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#12 - JRL 8399 - JRL Home
Subject: RE: 8396-Kraus/Open Letter
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2004
From: "Celeste Wallander" <CWallander@csis.org>

A brief thought from St. Petersburg (contrary to Mr. Kraus' error-filled opinion piece, at least some of the signatories set foot quite often in Russia and know the country and its politics well): I find it always very revealing when an opinion piece attacks the persons who write or argue something with which they disagree, rather than trying to engage the argument itself.

I would also like to point out that I do not see anything wrong (as a citizen of the US, which is itself a member of NATO and the transatlantic community) with a set of citizens offering their analysis and opinion on developments in Russia (or any other country) as part of the process of informing the foreign policy of our country(ies). That is a legitimate, and indeed necessary, part of the democratic process. Russians are themselves responsible for their policy and politics (a point which Mr. Kraus might himself ponder as he writes for the Moscow Times, ironically, which is a publication for the expat community and offers plenty of advice and analysis on Russia), but the citizens of the United States are responsible for our country's policy toward and relations with Russia. If that makes me a useful idiot, I guess its just the price of the democratic process.