Americans generally continue to display symptoms of an "illusion of central position." We exhibit the greatest difficulty in imagining that foreigners like; the Russians, Egyptians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, etc. will not simply obey us once we explain our desires to them clearly. This is a bit like thinking that some woman in a bar will obey your suggestion that she leave with you if you continue to explain how wonderful you really are. That reminds me of the story of the Cowboy and the Lesbian, but, alas, that will have to wait for another occasion.
There is an endless prattling on the newsy shows of Russias's need to please us. Why? Why do they need to please us? Like most people they don't like us. We first kept them out of NATO, thereby automatically defining NATO by this action in the post Soviet world as an anti-Russian alliance. Then we recruited new members of NATO in the East. Many of these countries had been members of the Warsaw Pact or actual union republics of the USSR. Then we mocked them for a decade concerning their backwardness, poverty resulting from communism, lack of a true western identity, etc.
Now the shoe is on the other foot. The price of oil is sky high because of market action in western spot contracts and manipulation of production in the West and ME. As a result, the Russian have a lot of money. And, don't forget that they have 8,000 nuclear weapons.
Most significantly our profligate use of UAV borne attacks in Pakistan has made us dependent on Russia for the supply of our troops in Afghanistan through their country.
Who needs who? pl