Roger L. Simon

Medvedev in Havana: So you wanted to be President, Mr. Obama

Joe Biden was wrong when he predicted that Obama would be tested by our enemies within six months.  Seemingly only ten minutes after his election, and long before his inauguration, a resurgent Russia is on the move, first by stating it would put missiles in Kalinin, now by their president revealing his intention to visit Cuba and Venezuela — a symbolic, though still obviously small scale, reconstitution of the USSR.

Would this have happened if McCain were elected?  I doubt it, because, regardless of the reality, that would have sent a signal that America would remain vigilant. Now, especially to the Russians, the opposite message has been sent.

I am not completely surprised they are testing this almost immediately. I know this sounds pompous, but I  have some inkling of how they think.  I have twice spent time in the Soviet Union with Russian writers and visited once after the break up and the introduction of their brand of capitalism. The differences were not as great as the similaritis).   Despite the works of Chekhov, the Russians, particularly at the leadership level, have little interest in nuance.  Russian life is very tough (considerably beyond anything in our normal existence) and a continual struggle.  Everything is based on power relationships.  You give an inch, the other will take it.  (Ever been on line in a Russian market? It’s not Westminister.) Anyway, I wish Mr. Obama luck, for all our sakes.  He is now living in the  land of “Be careful what you wish for.”