There was a discussion of Putin’s assumption of national control over the huge Russian natural resources, to include natural gas and oil.
It is obvious to most of us here that Bush, who is quite stupid, thoroughly misunderstood Putin and his methodology. Bush likes subservient people around him, like the former British PM, Tony Blair, and he cannot stand, will not tolerate and tries to punish anyone who dares to disagree with his narrow and parochial views.
Putin, once head of Russian intelligence, is a very clever and competent person. Unlike Bush who boasts, lies and blusters, Putin bides his time and then moves, very quietly but very effectively.
The basic problem here is that our man, Boris Yeltsin, was cooperating in converting Soviet Russia’s state-owned holdings to the private sector. A group of street merchants, called the Oligarchy, easily got control of most of the important Russian businesses and then tried to market some of these to western interests, for large amounts of money.
When Yeltsin was forced to resign, Putin was put in charge of Russian policy and he carefully began to dismantle the Oligarchy, bit by bit. American oil interests, who had poured billions of dollars into new equipment for what they assumed would soon be American-controlled oil fields, were horrified and enraged when Putin kicked out the Oligarchs and took over their holdings.
Karl Marx once attributed wars to economic rather than political reasons and in the present instance, Marx was right on. The United States is one of the largest users of oil on the planet.
Once a major producer, this country has now become the largest importer of both oil and natural gas. For a long time, the U.S. depended on Persian Gulf oil but that has either been disrupted by invasion and sabotage as in Iraq or by a growingly obvious depletion of the once-huge Saudi fields.
The output of the North Sea fields is mostly destined for the European market and Bush and the CIA have so angered Venezuela’s Chavez that oil from that source could dry up at any moment. Mexico’s Pemex production is also shrinking and terrorist attacks on their pipelines has put this source into jeprody.
The Bush people misread Putin and actually believed that he would voluntarily step down from the Presidency of Russia in 2008. They have already selected several people for high office in a new, U.S.-friendly régime. Our CIA had cultivated, and paid, the drunken Yeltsin and with the dangerous Putin gone, they hoped to do to Russia what they had done to the Ukraine.; get control of its government and make it an American asset.
Putin has many enemies, mostly among the Oligarchs whom he has stripped of their holdings and run out of the country. Naturally, these men, most of whom are Jewish, fled to Israel with as much money as they could carry, and from there, they plot to regain their power.
Chief of these is Boris Berezovsky--Putin has his enemy abroad in Boris Berezovsky, a key wheeler and dealer of the Yeltsin epoch. Berezovsky did not spare his political and financial resources to make Putin President. Once firmly installed, though, Putin made it clear that Berezovsky's resources were welcome, while Berezovsky himself was not. All the ills and failures of the post-Soviet society are now ascribed to Berezovsky and his fellow oligarchs, like Vladimir Gusinski, whose Media-Most holding company was destroyed by the Kremlin, and who settled in Spain, once Moscow's attempts to have him extradited failed. Berezovsky's associates are either in prison-like Nikolai Glushkov, once Deputy General Manager of Aeroflot _ or on the wanted list, like Badri Patarkatsishvili, Berezovsky's right hand man. The embittered population, fleeced during the reform decade, is receptive to the propaganda line of rallying around Putin against the miscreant who has sold out their country.