Saturday, October 13, 2007

Condoleeza Rice Tells Putin How to Run a Democratic Government. No, Really.

Yesterday Almost Forty reported that Putin confronted the US again on a proposed anti-nuclear missile defense system to be installed in Russia. Today CNN reports that Rice is giving free advice on how Putin can improve their government.

A short summary: the US wants to build an anti-missile defense base in Russia. Russia doesn't want it, and Putin is not too embarrassed to say no. It is his country after all.

Now Rice says Putin is 'too powerful and needs to learn about Halliburton'.

Democracy that is.

I really did mean Democracy.

MOSCOW - The Russian government under Vladimir Putin has amassed so much central authority that the power-grab may undermine Moscow's commitment to democracy, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Saturday.

"In any country, if you don't have countervailing institutions, the power of any one president is problematic for democratic development," Rice told reporters after meeting with human-rights activists.

From the above paragraph, it seems Rice is speaking from experience. And yes, we are having the same problem here in the US. Except, instead of trying to discourage another from building a missile defense system on our soil, we hold the dubious distinction of being world's premier exporter of war.

"I think there is too much concentration of power in the Kremlin. I have told the Russians that. Everybody has doubts about the full independence of the judiciary. There are clearly questions about the independence of the electronic media and there are, I think, questions about the strength of the Duma," said Rice, referring to the Russian parliament.

She is concerned about the concentration of power and independence of the electronic media in Russia? This is probably because the media in Russia won't sell out to the US agenda as the American news agencies have. Did anyone get sick to their stomach at this meeting? I know I am now.

The top American diplomat encouraged the activists to build institutions of democracy. These would help combat arbitrary state power amid increasing pressure from the Kremlin, she said.

And then once you do this, then you get to declare war on any other country as you wish. Why not America, for example? We actually do have weapons of mass destruction over here, so you wouldn't even have to lie about it like we did with Iraq. And Halliburton has easy monthly payment plans...did I mention 12 months and 0% interest same as cash?

"Russia is a country that's in transition and that transition is not easy and there are a lot of complications and a lot of challenges," Rice said. "If Russia is to emerge as a democratic country that can fully protect the rights of its people, it is going to emerge over years and you have to be a part of helping the emergence of that Russia."

Putin, look upon the great light of the West for your inspiration to create a government that is more like ours. Then you can take away the rights of your people undemocratically and even deny the children of your country medical benefits.

Alexander Brod, head of the Moscow Human Rights Bureau, said the discussions touched on "authoritarianism and the crisis of human rights." He said he disagreed with "the opinion that we had a flourishing democracy in the 1990s and that we have a setback now." "Not all is ideal in America, either. We see protests against the war in Iraq and violations of human rights on the part of security services and violations of human rights in countering terrorism," Brod said.

You have to admire Brod's restraint. If someone came to me and told me I didn't know how to run my country after I told them that they couldn't just put a missile defense system in my front yard, I'd be hopping mad.

Rice and Gates later met with Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov for talks on trade and economic relations, including negotiations for Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization.

Moscow and Washington signed a trade agreement last November that removed the last major obstacle in Moscow's 13-year journey to join the 149-member group. Moscow must still conclude other outstanding bilateral deals and assuage the European Union's concerns about energy supplies.

If you don't mind us building military weaponry in your country, let me see what I can do to pull some strings around the WTO issue.

Was this some type of attempt to demonize Russia for not going along with the US? The Cold War is long gone. Hopefully we are finally over the illusion that all Russians are blood-hungry for some nuked Americans.


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