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Wednesday, December 19, 2007
posted by Scott Allan | 4:22 PM | permalink
During an interview with Glenn Beck, Mitt Romney sees Putin for who he really is, a dangerous, anti-American, ex-KGB thug who is methodically eroding the freedoms from Russian citizens while propping up and protecting our enemies.

Romney ‘disgusted’

by Time choice

DECEMBER 19, 2007


GLENN: Give me your thought on Petraeus not being Time magazine's man of the year but instead Vladimir Putin.

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Oh, you are kidding. Did they put Vladimir Putin on the cover?

GLENN: Yeah, Time magazine.

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: That really, that's disgusting. I'm absolutely -- I mean, are you -- I mean, I haven't seen Time. Are you serious?

GLENN: No, I'm serious. It is Vladimir Putin, Time magazine man of the year. A guy who, you know, with all of the KGB stuff in the past, Time magazine says has transformed the country and congratulations. Time magazine man of the year, Vladimir Putin.

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Well, you know, he imprisoned his political opponents. There have been a number of highly suspicious murders. He has squelched public dissent and free press. And to suggest that someone like that is the man of the year is really disgusting. I'm just appalled. Clearly General Petraeus is the person or one of a few people who would certainly merit that designation and I know Time magazine makes a distinction. They say, well, people who had an impact, whether it's good or bad, is the man of the year. I think that's a --

GLENN: No, no, hang on.

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: -- a false --

GLENN: Before you go too far down this road -- wait a minute. Before you go down this road, this is the quote why he's the man of the year, "For bringing stability and renewed... what was it, impact? Status. Renewed status to his country. That's why.

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Isn't that something. So a good dictator -- I guess Raul Castro will get it next. A good dictator that imprisons or murders political and media opponents and therefore brings stability, I mean, there's nothing like the stability that martial law provides or dictatorship provides. I find it a truly appalling designation.

GLENN: And the stability that he's bringing to the Middle East with the transfer of this last few days of nuclear technology to Iran.

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Yeah. I mean, he's once again supplying nuclear material to the Bushehr power plant and it's another example of Russia trying to destabilize the world, destabilize the Middle East. It does tell you something about Time magazine. I'm really -- I must admit I'm really disappointed. That's a real shock.

GLENN: I was --

GOVERNOR ROMNEY: Our mainstream media I think has just showed its hand.



Scott Allan


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I have a feeling the real reason they gave it to Putin is because he stood up to Bush on the missle defense in former Soviet bloc countries. Of course they also had to obscure Petreaus because it would have made a great attack ad on Hillary with here basically calling him a liar before his testimony. I'm glad Mitt is picking some current issues to hammer to seperate himself from the rest of the bunker mentality candidates.

This is one issue on which I would have to disagree with Mitt.

I could be wrong, but I don't think that it is wise or even appropriate for Americans to get overly involved in or critical of internal Russian politics. And for consistency-sake, I have made this same complaint against John McCain. I would be furious if Vladimir Putin started delving into the question of: "Who should be the next American President?" It’s not like his endorsement would actually help anybody anyway, but what if Putin started complaining, for instance, about the lack of independence and autonomy given to indigenous American tribes such as the Cherokee?

I have also felt that some of the current hostility between the US and Russia could have been avoided if the current Bush Administration would have been keener on respecting Russian autonomy and trying to empathize better with the feelings of the Russian people.

After the Soviet Union fell, Bush 41 promised Russia that NATO would have no eastern expansion into former Soviet States. Bill Clinton continued this policy. But during the administration of Bush 43, the exact opposite has happened. Yes, we should have united with the rest of the world in outrage if Russia had decided to send in troops to reclaim some of these former Soviet Republics. But it would have been highly unlikely, and if I was a Russian, what the United States has done to expand its sphere of influence into former Soviet Republics would have to be seen with suspicion. If I was Russian, I would probably wonder if Bush was hostile toward Russia or if he wanted to start another Cold War.

To further exacerbate any conflict, the Bush Administration has continued with its SDI programs in eastern Europe, wanting to place forward missile interceptors as far east as former Soviet Republics. This would disturb me if I was the President of the Russian Federation even if I was the most open and democratic President in the world. The United States has said that these missile defense programs are to protect Europe against rogue nations like Iran and Syria, but Putin has called Bush’s bluff. Putin even offered to help the US build and protect missile defense platforms in the Mediterranean Sea or elsewhere. It has also complicated our missile defense program because now Russia has decided to spend its resources in order to develop missiles that can avoid our missile defenses.

Also, I am not sure why it is our business to criticize Russia for its internal issues in Chechnya. Americans and others who argue that Chechnya should be allowed to be autonomous and independent forget that a sizeable minority of Chechens today is ethnically Russian and that Chechnya has been part of Russia longer than Louisiana has been part of the United States. Do we really want all countries to go back to their pre-Louisiana Purchase borders? I sure don't. Just think of what the United States would be today without California and all of the western United States. No Disneyland! No Hollywood! (Ok, maybe that last example wasn’t that good of an argument).

Regardless, post-9/11, instead of attacking Russia for wanting to retain long-held territory, maybe we should be empathizing with the Russians who have had to deal with Chechen Islamist terrorists murdering Russian children. And maybe we should remember that it was American policy that as we used to say: "The United States does not negotiate with terrorists." So, while Chechen terrorists are killing Russian children, we attack Russia for defending itself? I just think that it’s important to think about what it would be like to be in their shoes.

Also, can anyone blame the Russian people for being furious about the corrupt giveaways of Russian national resources after the fall of communism? His purported attempts at reversing these corrupt deals are one of the things that has led to Putin's extreme popularity with the Russian people. I'm not sure how I would have dealt with this problem, but I am an American, so it is not my problem. But for Russians, fighting domestic corruption has been a huge issue.

Now, of course, I am not a complete Putin apologist. I think that his consolidation of power and control of the media is very disturbing. Putting any political opponents in jail is also unacceptable. And there are many, many other areas that I would disagree with him. But the Russian people strongly support Putin, and they are the ones who get to decide what to do with their country - not America and not NATO.

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