Wednesday, August 13, 2008
When I was Growing Up
When I was growing up, the Soviet Union was the evil empire. The evil empire went broke, and the Soviet Union was gone, but Russia remained. We didn’t make much of a distinction between the Soviet Union and Russia back in the 80’s, and in general, the Russians would have held it together by force if they could have only afforded it. Now, Russia has two things, an improved economy, and energy leverage over most of Europe. The Europeans are between a rock and a hard place, Russia has invaded its neighbor, but the required response would surely lead Russia to retaliate by cutting off gas and oil. The lack of European response sends Moscow a message that it is OK to retake the caucuses, and why stop there, invade the Ukraine too. These countries cannot defend themselves against a Russian invasion, and the world will look the other way while it happens. It seems likely that my children will grow up seeing Russia as I did, the evil empire.