But Bush Said the Man Has a Good Heart

Friday, September 7th, 2012

This is causing some consternation in Georgian newspapers. (Or at least the English-language papers.)

Russia needs a “leap forward” to rejuvenate its sprawling defense industry, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, harkening back to the ambitious industrialization carried out by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in the run-up to World War Two.

“We should carry out the same powerful, all-embracing leap forward in modernization of the defense industry as the one carried out in the 1930s,” Putin told his Security Council, without mentioning Stalin by name.

Stalin, who ruled the Soviet empire with an iron fist for 27 years, is blamed for the death of about six million people but also is praised by many Russians for winning the war and industrializing the country.

The but in that sentence is doing some seriously heavy lifting.

In the 1930s Soviet leaders transformed a rural country devastated by civil war into an industrial superpower, using terror and executions to impose strict discipline at new plants built across the vast country.

Putin’s top defense industry official Dmitry Rogozin posted on his Facebook page a copy of a 1940 letter from Stalin to gun factory managers and accompanied it with a sarcastic warning: “Such methods of improving discipline also exist”.

Stalin’s letter to the managers said: “I give you two or three days to launch mass production of machinegun cartridges… If production does not start on time, the government will take over control of the plant and shoot all the rascals there.”

“Of course, it was a joke,” Rozogin told reporters regarding his posting but added that failures would not be tolerated.

How positively mafioso of him. “Like Stalin, should you fail to produce weapons to our satisfaction, we will take your business, kill you, kill your workers, and kill your families.”


“Ha, ha! I am just kidding!”


“But seriously. We will not tolerate failure.”

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30 Responses to “But Bush Said the Man Has a Good Heart”

  1. #1 |  Mike Haubrich | 

    By not tolerating failure, what exactly are we dealing with here?

  2. #2 |  Ann Archist | 

    @ Mike H. – Let’s ask Dick Cheney. I’ll bet HE knows!

  3. #3 |  marco73 | 

    Putin wants to remain relevant on the world stage. If he didn’t have Nukes and plenty of oil in the ground, he’d be as important as the King of Spain.

    The Russian population is declining, with no real solution in sight. They can’t breed faster than they are drinking themselves to death, and immigrants are from surrounding Moslem countries.

    If the oil and gas industry in North America were to ever be unleashed, the rest of the world would flock to purchase our energy, and ignore the kleptocracy in Russia.

    And really, defense spending? That worked out so well for the old Soviet Union back in the 1980’s.

  4. #4 |  the other rob | 

    This reminds me of the time, some years ago, when Putin appointed one of his former KGB colleagues as deputy head of Russian state television.

    The man gave a press conference, which began with him leaning on the lectern and saying to the assembled journos “Look, we all know that there’s no such thing as a FORMER Chekist.”

  5. #5 |  MH | 

    Stimulus, Russian style. But it won’t be complete without invading a few countries.

  6. #6 |  MikeV | 

    “Putin plans to spend $680 billion in the next eight years to modernize the military, with the bulk of the money going to 1,350 defense plants which employ about 2 million Russians. Many defense sector workers backed Putin during the election.”

    I think he stole this idea from every US President from Roosevelt to the present.

  7. #7 |  Marty | 

    another arms race? we’re even more doomed.

  8. #8 |  Danny | 

    #2 “he’d be as important as the king of Spain” hahahaha
    #5 Metallica “Sad, but true” comes to mind about the buying of votes.

  9. #9 |  Danny | 

    #2 “he’d be as important as the king of Spain” hahahaha
    #5 Metallica “Sad, but true” comes to mind about the buying of votes.

  10. #10 |  Personanongrata | 

    What are the deaths of a few tens of millions of human beings compared to the self esteem of a nations meglomaniacal leaders and it’s industrial progress?

  11. #11 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    @6 – Russia keeps on sending spies into the EU and making menacing bomber flights near the edge of the airspace of the UK. They’re a really, really bad neighbor.

  12. #12 |  MikeV | 

    $680,000,000,000 / 2,000,000 workers / 8 years = $42,500 per worker per year

    Even if half of that goes to raw materials, that is still $21,250 per worker per year, a lot of money in a country where per capita GDP is $12,993.

    Of course, in the great Russian tradition, most of that will be stolen by Putin and his cronies.

  13. #13 |  George | 

    The incessant Bush-bashing makes you sound a lot like Obama.

  14. #14 |  Les | 

    The incessant Bush-bashing makes you sound a lot like Obama.

    Or like a thinking person.

    If someone incessantly (and justifiably) bashes Obama, would that make them sound a lot like Bush? Or Romney? Or what?

    Why shouldn’t people who did terrible things to destroy the lives of innocent people be incessantly bashed, and what does their political party have to do with anything?

  15. #15 |  el coronado | 

    Oh, look, a “Bush is stupid!” headline. Look, i can’t stand the asshole myself, but this kind of crap has at least 4 problems with it:

    1) Bashing Bush. Whoa. Really *brave*, *edgy*, *out there* stance to take, ain’t it? What’s next? Gonna take another controversial stand and come out against racism? Be for charity? Against child abuse? My God! What _nerve_ this chap must possess!
    2) What would the educated, world-weary commentariat have done had Bush said something like what Limbaugh says? “Once KGB, forever KGB. I don’t trust that scummy SOB and never will.” Oh, sure, he’d have been RIGHT for a change, but the pantywaist class would still be shrieking to this day about the impolitic undiplomatic warmongering cowboy.
    3) Bush hasn’t been President for almost 4 years now. So is it cool to go back and bash Clinton for GIVING nuclear reactors to North Korea, because they “promised they wouldn’t use ’em to make bombs”? That was *seriously* fucking stupid, I think we’ll all agree. Then why don’t we ever see posts & headlines like that, I wonder?
    4) Has Bush’s replacement done ANYthing to rein in Tsar Vlad? Besides bowing & scraping, and promising to “do what Vlad wants soon’s I gets re-elected!”? No? Hmmm. What then can we infer about Bush’s replacement’s geopolitical skillz? And why no posts & headlines about THAT? I mean, the guy IS the Prez *now*, as opposed to 4 years ago, isn’t he?

  16. #16 |  liberranter | 

    I think this is all attributable to what must be a uniquely Russian strain of totalitarianism. Stalin could have been a fascist and done exactly as he did and would have been praised for “making Rodina great.” The ideological label wouldn’t have mattered. Conversely, Putin could drag Russian back into Marxism and recreate Stalin’s Five Year Plan and all but a small handful of dissidents would probably back him all the way.

    I read somewhere several years ago a quote by some wag that “only Cubans and North Koreans enjoy being ‘led’ more than Amerikans.” I think I’d add “Russians” to that list too.

  17. #17 |  Andrew S. | 

    I would’ve thought that anyone reading this site would be smart enough to know that an attack on Bush does not mean support for Obama, and vice versa.

    Apparently I was mistaken.

  18. #18 |  el coronado | 

    Really, Andrew? Well, let’s look at it another way. A post that more reasonably should have been titled something like, “Putin continues channeling Stalin and Hitler by pushing for massive defense buildup; neighbors very worried by this” is instead titled ‘Stupid Bush!’

    OK, fine. Yet we never see posts referring to North Korea’s ongoing nuclear exports (and hideous police state) titled, “Moron Clinton”, do we? How ’bout noting how Hillary was so rudely snubbed by our friends the Chinese recently. Would you be cool with it if it was titled, “Chinese give Obama and Hillary the finger; they take it like little bitches.” I gather most here wouldn’t be OK with that, since it **never** happens. The operative question is, Why? Is it possible that bashing one of the major parties 92% of the time, and bashing-much-more-mildly the other 8% _might_ be indicative of an ideological bias that has nothing at all to do with “Libertarianism”?

  19. #19 |  rmv | 

    @17 el coronado

    “Is it possible that bashing one of the major parties 92% of the time, and bashing-much-more-mildly the other 8% _might_ be indicative of an ideological bias that has nothing at all to do with “Libertarianism”?”

    Are you really saying Radley bashes Republicans more than Democrats by a margin even close to 11.5:1? And, within that 11.5:1 ratio, the bashing is more intense? I’ve only been reading the Agitator for a few years, but I never sensed disproportionate criticism, especially since he usually keeps his criticism tightly focused on criminal justice issues. And, if you do read some of his off (criminal justice) topic posts, he definitely holds no love for Democrats or self-professed liberals.

  20. #20 |  Marshall | 

    Balko has bashed Obama and Democrats plenty here, and there’s always someone who claims they can read between the lines and tell he’s really just a conservative.

    It’s the same shit here with el coronado (and not his first time) and it appears to me that he just leans to the right/feels kinship with elephants more than he wants to admit. I mean, really, one small jab at a Bush quote that’s not even the crux of Radley’s post, and he needs to launch a whole 4-point attack? I think thou doth protest too much.

  21. #21 |  jmcross | 

    I say we take finger pointing to the nth degree! Let’s just cut to the chase and start arguing over who’s responsible for man’s fall from grace, Adam or Eve?

  22. #22 |  Radley Balko | 

    “Incessant Bush bashing” is hilarious. I can’t even remember the last time I mentioned Bush in a post here.

    One joke and the Bush fans light up! It is nice to know that there are still come overly-sensitive conservatives still reading, though. Was beginning to think the only touchy assholes still commenting were on the left.

    And I mentioned Bush because it was an extraordinarily dumb and naive thing to say about a foreign leader who has turned out to be a nightmare totalitarian. It’s also sort of indicative of how Bush whiffed at every major foreign policy decision he made.

    Finally, no, I don’t feel I have to take an equal swipe at one side every time I make a joke about the ineptness of the other. (And if you don’t think I criticize Obama, you cant have been reading this site for very long.) This is supposed to prove my . . . what? Balance? Objectivity? I’ve never claimed this site is either of those things.

    Bush fans: Your guy was an idiot. It’s been three-and-a-half years. At some point, you’re gonna’ have to come to terms with this.

  23. #23 |  el coronado | 

    So I gather the next post on NorK nuclear troublemaking/proliferating will be headlined, “But Clinton said they done *promised* him they wouldn’t use ’em for makin’ weapons!”?

    Yeah. Thought not.

  24. #24 |  George | 

    Glad I could make you laugh, Radley, but do not touch my asshole.

  25. #25 |  George | 

    #14 Les — No, Bush bashing does not make you sound like a thinking person.

    Radley — “incessant” was the wrong word for me to use. Scratch that, and just go with Bush-bashing makes you sound a lot like Obama.

    Les — Bashing Obama would not make someone sound like Bush. Bush is not speaking out these days. Would it make one sound like Romney? Yes, except that half the country is bashing Obama these days, so it’s not distinctively Romney-esque. Bashing Bush during the past couple-three years has been a specialty of Obama and his amen choir.

    Les — Bush did bad things, as have all presidents. Most if not all presidents have ordered things which have ruined the lives of some. To single out Bush after a term of another president is uhhh selective.

    Les — political party has nothing to do with it. You injected that, and for no good reason other than to, I suspect, muddy the water.

    Radley — as you observe, it’s been three-and-a-half years. At some point, you’re gonna’ have to come to terms with the fact that he’s out of office.

  26. #26 |  JLS | 

    “Radley — as you observe, it’s been three-and-a-half years. At some point, you’re gonna’ have to come to terms with the fact that he’s out of office.”

    George he hardly ever mentions Bush. Not sure how that means Radley needs to come to terms with him?

  27. #27 |  Radley Balko | 

    . . . as you observe, it’s been three-and-a-half years. At some point, you’re gonna’ have to come to terms with the fact that he’s out of office.

    So George, is your rule that I’m not allowed to say anything negative, ever about a president once he is out of office?

    If the rule isn’t never, and given that I’ve barely mentioned Bush on this site in a couple years, what exactly is the frequency with which I’m permitted to write something negative about a former president? Once every two years? Every three years?

    Does the rule apply to all former presidents, or just the Republican ones? Just Bush? Just the former presidents named Bush?

    Can I write something snarky about Carter?


    Van Buren?

    Can I make a fat joke about Taft?

    Let me know!

  28. #28 |  George | 

    Radley I appreciate your asking my approval on your editorial content. No doubt all journalism could be improved if only other writers would likewise seek my direction. But that would keep me too busy.

    You may certainly mock or criticize any president you like. You may call me an asshole if you like – as you can imagine, doing so would not make you unique. However, whenever you make gratuitous, out of context slaps at Bush, you will sound like Obama.

    But we assholes will love you anyway.

    So resume your usual insightful work, sir.

  29. #29 |  StrangeOne | 

    I think its kind of ironic that “Bashing Bush makes you sound like Obama”. Can anyone cite anything negative or vitriolic Obama himself has said about Bush? In my opinion he has taken every opportunity he could to dodge talking about Bush at all.

    I hate both men, but I just find it funny that the opposition parties are so willing to just pretend that some things are true. Apparently Obama bashes Bush all the time, just not in his speeches, press releases, or overheard dinner conversations.

  30. #30 |  Z | 

    Bush was a psychotic moron. Obama is an eternally fatherless bundle of fear and insecurity.