12/15/2004|||110310850271432539||||||THAT OLD RUSSIAN BEAR
Visiting Moscow, Anne Applebaum (registration required) finds that imperial attitudes linger on, even among the young. The West is still the enemy, minds are still locked into the Stalinist past:
"...[A]ny country's history contains possible sources of national pride and possible sources of embarrassment. Americans do identify with their country's military prowess but are not proud of the damage their Army did to Vietnamese villages. Americans brag about their traditions of civil liberties but are embarrassed by the Japanese internment camps during World War II. However much distaste you may have for some of the excesses of American nationalism or some of the ugly things that have happened in American history, imagine what the United States would be like if those preferences were reversed. And in Russia, they are in effect reversed. Instead of promoting pride in the bravery of Soviet human rights activists, or recalling the pre-revolutionary tradition of Russian liberalism, President Vladimir Putin continues to identify himself as a "chekist"...
"Russia is now almost the only Eastern European country that does not perceive NATO and the European Union as forces for stability and prosperity, and the first that does not welcome the prospect of having longer borders with countries that are members. When Germany was reunited and the borders of "Western" Europe moved closer, Poles were delighted. When the Poles started negotiating with the European Union, the Baltic states agitated to be let in, too. In large part, the demonstrators on the streets of Kiev are motivated by their desire to join these same Western clubs. Only Russians, trapped in their belief that Western civilization poses a threat to their own, persist in believing otherwise."
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2004/12/that-old-russian-bear-visiting-moscow.html|||12/15/2004 10:49:00 am|||||||||