Voices from Russia

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Why Did the USA Repudiate Băsescu?


Removing Băsescu from office might seem illogical from the point of view of US-Romanian relations, but it isn’t by chance that the USA repudiated the Romanian president. At first sight, the president seemed a perfect vassal of the USA… he sent Romanian troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, allowed deployment of a missile defence site (thus turning Romania into one of the priority targets for Russian nuclear missiles), started verbal attacks against Russia, and advocated American interests in major European forums. Under such conditions, many supporters of the Romanian president believed that Băsescu’s American patronage was stable and wasn’t subject to change. However, the reality turned out to be different.

General Clark’s visit to Bucharest and the fast replacement of Ambassador Gitenstein prove that Washington made a decision to support Romania’s USL (Social-Liberal Union) Party in the domestic political struggle. Despite all of Băsescu’s efforts to remain an unsurpassed vassal of the USA, he ended up in a situation where the decision-makers at the US administration decided to remove him from politics. The obvious question is, “What has he done to upset the Americans?” There are two possible answers to this question and the answers might not be mutually exclusive.

Traian Băsescu failed to win the goodwill of the American Democratic Party élite. The image of “being one of the Republicans in Bucharest” turned out to be harmful for his political career. Probably, another incident made Washington nervous… Băsescu’s visit to the Chinese Embassy earlier this year, where, on 10 January, he took part in Chinese New Year celebrations. The decision was quite unexpected, since the president had never taken part in such events. Only a couple of Bucharest analysts noted the inconsistency between the official version of the visit and the calendar. In 2012, the Chinese New year started on 23 January… two weeks after the official ceremony held in Bucharest. For an outsider, the situation was clear… Băsescu needed to discuss something important with the Chinese, so, for that reason, they moved the New Year’s party some two weeks. We can only guess what topics they might’ve discussed, but one thing’s obvious… such discussions can’t help but cause certain irritation in Washington. Today, the situation Băsescu has found himself in might be the result of such annoyance.

Another possible explanation, which doesn’t exclude the above-mentioned scenario, might be Băsescu’s behaviour abroad. Superpowers often use their vassals as a means of exchange in their geopolitical manoeuvring. At a certain point, Băsescu’s behaviour abroad started to irritate some geopolitical players so much that his “getting out of the game” became a topic for discussions at high-level talks. In the context of such machinations, global geopolitical forces tend to make mutual concessions on certain regional problems, often combining things that don’t have any apparent connection.

It is quite possible that régime change in Romania… that means removal from political life not only the president, but also the entire team who supported him… is just a tit-for-tat exchange, a concession in a geopolitical deal made by the USA at the international level. One can prove such an explanation of the current situation by the fact that General Clark went over there and actually organised Băsescu’s removal in a blitzkrieg, with military precision. It looks like Washington needed the urgent resignation of the president, but didn’t want to leave the process in the hands of local executors. The steps that the USL government will take domestically and internationally, and the difference between them and what Băsescu was doing might be able to somewhat explain the real reasons for his removal. Regardless of that, it’s clear that Romanian politics will never be the same and Romanian politicians will understand that subservience cannot guarantee them security for the future.

12 July 2012

Valentin Mândrăşescu

Voice of Russia World Service


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Government Concerned About US Financial Aid to “Democratic” Movements in Russia


The Russian government’s concerned about the scale of US financial aid to various groups and movements in Russia. Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Interfax that the issue could pose a problem in Russian-US relations. He said that Russia “repeatedly voiced this concern at various levels”. Washington responded by providing certain data. However, the scale of financing leaves Moscow worrying, the diplomat said. In the middle of March, US Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul unveiled President Obama’s plan to set up a fund to support civic society in Russia, and said that the proposal was already in the hands of lawmakers, pending approval

3 April 2012

Voice of Russia World Service



A “shower of money” is flowing to the pro-American “spontaneous opposition” in Russia. The Obama administration’s waiting for a green light from Congress to allocate another 50 million USD (1.46 billion Roubles. 37.5 million Euros. 31.3 million UK Pounds) for the so-called “democratisation of Russia”. US Deputy Secretary of State Philip Gordon said that, since 2009, the USA spent more than 200 million USD (5.85 billion Roubles. 150 million Euros. 125.2 million UK Pounds) on the development of democracy (sic) and civil society (sic) in Russia. Another 50 million USD will go to Russia through a specially-created fund. This is only the “clean money”, reported by the Congress in the budget, America also sends in “other money”. Moscow researcher Oleg Popov said that the list of American organisations that fund opposition groups in Russia is quite long enough. The US Agency for International Development (USAID), established in November 1961 during the Kennedy administration, “assists” organisations in Russia. The Moscow Helsinki Group and the Yegor Gaidar Economic Policy Institute cooperate with this effort. One of the key people in the US organisation is “retired” from the American special services.

Russian human rights activists receive their pay from the National Endowment for Democracy, headed by a former NATO commander, Wesley Clark, well-known for his atrocities in Serbia, and by former US Defence Secretary Frank Carlucci. Madeleine Albright is a manager of this group, and Elliott Abrams is involved with it, he’s the author of the false story that Iran cooperated with drug lords in South America. Otto Reich’s another “democratiser”, who co-authored the fairy tale, along with Wolfowitz and Bolton, that Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons. In the same list, we see Freedom House, headed by former CIA chief James Woolsey, whom Russians well remember, as he called Russia a fascist country. The parliamentary opposition parties in Russia claim that they don’t receive money from the West. They say that they’re opposed to “imported democracy” in Russia. As for the “spontaneous opposition”, which is led by former leading lights of the Yeltsin era, they’re ready to cooperate with the devil.

23 May 2012

B Vlahović



Editor’s Note:

Rightwingers scream that they won’t support single-payer healthcare if it includes things that they don’t agree with. If that’s a reasonable argument (and it isn’t, by the way), then, I could ask for a refund from the government on the funds used by it to wage aggressive war throughout the world and to undermine the governments of Iran, Russia, and Byelorussia… governments that are more “democratic” than the KSA, Bahrain, and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan… all of which the USA upholds and defends unstintingly. Where’s the money to “democratise” the KSA? Where were the US protests when the Emir of Bahrain used tanks to crush a popular revolt? Why did the USA support Radical Islamists in Afghanistan against Secular Modernists? Yes… why?

In short, the USA’s position is full of more holes than a Swiss cheese. If you pour money into the Koch Brothers’ boodlebags, you’re “democratic”, and worthy of support… but if you use your resources for your own use, not giving American political and economic fatcats their “vig”, you’re evil. Look at how Libya dismantled its Socialist state at the American’s behest… what happened to the Libyan people?

That’s why no foreign state should allow American Sectarian missionaries in their borders. They’re a Fifth Column intent on spreading the lie of Benevolent Capitalism… for, you see, if you’re prosperous, that means that God favours you and that you’re part of the “elect”. If they’re there, they should get the boot, especially Mormon nutters. If you’re an Orthodox Christian, the USA’s doing its best to knife the Church in the back in the Rodina (the USA supports the Rusantsov schismatics and the Uniate poseurs)… don’t cooperate with such efforts, don’t support rightwing nutters such as Paffhausen and Potapov. His Holiness stands for morality and social justice… the rightwingers pretending to be Orthodox (especially Paffahausen and his konvertsy claque) don’t… they support the godless “Me First” ideology of the Republican Party, spitting on Our Lord Christ and His Church.

I hate how some use “religion” as a substitute for Imperialism… and that’s that.


Saturday, 12 July 2008

A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… Logjam Allocations


Although the war in Iraq unleashed by the Bush/Cheney team has been, without a doubt, lost by the USA, the idea of continued warfare in Iraq has, once again, and by nearly unanimous vote, been upheld by American lawmakers. The US Senate okayed, just a few days ago, the allocation of 162 billion dollars (3.768 trillion roubles. 101.542 billion euros. 81.389 billion UK pounds) for another year of military operations. The money allocated will be spent by the next US President. As many as 92 Senators voted in favour of continuing funding of the war, which bids fair to be the biggest defeat in the military history of their country. Only six Senators dared oppose the war appropriations bill. The lower house of the US Congress, the House of Representatives, voiced its view on the continuation of the war a few days before the Senate did.

It is nothing but smoke and mirrors that the Democratic Party kept saying that long days of Congressional debate and numerous demands for a scheduled withdrawal from Iraq preceded the vote on the military allocation. Their electoral campaign rests on the criticism of the dodgy Republican strategy in Iraq and a pledge to withdraw the American troops from that country… President Bush ignored their demands and refused, in no uncertain terms, to define timelines for a partial, let alone full, withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, so, the lawmakers calmed down and agreed to shovel even more dollars into the black hole of the war in Iraq. What the speaker of the heavily-Democratic House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, said in excuse for their shameful behaviour sounded far from convincing. She said she expected an early end to unrestricted and unconditional government spending on military operations. What gave her a ray of hope remains unclear. Even if she wanted to, Ms Pelosi would hardly be able to explain her own words, because one of the leading adversaries in the fight for power, her Democratic Party, has yet to draw up a meaningful plan to end the lost war in Iraq. Its highly eloquent presidential hopeful, Barack Obama, has, instead of mapping out action, been feeding empty phrases and promises of future change to his followers. The more outspoken Senator Clinton said the USA had taken a wrong turn and was unable to figure out which way to go.

Those who ordered the invasion of Iraq had no plan for further action. The ensuing chaos and the obvious ineptness of the military gave way to confusion on the battlefield in the absence of a clear-cut plan for political action. A recently declassified brief pointed up the principal blunders in political and military planning from May 2003 to January 2005, for it showed that, instead of devising a long-term strategy for victory in Iraq, the USA was planning moves to unseat and punish Saddam Hussein. Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, whose tour as commander of the US forces in Iraq during 2002 and 2003 gave him a good idea of what was really happening in the country, described the war in Iraq as an endless nightmare and charged American policy-makers with incompetence and corruption. His comrade-in-arms, General Wesley Clark, saw the US strategy in Iraq as completely mistaken. What frightened him is the American inability to figure out how to win the war in Iraq.

When that sort of judgement is voiced by the big brass, policy-makers are supposed to draw their own conclusions from it. However, the Republican front-runner in the presidential race, John McCain, shies away from the bitter, yet, inevitable, conclusion. Instead, he demands that America should keep fighting as long as it takes it to win the war in Iraq. Congressional endorsement of budget allocations for continued warfare binds the incumbent President, George W Bush, and his successor. Washington has nothing but fresh troops and more money to rely upon in its relentless efforts to win the hopelessly-lost war in Iraq. I’m under the impression that it still has to make realistic and no-nonsense plans for further action. That worries and scares me more than anything else.

11 July 2008

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service


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