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So, let me get this straight — Western Europe is now subservient to Russia on a scale unimaginable in the days of the cold war — all because of oil? If that is the case, and after extrapolating Ben’s convoluted logic, the good ‘ole US of A would be would be a second class citizen to the likes of Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and (Yikes!) Nigeria.p>Mr. Stein, is that cherry-flavored or carbon-based Kool-Aid in your pantry? Shouldn’t really matter, because after you hike taxes on the rich, you can upgrade to peppermint Schnapps or Amaretto and become subservient to the US Government. br> — Owen H. Carneal, Jr. br> Yorktown, Virginia /p>
Ben Stein hit the nail on the head. Western “experts” on Russia have been trying to paint a happy face on that country for decades in an effort to convince us that Russia is our friend if only we could be open minded and forget about the repression, mass murder, assassinations, and periodic invasion and intimidation of any smaller countries unfortunate enough to be close to Russia.
What’s amazing is that a smart guy like Ben Stein has just figured this out. Russia did not become a “rogue nation”: it has been one since 1917 if not earlier. The events of the 1980s and 1990s did not change that fact, only made Russia a weaker rogue. One wonders at the brilliance of Western business leaders who continued to pour investments into Russia after the financial meltdown and organized theft of the late 1990s, lured by the prospect of access to Russian oil. In the past few months, the Russian government has made moves to confiscate foreign assets in Russia’s oil industry, proving the old adage about a fool and his money.p>However, Mr. Stein is wrong about one thing. There are Europeans who will stand up to Russia. They are not to be found in London, Paris, or Berlin, however; rather look to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Georgia for moral courage. Poland has earned the ire of “old Europe” yet again by refusing to bow to Russian extortion and using its seat in the EU to force that otherwise hapless organization to confront the issue of energy security. br> — John Radzilowski br> Minneapolis, Minnesota /p>
I think Ben is being a bit paranoid about the Russians — somehow I don’t think it’s quite so bad, and one does have to look at the world through a Russian filter.
Don’t take me for a Pollyanna — I’ve been a Russian linguist now for 32 years and have read a lot of really repulsive tripe about the “new Soviet man” and why he should have dominated the planet. Too bad most of those of the left still believe it.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?