Russia surrounded by USA

How does it look to be encircled by the old enemy? This (rather simplified) map of Russian and US forces might help to put things into perspective.

The title, by the way, reads: How Americans control Russian territory.

Map of Russia surrounded by US military

Image from English Russia.

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38 Responses

  1. Lyndon says:

    There’s a bit of spin in this map. Russia, for example, also has satellite surveillance, and I don’t think its subs are just sitting there hemmed in next to the Kamchatka and Kola peninsulas. Also, Russia has long-distance radars, too – although here, they appear to be identified as “Stations to warn of a missile attack on Russia” and so are conceptualized as defensive as opposed to the ostensibly offensive US radars.

    And I wasn’t aware that the US had a long-distance radar facility in China, as the map suggests.

    But it is easy to understand how this sort of representation of reality leads people to talk about a “new cold war.”

  2. Blair Sheridan says:

    Looks like South Korea to me, not China.

    Besides, the US ground-based radars are labelled “long-distance detection radars,” not “offensive”.

  3. Lyndon says:

    Well, it’s a bit to the left of Korea, as far as I can tell, but I’m sure you’re right.

    I can see that the US radars aren’t labeled “offensive,” but the graphic – dishes all pointed at Russia – looks more offensive than the one used for the Russian facilities.

  4. What would really be interesting would be if you could find something in a major Russian media outlet asking what Russia has done to give America cause to stop encircling and confronting it, and what it may have done to provoke America into thinking it needs to expand the encirclement.

    Did “President” Putin’s speech at Munich give Americans cause to feel they should pull back from encircling Russia? What did Russians do after electing a proud KGB spy as President to put American doubts to rest?

    And this is to say nothing of the totally insane idea that American military force is somehow dangerous to Russia. It’s quite clear, in fact, that this is something Russians want to believe because it makes them seem more important than they actually are.

    And THAT’S to say nothing of the even more insane idea that Russia should adopt a confrontational posture to the US assuming its power was dangerous to Russia. That’s the course followed by Sadaam and look where he is now.

  5. Andy says:

    No, the picture shouldn’t be taken all that seriously – especially as an actual map showing military strength. But I think it does quite nicely illustrate some of the concerns that people in Russia (not just those in the Kremlin) have about becoming encircled by an old foe, which now has vastly more military muscle than Russia.

    And I wasn’t aware that the US had a long-distance radar facility in China, as the map suggests.

    I missed that – I think the artist must have meant to place it in South Korea, but discovered that his illustrated radar dishes looked a bit silly squashed so close together.

    Or, alternatively, perhaps the US and China have signed a secret anti-Russian pact. There’s a history of the US and China ganging up on Moscow…

    As for the nuclear subs, I’m sure they journey far and wide under the oceans. Sailors in the battleships don’t have the opportunity to have a girl in every port these days, though.

  6. Blair Sheridan says:

    Nope, had another look and that’s not South Korea!

    Surely it’s not Cam Ranh Bay?

  7. Zaphod says:

    Does a icbm really care where it is lauched? Safe to say both are surrounded come war.

  8. John says:

    MAD – Mutually assured destruction. Now launch you sick *explicit*.

  9. PROXY@CCCP.ORG says:

    USA == UNITED STATES OF ASSHOLES

  10. Rebecca says:

    LA R: “And this is to say nothing of the totally insane idea that American military force is somehow dangerous to Russia.”

    With all due respect, as long as “President” Bush is at the helm, it feels as though American military force is dangerous to everyone the world over. But that’s just my opinion.

  11. Michiel says:

    I think the american government is financially overcommitting itself on military matters. yea, they have super deluxe hardware — just wonderin’ who’s paying for that nice goodies?
    The russians havent probably uninteniotnally not spent that much on military goodies.
    the JSF and F-222 are mighty fine and me is a avid russian aviation fan dont mind the russkies showing off some of their sleek designs.

    In the end the us government is digging a grave where they are burying themselves in financial trouble ;).

  12. Ollie says:

    I beleive we have a situation such as in many other failing countries: make an outsider an enemy – and that explains all of the internal problems…so don’t blame mr president of Russia for the fact that Russia is a third world country. Obviously, it is because the enemies outside are causing it…to be so.

    This is a tactic always employed by – dictators – note: Stalin, Hitler, Kim Il Sung, Chavez, Castro, Mugabe, Khatami, etc. ad nauseum… in order to prevent a revolution. The dictators will always have a reason to trot out for justifying a big military and a huge internal secret police, and all kinds of civil rights and human rights abuses. Gotta keep those potential revolutionaries focused on outside problems… gotta make you beleive there are no problems except those caused by and outside threat… gotta take your property to build a better army and more powerful government to stop the enemy at the gates… gotta give up your rights for the good of the country… to protect the country… to protect the revolution… to protect the advancement we are making… – and all kinds of other illusions.

    For those who actually read history books rather than the media, we understand why those who don’t read, must blame outsiders or the USA or others for their internal problems. The gullible – the Soviets themselves used to have a term for them, USEFUL IDIOTS – refuse to believe that history is doomed to be repeated because they ignore it, or don’t understand it, or follow the dictator’s propaganda line.

    And for those who pretend Bush is the only president of the US to go to war in a country that “should be of no interest, and for no reason at all” … I remind you of the US going into Kosovo by military order of President(s) Clinton… justified by Sec of State Madeleine Albright who said “the US has such a wonderful Army we should use it for something.” I wonder why the Russians would not feel threatened by such thinking? The only other justification given was that it was against genocide – (otherwise ignoring those other genocides going on at the time – including ignoring ones in southern Russia, and Darfur, and Chad, and Rwanda, and…) That is a lot less justification than for Iraq.

  13. Ollie says:

    As for the US government overcommintting for military, again history shows that the USA government has the lowest military budget since the WWII. Military budget then went as high as 30%, down to 15% during the Korean War, down to 12% during the Vietnam War, down to 4-5% during the Clinton’s Peace Benefit (end of Cold War), down to 3-4% today (yes even after and because of Bush). These are as percentage of GNP of course (for those of you who do not beleive in or understand capitalism – as a percent of total economic product or output.)

    Incidentally, the Soviet Union collapsed because of what was overcommitment of GNP to military. It was revealed by the Russians themselves that they (under a dictatorship – secretly) committed 30% of GNP for all those years 1941-1989 until their economy completely disintegrated in 1989 – that is why they are a 3rd world country today and not a 1st world country as they should have been. Wonderful, as central dictatorial planning must be. So, to reiterate, blame the US of A for all of this…for you who beleive that propaganda …it is wonderful!!

  14. trat for says:

    In politics and in international conflicts it is always best to know the mindset, the culture and viewpoint of your opponent.
    Look at the Vietnam conflict for example the Americans did not fundamentally understand the conflict from the Vietnamese national struggle viewpoint and not as a fight for world communism.

  15. kalle says:

    Russia is not a third world country, it´s a second world country as is most of the former soviet block.
    People are generally not so bad off in Russia, and they usually don´t starve.
    Huge difference between Russia and some african countries.

  16. anonymous says:

    I hope they enjoy their DirecTV

  17. REBECCA:

    I don’t dispute your point, although I don’t agree with it. My point is not how the world feels but whether there is actual danger or not. Lots of people are afraid to fly in airplanes but think nothing of going for joyrides in cars. In fact, planes are far safer than cars. There is no evidence, none whatsoever, that America has either the intention the motive to launch a military assault on Russia. Therefore, for Russians to fear it is irrational and paranoid. This same paranoid fear bankrupted the USSR. When it collapsed, the US didn’t attack as it would have done had the fears been legitimate.

  18. GER O'BRIEN says:

    LR -you love continously offending Russia by refering to it as inferior to the US, at every turn.
    The USA:
    Massive trade deficit
    Huge foreign debt
    Rising unemployment
    Hopeless war in Iraq
    A weak currency that is finished if Iran and OPEC moves to trading oil in euros
    Hugely dependent on other nations for energy
    Poverty in the south, e.g. Louisiana as bad as any Russian provinces(I thought shacks were only in 3rd world countries – funny, I saw loads of them with my own eyes in Mississippi)
    Health care only for the wealthy
    Women with enormous backsides
    McDonalds
    George W Bush
    Jessica Simpson/Britney Spears etc
    CNN/Fox News/David Letterman(if he’s the height of American humor, then the world really is doomed)…need I go on?

    RUSSIA
    Foreign debts being paid early
    Huge hard currency reserves
    Massive energy resources
    Tends not ignore vetos in the UN security council
    Tends not to invade other countries looking for non-existent WMDs
    Does not spend 60 years meddling in Middle Eastern affairs then wondering why people there dont like them
    Zemfira/Uma Turman/Leningrad/Maria Sharapova
    Moo-Moo and Yalki-Palki
    Women with small backsides

    If the US were a family, then the house would be getting repossesed by now. Debt is something Americans have a lot of but fail to understand. You spend all this time ranting when fools with attitudes like you have actually ruined what was a fine, noble country in the past that really did good for the world. Paranoid, mad freakshows like you, Cheney and that other clown Rumsfeld who’ve dragged the US to Vietnam, Korea and now Iraq. You should be looking to solve your own problems at home LR and not spend so much time criticising Rossiya. Try paying your debts first, apart from anything else its just good manners.

  19. Andy says:

    “Try paying your debts first, apart from anything else its just good manners.”

    I’m not sure you’d find many bankers thanking the US for its good manners, Ger, if they were to start repaying their debts at the speed Russia does. Just think of the interest payments they’d lose out on…

  20. GER O'BRIEN says:

    True enough Andy)) But its a sad state of affairs. I remember growing up in Ireland, we idolised the US. But now all of us just groan when we see the news of yet more disaster in Iraq, more nutty speeches from Cheney(who I think is most at fault, not Bush) and shake our heads and wonder what has become of a once fine nation. And it is precisely people like Cheney and LR who have ruined it.

  21. Rebecca says:

    Is Ollie La R in disguise?

    Anyway,
    LA R said: My point is not how the world feels but whether there is actual danger or not… There is no evidence, none whatsoever, that America has either the intention the motive to launch a military assault on Russia. Therefore, for Russians to fear it is irrational and paranoid.

    Again, with all due respect, American Foreign (and increasingly domestic) Policy could be seen as equally “irrational and paranoid” – and THAT is what engenders the sense of threat. When you can’t rely on a president to go to war legally or rationally, you can’t predict where will be hit next – which SHOULD make EVERYONE scared because there IS a real danger.

  22. Tim Newman says:

    Massive trade deficit

    I’m not sure why this is such a huge problem. One of the primary causes for the deficit is that the US has become an extremely attractive place for foreigners to invest their funds, which is hardly a bad thing. Of course, idiot politicians like to use the trade deficit as an excuse to throw up all sorts of barriers to free trade, looking to gain the support of inefficient and expensive US manufacturers. But this does not make economic sense.

    Huge foreign debt

    The US has been in debt since the Vietnam war. The UK since WWII. Provided the debt can be serviced, which in the case of the US it can, this is not a problem.

    Rising unemployment

    This is a far greater problem in Russia than the US, and Russia also suffers from chronic underemployment.

    Hopeless war in Iraq

    Which can be brought to a rapid conclusion with the election of the next president. Hardly a long-term or insoluble problem.

    A weak currency that is finished if Iran and OPEC moves to trading oil in euros

    This theory has been debunked many times. The number of dollars traded on the international currency markets dwarfs the amount of oil bought and sold. OPEC selling its oil in Euros would have no significant effect on the dollar.

    Hugely dependent on other nations for energy

    As are Japan, China, France, and Germany. As has been shown, a lack of domestic energy supplies does not hamper economic prosperity. However, there are plenty of countries with an abundance of energy who have remained dirt poor.

    Poverty in the south, e.g. Louisiana as bad as any Russian provinces(I thought shacks were only in 3rd world countries – funny, I saw loads of them with my own eyes in Mississippi)

    I’m pretty well travelled over Russia and the US, and poverty is a far greater problem in Russia than the US. I have yet to go to a village in the US where everyone is reliant on a standpipe for water and old women are flogging potatoes at railway stations.

    Health care only for the wealthy

    This is untrue, Medicare and Medicaid both provide healthcare for the non-wealthy. And poor people in Russia have awful problems accessing decent, affordable healthcare.

    Tends not ignore vetos in the UN security council

    Of course, Russia’s voting record in the UN is admirable.

    Tends not to invade other countries looking for non-existent WMDs

    No, instead they send their army into a small corner of their own country and proceed to crush the ethnic population along with any Russian unfortunate enough to get in the way. Russia’s handling of its military adventures has been as inept and poorly thought through as that of the Americans.

    Does not spend 60 years meddling in Middle Eastern affairs then wondering why people there dont like them

    This is not true. It was Russia that armed Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Egypt, and provided them with diplomatic cover in the UN.

  23. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Tim,

    massive trade deficit not such a huge problem? Really? Keep consuming, produce nothing then foreign investors pull out -what happens then precisely? The economy improves? Where did you learn your economics? The USSR? Ancient Rome maybe? What happens when investors decide to go to India and China on masse?

    Foreign debt – what happens when the above happens and the US cant service its foreign debt? I suppose default, according to your reasoning, will improve the economy.

    Hopeless war in Iraq -yes, you’re right, maybe it all be over soon -for whom though? The US? When they move their backsides out and leave the Sunnis and Shias knocking the s***t out of each other? Great stuff. Just go in and wreck the place then leave cos it doesnt suit you anymore? I say hopeless because it has been a disaster so far and even the latest operation is falling to pieces in Baghdad. I’d love to see it all over soon, same as any decent person. But it’s not going to happen. Another wonderful US job. And Britain should be ashamed of itself too.

    Weak currency -when Iran and OPEC do move to Euros, we’ll see what happens. Maybe it’ll even strengthen? Dont hold your breath.

    Hugely dependent on other nations for energy -when India and China come looking for more, with more money to spend in 10-20 years and in better economic shape than the US, who are Iran and Russia going to sell to then? Are you saying its a good thing to be dependent on foreigners for energy with a weakening economy and a bad long term prognosis? Isnt that why the US are in Iraq? And dont bother retorting with the conspiracy theory line either. There’s no doubt the US are in Iraq to get control and/or preferential customer status from the Iraqis for their oil. I read with horror in Fisk’s book The Conquest of Civilization how during the fall of Baghdad the(ungaurded) Iraqi National Museum was in flames with priceless parchments blowing around in the wind, whilst up the street the Iraqi Oil Ministry was the heaviest gaurded building in the city(by US troops of course)Funny, that. A bit anxious for the oil maybe? No, not at all. Such a thought! Reminds me of the Transformers toys in the 80’s, chasing energon cubes like their lives depended on it. I guess the US lives do depend on oil. They spend enough of their own and other peoples lives to secure it.

    Poverty -are you joking me or something? Have you seen the shacks people live in in the US South? Made from bits of wood? Do they have running water? Really? Maybe jacuzzis too? Hot tubs? There’s no doubt these people are as poor as people in parts of Russia, they just happen to live in a wealthier country. There’s no doubt they have to travel for water too. I never saw more beggars anywhere than New Orleans. And this before Katrina. You have no point to make at all in this. The US has massive problems at home, wouldnt they be better of feeding their own people first?
    As for selling potatoes, funny, in London I saw huge amounts of people selling all kinds of manky stolen goods in markets. Is that as bad selling potatoes, no?

    Security council resolutions – Russia did not invade Iraq without such a resolution and with fraudulent claims of WMDs. The US and the UK did. Countries can vote however they want in the UN. They didnt vote for this crusade. And the US still ignored them. Are you trying to say the US and the UK have never voted in the UN to suit their own ends? Only Russia has done that, yes?

    Middle Eastern affairs -Russia may have armed these countries, bad and all as they are, but they did not invade anywhere nor did they:
    (1) Prop up the Shah of Iran, one of the most vicious leaders in modern history, causing the Islamic Revolution
    (2) Support both sides with the complicity of Kuwait during the Iran/Iraq war, with nearly a million deaths as a result
    (3) Support and protect Israeli expansion into the Palestinian Territories

    There’s a big difference between selling a few Kalashnikovs and MiGs and doing the things the US have done, isnt there?

    Your point about Chechnya is well made however and cant be argued with. I say the same things to Russians and they just shrug their shoulders. Its an enormous tragedy for Russia.

  24. Tim Newman says:

    Keep consuming, produce nothing then foreign investors pull out -what happens then precisely?

    And why would foreign investors suddenly pull out? It’s easy to conjure up doomsday scenarios, but unless there is a credible chance of them happening they tend to be ignored. And it’s not as if the US produces nothing, it does. It just imports more than it exports, which in itself does not spell disaster.

    Foreign debt – what happens when the above happens and the US cant service its foreign debt?

    Again, why won’t the US be able to service its foreign debt? What reasons do you have for thinking it will default any time soon?

    Hopeless war in Iraq -yes, you’re right, maybe it all be over soon -for whom though? The US?

    Yes, that’s right. We’re talking about the prospects of the US vs Russia here, aren’t we?

    Weak currency -when Iran and OPEC do move to Euros, we’ll see what happens.

    As I’ve said, we already know what will happen: nothing.

    Hugely dependent on other nations for energy -when India and China come looking for more, with more money to spend in 10-20 years and in better economic shape than the US, who are Iran and Russia going to sell to then?

    Firstly, there is no guarantee that India or China will be in economic better shape than the US in 10-20 years. Japan was all set to overtake the US in the 1980s, but it turned out rather differently. China’s economy is in danger of overheating already.

    Are you saying its a good thing to be dependent on foreigners for energy with a weakening economy and a bad long term prognosis?

    No, I’m saying it doesn’t matter. Japan is completely reliant on foreigners for energy, yet this played no part whatsoever during its economic downturn in the 1990s.

    Isnt that why the US are in Iraq?

    No.

    There’s no doubt the US are in Iraq to get control and/or preferential customer status from the Iraqis for their oil.

    There is every doubt. Firstly, there is no such thing as preferential customer status on the worldwide oil market: every net importer pays roughly the same price. Secondly, were the US after Iraq’s oil, they had plenty of opportunities to cut a deal with Saddam Hussein and help him to bring more oil to the market. This would have made sound economic sense, whereas invading a country to secure oil for yourself makes no economic sense, nor practical sense whatsoever. Anybody who understands the global oil industry could tell you this.

    Poverty -are you joking me or something? Have you seen the shacks people live in in the US South? Made from bits of wood? Do they have running water?

    By and large, yes. If you are seriously claiming that rural poverty is more of a problem in the US than in Russia, I can only conclude that you have spent little time observing either.

    Are you trying to say the US and the UK have never voted in the UN to suit their own ends?

    No. But you are implying that it is only the US who uses the UN for their own ends.

    Middle Eastern affairs -Russia may have armed these countries, bad and all as they are, but they did not invade anywhere nor did they:

    (2) Support both sides with the complicity of Kuwait during the Iran/Iraq war, with nearly a million deaths as a result

    You don’t know your history. The Soviet Union armed and supported both sides in the Iran/Iraq war, thus drawing out the conflict for the best part of a decade. Hence both Iran and Iraq are awash with Russian arms, not American arms. You seem to have taken Russia’s role in the conflict and erronously assigned it to the US. The US’ role in the conflict is negligible compared to that of the Russians.

    There’s a big difference between selling a few Kalashnikovs and MiGs and doing the things the US have done, isnt there?

    There is an enormous difference between flooding the world with millions upon millions of cheap arms and landmines and what the Americans have done, yes.

  25. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Your answers are hilarious -then whats to be expected from someone cleaning up the environmental mess in Sakhalin? Or are you drilling more holes? Is that what you’re doing there? Seeing as the Kremlin and Gazprom kicked Shell’s arse before Christmas seems to me you might be out of a job soon. Or maybe you work for Gazprom? If not, maybe you should apply for a job with them? Actually looking at your words one can see why you racked up a 10 billion dollar over run on Sakhalin. No wonder Moscow wanted you out.

    Anyway, your argument that the US involvement in the Iran-Iraq war was negligible is total rubbish. The Americans supported Saddam both economically and with arms during the war and also Iran -havent you ever heard of the Iran-contra affair? The price of oil was also kept low by Kuwait pumping more and a reduction in US consumption. The Russians might have flogged gear to both sides, but thats economics. There was no free support. The Americans actually financed Saddam Hussein in their warped logic to try and get rid of Khomeini in Iran. And throw in shooting down Iranian airliners for good measure. Negligible involvent?
    The notion that the US arent in Iraq for oil is total shite as well. How many Russian contracts signed with Hussein were torn up because of the US invasion and how many were replaced with contracts with US oil companies? Is that a coincidence maybe? And how come the country is full of US oil contractors and oil companies? Is that for nothing too? Study, maybe? If Saddam had been able so sell oil properly, who’s to say he’d have sold it to the Americans? Highest bidder or not, there’s no gaurantee he would have, especially after the first Gulf War. He utterly despised the US. There’s plenty of other customers -Russia being one. That US companies moved in with a view to pumping more oil and more efficiently to keep the price down for the homeland is beyond doubt. Funny how in the 90s, when the price of oil wasnt a huge issue, the US hadnt a great deal of interest in Iraqi WMDS? Well, not enough to cause an invasion. They made plenty of noise at the UN and levelled a few villages in air strikes, but that was it. Priorities seemed to change when the price and consumption went up, didnt they? Funny, that. And North Korea, who actually may have WMDs, there wasnt a stampede to invade there, was there? I imagine there’d be a lot of interest if Korea suddendly found itself with huge reserves. As for the UN, I didnt imply only the US use it for its own ends, my point is the US IGNORED it and invaded. What part of ‘ignore’ dont you understand?

    As for poverty, there’s no way those shacks have running water. You’ve got to be taking the piss out of me. I’ve been in Russia 7 years now and I stand by what I said. There’s no doubt there’s huge poverty in the provinces of Russia but the US have problems just as bad. Living in wooden dumps wearing rags is the same everywhere. Have you ever actually been in the southern US? Would stand the hair on your head same as any Russian village. In terms of numbers, there’s got to be 50 million Americans living in poverty of some sort. Its not far off Russian figures. Admittedy the Americans arent drinking bottles of acetone, but they are dog-arse poor same the Russians.

    And lastly if you think the US can sustain the level of debt and trade deficit they currently have for another 10-20 years whilst marching around the world then you are mistaken. It cannot. Do you think foreign investment will continue if oil goes up as well as unemployment, weakening the dollar? The FED would cut interest rates to stimulate growth, do you think that will increase the flow of foreign money in to counteract the trade deficit? It certainly wont. As for default, if you have keep borrowing more and more to balance the books, when does that stop exactly? Do you think the US can continue just borrowing more and more? My point is that the current US situation is not sustainable and saying it is is just defying mathematics. But then again running a 10 billion dollar overrun in Sakhalin, economics clearly isnt top of your list of priorities.

  26. Sean says:

    I found this an interesting statistic. American military bases outside of the United States: According to Chalmers Johnson, “the Pentagon currently owns or rents 702 overseas bases in about 130 countries.”

    How many does Russia have? The best count I could find is from Wikipedia (not a reliable source so if anyone has a better number please give it). It lists seven in Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan.

  27. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Tim, I apologise for the above references to you and Sakhalin, etc. It was bad form and not even part of the argument. I’m new to blogging and am sliding in with two feet too often.

    Ger

  28. George says:

    Ger,

    It’s lucky for you that you are making anti-American comments on a free western blog rather than anti-Russian comments on a Russian language blog because if you were, you would be hounded out by brigadniki.

    http://russophobe.blogspot.com/2007/02/commissars-of-internet-part-i.html

    One standard that you decided not to compare the US and Russia on was freedom of speech – for obvious reasons.

    I will comment on just a couple:

    Healthcare: I wonder how many people in “the west” know that people over 70 in Russia don’t get free care in hospitals. If you have an elderly parent who needs hospital treatment, you pay (a bribe). It is unfortunate for the ones who don’t have relations who can pay.

    Generally now, as in Soviet times, to get any decent treatment in the state system (perhaps any treatment at all) you have to oil the wheels of the system with some money.

    You said about the Iran-Iraq war,
    “The Russians might have flogged gear to both sides, but thats economics”

    Yes, the same economics that made it alright to sell to Ethiopia and Eritrea in an extremely long and deadly war, and to all of the other warring factions that they have supported over the years in the third world. And to sell arms to repressive regimes that commit genocide on their own people. What made it alright was that they weren’t the Americans.

    What they did give for free in third world conflicts was Soviet military personnel, described as “advisors”.

    Now they are selling waepons, some of them high tech, to Sudan, which is responsible for the Africa’s worst humanitarian catastrophe, in Darfur, and $4 billion worth to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, who supports the FARC drug barons in Columbia.

  29. GER O'BRIEN says:

    Fair enough George there isnt anything I can argue against there. I know from personal experience that i had to ‘oil the wheels’ when my son was born here in Moscow. But I’m not anti-American really -my point is that the Americans have behaved as badly as the Russians all over the Middle East in particular. Iran is a mess almost entirely American made. And its sad, as the worlds most powerful country, the US has a responsibilty to behave properly. Ignoring the UN is something I cant get around at all. They lowered themselves terribly by doing that. Pontificating and criticising Russia for misbehaviour is a bit rich comming from Americans. Its the pot calling the kettle black as the Irish say. As for freedom of speech…defending Russia, I’m on very shaky ground indeed…!!))
    Definitely the Russians shouldnt be so hasty about selling gear to a lot of these countries. But my point was that this is for financial gain; in the case of the US, they were giving Saddam free support against Iran. They were directly trying to influence an outcome, in their bitterness after the Islamic Revolution, which is a bit different to selling weapons to make money. They were meddling when they shouldnt have been and their influence helped sustain an 8 year war that killed almost a million.
    As for brigades on the internet, LR published that just to write off people like me as Kremlin stooges. She thinks now anyone who has a go at her is in some brigade. Its pathetic really. Soemtimes I think she’s just a practical joke designed to piss off people.

  30. John B. says:

    “Russia is not a third world country, it´s a second world country as is most of the former soviet block.”

    Most people here (and everywhere else nowadays) don’t seem to understand what “1st-2nd-3rd world” countries mean. It’s a cute but pointless convention thought up sometime in the 1950s by “Western” politicians to label Communist countries (2nd world), USA-aligned countries (1st world), and neutral countries (3rd world). Of course the lines were never that clear. That’s why you don’t hear about the 2nd world anymore, as the “Communist block” has largely disappeared. Ever since then “3rd world country” has just been used as a label to call any country that you don’t like (for example, except for a few cities, I consider most of CONUS to be 3rd world).

  31. GER O'BRIEN says:

    I think John what most people mean with ”second world” is that its better than the third world, like Ethiopia, Rwanda etc, but way behind first world e.g. UK/Ireland/France/Canada etc. I know they are ridiculous terms that dont mean anything really. Moscow is probably a first world city though, but the Russian provinces arent and even St Petes is falling down outside the centre.

  32. Rebecca says:

    So chaps, to sum up – Russia and America are both buggered. Hurrah!

  33. Juan P says:

    The US is ambigous when it comes to Russia. Russia has succeeded in Chechnya where the US has failed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Granted- Some of the measures in combating the criminal mutineers in that district has been heavy handed at times and of course as in any war, collatweral damage is quite inevitable, but the results speak for themslves, and the rapid rebuilding process there is something to admire, not so the “nation building” in Iraq where new buildings built by the Army Corps of engineers and private building contractors leak crap out of overhead lamps everytime you flush!! and the bricklaying done so shamefully sloppy, even a 6 year old wpuld have done it much better!! and Afghanistan? besides the boom in opium exports, there has yet to be any rebuilding of any sort! hell! the USA couldn’t even guarantee humane or dignified treatment at its own military hospitals for its own soldiers! (case: Walter Reed hospital) How do you expect them to treat “outsiders” who they generally view as “enemy” anyway??

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