The Israeli media is reporting the Russia has negotiated the use of port facilities in the Syrian city of Tarsus, intending to establish a base for Mediterranean operations for its Black Sea fleet.  It also sent two Tupelov long range bombers to Caracas last Wednesday on a friendly visit and will carry out both naval and air defense maneuvers with the Venezuelan armed forces in November.  It is the first foray by Russian bombers into the Western hemisphere since the collapse of the Soviet Union more than fifteen years ago. 

One might reasonably assume that Moscow is plenty pissed off about willy-nilly NATO expansion, the basing of US missiles in Poland, and the American condemnation of the fighting in Georgia, which the Russians seem to know was started by the Georgians even if the White House and US media have not yet grasped that salient point.  Provoking the bear did not have to happen and would seem to be against the US national interest.  A new Cold War will benefit no one but defense contractors, but it appears that there are many in Washington who are welcoming the prospect.  They call themselves neocons and they are deeply entrenched in the McCain foreign policy team.  And by the way, most of the money that supports their think tanks and academic chairs comes from defense contractors.  It all sounds familiar.