Someone should write a book: The Education of Valdimir Putin. About the lessons Russia has learned about its Western ‘partners’ since the end of the Cold War. Western engagement with Russia seems to consist entirely of lies, bluster, insults, betrayal, pigeon-like chess playing, pressure tactics (sanctions), intimidation, etc. Such group-think and hostility leads to war.
Our hostility to Russia is one of those Great Mysteries. It’s there but it simply fails to register at a visceral level. I don’t “get it” in short. Few were more ardent a cold warrior than I but the freaking structure of the Soviet Union is in the veritable dustbin of history and the Russian people simply cannot have any illusions about the ghastly gang of gangsters (GGG) who ran the country into the ground. Simply getting chickens to the meat counters was something the government couldn’t accomplish. And let’s not even consider the earlier internal forced labor, arbitrary rule, hideous repression, starvation, and slaughter. A lot of seriously hurt feelings out of that.
Some otherwise sensible people think that the fall of the Soviet Union was a deception operation, SHMG, designed to disarm us mentally as to the enduring threat of Soviet communism. That’s pretty rich to my way of thinking but the larger issue of the post-1991 incessant riding and prodding of the Russians is even more astonishing. As a certified “Right-wing Hater” I’m more than happy to participate in a hatefest against orphans, puppies, kittens, lovable butt-heart feminists, vibrant Shaniquanauts, and benighted gender-change entrepreneurs but even I have to have at least some evidence that mischief is afoot.
As I’ve pointed out, even if you think that the Russians “took over” Crimea, Luhansk, Donetsk, Abkahzia, and South Ossetia completely without Western provocation of any kind and in violation of all norms of civilized behavior, the sum total of that action in geographical terms is a whopping 0.54% increase in the territory of the Russian Federation. Well, “today South Ossetsia, tomorrow the world” the thinking must go but to me it all boils down to a gigantic failure of imagination to create something healthy and vibrant on the wreckage of WWII and the Cold War. Ef that, apparently.
But, neeewwww, here we are wrapped around the axle about “white supremacism,” hurt lesbian feelings, economic lunacy, and the abandonment of the very basic institutions of our nation; prosecuting reckless, pointless wars against Iran, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq; and pushing the NATO Area of Operations from the North Atlantic to the effing South China Sea. All very “progressive.”
 Comment by Jackrabbit on “Syria – The War Is Resuming On Several Fronts.” By b, Moon of Alabama, 3/22/21.