Talking to myself about foreign policy, US politics, technology, &c.

Petulant Putin

President Putin has gone ballistic over the rattling the ol’ nuclear sabre over America’s attempts to install anti-ICBM missile interceptors in Poland. It can’t actually be the idea that the West – with which Russia is increasingly appearing in opposition rather than alliance – is a threat. Even the rusting Soviet arsenal is enough to destroy the Earth, much less the US, many times over.

Perhaps it’s the fact that the former Russian/Soviet sphere of Eastern Europe appears to be increasingly gone forever. Or maybe it’s just the ever-popular railing against outside threats to distract from internal problems.

The people that really should be concerned are the Chinese. With a mere handful of weapons, a moderately effective and upgraded anti-missile shield really would hold the potential to prevent effective nuclear attack.

The bigger story is the ongoing erosion of democracy. Bush is right to talk about “derailed” reforms; a better term might be crushed, mangled and dismembered.

Poor Russia. The Communist Party is Dead; Long Live the Czar! The country’s history is so bleak, I see why her authors always have such a romantic pathos to their stories.

Perhaps Putin actually will step down at the end of his term limit next year; if not, that’ll be the end of the short-lived experiment in Russian democracy. For now, at least. As the economy keeps expanding, some of it may reach the middle classes, and memories of brief but vibrant democracy may encourage its rebirth.

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