And, Russian state radio - either reverting to old Soviet habits or perhaps learning from the American left - is blaming Dick Cheney for starting the war in South Ossetia. The Republican Party, led by Cheney, this Pravda-esque report claims, needs this war to stop Barack Obama from being elected president. (I don't think Tom Clancy or even Dan Brown could have come up with a plot that crazy.) No possible explanation for why the Russians fell for this obvious Cheney trap is proffered.
Blaming Cheney may just seem silly but that "silly" report contains a possibly ominous clue. A political scientist close to Russian Prime Minister a.k.a. Dictator Vladimir Putin is also claiming that the U.S. is "now engineering an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia."
Georgia and Ukraine are both former republics of the Soviet Union. But the Russian bear is seen as a threat in Eastern Europe too. Their recent aggression has increased Polish fears of their old oppressors and pushed a long-stalled agreement to position an American missile defense system in Poland over the top. The Russians have reacted angrily, but so far limited that reaction to words.
The old cold war seems to be ramping back up these days. And the temperature seems to be rising steadily.
Does anybody really think that Barack Obama has the experience to handle a situation like this?