Friday, January 07, 2005

Getting Colder: I haven't been too impressed by President Bush's lack of outrage at Russia's President Putin and his increasingly authoritarian actions -- such as eliminating gubernatorial elections in favor of Kremlin appointments and apparently trying to defraud Ukraine of its rightly elected president.

Unfortunately, Europe seems to be even worse in coddling a Russia that could be reverting back to its Cold War ways. A Wall Street Journal article from Wednesday (subscription only, no link, sorry) says that Bush has indeed made sharp criticisms about Putin's actions while Germany, Britain, France, Italy, et al have remained eerily silent.

The excuse given in the article is that Europe is more economically dependent on Russia -- namely on its oil and natural gas. This is a disturbing trend of Europe befriending dictators and budding authoritarians for oil, what with the revelations of European leaders accepting bribes from Saddam Hussein under the table in the ever evolving UNSCAM.

With all the real threats to peace and individual liberties around the globe, it amazes me that some people, especially in Europe, see the United States as the biggest threat. While Russia is still a trusted ally and has not reverted entirely to its Soviet system, Europe should not ignore the dangerous path its neighbor is taking. Reacting diplomatically now can prevent real problems from erupting in the future.


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