We repeat the 1980s, this time with a liberal administration

The most fitting comparison is with Leonid Brezhnev - another long-serving Soviet leader who clocked up 18 years in power, until his death in 1982. Brezhnev began brightly enough, with the Soviet Union at the height of its prestige. But his epoch eventually became synonymous with stagnation and economic decline - a bit like the Putin one. After eight years of rapid and increasing prosperity, Putin's Russia is floundering amid the global economic crisis.

During the Brezhnev era there was deep conflict with the western alliance over the US's plans to site Pershing missiles in western Europe. Under Putin we have the row over US rockets in Europe - this time the Pentagon's plans to site missile defence interceptors and radar bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. The Kremlin vehemently objects to the shield; it has poisoned US-Russian relations.

Then there is the invasion by Russia of one of its neighbours. Back in 1979, it was Afghanistan - when Russian tanks rolled across the dusty Hindu Kush to prop up a struggling communist regime. (Officially, Moscow said its intervention was necessary because of US encroachment in Afghanistan.) Fast forward three decades to Russia's summer 2008 invasion of Georgia when Russian tanks were rolling once again - this time along the Caucasus mountain valley towards US-leaning Tbilisi.

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"I think Russian political life and Russian public life has been very Sovietised recently, Stalinised even. We have got politics completely closed from public view. Nobody really understands what is going on," Kiselyov says. "People inside the Kremlin, even at ministerial level, don't understand how decisions are taken at the upper level, at the highest level. That's very Soviet. It's completely non-transparent."

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"The Soviet Union had global ambitions. It believed in socialism and social justice. Now the main ideological idea is nationalism and anti-Americanism. There are no positive ideas any more, only negative ones," Kryshtanovskaya says. She adds: "At the same time Russia is becoming increasingly isolationist."

The Guardian

The West had them beat; then the Americans elected Clinton, and the pressure that Reagan applied fell off, and so when the Soviets fell, nothing to ensure future stability was done.

Now we have Change McHope in the white house, and he's going to do the same thing, ensuring that an unstable, third-world Russia continues to threaten Europe and the United States.

Good thinking, American voters.


  1. At this the stranger, Boromir, broke in. "So that is what became of the Ring!" he cried. "If ever such a tale was told in the South, it has long been forgotten. I have heard of the Great Ring of him that we do not name; but we believed that it perished from the world in the ruin of his first realm. Isildur took it! That is tidings indeed."

    "Alas! yes," said Elrond. "Isildur took it, as should not have been. It should have been cast then into Orodruin's fire nigh at hand where it was made. But few marked what Isildur did. He alone stood by his father in that last mortal contest; and by Gil-galad only Círdan stood, and I. But Isildur would not listen to our counsel."


    The West had a unique chance to destroy the remainder of Sauron's forces. But nay; instead they acted on short-sighted greed and pomposity.


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