18 August 2008

Russia Becomes International Pariah

As NATO deliberates the measures it will take to support the democratically elected government of Georgia against a Russian invasion and ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign, the international community is slowly beginning to understand that Vladimir Putin is deadly serious about becoming the "Mr. Big" of all Europe and Central Asia. Hoping to use the weapon of energy blackmail in combination with threats of more violent interventions, Putin hopes to terrorize all of Europe into being part of Russia's "sphere of influence."

Putin sees the west as weak, and unprepared to stand up to any level of intimidation and brutality. Russia will continue to stall in meeting the terms of any cease-fire, continuing with an Obama-like shuck and jive, while grinning and winking for the camera. Meanwhile, pundits in the media, academia, and government bureaucracies will continue to run flack for the Russian neo-imperialists.

But among European and western leaders who are not quite ready to drop their pants and bend over for Putin, discussions will continue for the indefinite future, over the best ways to counter Russian belligerence and criminal actions.

Russia inherited a lot of international ill will from the days of the USSR. It is not helping its shaky future by creating more.

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