LJ 2008-08-16 10:11:00
There was a question on HYS (the most ridiculous opinion forum ever) about whether Russia’s relationship with the US had been harmed…
It’s funny, because I would say that the answer is a resounding “no”. Just as Russia had obviously been waiting for an excuse to put Georgia in its place, so too had the US been waiting for an excuse to have a go at Russia. A misplaced but very loud burst of rhetoric gives them the perceived moral highground required to push through missile defense systems in Eastern Europe, along with a show of (belated) support which is intended to make it look like they’re completely behind Georgia (but in effect is useless next to what they wanted).
This entire fiasco has been about opportunists taking advantage. Any negative sentiment between the US and Russia was already there, but there was no excuse until now. The rivalry that used to exist during the Cold War is returning as Russia’s energy exports make it more wealthy, and it is better able to challenge the status quo (that being that the US is the single world superpower and can act without oversight). With that rivalry comes the typical suspicion and mistrust, even though both countries want roughly the same thing for themselves.
The degree to which the US reaction has been entirely biased and ignores any sort of context is just confirmation that they’re responding politically, not fairly. Russia’s actions haven’t done anything to change the US government’s view of them, they’ve just allowed that government to make their view public.