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The NATO split is understandable considering that Western Europe is almost entirely dependent upon Russia for energy needs - so it likely to prefer soft talking diplomacy and less aggressive action.

This is a common misconception in the US.

Western Europe has been taking a soft approach towards Russia for decades, and you should read up about de Gaulle's France not systematically pointing its missiles at the USSR, or Willy Brandt's "Ostpolitik". That was in the 60s, for God's sake, way before Russia would sell us any energy.

It's just not written in stone that Russia should be fenced off, and we have learnt over centuries that playing the bully just does not pay in the long run - and this, the US public and politicians will eventually learn it as well.

It's just too bad they cause so much misery in the meantime.

by balbuz on Fri Aug 15th, 2008 at 01:37:03 AM EST
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And of course, just to make sure, the US forces its missiles down our throat.

My personal view is that today's Russia would be a far more natural, reliable and peaceful partner than the US, which are just bad news, whatever they do and where ever they go on the world stage.

by balbuz on Fri Aug 15th, 2008 at 06:19:26 AM EST
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Western Europe is almost entirely dependent upon Russia for energy needs

This is simply not true. Russia currently provides 25% of Europe's gas imports (which themselves represent about half its consumption)(note that the numbers can change significantly depending on whether you count Norway as in "Europe" or not, as it is not in the EU) and probably a smaller fraction of its oil.

The gas is a bilateral inter-dependency relationship, which had been stable for the past 40 years (until London started interfering).

Oil is a global market and Russia is only one potentially unfriendly supplier out of many.

Worries about energy dependency tend to look at future trends, whereby oil and especially gas demand goes up while domestic supply shrinks and Russian exports are expected to fill in the difference. So dependency might become an issue only if we continue our (insane) current policies.

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

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Aug 15th, 2008 at 06:59:13 AM EST
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