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 Post subject: The Second Cold War
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:20 pm 
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Vladimir The Assassin

Well, it is hardly a minute gem of historical bric a brac that when two powerful nations occupy the same area as they have in the past, have the same strategic desires as they have had in the past and compete for the same natural resoures, that historical enmities revive.

Using the whipping boy of the "Evil US" Czar Putin has partially completeld his reindoctrincation of the Russian people to the effect that the US is the world's resident evil.

When I wrote about Russian inability to re arm generally and, speicifaclly, to produce large numbers of the Fighters of The Sukhoi Supremacy, I mistakenly did not account for the billions in oli dollars the Russians would be able to glean from it's own huge reserves.

Nor did I count on Putin's regime being able to sit on top of a successfull capitalitistc stlye economy in the same or similar manner that Hitler rode atop a capitalistic style economy at one level, while retaining an ever brutal hold on the part of the economy in which their respective industrial military industrial complexs reside.

Micro managing the Soviet economy did not work, but Putin will allow the "mcro people' to micro manage as long as he holds the real power .

Over 220 oppostion journalists in Russia have been made to disappear.

Typically, as noted on out broadcast TV, the Russian Police solve 80% of such crimes.

In this case, about 10%.

The loss of the 'satelite' states of the defunct soviet Bloc will, probably, just make it easier for him to enforce Russia's fears of the West, and did not Germany start 2 world wars "to establsih its place in the Sun"?

Two thing Russia has craved for centuries: buffers against Western invasion" and 'warm water ports".

I suspect the quid pro quo of Russia's relative silence about America's Iraq adventure for America's silence about Chechnya will last only as long as the Chechins remain "unreincorporated".

the "Loss" of Many of the "Islamic" SSR's of the former Soviet Union may only serve to ease Putin's centralization of power.

So, perhaps the more things change, the more things remain the same.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:30 pm 
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John, I don't believe you have it right. I don't really think that Vlad the Impaler really is thinking much beyond restoring Russia to a level of regional respect. To understand him, you need to remember the depths to which the Russian economy and people had sunk under Boris Yeltsin. Things had really gone to Hell in a handcart and Vlad has restored them to a large degree using Russia's abundant oil and gas reserves. But he is concerned with the standard of living of his people and will not, therefore, become like the old Soviet Union where all was subordinated to building up a ridiculous level of military armaments that the economy could not support. It was our awareness of that problem which alllowed Reagan to break the Soviet Union.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:02 am 
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and the 200 some odd anti Putim jeonralitics. closed down anti goverment mass media. an expanding military ability.

Anti Putim Mass Medai is now releagalted to the least powerful stations with the smallest areas of broadcast===, warned to be 'respectful'.

Putin will accept no less than ultimate power.

No, It wiil NOT become the old ussr, it is screaming twoard facsisn.

where have you been, I hope you had a good time.

John

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:33 pm 
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John, I base most of what I say about Russia upon what I have been told by two of my coworkers who have travelled extensively in Russia over the past fifteen or so years, mostly in exchange programs to teach the Russians how our securities markets work but also combining their official duties with personal sightseeing and general personal travel for which they paid on their own. They both say that Putin, while a traditional Russian autocrat with a stripe of KGB in him, is far and away the most popular politician in Russia as he is seen as the one who has led Russian out of the depression, economic and psychic, into which it had sunk after the fall of Communism. They say that the "democratic opposition" actually has little popular support and that much of its money is coming from the robber barons who made billions off of the privatization of industry after the fall. Instead of public ownership, they were able to grab off control from the state and the set up monopolies, such as Khodorkovsky did with Lukoil and the Russian oil and gas insudtry. Is it any wonder that Putin gives them such short shrift? Please remember that Russia is not and never has been any kind of a democratic republic despite its contentions; it has ever been one or another form of an autocracy.

As to his foreign intentions, I do not believe from what I have read in several different journals that he intends to ever try to rise to the level that the Soviet Union occupied before 1990. He is most aware that his nation does not have the economic capability to support that sort of military expenditure and I am absolutely certain, based upon what I have heard and read, that he will not run the risk of another melt-down such as occurred in the 1980s. Now, if you want to look toward a nation with the economic capacity and the will to contest with the USA for world power, look at the Peoples Republic of China and then look what country is primarily responsible for helping to create that economic capacity. I then suggest that you read Senator James Webb's article from 09/04/2002 here:
http://www.jameswebb.com/articles/washp ... rouble.htm
Another article in the same vein is here:
http://www.jameswebb.com/articles/vario ... denavy.htm
And yet another in a slightly different vein:
http://www.jameswebb.com/articles/vario ... titute.htm

Actually, you might enjoy reading through his assembled articles and you will understand why I enjoy him so and also why I kept trying to tell the liberal Democrats in Northern Virginia that he was not their standard cuddly liberal Democrat, something that his actions as senator have proven. But he was probably the only possible candidate to beat that charlatan and son of a charlatan, George Allen. George Allen's dad, Coach George Allen, had been the head coach of the Redskins for a couple of years and had taken a bad team and, through trades to build a immediate term winner, had ruined any longer term chances for it. Yes, he took them to the Super Bowl in 1972, but they never rose to anything like that until the later 1980s under Joe Gibbs.
Here is the listing of his articles:
http://www.jameswebb.com/articles/artic ... n_page.htm

And here is an especially good one, in my opinion:
http://www.jameswebb.com/articles/nytim ... eakers.htm

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 Post subject: Well
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:09 pm 
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Hugh:

I am some what comforted.

If what you say about Putin is correct, maybe we can rest a bit easier.

The 200 journanlits killled and his penchant for absolute control is troubling.

But, in this case, I would rather have it wrong than have it right.

Again, I am drawing on Reichaur's , who maintains that he Chinese will fight to maintain what they perceive as their self suffuciency and sphere of influence, and not seek to expand their borders.

(Cheese=expand into siberia, it nearly empty)

But of course that is an old historicla perspective, and may no hold up today...

Putin doe retain one blue water aircraft carrier which operates the "K" verson of the Mig 29 , Su 27 and Su 33, but he is stuck with the treaty the Russian Aircraft Carriers cannot transit the Dardanelles.

I reality, the PRC is more dnagerous militarily than Russia, but Vlad's attitude, especially oer the unoficial liquidatipn of journalists, makes me nervous.

The "Sukhoi supremacy" Series will briefly put the Russian air force on top qualitatively, but the US has "skipped a step" and although out 'interim 21st century fighters cannot compete with the Sukhois, the JSF's and F-22s will be a quantum leap ahead.

I just don't trust Putin.

He, as I said, appears to be a de facto Fascist, and it appears that's the way he wants it.

j

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:03 am 
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I don't trust him either, but I don't believe that we or our children will see a Russian economy strong enough to recreate the sort of threat that the old Soviet Union was in its hayday. The old Soviet Union accomplished the impossible by harnessing almost the entire economy to support their military, leaving the people to ****** hind teat. When Reagan and company finally realized this, they set about a buying spree, challenging the USSR to keep up and they simply could not do it. It caused their creaky system to collapse. I very seriously doubt that Putin, no matter how much of an SOB he might be personally, is going to risk that happening again. I see the Sukhois as good, marketable items to help win friends and influence ouside of his immediate neighbors where he can flex his military power and/or threaten to cut off oil and/or gas deliveries in the middle of the winter. So, he can intimidate his people and his neighbors but that is about the extent of Russia's power unless Putin is stupid enough to unleash a nuclear war and I do not believe that he is.

Now China, on the other hand, has no real internal energy sources and must compete with Japan, Korea, and the western industrial nations for the supply. It is getting stickier and stickier and the growth of India to challenge China in her own back yard is only going to make it worse. And India is a nuclear power so that she cannot be so easily bullied as others. China is a huge and very rapidly growing economy that is going to be competing with everyone else for raw materials and that could very well cause her to begin to expand her horizons beyond their traditional "big frog in a small pond" limits. As you say, the most attractive target for any expansionist minds in the PRC will be Siberia with all of its oil and gas reserves as well as God knows what other natural resources, all populated so very thinly. The big question is just how the Russians would react. Do you remember how Mao chastised Khrushchev for "backing down" in the Cuban Missile Crisis of October, 1962? He told Khrushchev that America was a "paper tiger" to which Khrushchev replied the this particular paper tiger had nuclear claws. Well, it may turn out that China will find that a much reduced Russian military also has nuclear claws.

John, do try reading some of Jim Webb's articles. I find him an endlessly fascinating person and I have liked what I have seen of him as a senator so far. I will tell you that he infuriates both the liberal Democrats AND the conservative Republicans as he does not fit into any neat little pigeon holes.

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 Post subject: OK
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:59 am 
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Webb is a gentlemen who has had my respect for a long time.

Neverthless, I think Putin has taken control of the oligarchy, has created a state of fear in a supposed fledgling democracy and had a tru pehnchany for for power.

Perhaps he can do all he wishes to do, but i suspect he has the power to get things done his way.

The Sukhoi supremarcy is not a got thingd any more than any incipient arms race.

Perhaps is Putin feels 'secure' we will not have to go down another cold war path.

Although His methods of insuring security may way prove to be dangerous.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:57 pm 
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This article, though a bit fluffy, gives a nice overview of Putin.

http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/personoftheyear/article/0,28804,1690753_1690757_1690766,00.html

Quote:
So, perhaps the more things change, the more things remain the same.


This defines Russia/Soviet Union more than you think. I unfortunately don't have much time to delve but my two cents...

1. Russians prefer stability to "democracy". Russia has always had a "strong-man", whether Tsar, Soviet President, or now an all-powerful President. Also especially after we more than helped to botch their immediate post-Soviet Union economy. Jeffery Sachs is an idiot. His cluelessness of a command economy's structure (70 years worth) and shock therapy; and drive for personal gain uncessecarily hurt their economy and started the new anti-Americanism after our brief honeymoon with the new Russia. We missed a huge opportunity to advise and nurture it to be more friendly to us. It unfortunately has taken a strongman to take control and sort things out to where they are now. What's a few missing human rights when you have stable prices and available food?

2. Democracy is a grass-roots created sytem of government. Russia has never had nor will in the foreseeable future have it. What you may get in Russia is their version of a constitutional monarchy and a House of Lords dominated parliament...and that we should be lucky to get. See number 1.

3. Russia's economy has three major problems and infinite minor problems. Until these are solved, we don't have much to worry about.
1. It is now oil-based. Oil is a commodity and is cyclical. There is no economic diversity.
2. The economy is 90% based in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The rest of the country is stagnant.
3. There is still no land ownership in Russia. You lease from the government.

4. Russia will continue to re-establish itself as a regional power from Europe to Asia. Internationally it still has a ways to go to retain its former importance but like any rising or falling regional power- see Iran, pre-Sarkorsky France, Venezuela - it will be an irritant to US foreign policymakers.

5. I would not want to be an independent or foreign journalist there. For death tonight we have Radioactive poisoning or bullet to the head, which do you prefer?

My gaze into the crystal ball sees more of the staus quo for now. This is base on my own studies, and travel and family in Russia. BTW Condi is also an idiot. I have never seen such a Soviet/Russian expert be so wrong in her assumptions - of course it doesn't help to be a foreign policy neo-con.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 5:01 pm 
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Hugh wrote:
...he...will not, therefore, become like the old Soviet Union where all was subordinated to building up a ridiculous level of military armaments that the economy could not support.


True and like he told the oligarchs. I'll leave you alone if you stay out of politics. Those that didn't are now in jail and penniless or exile.

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 Post subject: Fascism v. Communism
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 5:32 pm 
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Hi:

very good input.thank you both.

My definition of Communsm was more or less complete control over the economy and most other matters.

Fascim, in a sentence, controls the major aspects of the economy and armed forces.

In Japan the leaders of the major industrial companies were called the "Zaibatsu" if memory serves.

Dale, I read Funakoshi's book, He uses the Japanese word "Rei" for respect as used in your moto.

If you find time, could you explain the difference?

I was going to and ,au even have made a comment on Rei somewhere, but you would seem the logical person to explain the nuance of Rei.

The Chinese, if one reads what I read a long time ago, seem very much to undivided, secure and self sufficient. They are protective abd would/wil react to a perceived threat whether, internal or external, but not openly Imperialist.

Attaching this interpretation to the present regime Mongol and Manchu dynasties, however, the equation might not hold up.
However, the Chnese are quick to say that Tibet was formerly in their sphrere of influence.

I do not know how the Tibetans react to that position.

Russsia, again, fwiw, has always been expansionist.

Siberia, as you know, was not a part of Russian but added by conquest.

Of course that was at least 2 centuries ago, but it is ironic that it is the resources of siberia that Putin seeks to have his people believe the US wishes to steal.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:59 pm 
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The problem with the PRC is that it is no longer self-sufficient. It must turn outwars in order to find the energy supplies that its modern economy desperately needs, especially oil. BTW, have you seen the efects of this winter's storms in Southern China? Horrendous, worse that Hurricane Katrina!

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 Post subject: Hi-China-Vietnam
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:33 pm 
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First I am glad you here from you

second, I agree that Chinese expansioisn would be Dangerous.

PRC believe (based on past occupations) that the Annamese Peninsula is within their SOI.

The Viets, to some extent, ;settled their hash" when the Chinese Invaded post war, although it seems to be that that action was, relatively small and more intended to secure disputed border area and to slap NVN on the wrists for not toing, perhaps, what the Chinese perceived as a lack of gratitude.

the Chinese,truly. hovwever in Atomic Age. We have to judges risks. China is ruled by a relativey sane politburo,

North Korea and Iran are not from my view, totally sane, and this is where all the atomic powrs on the Earth

If the regige in question is "not sane" clearly even their allies in the nuclear "Club".

Our forces are at their limits-we need assistance in the area.

Now understand that this is bare bones but China is relatively stable and sane.

her border wars with India and Pakistan are "look what you will heve to deal with if you attack us. Tibet, anoth matter whic I much

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:42 pm 
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My use of 'respect' comes from the various styles of karate that I've read about and our school's 'creed'. To me it means respecting yourself, your fellow martial artists - no matter the style or level of expertise - and everything on this planet.

Talking about expansion in Russia:
They were just as expansionist as the US - they owned Alaska and made headway into California. One reason is that they have been invaded so many times over history, from the Vikings to Mongols to Nazi Germany.

However, they've never had the population and also the population never had the freedom (political, labor and of movement) to take advantage of the new lands' resources as Americans did.

Interestingly, there is already unofficial expansion of China and North Korea into Russia's Far East and southern Siberia. They are escaping political situation and also taking advantage of trade opportunites and jobs that Russians won't take. Sound familiar?? Cheers.

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 Post subject: Good Point
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:48 pm 
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When I spoke about Chinese historical tendencies, I was referring back to a Book by Edwin Reischauer "The Cylclical Theory of Chinese history".

It was written at the time of the "Kuomingtang Debacle" of that year.

The Pillars of Chinese Policies, it was thereories revolved around"

"Maintaining the Mandate of Heaven" (if China has suffered from a storm worse than Katrina, then that pillar is weaker'

"Maintaining Confucianism as its phlophical heart" (how heavily Communism treads on this thread is not know to me)

"Maintaining self suffifiency" as Hugh pointed out this may no longer be the case. If it is that case that they cannot, I must say are keeping it close to the vest.

Maintaining thueir sphrere of Influence". On the surce this appears to be true.

I point out that this are only the parts of general principles that I learned a long time ago.

Their have been border squabble along the Amur River for decades, Siberia is sparsely populated and scenarios abound in which the Chenese seek to expand into 'the vacuum" for purposes of "liebensraum".

China has not, except under the Mongol dynasty, hHas not sought to exceed its natural goals.

But things may have changed.

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