Russia Should Be Our Best Friend..

.. not our adversary. Many people mistakenly cling to the idea that the United States must continue to view Russia the way we viewed them during the Soviet era: as an aggressor nation bent on spreading Communism and dominating the world. Those ideas are as absurd as they are outdated.

Russia is large and is growing in wealth and influence, but it's still far too unstable to represent any real direct threat to Europe or America and there is no logical reason for them to pursue enmity throughout the western world, no matter what their recent statements and positions may seem to indicate. Russia merely wants to regain the stature, influence, wealth and respect that they lost during the darkness of the Soviet era. The most obvious way to be noticed is to make waves, and as long as other nations push back against Russian bluster, they'll keep doing it.

President Obama took a vital first step in the direction of creating solid relations between the US and Russia with his recent announcements regarding the ill-conceived missile-defense system in Eastern Europe. This system was intended to protect against attacks on Europe and Israel by Iran, but was opposed by Russia. Russia has no reason to throw their lot in with Iran except as a means to place themselves into the debate, and the Bush Administration's insistence on marginalizing Russia on the issue merely ensured that they would continue to work against the US, not with the US.

With their large, able population, their growing industrialization, the fervent entrepreneurialism and the vast resources Russia has in their energy reserves, Russia is sure to be a major player in the 21st century. A world led by a friendly coalition of the US and Russia would be far better than one torn apart by strife between the two. We have much more in common than we do in difference.

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