Saturday, February 28, 2009

Russia Plays Chicken With West

Last week a Russian bomber buzzed Canadian Arctic airspace only a day before U.S. President Obama's visit to Ottawa.

Russia has been increasingly aggressive in its military posturing in all its neighboring territories in the last couple of years. The move signals a possible attempt by Russia to regain Cold War era prominence. A plunging economy and internal turmoils have sidelined Russia on the world stage since embracing capitalism. Now Russia has been growing increasingly hardline and authoritarian with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin poised to appoint himself president for life.

Canada chased the Russian bomber off with a pair of CF-18 fighter jets but were alarmed that Russian failed to notify them of the flight beforehand. Russia's back and forth response with Canada was like two children on the playground.
Can: You did not inform us that you would be flying near our airspace before you took off.
Rus: Who us? Did too.
Can: Did not.
Rus: Did too. You calling us liars?
Can: We had to find out from NORAD.
That's a nice way of saying: "Yes, you're lying, and we all know you're lying but we don't come out and say that in polite company."

The aggravating factor is that President Obama was coming to town the next day, so the incident can be percieved as a veiled threat against the United States as well. Whether or not you like the President or his politics, if you mess with POTUS, you're messing with all of us. Despite our current troubles, we still have the biggest stick around -- so watch out or we'll beat you up at the bike rack after school!

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