Tag Archives: wto

Putin’s Cult of Personality, Russia’s Gap Status

Did you know that you can buy a photobook of Putins’ best photos? It’s true! Like Chavez, Castro, Turkmenbashi, and the other Gap leaders, Putin is building a cult of personality?

Putin's Cult of Personality
Putin's Cult of Personality

This is now an old trend, consistent with Putin’s systematic destruction of ties with the outside world.

It also fits Russia’s status as a state in the Gap. While Georgia joined the WTO back in 2000, and Ukraine joined this summer, no formal meeting on Russia’s status has happened in years.

Not that Russia was close, anyway.

Bush v. Paleocons on Vietnam

Good: Bush’s State Department (hat-tip to the Democratic Underground) wisely removes a hurdle from even closer Viet-American ties. Washington and Hanoir are natural allies that should speed their inter-governmental, inter-military, and inter-market cooperation.

Bad: However, the Congress (hat-tip to The Corner) foolishly prevented Normal Trade Relations with Vietnam. To some Congressmen, know-knothing anti-foreignerism is more important that free trade, free markets, and free minds.

Tom has his own thoughts on Viet Nam Sai Gon.

WTO Membership for Iran

Bush Weighs Offers To Iran: U.S. Might Join Effort to Halt Nuclear Program,” by Robin Wright, Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A58417-2005Feb27.html, 28 February 2005 (from Democratic Underground)

Right after the news that Cuba is telling its people to avoid foreigners, the Bush Administration is thinking of granting WTO membership to Iran:

The Bush administration is close to a decision to join Europe in offering incentives to Iran — possibly including eventual membership in the World Trade Organization — in exchange for Tehran’s formal agreement to surrender any plans to develop a nuclear weapon, according to senior U.S. officials.

That’s my kind of Islamic Republic!

Useful bs about Iran’s nuclear program aside, this is great news. Much better than crazy plans to embargo Iran. Iran’s democracy is about where Britain’s was a century ago, they have a very secular population, and Persia is a natural security pillar in the Middle East. We need to continue to integrate Persians into the international system so a future without the mullahs in charge becomes more and more real.

Free the Iranian people. Free the Iranian bloggers. Do everything possibel to add Iran to the functioning core.