As relations between the U.S. and Russia steadily worsen, Russia's PRAVDA is running a very tough opinion feature today that clearly illustrates where bilateral relations seem to be heading. The feature views Washington as "the center of the Axis Of Evil", and is a laundry list attack on Washington and the U.S. foreign policy since Bush took office.
The PRAVDA feature includes disturbing information about a claimed incident where some Taliban fighters were placed facing Mecca and then set on fire by U.S. soldiers, and other descriptions of violence used by U.S. forces at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.
While the U.S. is hardly the "Axis Of Exil" that the PRAVDA feature claims, it is still clear that the U.S. has lost a great deal of moral authority under both Bush and Rumsfeld, and it will take years to rebuild that damaged reputation. It is also clear that U.S. and Russian relations are in a sharp decline right now.
Only seven years ago, Russia had no problem with U.S. defense plans to protect against rogue state missiles from nations like Iran. Antimissiles located in Poland or the Czech Republic were clearly aimed at preventing a trajectory from Iran towards the Washington or New York. But in this current poisoned environment of bad relations created by the collapse of morality in some parts of the current U.S. foreign policy under Bush and Rumsfeld, Russia views everything in the prism of deep suspicion.
Relations are only likely to worsen with Russia before they improve. But it's likely relations will not completely fall off any cliff, although a dangerous new arms race is being fueled by these new tensions. Only the replacement of Bush in 2008 will likely mark the beginning of any uptick in relations, if that is to be. PRAVDA's feature reflects the miserable state of Washington-Moscow relations today.
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