Hey Ruskies

I see that Cindy McCain is also referring to Alaska’s proximity to Russia — “Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia” — as a way of explaining why Sarah Palin would be as successful as George W. Bush (Texas is close to Mexico!) in terms of managing U.S. foreign policy. So I assume that the Alaska-Russia “thing” is now a Republican talking point. 

 You’ll be interested to know that only three weeks ago, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice warned Russia that it was playing “a very dangerous game” by resuming Cold War-era strategic bomber patrols close to the Alaskan coast.

Rice said Russia has raised questions about its place in the international community through the invasion and other actions, including the resumption last year for the first time since the 1991 collapse of the former Soviet Union of air patrols near the Alaskan coast by Tu-95 strategic bombers, code-named Bears by NATO.

“We’ve had Russian strategic aviation challenging in ways they haven’t, even along our borders with the United States, which I might note is a very dangerous game and perhaps one that I suggest the Russians want to reconsider. This is not one that is cost-free,” Rice said.

Since the flights resumed in August 2007, U.S. and Canadian fighters have intercepted the Russian bombers and escorted them away from the U.S. coast.

U.S. officials have previously attached little real significance to the flights by the turboprop-powered Cold War relics, and defense officials said Monday recent flights did not provoke concerns within the Pentagon.

Russian bombers also have gone into neutral airspace near Norway and over U.S. aircraft carriers in the Pacific.

Rice said, however, that the Alaska patrols and the invasion of Georgia contradicted Russia’s stated desire for political and economic integration into the global community.

Sounds to me that Alaksa will soon join Georgia and Ukraine as another front in the evolving U.S.-Russia confrontation that the McCain-Scheunemann team is helping to provoke. So is McCain by selecting Palin sending a message to both Senator Ted Stevens and Vladimir Putin?

After reading about McCain’s modus operandi that won’t surprise me at all. In fact, I can imagine these two guys congragulating each other after Palin’s selection and even calling their mutual friend Misha, and expressing their hope that Putin was really, really angry that McCain’s running-mate was the governor of an oil-rich and strategically located territory that had belonged to Russia not long ago. Now what do you think about that, Vlad?