For example, stop pretending that Putin isn’t an imperialist who is trying to expand Russian hegemony. He doesn’t make any such pretense: “The collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geo-political catastrophe of the century.” Given his two (thus far) illegal annexations of previously sovereign nations’ land in Georgia and Ukraine, he clearly meant every word of that statement.
Using illegally-installed cronies and stooges where possible, and the Russian Army where political tricks fail, Russia is expanding itself. Even though extremist loons peddle conspiracy theories of shadowy fascist western cabals, the reality is clear: Putin is taking back the land that Russia “tragically” lost.
While useful idiots over here are playing chorus to this illegal land grab, Russia’s former colonies are doing no such thing: in fact, they are quite reasonably scared s***less and have yelled for help. Lithuania and Latvia have asked for NATO to honor its obligations and protect them from being Russia’s next victims.
It’s seemingly easy for Americans to act all high-and-mighty and indulge in silly political parlor games: Russia isn’t invading us, and isn’t likely to, regardless of whatever movies you might have seen. It seems as if we can afford to be stupid. But the people of Eastern Europe lack that luxury. And the more we fiddle about, bleating our idiotic ideological irrelevancies, the more license we give Russia to reconstruct such parts of the Soviet Union as it wishes to.
But with high Russian state-controlled media officials promising, a’la Khrushchev, to nuke us out of existence, we might well want to rethink our smug assumptions of safety from Russian action. Because we have a former KGB chief in charge of Russia, and he is slowly rebuilding the empire whose loss he so loudly laments. Whether the new Russian imperial structure is Communist, Czarist, or Kleptocratic matters very little to us: the new Russia is NOT planning on being our friend.
We know this because they are not being the friends of our friends. We need to stand with our allies, lest we, like they, suffer the fate of Ossetia, and Crimea. Or worse.
Mr. Blunt and Cranky