Here is my comment to Mustang's post, posted in the comment section of Social Sense:
I have often felt that Putin has ice running through his veins. (Unlike Gorbachev who had to have some love for his countrymen, in a time when the jig was up and communism met it's natural demise.)
I have often wondered what ever would possess Yeltsin to trust this man to do what was right with Russia. I think I know, and Mustang has just validated some of it.
My thought about this has been simple: The mafia controls Russia.
When it was the USSR, the only way to get things that the state was unable to provide (through its failed experiment) was the black market. When the USSR folded and Russia became a free market economy, the only ones that had experince in running a capitalistic enterprise, was the black market.
So, in the interim, it legitimized itself; but it kept its ruthless business theories and models. (Attila the Hun would be proud).
Meanwhile, every American economist that had the time, tried to help Russia develop a free market independent of government control. Not only that, we sank lots of money into Russia's economy. They ate it all up.
Then, in the end, they did it the way they wanted to, anyway.
Now, instead of the government controlling the business world, the business world controls the government. The tactics are the same as the mob, because it is the mob. And the mob, is a cold dark entity that has no affection or respect, for those that compete against it.
I would add further that the government of the USSR tolerated the Russian mafia, as long as the bribes were paid. If they weren't, then the non-compliant organization was shut down and the proprietors were sent to Siberia. But today we see a very different circumstance that has developed, since the fall of the USSR. We now see a Russian mafia that is tolerating the government. As long as the favors to the Russian mob keep coming, the kingmakers will continue to allow the Russian government to function, unabated.
What a switch. In essence, the Russian people have traded one form of tyranny for another, like so many oppressed people allow, when making a change from oppressor to oppressor.
But that's the Russian people's problem, right? Wrong.
Now, we see President Putin coddling Iran and buying into the lies they are currently trying to sell in the world market of ideas. For some strange reason we see Putin meeting with the terrorist leadership of Iran, as if nothing is wrong. Yet, when our President makes a statement, it is criticized and even mocked, despite its poignant content.
From the IHT:
"If Iran had a nuclear weapon, it'd be a dangerous threat to world peace," Bush said. "So I told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested" in ensuring Iran not gain the capacity to develop such weapons.
Let's contrast this with Putin's statement, reported from the same article:
But in Tehran on Tuesday, Putin said, "Not only should we reject the use of force, but also the mention of force as a possibility."
Translation: Our businesses are overly dependent on Iranian oil and cannot compete in the world market without it. Therefore, we should not upset the apple cart, lest we lose out ability to compete.
Basically, the Russian mob needs the Iranian oil. And with its long history of oppressive and brutal tactics, they are not going to worry about Iran starting WWIII, in the process. They, like Putin, have ice flowing through their veins and values are not a priority right now.