August 11, 2008

Putin Derangement Syndrome

Over on the Foreign Policy blog, Blake Hounshell has a theory of everything:

? Georgia can’t join NATO until it is stable
? Russia doesn’t want Georgia to join NATO
? Ergo, Russia will destabilize Georgia

The policy had the added bonus of revenge for the Western powers’ recognition of Kosovo and it cast doubts on the wisdom of using Georgia as an energy corridor. Plus, it puts the United States in an awkward position and exposes American backing of Georgia as not worth a damned thing. For Putin, it’s a quadruple play.

Hounshell seems to be suffering from ?Putin Derangement Syndrome,? a common affliction among ?Washington consensus? journalists (sometimes occurring simultaneously with the better-known Bushian strain.) Symptoms include delusions that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is not simply a totalitarian dictator at home but a super-genius strategist in foreign affairs?if anything unusual happens in his part of the world, it?s all part of one of his wicked schemes for more Power. 

Hounshell writes that he?s ?still sorting out the claims and counterclaims about who fired the first shots in South Ossetia.? Well, he seems to be the only one confused. I don’t know anyone disputing that Gerogian President Saakashvili struck first.

But of course, facts don?t have much of an effect on PDS sufferers: ?[G]iven Putin’s brutal logic, this war was probably going to happen one way or another?it was just a question of when.?

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