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Quite surprised by your tone. Won't be caught again.

:)
As Melo points out, I am getting better at these things.  Baby steps.  Also erm, it's not excuse, but I was just in from a rainstorm and soaking wet when I read your post.  No excuse, of course, but know you're not entirely responsible for my bad attitude.  Just a little. ;)

I do. I know people there. And my Russian friends over there make the exact same remarks as I have done in my comments.

You do.  Your friends do.  I do.  But I doubt most of the world does.  

Unfair.

Not entirely, given how the west has behaved toward Russia in the past 17+ years.  It's exactly how we've acted.  Now that Russia's decided it's not a country to be moulded into whatever the west wants it to be, we're quite quick to point out how they are doing it wrong.  And by "it" I mean, "fixing a slew of problems we actually helped to create."  

Of course not.

:)

Look, I'm a bit reactionary about these things.  I generally am very uncomfortable thinking I or anyone outside Russia knows or should say what is best for Russia.  Which does not mean there are not things to criticize.   Moreover, almost all of the criticisms I see are not sincerely motivated by the welfare of the Russian people.  They are motivated by our insecurities and by scapegoating.  I will not doubt your sincerity.  But for the most part, the people I now hear bemoaning the plight of poor Russians, ruled by a corrupt system, victims of the current leadership, were either perfectly silent when the same people were living in desperation in the 90's or were even cheerleading the system that was creating such desperation.  So incredulity is my default position.  Another default position is to not underestimate the difficulty of the tasks Russia has before itself.  

Also, given what has been accomplished in the past 8 years, Putin may be many many many things, but I have seen little evidence to suggest he is "stupid" or simply enjoying today's spoils at the expense of tomorrow.  I don't think he is a humanitarian by any stretch of the imagination.  But he seems to be acutely aware that his legacy will be that of Russia's, for better or for worse.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Mon Jul 7th, 2008 at 04:40:40 PM EST
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