Rewarding Bad Behavior

This characteristically bombastic Washington Times editorial argues that Europe’s response, and especially that of Germany, to Russia’s invasion of Georgia has been seen as rewarding of bad behavior – confirming Russia’s claim to its sphere of influence. I wonder if Germany has thought that this “sphere” may include East Berlin…

Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev have demonstrated that the West is powerless to protect Russia’s neighbors. Mrs. Merkel stated that the plan to include Georgia and Ukraine in NATO provoked Russian aggression in August. Instead, the German leader should ponder whether the provocation emanated from her decision in April to kowtow to Russian demands – behavior which emboldened Moscow to act against Georgia. If Mrs. Merkel’s logic is sound, then, in light of her rejection of the NATO bid, Russian troops should withdraw completely from South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Yet it is more likely that recent Western weakness will serve to only further whet Russia’s appetite for dominating its neighbors.