Today's New York Times has three articles on the Russians: the first regards the Georgian/Russian/Ossetian problem with intermarriage (same problem as in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq). The second article discusses the European mission to Moscow to discuss Georgia; and finally, a report from Caracas, on a Chavez-Medvedev plan for joint military exercises in the Caribbean. This is a worrying pattern of behaviour by the Russians, and combined with China and it's efforts at securing support in Africa, can make even a mild mannered liberal paranoid. The Chinese have not only been investing in infrastructure in all the developing economies in Africa (and which ones are not?!), but they are engaging in cultural bribes such as paying all expenses for Ethiopian journalists to cover the Beijing Olympics. So, now we have two of the three traditional (20th century) superpowers bolstering their popularity and influence in very large geopolitical spheres. This, then, begs the question of what is the third traditional superpower up to...that is "us". We have frittered away our moral superiority platform on this ill-conceived and atrocious adventure in the Middle East; our Republican no-tax-but-spend-on-private contractors government has cut budgets for all our positive cultural expenditures overseas (Voice of America, USAID, etc), and created a climate of Orwellian double-speak and lies that would horrify Orwell. And most chilling of all, is the depth of deception that this government has sunk to and is believed, hook-line-and-sinker by the unthinking right-wing cheerleaders. I am appalled. This Republican administration has become as bad as the worst of the Soviet Union and the new Russia....is that what Bush meant when he said he could see into the soul of Putin and declared him a blood brother?..horror of horrors.
On an interesting note, listen to Slavoj Zizek on today's Weekday on KUOW...it will get you thinking.