Something rotten in US-Russia relations? 0

 Fred Thompson has an interesting article in Townhall today, the main point of which is that McCain has the necessary experience, understanding and strength of will to be the leader of the Free World over the next few dangerous years, and Obama has not.  MacCain’s first-hand knowledge of Georgia and quick grasp of what Russia intends by invading the small Western-allied democracy is a vivid illustration of his contention.  The whole thing is worth reading. But one part of the information it contains strikes us as puzzling and shocking.  He says:

Former Soviet provinces have faced all forms of intimidation, from thuggish trade shakedowns to cyber attacks that shut down communications with the outside world. And whether a former satellite like Poland or a longtime western ally like Germany, Russia has made overt threats over plans to bring eastern European countries into NATO or to deploy a U.S.-provided missile defense system.

Russia is not above using anything at its disposal to make its point. It is a wealthy nation, built on a petro-economy that provides oil and gas to dependent European nations, which are petrified of having their energy supplies disrupted and are now in their own economic doldrums.

Given all this, Russia’s incursion into Georgia is a logical extension of Putin’s autocratic words and deeds and Russia’s regional ambitions, which must be leaving those nations closest to Russia’s borders – the Baltic states and Ukraine – nervous about a bitter and uneasy winter.

All the while, in Eastern Europe some of America’s staunchest friends are watching to see what the reaction of the U.S. and the west will be to Russia’s latest gambit. The U.S. and others use the word “unacceptable,” undoubtedly with the same effect that we get when we use it with the Iranians. So do we threaten Russia with denial of the membership in the World Trade Organization that it so covets? Do we expedite Georgia and the Ukraine’s entry into NATO? Do we cut off the tens of millions that we send into Russia to – hopefully – provide for security of nuclear materials? Everything should be on the table.

‘Russia is a wealthy nation’ – okay. Then why is the US sending ‘tens of millions’  to Russia? How does this ‘provide  for security of nuclear materials’?  Is this a form of extortion? Who in the US was responsible for the descision to do this? When? Answers are urgently required. 

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, August 14, 2008

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