Monday, April 20, 2009

Is it the Good Russia, or the Bad One?

Mr. Rogers recently returned from his spring break visit intelligence trip to Russia with some amazing news:  they have a better business plan than we do.
"Why is it I had to go all the way to Moscow to hear a good idea on turning the economy around?" Rogers said.
Hmm.  A quick Google search of "Russian economy" shows a country facing slumping oil prices, an overvalued ruble, a central bank rate of 12%, a 13.5% inflation rate, and international currency reserves that have plunged by $200 billion in just six months.  

Perhaps if Mr. Rogers had spent a bit more of his time in Washington listening -- rather than reflexively saying no to protecting children from tobacco and reducing carbon emissions -- he wouldn't have had to go all the way to Moscow. 
Russia didn't receive the same admiring words from Mike Rogers last month, though, when he co-signed a letter criticizing President Obama's attempts to engage Russia in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons:
Over the last year, as you know, Russia has pursued a divisive policy to re-exert its Soviet-era sphere of influence. During this time, Russia invaded Georgia, intimidated other nations from joining NATO, and threatened to target Eastern Europe with nuclear missiles should the proposed European missile defense sites be built. Further, amidst a global economic crisis, Russia has disrupted shipments of natural gas to Europe for the second time in three years. Most recently, Russia used financial incentives to persuade Kyrgyzstan to deny the U.S. access to its Manas military base in order to support coalition operations in Afghanistan.
Does Mr. Rogers really think that this is a country we should emulate?

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