Ezra Klein worries that the Washington Post is stirring up Russophobia:
There are three Russia stories in today’s paper. The one painting Putin as an authoritarian dictator in on A1. The story suggesting the country is tentatively moving towards internal political reforms is on A12. And the reporting on Russia’s apparent willingness to pressure Iran on the nuclear issue — which is, of course, a top priority of America’s — is on A13. So why is the Washington Post straining to paint such a dark picture of Russia, and burying the stories that conflict with the narrative, even as they have more relevance to American priorities?
If in fact Putin has finally gotten worried that his efforts to help Iran acquire nuclear weapons might have bad consequences, of course I’m delighted. But I doubt that what seems to be a small and ambiguous blip in Russo-Iranian relations is as important to the United States as the slow slide of quasi-democratic and inward-looking Russia back toward the Evil Empire: tyrannical internally, genocidal in Chechnya, and aggressive toward its neighbors.
If you want to see the real face of Putin’s Russia, look at the face of Victor Yushchenko, before and after his poisoning by the GSB, alias KGB.
I would criticize the press more for being slow to report this story than for reporting it now. The Democrats shouldn’t let the country forget that GWB, having looked into Putin’s soul, mostly watched benignly as his soulmate restored secret-police state in a country that still has a very large stock of nuclear weapons aimed at our cities.