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Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Sunday YouTube Part I: Annals of Friendly, Responsible Russia

Last week a Russian bomber buzzed a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean. The AP reported: "The bombers were among four Russian Tupolev 95s launched from Ukrainka in the middle of the night, including one that Japanese officials say violated their country's airspace over an uninhabited island south of Tokyo. Such Russian bomber flights were common during the Cold War, but have been rare since. This is the first time Russian Tupolevs have flown over or interacted with a U.S. carrier since 2004."

Since Russia doesn't have any aircraft carriers, or indeed a credible navy of any kind, it goes without saying that the action is totally unprovoked. U.S. planes haven't buzzed any Russian ships on the high seas at any time, nor have they been accused of violating Russian civil airspace.

But even if they had, is it really in the best interests of the Russian people to provoke a new cold war, and a news arms race, with the world's only superpower? Does this behavior really indicate that Russia is a serious, responsible nation that deserves respect and attention?

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