Monday, September 06, 2004

who is Putin mad at?

From Allah a link to this article from Globe and Mail:
Mr. Putin took a defiant tone, acknowledging corruption in Russian law-enforcement agencies but lashing out pointedly at unspecified foreign foes seeking to tear the country apart.

"Some want to cut off a juicy morsel from us; others are helping them. They are helping, believing that Russia, as one of the world's biggest nuclear powers, is still posing a threat to them," Mr. Putin said. "Therefore, this threat must be removed."

Analysts said Mr. Putin had turned a new page in his foreign policy, blaming terrorism on the West. "(W)ho fears our nuclear weapons? Who are they aimed at? It's the West. It's not Osama bin Laden," said Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent military analyst.
Now, I'm no "analyst", but my first thought wasn't the US, it was China. Why in the world would Putin, faced with an episode of Islamic terrorism, pick a fight with the country that is most effectively fighting Islamic terrorism?

China is right on the border with Russia and they have ongoing territorial disputes. As one of the commenters on Allah said:
Even if the decrease in competition between Russia and the West is more apparent than real, I can't recall that there has even been a SHOW of decreased competition between Russia and China. Moreover, my understanding is that Chinese have been walking across the porous border into Russia and taking up residence for decades; nor is there much that the declining Russians can do about it. Putin may just be hoping that he's not in charge when China "cuts off a piece" and the empire of Peter and Catherine is reduced to a nubbin.
It isn't a popular theory though, everyone else assumes Putin was talking about the US.

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