Likewise, Russia withholds support of an Iranian campaign due to the same argument found in Syria: protecting international boundary. However, one need only imagine the oil revenue Russia would reap should Israel/America begin a bombing campaign, to understand why Moscow won’t have Iran’s back until the Persian cows come home. And that’s not even considering the bubbling rivalry between Russia and Iran over holdings in the Caspian, with both countries slowly beginning a naval race for strength. (Though there is Russian room for opposition to war; there are fears of refugees racing into the Caucasus, and, should a pro-west Iran emerge, it could theoretically funnel Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan’s oil through, foregoing the Russian hegemon. A gamble either way, I suppose.) So while Russia currently opts for a peaceful, bring-talks-to-the-table path, which is, after all, what nearly 70 percent of Americans would prefer, they’re far from the Ayatollah’s largest backers. And for Romney to say they are somehow “fighting [Tehran’s] cause” is abjectly thick-skulled, and depressingly predictable.
That’s not to say the Kremlin is the chum we’ve always we wanted. (“Uncle Joe” was, unfortunately, a propagandist misnomer.) The missile defense row is ongoing. The horrors of the Northern Caucasus haven’t abated; meddling in Central Asian affairs has prevented the US from landing any firm toeholds; and the war with Georgia (even though, contra John McCain, these defenseless Georgians actually started the fighting) was a blight on both parties. Moscow runs war exercises with Venezuela, regularly bullies Ukrainian and Belorussian, and by extent, the rest of Europe’s interests, and, in Putin’s case, runs atrociously anti-American campaigns, the likes of which are regularly seen only in Tehran’s halls. And that’s not including the treatment of journalists, political opposition, or middle-class marchers plying nothing but democratic desires.
So, yeah, Moscow’s had a fair shake of anti-Washington sentiment. But to call them our number one enemy? Has Romney’s pandering really fallen this far? Has he forgotten the nuclear disarmament deals recently struck? Has he forgotten the Russia’s willingness as mediator in North Africa? Is Chinese belligerence somehow lessened? Is Iranian nuclear threat somehow forgotten? Has he not read a foreign policy piece since 1983?