Commentary Magazine


Posts For: August 11, 2008

Hitchens On Iraq

Christopher Hitchens reminds us where things stand in Iraq:

I think we should be glad that the luridly sadistic and aggressive Saddam Hussein regime is no longer in power to be the beneficiary of the rise in oil prices and thus able to share its wealth with the terrorists, crooks, and demagogues on its secret payroll. I think we should also be glad that its private ownership of Iraq’s armed forces, and its control over a party monopoly called the Baath, has been irrecoverably smashed. Iraq’s resources are no longer at the disposal of an aggressive, parasitic oligarchy. Its retrained and re-equipped army is being deployed, not in wars of invasion against its neighbors and genocide against its inhabitants, but in cleanup campaigns against al-Qaida and the Mahdi Army. An improvement. A distinct improvement.

It is in no spirit of revenge that I remind you that, as little as a year ago, the whole of smart liberal opinion believed that the dissolution of Baathism and militarism had been a mistake, that Iraq itself was a bottomless pit of wasted dollars and pointless casualties, and that the only option was to withdraw as fast as possible and let the inevitable civil war burn itself out. To the left of that liberal consensus, people of the caliber and quality of Michael Moore were describing the nihilist “insurgents” as the moral equivalent of the Minutemen, and to the right of the same consensus, people like Pat Buchanan were hinting that we had been cheated into the whole enterprise by a certain minority whose collective name began with the letter J.

(Not just Pat Buchanan, but let’s leave that for another day.) Hitchens concludes:

So, yes, major combat operations appear to be over, and to that extent one can belatedly say, “Mission accomplished.” If there is any Iraqi nostalgia for the old party and the old army, it is remarkably well-concealed. Iraq no longer plays deceptive games with weapons of mass destruction or plays host to international terrorist groups. It is no longer subject to sanctions that punish its people and enrich its rulers. Its religious and ethnic minorities—together a majority—are no longer treated like disposable trash. Its most bitter internal argument is about the timing of the next provincial and national elections. Surely it is those who opposed every step of this emancipation, rather than those who advocated it, who should be asked to explain and justify themselves.

But there has been and is not likely to be any self-evaluation, any taking of stock by those who opposed the surge. The media, the entire Democratic contingent in Congress, and the Democratic nominee aren’t in the confessional mode these days. Indeed, that latter signaled to the surge opponents: don’t admit, don’t apologize and don’t revisit. We were right all along, he bizarrely counsels his followers. The original decision to go to war has been picked over, investigated, and evaluated. But no such soul-searching is in the cards with regard to the surge. The surge opponents are just “moving on.”

John McCain has tried to make his opponent’s opposition to the surge a test of his fitness and judgment as commander-in-chief. He may or may not be successful in that regard. Being right isn’t always rewarded at the polls. Just as the proponents of such losing tactics as the Nuclear Freeze were discredited by history, we may have to wait years to reach a final verdict on the surge opponents. In the meantime, we have the opportunity for a stable and independent Iraq and a big leg up in the war on terror.

Christopher Hitchens reminds us where things stand in Iraq:

I think we should be glad that the luridly sadistic and aggressive Saddam Hussein regime is no longer in power to be the beneficiary of the rise in oil prices and thus able to share its wealth with the terrorists, crooks, and demagogues on its secret payroll. I think we should also be glad that its private ownership of Iraq’s armed forces, and its control over a party monopoly called the Baath, has been irrecoverably smashed. Iraq’s resources are no longer at the disposal of an aggressive, parasitic oligarchy. Its retrained and re-equipped army is being deployed, not in wars of invasion against its neighbors and genocide against its inhabitants, but in cleanup campaigns against al-Qaida and the Mahdi Army. An improvement. A distinct improvement.

It is in no spirit of revenge that I remind you that, as little as a year ago, the whole of smart liberal opinion believed that the dissolution of Baathism and militarism had been a mistake, that Iraq itself was a bottomless pit of wasted dollars and pointless casualties, and that the only option was to withdraw as fast as possible and let the inevitable civil war burn itself out. To the left of that liberal consensus, people of the caliber and quality of Michael Moore were describing the nihilist “insurgents” as the moral equivalent of the Minutemen, and to the right of the same consensus, people like Pat Buchanan were hinting that we had been cheated into the whole enterprise by a certain minority whose collective name began with the letter J.

(Not just Pat Buchanan, but let’s leave that for another day.) Hitchens concludes:

So, yes, major combat operations appear to be over, and to that extent one can belatedly say, “Mission accomplished.” If there is any Iraqi nostalgia for the old party and the old army, it is remarkably well-concealed. Iraq no longer plays deceptive games with weapons of mass destruction or plays host to international terrorist groups. It is no longer subject to sanctions that punish its people and enrich its rulers. Its religious and ethnic minorities—together a majority—are no longer treated like disposable trash. Its most bitter internal argument is about the timing of the next provincial and national elections. Surely it is those who opposed every step of this emancipation, rather than those who advocated it, who should be asked to explain and justify themselves.

But there has been and is not likely to be any self-evaluation, any taking of stock by those who opposed the surge. The media, the entire Democratic contingent in Congress, and the Democratic nominee aren’t in the confessional mode these days. Indeed, that latter signaled to the surge opponents: don’t admit, don’t apologize and don’t revisit. We were right all along, he bizarrely counsels his followers. The original decision to go to war has been picked over, investigated, and evaluated. But no such soul-searching is in the cards with regard to the surge. The surge opponents are just “moving on.”

John McCain has tried to make his opponent’s opposition to the surge a test of his fitness and judgment as commander-in-chief. He may or may not be successful in that regard. Being right isn’t always rewarded at the polls. Just as the proponents of such losing tactics as the Nuclear Freeze were discredited by history, we may have to wait years to reach a final verdict on the surge opponents. In the meantime, we have the opportunity for a stable and independent Iraq and a big leg up in the war on terror.

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The Newest Neocon

The reaction of certain left-wing pundits to Russia’s invasion of Georgia would be amusing if it weren’t so pathetic. Instead of exercising their rhetorical skills to denounce this flagrant violation of international law—haven’t they noticed that Russia made no attempt to win UN authorization for its actions?—they are instead fulminating that some might dare to compare Russian aggression to the past aggression of Germany or the Soviet Union.

Thus our old friend Joe Klein—last seen denouncing “Jewish neoconservatives” who were supposedly putting Israel’s interests first—now apparently thinks that these same neocons are selling out our interests to Georgia, of all countries. (Perhaps Bob Kagan’s name was originally Kaganili?) Sayeth Klein: “it is important, yet again, to call out the endless neoconservative search for new enemies, mini-Hitlers.” And he links approvingly to a post by Matt Yglesias who “picks up on the same neoconservative Naziphilia at his new blog site.”

It turns out that the ranks of the neocons are broader than even Klein and his ilk have suspected. There is, in fact, a new convert. This foreign policy analyst says:

Unfortunately, Putin is putting Russia on a course that is ominously similar to Stalin’s and Hitler’s in the late 1930s. Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt has correctly drawn an analogy between Putin’s “justification” for dismembering Georgia — because of the Russians in South Ossetia — to Hitler’s tactics vis a vis Czechoslovakia to “free” the Sudeten Deutsch.

The name of this “neocon”? None other than Zbigniew Brzezinski, who usually denounces “neocon” influence in terms vitriolic enough to satisfy even Joe Klein.

The reaction of certain left-wing pundits to Russia’s invasion of Georgia would be amusing if it weren’t so pathetic. Instead of exercising their rhetorical skills to denounce this flagrant violation of international law—haven’t they noticed that Russia made no attempt to win UN authorization for its actions?—they are instead fulminating that some might dare to compare Russian aggression to the past aggression of Germany or the Soviet Union.

Thus our old friend Joe Klein—last seen denouncing “Jewish neoconservatives” who were supposedly putting Israel’s interests first—now apparently thinks that these same neocons are selling out our interests to Georgia, of all countries. (Perhaps Bob Kagan’s name was originally Kaganili?) Sayeth Klein: “it is important, yet again, to call out the endless neoconservative search for new enemies, mini-Hitlers.” And he links approvingly to a post by Matt Yglesias who “picks up on the same neoconservative Naziphilia at his new blog site.”

It turns out that the ranks of the neocons are broader than even Klein and his ilk have suspected. There is, in fact, a new convert. This foreign policy analyst says:

Unfortunately, Putin is putting Russia on a course that is ominously similar to Stalin’s and Hitler’s in the late 1930s. Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt has correctly drawn an analogy between Putin’s “justification” for dismembering Georgia — because of the Russians in South Ossetia — to Hitler’s tactics vis a vis Czechoslovakia to “free” the Sudeten Deutsch.

The name of this “neocon”? None other than Zbigniew Brzezinski, who usually denounces “neocon” influence in terms vitriolic enough to satisfy even Joe Klein.

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Commentary of the Day

From J.E. Dyer, on Max Boot:

Let’s keep a few things straight.

First, Russia has not been a help with Iran. Russia is not our ally in the project of keeping Iran un-nuked. There are absolutely no concessions we can make to Russia that will induce Moscow to act honestly in this role. Moscow wants the US out of South Asia as much as Iran does. All the Russians will do with our commitment to a Russia-enabled process with Iran is exploit it to keep us from changing course, and acting more decisively.

Second, Russia has, since November of 2007, presented Georgia with every provocation in South Ossetia except a slap in the face with a glove. Russian forces have actually occupied South Ossetia for some time now, even though it is disputed territory whose disposition is supposed to be determined by peaceful negotiation. Georgia has excellent historical reasons, going back three hundred years, to fear Russia’s intentions toward Georgia — and to fear the strategic position Russia would have as the occupier of South Ossetia, to menace Georgian independence.

Third, anyone who doesn’t think Russia would like to menace Georgian independence should refer to Russia’s post-Cold War history with Georgia, and to Russia’s attempt to fix the 2004 election in Ukraine, which almost certainly included poisoning the nationalist independence candidate.

Fourth, South Ossetia itself has a large majority of ethnic Russians, and if it came to a vote, would choose to rejoin Russia. America’s interest here is not in forcing South Ossetia to remain part of Georgia, but in ensuring that South Ossetia’s fate is decided peacefully, and without compromising Georgia’s security.

This last is the place to start. We should do more than send Stingers and Javelins to Georgia: we should make it a project for a full spectrum of US patronage, to enable Georgia to defend her sovereignty. We had US military trainers in Georgia until the day before Russia invaded, training the Georgians to participate in Iraq. The precedent and infrastructure are there to immediately step up our military cooperation with Georgia, and publicly outline our interest there.

Instead of a series of incoherent responses to Russian actions, we should get out in front of this problem by defining it on our terms: a sovereign Georgia, a South Ossetia whose future is decided by negotiation and not force, a Black Sea whose security and accessibility for all is not held hostage by Moscow (critical to Ukraine, Romania, and Turkey), and a resources regime (e.g., oil) that enriches Moscow as much as anyone else, but does not put the region’s resources under Moscow’s exclusive domination.

(Consider, for example, that we in the US do not require all the natural resources of even North America, much less the rest of the Western Hemisphere, to be under our domination. We even let China drill off our coast, without so much as a public political discussion of doing otherrwise, so entrenched and longstanding is our commitment to national sovereignty and UN protocols for the world’s resources. You may not think it’s important to get Russia and China to operate on the same principle — and they don’t, BTW — but you can’t argue that the US doesn’t at least practice what we preach, in this regard.)

We should not attempt, nor do we need, to force Russia out of South Ossetia militarily. If we have to, we can even accept the outcome of South Ossetia being subsumed by Russia through this invasion, although we should make Russia pay for that inch by inch. Our increased commitment to Georgia should be non-negotiable, and we should also promptly increase non-negotiable cooperation with, and military sales to, Ukraine and Romania. But we could also conduct Black Sea naval patrols, with US Air Force cover from Turkey, and make a UN-monitored referendum in South Ossetia the price Russia pays for our forces standing down from that operation. Russia’s capacity to confront such an operation outright is limited, and she doesn’t want to provoke a larger confrontation with us anyway.

We should do nothing without a clear concept of what it is we are trying to achieve. If we have learned nothing else from Vietnam, we should have learned that merely flinging arms at a problem, without a definable objective, is worse than useless. It creates new vulnerabilities without accomplishing anything positive. If we are going to demonstrate resolve to Russia, we will have to make it clear to Russia what she is not to do: try to subvert Georgian sovereignty, or the sovereignty of the other Black Sea nations, by either arms or political subterfuge. What Russia should see is every other nation on the Black Sea strengthening before her eyes — and her gambit in South Ossetia backfiring.

From J.E. Dyer, on Max Boot:

Let’s keep a few things straight.

First, Russia has not been a help with Iran. Russia is not our ally in the project of keeping Iran un-nuked. There are absolutely no concessions we can make to Russia that will induce Moscow to act honestly in this role. Moscow wants the US out of South Asia as much as Iran does. All the Russians will do with our commitment to a Russia-enabled process with Iran is exploit it to keep us from changing course, and acting more decisively.

Second, Russia has, since November of 2007, presented Georgia with every provocation in South Ossetia except a slap in the face with a glove. Russian forces have actually occupied South Ossetia for some time now, even though it is disputed territory whose disposition is supposed to be determined by peaceful negotiation. Georgia has excellent historical reasons, going back three hundred years, to fear Russia’s intentions toward Georgia — and to fear the strategic position Russia would have as the occupier of South Ossetia, to menace Georgian independence.

Third, anyone who doesn’t think Russia would like to menace Georgian independence should refer to Russia’s post-Cold War history with Georgia, and to Russia’s attempt to fix the 2004 election in Ukraine, which almost certainly included poisoning the nationalist independence candidate.

Fourth, South Ossetia itself has a large majority of ethnic Russians, and if it came to a vote, would choose to rejoin Russia. America’s interest here is not in forcing South Ossetia to remain part of Georgia, but in ensuring that South Ossetia’s fate is decided peacefully, and without compromising Georgia’s security.

This last is the place to start. We should do more than send Stingers and Javelins to Georgia: we should make it a project for a full spectrum of US patronage, to enable Georgia to defend her sovereignty. We had US military trainers in Georgia until the day before Russia invaded, training the Georgians to participate in Iraq. The precedent and infrastructure are there to immediately step up our military cooperation with Georgia, and publicly outline our interest there.

Instead of a series of incoherent responses to Russian actions, we should get out in front of this problem by defining it on our terms: a sovereign Georgia, a South Ossetia whose future is decided by negotiation and not force, a Black Sea whose security and accessibility for all is not held hostage by Moscow (critical to Ukraine, Romania, and Turkey), and a resources regime (e.g., oil) that enriches Moscow as much as anyone else, but does not put the region’s resources under Moscow’s exclusive domination.

(Consider, for example, that we in the US do not require all the natural resources of even North America, much less the rest of the Western Hemisphere, to be under our domination. We even let China drill off our coast, without so much as a public political discussion of doing otherrwise, so entrenched and longstanding is our commitment to national sovereignty and UN protocols for the world’s resources. You may not think it’s important to get Russia and China to operate on the same principle — and they don’t, BTW — but you can’t argue that the US doesn’t at least practice what we preach, in this regard.)

We should not attempt, nor do we need, to force Russia out of South Ossetia militarily. If we have to, we can even accept the outcome of South Ossetia being subsumed by Russia through this invasion, although we should make Russia pay for that inch by inch. Our increased commitment to Georgia should be non-negotiable, and we should also promptly increase non-negotiable cooperation with, and military sales to, Ukraine and Romania. But we could also conduct Black Sea naval patrols, with US Air Force cover from Turkey, and make a UN-monitored referendum in South Ossetia the price Russia pays for our forces standing down from that operation. Russia’s capacity to confront such an operation outright is limited, and she doesn’t want to provoke a larger confrontation with us anyway.

We should do nothing without a clear concept of what it is we are trying to achieve. If we have learned nothing else from Vietnam, we should have learned that merely flinging arms at a problem, without a definable objective, is worse than useless. It creates new vulnerabilities without accomplishing anything positive. If we are going to demonstrate resolve to Russia, we will have to make it clear to Russia what she is not to do: try to subvert Georgian sovereignty, or the sovereignty of the other Black Sea nations, by either arms or political subterfuge. What Russia should see is every other nation on the Black Sea strengthening before her eyes — and her gambit in South Ossetia backfiring.

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I am NOT a Silly Celebrity

This ad retort from the Obama camp seems awfully lame. First, even liberal pundits concede that it just reinforces the celebrity theme, stepping on his own initial response that the subject was petty. Second, it’s late. Third, there’s a shooting war in Georgia going on and this is what he’s talking about? And finally, let’s be honest: John McCain isn’t the one with George Clooney as an advisor. The reviews aren’t great so far. And not surprisingly it just revived chatter about McCain’s original, very successful celebrity ad.

So what should Obama do? Come back from vacation, start talking bread-and-butter issues and demonstrate that he really isn’t the fluffy celebrity he’s been made out to be. And for good measure: nix the salute, the weird posters, and the messianic language. Will he? I am not sure he could (even if he wanted to) turn down the volume on the over-the-top Obama-mania. He’s simply going to have to live up to the hype at the Convention and again in the fall debates. He’s The One, so it shouldn’t be a problem, right?

This ad retort from the Obama camp seems awfully lame. First, even liberal pundits concede that it just reinforces the celebrity theme, stepping on his own initial response that the subject was petty. Second, it’s late. Third, there’s a shooting war in Georgia going on and this is what he’s talking about? And finally, let’s be honest: John McCain isn’t the one with George Clooney as an advisor. The reviews aren’t great so far. And not surprisingly it just revived chatter about McCain’s original, very successful celebrity ad.

So what should Obama do? Come back from vacation, start talking bread-and-butter issues and demonstrate that he really isn’t the fluffy celebrity he’s been made out to be. And for good measure: nix the salute, the weird posters, and the messianic language. Will he? I am not sure he could (even if he wanted to) turn down the volume on the over-the-top Obama-mania. He’s simply going to have to live up to the hype at the Convention and again in the fall debates. He’s The One, so it shouldn’t be a problem, right?

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Where’s the Coverage?

One of the world’s most powerful nations has invaded a small, democratic neighbor. The war is widening by the day. Some commentators are already suggesting that “[h]istorians will come to view Aug. 8, 2008, as a turning point no less significant than Nov. 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell.”

So what was on the cable news when I tuned in this morning at the gym? The two biggest subjects seemed to be the Olympics and the John Edwards scandal. Talk about misplaced priorities. It’s time to give the conflict in Georgia the kind of nonstop coverage it deserves-the kind that the MSM seem to give only to sex scandals, crimes involving attractive women, and wars involving American troops. This isn’t a war in which we are directly involved but indirectly it is of enormous consequence to the future of the United States and our allies. It should be put in the MSM spotlight and kept there.

One of the world’s most powerful nations has invaded a small, democratic neighbor. The war is widening by the day. Some commentators are already suggesting that “[h]istorians will come to view Aug. 8, 2008, as a turning point no less significant than Nov. 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell.”

So what was on the cable news when I tuned in this morning at the gym? The two biggest subjects seemed to be the Olympics and the John Edwards scandal. Talk about misplaced priorities. It’s time to give the conflict in Georgia the kind of nonstop coverage it deserves-the kind that the MSM seem to give only to sex scandals, crimes involving attractive women, and wars involving American troops. This isn’t a war in which we are directly involved but indirectly it is of enormous consequence to the future of the United States and our allies. It should be put in the MSM spotlight and kept there.

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They Know Him

Going hand-in-hand with liberal pundit angst about the merits of The One, there seems to be an outbreak of candid concern among Barack Obama’s Senate colleagues. After two years of campaigning we hear: “Well gosh, he’s not done anything and he’s sort of a stand-offish arrogant guy.” This roundtable discussion is remarkable. But you don’t have to take the word of reporters and pundits. We had Russ Feingold. While careful to say nice things about his own party’s nominee, Feingold waxes lyrical about John McCain in this report:

“He’s a very good legislator from my point of view, because when he gets onto something, he doesn’t just want to introduce a bill, he likes to move it. And he’s fearless,” Feingold said of McCain, who once called the Wisconsin Democrat a “philosophical soul mate” on reform issues. (The two partnered on several other bills in addition to campaign finance.) “People couldn’t believe how long we stayed on McCain-Feingold. . . . We’d come to those press conferences (year after year) and you guys would laugh at us, I mean, literally,” said Feingold, grinning. “He’s a great guy to fight an uphill battle with legislatively. He keeps his word. . . . I probably shouldn’t be saying this stuff, but to be honest about it, it was one of the better professional experiences I’ve ever had in my life,” Feingold said.

And then there is this from another former colleague:

“John McCain is a known quantity,’ says Bob Kerrey, who thinks Obama will ultimately prevail. “You don’t look at John and say, ‘Who the heck is he?’ he’s a veteran, he’s a guy who got pretty banged up in Vietnam. He can deal with crisis. There’s some uncertainty about Senator Obama.”

(And even worse for Obama, Kerrey throws in this: “The country’s still pretty divided . . . people may want a divided government. They want change but I’m not sure that the Democratic agenda has the support of a majority of Americans.”)

So why all this candor and why only now? Well for one thing, I suspect reporters weren’t asking very many of Obama’s colleagues tough questions while they were tingling and rooting for him to knock out Hillary Clinton . And secondly, it is true — he really didn’t participate in any great bipartisan successes and he’s spent more than half of his brief Senate career running for President. It reminds me of Ed Koch’s crack explaining Bella Abzug’s loss in her own home district in 1972: “Her neighbors know her.”

Does it matter? Russ Feingold isn’t going to move many votes, but the sentiment that he and others are expressing may. In large part it depends on what motivates the majority of voters. The sheer emotional appeal and effervescent allure of The One could well carry the day. But if voters look around at a troubled economy and dangerous world they might want to grab hold of the political grown-up whose colleagues seem to trust to get things done.

Going hand-in-hand with liberal pundit angst about the merits of The One, there seems to be an outbreak of candid concern among Barack Obama’s Senate colleagues. After two years of campaigning we hear: “Well gosh, he’s not done anything and he’s sort of a stand-offish arrogant guy.” This roundtable discussion is remarkable. But you don’t have to take the word of reporters and pundits. We had Russ Feingold. While careful to say nice things about his own party’s nominee, Feingold waxes lyrical about John McCain in this report:

“He’s a very good legislator from my point of view, because when he gets onto something, he doesn’t just want to introduce a bill, he likes to move it. And he’s fearless,” Feingold said of McCain, who once called the Wisconsin Democrat a “philosophical soul mate” on reform issues. (The two partnered on several other bills in addition to campaign finance.) “People couldn’t believe how long we stayed on McCain-Feingold. . . . We’d come to those press conferences (year after year) and you guys would laugh at us, I mean, literally,” said Feingold, grinning. “He’s a great guy to fight an uphill battle with legislatively. He keeps his word. . . . I probably shouldn’t be saying this stuff, but to be honest about it, it was one of the better professional experiences I’ve ever had in my life,” Feingold said.

And then there is this from another former colleague:

“John McCain is a known quantity,’ says Bob Kerrey, who thinks Obama will ultimately prevail. “You don’t look at John and say, ‘Who the heck is he?’ he’s a veteran, he’s a guy who got pretty banged up in Vietnam. He can deal with crisis. There’s some uncertainty about Senator Obama.”

(And even worse for Obama, Kerrey throws in this: “The country’s still pretty divided . . . people may want a divided government. They want change but I’m not sure that the Democratic agenda has the support of a majority of Americans.”)

So why all this candor and why only now? Well for one thing, I suspect reporters weren’t asking very many of Obama’s colleagues tough questions while they were tingling and rooting for him to knock out Hillary Clinton . And secondly, it is true — he really didn’t participate in any great bipartisan successes and he’s spent more than half of his brief Senate career running for President. It reminds me of Ed Koch’s crack explaining Bella Abzug’s loss in her own home district in 1972: “Her neighbors know her.”

Does it matter? Russ Feingold isn’t going to move many votes, but the sentiment that he and others are expressing may. In large part it depends on what motivates the majority of voters. The sheer emotional appeal and effervescent allure of The One could well carry the day. But if voters look around at a troubled economy and dangerous world they might want to grab hold of the political grown-up whose colleagues seem to trust to get things done.

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Send in the Stingers

President Bush’s reaction to the invasion of a pro-Western, democratic nation isn’t going to cut it. This is what he had to say today:

I said this violence is unacceptable — I not only said it to Vladimir Putin, I’ve said it to the President of the country, Dmitriy Medvedev. And my administration has been engaged with both sides in this, trying to get a cease-fire, and saying that the status quo ante for all troops should be August 6th. And, look, I expressed my grave concern about the disproportionate response of Russia and that we strongly condemn bombing outside of South Ossetia.

Disproportionate? Was there some level of aggression that would have been more “proportionate” and hence more acceptable? Strongly condemn bombing outside South Ossetia? Is, then, bombing in South Ossetia OK?

That’s the kind of language the President and his spokesmen use when referring to the latest outrages committed by Robert Mugabe and the Burmese junta. Language like that doesn’t mean much to hardened thugs like them–or like Vladimir Putin. What they understand is action. The question now is whether the U.S. and other Western nations will be willing to take serious action against this outrageous Russian aggression.

What would such action consist of? A demand to Russia that it withdraw its troops from the sovereign soil of another country and end its attacks within, say, 48 hours. If it doesn’t comply, diplomatic and economic sanctions could follow. The Russian elites are particularly vulnerable to having their Western bank accounts–where they stash ill-gotten financial gains–frozen.

It is also important to give Georgia the wherewithal to defend itself. It has a small but capable military which has received lots of American training and equipment in recent years (and has paid us back by sending a sizable contingent to Iraq). But it may not have two key weapons that would enable it to wreak havoc on the Russian advance. I am thinking of the Stinger and the Javelin. Both are relatively small, inexpensive, handheld missiles. The former is designed for attacking aircraft, the latter for attacking armored vehicles. The Stinger, as we know, has already been used with devastating effectiveness against the Russian air force once before–in Afghanistan. The Javelin is newer, and the Russians haven’t yet seen its abilities demonstrated. But there is little doubt that it could do a great deal to bog down the Russians as their vehicles advance down narrow mountain roads into Georgia.

If Russia doesn’t call off its offensive right away, the Pentagon should rush deliveries of Javelins and Stingers to Georgia. If the Russians insist on committing acts of aggression, at least let their victims defend themselves properly-and make the Russians pay the kind of price they paid once before in Afghanistan. As we’ve learned recently, with Iran supporting anti-American attacks in Iraq, proxy warfare is a fiendishly powerful way of fighting. If it is used against us, it should also be used by us.

UPDATE: Some further thoughts. Some will no doubt object that such actions would be “provocative” and that we should do nothing to jeopardize our “vital” relationship with Russia. Obviously we should tread carefully in our dealings with a country as powerful as Russia still is. But it is not clear what benefits we derive from our current relationship.

On Iran, for instance, Russia has been more hindrance than help. It has helped Iran to develop its nuclear program and it has been selling Iran high-tech surface-to-air missiles. Russia has gone along grudgingly with weak sanctions at the UN but, along with China, it has blocked more robust action. If Russia delivers important aid in the war on terrorism or other areas, I’m not aware of it. Increasingly the Russians have adopted a confrontational tone with the West, and they have backed it up with bullying of our allies. The Bush administration and other Western governments have tried their best to get along with Russia. That has been interpreted by Putin not as a sign of goodwill but as a sign of weakness. It is time to send a different message by making clear that Russia has crossed a red line in Georgia.

Read the rest of this COMMENTARY web exclusive here.

President Bush’s reaction to the invasion of a pro-Western, democratic nation isn’t going to cut it. This is what he had to say today:

I said this violence is unacceptable — I not only said it to Vladimir Putin, I’ve said it to the President of the country, Dmitriy Medvedev. And my administration has been engaged with both sides in this, trying to get a cease-fire, and saying that the status quo ante for all troops should be August 6th. And, look, I expressed my grave concern about the disproportionate response of Russia and that we strongly condemn bombing outside of South Ossetia.

Disproportionate? Was there some level of aggression that would have been more “proportionate” and hence more acceptable? Strongly condemn bombing outside South Ossetia? Is, then, bombing in South Ossetia OK?

That’s the kind of language the President and his spokesmen use when referring to the latest outrages committed by Robert Mugabe and the Burmese junta. Language like that doesn’t mean much to hardened thugs like them–or like Vladimir Putin. What they understand is action. The question now is whether the U.S. and other Western nations will be willing to take serious action against this outrageous Russian aggression.

What would such action consist of? A demand to Russia that it withdraw its troops from the sovereign soil of another country and end its attacks within, say, 48 hours. If it doesn’t comply, diplomatic and economic sanctions could follow. The Russian elites are particularly vulnerable to having their Western bank accounts–where they stash ill-gotten financial gains–frozen.

It is also important to give Georgia the wherewithal to defend itself. It has a small but capable military which has received lots of American training and equipment in recent years (and has paid us back by sending a sizable contingent to Iraq). But it may not have two key weapons that would enable it to wreak havoc on the Russian advance. I am thinking of the Stinger and the Javelin. Both are relatively small, inexpensive, handheld missiles. The former is designed for attacking aircraft, the latter for attacking armored vehicles. The Stinger, as we know, has already been used with devastating effectiveness against the Russian air force once before–in Afghanistan. The Javelin is newer, and the Russians haven’t yet seen its abilities demonstrated. But there is little doubt that it could do a great deal to bog down the Russians as their vehicles advance down narrow mountain roads into Georgia.

If Russia doesn’t call off its offensive right away, the Pentagon should rush deliveries of Javelins and Stingers to Georgia. If the Russians insist on committing acts of aggression, at least let their victims defend themselves properly-and make the Russians pay the kind of price they paid once before in Afghanistan. As we’ve learned recently, with Iran supporting anti-American attacks in Iraq, proxy warfare is a fiendishly powerful way of fighting. If it is used against us, it should also be used by us.

UPDATE: Some further thoughts. Some will no doubt object that such actions would be “provocative” and that we should do nothing to jeopardize our “vital” relationship with Russia. Obviously we should tread carefully in our dealings with a country as powerful as Russia still is. But it is not clear what benefits we derive from our current relationship.

On Iran, for instance, Russia has been more hindrance than help. It has helped Iran to develop its nuclear program and it has been selling Iran high-tech surface-to-air missiles. Russia has gone along grudgingly with weak sanctions at the UN but, along with China, it has blocked more robust action. If Russia delivers important aid in the war on terrorism or other areas, I’m not aware of it. Increasingly the Russians have adopted a confrontational tone with the West, and they have backed it up with bullying of our allies. The Bush administration and other Western governments have tried their best to get along with Russia. That has been interpreted by Putin not as a sign of goodwill but as a sign of weakness. It is time to send a different message by making clear that Russia has crossed a red line in Georgia.

Read the rest of this COMMENTARY web exclusive here.

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Second Thoughts?

The New York Sun editors’ imaginations runs wild: what if the superdelegates switch to Hillary Clinton at the Convention? Well, the chances of that happening are smaller than John Edwards receiving Father of the Year honors, but their analysis is, at the very least, thought-provoking. The editors run through all the reasons why Barack Obama should be doing better (e.g., more money, an unpopular Republican incumbent, an old Republican opponent) and wonder whether the Democrats could get nervous. They conclude:

Mrs. Clinton’s keynote address, scheduled for the Tuesday of the Convention, could then start to sound less like an endorsement speech and more like a final campaign plea. If it’s a real hit, anything can happen. Expect, too, the well-timed release of some public poll showing Mrs. Clinton doing better than Mr. Obama in matchups against Mr. McCain in battleground states. Already the Clinton campaign is surfacing, through the forthcoming issue of the Atlantic Monthly, a memo portraying Mr. Obama as “not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values.” . . .We have no illusions about the ultra-long-shot of Mrs. Clinton’s chances of actually emerging as the Democratic nominee, but they are not technically impossible, as Mr. Obama is no doubt aware. Mr. Obama skipped a visit to a military hospital in Germany. He spent this weekend on vacation in Hawaii. Mrs. Clinton spent last week visiting wounded service members at Fort Drum. Mr. Obama may think the primary campaign is over, but Mrs. Clinton’s die-hard supporters still itch for a last-minute surprise.

Well, I think a coup is not going to happen, but it is that slim prospect which no doubt will prevent the Obama camp from allowing a roll call vote. And that in turn may not help soothe the bruised feelings of Clinton supporters. Add to that the newest grievance — that John Edwards earlier demise might have helped Hillary — and you have an echo of Al Gore’s 2000 loss: it should have been ours.

More noteworthy than the faint hope of some type of political lightning storm hitting Denver is the revisiting of self-doubt and speculation as to whether Obama was indeed the best choice for Democrats. It has not been a kind summer for The One and the race is absurdly tight. Would Hillary have been differently situated? Her surrogates wouldn’t have tried to smear McCain about his POW and military service, she wouldn’t have needed or gone on a world tour, and she would have been strengthening her newly enhanced reputation with blue collar voters. And she and her favorite foreign policy guru Richard Holbrooke certainly would have gotten the Georgia crisis right.

But that is coulda/shoulda/woulda stuff. The Democrats have made their bed and they will need to lie in it. Hillary Clinton’s appearance in Denver is her effort to remind them how silly their choice was and how ready, willing and able she is to begin anew should The One manage to fritter away the Democrats’ overwhelming advantage.

The New York Sun editors’ imaginations runs wild: what if the superdelegates switch to Hillary Clinton at the Convention? Well, the chances of that happening are smaller than John Edwards receiving Father of the Year honors, but their analysis is, at the very least, thought-provoking. The editors run through all the reasons why Barack Obama should be doing better (e.g., more money, an unpopular Republican incumbent, an old Republican opponent) and wonder whether the Democrats could get nervous. They conclude:

Mrs. Clinton’s keynote address, scheduled for the Tuesday of the Convention, could then start to sound less like an endorsement speech and more like a final campaign plea. If it’s a real hit, anything can happen. Expect, too, the well-timed release of some public poll showing Mrs. Clinton doing better than Mr. Obama in matchups against Mr. McCain in battleground states. Already the Clinton campaign is surfacing, through the forthcoming issue of the Atlantic Monthly, a memo portraying Mr. Obama as “not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values.” . . .We have no illusions about the ultra-long-shot of Mrs. Clinton’s chances of actually emerging as the Democratic nominee, but they are not technically impossible, as Mr. Obama is no doubt aware. Mr. Obama skipped a visit to a military hospital in Germany. He spent this weekend on vacation in Hawaii. Mrs. Clinton spent last week visiting wounded service members at Fort Drum. Mr. Obama may think the primary campaign is over, but Mrs. Clinton’s die-hard supporters still itch for a last-minute surprise.

Well, I think a coup is not going to happen, but it is that slim prospect which no doubt will prevent the Obama camp from allowing a roll call vote. And that in turn may not help soothe the bruised feelings of Clinton supporters. Add to that the newest grievance — that John Edwards earlier demise might have helped Hillary — and you have an echo of Al Gore’s 2000 loss: it should have been ours.

More noteworthy than the faint hope of some type of political lightning storm hitting Denver is the revisiting of self-doubt and speculation as to whether Obama was indeed the best choice for Democrats. It has not been a kind summer for The One and the race is absurdly tight. Would Hillary have been differently situated? Her surrogates wouldn’t have tried to smear McCain about his POW and military service, she wouldn’t have needed or gone on a world tour, and she would have been strengthening her newly enhanced reputation with blue collar voters. And she and her favorite foreign policy guru Richard Holbrooke certainly would have gotten the Georgia crisis right.

But that is coulda/shoulda/woulda stuff. The Democrats have made their bed and they will need to lie in it. Hillary Clinton’s appearance in Denver is her effort to remind them how silly their choice was and how ready, willing and able she is to begin anew should The One manage to fritter away the Democrats’ overwhelming advantage.

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Missing the Point on Darfur

Richard Just over at TNR is doing a masterful job sorting through a long list of Darfur-related literature, and recapping the failure of the international community to deal with the genocide in this region. It is a long piece and worth reading, and it makes a lot of good points. For me, the most obvious and striking point deals with the unsolvable inherent contradiction between the need for urgent decisive action in Darfur and the tendency of “save-Darfur” activists to be suspicious of such aggressive action (particularly of American military intervention).

Just writes:

Eventually the movement coalesced around the idea that U.N. troops were the answer. In the wake of the Iraq debacle, the idea of sending U.N. peacekeepers to Darfur represented for many activists a sort of safe compromise–troops would be put on the ground, but American power would not be wielded. It was military action that they could endorse without opening a dissonance in their worldview. Even Prendergast, one of the most hawkish Darfur activists (and one of the smartest), endorses the U.N. option in his book as the solution that makes the most sense. To be fair, he has also suggested elsewhere that the United States should keep other military options on the table; but this latter position certainly places him outside the mainstream of the Darfur activist community.

Just is not the biggest fan of President Bush, and isn’t shy of putting some of the blame with him. But he is also honest enough to ask: “did liberals demand the right things of him? Did we push for what would really save the people of Darfur? Or did we get trapped by the inclinations of our worldview, and advocate for too little?” (I think the answer for these questions is a pretty clear no.) However, as Just writes, the activists clamoring for UN help were conveniently forgetting one important thing (aside from the fact that the UN is not exactly known for its military competence): For the UN to act, one needs other countries to participate, many of them countries to which activists and their outrage mean nothing. Just dedicates only one paragraph in his article to the faults of China. But choosing the UN meant enabling the veto power of China over action in Darfur–which then, unsurprisingly, blocked effective measures against its ally Sudan.

A couple of months ago, I wrote in an article for Slate about the lessons of Darfur (an article for which I received numerous angry emails from activists arguing that my perception was too grim):

The campaign to save Darfur is alive, but it is no longer kicking. You could say that it has achieved all its stated goals: public awareness, international pressure, congressional action, the administration’s involvement. Well, all but one: The crisis in Darfur is not yet solved, and the campaign to save Darfur is running out of options.

While paying the understandable lip-service to the notion that it is not yet time to give up (“it is too soon to succumb to a retrospective spirit”), Just has convinced me that my assessment was correct. His article does not offer a new course of viable action, and goes into detail when it recounts the many complexities making this conflict harder to end. No wonder that the two presidential candidates aren’t making Darfur a centerpiece of their agenda. No wonder that voters do not demand such an agenda from the candidates. The old-style, activist-driven battle for Darfur is over. Choosing China over Bush is one reason that it ended before it even really began.

Richard Just over at TNR is doing a masterful job sorting through a long list of Darfur-related literature, and recapping the failure of the international community to deal with the genocide in this region. It is a long piece and worth reading, and it makes a lot of good points. For me, the most obvious and striking point deals with the unsolvable inherent contradiction between the need for urgent decisive action in Darfur and the tendency of “save-Darfur” activists to be suspicious of such aggressive action (particularly of American military intervention).

Just writes:

Eventually the movement coalesced around the idea that U.N. troops were the answer. In the wake of the Iraq debacle, the idea of sending U.N. peacekeepers to Darfur represented for many activists a sort of safe compromise–troops would be put on the ground, but American power would not be wielded. It was military action that they could endorse without opening a dissonance in their worldview. Even Prendergast, one of the most hawkish Darfur activists (and one of the smartest), endorses the U.N. option in his book as the solution that makes the most sense. To be fair, he has also suggested elsewhere that the United States should keep other military options on the table; but this latter position certainly places him outside the mainstream of the Darfur activist community.

Just is not the biggest fan of President Bush, and isn’t shy of putting some of the blame with him. But he is also honest enough to ask: “did liberals demand the right things of him? Did we push for what would really save the people of Darfur? Or did we get trapped by the inclinations of our worldview, and advocate for too little?” (I think the answer for these questions is a pretty clear no.) However, as Just writes, the activists clamoring for UN help were conveniently forgetting one important thing (aside from the fact that the UN is not exactly known for its military competence): For the UN to act, one needs other countries to participate, many of them countries to which activists and their outrage mean nothing. Just dedicates only one paragraph in his article to the faults of China. But choosing the UN meant enabling the veto power of China over action in Darfur–which then, unsurprisingly, blocked effective measures against its ally Sudan.

A couple of months ago, I wrote in an article for Slate about the lessons of Darfur (an article for which I received numerous angry emails from activists arguing that my perception was too grim):

The campaign to save Darfur is alive, but it is no longer kicking. You could say that it has achieved all its stated goals: public awareness, international pressure, congressional action, the administration’s involvement. Well, all but one: The crisis in Darfur is not yet solved, and the campaign to save Darfur is running out of options.

While paying the understandable lip-service to the notion that it is not yet time to give up (“it is too soon to succumb to a retrospective spirit”), Just has convinced me that my assessment was correct. His article does not offer a new course of viable action, and goes into detail when it recounts the many complexities making this conflict harder to end. No wonder that the two presidential candidates aren’t making Darfur a centerpiece of their agenda. No wonder that voters do not demand such an agenda from the candidates. The old-style, activist-driven battle for Darfur is over. Choosing China over Bush is one reason that it ended before it even really began.

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Flotsam and Jetsam

Some of those Hillary Clinton voters still aren’t sold on The One.

Hard to argue with this: “In the end, the much-derided MSM were superfluous, their monopoly a faded memory. People have hundreds of ways to obtain information in today’s instantaneous media culture, and are capable of reaching their own conclusions about what is reliable and what is not.” A coda to the John Edwards affair or more broadly to the reign of the MSM?

Entirely compelling. Two questions remain: what are we prepared to do and which of the presidential candidate do we trust in this and similar tests of the West’s resolve in the future?

Democratic shenanigans in Cuyahoga County –who would have thought? (You think an investigation would have been undertaken in a Barack Obama administration? Me neither.)

Further evidence that Obama’s administration would bear an uncanny resemblance to a Bush third term.

How long before this from Russ Feingold winds up in a John McCain ad? Calling his own party’s main line of attack (i.e. McCain is a rightwing clone of George W. Bush) a “joke” is a political gift. Read the whole thing — there may be a couple of ads in there.

I think this is right: “Bottom line: If Mr. Obama is looking for someone who is nonthreatening to the average voter, but who will be a loyal liberal soldier, Mr. Kaine fits the bill. The base will be happy with him; he brings the possibility of carrying Virginia, potentially a crucial battleground state. On the margins he will appeal to swing voters. The one thing he won’t deliver is a reputation for major policy accomplishments or conspicuous substantive experience that would offset Mr. Obama’s own weakness in these areas.” But if you really believe accomplishment and experience aren’t important, why not?

To put it mildly: “It also seems like the Obama campaign swung and missed when it tried to highlight McCain adviser Randy Scheunemann’s lobbying for Georgia.” And that’s what they are saying on the Left. At some point even honest Democrats must begin to question whether The One knows what he’s doing on national security.

Zbig Brzezinski gets it. It’s still hard to understand why his candidate didn’t. The comparisons between the two candidates’ reactions continue.

A long way of saying that National Enquirer has better investigative reporters than the MSM.

Keep your eye on this one. It makes sense for multiple reasons.

You would think any piece on Obama’s affirmative action views would mention his 2006 radio ad (replete with standard fare, spurious arguments defending government classifying citizens by race) against the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, the clearest opportunity he had to weigh in on race-based preferences. Really, it’s no mystery at all where he has stood on this issue.

A smart roundtable. Cokie Roberts hits the nail on politics: what is Obama doing in Hawaii? And he “isn’t close” to sealing the deal. All of the participants are on the money on Georgia.

Stealing the show? Nah. They are all one big happy family, right?

Some of those Hillary Clinton voters still aren’t sold on The One.

Hard to argue with this: “In the end, the much-derided MSM were superfluous, their monopoly a faded memory. People have hundreds of ways to obtain information in today’s instantaneous media culture, and are capable of reaching their own conclusions about what is reliable and what is not.” A coda to the John Edwards affair or more broadly to the reign of the MSM?

Entirely compelling. Two questions remain: what are we prepared to do and which of the presidential candidate do we trust in this and similar tests of the West’s resolve in the future?

Democratic shenanigans in Cuyahoga County –who would have thought? (You think an investigation would have been undertaken in a Barack Obama administration? Me neither.)

Further evidence that Obama’s administration would bear an uncanny resemblance to a Bush third term.

How long before this from Russ Feingold winds up in a John McCain ad? Calling his own party’s main line of attack (i.e. McCain is a rightwing clone of George W. Bush) a “joke” is a political gift. Read the whole thing — there may be a couple of ads in there.

I think this is right: “Bottom line: If Mr. Obama is looking for someone who is nonthreatening to the average voter, but who will be a loyal liberal soldier, Mr. Kaine fits the bill. The base will be happy with him; he brings the possibility of carrying Virginia, potentially a crucial battleground state. On the margins he will appeal to swing voters. The one thing he won’t deliver is a reputation for major policy accomplishments or conspicuous substantive experience that would offset Mr. Obama’s own weakness in these areas.” But if you really believe accomplishment and experience aren’t important, why not?

To put it mildly: “It also seems like the Obama campaign swung and missed when it tried to highlight McCain adviser Randy Scheunemann’s lobbying for Georgia.” And that’s what they are saying on the Left. At some point even honest Democrats must begin to question whether The One knows what he’s doing on national security.

Zbig Brzezinski gets it. It’s still hard to understand why his candidate didn’t. The comparisons between the two candidates’ reactions continue.

A long way of saying that National Enquirer has better investigative reporters than the MSM.

Keep your eye on this one. It makes sense for multiple reasons.

You would think any piece on Obama’s affirmative action views would mention his 2006 radio ad (replete with standard fare, spurious arguments defending government classifying citizens by race) against the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, the clearest opportunity he had to weigh in on race-based preferences. Really, it’s no mystery at all where he has stood on this issue.

A smart roundtable. Cokie Roberts hits the nail on politics: what is Obama doing in Hawaii? And he “isn’t close” to sealing the deal. All of the participants are on the money on Georgia.

Stealing the show? Nah. They are all one big happy family, right?

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Please, Not About Him

E.J. Dionne is the latest liberal pundit to reach the stark conclusion: “The one contest McCain can win is an election about Obama.” It is an odd admission that Barack Obama — the candidate who started with such high hopes, as a transformational if not messianic figure — can’t really sustain an election win on his own merits. But is this surprising?

If the election is on the substance of Obama’s accomplishments or the depth of his policy pronouncements, it’s not hard to see why the public would find Obama lacking. Stripped of the cotton-candy rhetoric and the unfufilled promises of nonpartisanship, we are left with a one-term, ultra-liberal senator. Obama’s chances rest on the public rejecting the George W. Bush legacy, tying John McCain to that legacy, and saying Obama is good enough. But if Obama is not good enough and the public realizes that either candidate’s election marks the end of the Bush era then it’s a different matter.

And Dionne is right about one thing:

There is a certain shrewdness to the McCain campaign’s effort to turn Obama’s strengths — the energy he excites in crowds, the historic nature of his candidacy and the interest he has created overseas — into weaknesses.

By focusing the spotlight on Obama, McCain has forced the public and liberal pundits to ask: Is there any there, there? The latter are implicitly concluding “Not enough.” If the public reaches the same conclusion, the Democrats will have succeeded in picking the Democratic contender who couldn’t win in “sure thing” Democratic year.

E.J. Dionne is the latest liberal pundit to reach the stark conclusion: “The one contest McCain can win is an election about Obama.” It is an odd admission that Barack Obama — the candidate who started with such high hopes, as a transformational if not messianic figure — can’t really sustain an election win on his own merits. But is this surprising?

If the election is on the substance of Obama’s accomplishments or the depth of his policy pronouncements, it’s not hard to see why the public would find Obama lacking. Stripped of the cotton-candy rhetoric and the unfufilled promises of nonpartisanship, we are left with a one-term, ultra-liberal senator. Obama’s chances rest on the public rejecting the George W. Bush legacy, tying John McCain to that legacy, and saying Obama is good enough. But if Obama is not good enough and the public realizes that either candidate’s election marks the end of the Bush era then it’s a different matter.

And Dionne is right about one thing:

There is a certain shrewdness to the McCain campaign’s effort to turn Obama’s strengths — the energy he excites in crowds, the historic nature of his candidacy and the interest he has created overseas — into weaknesses.

By focusing the spotlight on Obama, McCain has forced the public and liberal pundits to ask: Is there any there, there? The latter are implicitly concluding “Not enough.” If the public reaches the same conclusion, the Democrats will have succeeded in picking the Democratic contender who couldn’t win in “sure thing” Democratic year.

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Or Not

Conventional wisdom treated Medvedev’s inauguration as president of the Russian Federation as a continuation of President Vladimir Putin’s two terms of Kremlin dominance and assertive foreign policy. But after recently visiting Moscow, where I met with leading political personalities as well as those in business and intellectual circles, I am convinced that this judgment is premature.[…]

In many ways, we are witnessing one of the most promising periods in Russian history.

[…]

Confrontational rhetoric and bullying style notwithstanding, Russia’s leaders are conscious of their strategic limitations.

Henry Kissinger — July 8, 2008

Conventional wisdom treated Medvedev’s inauguration as president of the Russian Federation as a continuation of President Vladimir Putin’s two terms of Kremlin dominance and assertive foreign policy. But after recently visiting Moscow, where I met with leading political personalities as well as those in business and intellectual circles, I am convinced that this judgment is premature.[…]

In many ways, we are witnessing one of the most promising periods in Russian history.

[…]

Confrontational rhetoric and bullying style notwithstanding, Russia’s leaders are conscious of their strategic limitations.

Henry Kissinger — July 8, 2008

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