Ominous Sign of Things to Come

Old Oct 8th, 2004, 08:59 AM
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Ominous Sign of Things to Come

With Russia seemingly sliding backwards into autocracy akin to a dictatorship, there was a recent ominous sign from Belarus.

Lukashenko dedicated a statue and memorial complex to Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the infamous Cheka under Lenin. In his dedication speech, Lukashenko described Dzerzhinsky as a great man.

I could not help but remember that Dzershinsky's statue in Moscow was one of the first to be pulled down in 1991. As I recall the mob got Beria's edifice first, but whose counting?

At any rate, some of you who have been recently to Belarus might comment on conditions there. Of course, a tourist might be shielded from the corruption and
atrocities of a totalitarian government in an effort to put a positive spin on outward apperances.

Having been directly involved in the Cold War, reports like that ring my internal warning bells.

It is more than coincidence that the Belarus secret police is called the KGB. There are definite signs that ex KGB officer Putin and Lukashenko are forming an alliance to the extent that Belarus stands in relationship to Russia as Britain stands to the US.

And those guys still have missiles and nuclear warheads!

Any comments?
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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What would draw a tourist to Belarus?

Is this a case of having to wait until the old commies die off or do the younger people also buy into this discredited form of government?
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 09:39 AM
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Well, Bob, since you were directly involved in the Cold War then you are probably one of those few persons who understands why the former government of the USSR actually fell apart in terms of the economics of the situation (as opposed to the much fantasized version attributing the "end" of the Cold War entirely to the actions of Ronald Reagan).

It will be difficult for any nation to suddenly leap into the future given a lack of free political party operations, non-experience with truly 'free market' forces if such actually exist, etc.

These people have been grumbling for years and will continue to do so. Until an overt move is made I frankly think your "concerns" would be better addressed toward the ever-rising thought control and political repression activities here at home.
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 09:56 AM
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>...the USSR actually fell apart in terms of the economics of the situation (as opposed to the much fantasized version attributing the "end" of the Cold War entirely to the actions of Ronald Reagan).<

I'm not sure which fantasized version you are referring to, but I do submit that by engaging the USSR in Afghanistan and other places and causing them to spend far more on their military than they could afford, that Mr Reagan did, effectively, cause the "Evil Empire" to self-destruct.
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 10:03 AM
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Topman,

Free men must always be vigilant against government encroachment that can not be defined asprotections against letting some fanatic get aboard an airliner to wreak havoc. The threats against America, moreover, are quite real and steps taken so far by the President appear warranted.

As to Russia, I do not believe they will go back to KGB days. Reason: China and its economic advances. China would love to have Russia's oil and natural resources. Russia just can not afford to have more chaos at home with 1.5 billion Chinese on its border; the Chechenya (Muslim) problem; etc.

A return of the old KGB environment could bring that chaos and terrible consequences for the whole world. I believe even old spymaster Putin understands that ramification.

Anthony

Anthony
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 10:04 AM
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ira's got it right.

And the bit about the ever-rising thought control and political repression activities in the USA was a joke, right?
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 10:38 AM
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I was out of the loop before Afghanistan started.
I think my motivation to describe Lukashenko's actions was deeply rooted in what I perceive as happening her at home.
Yet, it is not a campaign issue.
Why?
People do go to Belarus, and perhaps their status is tourist. Perhaps visitor would have been a better term.
But some of my friends have Belarus and/or Ukrainian ancestry, even relatives.

I just saw it as an ominously overt sign of what is going on. I never thought Russia would or could sustain a democracy, at least not yet. This is not the first time in history that Russia's people have rebelled against autocracy and then slid backwards to central control.
First the Tsars lost control and were removed in 1917. Then there was a bloody, protracted struggle with the commies and the whites.
Then there was the disintegration of the Communist regime. Now, there seems to be a retrenchment toward centralism akin to the aftermatch of Bloody Sunday in 1905.
I have been out of it long enough that my contacts have all retired and are equally out of current input, except from journals and newspapers.

The statue dedication just hit me as a first step toward the return of the Gulags, as if they ever went entirely away!
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 11:14 AM
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As others have said, the Cold War ended because its continuation didn't economically pencil out for the USSR. Does that mean they surrendered, or just changed strategies?

In a discussion I heard the other day about geo-political conflicts, someone made an analogy between various heads of state and the games checkers and chess. Which game do you suppose the US is playing?

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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 11:19 AM
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ira
 
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>I think my motivation to describe Lukashenko's actions was deeply rooted in what I perceive as happening her at home.<

I think we have moved away from travel.
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 11:49 AM
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Government policies control travel and freedom of movement. I think I am moving into it.
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 11:51 AM
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PS Should we discuss only favorite long underwear for use in Europe?
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Old Oct 8th, 2004, 12:06 PM
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Bob Brown: It is certainly not going to make you feel any happier about the situation in Russia, but read the article in this week's "New Yorker."

It's mostly about the fact that the Russian government refuses to acknowledge that there is a growing AIDS problem in Russia, but the writer draws some alarming conculsions for the future. There will be a steep drop in the Russian population; there will not be enough young men to conscript into the army, and those that are conscripted will be mostly technologically illiterate; the generals, unable to rely on manpower, will resort to nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

I warned you that it wouldn't cheer you up...
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