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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Will Bush Administration Get What's Coming?

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In response to "'Bleeding Strategy' Comes Home," a comment by by Nicholas Berry on Dec. 23.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that world leaders are not asleep at the wheel, that there actually is some reason they are allowing this outrage to continue. No doubt Bush will run their countries completely into the ground, and American ignorance and complacency will not be an excuse worth consideration in the final analysis.

I know there are many Canadians that cannot stand Bush or U.S. foreign policy that has caused bloodshed for decades. There's nothing I would like more than to witness the United States get what it has coming.

I shall watch events unfold with a bit more detachment knowing that the criminals running the U.S. government are really not going to get away with this flagrant violation of international law.

Donald Forsyth

Yukos Solution

The task of the newly elected Russian government to assert the rule of law while maintaining the incentives to grow the economy at the current breakneck pace is a worthy cause. A middle ground must be found to ensure that the oligarchs move forward, but do so with respect to the government's position.

The solution, in the Yukos case, can work to regain losses that may have been expropriated in insider deals and work to provide solutions for other privatized industries. I propose:

Ascertain the fair market value at the time of the acquisition when privatized.

Apply a reasonable interest rate to the disparity from the time of acquisition, and consider additional fines and penalties as may be warranted by the bad (or good) faith of the acquisition at that time and performance thereafter.

Recover the difference by a process of orderly dilution to the market over a period of time by delivering Class A Preferred Stock holding a dividend and liquidation preference in a value equal to the difference. This stock should be convertible into common voting shares (1 to 1) and should be immediately free trading stock. The government should carefully consider the timing of the sale of all or part of its holdings to maintain the capitalization of the enterprise.

This solution would be effective for Russian industry, since it does not impede cash or cash flow for the company in question; it allows the government to recover the actual value of its assets previously placed in private hands; and it provides for recovery of assets should the enterprise fail. This could be enacted across the board for all privatized industries at various negotiated rates, depending on the disparity between the price paid and fair market value.

Stephen Pidgeon, Attorney

Selective Comparisons

In response to "Consequences of Capture," a column by Pavel Felgenhauer on Dec. 16.

Pavel Felgenhauer talks about the United States being super effective at rounding up their foes, com pared with the ineffectiveness of the Russian military and special services.

But something must be wrong with Felgenhauer's memory. It must be some six or seven years ago that one "truly prominent Chechen rebel leader" was rendered harmless with pinpoint accuracy – General Dzhokhar Dudayev.

Not enough? How about Salman Raduyev who was caught and sentenced to life imprisonment? Felgenhauer also seems to have forgotten about a number of not-so-well-known, but really dangerous, rebels terminated during these years. So let us not compare conflicts in Iraq or Chechnya. Or, at least, let us not practice selective oblivion.

Philip Lykov

Simply the Best

In response to "Metro Ticketing to Be Fully Automated in '04," an article by Denis Maternovsky on Dec. 23.

The decision to automate the Moscow metro's ticket machines could make the metro even more efficient and popular. I, and many of my long-suffering London friends who have lived in or visited Moscow have been struck dumb by the Metro – quite simply, it's the best subway system in the world.

During my year living in Moscow, I cannot remember waiting more than five minutes for a train and I certainly cannot remember a train breaking down or stopping in a tunnel for 20 minutes, which is a regular occurrence in London.

I do feel, however, that the Moscow metro should be wary of cutting staff numbers, as the various station personnel ensure the safety and wellbeing of passengers – and, if our London experience is anything to go by, the ticket machines very rarely work.

Katharine Allen

Absent Liberalism

In response to "Tricks of Vote-Fixing Trade," a column by Boris Kagarlitsky on Dec. 18.

Boris Kagarlitsky says that in 2009 it will be proven that "Yabloko should have had representation in the next State Duma" as if to imply that Russians are somehow in favor of Yabloko's bizarre brand of "liberalism" rather than the Kremlin's austere authoritarianism.

As if to emphasize this, he points out that the Communists did even worse in their shadow poll than in the real ballot.

But Kagarlitsky also states that it has been proven that Yeltsin won via fraud in 1996. If that is so, Russia should rightfully be ruled by Gennady Zyuganov. What place would Yabloko rightfully have had in such a neo-Soviet Union?

If anything, the recent election that obliterated Yabloko was more accurate than those that came before.

Melvin Anders