During the cold war it was the USSR (15 states ruled by the communist government dominated by Russia) that had a secretive, imperialistic state with objectives to assimilate and control more wealth. It fully needed to, inefficiency set in as a tradition of cheating the hated state was blurred by winter vodka consumption and death due to a crippled infrastructure. What goes one the most is that the world protects its corners which the center is full of hopeless and staring people, but when a government is involved in food production, then it all goes to hell. So our adventures into socialist caring are limited and tempered by a times when the economic engine can be stoked and capital accumulated in corners.
Putin’s invitation to think is a voice that should be heeded. Putin is the most sophisticated politician in the world today, now that Tony Blair is most probably a spent force. His words, if they do result in thinking in the Democratic nomination universe, are an endorsement for Barack Obama perhaps. John Howard, the Prime Minister of Australia, attacks Barack Obama for saying that he would withdraw troops from Iraq. The Democrats will not elect Barack Obama, unless he solves Iraq before the election. He probably will try.
In the meantime, when will George Bush define what “winning” in Iraq means?