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  • Putin and Medvedev Break Up over Libya

    Russia originally abstained from vetoing the U.N. Security Council resolution allowing operation “Odyssey Dawn” in Libya. Now, however, Moscow is changing its tune: Russia has called for an immediate cease-fire because of the claims of “high civilian casualties.”

    In other words, as long as Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi was killing thousands of his own people, it was fine, but now that the Western and Arab air and naval forces are trying to protect the rebels, it is not okay. Strange logic indeed. However, it may be reflecting deeper splits inside Russian leadership and society.

    The Russian abstention over Libya has already exerted an unexpected impact on the Russian political scene. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin condemned the resolution, which calls for “an immediate ceasefire in Libya, including an end to the current attacks against civilians,” saying that this resolution is “deficient” and likened it to a “medieval call to crusade”—an almost verbatim quote from Qadhafi himself. This elicited a rare and sharp rebuke from President Dmitry Medvedev, revealing a growing chasm between Putin and his one-time protégé.

    Medvedev slammed Putin’s comments as “unacceptable” and reiterated his position on the U.N. resolution: “We have to be absolutely accurate in our assessments. Under no circumstances is it acceptable to use expressions that essentially lead to a clash of civilizations such as crusades and so on.” It appears that the disagreements over the future direction of Russia are becoming more acute the closer it gets to 2012, the presidential election year. The pro-status quo siloviki (“men of force”) faction around Putin is becoming more vocal in its attacks against the more liberal and pro-Western wing, which supports Medvedev.

    U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, currently on his visit to Russia, stepped right into this brouhaha. Gates said that Russian officials repeat Qadhafi’s inflated casualty figures and take them at face value. Gates rejected these assertions as “outright lies.” Regardless, the Russian public is deeply split over the Libyan war.

    Russian youth and nationalist groups Nashi (Ours) and Stal’ (Steel) are holding public demonstrations in front of the U.S., French, and British embassies in Moscow to express solidarity with and support of Qadhafi’s regime, apparently against Medvedev’s stated position in support of Western intervention against Qadhafi. It is ironic that Nashi’s “godfather” and founder is Medvedev’s own deputy chief of presidential administration, Vladislav Surkov. In Russian politics, however, the bizarre is often followed by absurd.

    But Russia also has an economic motivation to protest Western military involvement in Libya. Qadhafi is one of the most significant arms sales customers of the Russian military-industrial complex. Sergei Chemezov, the head of state industrial holding Russian Technologies, stated that the state-owned arms exporter Rosoboronexport’s lost income from the situation in Libya amounted to $4 billion.

    If the Qadhafi clan is replaced by a pro-Western government, Moscow might lose these sales indefinitely and not recover Libyan debt owed to Russia on weapons already supplied. Thus, bad business breeds hurt feelings.

    The author wants to thank Michaela Bendikova, Research Assistant in the Davis Institute, for assistance in preparation of this blog.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Putin and Medvedev Break Up over Libya

    1. Pingback: Putin and Medvedev Break Up over Libya | Big Propaganda

    2. George Colgrove VA says:

      It is sad when Russia has more sense than the US!

      The DoD has 700,000 federal civilian employees desperate to keep a hold of their high paying jobs. In today’s news, the chaos in Libya is mounting higher and higher. The United States Federal Government and her federal workforce are now writing guidelines on how gay soldiers can kiss!!!! this is what we are paying these goons over $150,000 in pay and benefits to do for us in our defense. We cannot touch the DoD when it comes to cuts because we need them to defend this nation – national security! Nevertheless, where are they in the new wars? Writing gay rules! My God! What is going on in DC? We are hemorrhaging cash so that a bunch of underachievers yet overpaid DoD CIV’s can pretent to be TV stars in playing a role of providing "national security" while there is NO LEADERSHIP provided to our soldiers in Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq. The defense contractors and these overpaid feds as well as the majority of the war mongers in this nation are licking their chops over their personal gain in this country getting deeper in these messes.

      WE ARE CLOSING DOWN NASA! HOWEVER, INCREASING OUR INVESTMENT IN KILLING! NO MORE EXPLORATION – BUT MORE KILLING! This is what the USA is all about now. What we are doing in this world is not exceptionalism – it is insidious.

      We are deep into debt so much so we may not be able to survive as a nation. Today a headline asked "How should China lead the world.” Not an if, but an absolute recognition they will – if not are the world leader.

      The motives in our actions in Libya have changed almost hourly. This government is so heavy that NO ONE KNOWS WHAT IS GOING ON! The headlines even suggest the head of the DoD is equally clueless. With all this money being spent on the war on terror over the last 10 years, we are now seeing what we got out of it – nothing. These guys are playing catch up!

      They have had 10 years of splurging in nothing. We need congressional hearings to find out why our intelligence – with all that we have spent in the last 10 years – is abysmal. After spending $7 trillion on total DoD spending including the war on terror, the DoD is now crying they need more money to modernize. Why are they not modernized with that funding. WHERE DID THE MONEY GO!?!?!? Why are we so out of it?

      It is no wonder so many documents are censored from the DoD – National Security to them is hiding their recreational spending, ineptness and crimes. In WWII we spent a total of $3 trillion (in today’s dollars) in four years to not only build a huge army, but it was state of the art and we won a global war by nations spending corresponding amounts. Today we have doubled that investment fighting a rag tag opponent and have yet to modernize – I do not buy it.

      We need a DoD that will be nurturing, protective and supportive to our soldiers. We need a DoD that will moreover be accountable to the people while protecting those people's nation. They need to know we the poeple are thier bosses! The current inept, self-serving war-mongering DoD is neither. We need to protect our military and we need to protect our pocket books from these goons.

    3. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Nice diatribe George! Somehow Seventeen Intelligence Agencies are dumber than Two of them! Imagine how data is compartmented away and essentially 'managed' to the exclusion of true purpose. Thus that Loon, the Intelligence Czar can't find his a** with both hands! The Russians ought to join the rag heads in world wide Revolution, but this time how about you idiots try Constitutional Representative Democracy? Putin will find a way to nullify Medvedev, may be he can do a "Sarah Palin" on Medvedev! A hundred false prosecutions ought to do the trick! That's how we do it in Amerika!

      The trouble with atheists is they can't understand the magic of Liberty! It is a spiritual thing. We are Sovereign Citizens at Liberty under God and the damned State Socialists can't get it, we get our Power from Spirit and God! That is the only reason America prospered so magnificently! I don't know about the Liberal Americans but traditional Americans are free spirits first! We actually know what 'liberal' means, as in let the People be free! Damned if the Liberals do the opposite! Look at Heritage Foundations Overcriminalized website! Progressive Liberals are always asking for repressive new Powers! Not Liberty at all! Judge Vinson says they are actively seeking Totalitarian Powers for the Government!

      In Russia when they Nationalized Healthcare they used Psychiatry to destroy the loyal opposition. It gives me a chill to think how Mental Health will be covered by the Government. "Report for your Shock Treatment, comrade. It will stop those pesky anti government thoughts!" Remember at the end of the Cold War we all thought "Oh boy! Democracy in Russia! Yippie!" The Russian Bear hasn't changed at all, they just have Nuclear Parity now. Gee! Thanks Obama! Perfidy! He makes Putin look like an 'also ran' when it comes to Communist Leaders. Our first American Communist Government will be worse than the Soviet Union! "Stupid Amerikans! Still think they're free!"

      For the love of God! Impeach them! As for Medvedev? It is 'good cop bad cop' and Putin makes him look moderate. He isn't. The Sovereignty of the Russian People isn't even a subject! Americans are unique thinking they have the Right of Kings! Don't worry Elena Kagan will fix that 'problem' when the time comes. She doesn't believe in the Declaration of Independance! She got her spoils system appointment to the Supreme Court for selling out Harvard Law School!

    4. Pingback: ~ JUST IN ~ Daily News Digest for Wednesday, March 23, 2011 | Just Piper

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