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July 15, 2006


Our occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq while galling for the Russians, only enhances their influence in the region, and Iran's.
Attacking Iran now would only leave Russia even more dominant in the region.

Here is a pipeline inaugurated a few days ago in the region of Azerbaijan circumventing the Bosporus route.

I think Putin's remark about staying out of "Holy Crusades," I believe it was, is pregnant with meaning.

I think Bush overplayed his hand using WTO membership as a stick while support or at least aquiesance towards Bush's Middle East schemes. Putin refused to play, or just go along even, and Bush retaliated with the denial of Russia into the WTO.

If Putin refused to play along, knowing Russia would be denied WTO membership, what does this tell us of Bush's Middle East scheme? Apparently this scheme reads like a half-baked Crusade to Putin.

You have to admit one thing though; it sure changed the subject about the US presence in the region, No?

FWIW I've spent a while trying to understand why Russia cultivates nutty regimes like Iran and Syria when they have such a problem with Islamic terrorism, my present idea is that it's a classic balance of power strategy: Saudi Arabia is the big oil power and Sunni leader, Iran is the other big oil power and the Shia leader.

So the US and Russia manage the middle east by maintaining these relationships and the US-Russia relationship as well.

China's also playing off the US-Saudi relationship with Iran, with the evil benefit of having connections with nutty North Korea. Interesting that the Iranians want a Nixon-China style solution to their isolation.

That Steve Clemmons article was good, thnx.

Let Russians inspect our farms? Are you crazy? Who knows what agricultural secrets they might steal!

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