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Author Topic: PUTIN'S BIG BLUNDER  (Read 2609 times) Average Rating: 0
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Bono Vox
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« on: December 23, 2004, 11:22:31 PM »

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN

December 22, 2004 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin's brazen scheme to rebuild the old Soviet Empire by annexing Ukraine has backfired. The backlash is brewing throughout the former Soviet republics that Russia calls its "near abroad."

In trying to win the electoral contest in Ukraine for his pro-Russian puppet and then seeking to steal an election, Putin sacrificed valuable political capital and credibility in the region. That his allies in the KGB and the Russian Mafia likely sought to poison pro-Western candidate Viktor Yushchenko when they couldn't defeat him just compounds the blunder.

The overreaching by this would-be czar is most reminiscent of the 1991 Moscow coup attempt by hardline communists. They sought to oust Mikhail Gorbachev and turn the clock back — but instead triggered the liberation of Russia, the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the victory of Boris Yeltsin.

The end result of Putin's arrogant assumption that he could take over Ukraine by manipulating its democracy is likely to be a massive rush of nearby states away from the "Confederation of Independent States," set up by Russia to dominate its sphere of influence, toward the European/U.S. camp.

The repercussions of Putin's audacity began to reverberate over the past month and are likely to accelerate after the likely Yushchenko victory in Ukraine's new election Dec. 26.

We are picking up the seismic shock from the streets of Kiev in the little nation of Moldova, where we are helping the pro-democracy forces.

This tiny nation, formerly the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova, was once a province of Romania but was given to Moscow in the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939. Nominally independent since the Soviet Union broke up in '91, Moldova has actually been headed by a communist government that would like to go back under Russian hegemony.

Until November, the communists held a comfortable lead in the coming election. A national poll by the International Republican Institute (an international pro-democracy foundation funded by the U.S. Republican Party) found that voters saw Russia as more of a partner than a threat by the lopsided margin of 68 percent to 25 percent.

But now — in the aftermath of the Ukrainian mess — Moldovans are not so sure: They rate Russia favorably as a partner by only 52-38. Now, the polls show that Moldovans want closer relations with the European Union and the United States more than they want to be tied to Moscow.

This increasing feeling of freedom in the former Soviet empire has roiled Putin and his Kremlin cronies. They're relatively mellow in their international comments — but for Russian consumption, they are breathing fire.

Sergei Markov, director of the Institute of Political Studies and a Putin buddy, was quoted in the Moscow Times as saying that relations between Russia and the West "are gradually slipping into the danger zone of possible conflict" and predicts that "a crisis in international relations could come at any moment."

And Vyacheslav Nikonov, head of the Politika Foundation think tank and a knowledgeable commentator on Putin's policies, wrote a blistering column in the newspaper Trud. He called the Western insistence on a free election in Ukraine a de facto anti-constitutional putsch — indeed, the "first large-scale geopolitical 'special operation' of the united West aimed at a revolutionary regime change in a CIS country, which is Russia's [strategic] ally."

Nikonov says Russia will distance itself from Europe and America and warns of specific economic steps to try to cripple the newly independent-minded Ukraine. He also threatens that Moscow will become "more strict and selective" in helping Western corporations function in Russia and will place obstacles in the path of any Western NGO or foundation that "promotes democracy or the development of civil society" in Russia.

But these are the ravings of a dragon that can still breathe fire but has no teeth. Ukraine is proving — and other Eastern European nations will follow suit — that the former slaves of the Soviet Union can look to the economic life of Europe and the military protection of NATO to lead them to political and economic freedom.

People power is triumphing, and Putin can't stand it.

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann are political consultants for Viktor Yushchenko in Ukraine and for the pro-democracy forces in Moldova.






I am curious to your responses

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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2004, 01:00:08 AM »

Monday December 27, 10:16 AM    
Yushchenko claims triumph in Ukraine: "Now we are free," he declares

AFP Photo

Pro-West opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko claimed victory in Ukraine's historic presidential election rerun, telling supporters the vote was a triumph for the country and proclaiming that "now we are free" from dominance by neighboring Russia.

Speaking in a hall at his campaign headquarters packed with journalists and campaign activists, the man who led the "orange revolution" that shook Ukraine for weeks said: "It has happened.

"For 14 years we have been independent, but now we are free. This is a victory for the Ukrainian people, for the Ukrainian nation," the 50-year-old opposition leader and former prime minister said as his audience broke into applause and chants of "Yu-shchenk-ko! Yu-shchen-ko!"

Yushchenko appeared in public as the central election commission reported that he held a 16-point lead over his pro-Russian opponent, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich, with more than 63 percent of the country's precincts reporting results.

The commission credited Yushchenko with 55.98 percent of the vote, compared to 40.2 percent for Yanukovich. Three independent exit polls published at the close of voting Sunday gave Yushchenko at least a 15-point lead over his rival.

A Yushchenko win would mark a dramatic political turnaround in a country where only last month state broadcast media all but banished him from the airwaves and Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly backed Yanukovich.

The 54-year-old Yanukovich was officially declared winner of a November 21 presidential ballot and was twice congratulated by Putin, but Yushchenko supporters protested that result which was later judged fraudulent and thrown out by the supreme court.

"Today we are turning the page on human disrespect, censorship, lies and violence," he said. "People who were dragging the country toward the abyss are today stepping into the past."

After speaking at his campaign headquarters, Yushchenko returned to Kiev's central Independence Square where he told tens of thousands of cheering supporters, many waving orange flags, that "an independent and free Ukraine now lies before us."

He repeated his call however for his supporters to remain in the square until he is officially confirmed as the winner of the election.

Earlier, Yanukovich held a press conference where he stopped short of conceding defeat but promised to fight in a new opposition should his rival assume the presidency.

"I expect to win, but if I am defeated then a strong opposition will be created, it will be in the parliament" and Yushchenko "will learn what an opposition really is," the 54-year-old Yanukovich vowed.

Yushchenko, whose support is strongest in the agrarian, nationalist Ukrainian-speaking west of the country has pledged to lead Ukraine toward eventual membership in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Yanukovich, whose base is in the industrialized, Russian-speaking east, pledged to preserve and fortify traditional ties with Russia and thus enjoyed backing from Moscow prior to a November 21 vote that he officially won but was riddled with fraud and annulled.

Apart from the east-west split within Ukraine itself, the battle to succeed President Leonid Kuchma has also enflamed tensions between a West seeking to accelerate democratic development here and Russia which has bridled at what it sees as encroachment into its strategic backyard.

The United States, which has rejected accusations from Yanukovich and Russia that it financed Yushchenko's campaign, warned Ukrainian authorities after the voting ended to make sure the count was honest.

"We hope for a free, fair vote that meets international standards and results in an outcome truly reflecting the will of Ukraine's people," a State Department spokesman said in Washington.

Throughout the evening after polls closed, Kiev's Independence Square, the locus of dramatic protests following the contested November 21 election, was again the center of a raucous and jubilant pro-Yushchenko street party.

Some 12,500 observers from dozens of international and domestic institutions and a number of foreign governments were registered to monitor the voting, compared to the 5,000 who observed the previous runoff vote.

Violence that some feared could occur between the bitterly-divided supporters of the two camps failed to materialize and the country's interior ministry reported shortly before polls closed that the election had been carried out with no unusual incidents.

Apart from the national and international tensions it has generated, the Ukrainian election campaign was marked by a dioxin poisoning episode that took Yushchenko off the stump last September with a severe illness that has left his face sallow, puffy and pock-marked.

Yushchenko has insisted it was an attempt to murder him. He fell ill the day after having dinner with the chief of Ukraine's SBU intelligence service, Ihor Smeshko, who has denied that he or his agency had any role in the poisoning.
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2004, 02:52:33 AM »

I don't kow how Orthodox you are, but I back Putin to the hilt.
Putin is Orthodox through and through. He had private prayers in the Kremlin With Alexy II before he was sworn in as
President.

As far as I'm concerned, Putin is the best thing that happened to the Orthodox Church in Russia. Putin is DEFINITLY NOT
Mafia. That's why Kordokofsky is behind bars.

As for Yushchenko winning in Ukraine, it is a victory for the Uniates, which is a sad day for Orthodoxy.

Kolya
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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2004, 03:21:50 AM »

First, Yushchenko's victory can't be a victory for the "uniates" because Yushchenko is Orthodox, not Eastern Catholic. 

Second, the idea that Putin is a good Orthodox is IMHO an insult to Orthodoxy.  Putin is just another thug.  Hardly the "best thing that happened to the Orthodox Church in Russia."  How any former KGB agent (unrepetent) could be a good thing for Orthodoxy is beyond me. 
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2004, 08:03:01 AM »


As for Yushchenko winning in Ukraine, it is a victory for the Uniates, which is a sad day for Orthodoxy.


Kolya,

Why is this so?  Why is this a victory for "uniates"?

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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2004, 09:35:17 AM »

I dont know what to make of Putin's latest closer relations with both China and India.  Is this the natural spin off of the rejection by Ukraine?  Do we see an axis forming here?  I read that Russia and China will be holding joint military operations on Chinese soil this spring. Should we be reading too much into this?

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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2004, 09:47:34 AM »

I agree that Putin is a thug and I'm glad Yushchenko won.

First, Yushchenko's victory can't be a victory for the "uniates" because Yushchenko is Orthodox, not Eastern Catholic.

Second, the idea that Putin is a good Orthodox is IMHO an insult to Orthodoxy. Putin is just another thug. Hardly the "best thing that happened to the Orthodox Church in Russia." How any former KGB agent (unrepetent) could be a good thing for Orthodoxy is beyond me.
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2004, 10:32:32 AM »

From an outsider's perspective, it seems Putin is doing his best with what he has.  Sure, the Kursk, the theater incident, and the school attack were horrible, but he has put a lot of effort into fighting terrorism in Chechnya.  I'd say he's good for his country, because he doesn't show any weakness of character and because he is Orthodox.  Russia is a struggling country, but full of faith.  If Ukraine wants to become increasingly separated from her roots with the Russian Empire, so be it.  At least it's good to know Yuschenko is not a uniate. 
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2004, 12:21:58 PM »

Quote
First, Yushchenko's victory can't be a victory for the "uniates" because Yushchenko is Orthodox, not Eastern Catholic. 

Second, the idea that Putin is a good Orthodox is IMHO an insult to Orthodoxy.  Putin is just another thug.  Hardly the "best thing that happened to the Orthodox Church in Russia."  How any former KGB agent (unrepetent) could be a good thing for Orthodoxy is beyond me. 

Looks like for the first time we are in total agreement here Cool...

Quote
I don't kow how Orthodox you are, but I back Putin to the hilt.
Putin is Orthodox through and through. He had private prayers in the Kremlin With Alexy II before he was sworn in as
President.

LoL......Saying Putin is a good practicing Orthodox is on the same level of someone telling me that Tony Soprano is a good practing Roman  Catholic. Also, what does it matter how Orthodox the original poster is, how about being "Christian" first.

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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2004, 12:31:45 PM »

Quote from: Nacho


Looks like for the first time we are in total agreement here Cool...



I think I can say the same thing.  Twice in as many threads.

Next thing you know, me, you, Orthodoc and Deacon Lance will gather around the campfire to sing Kumbaya! Wink
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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2004, 02:46:02 PM »

LoL......Saying Putin is a good practicing Orthodox is on the same level of someone telling me that Tony Soprano is a good practing RomanCatholic.

My sentiments exactly. A good number of Orthodox are being, and have been, persecuted by those supposedly Orthodox rulers. It does the Faith and the Church no service to be represented by those employing the most unOrthodox behavior, and furthermore puts in the minds of non-Orthodox that our Faith is one based on force and not freedom of conscience, which isn't an accurate reflection of our theology at all.
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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2004, 06:46:39 PM »

//At least it's good to know Yuschenko is not a uniate. //

That's not what I hear from the UGCC in Ukraine.  They think he is one of them.

JoeS   :-";"xx
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« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2004, 08:23:33 PM »

Quote
Next thing you know, me, you, Orthodoc and Deacon Lance will gather around the campfire to sing Kumbaya! Wink

LOL what an image! Smiley

hmmm, i suppose i should say "mage" since i've never met any of u Cool
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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2004, 06:28:27 AM »

Yuschenko's wife is a Ukrainian Greek Catholic, although I think that is neither here nor there.  Last I knew, the establishment of a state religion wasn't one of the issues facing Ukraine as an outcome of this election.  The country has significantly more pressing concerns than from which Church Yuschenko recieves the Holy Mysteries. 

Ukrainians themselves are much too inclined to make nationalism and religion one and the same, they don't need others supporting them in that kind of thinking - although my impression from many years of dealing with them is that they are less concerned with whether one's faith is Catholic (Latin or Byzantine), or Orthodox (UOC-KP or UOAC), as long as it's Ukrainian-based and, in that regard, I think they are probably on the right track.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2004, 06:40:00 AM »

Second, the idea that Putin is a good Orthodox is IMHO an insult to Orthodoxy. Putin is just another thug. Hardly the "best thing that happened to the Orthodox Church in Russia." How any former KGB agent (unrepetent) could be a good thing for Orthodoxy is beyond me.

I don't think he is "un-repentant" Do you believe that Aley II is a bad Patriarch? If not, why does he spend so much time with Putin?
I don't live in North America, and so am not "aligned" with any 'Power Groups'. So I have a different perspective of the world and who shapes it.
So, I stand by Putin. Those of you who don't agree with me are free to do so.

Kolya
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« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2004, 09:58:47 AM »

Pardon me, in from what I can tell and see, Putin is just doing whatever he can to keep Russia a relevant player on the world stage. And that usually means being opposed to the USA. Thug or National Savior, Orthodox or not, he is trying to hold on and increase wherever possible Russian influence. So yes closer relations to China and India, no to Ukraine becoming more US-friendly.
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« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2004, 10:15:18 PM »

Can someone please explain to me what "Orthodox Catholic" is?
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« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2004, 10:38:04 PM »

Can someone please explain to me what "Orthodox Catholic" is?Can someone please explain to me what "Orthodox Catholic" is?]

An Orthodox Catholic is a member of  what some people refer to as the Eastern Orthodox Church.  It is the continuation of that 'One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Chrch' that we profess belief in when we recite the Nicean Creed in its original form at each Divine Liturgy.  It is the Catholic Church as it was when the Church was still basically united under the first seven Ecumenical Councils because it has neiter added or changed those shared doctrines as the Roman Catholic Church has, nor has it subtracted from those shared doctrines as the Protestants have.

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« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2004, 04:02:14 AM »

Quote
Can someone please explain to me what "Orthodox Catholic" is?

Bob,

Ok, you have to know that I chuckled when I saw the question posed, right? Wink

But, it raised another in my mind. Using your alternative terminology, how would you differentiate the Oriental Orthodox, whom I am certain would also ascribe to themselves the character of "Catholic"?

Quote
An Orthodox Catholic is a member of what some people refer to as the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Shenouti,

"Orthodox Catholic", as Bob has defined it, is certainly accurate although, IMHO, it is an uncommon (as in "rarely' observed) terminology. My objection to it is that the usage is so infrequent as to be confusing to the average person encountering it. ACROD, I believe, retains the styling in its legal corporate name (but no longer uses it on webpage, letterhead, publications, etc.) and a few ACROD parishes (e.g., St. Michael's in Binghamton, NY) actively employ it; otherwise, I'm unaware of any Eastern Orthodox Church or canonical jurisdiction that routinely includes the phrasing in naming itself.  

It is also used, although I believe inaccurately, by some Eastern Catholics to describe the combination of their Catholicity (in regards to communion with Rome) and their liturgical and (incomplete) theological adherence to the praxis and tenets of Orthodoxy. In a variant that is encountered among some Eastern Catholics (particularly Russian Greek Catholics), it takes on an extended form that is usually expressed as "Orthodox in communion with Rome". I used to find the latter to be more acceptable, however (Bob must be getting to me Huh) I am starting to consider that phrasing objectionable in that it promotes as much confusion among non-Eastern and non-Oriental Christians as Bob's term.

Four decades ago (and even much more recently), as one who had recently moved from the Latin Catholic to the Melkite Catholic Church, I was regularly frustrated by the ignorance of those who couldn't/wouldn't distinguish between Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. I think, in looking at these various alternative combinations of "Orthodox" and "Catholic", that they invite a return to those days, something I see as not serving the best interests of either Eastern Orthodoxy or Catholicity vis-a-vis their unique ecclesial identities.

Not as relevant to any discussion here, but worth noticing, especially if you post to any of the Latin Catholic boards, is that "orthodox Catholic" (note the lower case "o") is frequently encountered among conservative Latin Catholics - which includes some, but not all of those who would describe themselves as "traditional". In that usage, it is intended to convey the adherence of the Catholic to "true" Catholic practice, doctrine, and dogma (usually intending to mean that which existed pre-Vatican II).

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2004, 08:03:37 AM »

I see nothing in error in Orthodoc's explanation, Neil.

I believe that ACROD's St Michael's in Binghamton uses "Greek Catholic" only , not Orthodox and I would posit that we Orthodox have a better claim to the term, Greek Catholic, than EC's have.

"O in C w/Rome" makes as much sense as gay "marriage" - doesn't exist, utter nonsense.

And baiting our Oriental members here will just not do.

Demetri
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« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2004, 09:49:51 AM »

I like Neil's explanation of "Orthodox Catholic."  Altogether though, I still say the whole "Eastern Catholic" thing was and is a sham.  I don't believe in any sort of primacy by any patriarch, but see them as equal brothers.  Deacon Lance and some others probably would heartily disagree.
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« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2004, 11:54:22 AM »

I believe that ACROD's St Michael's in Binghamton uses "Greek Catholic" only , not Orthodox and I would posit that we Orthodox have a better claim to the term, Greek Catholic, than EC's have.

Demetri,

I stand corrected, you are right as regards St. Michael's, home to the best pirohi on the East Coast. As to the usage "Greek Catholic", I have no issue with its use by Eastern Orthodox or Eastern Catholics but, as i have suggested previously, I think that usage of it by my Orthodox brothers and sisters without including "Orthodox" as a qualifier leads to confusion by those outside the circle of persons familiar with Eastern Christianity.

Quote
And baiting our Oriental members here will just not do.

I fail to see where I baited anyone, let alone the Oriental Orthodox who post here. Baiting is not my style and those here who know me from other boards will, I believe, readily attest to that.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2004, 12:36:17 PM »

The legitimate term Orthodox Catholic:

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/krehel_orthodox_catholic_faith.htm

This may help explain the Orthodox Catholic Faith.

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« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2004, 12:49:11 PM »

The legitimate term Orthodox Catholic:

http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/krehel_orthodox_catholic_faith.htm

This may help explain the Orthodox Catholic Faith.

Joe,

I'm familiar with the excellent article by the Mitred Archpriest Damien of blessed memory and I have no quarrel with the usage other than, as I explained above, the fact that it is enough of an unfamiliar terminology that it can only serve to confuse those who already find all of us of the East and the Orient, Orthodox and Catholic, to be a confusing lot.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2004, 01:21:07 PM »

For the record, our Church considers itself both Orthodox and Catholic. 

This naming issue somehow ALWAYS COMES UP: it's like the eleventh plague or something, sheesh.  Tongue   
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