Secular Blasphemy has an interesting post on the new (or not so new) alliance between Syria, Iran and Russia. He sees Russia (Putin) looking beyond the War on Terror to the continuing game of global power struggle, in which Russia would naturally make Iran its ally against a US which is currently picking up the other Middle Eastern marbles, such as they are. I think SB has a point, but it makes me wonder how smart Putin actually is. (I know he’s tough.) I think he may be mired in a paranoid Byzantine mindset that sees the world as continuous East-West struggle. He cannot envision other. Of course, there is a strong argument to be made that this is a disastrous approach for his people. Unfortunately, they are used to it.