Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why Biden was Right about Russia

President Vladimir Putin of Russia. Photograph...Image via Wikipedia

It's Eid week-end in Tanzania and I'm essentially very lazy. So, instead of writing something on my own regarding Russia's psyche, go here.

I think the analysis is essentially correct, but doesn't go far enough. The Russian people have always been afraid - of chaos, invasion, perceived insults - while simultaneously feeling un-respected. This is a bad combination for any country, but more so for one that became accustomed to throwing its weight around. It breeds less than free societies - and we can see that reversion to a czarist style government beginning with Putin. The Russians like it and we should not pretend otherwise.

Having said that, Russia has very good reason to be afraid. A paranoid world-view does not make it untrue. Russia has been invaded by the Mongols (successfully), France, Germany (twice), Sweden - the list goes on. The ordinary people want to feel safe - whether the reality is different or not.

So, although it is useful to deal cautiously with Russia, it is important to see their view of the world - particularly in their immediate vicinity.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments: