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Subject: Russia must swallow its pride.
celebrim    9/10/2004 12:12:23 PM
Russia must swallow its pride and work with America as a partner and ally if it is to weather the current and coming storm. I recoginize that the fall from 'super-power' status has been a hard blow, but false hubris is no way to recover ones honor and glory. Wallowing in the shame of the Soviet years, and the misery of the economic collapse, and all the corruption of both eras gets you no where. Besides which, Russia has as much to be proud of as anyone. Russia is a shining becon in world arts, with an honorable tradition of producing the finest classical and folk music and dance. Russia literature is widely regarded as among the finest in the world. Russia learning especially in the technical fields remains deep. Russia innovation in engineering remains if no longer at the world forefront, then still certainly worthy of admiration and investment. Even through the dark years of the Soviet era, much of what the Russian people produced was admirable. Focus on what is great in yourselves, and strive to be that noble image. The best way for Russia to regain its honor is to partner with the U.S. Even if Russia is not the power it once was, there still remain only a few powers that Russia can truly treat as a peer - and of those its the US that can best offer what Russia is lacking right - real military experience and leadership, pragmatic approach to the problem of terrorism, significant economic investment, and the historical context of being a free people. But to do that, Russia must first enter into this relationship as a junior partner with its former rival, and to do that it has to swallow its pride. It would be easy - but also fatal - to give into European style anti-Americanism for political reasons, and inflame the passions of the old rivalry and blame the worlds problems on America. But that isn't going to solve any of Russia's problems. And Russia is far better trusting in America as an ally, than trusting in other regional powers like the EU and China which have thier own agenda and their own particular reasons for seeing Russia as a problem not a friend. The plain and simple fact is that right now America needs Russia and Russia needs America in a way no other two big powers need each other right now. America needs Russia's political support and voice on the security council. America needs Russia's responce to terrorism to be responcible, pro-active, and productive. Russia needs America's help training its troops, equipping its forces, and protects its existing (and still substantial) assets because its completely clear by now after Afghanistan and Chechnya that Russia troop quality, experience, and morale is insufficient to do the job right. That's a hard thing for a nation with a proud military tradition to accepted, but it has to be accepted. Yes, the U.S. is just as much to blame (if not more so) for the fact that such an alliance doesn't already exist. Clinton basically had not foreign policy with regard to Russia, and ignored Russia for 8 years. After the Soviet Union collapsed, most Americans and most American leaders basically treated Russia as a problem that had been solved and which should go away, instead of embracing Russia as a newly found friend the way Reagan did when Russia came to the table to talk about reform. But a real appeal by Russia for help and friendship is very likely to well recieved rather than rebuffed by this president. Right now the world is on the brink of or already involved in the biggest conflict since WWII. Just as in that war, the only way to ensure victory over the Fascists of this day is for the American Eagle and the Russian Bear to fight side by side. We'll iron out our remaining differences (far smaller ones than we had then) after this war is won.
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Big Bad Pariah    RE:Russia must swallow its pride.   9/10/2004 1:02:09 PM
How exactly can the US help Russia with the Chechen problem?
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KiloHound    RE:How exactly can the US help Russia with the Chechen problem    9/10/2004 2:53:13 PM
I think US and Russia should work together. I somewhat friendly to American culture. However, it is common opinion here that the US (or, at least, some powers on your country) is trying to destroy Russian Federation within, with the help of rebels and radical minorities. All the US doing now is harbouring Chechen emissaries, supporting various political committees like American Committee for Peace in Chechnya, selling out Russian FSB agents to Qatar, ant trying to influence Russian Caucasian politics. I like the idea of alliance between our countries, but I don't think it will happen. The Cold War is not over, IMHO.
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Roman    RE:Russia must swallow its pride.   9/10/2004 6:58:09 PM
I agree with you almost completely celebrim. Although relations between the U.S. and Russia are not as bad as they used to be, forging a trully trusting relationship will be very difficult for both sides, though the benefits of success would be enormous. There are Cold War elements in both countries that remain powerful and hostile to each other. In Russia it is those that want to 'check' the only remaining superpower (though if you read my other posts you know that I disagree with the portrayal of the U.S. as the only superpower - China is already another superpower IMO) and in the U.S. there are also many people with Cold War type of thinking and seek to minimize Russian influence everywhere. Russian remaining hostility manifests itself through semi-alliances with nations such as China and Iran both of which if not already hostile at least have the potential to turn hostile to the U.S. Of course, there is more at work here than just distrust of the U.S. - Russia only has two major viable industrial sectors left - militar/nuclear industry and resource extraction/processing industry. It simply cannot afford to stop selling arms to these nations unless an alternative market for them is found, since Russia does not have much else to sell (apart from finite natural resources on which it depends to far too great an extent already and this dependence is unsustainable). Even if 'mistrust' between the U.S. and Russia disappeared this economic issue would need to be addressed somehow in order for Russia to stop the arms transfers. As for the U.S., there are also numerous Cold War thinkers that seek to destabilize Russia (hence the significant support for Chechnya) and strangle its influence in the Caucasus (the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, stationing troops in Georgia, etc.) and in Central Asia. Needless to say, this is unnacceptable for the Russians, just like Russian attempts to gain influence in Latin America (via Cuba and other nations) were unacceptable to the U.S. in the past and would be unacceptable today. Unless these policies stop I am certain that a truly close relationship between the U.S. and Russia cannot be successful in the long term. Well, we can only hope that policy makers in both countries realize what is at stake and abandon their mutually hostile policies, because an alliance between these two great nations is highly desirable indeed.
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Alexis    A little comparison between EU & US from Russian POV   9/14/2004 11:14:48 AM
Russia's foreign trade totaled 209.2 B$ in 2003 : From the same source, US-Russia trade totaled 13 B$ in 2003. On the other hand, EU-Russia trade totaled 85 B€ in 2003 : With current change rates, that is more than SEVEN times as much as US-Russia trade. That is, from Russia's POV, the EU (that "regional power") is commercially SEVEN times as large as the US (the "superpower"). That little fact has to be taken into account, and I think President Putin does take it into account, because he has the best interests of his country at heart, and as a consequence aims at establishing links with the best partners. That was the trade / investment POV. From the security POV, one should note that Russia is looking into closer ties with Israel, who has an extended AND SUCCESSFUL antiterrorist experience, by contrast with Russian and American troops alike (can you say "Iraq" ?). Moreover, Israel has no history of supporting Islamist rebellions in Chechnya or Tadjikistan to weaken Russia, therefore it is a more trustworthy partner than the US from Russia's POV.
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Soviet Spetsnaz    RE:Russia must swallow its pride.   3/28/2005 5:29:54 AM
Alot of people talk how Russia lost its superpower status, it is true that Russia lost the superpower status, but that was prior to the first world war. Russia was never a superpower in the 21st century. Another mistake alot of people are making is to label Russia the Soviet Union. Russia was a member of the Soviet Union, not more not less. The corrupt Soviet leadership crippled Russia's economy, and in the end did more harm than good to Russia. >>The best way for Russia to regain its honor is to partner with the U.S<< How ? By "gangin' up" on third world countries and stealing their natural resources ? That would certainly multiply Russia's economic abilities, but how would that restore honor and glory ? >>Even if Russia is not the power it once was, there still remain only a few powers that Russia can truly treat as a peer<< There is more to it than economical and military status --common history for example. There is of course economical as well as political relationship. But you don't entrust a nation you fought 40-60 years ago with some of your best technologies. The very same reason is why the US and the UK are long-term allies. No matter how economically profitable it would be, you won't see the German air force fielding the F-117 or B-2. The fact remains that red Russia (the Soviet Union's premier technology developer) and the US were at war --albeit a cold war, but a war nonetheless. Russia and the US are the only nations that can develop, produce and fully equip an army, navy or air force. Russia has the monopoly in the military market in eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and the middle east. The main reason for that is the USA being a potential enemy to the nations in those areas. If Russia would become an US ally, it would lose the whole market. As it has been already mentioned, trade between Russia and the EU is higher than with the US. Add the European, M.East and Asian military market and the partnership with India and China, and you have a higher total. In the end Russia achieves higher profit by not allying with the US. >>The US can best offer what Russia is lacking right:<< >>real military experience and leadership<< If Russia would attemp a joint training programme, it would be with the Brits, not the US. Also, are you seriously suggesting to put Russian units under US command ? And if Chechnya isn't "real" military experience than I don't know what you would call "real". >>pragmatic approach to the problem of terrorism<< Can you say 9/11 ? >>significant economic investment<< Coorporation with the EU is more profitable. >>the historical context of being a free people.<< You seriously belive that you're free ? I pity you.
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MediTheHutt    RE:Russia must swallow its pride.   4/8/2005 1:47:28 AM
What a ridiculous thesis. Russia lay its security and economic interests at the feet of America? The same America that's methodically peeling off former Soviet republics like an onion, slowly working their way to the core? (By the end of this decade, Siberia and other eastern territories will be having their own color coded revolution backed and funded by good 'ol Uncle Sam) The same America that is run by an insane cabal of ex-trotskyists that actually view the Chechen revolt as legit(for no other reason than it costs Russia blood and treasure)? The same America that is protruding into the Caspian oil theatre to prop up small time govs as a blocking force and tripwire? No sir. The world is rapidly coming to focal point that is dawning on a number of countries. The question of whether to sit by and let America dominate in a way not seen since Rome and be content to live on the scraps or to block that end scenario and push a multipolar world where natural resources and markets are still accessible albeit with much more powerful secondary nations extracting higher prices. The EU, Russia, and China have seen the light. China has never had to change direction on this count, always considered an adversary for the last 60 years. However Europe and later post-Soviet Russia have opened their eyes and realized that with limited resources, it's a zero sum game. They are accelerating their checks on U.S. power accordingly. Only this year, Germany has bluntly stated that NATO is dead and the EU will be the final security apparatus for Europe. The EU will lift its arms embargo on China. Russia has lost its fear and hopes in the U.S. and is now re-entering SW Asia as an arms supplier to anti-U.S. regimes. If you think 2005 was a rude wake up call, it's only going to get worse a lot faster in the next 5 years.
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jastayme3    RE:Russia must swallow its pride.   5/8/2005 1:20:59 PM
How exactly can the US help Russia with the Chechen problem? -------------------------------- None-that would hurt Russia. One of the first laws of civil war is that the first faction to call on outside support looks bad. This is one place where Russia needs to do it alone and America needs to be neutral.
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jastayme3    RE:How exactly can the US help Russia with the Chechen problem    5/8/2005 1:34:47 PM
All the US doing now is harbouring Chechen emissaries, supporting various political committees like American Committee for Peace in Chechnya, selling out Russian FSB agents to Qatar, ant trying to influence Russian Caucasian politics. ----------------------------------------------------- I don't know much about all this frankly so I am guessing. American Commitee... may be a private organisation. The government here doesn't control peoples mouths which is good on the whole but embarrasing sometimes. Also a lot of these groups are really just people who think you can sanctify the world by waving a magic wand and saying "peace" and don't think about how difficult it actually is to acheive peace. Such can be an obstacle to our own policy too. In other words, without information I am guessing them to be simply naifs. But again I don't have information.
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