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Stalin had no such belief in Hitler's peaceful intentions, as indicated by his continued rapid expansion and modernization of the Red Army and the massive resources he put into the Molotov Line fortifications on the 1941 border.
"Stalin gave Hitler access to natural resources which had been cut off from the West"
Stalin offered the West a full-dress military alliance on 16 April 1939. Daladier showed definite interest. Chamberlain didn't like it at all, and spent the whole spring and summer of 1939 resisting being dragged into it. The Poles were utterly determined to reject any such notion.
The M-R Pact was better than facing Germany and Japan simultaneously and in isolation, but that was it.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/12/03/obama_can_t_get_no_respect
China and Russia have been enemies since the 1600s before the United States was even in existance. So, it is ludicrous to state that US and Russia have been enemies longer than the Chinese and Russians. "
I have said nothing of the sort. What I have said is that US hostility to Russia has been of longer standing and greater intensity than US hostility to China.
"The USA is taking a tougher stance with Russia lately. I don't agree with the policy. I think "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar." But, no doubt, it is because Putin takes every opportunity to poke American officials/ the American government in the eye."
Hm. So it was "a poke in the eye" when Putin called Dubya Shrub after 9-22 and offered unstinting Russian support in Afghanistan, support which continues to this very day... And Dubya Shrub repaid this support by tearing up the ABM Treaty and expanding NATO.
"He knows the west does not like his increasingly authoritarian rule,"
Nonsense. The West loved Yeltsin's far more authoritarian rule, which included turning tanks on his legislative branch, and his massive electoral fraud in 1996. Michael Meadowcroft, the leader of the OSCE team that monitored that election, has reported the pressure he got from his OSCE superiors to minimize his reporting of the massive abuse of 'administrative resource", abuse of media resources, and electoral fraud by which he turned his single-digit approval rating into 'victory' over Zyuganov.
"Russia doesn't need the Eurasian Union to confront China. All it needs is the support of allies like the US, Vietnam, Phillipines, India, Japan, Austrailia, etc etc etc."
Geography indicates that in such a war, Russia will bear the brunt of land operations. A Eurasian Union will have greater capacity for this than Russia alone.
" I agree that Russia should be allowed more freedom "in its own backyard," but American attempts to disengage in the Russian backyard have surely not been rewarded with better relations."
Um, -what- US attempts to disengage from Russia's backyard???
"France, Russia, and Germany are American allies, and, despite their willingness to trade with Russia, have been horified at the increasingly authoritarian rule and the suppression of dissent and free speech, including the Pussy Riot trial."
These countries are run by grown-ups, and hence know better than to hyperventilate over rioting p*ssies."
Part of this is due to more lax corruption laws in those countries which, until very recently, gave them a headstart and competitive advantage there. The United States has a law making corrupt business practices overseas a criminal offense for executives of the corporation in the USA. It is called the FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act). In contrast, until recently, foreign bribery expenditures were tax-deductible in Germany! (Of coure, Germans even then outlawed domestic corruption because of the devastation it does on a society, but they were less idealistic about foreign lands and foreign trade.) Because of endemic corruption in Russia, this gave EU companies a headstart over the US. "
There's also the minor fact that the Anglosphere take a dim view of tech transfer to the Russian military.
"Regardless, it was the United States that encouraged Russia's entry into the WTO."
Mostly because the US has many more exports that will benefit from the WTO than Russia does. The main Russian exports to the US are nonferrous metals and energy.
"Do you think Obama pushed that through and used his influence because he was not a friend of Russia?"
Most of it was done by Dubya Shrub, who was a friend of US exporters.
"The fact is, American attempts at inproving relations have been responded to with a slap across the face."
You mean like the unstinting support Putin gave Dubya Shrub on Afghanistan, which Dubya reciprocated by tearing up the ABM Treaty, expanding NATO, and giving independence to Kosovo?
"I think that, with time, American-Russian relations have the potential to resolve positively. The generations that lived through the cold war will grow old and die, both in the USA and Russia. ... As an American who has travelled extensively in Russia, has many Russian friends, and a true love for both Russian people and Russian culture, I hope both Russia and the west will soon recognize the obvious and do exactly that."
One must continue to have hope, but also not forget experience.
"Of course, states have been known to be blind in the short term, but reality is an effective teacher. (See Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact.) "
And your alternative? In the absence of a firm alliance between the USSR, Poland, Great Britain and France, no M-R Pact means the prompt conquest of all of Poland, followed by a German occupation of the Baltic States, and Barbarossa gets launched against the Soviet 1938 border. Meanwhile, the IJN might get the chance for a rematch for Khalkhin-Gol.
And during the Anglo-French-Soviet military staff talks in Moscow, it was found that the Polish gvt were unalterably opposed to accepting Soviet aid. "With the Germans we lose our independence. With the Russians we lose our souls."
All of your comments are of a kind. You dodge and avoid the issue. You don't answer. Chinese and Russian enmity runs much deeper than American-Russian. That's the fact. From the Amur River in the 17th century, then Vladivostok, to more recently Port Arthur, and Mao."
The trouble with your point is, US emnity towards Russia is of longer standing and of greater intensity than US enmity towards China. Allow me to be blunt.
Russia has not a prayer of effectively opposing China without the backing of the populations and resources of a "Eurasian Union". If the Anglosphere were serious about developing Russia as a counterweight to China, they would encourage this. And what did Hilliary say in Dublin this past week? To the effect of: "The Eurasian Union is nothing more than Putin trying to rebuild the Soviet Union. We oppose this, and will act to prevent or delay it." As long as the Anglosphere continue to show themselves more hostile to the development of Russian power than Chinese, the Russian gvt will know better than to expect serious help from the Anglosphere if China becomes a problem for Russia.
"If you really think the Americans are unreliable allies, so be it. But ask the NATO countries who is a dependable ally. Ask Japan. Ask Israel. Those countries have relied upon American might to protect them for generations."
I never said that Americans are unreliable allies. What I have said is that the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite and Punditocracy have a long record of backing just about anybody against Russia. And the Russian government appear to know this. Hence the Russians have the Anglosphere on "Ignore".
Note however that there are countries whose governments have a clue, and value good relations with Russia. Russian tanks have French thermal imaging sights, and the French are building big amphib carriers for the Russian Navy. Rhinemetall is building a fully-instrumented brigade-sized training range for the Russian Army near Nizhny-Novgorod. An Italian contractor laid the pipe for the Blue Stream gas pipeline across the Black Sea to Turkey and for the Nord Stream gas pipeline across the Baltic to German. And it may well lay the pipe for South Stream. You see, France, Germany, and Italy value good relations with Russia, and are eager to cooperate with Russia. It's just the Anglosphere who want the Russian gvt to continually jump through hoops.
And because of this, Anglosphere workers miss out on the tens of thousands of high-paying industrial and technology jobs French, German, and Italian workers enjoy due to their governments' good relations with Russia.
And if in the future Russia is able to make a stand against China, it will be due more to French, German, and Italian efforts than the Anglosphere's.
" But what you don't see is that Russians and Chinese have been enemies much, much longer. . .The Chinese Yuan Dynasty ruled the Amur river from the 13th century. The Russians started contested it in the 17th century. If history is your guide, you need a telescope not a microscope."
And the Russian gvt are not such fools to believe that the US will help them with a China problem. Therefore, the US has no leverage to press Russia for concessions now.
"If you really think demographics are not in decline, I invite you to argue with the US Census projections. "
Ah. I was wondering when you would get to them. Here's a hint. They're a projection, made in 2006.
"Russia is still projected to lose more than 30% of its population in the coming decades. "
And Latvia was projected to have a population of 2.2 million in 2012. Unfortunately, that projection missed the fact that Latvia's birth rate dropped 25% between 2008 and 2010, and it also missed the fact tat Latvians leave their country at the rate of 0.1% per month. They do this because Latvia's economic policy is run from the grave by the mouldering bones of Andrew W. Mellon, President Herbert Hoover's Treasury Secretary:
" liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate… it will purge the rottenness out of the system." And it's working for Latvia about as well as it worked for Hoover.
Now onto Russia, that US Census Bureau projection missed: (1) the continuing large flow of immigrants to Russia, on the order of 300,000-500,000 per year (2) the sharp rise in Russia's birth rate since 2006 (3) The sharp inprovement in Russian life expectancy since 2006.
"Furthermore, if you actually believe the poll numbers in Russia, that shows extreme naivete."
Um, Levada Center is one of the NGOs that got US funding... Their methodology is thoroughly professional.
"All election observers (US, EU, etc) note the fraud. "
And despite it, the outcome of both the Duma elections last year and Putin's re-election this year, were within the margin of error of Levada Center's polls. Therefore it was "Trivial" and "Isolated" not "Massive".
"In fact, even if a majority supported Putin, it does not mean that it is in the best interests of Russians."
Russians have enjoyed rising standards of living since Putin took office. He turned deficits into surplusses.
Dubya Shrub did precisely the opposite.
Russians have been served far better by Putin than Americans were served by Dubya Shrub.
"Your argument is about the past-- historical mistakes the USA made with the Russians, or even the Soviets. My points are about the future, and the reality faced by a realist looking at the Russian Far East and Asian Pacific"
"The past resembles the future, as water resembles water" - Ibn Khaldun, 14th century Arab historian.
Americans have been projecting Russia as their "dark twin" since the 1880s.
As Tomas Maddux, California State University, Northridge remarked in his H-Diplo review of David S. Foglesong's book The American Mission and the “Evil Empire”: The Crusade for a “Free Russia” since 1881. New York: Cambridge University Press, October 2007, "
To affirm their own values and commitment to freedom, democracy, capitalism, and religion, Americans periodically want to remake Russia over to the American system." This usually does not go well, and the frustrated Americans then get in a snit and blame Russia for being Russia. That's all that's going on with the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite and Punditocracy's incessant vituperation of Putin.
"You say that with FDR died the last Soviet advocate, but the fact is, by then, anyone with eyes and a brain could see that the USA and Soviets were going to be competitors. This is simply no longer the case."
In August 1946 Anthony Eden, Churchill's wartime Foreign Secretary, gave an interview to Robert E. Sherwood discussing WWII diplomacy. In ithe expressed dismay about how Anglosphere-Russian relations had deteriorated since FDR's death. This interview is in the preface to Frank Costigliola's recent "Roosevelt's Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War" Princeton University Press, 2012. Costigliola uses this interview in his preface.
In it Eden laments FDR's death and blames Truman and Churchill for that deterioration in terms that would have ended his career if he had not forbiddden Sherwood to publish it. "He spoke at length and with great conviction of the extraordinary ability of Roosevelt to handle the Russian situationand of the overwhelming respect the Russians had for the President." ... "Eden spoke of Roosevelt's infinite subtlety and contrasted him in this respect with Churchill and Truman." "...had Roosevelt lived and retained his health he would never have permitted the present situation to develop." In essence, without FDR's restraining hand, Soviet-phobes gained untrammelled ascendancy in foreign policy and reverted to their prewar form.
"Keep in mind the Soviets still recieved the second most of any country during WW2 through lend-lease, and more than three times what the Chinese recieved. Moreover, Britain repaid the loan, making the final payment in 2006! In the end, the USSR recieved millions of tons of petroleum, tens of thousands of jets and planes, as well as other military supplies and natural resources."
FDR's motivation for this lay in the very practical calculation that helping Russians kill Germans would save many, many more US casualties than helping Chinese kill Japanese. And FDR still faced incessant bureaucratic resistance to Lend-Lease to the USSR, from those who believed that the Soviets should do even more to earn it by being properly deferential.
"I absolutely concede the failure of the doomed "shock therapy" and the inadequate American response in foreign aid. And I am was against Iraq II."
" For one thing, the demographic decline continues and is well documented."
The past demographic decline is extremely well documented, but Russia has had essentially a flat population since about 2007, in that immigration has equaled the natural decrease. Shat is new about 2012 is that there is no natural decrease, so Russia's present high immigration produced substantial population growth.
"Births/deaths is not the only measure because the educated Russian middle class as well as the oligarchs are emigrating at a quick clip. "
The rates that educated Spaniards, Italians, Irish leave their countries dwarf this. In Russia there is job growth for educated young people. These other places, not so much.
"Second, it presumes that the Russian people prefer Putin. Even if that is true (a proposition I do not concede),"
The trouble with the idea that Putin got himself elected through "massive fraud" is that his national vote totals were within the margin of error of his pre-election polling by Levada Center. Levada Center's methodologies are thoroughly professional.
"...it does not mean that Russia is better off with Putin. "
Russians mosly disagree with you, and they're the ones who both probably know Russia better, and have to live with the consequences.
" The threat to the Russian state does not come from Americans but from China. China is the revisionist power that aims to alter the status quo. The US, conversely, attempts to reset relations with Russia and build closer ties-- American troops now transverse Russian territory,"
The Russians know better than to expect US help in the event China becomes a problem for them. Here's why:
1) When Hitler attacked the USSR, the US foreign policy establishment was bitterly opposed to US aid to the USSR. The bureaucratic foot-dragging on Lend-Lease in the US Embassy in Moscow got so bad that FDR had to appoint BGEN Philip Faymonville as his personal representative in Moscow for Lend-Lease, with a direct line to overall Lend-Lease coordinator Harry Hopkins. Embassy Moscow's response to this was two years of unremitting bureaucratic warfare to undermine Faymonville. Google "Philip Faymonville" for many good sources on this story.
And with FDR died the last serious advocate of good US-Soviet relations in US politics.
2) The 1990s were a socio-economic catastrophe for Russians. By 1994, Nicholas Eberstat noted in the New York Times that death rates in Russia were rising sharply even for people in their thirties. The US policy response was words, words to the effect of "More reform! Faster!"
You know, the entire budget for grant aid to Russia in the 1990s wouldn't have paid for a single B-2 bomber? Yup, we wanted undisputed global military dominance more than we wanted successful free market democratic reform in Russia.
And all we got out of that undisputed global military dominance was the Iraq war.
And now, after two decades of demographic collapse, there has been a shocking development: In 2012, there will be more births in Russia then deaths. Only a year ago, the December 2011 issue of "Foreign Affairs" had an article about Russia's unending demographic collapse. And this development is nowhere in the Anglosphere news about Russia. Apparently the antics of "P*ssy Riot" are more important to the Anglosphere than the leveling-out of Russia's demographic death spiral.
And the Russian government has achieved this despite an unending campaign of vituperation by the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite and Punditocracy, indeed the Russians have achieved this in the very teeth of it. This very publication shows it: Multiple articles denigrating Putin, and none mentioning the improvement in Russian vital statistics since Putin took office.
So the Russians are wise to not believe that the Anglosphere will be of any serious assistance to them if China becomes a problem for Russia.
The original "Red Dawn" revealed our sense of victimization (Yes, we, who have been the most powerful country in the world since about 1925 and have dropped countless bombs on every continent in the world except Australia and Antarctica) at the hands of the rest of the world, and our boundless paranoia.
This new "Red Dawn" shows that both of these mental conditions of ours have gotten worse.
6 months ago on Could North Koreans invade America? | FP Passport
@goldeneye The Cold War was a funny thing. It didn't start actually killing the enemy until the enemy had surrendered. Russia stopped waging the Cold War. The US accelerated it. Notice how death rates in Russia skyrocketed after 1991.
The main reason Aron and you are mad at Putin is that Russia has recovered under Putin. For 2012, births in Russia will exceed deaths. The last time this was true was 1992. In FreeMarketDemocraticReforming Latvia, deaths now exceed births by 1.5 to 1.
6 months ago on Conversation @ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/11/20/don_t_go_there
"In the past 12 months, Putin's foreign and domestic policies have been nothing but a brazen, in-your-face challenge to U.S. interests and values. "
Wow, you mean Putin has finally gotten around to replying in kind to the knee-jerk hostility to Russia's interests the US has demonstrated for decades?
Took 'im long enough.
Fact is Leon, the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite and Punditocracy still pines for their dear departed drunken comprador buffoon Yeltsin, but try as they might Putin knows what they are up to, and has cut the Anglosphere money funding the Russian loony fringe "opposition".
"For democracy to work for China, it has to work for China's most powerful."
Yeah, I remember when Boris Yeltsin's Russia 'Democratized' like this.
It cost the lives of millions of ordinary Russians as they were rendered destitute and had their employment/healthcare system systematically destroyed for the profit of Berezovsky et al.
Leave it to a professor of Finance to propose something similar for China.
6 months ago on Conversation @ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/11/19/how_to_bring_democracy_to_china
"We want to press for people not only related to the death of Sergei Magnitsky, but also to the jailing of the three Pussy Riot girls to appear on this list."
Yes, eeevul Putin must be punished for more than tripling wages and greatly increasing pensions over where they were in 2000 (if they were paid at all. Under Yeltsin, wages and pensions were often years in arrears.)
Eeeevul Putin must also be punished for transforming Russia from a place where deaths exceeded births by a million per year into a place with about the highest birth rate of any major European country, and for giving Russians something to live for. )Deaths from alcohol poisoning are down about 75% since 2000.)
Yes, the crimes of eeeevul Putin are massive.
On the other hand, three no-talent, foul-mouth girls who desecrated a cathedral are precisely where they belong.
8 months ago on Conversation @ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/20/the_first_man_of_pussy_riot
@Thierry Bourdelin "except that it has CLOSE TO NOTHING to do with the fiscal austerity or the current policymaking of Latvian authorities."
Look at Latvia's population pyramid, and note the rise in births between 2006 and 2008.
Then look at Latvia's plummeting births between 2008 and 2010.
Now tell me again how it has nothing to do with the Latvian government's policy response to the global financial collapse.
"It's not just the Baltic Countries, all CEE countries (even Russia, Bielorussia and Ukraine) are facing the same problem of rapidly aging or depopulation."
Actually, if you took the care to familiarize yourself with recent actual data, instead of the US Census Bureau's years-old projections, you would know that in Russia, yearly deaths have fallen, and yearly births have risen, sufficiently that Russia may well have natural population growth in 2012.
Quite a change from deaths exceeding births by almost a million a year like it was when Aslund's ideas had influence in Russia.
8 months, 1 week ago on Conversation @ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/12/tk_aslund
@PhilBest @JBSCanada "was accompanied by a boost in government revenue as the result of tax cuts."
Reagan's tax cuts caused federal revenue to decline as a percentage of GNP for several years, as spending and deficits rose as a percentage of GNP.
Hence the Reagan/Bush deficits that were without peacetime precedent.
Until Preznit Dubya Shrub.
"This entry gives an estimate from the US Bureau of the Census"
This is an estimate, a projection by the US census bureau, made in 2006, two years before the Global Financial Crash.
Latvia's 2011 census put the Latvian population at just over 2 million, and it has declined further since.
"Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) informs that processing of Latvia population gender and age data has been completed, and CSB announces that on 1 March 2011 Latvia was resided 2 070 371 persons. Evaluation of the data led to the specification of provisional results published in February of this year by (+)2484 persons."
The policy Aslund so admires has been catastrophic for Latvians.
Lower down on that same page is Latvia's population pyramid, showing clearly what a disaster the Latvian government's response to 2008 global financial collapse was for Latvians. You clearly see births plummeting since 2008.
Of course, Aslund mentions none of this.
"Last year, their growth rates reached 7.6 percent, 5.5 percent, and 5.9 percent, respectively. The turnaround, driven largely by manufacturing exports, has been one of the most remarkable and promising stories of the crisis."
Maybe it is because these governments have hung their people on a Cross of Euros.
In Latvia, births have declined about 25% since 2008. Deaths there now exceed births by over 1.5 to 1.
You have to wonder what the Latvian economy is going to use as a labor force in 20 years.
Whut. A. Laugh.
Such is Ros-Leitinen's hatred of Russia that she can't agree to a bill that has *nothing* but benefits for the American economy. Russia is already in the WTO, so Russia automatically gets all the benefits of the WTO. The only practical effect of this loony rethuglican's opposition is to deprive the US economy of the WTO's benefits regarding US trade with Russia!
Putin's gotta just be laughing his head off. Talk about a clear case of Putin Derangement Syndrome!
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/08/01/russia_trade_and_humans_rights_bills_delayed_until_after_election
"Your ambassador moves about without this, without you getting in the way of his work," McFaul said in slightly crooked Russian."
The Russian Ambassador to the United States has not taken as his mission to place fringe loons with 4% of the vote in power in Washington DC.
11 months, 3 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/05/30/tk
Steve's list of global "black hats"
"1. Vladimir Putin
Vulnerabilities: Napoleon complex. Urge to strip publicly to his waist."
Um, Steve, Napoleon didn't wait for others to shoot first.
And Dubya Bush engaged in more "conspiracy to wage aggressive war" than VVP has.
And you left out one more thing the Anglosphere Foreign Policy Elite and Punditocracy hates Putin for: Russia has recovered from her 1990s demographic death spiral:
Far from declining, the Russian population is ahead of the pace set in the "optimistic" 2010 projection to grow to 147 million by 2025.
Meanwhile, in FreeMarketDemocraticReforming Latvia, deaths exceed births by over 1.5 to 1.
12 months ago on Conversation @ http://oilandglory.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/05/25/the_weekly_wrap_may_25_2012
"Vladimir Putin may have reclaimed the presidency, but his sidekick Dmitry Medvedev is winning the appointments game."
The two are close friends, and share plans fr Russia's future.
"Are liberal reforms finally possible?"
Of the sort you'd like, that would have deaths in Russia exceeding births by 1.5 to 1, like in Reformist Latvia?
Not on your life.
1 year ago on Conversation @ http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/05/21/russia_s_surprisingly_liberal_new_cabinet