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VENEZUELA HAS ALSO WITNESSED the benefits of Russia’s export regime. Hugo Chavez and his “Bolivarian Revolution” have received 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles and 30 combat helicopters. The United States had been able to convince Brazil and Spain away from making similar sales, but Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Kislyak held that the deal was “a sovereign decision by the Russian Federation and Venezuela.” As for the implications the influx of weapons could have on the region, Kislyak proclaimed that the delivery “is not having a destabilizing effect.” Washington, meanwhile, is rightfully worried that these weapons could end up in the hands of rebels in Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America where Chavez hopes to export his revolution.
Russia is using the export of arms to its benefit both domestically and internationally. Unfortunately, this revitalized influence from Moscow has produced few benefits for the rest of the world. Many of the world’s rogue regimes must be pleased with this development, but international security is being severely undermined. Russia now finds itself at a crossroads where it will continue to drift east towards China and towards Cold War strategic competition with the United States, or it will continue to democratize and become a responsible world actor engaged in genuine cooperation with the West.
The 2008 presidential elections to determine the successor of Vladimir Putin will be essential in this progression. Will Putin select a successor with similar Soviet era tendencies, or will a democrat seeking to strengthen ties with the West emerge? This will have monumental consequences in Russia’s future strategic relations and determine the future direction of Russia’s arms exports. As the cases of Iran, Sudan, Venezuela, and numerous others have illustrated, a secure and stable world can ill afford the continued consequences of a Russian effort to improve its economy and undermine its strategic competitors through the export of arms to tyrants in every corner of the globe.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online