“Russia is a nation with an unpredictable past.”

And it seems that the past is about to get yet another round of abuse.

I have a proposal regarding Russia:  expel them from the G-8, and allow them to return once they can prove that they actually belong there (and both Spain and Brazil might want to say something about that).

Otherwise, if the FSB insists on creating yet another paranoid round of “Zaire with Permafrost,” let them stew in their own irrelevance.

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  1. convivialdingo

     /  June 27, 2007

    Well, at least Herr Doktor Professor Boethius von Korncrake has a bright future.

  2. convivialdingo

     /  June 27, 2007

    Not to change the subject – but I had a curios insight the other day also – concerning the CIA’s “skeleton closet” files which are now being released. When you read some of the overviews – you see references to the CIA’s own “library of history.”

    As we are continuely re-evaluating the past I wonder how divergent our reality is from the “official reality.” When we look now at World War II – we see a completely different history than the public face we saw in 1945.

    Today’s revelations about Radar, Cryptography, Nuclear Secrets, and the Holocaust put a very different face on WWII than simple war. The fact that there are literally tons of secrets still waiting to be opened reveals a sort of human tragedy that our government is deathly afraid of the truth.

    I think it’s somewhat ridiculous that democracies hold so much information in secret. Things like policies, incidents, decades-old budgets, and the like really should pass into the public domain much quicker sans actual defense, critical security, and ongoing operation info.

  3. happycrow

     /  June 28, 2007

    This is *precisely* why I don’t teach any “history” within ten years of what’s going on. We simply lack all the data. Bush could be either a hero or the devil incarnate. We don’t know. (And for this reason, I think Sandy Berger should spend the next twenty years in jail. Destroying those papers is a crime against the country.)

    Hell, how long has it taken for us to be able to look at the New Deal in any semi-objective manner?

  4. alex

     /  June 28, 2007

    History minor that I am…who was it who said that history is written by the victors? I can’t remember the name but it seems very relevant in this discussion.

    In Russia’s case for historical rewriting – it’s whoever is in charge that sets what that “history” will be, but as for the G8 issue, Russia will always be there because of their oil/gas influence. With the amount of energy that the EU gets from Russia, the EU cannot afford for Russia to not be part of the group, since Russia will do to them what it did to the Ukraine and other former SSR countries.

  5. happycrow

     /  June 28, 2007

    Actually, the threat of that happening is *already* contributing to Russia’s isolation. Putin’s pushing a xenophobic line, which plays well in Russia… but he’s also *really* lost ground in the past two years.

  6. alex

     /  June 28, 2007

    Lost ground with us or lost ground with his own people?
    Either way I’m suddenly remembering a historical quote that I kept for many years after I discovered it in 1990. It seemed strangely relevant for the time:
    “War to the hilt between communism and capitalism if inevitable. Today of course, we are not strong enough to attach. Our time will come in 20 to 30 years. To win we shall need the element of surprise, the bourgeoisie will be have to put to sleep. So we shall begin by launching the most spectacular peace movement of record. There will be electrifying overtures and unheard of concessions. The capitalist countries, stupid and decadent, will rejoice to cooperate in their own destruction. They will leap at another chance to be friends. As soon as their guard is down, we shall smash them with our clenched fists”
    -Dmitry Manuilskiy, Moscow, 1931.

    Is Putin the resurgent reborn Soviet menace? I don’t know, but as long as he has the EU wrapped around his finger since they need his oil and gas, I suppose he can flex his muscles as much as he wants and still be relevant. It may be that he has just become more honest with what he really is – a petty tyrant in the fine Russian historical fashion. The Russians have had great leaders in their past, but all of them have shown this very opinionated and dominating streak. Maybe this more of the same…and maybe not.

    Thanks for bringing it up.

  7. The FSB are no longer Communist. Imperialist, perhaps.
    Anyway, lost ground diplomatically. They had significant inroads into Europe, and are increasingly isolated, and increasingly unable to have their way on the international stage. Even South Ossetia has pretty much been returned to the Georgians, and Ukraine is speaking with NATO on a variety of topics (see the NATO web page, to right, though the blurb is non-specific).


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