The Airing of Grievances
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Three years ago, when President Bush stared into ex-KGB thug Vladimir Putin's eyes and got "a sense of his soul", it seems that not only were US-Sovi...er, Russian relations strengthened, but management advice was imparted as well:
Russian President Vladimir Putin stripped a top economic adviser of his job as representative to the Group of Eight industrial nations after the aide, Andrei Illarionov, publicly accused the government of staging "the scam of the year" with the forced sale of OAO Yuganskneftegaz.Illiarionov's comment, of course, is dead on the money, as Russia's reversion to its pre-1993 state continues. Although not stripped entirely of his duties as an economic advisor, perhaps he can consult with straight-shooters like Paul O'Neill, Richard Clarke, and Anthony Zinni on how best to use his newfound spare time.
Side note - do Putin's actions over the last couple of years remind anyone else of that Simpson's episode when Homer joins the naval reserve, commandeers a sub into Russian waters and creates an international incident?
Russian official: The Soviet Union will be pleased to offer amnesty to your wayward vessel....followed by pink, flowered parade floats in Red Square being exposed to reveal Soviet tanks underneath, factories churning out war materiel and Lenin punching his way out of his glass tomb, screaming "Must crush capitalism!!". Anyone?
American official: The Soviet Union? I thought you guys broke up.
Russian official: Yes, that's what we wanted you to think! [laughs]