Streetwise Professor

October 22, 2013

Managed From Abroad? No: Mismanaged From Moscow. For the Past 200 Years.

Filed under: History,Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 9:55 pm

Apropos the ongoing discussion in the comments regarding Russia’s desperate need for an enemy, at all times, and perhaps especially now.  In the aftermath of the attack by a Muslim Black Widow* on a bus in Volgograd, Putin blamed Islamic terrorism in Russia on . . . foreigners.  You knew he would:

“Some political forces use Islam, the radical currents within it … to weaken our state and create conflicts on Russian soil that can be managed from abroad,” Putin told Muslim clerics meeting in Ufa, Bashkortostan’s capital, in southern Russia.

“Tensions between the West and the Islamic world are rising today, and someone is trying to gamble on that by pouring fuel on the fire,” he added.

Where to begin?

The most important point: Russia pours all the fuel on the fire that’s needed, and has been doing so for hundreds of years, especially since the early-19th century.  Consider this description of General Yermoloff, sent to “pacify” Chechnya in 1816(!), from Paul Johnson’s Birth of the Modern:

Unlike a General Rosas in the Argentine, who was equally cruel but who possessed the means to make his cruelty effective, Yeroloff created problems rather than solved them. [Sound familiar?]  He served in the Caucasus for a decade and seems to have learned nothing there. [Where have I heard this before?] His approach was simple.  The entire region, in his view, was already legally part of the Russian empire, whether actually conquered or not.  All its inhabitants were therefore Russian subjects, and their submission must be total.  Anything less was rebellion; and the punishment for rebellion was death. . . . His attitude indeed was closer to that of a Roman legionary commander of the 2d century AD than that of an educated man born at the end of the Enlightenment. . . .

But the fact that the campaign to subdue the region was still going on in the 1850s is the best testimony of the failure of Yermoloff’s methods.

1850s? Ha! It’s still going on 197 years after Yermoloff.  And consider this:

This horrific reprisal, far from ending Chechen resistance, provoked a jihad, or holy war.  Indeed, it did more than that.  It gave rise to a new and intense form of Muslim fundamentalism known as Muridism.

In other words: managed from abroad my [insert body part of choice here, depending on your sensitivities]. It’s mismanaged from Moscow.  And it has been for hundreds of years. Period.

This speech by Putin provides a perfect illustration of how he is a prisoner of the Russian past. And the Russian past and present and sadly future in the Caucasus provide a perfect illustration of Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and over again, and expecting a different result.

*Except she’s not really a widow, apparently.  Her husband-or boyfriend, the accounts vary-a Slavic Russian whom she recruited to radical Islam, is alive, and a very wanted man.

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  1. Yeah, “create conflicts on Russian soil that can be managed from abroad” – this is rich coming from “managers” of Transnistria and South Ossetia. Can anyone say “projection”?

    Comment by Ivan — October 22, 2013 @ 11:56 pm

  2. To be fair to the old empire, the Great Game between Britain and Russia started in the Caucasus in the 1820s (see e.g. Laurence Kelly’s bio of Griboyedov) and Russia’s war in the North Caucasus was partly motivated by fears, at times paranoid, of British involvement. Yermolov was removed in 1827 and Russia’s approach became more practical, a mix of military action and co-option of local chiefs.

    To some degree, Putin has learned his Yermolov lesson and set up the native state of Chechnya so that Russian troops would no longer be suppressing Chechen unrest. But Putin is now faced with a different problem, domestic terrorism by Russian converts or “ethnic” but non-Chechen Muslims. His “blame the foreigners” response is reflexive – he seems to have nothing to say.

    Comment by Alex K. — October 23, 2013 @ 2:13 am

  3. I’m not a Putin fan, but it must be said that fellating an audience of Muslim clerics in this way is not unique to the Russian kleptocracy.

    This sort of crap – that the Muslims blowing us up aren’t real Muslims; that the real issue is how nasty we all are to Muslims; and that tactlessly mentioning Muslims and terrorism in the same sentence plays into the hands of racists – has been the stock in trade of Blair, Bush, and liberal surrender monkeys everywhere since, oh, the afternoon of 9/11.

    Many of these dweebs have spent the last 12 years positively urging Islamofascists, in almost as many words, to piss down their necks and tell them it’s raining.

    So some of Putin’s text at least is not uniquely Russian. It is, perhaps, a samovar rather than a crock of shit.

    Comment by Green as Grass — October 23, 2013 @ 8:50 am

  4. ” the Great Game between Britain and Russia started in the Caucasus in the 1820s …”

    I’m not sure I buy that. The Great Game moved around, but the British aimed at establishing Afghanistan as a buffer state between themselves and Russia. Their basic strategy was to keep Russia from threatening British India – I don’t think they had any ambitions in the Caucasus, although they probably had spies there. Later in the C19th they definitely had ambitions in Persia, and you could arguably put the most northern regions of Persia in the “geographical” Caucasus, but that would not be the political Caucasus that gradually became part of the Russian Empire. The British just aren’t much of a factor in Russian-Caucasus relations. It’s just good old Russian Empire building.

    I don’t know much about Griboyedov, but he died in Persia, so of course Kelly may suggest the British may have been involved in some way, but that’s a bit like the “No doubt the CIA were involved” stuff you get today whenever someone dies unexpectedly. Given the hostility towards Russia in Persia at the time, and the circumstances of his death, you don’t really need the British as suspects. Make the mistake of sheltering Persian women running away from the Harem in the Russian Embassy, and an angry mob will do just fine as an explanation when you get dragged out and killed.

    Comment by jon livesey — October 23, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

  5. Talking of crocks. bracketing Putin with Blair, Bush and surrender monkeys in general at least has the merit of originality.

    Comment by jon livesey — October 23, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

  6. > Make the mistake of sheltering Persian women running away from the Harem…

    Well, I don’t know if these women and an eunuch were Persians in terms of their citizenship (did they have citizenship then?), but they were hardly Persian by ethnicity/religion. They were Armenians, an ancient Christian ethnicity that has been abused beyond belief in Muslim countries like Persia and Turkey, including the most notorious genocide in 1915.

    This man was castrated against his will. These women were captured and forced to serve as sex slaves in a harem against their will and against most basic Christian beliefs.

    Comment by Vlad1 — October 23, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

  7. @jon livesey I don’t recall the story of women running away from the Harem but Grioboyedov has sheltered Armenians running away from Iranian pogroms.

    Comment by MJ — October 23, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

  8. @jon livesey “I don’t think they had any ambitions in the Caucasus, although they probably had spies there.”

    Of course the Great Game extended on Caucasus albeit at a later period – during the WWI and right after it all the way to the Severs and Lasagna Treaties – that is if to stick to the modern definitions and qualify Armenia as part of Caucasus (which I would argue she is not culturally and in the strict sense of that term – even in Soviet times what is now called South Caucasus and identified as Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia was called Закавказье – “beyond Caucasus”).

    Comment by MJ — October 23, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

  9. P.S. The term is Transcaucasus.

    Comment by MJ — October 23, 2013 @ 11:05 pm

  10. “bracketing Putin with Blair, Bush and surrender monkeys in general at least has the merit of originality”

    I call ’em as I see ’em. Raising one subject as a means to argue that “the real issue here is [insert your pet subject]” is a favourite rhetorical trick of intellectual frauds in general, not limited to Russian ones.

    Comment by Green as Grass — October 24, 2013 @ 2:49 am

  11. Gentlemen,

    Any iterest in discussing Saudi Arabia’s latest demarche?

    Comment by Vlad1 — October 24, 2013 @ 3:09 am

  12. That’s “interest”

    Comment by Vlad1 — October 24, 2013 @ 3:10 am

  13. @Professor Not directly related to this discussion but I thought you would be interested to read:

    Comment by MJ — October 24, 2013 @ 4:10 am

  14. jon livesey – when Arthur Conolly used the term “grand game” in the early 1840s, he clearly meant to include Persia – but his was a concept of a “noble game,” more cooperation, or at least give and take, than outright rivalry or war. Of course Chechnya and Circassia were only peripheral to Persia’s northern provinces (except Derbent, part of Dagestan) but you cannot bypass the northern Caucasus if you need to get from Russia to Georgia or Armenia.

    Britain signed treaties with the Qajars of Persia in 1801 and 1809 (amended in 1812). The first was mostly aimed against France, the second largely against Russian encroachment. By 1804, Russia had annexed Georgia, Daghestan and parts of Azerbaijan. Persia went to war, lost and ceded those lands under the Gulistan treaty in 1813. Britain then had to renege on its promise to defend Persia against Russia, which had become an ally in 1812. Russia proceeded to occupy the Persian segment of Armenia in 1813-27 and forced Persia to sign the Turkmenchay treaty of 1828 – virtually all of present-day Armenia and Azerbaijan came under Russian control as a result. Then there was the 1838-41 Herat War between Iran and Afghanistan, the proxy Russo-British war that Iran and Russia lost.

    Laurence Kelly, judging by the reviews I have seen, put great a effort into proving that it was NOT British agents who instigated the mob attack on the Russian embassy in 1829 which killed 37 men, including Griboyedov, the ambassador and the author of the Turkmenchay treaty’s text. The definitive book on the whole Persian connection seems to be “Britain’s Persian Connection 1798-1828: Prelude to the Great Game in Asia” by Edward Ingram.

    Comment by Alex K. — October 24, 2013 @ 7:09 am

  15. Russia has historicaly badly played the Muslim card. One of the reasons that the Soviet Union fell apart was the realization that poitical power would ultimately have had to been shared with the fast growing Muslim population, and the relative power share of the Slavic population would decline in line with their stagnent birth rate. Ridding Russia of the “stans” was in a way an analog of South Africa’s failed policy of creating independent Bantustans in the 1970-80s. The current in-migration of Muslim “guest workers” is a foreseeable outcome of such a policy. The Russian policy of aiding, arming and instigating the Abhaz in order to slight the Georgians in the 1990’s was a major motivating factor for reigniting the historical Checen nationalism which has ultimately led to today’s wider Mulsim resurgence in the North Caucasus. It was analogous to setting your neighbor’s barn on fire, without realizing that the flames could easily spread to your own home. A bigger folly may have been aiding the Iranians to get a Muslim nuclear weapon(s) inorder to annoy the USA, something the Russians may one day have much more reason to dread than the Americans ever will.

    Comment by Ramblarou — October 24, 2013 @ 11:55 am


    British have invaded nine out of ten countries – so look out Luxembourg

    The analysis of the histories of the almost 200 countries in the world found only 22 which have never experienced an invasion by the British.

    The countries never invaded by the British:

    Central African Republic
    Congo, Republic of
    Ivory Coast
    Marshall Islands
    Sao Tome and Principe
    Vatican City

    Comment by Vlad1 — October 24, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

  17. @Vlad1. A very interesting subject. I have no love for the KSA, but its demarcahe, as you call it, is justified and a scathing rebuke of Obama’s foreign policy. No one in that neighborhood is a paragon of liberty, democracy, or human rights, so it is necessary to focus on national interest exclusively. The Saudis are rightly furious at Obama’s dreamy-and feckless-outreach to the Iranians, which can only result in empowering a truly reprobate regime that is a self-declared enemy of the US. Sometime in the future, the price will have to be paid for this.

    The Saudis are no angels, but unlike Obama, they understand the implications and the stakes.

    Obama wants to justify his unjustifiable Peace Prize, and kick the Iran can down past January 2017. Apres lui, le deluge. And he couldn’t care less.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — October 24, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

  18. Thanks, all. Another edifying exchange.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — October 24, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

  19. @jon & @green. I very much like both of you guys. Perhaps I shouldn’t interject here, but so be it. I tend to side with @green on this one. IMO he is correct that two pasty faced Christians, Bush and Blair, routinely presumed to judge who was, and who was not, a representative of “true Islam” in order to avoid the politically and diplomatically awkward task of calling a spade a spade. In my further opinion, neither did Muslims any favor because transparent dishonesty only made people all the more cynical about Islam.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — October 24, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

  20. Craig,

    So far, the US hasn’t given an inch to the Iranians. And what can we give that’s bad? By far the most important thing that I want from Iran is for it not to develop nuclear weapons, and I expect that to be the first thing to settle. Nixon normalized US relations with China, Reagan got detente with Gorbachev. Didn’t both actions prove extremely beneficial to the US? But you and I can debate what is the best policy for our country should be towards Iran.

    But what is Saudi Arabia upset about? US and Iran don’t even have diplomatic relations. The presidents don’t even shake hands. Even if the impossible happens and the US and Iran establish diplomatic relations, why would that be a problem with Saudi Arabia? They themselves have perfectly normal diplomatic relations with Iran! Just consider the absurdity.

    And what is Saudi Arabia upset about US vis-a-vis Syria? That the US didn’t wage a war on it? First of all, why should we? The Saudis (together with Turks and Qataris) are the Sunnis engaged in a silly medieval religious war with Shiites: Iranians and Assad. On the one hand, the Saudis are upset with the US’s position on Egypt because they want to preserve the status quo in the region. And yet, the Saudis have fermented a civil war in Syria aimed at upsetting the status quo and creating chaos. And who are these “rebels” that the Saudis have unleashed? Primarily – Sunni Islamic extremists. Do we need to bring these degenerates into power and help them ethnically cleanse Syria of Christians and Shiites?

    And even if this were in the US interest, why should it be the Americans to wage the war, and not the Saudis themselves? Do you know which country spends the most money on weapons as a percent of GDP? No, not the US. We are in 2nd place with 4.4%. The first place belongs to Saudi Arabia with 8.9%. Double! Why are the Saudis spending unprecedented money on defense if they don’t use it? To defend themselves from an outside threat? But the only time they were threatened in the modern history (when Iraq took over Kuwait), the Saudis let it up to the US to endanger our soldiers’ lives and to spend huge money on fighting Iraq.

    For what special enemy is Saudi Arabia saving its weapons? The only answer starts with an “I” and end with “srael”.

    So, let’s summarize. Saudis want us to pull chestnuts from the fire for them. They want us to sacrifice our men and money to fight their personal wars. They want us to make enemies and to outrage the entire world by starting new aggressions, while the Saudis sit back and watch. They want us to continue animosities with Iran, while they enjoy good diplomatic relations with it. With “friends” like that, who needs enemies?

    Comment by Vlad1 — October 24, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

  21. @Professor I must take an exception on Iran’s account. I was very satisfied when in the first pre-electoral documents (2001?) outlining the U.S. foreign policy priorities Cheney spoke about sanctions not ever working and the need to engage with Iran (in fact, I can add that economic sanctions only help to radicalize the people of the corresponding countries).

    At the time I thought that this was the only sane policy in the region. I used to say that there cannot be security in the region if Iran is taken out of its context. In fact, Iran could be the stabilizing factor. For that reason she needed to be brought back into the world community, given some respect and some regional function. Unfortunately, after coming to power something change and Bush-Cheney foreign policy (perhaps as a result of 9/11) got dramatically shifted for whatever considerations. And Iran got indeed further radicalized.

    I understand that there is a negative residue left after the events of 1979. But this is not courtship but world affairs.

    Iran in a way is forced to opt for nuclear weapons. She is surrounded by Pakistan, India, Russia, China and Israel – all with nuclear weapons. She has no choice but to go for it unless some other security arrangement can be made. But what is that arrangement?

    I don’t believe for a second that Iranian mullahs are insane fanatics. In fact I strongly believe that they are lead by sober geopolitical considerations combined with one other requirement of theirs – “don’t touch us and stay away.”

    All the raised issues associated with Human Rights records of Iran are just BS. Saudi Arabia has even a worse HR record yet there are no sanctions applied towards here – they are not even criticized. Furthermore, Iran is a more moderate country than Pakistan is.

    Iran has no reason to trust anyone, includign the U.S. Great Britain and Russia have tried to dismantle her (to the extent that they have promoted the creation of an artificial state called Azerbaijan after the name of one of the Iranian provinces). Frequently, in some Azerbaijani nationalistic circles their country is referred to as Northern Azerbaijan. In the post-Soviet era strengthening their positions in Azerbaijan has been a focal point of the U.S. and Israeli foreign policies. Furthermore, the aspiration of Iranian Azeri population’s rebellion against Iran in the interest of creation of havoc there has been part of the agenda cultivated by the Heritage Foundation (whom I otherwise respect) among others.

    I am far from trying to portray Iran under a favorable light. I am very much for a regime change there. However, I depart from an understanding that Iran’s disintegration will be a regional and continental disaster. At this time Iran is the only buffer against the Sunny expansionism spreading from Turkey to parts of China. And, yes, when it comes to “Turkey being the model of democracy in the Islamic world,” this is one of the most shameless statements in U.S. foreign policy which in fact has come to bite USA in the back side. Under the best case scenario it could be the most incompetent statements of the U.S. foreign policy which has lead to series of fiasco.

    Turkey has never been a democracy – neither a 1000 years ago nor now. She has always been the most murderous country in the history of the world. But she has also been one of the best performers on the diplomatic stage as it comes to bribing western countries as well as when it comes to acting as a political prostitute. Now she has overgrown that need – at least in her own perception.

    My point is that the United States has squandered the opportunity to avert the nuclearization of Iran. In fact, the United States policy over the last more than 10 years has succeeded in persuading Iran that she must do it. This is too bad for the region and the world. But unfortunately, as I believe it, it is too late. And Israel’s bombastic talk cannot do anything here but to even further promote Iran’s nuclearization and radicalization.

    But when it comes to Obama-Kerry policies n the region and in particular with Iran, well, one it has been known for a very long time that you don’t send sleazy boys to do men’s job.

    Comment by MJ — October 25, 2013 @ 12:49 am

  22. > Iran in a way is forced to opt for nuclear weapons. She is surrounded by Pakistan, India, Russia, China and Israel – all with nuclear weapons. She has no choice but to go for it unless some other security arrangement can be made. But what is that arrangement?

    “Surrounded”? By China? Do you really think that China poses more threat to the security and sovereignty of Iran and other Near Eastern countries than the US?

    Comment by Vlad1 — October 27, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

  23. @Vlad1 Strarategically speaking, yes I do.

    Comment by MJ — October 27, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

  24. @MJ, but it is Iran’s opinion, not yours, that matters. Do you really believe that Iranians are more afraid of China than of the US and UK?

    Comment by Vlad1 — October 28, 2013 @ 12:48 am

  25. @Vlad1 First of all, I also have a right to have an opinion and express it. 😉

    Second, Iran is part of a larger region where a lot of other people live. And most of these people have historic memory which tells them that when the larger countries of the region have conflicting interests and opinions and cannot resolve them, it is the small countries of the region that are walked over.

    So, while Iran’s opinion may be dominant in whom she sees as an enemy, what goes in and around Iran affects the rest of the region.

    Comment by MJ — October 28, 2013 @ 1:10 am

  26. @Professor I came across something marginally related to the topic:

    This has apparently taken place in Moscow region’s township called Reutovo. The colony is that of illegal migrants.

    Comment by MJ — October 28, 2013 @ 1:28 am

  27. @MJ,

    You are indeed entitled to your own opinion as to which country you don’t like. I am not a big fan of communist China either.

    But we are not discussing our feelings here, but those of Iran. If you want to discuss the rest of the Near or Middle East – fine. Or the entire world for that matter. The fact is that the world is afraid of the US and UK but not of China, because the entire world – including each and every country in the Middle East – has been invaded by the UK/USA in the past, but nobody’s been invaded by China.

    Comment by Vlad1 — October 29, 2013 @ 3:10 am

  28. @Vlad1 Let’s first separate a couple of things.

    I didn’t say I am entitled to my feelings but to my opinions. 😉 Also, I responded to your [rhetoric] question whether Iranians are more afraid of China, and I said strategically speaking they are. I strongly believe that it is the case. The evidence is that not only Iranian’s are not afraid of USA (and UK for that matter) but they are consistently escalating the confrontation with USA. You usually try to stay away from someone you are afraid of. In this sense I can reference (vaguely since I don’t remember his exact words) what Bush once replied to a journalist when asked a question why do the Iraqi civilians more readily cooperate with the terrorists rather than the U.S. His answer was that it only demonstrates who they are more afraid of.

    As it comes to Iran, China is more or less its only savior at this time (more so than Russia) and Iran significantly depands on China who by the way is is hungry for Iran’s (and Russia’s) oil, natural gas and other resources while the United States has no strategic interest in Iran beyond that of regional and global security contrary to China.

    Now about the whole world being invaded by US/UK. This is what I would call an emotional statement. Clearly, U.S. has not occupied the world. Technically she has occupied Iraq as an exception in this region. But it has taken place for such a short period of time (historically speaking) that I am not sure if it is accurate to qualify it as occupation.

    The U.S. has occupied Germany, Japan, South Korea for periods of time. As an expression of an attitude towards this occupation by some of the people in the region we are discussing I recall a later days Soviet era joke. When the proponents of the separation from the Soviet Union were asked what would they do next day after they separate from the USSR they answered “we will declare war to USA and immediately surrender.” While clearly a joke, speaking of emotions, it conveys the popular attitudes towards what you want to qualify as a U.S. occupation.

    As to the U.K occupation, well, while U.K. has occupied vast regions, she obviously has not occupied the whole world and the Middle-East. And even in those countries where U.K. has occupied she has left a better legacy behind than France, for example. And I don’t see anyone being afraid of France because “she has occupied them.”

    Moreover, I think there is a pretty high degree of confidence in Iran and Middle-East that U.S./UK will not occupy them – and rightfully so I think.

    Finally, of course it is wrong to say that “nobody has been invaded by China” because China has been invaded by China, 😉 i.e. China herself is an involuntary multiethnic-multireligious empire which has historically invaded countless smaller nations with the latest and modern example being Tibet.

    In my view (and don’t take it as another emotion) when judging about being invaded or not by someone, you consider how they treat their own people in order to extrapolate how they would treat you were you invaded by them. So, in that sense, I would definitely be more afraid of China than the U.S./UK though I could think of worse examples perhaps. 

    Comment by MJ — October 29, 2013 @ 5:22 am

  29. @MJ,

    > Iranian’s are consistently escalating the confrontation with USA.

    Really? Please provide the proof of that. Has the confrontation between Iran and USA escalated (i.e., increased in intensity) since 1980? Is it now harsher than it was 30, 20, 10, 5, 2, 1 years ago? If so – is it the Iranians that are doing all the escalation?

    > The evidence is that not only Iranian’s are not afraid of USA

    Please provide this evidence.

    > You usually try to stay away from someone you are afraid of.

    The the USSR was much more afraid of Monaco than the USA, because the Soviets often escalated the confrontation with USA.

    In any case, I am using the word “afraid” not so much as “experiencing fear” but as in:

    Iran’s (and everybody else’s) political calculations always take into account the possibility of an American attack, while an attack on Iran from China is not a possibility. Even our own analysts, when trying to predict the future, take the possibility of an American strike on Iran into their analysis.

    > Now about the whole world being invaded by US/UK. Clearly, U.S. has not occupied the world…

    I am sorry but it is impossible to argue when a person who reads my word “invaded”, comprehends it as “occupied”, and then writes a long convoluted answer about “occupations” instead of “invasions”.

    > what you want to qualify as a U.S. occupation.

    I? I didn’t mention the word “occupation” even once.

    > While clearly a joke, speaking of emotions, it conveys the popular attitudes towards what you want to qualify as a U.S. occupation.

    Really? You REALLY think that the people of Iraq are happy under the US occupation?

    > As it comes to Iran, China is more or less its only savior at this time and Iran significantly depands on China who by the way is is hungry for Iran’s oil, natural gas and other resources

    That’s exactly right: China by virtue of its huge market and its (traditional) mercantile foreign policy, has been of great economic help to countries around the world. The West’s traditional overseas policy has been that of conquering, exterminating, expropriating land and resources, enslaving the natives, etc. The Chinese trade. And today, they trade with other countries without trying to ferment bloody revolutions, civil wars and other mayhem, the way the US and UK do. Thus, with the possible exceptions of China’s immediate neighbors like Taiwan, nobody fears any form of force used by the Chinese on them. Whereas we in the USA cannot tolerate it when any country anywhere around the globe has a government that the US corporations don’t like.

    US considers its duty (as an exceptionalist nation) to interfere in internal affairs of other countries. China doesn’t interfere. It just trades. For example:,1

    China’s New Backyard
    Does Washington realize how deeply Beijing has planted a flag in Latin America?

    China does not seek to impose a new ideology on the world, yet the mercantilist way in which it promotes its economic development, combined with its lack of commitment to international norms that it didn’t create, makes it more difficult for the United States to conduct business and pursue policy goals in Latin America and other parts of the world. Since 2007, China has loaned $50 billion to Ecuador and Venezuela. China’s indifference to those countries’ political systems has cleared the way for their devolution to less democratic practices.
    Chinese and Indian Multinationals Out to Conquer the World

    > the United States has no strategic interest in Iran beyond that of regional and global security contrary to China.

    The US has no “no strategic interest” in having as much control as possible over Iran’s, Iraq’s, Azerbaijan’s, Kazakhstan’s, Turkmenistan’s and other countries’ oil and gas? Oil is not a major factor in the US foreign policy? Really?

    Comment by Vlad1 — October 29, 2013 @ 2:55 pm

  30. Bunch of demagogic crap.

    Comment by MJ — October 29, 2013 @ 11:07 pm

  31. You just can’t understand that at least half of the people in the US and almost everybody outside of it don’t share your political views.

    Comment by Vlad1 — October 30, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

  32. Actually, I understand very well that a lot more than half of the people in the United States and a lot more elsewhere don’t share my political and other views but that only gives me a sense of comfort. Furthermore, I find satisfaction in you personally disagree with me since if you agreed then that would’ve been a testimony of something being wrong with me.

    Finally, I don’t enjoy “discussing” things with a demagogue for whom the basis of something being right or wrong comes down to the number of people agreeing or not with it.

    Comment by MJ — October 30, 2013 @ 7:46 pm

  33. I meant to say “… in your personal disagreeing with me…”

    Comment by MJ — October 30, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

  34. > Bunch of demagogic crap.

    > Finally, I don’t enjoy “discussing” things with a demagogue

    And I don’t enjoy discussions with a cheap illogical хам (twerp), who keeps on insulting his opponents.

    Comment by Vlad1 — October 31, 2013 @ 2:48 am

  35. As much as I can recall, I have never invited you to discuss anything with me nor have ever declared you being my opponent. I don’t even know who the hell you are and in what school they have taught you the “art of discussion and logic.”

    So, for all I am concerned, you can stand in front of the mirror and have a self-indulging discussion.

    Comment by MJ — October 31, 2013 @ 3:04 am

  36. Just get lost.

    Comment by Vlad1 — October 31, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

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