Generally I’m pretty restrained in my admiration for Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times. But I’ll make an exception in the case of today’s column, buried behind the usual pay-to-play wall. He jumps with both feet on one of Clinton’s major, major, major foreign policy blunders — continuing Poppa Bush’s idiot policy of containing Russia once Gorbachev had dissolved the Soviet Union.
Anyone with the brains of a turnip would done the opposite — would have welcomed Russia into NATO rather than spitting in the face of a proud and wouded nation in possession of a major portion of the world’s oil and nuclear weapons. Here’s Friedman on this painfully obvious point:
After the end of the cold war and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, the Bush I and Clinton administrations decided to build a new security alliance — an expanded NATO — and told Russia it could not be a member…
I got an earful on this from Russians. “NATO expansion was not necessary,” Vladimir Ryzhkov, one of the last liberal Duma members who is ready to openly criticize the Putin government, said to me: “In the current world, Russia is not a military danger for any neighbor. It was the wrong concept. You need another architecture.”