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“We were once weak, but now we are strong”

KAL_economist082808.jpg Illustration by KAL, Economist (source) Dan Fried is right to poke some holes in this dominant Russian narrative, which of course feeds into the portrayal of the country as a “victim” which Bob so often talks about, but this seems like a hard sale. Perhaps the more proper narrative should come from Washington: “once we were strong, but now we are weaker, and can’t do much to change the concrete reality on the ground in the Caucasus.” Then again, Fried is one of those U.S. officials that likes to feign confusion over Russia’s opposition to the missile shield. From the Washington Post:

“There is a Russia narrative that ‘we were weak in the ’90s, but now we are back and we are not going to take it anymore.’ But being angry and seeking revanchist victory is not the sign of a strong nation. It is the sign of a weak one,” said Daniel Fried, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. “Russia is going to have to come to terms with the reality it can either integrate with the world or it can be a self-isolated bully. But it can’t be both. And that’s a choice Russia has to have,” Fried said.