04 October 2007

Sedition! Russian Edition

Jonathan Eyal (read as "isle") is the research director of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, and also apparently the correspondent for the Straits Times Europe bureau in London. On most days of the week, Eyal has a doctorate in International Law and Relations, and is by all means a respectable military historian and analyst.

Of course, respectable is a relative term; as a respectable analyst and Eastern Europe specialist, Eyal was part of the intellectual community that facilitated and provided justifications for the conquest and occupation of Serbia, but still he did deconstruct the GWOT for the charade that it is.

What I do not get is how Eyal manages to be a ST correspondent on some days of the week. Note that whenever he talks about Europe, it is almost always through a libertarian set of glasses: Europe outside UK is almost always economically sclerotic, addled with overtaxed citizens paying for exorbitant and inefficient social welfare, losing the civilisational will to live in contrast to its immigrants and probable heirs, the Muslim immigrants. And so on, and so forth. While not supportive of Bush, Eyal has made a living supporting any European leader who supported Bush. And so on, and so forth.

Here's Jonathan Eyal on Putin's Power Play:

"Russian President Vladimir Putin has indicated that he intends to retain political influence when he steps down from the presidency... By accepting to lead United Russia - the country's biggest political formation - he could become the next prime minister.

It all sounds cleverly simple: a new figurehead president will be elected to respect existing constitutional provisions, while Mr Putin continues to run the show as prime minister...

Top powers will have to be granted to the government rather than the head of state. Furthermore, Russian prime ministers are not popular for long. They are expected to take controversial decisions..."

Eyal muses therefore that "Mr Putin... could become a kingmaker from the sidelines."

"But this scenario would be even more confusing. Governments and investors would have to deal with officials who, despite their formal titles, would have no real power, while the man really pulling the strings would have no official position."

I'm sure Jonathan Eyal would have realised that's how Sonia Gandhi is the leader of India even though she isn't the President of India.

And looking closer to who's paying for Eyal's bills, he might as well have saved us the sight of reading yet another "analysis article" (WTH is it that all his analysis articles are in the news section and not the op/eds?) if he just wrote a 4-word article:

Senior Minister Vladimir Putin

No comments: