Gazprom as political sledgehammer

Gazprom, the Russian oil company owned by the state, has not only been blackmailing central Asian countries by cutting off their oil supplies, it has been buying up independent Russian media and turning them into propaganda tools. Craig Murray writes about this on his website and in Mail on Sunday saying Putin is using Russian Mafia as allies and has installed former KGB allies in positions of power, with many of them now more wealthy than the more public billionaire oligarchs.

Further, he says the evidence and politics support the view that Russian security forces, not rebels, were responsible for the bombing of apartment blocks in Chechnya in 2000, using it as a pretext for increased repression.

His primary point is that Europe needs to rather quickly go to renewable sources of energy to avoid dependence on an increasingly despotic Russia who plans to use their huge energy resources as a political weapon.

Murray also says

I rather despair of the many on the Left who seem to accept Bush and Blair’s risible “With us or against us” logic, and conclude that any opponent of Bush is a good person. Anyone who believes that the Russian oligarchs are not just as evil and machinating as Dick Cheney, has switched off his critical faculties.

Indeed, the opponent of my opponent may not only not be a friend or ally but  instead equally loathsome.

  • Can anybody point me in the direction of a “good” state apparatus somewhere in the world??

  • DJ

    In terms of efficiency, reach, and accessibility, public education is unbeatable. Plus in many countries, public health does an incredible job. Sri Lanka used to be among them: when I got bit by a dog while a resident volunteer, I got treatment and rabies shots for free from a government hospital with much less hassle than it would have been here in the States. Unfortunately, corruption has taken its toll, and a public hospital in Sri Lanka is one of the last places you’d now want to find yourself.

  • Kind of proves my point???

  • DJ

    Maybe I misunderstood you, but which part proves your point? That public institutions are sometimes as corruptible as private ones? That would suggest that there is no good apparutus (state or otherwise). Which may indeed be the case, but I’m nevertheless unwilling to support anarchy as a viable alternative.

  • I’ve never understood how anarchy can scale (like to the national level, with millions of people in a country) but maybe that’s because I don’t understand it.

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