Sunday, October 05, 2008

Baring Russia's Bear

This is insightful on many levels, "Russian troops start dismantling Georgia posts." (WaPo)

"The moves come as Russia faced a Friday deadline for pulling back its troops under the terms of a deal brokered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on behalf of the European Union."

That's right, the United States played no active role in brokering a resolution to this potential time bomb.... Sarkozy and the EU did the heavy lifting while the Bush administration issued largely ignored pronouncements of no usefulness. And the EU is monitoring what so far is Russia's compliance.

This EU-brokered agreement obliges Russia to pull it's military out of what it calls a security zone roughly four-miles deep inside Georgia south of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, although it allows Russia to set up checkpoints in the zones.

"Russia recognized the independence of both regions after the fighting, a move denounced by Georgia and the West; so far, only Nicaragua and the Hamas government in Gaza have followed suit with recognition."

So where are Russia's friends.... China, Venezuela, Iran? Hmmmm. Could it be because a moth-eaten bear.... as evidenced by it's outdated military equipment deployed in it's conflict with Georgia.... isn't yet a Big Bad Bear despite strongman Vladimir Putin's huffing and growling?

Today Murray Feshback explains in "Behind the Bluster, Russia is Collapsing." (WaPo)

"Predictions that Russia will again become powerful, rich and influential ignore some simply devastating problems at home that block any march to power. Sure, Russia's army could take tiny Georgia. But Putin's military is still in tatters, armed with rusting weaponry and staffed with indifferent recruits. Meanwhile, a declining population is robbing the military of a new generation of soldiers. Russia's economy is almost totally dependent on the price of oil. And, worst of all, it's facing a public health crisis that verges on the catastrophic"

As Putin continues to focus the revenues of Russia's oil industry cash-cow on boosting defense spending, (with a plan to fully re-arm it's military to state-of-the-art at a cost of $200 billion) it comes at the expense of Russia's most basic resource.... the health and well-being of it's people.

Three times as many Russians die from heart-related illnesses as do Americans or Europeans per 100,000 people; TB deaths are triple the World Health Organization's definition of an epidemic... about 24,000 in 2007 for 142 million people as compared to 650 in the U.S. with a population of 303 million; diagnosed HIV/AIDS infections are skyrocketing to about 1 million people with an estimated increase of 25 percent more new cases in 2008. The birth rate has been declining for more than a decade and the health of Russia's newborns is quite poor with 70 percent experiencing complications at birth.

Is Russia addressing these tragic and nationally debilitating health issues? No.

For example, "according to Gennady Onishchenko, the country's chief public health physician, only 9 percent of Russian TB hospitals meet current hygienic standards, 21 percent lack either hot or cold running water, 11 percent lack a sewer system, and 20 percent have a shortage of TB drugs."

So do these devastating national weaknesses defang Russia? As Putin tries to claw his way back to superpower status it would be prudent to remember, there is nothing more dangerous than a wounded, cornered bear.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since the collapse of USSR, Russia's territory was sliced and diced, (since when Crimea is Ukrainian?), its economy - banks and other financial institutions corrupted, natural resources plundered by foreigners, all of that mostly by American Jews, military almost ceased to exist, nation went hungry. Nobody helped, hoping to get his piece of Russian carcass. The spies were everywhere, infiltrating government, finances, military ( open skies) . Even religion!!!! After army of businessmen in polyester suites and fake Rolex, army of all kinds of sects rushed to “save” the Russian souls embedded in Russian Orthodox faith since over thousand years. Oh my….
In 1983 I came to the USA, in next winter the electric company cut off the power to the old couples house, they were found frozen to death.
Yesterday 92 years old women shot herself as she was expelled from her house.
Homeless and hungry people are allover not for their choice in this country.
Its still common to deny emergency medical help in the USA.
Doctors still killing babies – remember partial abortion? Invention of Jewish doctors, Children are getting mentally ill after prophylactic shots.
At least those things never happened in Russia. Russia will improve its health system sooner then the USA.
How many people die here in the US due to lack of insurance? Any statistics? Of course nobody cares. This is the most corrupted health system ever existed an the face of Earth.
Russians are more human than anglo-saxonians.
So, before you even start thinking about criticizing Russia, look around here.
Russia is improving by the book, one thing after another.
RJ

Truth Hunter said...

Anon, As an American, your opinion and your right to voice it is respected.

Could you say the same things so freely if you lived in Putin's Russia now?

Of course we have problems in America, but we don't focus the blame on the Jews. If you're so unhappy in America...