Tim Nunan is a scholar of international and global history. His work focuses on the history of Russia and Eurasia–Central Asia, Iran, and Afghanistan–in an international context. He is the Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies and author of Humanitarian Invasion: Global Development in Cold War Afghanistan.
Ramones, “Teenage Lobotomy,” Anthology, 1999.
Jello Biafra and Mojo Nixon & the Toadliquors, “Love Me, I’m a Liberal,” Prairie Home Invasion, 1994.
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By Sean — 11 years ago
While Putin’s proposal to place ABM radar systems in Azerbaijan took the Bushites by surprise, the suggestion appears to delight the Azeris. It sounds as if the Azeris are ready to engage in bilateral talks under one condition: “its own national interests must be taken into account by both Moscow and Washington.”
Good luck. Amid the potential Russian and the US wrangling over the who, whats, and hows of installing radar systems at Gabala, one can imagine Azerbaijan having a tough time squeezing their concerns into the debate. Yes, while Azeeri foreign minister Elmar Mammadyarov may think that “It is not possible to undertake any actions without us” and that “both Russia and the US accept our position, and we are ready for negotiations.” The devil will be in the to be negotiated details if, and I say if, the plan goes forward.
Apparently Putin’s raising of the idea during talks with Bush wasn’t the first time the Azeri option has come up. Mammadyarov and Sergei Lavrov discussed the idea during the the latter’s May 21-22 visit to Azerbaijan. And a Moscow diplomat is said to have mentioned it to US Defense Secretary Robert Gates in late April. While Azeri talks with Washington are still “rudimentary” there is no doubt that the issue will come up during the Azeri-Washington talks in July. Perhaps Putin’s announcement was a way to drum up some publicity. Or it could suggest that there is a tacit agreement to explore the idea already in the works. Anyone’s guess is as good as mine.
It also appears that some in Azerbaijan see the deal as a potential geopolitical coming coming out party for the small Caucasian nation. Aydin Mirzazade, Deputy chairman of the Azeri Parliamentary Defense and Security Committee, thinks that it could “strengthen the geopolitical position of Azerbaijan, since the station belongs to our country. Azerbaijan will take part in the negotiations and will be able to defend its national interests. I think this idea is a potential political dividend for Azerbaijan.”
It could. Or it could put Azerbaijan in a real awkward position when the two great powers intensify their love spats. Even so, depsite any problems the plan might cause Azerbaijan, in the words of Rasim Musabekov, a pro-opposition political analyst, the Caucausian nation has “has nothing to lose here. The joint use of Gabala radar station by the Americans and Russians would mean diversification of this base and would increase the strategic weight of Azerbaijan.”
At the least they will be able to wag their middle finger at longtime foe Armenia while standing beside Putin and Bush. After all, the deal might get Azerbijian the ear of Moscow and the US over Karabakh. “Azerbaijan will have the right to demand taking its interests into account. It may touch the issue of the Karabakh conflict and also security guarantees in regard to third countries,” Musabekov added. There is no doubt that the “third country” in question is Armenia.Post Views: 540
By Sean — 10 years ago
Dmitri Medvedev is not just President of Russia. Nor is he simply a rising global interlocutor. He, or really his visage, is also the subject to the whims of the marketplace. According to Kommersant Vlast,
People are even trying to sell the portrait of the President of Russia using spam. Evidently, the reason for the crisis of production which has arisen in the market of portraits of Russian government leaders, is because sellers overestimated buyers demand for portraits of Dmitri Medvedev. On the internet several internet shops exists that sell the portrait of the President and between them there is a genuine trading war.
One site, www.portrets.ru, is allowing you to download creepy portraits of Medvedev and Putin for free!Post Views: 874
By Sean — 13 years ago
The question “Why do Russians love Stalin?” continues to fascinate observers but often serves as a means for them to paint Russians as inherently “abnormal,” authoritarian and violent. I think that Professor Andrei P. Tsygankov of San Francisco State University has given one of the most reasonable explanations why Russians continue to look favorably toward Stalin. Here is a snippet, but I encourage readers to check out the whole thing.
It is misleading to interpret strong public support for the revolution, Stalin or the Soviet Union as evidence for the Russians’ inability to come to grips with their past. Instead, such support confirms their refusal to come to grips with the present situation of mass poverty, coupled with a largely inefficient and persistently corrupt state. In the public mind, Yeltsinism, as a system that has created such a state, lives on. Unsurprisingly, a growing sympathy for Stalin strongly correlates with feelings of being “abandoned” by the state. Rather than being an outlandish authoritarian response, it is a natural, protest-like reaction to the political system of the 1990s many features of which remain part of everyday reality. Anywhere in the world people would withdraw their support for a state that consistently denies them sense of dignity and a decent level of living standards. State ability to formulate a paternalistic popular vision continues to matter. For example, Americans seem to love Ronald Reagan because he restored their sense of dignity (even while undermining middle class and economic foundations). French people think highly of Charles De Gaulle partly because the state was then socially paternalistic and autonomous.Post Views: 677