During MoscowТs seemingly endless days of smog, this Russian was thinking about his ill-fated country and how it vexes most of the world with its clumsiness, absurdity and disorder. The smog clouded not only the streets and skylines, but also the countryТs political landscape.
For the past 20 years, Russia has been all too willing to play the role of УextraФ on the U.S. stage. It wallows in crises, and it lacks a modern army or developed economy. Meanwhile, Russia has a vast territory rich in resources that the West finds very attractive.
An avalanche that buries a town starts from a single rock rolling down the mountain. It is like the single spark that sets a forest ablaze. When the avalanche is crashing down the side of the mountain, we do not spend a lot of time thinking about how it started. Our first instinct is to run away from the danger.