The recent saber rattling by the Kremlin is the beginning of the succession rhapsody. As stated in earlier postings, VVP has determined that color revolutions are best avoided by the definition of a common enemy. One day it is the Georgians, the next day the Americans, the next day the Estonians, and so on and so on. This will be a year when the Russian populace will be dragged from one ultra-patriotic xenophobic frenzy to another, as Mr. Putin, the grand director of sovereign democracy and political technology, inoculates himself from public debate (which he is a great position to win), and sets up his successor for lower temperatures and reduced tensions once the annus horribilis of 2007-2008 is just history. However the Georgians, the Americans, and the Estonians are not amused by the stabilization service they have been made to provide the Russian president, and these kinds of constructive confrontations are going to become increasingly more costly to conduct.