When the history of our present times is written, I believe that there's a fair chance that, not the struggle against Islamist terror, but Russia's re-emergence as a pariah state will be the central narrative. Bush's stunning incompetence in continuing to silently countenance Putin's power grab may very well overshadow an unstable Middle East. I really believe that for all its bluster, the Islamist threat is primary a regional issue. Iran might talk a big game, but it is Russia who is, in fact, right now projecting and expanding its power. Who knows what this chapter will bring, but a thuggish Russia redrawing the Iron Curtain seems a lot more likely than it did 6 years ago.
Fears that Russia is using energy supplies as a political weapon increased last night after Moscow forced Georgia to accept a doubling of gas prices.
The deal came within hours of a threat by Gazprom, Russia's statecontrolled energy giant, to cut off supplies to the former Soviet republic from January 1.
While Gazprom insists its motives are commercial, critics say it often acts as a political instrument for Russian president Vladimir Putin.
This is not good. I'd hate to see an emboldened Russia using the various Middle Eastern interests as attack dogs. I could be way off, but to me the big story here is how easily any campaign against terrorism could morph into a Cold War redux.
All the more reason to research alternate energy sources. Spend the money, research the technology, and distribute it to vulnerable countries. The main goal should be to put these guys out of business and cripple their ability to strong-arm their former vassals.
Sorry for the three week old link, but that's when I can get around to these things. Deal with it. All five of you.