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His article is not about Russia, but about coverage of Russia. He is making the absolutely correct point that there is this new meme in the media that Russia is being both criticised for exercising its strength and dismissed for being weak and that there is an element of wishful thinking in the second.

As you know, I tend to think that indeed Russia is weaker that it thinks it is, because its strength is predicated on oil prices rather than real development, and it has terrible problems like the declining population and widespread corruption. But as I also think that oil prices will remain high, that strength will remain and, more importantly, the pride that Russians feel in their country apprearing to be strong and a force to be reckoned with (and their President symbolises this extremely well, thus his very high popularity) will last.

So we have to deal with Russia seriously, instead of alternating bluster, dismissal and panic.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Sep 29th, 2006 at 04:00:04 AM EST
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I'm all for taking Russia seriously, and, yes, he was right about US media coverage being schizophrenic, but the point could be made just as easily without straw man arguments, attacks, and ignorance.

If US politicians and pundits are really so fearful of Russia -- which I find ridiculous, to be quite honest, but ridiculous fear is par for the course these days in Washington -- then isn't the answer, as with the Arabs, to stop sucking at the oil and natural gas teet?  If they really wanted to clear away any doubts, and really make Russia look like a joke, they would push for a serious renewable energy program.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Sep 29th, 2006 at 04:31:28 AM EST
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