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Sep. 28th, 2011

The Committee to Re-Elect Putin

Moscow couldn't have done it without easy money and Western leftists.


Esteemed Friends! Dorogie druz'ya—

As the work of the Committee to

Re-elect Putin to the presidency of the Russian Federation gets under
way, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the generous and
farsighted individuals who have made this political moment possible.
Gilded and jewel-encrusted have been the favors we have bestowed on our
friends; odorless and radioactive is the justice we have meted to
traitors who sought safety abroad. But enough about London.


There are, however, foreign friends who have been instrumental in our
good fortune but who, for now, can be compensated only in words.
Perhaps at a later date there might be intriguing professional
opportunities available to them as well, as there was for our friend
Gerhard Schröder, once the chancellor of Germany and now chairman of our
Nord Stream gas pipeline, a Gazprom subsidiary. But enough about
Switzerland.

Who we have in mind, rather, are those who have made our "managed
democracy"—managed, that is, by our friends and for our benefit, and yet
astonishingly popular among a majority of Russians—the undoubted
success it is today. Allow us to divide those friends into three
categories: the academicians, the central bankers, and the
environmentalists.


In the first category, there are many names, but let us single out two
for honorable mention. Great are the thanks due to Stephen F. Cohen of
the New York University, who, when former Comrade Litvinenko was
liquidated, explained on Charlie Rose that "the reason for this having
happened was an operation run against Putin." Great also are
our thanks to Padma Desai of the Columbia University, who urged readers
of this esteemed journal to "Give Putin a Break," noting that there were
valid justifications for oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky's imprisonment,
and that the media landscape was better and more transparent under
President Putin than under his predecessor.

In short, we express our heartfelt gratitude to all excuse-makers in
the West who have constructed the narrative that served as the basis for
your American "reset" of relations with us, both under Mr. Bush and Mr.
Obama: that President Putin rescued Russia from the anarchic-oligarchic
wreckage of the Yeltsin years; that his centralization of power and
even cult of personality were necessary to counteract the centrifugal
forces that threaten our nation's economic, political and territorial
integrity; and that his foreign policy has done no more than reassert
traditional Russian prerogatives in her rightful sphere of influence.

Now we must give thanks to our favorite central bankers, Mr.
Greenspan and Mr. Bernanke. History will remember them as the true
saviors of our economy.

Just consider: In 1998, the year the ruble collapsed, the
inflation-adjusted price of oil reached its post-World War II low of
$16.44 a barrel. At the time, the benchmark U.S. interest rate stood
close to 6%. In 2008, the year of our glorious victory over Georgian
imperialism, oil hit a near-postwar high of $95.25. Now the benchmark
rate is at a historic low—a dollar glut leading directly to the
commodity price boom.

What can we say? It's not as if we've created a hospitable climate
for foreign investment—just ask our friends at BP or Shell. It's not as
if we're managing our resources intelligently, either: We're expanding
output but the technical mismanagement and depletion of our fields is an
open secret.

And yet, even as our oil production is
up just 40% in the last decade, the value is up more than 400%. Now may
we have more quantitative easing, please?

Finally, we cannot forget our debt of gratitude to our excellent environmentalist friends.

Granted, President Putin is not always so fond of Russian
environmentalists. Sometimes he even accuses them of espionage. But just
consider the services rendered to Russian interests when, for example,
nine winners of the Nobel Peace Prize—including Desmund Tutu and the
Dalai Lama—petition President Obama to stop the U.S. from importing
Canadian oil through the Keystone XL pipeline. "The full development of
the Alberta tar sands," they write, "will create the world's second
largest potential source of global warming gases."

Yes! Save the Planet and Blame Canada. Surely that's good
politics in the U.S. Then, if the campaign against prospecting for
natural gas in America and Europe can take hold—the French just put a
moratorium on fracking; can Obama be far behind?—we can maintain our
dominant position there, too.

Friends, we cannot waste a day if President Putin is to remain in
office for another 12 years. No doubt there will be many challenges to
overcome—small countries to put in line; opposition leaders to harass;
gadfly journalists to be swatted like flies. But that is what our
committee is for. Drook us on Facebook or follow us on the Web at www.creep2012.ru.


Write to bstephens@wsj.com



Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
nedosionist
Sep. 28th, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC)
Stephens забывчиво-партийно намекает на то, что десятилетняя игра со спичками на мировой нефтезаправке двух нефтяников в Белом Доме не имеет отношения к нефтяным ценам, вскормившим путинизм.
otkaznik
Sep. 28th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
Selective memory makes you strong
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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