Putin = Russophobia
To know Vladmir Putin, public opinion surveys clearly show, is to hate him (and all the simple-minded or just-plain-evil Russians who support him, of course).
2002 — 66%
2003 — 63%
2004 — 59%
2005 — 61%
2006 — 58%
2007 — 53%
2008 — 48%
2009 — 40%
Those are the the percentages from annual opinion polls of Americans who viewed Russia in a favorable light during Putin’s years in power since the 9/11 tragedy when America’s attention was distracted. They decline every year (except a brief anomaly in 2005) and have plummeted a breathtaking 40% while Putin has held power. A majority of Americans now have an unfavorable opinion of Russia. Both Egypt and China have higher favorability ratings among Americans than does Putin’s Russia.
If you’d like to set yourself a challenge, and you speak Russian, hop onto the Yandex search engine and just try to find an article in a major Russian publication asking what the Putin regime may have done wrong in conducting relations with the world’s only superpower and how it migtht try to set things right. You’ll likely not find a single example, even as a new American regime has come to power talking about “resetting” relations with Russia and worrying what America may have done to give offensde, and in fact you’ll have great difficulty even discovering mere factual reporting of the data set forth above, much less any criticism of the Putin regime for causing it — just one of Putin’s innumerable failures on both domestic and foreign policy fronts during his time in power.
So in fact, it may very well be that the vast majority of Russian people can’t be expected to be demanding that their government stop offending America since they don’t even know that offense is being given. But even an ape should be able to understand that choosing a proud KGB spy as Russia’s “president for life” is bound to cause great consternation in the U.S., and the people of Russia are responsible for having allowed that spy to blind them to the reality of the impact of his policies around the world.
Now, Russia stands utterly alone. It has panicked Western Europe by destabilizing gas supplies and invading Georgia and before that Chechnya. It has repulsed America by ratcheting up cold-war provocations and cracking down on civil society in Russia. It has terrified Eastern Europe to the exent of driving them to seek ballistic missile defense systems from the U.S., and now the only countries that will carry on normal relastions with Russia are rogues like Nicaragua, Syria, Venezuela and Iran.
It is truly amazing that such a short time ago Russians saw these very same policy results drive their nation, the USSR, into the dustbin of history, and yet now they are setting about doing it all over again. It is, to say the least, deranged behavior that betrays the best interests of Russia’s children.
It is, to say the most, a concerted effort at national suicide.