And Russia and Putin are easy targets. In America, our story line goes much like this: After the Cold War ended, the United States benevolently showered Russia with assistance, acceptance into the G-8 talkshop of industrial democracies, and "experts" on creating a democracy (I was on one of those trips), but the Russian people let the dour Vladimir Putin ruin our efforts to export democracy there by re-instituting autocratic rule. Americans feel rejected, because the Russians just didn't want to be like us. And with our usual assumed benevolence, we just don't understand why Russia is behaving in a "20th century manner," by annexing Crimea and funneling training and weapons to Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, when the rest of the world, including America, has moved on to a new era in the next millennium. Americans -- always very ahistorical, even more so with the advent of 24-7-365 cable "news" -- have amnesia about any role the United States might have had in bringing U.S.-Russian relations to their current sad state of affairs.
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