Monday, November 27, 2006

Because an Ice Pick is So 1939

The Russians (or perhaps their wholly owned subsidiary Belorussia to maintain Putin's soul and deniability??) murdered a former KGB spook named Alexander Litvinenko in Britain with the exotic radioactive element Polonium-210:

The British government began tracking radioactive hotspots in London on Monday to trace the poison that killed a former KGB agent, and three people who reported possible symptoms of contamination underwent testing.

Polonium-210 may be a far cry from an ice pick, but the message sent by the murder is the same: mess with Moscow and we will hunt you down and kill you--and we don't even care if our methods point to us.

Russia had a brief window to join the West, but Putin has decided that he'd rather strive for the glory days when people looked to Moscow with fear.

Just how we can break the state monopoly of power in Russia and push democratic reform is beyond me at the moment. But we shouldn't accept what Russia is fast becoming without a struggle. At worst, I'm darned glad that NATO is meeting as far east as it is in Estonia.

NATO may be worried about its relevancy and struggling to define its role in the post-Cold War world, but Russia may be giving the defense alliance a new old reason to exist.

Lovely decade we're having, eh?