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Gorby making sense, again...

NYT: Russia Never Wanted a War

What is needed is a legally binding agreement not to use force. Mr. Saakashvili has repeatedly refused to sign such an agreement, for reasons that have now become abundantly clear.

The West would be wise to help achieve such an agreement now. If, instead, it chooses to blame Russia and re-arm Georgia, as American officials are suggesting, a new crisis will be inevitable. In that case, expect the worst.

In recent days, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President Bush have been promising to isolate Russia. Some American politicians have threatened to expel it from the Group of 8 industrialized nations, to abolish the NATO-Russia Council and to keep Russia out of the World Trade Organization.

These are empty threats. For some time now, Russians have been wondering: If our opinion counts for nothing in those institutions, do we really need them? Just to sit at the nicely set dinner table and listen to lectures?

Indeed, Russia has long been told to simply accept the facts. Here's the independence of Kosovo for you. Here's the abrogation of the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, and the American decision to place missile defenses in neighboring countries. Here's the unending expansion of NATO. All of these moves have been set against the backdrop of sweet talk about partnership. Why would anyone put up with such a charade?

There is much talk now in the United States about rethinking relations with Russia. One thing that should definitely be rethought: the habit of talking to Russia in a condescending way, without regard for its positions and interests.

Our two countries could develop a serious agenda for genuine, rather than token, cooperation. Many Americans, as well as Russians, understand the need for this. But is the same true of the political leaders?




"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Aug 20th, 2008 at 11:17:31 AM EST
One thing that should definitely be rethought: the habit of talking to Russia in a condescending way, without regard for its positions and interests.

aaaah, someone in the tradmed gets it

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Aug 20th, 2008 at 11:55:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
LOL.  I'm not sure Gorbachev is "someone in the tradmed."  But he certainly does get it.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Wed Aug 20th, 2008 at 12:00:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
heh, silly, i meant the tradmed in the sense of the organ, not necessarily the writer himself. the surprise is that they printed it...

but you knew that, you're just yanking my chain!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Aug 21st, 2008 at 12:09:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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