- The collapse of Soros-Brzezinski control over Julia Tymoshenko,
Queen of the Ukraine, is what appears to be the reality described below.
This represents a parallel phase in the Ukraine to the emergence of Putin
from what was the oligarchical and "pro-western" control of Russia
by the gangsters who thought they controlled Yeltsin. If Tymoshenko finds
in Yanukovich or similar, a serviceable knight, she will survive, along
with the independence of the Ukraine from the IMF gang led by Yushchenko.
- Yelstin had the last laugh on the oligarchs who thought
they controlled him when he picked Putin to succed him. Puin of course,
quickly exiled or jailed the worst of them. Tymoshenko has seen the writing
on the wall.
- Yushchenko says Ukraine government in collapse: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/sep/03/ukraine?gusrc=rss&feed=worldnews
- Russia, Europe and USA: Fundamental Geopolitics http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=10062
- "The government of pro-NATO 'Orange Revolution'
President Viktor Yushchenko in Ukraine collapsed on September 3 when Yushchenko
pulled out of the ruling coalition over the refusal of Prime Minister Yulia
Tymoshenko to back the president in his support for Georgia and condemnation
of Russia in the recent conflict over South Ossetia. Yushchenko accused
Tymoshenko of 'treason and political corruption,' over her failure to back
a pro-US stand. He also withdrew over new laws passed by Tymoshenko's party
in de facto coalition, stripping the President of his veto on prime ministerial
candidates, and facilitating a procedure for impeaching the president.
According to Russia's RAI Novosti, Ukraine's pro-Russian former prime minister,
Viktor Yanukovich, who heads the Party of Regions, has said that he does
not rule out the possibility of forming a parliamentary majority with the
Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc. Such a move would likely remove from the discussion
the entire issue of a Ukrainian application to join NATO."
- Russia Today reported in April that "Opinion polls
conducted in Ukraine over the last 15 years show that more than half of
its population are against joining the alliance. Almost 62% of Ukrainians
voted against NATO membership. Even an 'information' campaign has not helped
- Washington must relinquish the global supremacy nightmare
and return to the infinitely superior dream of a generous, populist democratic
republic...a free and independent world citizen. We must throw off British
and Zionist chains once again, and crush the parasitic banker clans between
Russia and a revitalized United States. It's Common Sense all over again,
and it reminds me of the Russian Navy showing up to back Lincoln against
the Euro/London banker-financed slaveowners who were committed to the dissolution
of the growing Republic into a feudal oligarchy. But who will be the new
Lincoln for America to cooperate with Russia? Who will articulate the policy
of alliance with Russia?
- I'd like to point to one interesting candidate, an expert
on both Putin and Lincoln, who will be certain to decline the offer, but
deserves consideration despite regrettably close links to some of the excessive
militants in DC and a regrettably imperial foreign policy perspective.
- Lewis Lehrman, my father, once wrote a definitive article
in support of Putin for no less than the Weekly Standard. A staunch Cold
Warrior, Mr. Lehrman has spent time in Russia recently as an investor (and
descendant of Russian / Ukrainian Jews) and knows well that the enemy image
of the Soviet Union does not fit Putin's Russia. Mr. Lehrman's new book,
Lincoln at Peoria:
- is also the definitive proof that Lincoln's antislavery
position was central not only to his stance during the Civil War, but to
his return to politics in 1854. Here's Dad's piece on Putin. Mr. Lehrman
should, of course, in no way be held responsible for my opinions in these
- The Case for Putin Don't write off Russia's president.
by Lewis E. Lehrman 12/22/2003, Volume 009, Issue 15
- AFTER THE LATE OCTOBER arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky,
the Russian oil-industry billionaire indicted for fraud and tax evasion,
a striking consensus emerged among American commentators: President Vladimir
Putin was moving Russia toward dictatorship. U.S. intellectuals and pundits,
liberal and conservative alike, responded with an apologia of Khodorkovsky
and a parallel and pervasive assault on Putin.
- But there is another possible interpretation of the controversial
arrest: that Putin acted not against democracy but against corruption;
that he played the part of a prudent constitutional chief executive in
enforcing the laws of the Russian Federation; and that the Russian people
sense this, which is one reason they gave Putin's party and its allied
parties a landslide victory in the Duma elections held on December 7.
- If this latter view is correct--if Khodorkovsky actually
brought about his own downfall, through pride, ambition, and the criminal
misdeeds recounted in the 40,000-page indictment--the eventual trial should
vindicate Putin in the eyes of reasonable people. In a second term, Putin
could emerge as a strong leader of a liberal democracy.
- Whether such predictions are justified, only time will
tell. Putin, to be sure, may be criticized on a number of important counts.
But there are also positive trends in Russia that the new pessimistic consensus
underrates. And there are good reasons for skepticism about some of the
defenses that have been made of Khodorkovsky. Both aspects deserve more
attention than the media have given them.
- To dispose of the latter first, when the apologias for
Khodorkovsky and his company, Yukos, are thoroughly examined, it is a safe
bet that some will be found to have been unduly influenced, directly or
indirectly, by the company and its chief. But more important than the motives
of some of the apologists, many of their arguments hold up poorly on examination.
- Remarkably, none of Putin's critics, as far as I know,
has asserted Khodorkovsky's innocence (though his lawyers have). Instead,
many claim that Putin's government is engaging in "selective justice."
The implication is that no criminal law should be enforced against any
lawbreaker unless it is enforced against every lawbreaker. But even in
mature democracies, the scarcity of litigation resources and unevenness
of evidence make justice necessarily selective. American prosecutors and
the American public understand perfectly well that our own financial scandals
lead to the indictment, much less conviction, of only a fraction of actual
offenders. As for President Putin's terse remark that Russians should be
equal under the law, from the biggest billionaire to the lowliest beggar,
it expresses a kind of common sense about the law that Americans naturally
apply in the Enron case.
- The allegations of anti-Semitism directed at President
Putin are similarly flimsy. With his sensible relationship with Israel
and evenhanded statements about Russia's own minorities ("bandits"
excepted), Putin has been generally sympathetic to the Jewish community.
And the allegations that Putin's conduct in the Khodorkovsky case demonstrates
a sustained campaign to shut down public debate is a canard, as even a
casual reading of the vigorous press and web exchanges in Moscow will show.
A New York Times editorial of December 8 remarked: "Today there are
23 parties and lots of furious campaigning. Despite the Kremlin's control
over national television, newspapers and websites provide lively commentary
- The politics of the Khodorkovsky case are, of course,
significant. It has been reported recently in Moscow that some oligarchs
(including Khodorkovsky) made a transparent attempt to buy a minority of
deputies in the Duma sufficient to block, among other things, a more equitable
system of taxation, fairer to the Russian people and less favorable to
the extractive industries (dominated by the oligarchs). Deputies from several
parties (otherwise opposed to one another) were targeted. This particular
maneuver will not likely be attempted again. Lobbying, of course, has its
place in any democracy, but deputies for hire do not. It is now likely
that Russia's tax system will become more equitable: The very rich will
pay a fairer share, manufacturing will be encouraged, the average citizen
will benefit, and the Promethean greed of the Yeltsin era will be channeled
into the market, with benefits for all.
- MEANWHILE, consider only a few of Putin's achievements
since the total collapse of Russia's economy in 1998 and 1999. Today, Russia
is in the early stages of building a civil society after 1,000 years of
tyranny at the hands of Mongols, czars, boyars, and Communists. Perestroika,
then Boris Yeltsin, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, opened the way for
a decade of colossal corruption characterized by incompetence and official
self-dealing. Putin has led a vital, four-year drive, first as prime minister,
then as president, to contain these corrosive forces. As he said in September,
"If by democracy one means the dissolution of the state, then we do
not need such democracy."
- A reading of Russia's financial performance will show
that central bank reserves are over $70 billion, up from national bankruptcy
in 1998--with an extraordinary rise in reserves of over 25 percent since
January 2003. The flight of capital predicted at the time of Khodorkovsky's
arrest has not materialized. The fiscal budget is in surplus. The current
account surplus continues to add to these resources; some government debt
has been repaid, some refunded. Russia's credit rating has risen from bankruptcy
to Moody's investment grade. Reports on manufacturing growth are exceptional.
President Putin's first term has been, in a word, a financial triumph.
- The Yeltsin model of selling out the Russian people's
assets, for almost nothing, to the "family" and the oligarchs
will forever be deeply regretted in Russia. But privatization will persist,
despite warnings to the contrary from Khodorkovsky's apologists. True,
some Yukos shares will remain frozen until the criminal trial is over (a
not uncommon practice under both U.S. and Russian law), but this period
will be associated with continued growth and stability in the Russian economy,
to the increasing benefit of middle-income and working people. Over the
next five years, the European Union, China, and other countries will vigorously
compete to invest in Russia.
- The fact is, the positive economic trends set in motion
during the presidency of Vladimir Putin are every bit as significant as
those in China, India, and Brazil. Russia's private sector already accounts
for almost 80 percent of national output, up from below 10 percent in 1990.
Ordinary Russians own land and apartments and operate farms that 10 years
ago they could only dream of, and that 20 years ago were possible only
for members of the nomenklatura. Income tax rates have been reduced to
13 percent. Military spending has shrunk to a percentage of GDP comparable
to that in the United States. Russia is now among the top eight recipients
of foreign investment. Russians with good technical educations are being
recruited and paid well, in Russia, by companies as diverse as Samsung,
Intel, and Boeing. In a recent Financial Times piece, the Russian economy
was projected to surpass that of the United Kingdom in just over two decades.
The Russian economy should continue to grow at 6 percent to 7 percent for
the rest of the decade. Wages, now rising as much as 20 percent a year,
will grow further with improvements in productivity.
- Then there are the foreign policy issues. Chechnya is,
unfortunately, all too typical of history's bloody ethnic and civil wars.
There is much to mourn in its excesses. Still, both recent wars in Chechnya
began under Yeltsin, while President Putin is trying to end the conflict.
And al Qaeda's collaborators in Chechnya are being confronted, just as
the Chechen Islamist terrorists who seized a Moscow theater in October
2002 were destroyed, albeit at the tragic cost of 129 innocent lives.
- Washington's request that Russian troops leave Georgia,
as previously agreed, has been correctly reemphasized by Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld. Still, one must be aware of Russia's historic interests
in Georgia. But agreeing to disagree with President Putin on Georgia, and
cautioning him about his intensifying diplomacy on behalf of Russia's commercial
and security links to Eastern Europe, Moldova, the Caspian, and the Baltic
states, need not ignite a new Cold War. Our country, after all, fairly
disputes Russian foreign policy on matters of American national interest
and principle--such as Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. President Bush sees
this clearly, and his recent Camp David summit with Putin suggests that
American-Russian entente will prevail. The consolidation of entente with
Russia, if we can keep it, will be seen as a historic accomplishment by
Bush and Putin, one for which our grandchildren will be grateful--not least
because Russia and America must prepare to contain Chinese hegemony and
expansionism in Asia.
- The strong showing of President Putin's party in the
Duma elections--United Russia and its potential allies could have a two-thirds
majority--should accelerate the reform of civil society. To be sure, there
is much to criticize about the recent elections, and the media have reported
the criticism, often quoting Communist party accusations, among others,
of unfair play by Putin's party. Nevertheless, the Duma elections and the
presidential election due in March 2004 will gradually reduce the anarchy
and corruption in the Duma (known by some in Russia as the Durdon, or the
nuthouse). The Russian nationalist parties' calls in the campaign for a
fairer distribution of wealth and more equitable tax system are faint echoes
of the post-World War II Democratic party. But the rhetoric of progressive
taxation will not lead to a rollback of privatization. The more malignant,
xenophobic rhetoric of the nationalists is to be deplored, but it is safe
to predict that it will go nowhere with President Putin.
- Above all, future historians will appraise the immediate
past and the developments of the next five years in light of the disorder
of the decade 1989-99. An overwrought media, curiously infatuated with
Khodorkovsky--and before him, with the oligarchs Boris Berezovsky and Vladimir
Gusinsky--will gradually come round to acknowledging Putin's achievements.
- A more seasoned Putin and a reformed administration and
presidential staff, for their part, will prove to have learned much from
the Khodorkovsky affair. More confident communication, more transparent
legal processes, and better internal government coordination should enable
Putin to handle major public debates with greater effectiveness. Khodorkovsky
and the oligarchs, too, will have learned much about hubris--that there
is no such lasting thing on earth as Prometheus unbound.
- Finally, watch the losers in the recent elections. For
unlike political losers in the Stalin era, they still have plenty of opportunity
for success in Putin's Russia. As a victorious Putin himself remarked of
the defeated candidates, "All their ideas, all their professional
capabilities, if they decide to offer them to the government and society,
will be put to good use."
- Lewis E. Lehrman, co-chairman of the American Security
Project, is a partner at L.E. Lehrman & Company, an investment firm
that has investments in marketable Russian equities.
- (c) Copyright 2008, News Corporation, Weekly Standard,
All Rights Reserved.