Czars, Soviet Premiers, and Federation Presidents all have one thing in common. In each instance, they had total authoritarian control over their citizens. When the “Revolution” (actually there were several) overthrew the Czar for the worker, they merely swapped one evil for another one. The shift was from pogroms to five year plans, with about the same results and outcomes. They went from the crazed behavior of mad monks to someone like Stalin, whose oppressions and behavior were legend. When Communism fell, a Federation was born. Using terms that sounded of democracy, they held elections and got themselves a President and Prime Minister. Yes, they swapped the Presidency between Medvedev and Putin, like a revolving door, we saw them merely pass the jobs back and forth. The net result is the same. Russia has authoritarian rule, and in essence their own new and improved Stalinist. The conduct of Russia’s control over their media, and the control of information to their own public, is a large indicator of where this is going. I’m not here to debate the question of “why?” Pundits have already opined that such a huge country needs this type of leadership, or that this is all they’ve ever known, or it is a simple factor of diversity or geography. Simply put, I don’t really give a damn why, instead, I DO care about the impact it will have on the rest of the world. Right now, the same old games are being played, and Russia’s neighbors are now very concerned. Putin is playing with economic and military fire, and is rolling the dice at his neighbors’ expense. ~ Michael S. Pauley
Michael S. Pauley is a Navy brat and an old soldier who served in all three components of the United States Army. Living in Lexington, South Carolina, Michael is now a practicing attorney and member of the United States Naval Institute and the American Legion, Post 154, Tybee Island, Georgia.