Don´t be afraid to see what you see
Thursday, 6 June 2013
Robert D Kaplan praises criminal dictator Vladimir Putin
Kaplan: "Putin must seek a buffer zone in Eastern Europe; Russian history demands no less of him."
Robert D. Kaplan, Chief Geopolitical Analyst at Stratfor, was in 2011 and 2012 chosen by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the world's "Top 100 Global Thinkers". Having read Kaplan's article "The World Through Putin's Eyes" - which marks a new low in any foreign policy writing - one wonders who the other top 99 "Global Thinkers" on the FP list are.
My initial reaction was that Kaplan must be joking, but unfortunately this "Global Thinker" seems to be dead serious:
Few people comprehend Russia’s vulnerabilities like its leader, Vladimir Putin. He must try to govern a country that extends through nearly half the longitudes of the earth but that has fewer people than Bangladesh. What’s more, Russia’s population is declining, not increasing. All the Arctic seas to Russia’s north are ice-blocked many months of the year, so with the exception of its Far East, Russia is essentially a landlocked nation. Moreover, Russia’s flat topography affords little natural protection and is therefore bereft of natural borders. Land powers, as they have no seas to protect them, are more insecure than island nations and continents like the United States and Great Britain.
Putin knows that it hasn’t been just the French and the Germans who have invaded Russia from the west in centuries past, but Swedes, Poles, and Lithuanians, too. So Putin must seek a buffer zone in Eastern Europe; Russian history demands no less of him. This is not the recreation of the Warsaw Pact we are talking about. For the need to economically support disparate states in Eastern Europe for half a century was a burden that helped topple the Soviet Union. Putin knows, therefore, that Russia cannot rule Eastern Europe. But he does require a degree of diplomatic and economic acquiescence in order to keep countries like Poland and Romania hobbled.--
American journalists, politicians and government officials must drive Putin to distraction. They assault him on moral grounds. After all, “He is a dictator!” they say. “He tolerates and even encourages corruption and rampant thuggery!” But do they know I am dealing with Russia — not with the United States? Putin must think. Are they aware that when I took power there was political chaos and criminal anarchy, with ordinary Russians robbed of their dignity.
Back in the Kremlin, the corrupt dictator of "the virtual mafia state" (State Department cable) must be smiling - this kind of praise is a rare treat for the former second rate KGB agent, who now is trying to destroy all opposition to his criminal regime.