we are dealing with a return to what might be a far more normal relationship between the West and Russia. Russia is what it is that we see. It's not dressed up in its birthday costume. It is what it is. It regards its national interests as important enough to fight for. And the difference on the whole Ukraine situation is that the Russians are prepared to fight for their position on Ukraine, and the West is not.
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Matt Drudge's role in the Monica Lewinski scandal] strikes me as a new and graphic power of the Internet to influence mainstream journalism. And I suspect that over the next couple of years that impact will grow to the point where it will damage journalism's ability to do its job professionally, to check out information before publication, to be mindful of the necessity to publish and broadcast reliable, substantiated information.
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Vladimir Putin is a Russian czar. He's kind of a mix of Peter the Great and Stalin. He's got both in his veins. And he looks out first and foremost for the national security interests of Russia. He accepts that, in Eastern Europe, that is a Russian backyard, that is a Russian sphere of influence. Ukraine lives most uncomfortably and unhappily in a Russian backyard.
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Putin never wanted all of Ukraine. He wanted for historical purposes to take Crimea. He did. Then he wanted a part of Ukraine that he could always use to advance Russian interests. And he is now at a point where nobody in the West is shouting, hey, stop. Give us back Crimea. It's all accepted. And so he has won.
Putin is a despot, and he's a very good despot. And he will see things in a narrow way. What is good for Russia? That is what he will do. If that's represented by a move toward the Baltic, that would be very dangerous, but he would do it, on the assumption that he would ask himself the question: I am prepared to fight for Estonia. Is the United States? Is Germany? Is Britain, France?