Monday, August 18, 2008

A Quick Tip for Krauthammer et al:

Evicting Russia from the G8 and the WTO won't mean a thing. There's no way Russia will give a damn.


Well, with the G8, it's a point of prestige to be in there, but it's hardly necessary. It serves its purposes, but its more of an economic forum. Russia already has all the prestige it needs from its leadership role in the United Nations; and even if you discount the U.N., Russia has lots of other burgeoning economies in the "third world" to play with.

As for the WTO... please. Like Russia cares. They're an energy exporter, for heaven's sake, they already have all the markets they need for their products. The WTO is about agriculture and manufactures- energy doesn't really enter into it, at least not to the extent that those things do. Russia will always have a market for its energy, and will always have someone to sell them manufactures. A trade deal between China and Russia would take care of that. That would be Russia's logical trade focus, not the hapless WTO.

Ok, sure, it's also about IP, and first-world countries protecting their patents and copyrights and whatnot, but why on earth would Russia be interested in TRIPS? There's a reason movies come out on Region 5 DVDs almost immediately after hitting theatres; because they know that they'll hit the streets anyway. Giving the U.S. a strategic advantage by telling Russia which generic drugs it can and cannot produce doesn't sound like Putin's style anyway, not when he can make friends in China, India, and ASEAN by pissing off the D.C. pharma lobby.

(The silly-ass Olympics stuff is beneath discussion.)

Anyway, all this is vintage neocon, isn't it? It won't do anything real, it's all symbolic, and it betrays the touching belief that Russians give a damn whether the U.S. is mad at them or not. They can't invade or bomb—which they already mostly treat symbolically anyway—and they don't really know how international trade or law works, so they're forced to rely on this nonsense.

I wouldn't even write on this, probably, except that McCain appears to have been parroting this crap at that faith forum thing, which suggests that he still has a critical mass of neocons in his campaign. Sucks for him, worse for America.

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