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27 5, 6:07am
My heart goes out for you and everyone who was born in Russia during the Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, and Gorbachev years. What many Americans and Europeans don't understand is that what Russia went through in the 1990s was three to six times what the US went through in the Great Depression. That's DEVASTATING. It was a minor miracle (and did we ever have the President for the job!) that the US didn't fall to either communism or fascism in the 1930s. I cannot fathom the economic damage you had to witness under the guise of "free market/democracy". No wonder y'all would embrace Putin after the mess Yeltsin left you!
Re: "teaching Russians how to do business" -- I apologize, I wasn't insinuating anything about the Russian people's ability to learn "how to capitalism", so to speak -- but more helping smooth over the rough patches for lifelong lower-level party-member bureaucrat types who in the USSR would have likely found themselves quite alienated by the new economic system and perhaps thrown into the unemployment line as the role of government in the economy slowly shrank.
We could have picked y'all up and helped you like we did with West Germany and Japan in the 40s and 50s... instead we "spiked the ball". Part of me believes had we kept Bush in office in '92 things would have turned out far better for Russia than Clinton, who wasn't a "bad" president per se but did not have the vision that Truman and Ike did in terms of rebuilding a potential new ally. Not to mention -- when 9/11 would have happened, we'd have had a VERY strong ally willing to crush radical Islamic extremism with us. What a shame.
Ah! You're in Armenia? I hear that's a pretty place. I'll be honest, all I really know about it is System of a Down :P