Why Russia makes a lousy ally

Most of the smart set at the State Department believes that Vladmir Putin's Russia is no longer an enemy of the United States and is, in fact, an ally when it comes to the War on Terror and other related issues.

Uh-huh. And my pet cat Snowball is a Rhodes scholar.

Russia's energy minister announced a broad program of cooperation with Iran in the oil, natural gas and petrochemical industries on Wednesday that appeared to invite Russian companies to contravene sanctions the Obama administration adopted just two weeks ago.

The sanctions were meant to be an additional means of punishing Iran for refusing to unwind its secretive nuclear program after the United States was able to persuade Russia and China to agree to only limited new trade restrictions in a fourth United Nations Security Council resolution against Iran, passed in June. Australia, Canada and Europe also decided to put additional measures against Iran in place.

While clearly intended to discourage the type of investment the Russian minister discussed, the United States sanctions law provides a presidential waiver for companies in countries otherwise seen as cooperating in discouraging Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Is it something in the air in Washington that clouds the brains of our foreign policy establishment and gives them the warm and fuzzies over Russia while blinding them to Moscow's perfidy? What's the point of treating these Cossacks like friends when they undermine us on the most important issue facing the world today? Why do we pretend that their actions are friendly?

Obama's "reset" with Russia has been a one way street; we have given in on everything while Putin has gratefully accepted our concessions without lifting a finger to assist us on blocking the Iranian drive for nukes. We have remained silent in the face of their horrific violations of human rights both in Chechnya and Russia itself while meekly giving in on a host of other issues that bothered Moscow.

Where is the reciprocity? This is why Russia is a lousy ally. I actually liked them better when the Communists were in charge. At least you were clear in your mind that these guys were the enemy and should be treated as such.

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