One of the principle architects of Gorbachev's Perestroika policy, Alexander Yakovlev, has died at the age of 81. Perestroika was a great development in World Politics. The Soviet leaders (Gorbachev, Yakovlev and others) had a choice of how to respond to the rapid economic decline their state dominated economy had imposed on their people. Many at the time expected the Soviets to be increasingly bellicose (Tom Clancy even wrote a book about a desperate USSR lashing out at NATO in its death throws). Others (like Henry Kissinger and Condy Rice) thought the USSR would continue on more or less as it always had. But Gorbachev and Yakovlev had other plans and we are all the beneficiaries!
Back to today. Recently, Norwegian fishery inspectors boarded a Russian ship that was fishing in waters near the Norwegian Spitzbergen Islands and ordered it to head to a Norwegian port for a full inspection. On its way to Norway the Russian ship suddenly changed course, kidnapping the two Norwegian officials who were trapped aboard and headed for Russian waters hundreds of miles away. Norwegian coast guard ships gave chase and have attempted to snag the Russian ship's screws to stop it. Russian officials say they are cooperating. But not only are Russian not cooperating, they are sending their own naval units to intercept the Norwegian ships and prevent them from enforcing Norwegian law. Our Scandinavian visitors will probably be reminded of Soviet naval incursions into Swedish home waters, or Communist bloc naval vessels terrorizing Danish fishing ships operating in international waters in the Baltic. One is tempted to wonder what the Russian word for "pirate" is.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 4:12 PM