Thursday, November 30, 2006

The new Furher of Russia; Cleaning House.

After the news hit the fan that Alexander Litvinenko had died from radiation poisoning last week, the UK's Health Protection Agency came out to assure the public there was not health risk to the general public. Sure there were a few public places where Litvinenko might have recieved a lethal does of Polonium 210, like a hotel and a sushi resturaunt, but nothing at all to worry about. Move along now, nothing to see here.

Today the BBC reports:

"Experts probing the death of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko have found traces of radioactivity at 12 locations, the home secretary has said. Among them are two British Airways (BA) planes. A third one is awaiting checks. . . BA is contacting 33,000 passengers from 221 flights."

Along with these three planes there also two Russian planes the British authorities are looking at. Home Secretary John Reid says, "There may be other aeroplanes of which we don't at this stage know, but those are the five that we know of."

OK, again, that's 33,000 people on 221 flights who might have been exposed to a radioactive isotope that can kill in tiny doses and for which there is no cure. But, again, there's nothing to worry about. Reid says the raditation found on the planes poses "no residual public health risk." I believe him, don't you? I'm feeling better about the whole thing.

Well, except for the other major news of the day that former Yelsin era Russian PM Yegor Gaidar, another Putin critic, has fallen seriously ill from an unknown cause.

The BBC:

"Mr Gaidar became violently ill during a visit to Ireland last week, and his daughter Maria told the BBC that doctors believe he was poisoned. Mr Gaidar, 50, fell ill a day after Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko died of radiation poisoning in London. . . Ms Gaidar, an anti-Kremlin activist, told the BBC doctors in Moscow had been unable to find any other cause except poisoning. 'The doctors think that they don't find any other reason of his condition that he was poisoned with some strange poison they cannot identify.'" She says doctors are trying to treat what they say are "rather strange symptoms."

Rather strange like 'radioactive strange?'

Is Putin the new Furher of Russia?

Yes, this is all rather stange, isn't it? Another Russian "reformer" of the Yeltsin era, Anatoly Chubais, -- who, incidentally, was also a target of an assassination attempt, tells CNN that:

"Yegor Gaidar on 24 November was in the balance between life and death. Could this be simply some sort of natural illness? According to what the most professional doctors, who have first-hand knowledge of the situation, say: No. For me there is no doubt that the deathly chain Politkovskaya-Litvinenko-Gaidar, which miraculously was not finished, would have been extremely attractive for the supporters of an unconstitutional, forceful change of power in Russia."

'A forceful change of power in Russia?' You mean Putin might have larger ambitions, perhaps even plans to stay on as Czar in chief after his term expires in 2008? Masha Lipman wotre last year that:

"The idea that the Kremlin might use the risk of a nationalist takeover as a justification for scrapping the election and extending Putin's tenure is but one of several 2008 scenarios thought to be circulating in that body. It's telling that the one scenario missing from the political rumor mill and analysts' forecasts is a democratic transfer of presidential authority, something that has never occurred in Russia.. . .Sergei Mironov, speaker of the Russian upper house, was talking recently about the 'real threat of a fascist putsch in Russia' -- 'a new fuhrer with fascist-type, nationalist ideology' emerging in the 2008 presidential campaign."

Could all these poisonings be simply house cleaning by Vald for his upcoming PUTIN '08: TODAY and FOREVER campaign? This might tend to explain a few things. The question is what is the West going to do about it? If at this point W. keeps making kissy faces at Putin and continues to push the fiction that he's really commited to democracy, then he's really the appeaser he accused his Democratic opponests of being in the WOT.


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