I’m surprised how exercised otherwise sober people are about Russia. The fear and loathing are often deep and strong, visceral almost. The latest example (and catalyst for these reflections) is today’s leader in The Economist.
Russia’s recent conduct is often framed narrowly as the start of a new cold war with America. In fact it poses a broader threat to countries everywhere because Mr Putin has driven a tank over the existing world order.
At one level, I suppose that’s true. After 20 years of being poked and prodded, the bear turned around and bared its teeth. The west is clearly taken aback. Get the damn thing back in its cage seems to be the prevailing sentiment. The cheek of the beast.
After briefly acknowledging the Iraq snafu, our writer gets back on track.
Since then Barack Obama has tried to fashion a more collaborative approach, built on a belief that America can make common cause with other countries to confront shared problems and isolate wrongdoers. This has failed miserably in Syria but shown some signs of working with Iran.
Well, yesss . . . although a dispassionate observer might ponder the oddity of US support for radical jihadi groups in Syria and wonder how that contributes to good order. Ditto with the aborted plans to strike Syria as punishment for the Assad government’s (still disputed) chemical attacks. He might also quietly note Russia’s diplomatic intervention Continue reading