John Schroeder at Blogotional, who enjoys the good fortune of being on a cruise with Hugh Hewitt, posts comments today on the question of Russia's future and potential importance (for good or ill) in the world. Hugh responds here.
I've been increasingly pessimistic myself about Russia. We Americans, with our relatively short history, often don't comprehend the power of European national tradition and culture, which are stubbornly resistant to change and have been so for a thousand years or more. I agree with John that Russia is a problem waiting to get worse. My optimistic side hopes that the Russian people will gradually become more freedom-loving; if that happens, democracy will have a decent chance and so will a peaceful Russia. My realistic side sees that as, well, too optimistic.