Putin’s Decision About Snowden

If I read one more silly thing about the mounting tensions between the US and Russia over the possibility of Russia extraditing Snowden, I will get very annoyed.

Obama could not have done absolutely anything to change Putin’s position on the subject. Obama’s “weakness” or lack thereof is completely immaterial here. Putin has his own agenda and could care less about who is in power in the US. He will do all he can to show that Russia is a crucial player on the global arena. Obama or no Obama, he will keep doing this. This is his raison d’etre.

And while I’m on it, Reagan had just as little to do with the decision to disband the Soviet Union as Obama has with the decision not to extradite Snowden. This was an internal decision that had to do with the transfer of economic resources within the USSR. Reagan had zero influence on any of it.

Just try to look objectively at what is going on: a KGB person is in power in most of the former USSR and he is continuing the exact same geopolitical policies that defined the USSR. On the global scale, what changed? And given that China holds most of the US foreign debt, who won the Cold War? I hate the answer as much as you do, but it won’t change until we all look clearly and objectively at what is really going on.

P.S. Who was right when she predicted that soon everybody would forget all about the NSA’s spying on all of us and follow Snowden’s Hollywood-like jet-setting with a lot more interest?

38 thoughts on “Putin’s Decision About Snowden”

  1. “P.S. Who was right when she predicted that soon everybody would forget all about the NSA’s spying on all of us and follow Snowden’s Hollywood-like jet-setting with a lot more interest?”

    By the time you said so, it was already happening. See this Daily Mail article about how Edward Snowden is a bad person for liking anime: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2340565/Edward-Snowden-I-like-girlish-figure-How-NSA-leaker-Snowden-bragged-physique-online-ability-attract-nubile-young-girls.html

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  2. A few things:

    1) Not to be a grammar Nazi or anything, but since languages are your thing, you made a grammatical error in this post. You said that Putin “could care less.” The correct grammar is that Putin “could not care less” or “couldn’t care less.”

    2) I would disagree that Reagan had nothing to do with the breakup of the Soviet Union. It wasn’t all because of him, no, but he applied pressure to the Soviets in ways that contributed towards the breakdown of the system. It was because of Reagan that the Soviets chose Gorbachev, whose policies inadvertently helped lead to the system blowing up.

    3) You are probably correct about Putin, but the thing is most of the other nations the U.S. has requested cooperation from do not have any respect for the U.S. on this issue (Snowden) either. No one cares what Obama says or thinks on this matter.

    4) You asked “Who won the Cold War? ” then said, “I hate the answer as much as you do.” I am curious what you mean by this? Do you hate that the United States won the Cold War or do you disagree that the U.S. won it?

    5) China does not hold most of the U.S. foreign debt, they just are the largest holder of U.S. foreign debt is all.

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    1. “You said that Putin “could care less.” The correct grammar is that Putin “could not care less” or “couldn’t care less.””

      – It’s a colloquialism that makes me happy. 🙂

      ” I would disagree that Reagan had nothing to do with the breakup of the Soviet Union. It wasn’t all because of him, no, but he applied pressure to the Soviets in ways that contributed towards the breakdown of the system.”

      – No, it did not. Don’t you remember how we agreed that you will not venture any opinions on the Soviet Union? Believe me, you have nothing of value to offer on the subject.

      “It was because of Reagan that the Soviets chose Gorbachev, whose policies inadvertently helped lead to the system blowing up.”

      – This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Kyle, you are a nice person but you have this strange need to embarrass yourself by talking about things that are completely unfamiliar to you. I know nothing about the fantasy genre or Australian movies or quantum physics, so I never say anything about these areas. If I’m interested, I ask questions.

      “You are probably correct about Putin, but the thing is most of the other nations the U.S. has requested cooperation from do not have any respect for the U.S. on this issue (Snowden) either. No one cares what Obama says or thinks on this matter.”

      – No one has any respect for the US on any issue. This is the sad consequence of the US’s horrible and stupid foreign policy in the XXth century. 😦

      “You asked “Who won the Cold War? ” then said, “I hate the answer as much as you do.” I am curious what you mean by this? Do you hate that the United States won the Cold War or do you disagree that the U.S. won it?”

      – From my text it is very clear that the US lost it.

      “China does not hold most of the U.S. foreign debt, they just are the largest holder of U.S. foreign debt is all.”

      – And here is the evidence of that loss.

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      1. “No, it did not. Don’t you remember how we agreed that you will not venture any opinions on the Soviet Union? Believe me, you have nothing of value to offer on the subject.”

        By opinions on the Soviet Union, I thought you meant things like daily life in the Soviet Union, that sort of thing, not per se the history of it.

        “This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Kyle, you are a nice person but you have this strange need to embarrass yourself by talking about things that are completely unfamiliar to you. I know nothing about the fantasy genre or Australian movies or quantum physics, so I never say anything about these areas. If I’m interested, I ask questions.”

        My understanding is that Gorbachev was selected to be the General Secretary of the Soviet Union because the Soviets realized the prior hardliner method of dealing with the United States wasn’t going to work with Reagan. Regarding Gorbachev’s policies, his policies of allowing more freedom in the Soviet Union undermined it a great deal because the entire system was built on force and coercion.

        “No one has any respect for the US on any issue. This is the sad consequence of the US’s horrible and stupid foreign policy in the XXth century.”

        By respect, I mean respect as no one cares what the U.S. is saying on any issue right now, not whether they agree. I would disagree that the U.S. had a “sad and stupid” foreign policy in the 20th century, as there was a lot to it with World War I, World War II, the Soviet Union and communism and so forth. There were some stupid things done foreign-policy-wise though.

        “From my text it is very clear that the US lost it.”

        I am curious, why do you think this? How did the U.S. lose it? It is the Soviet Union that broke apart, not the United States. Regarding the debt held by the Chinese, the Chinese currently hold 1.265 trillion of U.S. foreign debt. That is out of a total of 5.671 of U.S. foreign debt. So it isn’t that China holds all or even most of the U.S.’s foreign debt, they’re just individually the largest holder. Japan is the second largest, at 1.1 trillion.

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        1. “”By opinions on the Soviet Union, I thought you meant things like daily life in the Soviet Union, that sort of thing, not per se the history of it.”

          – No, please, no opinions on the USSR at all.

          “My understanding is that Gorbachev was selected to be the General Secretary of the Soviet Union because the Soviets realized the prior hardliner method of dealing with the United States wasn’t going to work with Reagan.”

          – I can only repeat that this is completely and utterly wrong.

          “I am curious, why do you think this? How did the U.S. lose it? It is the Soviet Union that broke apart, not the United States.”

          – A formality, nothing more. Neo-imperialism does not require such formalities. The US is rapidly losing its world hegemony. China is rapidly gaining it. And Russia weathered the global economic crisis enormously better than the US and is now gaining ground on the world arena.

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      2. The breakdown of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc were the result of popular protests, which were enabled by Gorbachev’s New Political Thinking. Even the most extroverted American neocon couldn’t influence those things if he tried.

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      3. “- I can only repeat that this is completely and utterly wrong.”

        Why was Gorbachev chosen then? He took a softer approach towards the United States than his predecessors, under whom it was seen that the Soviet Union was gaining and the United States losing.

        “- A formality, nothing more. Neo-imperialism does not require such formalities. The US is rapidly losing its world hegemony. China is rapidly gaining it. And Russia weathered the global economic crisis enormously better than the US and is now gaining ground on the world arena.”

        Mmm…that has become a rather fashionable position it seems to hold as of late, that the U.S. is “losing its world hegemony,” but I don’t buy it for a few reasons:

        1) One economic crisis does not mean the whole U.S. is going into any permanent decline. Countries go through periods of economic struggle once in awhile. If we see thirty or forty straight years of decline, that’s different, but we could go another twenty years in which people again see the U.S. as dominant, then another economic crisis, then more prosperity, etc…

        2) China’s rise does not mean the U.S.’s decline. China also has yet to really experience an economic crisis, which it will at some point, and then we will see if its economy has been more of a bubble or as strong as is claimed.

        3) Russia’s gaining ground in the world arena I would not say is a sign of the U.S.’s decline either. Other countries can rise up without the U.S. being in decline. In terms of Russia’s economy, well the U.S. was the source of the economic crisis. But I don’t know if I’d say Russia has weathered it better. Russia had to bailout some of its major companies as well and Russia’s economy is not all that good to begin with in comparison to the U.S. Many people around the world would laugh at the current “bad economy” in the U.S. (you yourself I think had mentioned this with regards to how the economy was in Ukraine when you lived there).

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        1. “Why was Gorbachev chosen then?”

          – There was a variety of reasons none of which had anything to do with the US. I just shared with my father your idea of the Politburo sitting there, discussing whom to choose because of Reagan and we both wept with laughter. 🙂 🙂 Nobody cared about some silly blustering old gentleman across the ocean. 🙂

          “Mmm…that has become a rather fashionable position it seems to hold as of late, that the U.S. is “losing its world hegemony,” but I don’t buy it for a few reasons”

          – That’s your right.

          “Russia’s gaining ground in the world arena I would not say is a sign of the U.S.’s decline either. Other countries can rise up without the U.S. being in decline. In terms of Russia’s economy, well the U.S. was the source of the economic crisis.”

          – It is very important to remember what you are responding to. We are discussing who won the Cold War.

          “But I don’t know if I’d say Russia has weathered it better.”

          – And here you go again, talking about things that are unfamiliar to you. All of your knowledge of what is happening in Russia comes from stupid dishonest American TV channels like the CNN and Fox News. I’m telling you something based on very specific, first-hand knowledge. You don;t even speak a word of Russian. You cannot possibly have an informed opinion about this.

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      4. “The breakdown of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc were the result of popular protests, which were enabled by Gorbachev’s New Political Thinking. Even the most extroverted American neocon couldn’t influence those things if he tried.”

        That was a big part of it, but remember that the U.S. provided a lot moral encouragement and support to the Eastern European peoples during that time. For example, the Soviet Jews: http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/30/world/soviet-jewry-protest-anniversary Also, the Soviets were tied up in Afghanistan, where the resistance was being funded by the U.S. to counter the Soviets.

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        1. “That was a big part of it, but remember that the U.S. provided a lot moral encouragement and support to the Eastern European peoples during that time. For example, the Soviet Jews: http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/30/world/soviet-jewry-protest-anniversary Also, the Soviets were tied up in Afghanistan, where the resistance was being funded by the U.S. to counter the Soviets.”

          – Please, just stop. This is all hugely and bizarrely stupid. There were no protests before Gorbachev was selected to be Secretary General. And I also ask everybody to please kindly abstain from trying to enlighten a Soviet Jew about Soviet Jews.

          Kyle, how many times do I have to tell you that you are behaving in an extremely insulting way when you try to teach people about their history on the basis of some idiotic crapola you read on CNN?

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      5. Moral encouragement for what? To dislike communism? Encouraging the citizens of the Eastern Bloc to dislike communism is a tad redundant in the same way St. Basil’s Catherdral is a tad hard to swallow. The participants of the Hungarian Uprising had America’s moral support too.

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        1. People who were ethnically Russian were and still are VERY unhappy about the collapse of the USSR. This was not a popular initiative of any kind. This was a redistribution of wealth among the very top. Regular folks were just told what was going to happen. Nobody cared to listen to their input.

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      6. “There was a variety of reasons none of which had anything to do with the US. I just shared with my father your idea of the Politburo sitting there, discussing whom to choose because of Reagan and we both wept with laughter. 🙂 🙂 Nobody cared about some silly blustering old gentleman across the ocean. :-)”

        Why wouldn’t they? Reagan wasn’t a silly blustering old gentleman, he was the president of the Soviet Union’s primary rival, and spoke of them in very aggressive ways. He unveiled a goal to greatly upgrade the U.S. nuclear forces. He gunned up the defense budget. He unveiled the Strategic Defense Initiative (missile defense), which still isn’t workable, yet at the time, panicked the Soviets enough that it got concessions out of Gorbachev (all for a program that wasn’t even beyond the drawing board). I’d think Reagan caused quite a bit of concern among the Soviets leadership.

        “- It is very important to remember what you are responding to. We are discussing who won the Cold War.”

        Yes, but you had also mentioned Russia’s economy handling the crisis better than America’s as one of your reasons as you see it that the U.S. is in decline.

        “- And here you go again, talking about things that are unfamiliar to you. All of your knowledge of what is happening in Russia comes from stupid dishonest American TV channels like the CNN and Fox News. I’m telling you something based on very specific, first-hand knowledge. You don;t even speak a word of Russian. You cannot possibly have an informed opinion about this.”

        Why not? I am not saying I am an expert on Russia’s economy, but any cursory observation of Russia’s economy shows that they are not any major industrial power right now. Also, I do not get my information on Russia from CNN and Fox News. And while I do not speak Russian at the moment, I do occasionally scour Russian articles via Google translate, which usually provides a rough translation where you get the idea of what the article is saying).

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      7. “- Please, just stop. This is all hugely and bizarrely stupid. There were no protests before Gorbachev was selected to be Secretary General. And I also ask everybody to please kindly abstain from trying to enlighten a Soviet Jew about Soviet Jews.

        Kyle, how many times do I have to tell you that you are behaving in an extremely insulting way when you try to teach people about their history on the basis of some idiotic crapola you read on CNN?”

        I wasn’t claiming that there were protests before Gorbachev.

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      8. “Moral encouragement for what? To dislike communism? Encouraging the citizens of the Eastern Bloc to dislike communism is a tad redundant in the same way St. Basil’s Catherdral is a tad hard to swallow. The participants of the Hungarian Uprising had America’s moral support too.”

        Moral support for them to know that the free world was behind them. I think Natan Sharansky was one who wrote about the importance of such support in his memoirs.

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      9. Also one thing Clarissa, but one reason I like to put forth my opinions on this subject is in order to learn from you. It isn’t about trying to be condescending or anything, but one can learn a lot by discussing the subject of the Soviet Union from someone who actually lived in it.

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    2. I can understand that. What I was trying to say is that the participants of the protests had plenty of reason enough to dislike the USSR without America’s help.

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      1. What is also extremely ironic is that today the “winner” of the Cold War is using the totalitarian methods of spying on its own citizens. Who could have predicted back in 1991 that only 20 years later there would be a much greater freedom of expression in the former USSR than in the US?

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      2. @Clarissa

        As most of history shows us the winners don’t change, as always they are the ones with the money. Those individuals could give two shits about nationality. The only power they respond to is the one that lines their pockets. Putin, Obama, Reagan, none of those people have actual power. They look good for the people who are in love with nationality and to do the bidding for the 1%.

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      3. How is there greater freedom of expression in the former USSR than the United States. You can still criticize the United States government every which way you desire in this country. People knock on religion all the time. How is there not tons of freedom of expression in the U.S.?

        Also, when you say that the USSR was disbanded for economic reasons, what economic reasons were those?

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      4. At this moment, the former Soviet Union does not have the capacity to read everybody’s online communication the way the US has. Therefore, one can freely express oneself in private communications. I believe the level of public freedom of expression is greater in the US tho.

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        1. “I believe the level of public freedom of expression is greater in the US tho.”

          – I don’t know. One is much likelier to find subversive opinions on Russian TV and mainstream newspapers than on American TV and in newspapers. Of course, those subversive opinions are not central but they do exist. Here, I only see them online. But the Internet freedom is as strong in Russia.

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      5. So the media in Russia can be more subversive than the U.S. media? From what I have seen, the media here is biased depending on their political leanings. If you’re talking something like Fox News, well I mean they’re very harsh on President Obama and easier on Republicans. And the rest of the media was very harsh on President Bush but IMO too soft on Obama.

        In terms of publications, it’s the same, Wall Street Journal versus New York Times, The Nation versus The Weekly Standard, etc…

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  3. Many people are easily distracted because we are bombarded with tonnes of irrelevant information every day. 95% of it is rubbish, but it helps all the governments in pushing important stuff out of people’s minds.

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  4. And now the real reason why the USSR was temporarily disbanded: the people in power decided (correctly) that this would be a helpful move in getting them more money and power. They were absolutely right.

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    1. the people in power decided (correctly) that this would be a helpful move in getting them more money and power. They were absolutely right.(Clarissa)

      Exactly, and much of the aid money given to them by the States was used to maintain their military arsenal. Considering the KGB was supposed to have gone by the wayside I think Putin shows us they are still pretty much front and center. The one thing about people in power that is very impressive is their ability to adapt.

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