Here's another resounding success of the Bush Doctrine. Erm, not so much (italics mine):
"It's like the good old days," Oleg Mikhailishchin, a pilot in camouflage uniform, told reporters during a rare visit by foreign media to the Engels base last month, before the war with Georgia further raised tensions with the West. More than 20 Tu-160 and Tu-95 bombers could be seen on the runway near the Volga River at this once top-secret base, where the two Tu-160 "White Swan" planes that landed in Venezuela on Wednesday flew from.
Russia is also dispatching a nuclear cruiser and other warships and planes to the Caribbean for the joint exercises with Venezuela, seen as a direct rebuff to the United States in the first such deployment since the Cold War....
His comments contrasted with the numerous complaints from Western countries since the resumption of Russian bomber patrols, including in February this year when Japan accused the Russian bombers of violating its airspace.
Kostyunin, who once piloted long-range bombers in the Baltic states during the Cold War, said: "It is a symbol of power but also a symbol of goodwill... The more you know about us, the more you'll love and respect us."
I'm feeling the love. How about you? What's awful about this is all of the chicken hawks who really are looking to get their war on will react to this crap, and encouraged more costly saber rattling. Am I the only one who remembers that, after the Cold War ended, we were supposed to receive our peace dividend?
Of course, I'm sure McCain would solve the problem by telling Putin to cut the bullshit. That will work....
I think the peace dividend got blown on unfocused empire building attempts.
The Russian government amuses and scares me in equal measures. They scare me because they are now doing what the US did and what countless powers have done previously - flexing their national muscles.
They amuse me because unlike many of their immediate predecessors (including themselves as the USSR) they don't really seem bothered about pretending they're not.