2007 October 04 Thursday
Bush Administration Gives Up On Influencing Russia

A little bit of reality seeps into the Bush Administration's view of the world. Will any neocons denounce Bush as a traitor for abandoning the fantasy of converting the whole world to democracy?

The secretaries of state and defense and a squadron of other U.S. officials head to Moscow next week for a series of top-level meetings. They will discuss missile defense, a conventional forces treaty and the next step in nuclear arms cuts.

Not on the official agenda -- the future of Russian democracy.

In watching Russia's slide toward authoritarianism, the Bush administration once considered the ultimate test to be whether President Vladimir Putin voluntarily gave up power in 2008 as promised. But this week Putin shrugged off U.S. warnings and signaled that he plans to keep power by becoming prime minister, once again surprising an administration that has now all but abandoned hopes of influencing Russia's internal direction.

What happened? Did the Bushies run out of hubris pills?

Also, if Russia is destined to continue to become less democratic do we need to follow the neocon logic and conclude that of course the lack of democracy and freedom will lead to Russian frustration and terrorism? Do we need to start treating the Russians like terrorist suspects because they lack democracy?

What, you ask "But what about Islam as the root cause of Muslim terrorism? What does democracy have to do with it?". Hey, I'm just trying to follow the logic of Bush and the neocons (and not a few liberals) to its logical conclusion. If lack of democracy causes terrorism and the spread of democracy is necessary in order to stop terrorism (and does Condi Rice still believe this?) then the Russians are on the road to terrorism. Watch out Finland.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2007 October 04 08:36 PM  Russia

Ned said at October 5, 2007 9:50 AM:

Wonderful news, if true. I was in Russia last month, and the chance that the US can (or should) change anything there is just about zero. Russians are intensely patriotic and don't like to be preached to by pious hypocrites like Bush II and his friends. During the bad old Soviet days, the re was some justification for this sort of thing, but no longer. Russia has enormous internal problems and isn't much of a threat to anyone. Just leave them alone.

Anon said at October 5, 2007 11:48 AM:

Russia is just reverting to the authoritarian past it always had with Putin being the new czar. Fine by me. There is no reason to antagonize or influence them. We don't have to be allies , but there is no reason to make them an enemy either or piss them off for stupid reasons. Many Russian and US interests coincide, so how about something mutually beneficial? And as Ned said, there is no chance that the US can change them.

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