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The Velvet Hammer

Pat me on the back for welcoming Russia into the West before Krauthammer did. Then pat Krauthammer on the back for doing it with for more skill, understanding, and grace than this site could ever muster.

The Russians are not angry. They are simply hurt. And they were quite humiliated when we were preparing to unilaterally cut our nukes without even asking them for a quid pro quo. In the end, we acceded to Russia's paradoxical request and allowed it to give us that quid pro quo. Hence the Moscow treaty just signed by Presidents Bush and Putin.

It was a wise concession to Russian sensibilities. The agreement was three pages, shorter than your average high school term paper. It cost us nothing. And it gave Putin a magnificent signing ceremony and a place at the table. Even better, Putin and Bush then traveled to Italy and signed an agreement creating a strong Russia-NATO Council -- another milestone in easing Russia into the sphere of the West.

Of course, why bother with excerpts when you