Bill Murphy said:Brilliant! (as usual) Bill Lind seems to appreciate that there is more potential for good in Russia than in any other nation on earth (Colonel John D.P. Fuller (Citadel 1917), Chairman of the History Department at the Virginia Military Institute, made that very point to his Geopolitics class in 1964). The operative word here is "potential", and, until it is actualized, that's all it will be is potential (granted, the Russians will have a struggle just getting their own house in order). But, now that Bush, Clinton and Bush are almost history, there is an opening (which Lind points out). There was an opening immediately after 9/11, when Putin had a Mass said, in the main cathedral in Moscow, for the victims of the attack, and then sent the Mass card to Bush. We now have another opening. However, as any reader of Solzhenitsyn should know, Russia is not America or the West, and the Russian Federation will never be a carbon copy of the American federation crafted in Philadelphia in 1787. We do not have a shared history on many points, including the Mongol/Tartar hordes (surviving folk saying re an all-powerful government: "A dog does not bark in Russia without the permission of Batu Khan"). It should also be obvious that Stalin and the USSR are dead, but, Russia is still Russia. That said, the optimum result should be an understanding, based upon mutual respect (in which hubris has no part), between Ivan and Johnathan (as the representative fur-clad Russian and the Uncle Sam political cartoon characters were known in the 19th century American press). The Russian Navy folks (that's Russian, NOT Soviet), folks that we dealt with in the early '90s, only wanted to be respected as equals - it would not have cost us anything to have done so, we, at the war college and Navy League levels did our best, but... A Korean (ROK) admiral friend of mine (we were lieutenants together during the late unpleasantness in South East Asia) told me on the eve of the first Russian naval visit to Korea, Chin-hae in 1993, that he was pleased at the prospect. "What are you going to say to them," I asked, mindful of the Soviet role in creating North Korea, Kim Il-sung and the Korean conflict. He replied, "I will tell them how delighted I am to see Russian naval ships once again flying the Cross of Saint Andrew."
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