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Why Russia backs Iran

"Our advice to our Iranian colleagues and friends is to complete work with the International Atomic Energy Authority and to calmly continue its nuclear energy programme... and on this path we are ready to provide assistance to Iran," Sergei Kislyak, the Deputy Foreign Minister, told a security conference in Moscow.

The Russian rulers see America as darkly plotting to weaken Russia when the American government hardly knows where to put its feet and hands. And the bombing of the Serbs was not based on some kind of anti-Slav campaign.

The Russian rulers lock up the best of the bunch of semi-demi-hemi-bankers in the semibankirshchina, the one who actually wanted to do political good with his Lukos money, and now one wonders, after his being slashed, whether he will ever get out alive.

The Russian rulers view the world as a series of overlapping or intersecting conspiracies, with Russia as the target, when everyone in the Western world, if it bothers to think of Russia at all, wishes it would come to its senses.

The Russian rulers think that they can win friends among those who run the Islamic Republic of Iran, and that this, somehow, will sate rather than whet the Muslim ambitions in the Caucasus; they are willing to throw not only Israel to the wolves, but Armenia and Georgia as well.

The Russian rulers are not keeping track of demographic trends in Russia itself -- even in Moscow itself. Just look around. Who will be left to read Konyok-Gorbunok to the children? Who will be left in a century to recite from "Evgeniy Onegin" -- a distinctly un-Islamic book, by that most thoroughly un-Islamic of writers, Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin?

The American government was stupid, in the way that it regarded Islam as a "bulwark against Communism." It no longer does that, but it still has a long way to go. And now the Russian government is stupid, for it is beginning to view Islam as a "bulwark against America." Or at least its policies suggest that such idiocies are wandering the halls, and even being admitted to the reception rooms, of the Kremlin.