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Friday, May 12, 2006

Russia's Ameriphobes

Writing in the Los Angeles Times, Nikolas K. Gvosdev, editor of National Interest, reminds us that Russia is democratically anti-American (after all, Russians did choose a proud KGB spy as their president):

Would a more democratic Russia be more amenable to U.S. interests? Opinion polls suggest that more than 60% of Russians see the United States as having a negative influence in the world; more than half believe that the U.S. is unfriendly to Russia. And although many Americans comfort themselves with the illusion that these figures must be weighted in favor of the elderly with Cold War hang-ups, the reality is that it is the young, college-educated elites in Moscow and St. Petersburg — Russia's wealthiest and most liberal cities — who are the bastion of anti-U.S. sentiment in the country. And what about Russian attitudes toward Iran? Survey data indicate that by a 2-1 margin, Russians believe the economic benefits of selling arms to Iran outweigh preserving good relations with the United States. More than 60% do not share the view that Iran endangers the security of Russia, and more than 80% agree with the proposition that Iran has drawn American ire not because Tehran poses a general threat to global peace and security but because Iran frustrates American ambitions for the region.
In other words, just as Russians were prepared to sell their allies down the river in World War II, they are more than happy to expose the world to the perils of an Iranian nuclear arsenal as long as they can line their pockets with extra money on top of their oil revenue windfall. In the same way, Russia has no problem providing even more aid and comfort to the terrorist regime in Palestine. Its manner of dealing with Western outrage over such actions is simple: despite its impoverished population, it will launch a massive increase in military spending starting next year. Apparently, the fact that it was exactly this sort of policy that bankrupted the original Soviet Unioni is of no concern to its neo-Soviet heirs.

As La Russophobe understands the crazed Russophile position, it's just fine and dandy for Russians to be Ameriphobes, but it's a cosmic outrage for Americans to be Russophobes. Certainly, one doesn't very often hear the crazed Russophile voice being raised in opposition to Ameriphobia on the part of Russians; in fact, one might be hard-pressed to prove that such a word as "Ameriphobia" even exists. It is perhaps this fundmentally hypocrisy, indeed irrationality, that best epitomizes the crazed Russophile and explains the demise of Russia as we know it.

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