John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 20 06:42:23 UTC 2008

Oh, boy.  This is going to be fun.  : )

On Sun, Oct 19, 2008 at 10:12 PM, Frank McElligott <Frankmac at ripco.com>wrote:

>  Please look into how Putin came to power before you think Russia is again
> becoming a land grabbing dictatorship. It is not true period.

Well, when the various mafias & oligarchs were running rife over the nation
it was Putin who appealed to the Russian people as the law and order guy
during the presidential elections.  And generally order was restored by
Putin and his administration.

Regarding Georgia, Russian forces are going to be spending many years
"protecting" the various factions there that side with Russia.  I do credit
Russia with not going for a long-term occupation of the entire nation.
Please remember, Georgia is not Iraq.  If only it was! lol

> They are becoming a superpower in oil and gas. But the army budget gets
> less than 30 billion dollars annually. Please all the stuff used in the war
> in Georgia were  very old and from the it's cold war days.

What will enable Russia at least a temporary restoration of superpower
status is the *massive* northern offshore oil deposits within the newly
extended Russian coastal territorial boundaries.  The wealth gained from
this will be tremendous and Putin is already drawing up a big shopping list
of how to modernize the Russian armed forces with the money that will be
rolling in.

You need to get your facts right.  Russia used a number of new elite army
divisions to invade Georgia that were especially trained to fight and defeat
western grade military forces.  The Russians were horrified when Russian
hardware and Russian trained Iraqi troops got their asses handed to them in
two gulf wars.  They are now very focused on developing a military that can
successfully contend against NATO level forces.

>  Not like America where we have a volunteer army, RUSSIA has a draft and
> it's soldiers (all male by the by)  earn almost nothing. Does that say
> something about American
>  training and American equipment. Georgia has the building in Washington
> DC re-thinking about both our training methods and our equipment/

They do *generally* have conscripts who are not very happy to be serving in
uniform and are sometimes victims of severe beatings and even rape.  But
they do have those troops who are there very willingly and are sometimes
among their well-funded elite fighting forces.  As I said, the Russians are
hellbent on improving their military and the standard of living for their
troops will have to be one of those things.

I did not quite understand the last sentence in your previous paragraph.  I
am sure Pentagon planners are carefully going over the details of the
Georgia conflict.  Georgian command and control was reported to be lacking,
for one thing.  Interestingly, Israel sent people to Georgia to train their
forces and the Israeli's know their business when it comes to orchestrating
war.  But when Russia asked Israel to withdraw their instructors, they
actually did so, which I admit to finding surprising.  Ultimately, I don't
think Georgia really had a chance but I was surprised at how fast Russia
took over the small nation.

> 1. When you had a problem with your local government like Burger King did
> in St. Petersburg you went to the West's government man to fix it, and it
> got fixed.
>     The west's man in ST. Petersburg   V. Putin.

Isn't this sort of a mark of dictatorship and a poorly functioning
democracy? lol

> 2. Everyone in Russia knew that Yelestin was a drunk and in the West's
>  pocket, and when he picked Putin  to succeed him it was at the West
> bidding. They even made a movie
>     of how he (Yelesin) won the his last election using Western political
> methods.
> 3. When Putin  came to Power he spent time in Crawford Texas
> discussing with George Bush what the WEST(meaning the US)  was expecting of
> him now that he was our man
> , Yes he was told what to do and what we would do when he did it.

The problem America has it that we just can't always get other countries to
do what we expect of them! dammit!

> 4. And for the last eight years Russia has used it's oil revenues to gain
> not one foot of land from the former USSR.

It takes time to modernize a military...  And also remember that with
Russia's oil reserves they can intimidate nations like the Ukraine without
firing a shot.

> 5. Russia has democratic elections, more on the up and up than south
> America and Africa, just because you don't like there outcome you can't say
> the are no valid.

Russian journalists and the mass media have been intimidated/muzzled by the
government and it is very hard for rival candidates and parties to get out
their message.  Or for serious criticism of the government to even be made.
This obviously effects the whole nature of elections...

> 6. RUSSIA did not invade Georgia, Georgia moved first and was victims of a
> fool for a government. Georgia was warned by Rice if you invade  S.O  Russia
> will attack you BACK
>     still they invaded anyway thinking that Russia would not do that and
> they figured wrong.

Mistakes were certainly made on both sides.

> 7.  When asked concerning problems with the EU about Georgia, Putin replied
> they will not be a problem for Russia as Russia supplies 35% of EU's  power,
> and they
>      the EU will look out for number one. And they did.

Yes, Putin was certainly right about that!  And this is another reason the
West must become energy reliant.  But even if there were no European
reliance on Russian oil, I just don't see them getting involved in Russia's

> 8. It is rumored  in Russia that Putin has Billions in Swiss banks, and
> wants  just to get out, for if he did not they would have rewritten the laws
> just like New York
>     is doing for Bloomberg if he wanted to stay.

Interesting.  He doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who would want to go
on permanent vacation in some foreign nation and turn his back (in the eyes
of his people) on his homeland.  Putin can have plenty of relaxation and fun
in present-day Russia and that I know of he has no major enemies to
seriously worry about, unlike certain past oligarchs who fled their nation.

> 9. which come back to the final point, without a strong Russia and a strong
> China, we would not need that big building in Washington playing war games.

"We need enemies!"  Actually, with the war on terrorism, our superpower
rivalries may have to take somewhat of a backseat for awhile.  But
ultimately, the U.S. needs the Pentagon and the military it oversees due to
powerful tyrannical nations with designs on us and others.  The future
unfortunately, will probably have nations who put ugly scars on history in
the way Nazi, Germany and Imperial Japan did.

> 10. We always need to have someone to hate, but the Russian's are nice
> people, I been there and married one, so if you need to hate, pick on  China

The Russians generally *are* nice people.  And so are the Chinese of
Communist China.  But governments and national populations tend to get mired
in needs, wants, competitions, goals, plots, hysteria, prejudice, etc., and
so mistrust and even cold and hot wars can result.

I do feel China is a far greater challenge for America and the West.  Some
scholars say Russia is ultimately a nation in steep decline (low birth rate,
population shrinking, bad public health profile, long-term and diversified
economic growth picture not good- oil will not last forever, etc.) and over
the next several generations their power will greatly recede and China will
culturally and politically absorb the Russian Far East (without a shooting

But one scenario is that due to the new northern offshore oil reserves and
the huge boost to the military that will come from it, Russia will explode
in a spasm of war against China before it finally permanently fades into the
status of a former superpower.

I'm glad you did your part for superpower relations by marrying a Russian.
: )  I attended the University of Alaska Anchorage when several hundred
Russian students attended there in the cause of getting them business
degrees and turning them into good little capitalists.

When the American coeds first saw the Russian female students (a lot of them
looked like Victoria's Secret models) it was with great alarm and dislike,
but they were soon relieved to learn these foreign women would rarely cross
"party lines" when it came to dating.

John Grigg

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