When black Dutch players received their Jim Crow-inspired welcome in Krakow last week, we were shocked, stunned, and depressed -- but hardly surprised. This stuff ain't new in that part of the world. Meanwhile a portion of the 10,000 Russian fans who have bought tickets will be holding a march from central Warsaw to the stadium. Poles view it as "provocative." Can you really blame them?
The Soviet Union once sought to intimidate, undermine, influence, subvert, exploit, deceive, penetrate, and dominate every country it had dealings with -- friendly or otherwise. It was paranoid and paralyzed by its dependence on the secret police. But today, the best course of action with Russia is to leave the damn country alone.
Three subsequent important prime ministers -- Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien and Stephen Harper -- invested their energies cleaning up the wreckage left by Pierre Trudeau. Finally, nobody speculates any more about Canada defaulting on its debt, or splitting apart, or being isolated from all its major allies.