Letter to the Editor(2)
It is unfortunate that Ira Straus takes arguments over ideas as personal attacks while at the same time engaging in long-distance psychological analyses of those who disagree with him. Without repeating or revisiting all the arguments, let me just say that we have a fundamental disagreement over Russia. He evidently believes that America and Russia can be permanent allies because Russia has discarded its imperial impulses, is building a democratic state, and wants to cooperate with America in resolving international crises. My contention is that Russia is a faltering democracy whose imperial impulses have been revived under Putin and which views the US as a long-term competitor for power, influence, and control on the international stage. Unlike Straus, I am not going to patronizingly speculate about his childhood or psychological makeup, his ethnic origins, or his emotional stability, in order to explain why he takes Putin at face value. I prefer to deal with evidence and reality rather than suppositions and speculations.