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Judging by Your Friends…

schrank062509.gifGarry Kasparov’s column in the Wall Street Journal today expounds on the significance of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s choice of Moscow as a good place to during the electoral turmoil to prove his international legitimacy.  He argues that the alliance makes sense, as “autocrats learn from each other and from history how to hold onto power.”  Well, if we are to judge by its friends, Russia sure is not having its best week – Hugo Chavez is about to bring the sledgehammer down on a TV station, Tehran is shooting its own people, while Berlusconi, arguably Putin’s closest friend in Europe, is doing his best imitation of a Mediterranean Hugh Hefner (Alexander Stille predicted this last scandal quite a long time ago).

Yet despite all this, they all keep on winning elections.  We will see Russia copy some of these tactics, or vice versa?  More commentary on Iran to come from RA later on…