Putin Thumbing His Nose at U.S. Efforts to Stop Iran's Nukes

Last week, the foreign policy architecture of the United States collapsed in truly spectacular fashion.

First, Russia announced it would sign an energy road map with Iran, ushering in a whole new era of cooperation and empowerment, though the ink was barely dry on the Obama administration’s attempt to impose sanctions with teeth on the crazed Islamic dictatorship in order to halt the weaponization of its nuclear prowess. Simultaneously, and seemingly with glee, Russia announced Iran was near to possession of a nuclear bomb. Russia said it was backing away from its promise to observe even the de minimus sanctions against Iran to which it had only just agreed. The notion of selling missiles to Iran, for instance, was back on the table.

Then, as if to prove those who could not imagine Russia doing anything more horrifying were small thinkers, Russia banned together with China to defuse and deflate the world’s attempt to respond to a naked act of aggression by North Korea. That crazed despotic regime was soon hailing the world’s limp response to the sinking of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan as a great victory.”

American values also faced a massive new onslaught in Russia. The government enacted a new law giving the successor to the KGB the power to arrest and intern opposition figures for up to two weeks in prison without charges, another statute that cripples efforts to organize public protests. Also, the Supreme Court permitted the state to shut down any website that publishes comments offensive to the regime and rendered officials in the administration immune from prosecution or suit for human rights offenses. Painters and writers are facing criminal charges simply for engaging in their art.