"I have a mind like a steel... uh... thingy." Patrick Logan's weblog.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Go See Big Picture

The blog Big Picture is high on my reading list because it has almost
always fascinating, well, big pictures. Not always beautiful, but
always big and interesting.



Didro said...

Could you say what do you think about South Ossetia war ? What is your and your relatives opinion ?

I'm from Russia and I want to hear not the BBC\CNN's voice, but voice of ordinary people.

Thank you.

Patrick Logan said...

My general impression of a region and situation I know very little about:

This seems to be an almost "to be expected" conflict based on desires for regional and cultural autonomy (Georgia from Russia, South Ossetia from Georgia, etc.), mixed up with traditional "super-power" objectives for global political and energy hegemony on the part of the US and Russia.

I have trouble imagining any other administration being less capable than the current Bush/Cheney/Rice/Gates... well, OK, if Rumsfeld were still Sec. of Defense that could be worse than Gates. Certainly these folks have shown little ability or initiative to foresee these events or prevent them. And so the US can do little after the fact, even though they've said they would stand by Georgia. All the US could do is fly Georgian troops home after the Russian invasion.

Powerless otherwise, so the US comes out significantly weaker than going in, and this seems to be Putin's real victory: showing Europe, not just the eastern countries like the Ukraine or Georgia, that they are bound to Russian energy supplies like never before, while the US has few options for playing in this new regional game.

So all in all, it seems like each country overstepped their bounds and made bad moves, but the US comes out much weaker than Russia. At least there will be no more comments from Bush saying things like he's "looked into Putin's soul", blah-de-blah.

McCain is blowharding on these events way beyond any actions a president could actually take. Hopefully the American voters will not fall for it, and move even further toward Obama who's likely to bring with him a more capable diplomatic staff.

On the other hand, Putin is clearly not a nice man, to say the least. I expect the Russian people by and large understand that?

Didro said...

First of all thank you for answer, it's very important for me.

>I expect the Russian people by and large understand that?

Yes and no. In general for me and my friends, relatives - Putin is stability.

My generation grows up in the society of total neglecting of law. It is our trouble - we try to build democracy, but we neglect law. And too many people in fact don't want to see the democratic president, but strong president.

In one word after the instability of 199x years and after nondemocratic USSR times, people want to be managed by strong president. If ones look to history of Russia, then (at least for me) it is obvious, that in difficult times Russia survives with strong, almost despotic leader.

Look: Ivan the Terrible (Ivan Groznyi), Stalin, Putin.

If you ask me, is nowaday government making mass repressions. I answer - in no way. But something connects Stalin and Putin in my mind.

Might be in future, after several generations, the situation will be other. And nowaday president Medveder (a lawyer by education) tries to change the situation with neglecting of laws... at least he speaks a lot about this.

When I write this post, the one question is trouble me - what would happens with Russia and South Ossetia if somebody other, not the Putin, be our leader.

Patrick Logan said...

"In general for me and my friends, relatives - Putin is stability."

I can understand that, relative to the oligarchs and mobs who would take everything by any means available to them. But Putin kind of falls into this category himself. It's kind of a no-win situation.

Hopefully history will not see Putin in the same category as Stalin or Ivan. And hopefully history will not see democracy as a rarey successful form of government.

Even in the US there are a lot of forces aligned against a well-functioning democracy.

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About Me

Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.