Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Dance Of Death Begins

What seven years ago seemed impossible has now begun to take form. Seven years ago, the United States was a well-respected member of the global community, working in partnership, albeit a tentative and rancorous one, with major nations across the globe.

We had Iraq under control and by extension, had Iran under wraps. We had Osama bin Laden in our sights and had Clinton's anti-terrorism plan been carried out by the Bush administration in the wake of the attack on the USS Cole, we would by now have captured or killed him. Likely, we would have rolled up Al Qaeda cells worldwide, and stood a chance of preventing September 11. We had North Korea operating with international oversight.

And we were doing this in concert with Russia and China, and had the moral authority to speak with them frankly about their human rights violations in Chechnya, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, and the Chinese mainland. We could honestly protect Taiwan while working to incorporate China into the world.

In short, we were large and in charge and had the Big Dog at the helm.

From the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy, comes this:
MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin sharply criticized the United States on Saturday for what he said was an attempt to force its will on the world.

Speaking at an annual gathering of top security and defense officials in Germany, Putin attacked the concept of a "unipolar world" -- implying the United States is the sole superpower -- and said U.S. actions abroad had made conflicts worse.
And he's right.

It doesn't take a genius to see where this is heading: Iran. Russia has a very close relationship with Iran (one that could have served to benefit us, had we taken the opportunity when it arose), selling them nuclear and defense technologies despite our criticisms of such dealings.

Mind you, this was the story as you saw it in the United States, but the truth is, Putin was much more forthcoming than this article would lead you to believe:
Mr Putin told senior security officials from around the world that nations were "witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations".

"One state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way," he said, speaking through a translator.

"This is very dangerous. Nobody feels secure anymore because nobody can hide behind international law.

"This is nourishing an arms race with the desire of countries to ge nuclear weapons."
It gets worse:
“The Cold War left us ‘unexploded bombs’ – double standards and templates of bloc-centered thinking,” Putin said at a security conference in Munich on Saturday.

“A single-polar world has never come around. No latter(sic) how much this term is adorned, it means only one thing – one centre of power, one centre of force, the world of one master, one sovereign. This is pernicious for the system itself and for the sovereign, too, because destroys it from within,” the president said.
Clearly a rushed translation, as the conference has not posted the official transcription of Putin's remarks.

Remarkable in this short excerpt from the speech (deliberately posted by the Russian government on the Tass website) is the veiled threat that Putin makes in the guise of a prediction: that the US will destroy itself. This hearkens back to Kruschev's "We will bury you" 1960 speech at the United Nations, which is often deliberately misquoted to mean that the Soviet Union, through its aggression and actions, would overtly destroy the US, when what he said could also be construed as "we will outlast you and see you at your funeral."

(Odd thing about that misquote is, it didn't happen in 1960 or at the United Nations. Kruschev said that in 1956 at a meeting with Western ambassadors to Moscow. He may have said it at the Soviet mission to the UN just after the speech, but the only people there were the consulate staff.)

Putin's comments, coming 50 years after Kruschev's, make it all too clear that America is slipping backwards in its history, to a time when it felt it had to prove a point to the world, and in so doing, has corrupted its own democratic ideals and freedoms to make the point.

But what is the point? Let's leave it to Putin to answer that:
“It has nothing to do with democracy because democracy is the power of the majority.”
Nuff said