GFK: That's a possibility. It could also just be their 19th century territorial ambitions all over again. there's a patter in Russian history where land = security, and maybe it's not even NATO but just a perceptual thing. I don't know. I don't think Putin really has a check on his desires right now either.
GFK: Honestly, I've just given up. That's it. That's the explanation.
e.c: i feel like culturally the east loves to be bossed around ... they really dont like changing leaders
e.c: every former eastern block resident i know who is over 30 talks about how awesome soviet radio was and they start singing these crazy folk songs about farming. i mean not everyone, but enough that it seemed weird. didnt these guys murder and oppress you? why miss that?
GFK: It could be rose-colored glasses. It also could be just not knowing what the struggles of political/economic freedom are. Russia's kind of gone back and forth throughout history. If you look at the course of Russian history, there's this constant see-saw between evil strongmen and slightly more democratizing and benevolent strongmen. You'd have good Tsars and oppressive Tsars, then democracy, then communist dictatorship, then democracy, then Putin's iron fist in a velvet glove.
e.c: its weird theres not more outrage about him inside russia right now, and the only explanation i can come up with is the same reason there arent demonstrations in the streets right now here. as pissed as people are about the government getting more powerful and more secret, theyre comfy for right now and still buying stereos
e.c: but thats got to be risky too. arent they a little too intertwined with the western economy to do this kind of thing? do they really have any leverage beside something stupid like nukes?
GFK: We've bankrupted ourselves of all moral capital in the world that basically this is just their way of saying, "Fuck it, try something." What the fuck are we supposed to say back to them anyway? "Don't invade other countries on flimsy pretexts"? Pfffffffffffffff!
e.c: i dont understand why they didnt just let them take the 2 breakaway regions.... arent they almost entirely populated with russian nationalists anyway?
GFK: Me neither, but nationalism's emotional. Even if there are more Russian nationalists than Georgian nationalists, it doesn't mean the Georgians are going to stop feeling they have rights. Look at all the Hungarians in Romania. They haven't lived in Hungary since 1919, but it USED to be Hungary, so screw the fact that they're outnumbered.
e.c.: i think itd be cool if one small town went to war against another small town over rezoning, but that wont happen. i guess its because it doesnt matter as much if the place you live is pretty much just as good as the place your neighbor lives. you cant imagine ft. lauderdale going to war with miami, but i think thats because no one could tell them apart in the first place