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kleinbl00  ·  228 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Butcher Builders: How Western Journalists Helped Create a Monster in Russia

Bit of a stretch to blame the kleptocracy of '90s Russia on Western press, innit? I mean, it's not like the Russians were sitting around reading the Wall Street Journal wondering what to do.

Western foreign policy? Absolutely. I mean, this is Fukuyama time, an era when of course Communism lost, it was preordained by God. Now that those wily Russkis had learned their lesson, let's go buy them. What's that? We don't know anyone? Well, I know a guy and he only wants his cut. Oh, wait. And it turns out he can have us killed. Wait. Now our factory belongs to a guy with KGB connections. Oh, right. FSB. My bad. Either way, it's a write-off and I never liked it here anyway. Back to Georgetown...

The West had a choice in Russia: colonize it and hope things worked out, or throw money at it and hope things worked out. "Throwing money at it" was what we'd done for the previous 40 years; US agriculture is heavily focused on corn, wheat, rice and potatoes because those first three? We ship 'em around the world as soft power. Colonize it? That led to the breakup of the Mongol Empire.

There could have been a "Marshall Plan II" that might have achieved a lasting democracy in Russia. There wasn't. That's a tragedy. But it has nothing to do with Western journalism.