Putin's remarks

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Putin's remarks

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1gene2152
feb. 11, 2007, 4:36am

Russian President Vladimir Putin ruffled feathers today when he went on at length about the United States instigating a new global arms race with it's unrestricted use of force in global affairs.

Although I agreed with his comments, some of them struck me as absurbdly hypocritical in light of his own stubborn use of military force in Chechnya, and Russia's huge share of the global arms trade.

2Jargoneer
feb. 11, 2007, 7:20am

Putin acts more like a mafia boss than the leader of one of the most powerful countries but his statement saying that the US has made the world a more dangerous place is stop on, although hardly a unique position. Half the countries in the world probably believe this now. I'm not sure the reason is a new arms race though, in the Bush years US has acted like a bully without thinking through the consequences.

The way Russia acts in Chechnya, and the way the US acts in Iraq, are weirdly analogous. I remember some experts stating that the US and Russians have very similar nationalistic characteristics although superficially they appear different. (Not unlike the UK and Germany).

It would also be a mistake to miss out China, they make everybody else look good. They are currently involved in one of the most successful imperial exercises ever, slowly taking over Africa using loans and trade agreements, all in order to exploit the continent for it's raw materials.

3Doug1943
maig 21, 2007, 6:39am

If the Africans have raw materials to sell (and they have little else), then how is it "exploitation" if the Chinese enter into trade agreements with them?

The Chinese get African raw materials, the Africans get Chinse money which they can then use to buy things.

How else should it work?

4dchaikin
Editat: maig 21, 2007, 8:33am

Africa should benefit somehow.

Sorry, I don't know any details here, but doesn't money, whether Chinese or other, typically get taken by the corrupt governments and get passed around to the few with connections (I'm thinking of Zimbabwe, Nambia, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guineia, Nigeria, Sudan.... ). That is exploitation, no?

5Jargoneer
maig 21, 2007, 8:59am

#3 - it's less a trade agreement than a hostile takeover, it appears. What is causing a lot of the friction is that China are actually importing their own people to do the work, on the basis that the locals are lazy and stupid. They effectively are creating Chinese enclaves on African soil, but as long as they oil the wheels of govt a little everything is fine.

6Doug1943
maig 26, 2007, 4:21pm

I would confine the word "exploitation" (when used in an economic sense) to arrangements where one side pays less than the market value for something.

For example, if a foreign power occupies your country and arranges to buy some of its natural resources, but , through being the occupying power, pays less for them than what they would bring in a free market.

I will freely grant that the money that goes to Africa in return for its natural resources does not benefit the masses of people, being stolen by the leaders.

But this is not the fault of the Chinese.

It's an African problem, and in acknowledging that, we can probably see why the Chinese are reluctant to let Africans be responsible for anything complicated in the enterprises the Chinese establish. (The Chinese tend not to be hypocritical when it comes to racial issues, and will have to learn to generate the polite lies that the rest of the world wants to hear.)

In any case it seems unrealistic to me to expect the rest of the world to economically boycott Africa until honest government appears there.