-- America colluded with Azerbaijan and Georgia to build a Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline to transmit Caspian Sea oil across the Caucasus to the Black Sea and Turkey, cutting Russia out of the action.
-- In 1999, the United States bombed Serbia 78 days to punish her for fighting to hold her cradle province of Kosovo, which Muslim Albanians were tearing away. Orthodox Russia had long seen herself as protectress of the Balkan Slavs. That Clinton ignored Russia in launching this unprovoked war on Serbia was seen in Moscow as proof that Russian concerns had become irrelevant in Washington.
-- After helping dump over the government in Belgrade, our Neocomintern -- the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House and other fronts -- interfered in Ukraine and Georgia, helping oust pro-Moscow regimes and install pro-American ones. Since then, NED has been run out of Belarus and its subsidiaries are about to get the boot from Moscow.
Can we blame the Russians for being angry? How would we react to left-wing NGOs in Washington, flush with Moscow oil money, aiding elements hostile to the Bush administration?
-- The United States has been constantly hectoring Russia on backsliding from democracy. But compared to Beijing, Moscow is Montpelier, Vt. And why, if the Cold War is over, are Russia's political arrangements any of our business?
If we don't like the way Putin treats Mikhail Khorokovsky, Boris Berezovksy and the other "oligarchs" who robbed Russia blind in the 1990s, maybe Putin doesn't like how we treated Martha Stewart.
Harry Truman is often blamed for having started the Cold War. He didn't. Stalin did. But Clinton, George W. and the neocons have a strong claim to having started the second. A first order of business of the next president should be to repair the damage this crowd has done -- and to get out of Russia's face.