Saturday, December 17, 2005

Engaging Russia


(image via

It is unfortunate that the environmentaly disaterous benzene spill in Jilin province of China is the pretext for a pretext for improved Russo-American relations. Still: engaging Russia is better than not engaging Russia, as the Bushies all but did, quixotically, after their disasterous talks with old pal "Pootie-Poot" at Bratislava Castle earlier this year. (The Corsair gingerly lights a Bolivar Royal Corona; pulls; exhales)

There was so much blissful anticipation before Bratislava. Those were the heady days when Henry Kissinger was dispached as a special envoy to Russia on the grounds that Putin, like most lower primates, can probably sense and give wide berth to a fellow apex-predator. (Averted Gaze)

Putin is perhaps now aware --after all this diplomatic correspondence -- of the political reality that jailing the opposition makes him look like a fucking hayseed in the parlors of Washington DC afterhours. (The Corsair shoots back a glass of Sambuca di Canale)

Remember when Vladimir Putin confidently asserted -- again, at fateful Bratislava -- that President Bush had something to do with the firing of Dan Rather? One could literally hear a pin drop as the poor translator rushed through that sentence while Putin beamed triumphant as an uneducated Serf putting something over on his overlord.

Putin seems to get the hint at present that democratic leaders -- wink, wink; yeah--right -- don't jail their opposition for getting saucy at authority. Now, Putin, duly chastised, harasses his political opposition on the DL. That's class! (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)

The President's hands-on executive search for a "high class" beard for Russia's state-owned oil company is quite touching, in a clumsy Buster Keaton kind of way.

First in line to head Rosneft is former Bush Commerce Secretary Don Evans. He launches Russia TV to up his profile -- and make him look less kleptocratic Byzantine Czar -- to the West.

Gerhard Schroeder is also in line as "liaison" to a Russian pipeline to Europe. This all looks to The Corsair like a class bully making an apology to the class -- this class: The West -- for yesterday's schoolyard hijinx. I guess that's how Putin says "sorry; let's be friends again," by carving up a meaningful slice of the wild boar for his guests. Since we no longer face an existential threat from Moscow we don't have to be on our best manners. But seeing as how rogue nuclear weopon technology getting into the hands of our enemies is still the number one foreign policy priority we must continue to engage Russia. No matter how unseemly it all is.

And if we can gainfully engage Russia (All they really want is respect), while simultaneously extricating them, deflty, from the clutches of the Sino-Russian alliance a la Nixonian triangulation, well, then, that's just the gravy.

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