrocuted, Bangkok, Thailand. Merton inspires much of the Catholic Worker movement.
1975: Fourteen acquitted of ‘incitement to disaffection’ of soldiers over Northern Ireland, Britain. 1984: South African Bishop Desmond Tutu receives Nobel Peace Prize. Geo Parrish is a Seattle-based columnist and reporter for Seattle Weekly, In These Times and Eat the State! He writes the week daily Straight Shot for WorkingForChange. If you would like to be alerted as soon as his column is posted, please send a request to To see more of his work, click here. To respond to this article, report a problem or provide general feedback to the editors of this site, click here. Now we have a hot war, and like the old standoff with the Soviets, this one is being designed to last generations.
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