We spent some time last week discussing pronouncements by China and Russia re: the dollar. But here’s some information on what’s going on in Russian politics.
Apparently, the Russian political system is being strained by the current global economic crisis. The split between military/security officials versus the economic political liberals is beginning to surface. Vladimir Putin was supposed to be the link between the two factions, but his influence as Prime Minister is apparently weakening:
From The Guardian archives (March 3):
• Evaporation of wealth eroding PM’s authority
• Security and economic cliques on collision course
The sudden evaporation of Russia’s newfound wealth has set the two Kremlin cliques on a collision course and put Putin – now prime minister – in an awkward position. As a former KGB agent he is heavily identified with the security group, known as the siloviki, but he also has strong personal loyalty to a small clique of liberals from his home town of St Petersburg.
Experts say Putin is losing status as he attempts to contain conflict between the factions. Cracks are appearing in his relationship with Medvedev.
“Putin used to act as an arbiter standing above the two main clans – the siloviki and the rational economists,” said Dmitry Oreshkin, a leading political analyst. “Now he’s been dragged down into the fight and he’s under fire from both sides. The siloviki say he’s a weakling incapable of imposing his will and showing the economists their place, while the economists in turn are consolidating around Medvedev.”
Medvedev, handpicked by Putin from among loyal acolytes as a successor, has begun to issue muffled criticism of his mentor, leading some to believe that he may be enjoying the trappings of power and be prepared to flex his political muscle.
Who will win?
With North Korea moving rockets around for a test of a suspected long-range ballistic missile sometime between April 4-8, Japan is ready to launch interceptors:
TOKYO — Japan authorized its military on Friday to destroy any debris from a North Korean rocket that might fall on its territory. North Korea has said it intends to put a satellite into orbit as early as next week, and warned that fragments could fall into waters off northern Japan.
Japan, South Korea and the United States suspect the launching is a cover for a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, the Taepodong-2. In response, Japan will deploy missile interceptors and dispatch two warships to the waters between it and the Korean Peninsula, said the Japanese defense minister, Yasukazu Hamada.
A battery of Patriot land-to-air missiles will also be deployed in Tokyo, he said. “Whether it’s a satellite or a missile, we are extremely uncomfortable with the object flying over Japanese territory,” Mr. Hamada said.
With the tensions between North Korea back in the headlines, I’m reminded of what it’s like listening to the Voice of Korea, which beams into North American for an hour every day via shortwave radio. If you want to listen to what the last Stalinist state sounds like on the radio and don’t have shortwave receiver, here’s a recording off the radio that will give you a sampling of N. Korean propaganda from Pyongyang (from June 23,2008). After the sign on, you can fast foward through the martial music and listen to the news and glorification of the “immortal exploits” of Kim Jong II as well as cultural segments… The site also has audio of such inspiring songs as “I Will Be a Solidier of Marshall Kim Jong II”.
Voice of Korea may sound over-the-top, but, having experienced the glorification of Barack Obama by the media and the glossing over of the news here in the U.S. and the actions of Obama and his sycophants, it makes me wonder if things we’re hearing here are that much different than the propaganda pouring out of North Korea! (More at the home page of English Radio from North Korea ).
And here’s some fascinating background on other North Korean broadcasts–coded “Numbers Broadcasts” to agents. You can listen to some of them at the site using Real Player.
In 2006, Antonia Juhasz published* a book entitled “The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.” It went beyond the Bush Adminstration, however, as it traced the history of U.S. corporations in the growth of globalization and detailed the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization.
I happened to pick up the book again in light of recent events and couldn’t help being struck by the opening paragraph of the book’s jacket description…especialy the last sentence.
In this important book, renowned international trade and finance policy expert Antonia Juhasz exposes a radical corporate globalization agenda more befitting of a ruthless empire than a world leader in democracy. This agenda has been refined by leading members and allies of the Bush Administration over decades and has reached its most aggressive implementation under George W. Bush. And Bush Agenda adherents hope it will outlast him.
Reading that last sentence has simply reinforced my suspicions about WHY we had Barack Obama shoved down our throats…
By the way, G-20 protests have already begun…
Finally, on a lighter note,we see a kid in the UK who decided to get Google Earth’s attention. While many of us try to avoid Google at all costs, this guy decided to use it to full advantage:
When ancient Britons drew male genitalia on chalk hillsides, little did they know people would ape their customs millennia later…
Teenager Rory McInnes painted a giant phallus on the roof of his parents’ West Berkshire mansion, apparently after watching a programme about Google Earth.
The BBC delicately describes it as a “comedy painting”, saying it was there for a whole year before his parents found out.
And this isn’t the first try at this, either. I must say, it’s a find rendition. Go take a peek for yourself…
THE PAST WEEK
*By Kenosha Marge
Juhasz, Antonia. The Bush Agenda: Invading One Economy at a Time. 2006, HarperCollins (Regan Books), New York.
(yes, THAT Judith Regan)
Filed under: Current Politics | Tagged: "The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, Antonia Juhasz, ballistic missiles, Barack Obama, Bush Administration, China, Dimitri Medvedev, G-20 meeting, George W. Bush, global economic crisis, globalization, Google Earth, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Japan, Japanese defense minister Yasukazu Hamada, KGB, Kim Jong II, Korean Peninsula, missile interceptors, North Korea, North Korean "Numbers Broadcasts", One Economy at a Time, Patriot missiles, Russia, Russian liberals, siloviki, South Korea, St. Petersburg Russia, Taepodong-2 missile, the Kremlin, U.S. corporations, Vladamir Putin, Voice of Korea, World Bank, World Trade Organization | 5 Comments »