EEUU está descongelando al "homo sovieticus"

Señor Putin, ¿como se le ocurre esa tontería de compartir la estación de radar en Azerbaiyán con EEUU? Asumimos que nos está tomando el pelo, pero la realidad es que nuestro augusto caudillo ha tomado una decisión de la cual no puede echarse atrás. Aunque probablemente se originó en las cabezas de chorlito de los ideólogos que le rodean – y que llevan las riendas del Pentágono – podemos tener la certeza de que Bush permanecerá fiel a esa decisión durante el resto de su presidencia.

Después del comentario de Putin durante la Cumbre G8, fuese o no hecha la propuesta en broma, necesité ponerme al corriente de lo que esa estación de radar significaría como punto de acuerdo. Y quien mejor para informarme que Anar Orujov, un periodista amigo en Azerbaiyán jefe del Centro Caucásico de Investigaciones Mediáticas en Baku.

Anar no tardó en convencerme que la sugerencia de Putin era, según él, “irreal e irónica”. Pero fue su concienzudo análisis y amplios conocimientos de las relaciones entre su país y Rusia, tras el desmoronamiento de la Unión Soviética, que me llevo a pensar en la posibilidad de una nueva era en seguridad colectiva para esa parte del globo, dado lo que está ocurriendo en las otras antiguas republicas soviéticas – con la excepción de los estados bálticos que en realidad nunca estuvieron a gusto en el rebaño comunista no obstante su considerable minoría rusófila.

Lo que cada día aparenta ser mas obvio, y algo que probablemente se reafirmará en la visita de Putin a Bush este julio en su alojamiento estival de Maine, es la postura firme del liderazgo ruso en no permitir ser intimidados. Y ese juego de gato y ratón de una renovada, aunque mas sutil guerra fría, siendo la Unión Europea quien tendrá mas que perder… no solo en lo militar, con sus ciudades programadas en los misiles nucleares rusos, sino también en lo económico.

La posibilidad de compartir las instalaciones de radar en Azerbaiyán fue una forma diplomática en que Rusia dijo a EEUU: “no nos acorraléis; trabajemos juntos sobre una misma base, pero no importa lo que decidáis en vuestra omnipotencia, no se os ocurra pisarnos”. Esto se ha dicho en un lenguaje que no ha dejado lugar a dudas; no solo por el jefe de estado ruso en la Cumbre G8, sino también por su ministro de relaciones exteriores, Sergei Lavrov; el segundo a bordo en exteriores, Sergei Kislyak; y el máximo jefe militar ruso, Yuri Baluyevski. Y lo han gritado al mundo entero en un periodo de apenas dos semanas. No creemos que los rusos tengan que aclarar mas las cosas, ni recurrir a escenas como aquella de Khrushchev hace cuatro décadas golpeando la mesa en la ONU con zapato en mano in Russian nuclear missiles, but economically as well.

The possibility of sharing the radar facilities in Azerbaijan was just a way for Russia to tell the United States diplomatically: “don’t corral us; let’s work things out together, but whatever you decide in the omnipotence of your power, don’t tread on us.” It has been stated in a language leaving no room for doubt; not just by Russia’s head of state at the G8 Summit, but by his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov; the deputy foreign minister, Sergei Kislyak; and the chief of Russia’s general staff, Yuri Baluyevski. And it has been said for the entire world to hear within a span of barely two weeks. Can the Russians make themselves any clearer without resorting to the theatrics of four decades ago that had Premier Khrushchev banging his shoe on a table at the United Nations?

It probably feels good to America’s elitist leaders to display their cocky feathers around in an unanswered war dance. It’s been 16 years since the informal and unwritten armistice between capitalism and communism took place; thus, there’s little reason to continuously remind them who got the upper hand. Wasn’t it enough that America’s strategy of economic “shock and awe” to the changeover was unnecessarily harsh and painful for the Soviet population? That the American government, directly or indirectly, helped create a capitalist society where the communal wealth of the nation ended up in the hands of a few former Soviet apparatchiks and opportunistic thugs and oligarchs in a privatization process that was little more than a joke – much like what took place in Iraq? And that in both cases the US could have influenced a more just outcome?

And, not considering it enough, America had to make sure that the breakup of the “empire” was thorough; also influencing internal dissension in the republics to distance them from Russia… all done under the banner of “democracy and freedom” which often was found to be but a cover-up for the CIA to claim its prey. And so it went with the US influencing “color revolutions,” separatist conflicts and even regional organizations.

America was able to bury the homo sovieticus under a glacier of ice with little or no resistance. But now, it seems that an awakening is beginning to take place, not just in Russia but in many of the sister republics as well; a regional warming of sorts that aided by our arrogant hot air is melting the glacier, thawing back to life the homo sovieticus.

For several years now these former Soviet states have tried to play the US-against- Russia card to obtain favorable resolution to issues of both freedom and historical national significance, such as the dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Garabakh. And although that level of “mild extortion” still exists, it’s becoming more evident to these republics that they may be overplaying that card, given the makeup of the US economy as an addicted borrower-nation, and a weak conventional military that after four years has been unable to subdue a small nation of fewer than 30 million people. So it’s a safe bet most of these republics will rethink their status, and aim at even closer ties to Russia.

Putin is wising up to the idea of how the West measures wealth and productivity to achieve its ends. And the IMF (International Monetary Fund) figures listing Russia’s 2006 gross domestic product as 20% below Spain’s (with a population less than one-third of Russia’s) – as an example – brings to question the validity of how products and services are being measured; and the meaning of currencies and exchange rates.

Russia and the now politically-detached 11 neighboring republics (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan) may only comprise just over 4% of the world’s population, but likely possess over 15% of the world natural resources, even if the former Soviet block is only shown to account for 2.6% of the world’s GDP.

Maybe the homo sovieticus will need to be re-baptized, given another name. Maybe its tender socialist beginnings can bring about a more humane and gentler type of capitalism, allowing us all the option to molt the callous skin of predatory capitalism.