Monday, March 9, 2009

Putin's speech and border problems

Michael Kuznetsov has left a new comment on your post "On Russia provoking the US into a war":


It is most soothing to hear your words that America is not going to attack Russia.
Yet, it is NOT we, you and me, who are to decide.

Do you think me to be a war-monger?! Do you believe I am a madman who seeks for a terrible nuclear war?!
I am the last who may want to war with America!

But we Russians cannot live with a pistol pointed blank at our temple.

You call this paranoia?
OK, let it be paranoia, although I don't like the word.

You say "it is interesting to hear Michael actually voice that paranoia".
Of course, I am not the first to express loudly Russia's concerns.
You can read Putin's speech addressed to our Western partners.
The speech was delivered on the 10th of February 2007 in Munich; its full version is here:

Well, again, let it be paranoia.
But why not take into account our "paranoia" and make one step in that direction which might lessen our "paranoia"?.

And what is the most important, Lawrence.
We CAN be friends -- America and Russia -- believe me. Or rather we can be REAL PARTNERS in many ways. But we can accept only the equal partnership, not that one which exists between the rider and the horse.

So, I would like to say:
God bless America and Russia!
And may the Lord save us both from any dangerous confrontation.


Lawrence responds:




What I think is that no one is pointing a pistol at Russia’s head.  As I wrote, the EU has utopian ideas about their organization, but they are peaceful ideas.  They are not gearing for war.  They view NATO as defensive only.  Not only is it defensive, but it isn’t very good.  It is an army run by committee and some of the participants can’t act until they get approval from home.  It is a joke.  So what does Russia have to be worried about?  Where is the pistol?  You admitted some time ago that your “colonies” were a drain on your economy.  Well, okay, now they are not a drain.  They wanted independence and you gave it to them; so what is the problem?   


I read the Putin speech you provided and Putin voices some of your concerns about NATO forces on your borders, but none of the “old-European” nations had borders common with Russia, and while Putin doesn’t mention any NATO members in particular, I suspect it is only Poland that is being referred to here.  I notice from that the only modern history of Poland in English is by our very own Norman Davies.   One day I may read it, especially if Polish/Russian problems accelerate.  Poland has more reason for imagining an attack from Russia (since it has happened before) than Russia has from an attack by Germany (which has been thoroughly neutered). 


As to Putin’s “asymmetric response” to the Missile Defense system being provided to Poland, I wonder what that is?


Putin says he considered George Bush his friend.  It may be that Barack Obama will be even easier for him to get along with.  Bush was much quicker on the trigger than Obama will be.  Obama is a good politician who loves to talk; so diplomacy rather than military action is his forte.  


I intended to go on and on as is my wont, but I want to take my girls (Ridgebacks) down to the river before it gets dark and I can always go on and on later.  Oh, I ordered the Werth book.  I may have read it years ago but if so I no longer have it and will enjoy having it again at the present time.  I appreciated Putin’s comments about the ubiquity of the Kalashnikov.   I don’t have a Kalashnikov, but I have two SKS rifles and one Mosin Nagent carbine.  J


Lawrence Helm


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