Nothing Left to Say about Russia’s Dictatorship

Today the New York Times is running a rather unremarkable editorial on Russia, which seems to suggest that the newspaper has nothing left to say about this new authoritarian state.

President Bush, and soon his successor, will have to come to terms with the authoritarian Russia that is — not the democratic Russia that recent American administrations had hoped would take root after Communism. They will have to deal pragmatically with the realities of Russian power, as the Nixon and George H.W. Bush administrations once did, seeking cooperation when possible over issues like Iran, Kosovo and arms control. And, as in the Carter and Reagan administrations, America will need to champion Russia’s persecuted democrats, journalists and other embattled minorities: amplifying their voices and calling international attention to the very real dangers they face. Descending back into cold war rhetoric and reflexes will not help anyone. But neither will pretending that Mr. Putin and his allies are people of good will and democratic intentions.