Try not to laugh
I give everyone of those journalists credit for maintaining a poker face during those interviews. However, don't you wonder what was going on off-camera?
Now with a straight face, explain to me how Russia's international reputation is any worse than that of the United States after the Iraq WMD debacle. If, as Secretary Gates states, "the world is looking at Russia through a different set of lenses", just imagine the magnifying lens they're using to look at the US.
As for the impact on Russia's reputation referred to by Secretary Rice, apparently no one in the Bush Administration saw this 2007 interview with Garry Kasparov. I sure did.
A little earlier today, Reuters correspondent Oleg Shchedrov reported the following on the Russia-Georgia conflict:
"Washington demanded on Friday that Russia pull its troops out of Georgia 'now,' but Moscow said it would be another 10 days before the bulk of its force left Georgian soil.
In a sign of growing tension between Moscow and the West over the conflict in Georgia, a Russian news agency reported that Russia had temporarily frozen cooperation with the NATO alliance, though there was no immediate confirmation.
In some of Washington's toughest comments to date, the White House declared Russia in violation of its commitments to leave the territory of Georgia after routing Georgian forces in a war that erupted two weeks ago.
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said he could not imagine a circumstance in which the United States would engage in military-to-military cooperation with Moscow until the Georgia situation was resolved.
U.S. impatience has been growing by the day as it waits for a full-scale pullout of troops and weaponry that Russia sent into its small Caucasus neighbor two weeks ago to counter a Georgian attack on the Moscow-backed South Ossetia region.
A Reuters reporter saw a column of T-72 main battle tanks lumbering across the border from Russia into Georgia -- the first sign of heavy armor being withdrawn from Georgian soil -- but elsewhere Russian forces remained in place.
As Charles Amico noted in his blog, "We The People":
"So the Bush Administration has overplayed its hand again and has been blowing smoke at Russia in the form of bellicose language expected to threaten the Russians. Do you really believe this tactic will work? If you do, wake up."
The New Old Russia