In spite of their appalling government, the Russian people first absorbed and then defeated the might of Nazi Germany at enormous cost. 75% of the German war effort was expended in the East.I do not think we should overlook the debt of gratitude which the world owes Russia for what they call "The Great Patriotic War". Unfortunately it seems that an unthinking Russophobia drives American policy. Having encouraged the rape of such wealth and institutions as the Soviet Union possessed through the new robber baron class of oligarchs, the West continues its "forward" policy, building missile sites on Russia's borders and encouraging instability internally and in the "near abroad" which is a reasonable Russian sphere of influence.It seems to me to be a case of Pravoslavophobia (hatred of Orthodox Slavs), such as we saw in former Yugoslavia. A Serbian - American acquaintance hazarded the guess that it was composed of a residual mistrust of "commies", added to the fact that they "use a funny alphabet" and have Church which is neither Protestant nor Roman. So they are "kind of weird". Add to this the fact that the Orthodox Slav communities in America have been very slow in the business of congressional lobbying.It is in our interest to have a strong Russia as a bulwark both against Muslim inroads and a counterbalance to German-dominated Europe.
Edward, that is a reasoned and very pertinent post given the current situation. I suspect it may well be The Russians who will kerb the Merkozy Alliance this time round.