Saul Singer at PostGlobal

Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer, a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post, is co-author of the forthcoming book, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Middle East Quarterly, Moment, the New Leader, and bitterlemons.org (an Israeli/Palestinian e-zine). Before moving to Israel in 1994, he served as an adviser in the United States Congress to the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Banking Committees. He is also on Twitter. Close.

Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer is a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post. more »

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Back to the USSR

Russia is defending Iran’s nuclear program diplomatically, and helping to build it physically. The Russians argue that Europeans have played an even more pivotal role in paving Iran's path toward the bomb, but Europe seems to be slowly coming around to correct its mistake.

By contrast, Russia is still busy providing Iran with the missile defenses that are deployed around its nuclear sites, and will not join in an embargo even of Iran's nuclear programs, let alone the tougher sanctions that would be necessary to dissuade the mullahs.

Vladimir Putin's recent comments just reinforce the obvious: He is setting himself up as the anti-Bush, and working directly to undermine U.S. policy. It is no coincidence that Russia is becoming more dictatorial and belligerent at the same time.

Russia should be treated, if not as a pariah itself, as an active accomplice with Tehran. Bush needs to start playing hardball with his supposed friend. U.S. support for Russian membership in the World Trade Organization was a mistake, but it is not too late to deny Russia lucrative nuclear waste storage contracts and to also link cooperation on satellite launches to Russia's behavior.

Putin is an old KGB hand. His concept of how to assert Russian power is not by making Russia more democratic, prosperous, and a better global citizen, but to become a quasi-rogue state. It is not Russia that is back, but KGB-style thinking. That's a shame, primarily for Russia, but also for the rest of the world.

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