I am shocked at the thought that this story might be true. It tells us that the Russians are preparing to challenge the soon-to-be President Barack Obama by basing warheads near Poland in the event that the Obama Administration goes forward with the Bush Administration’s plans for a missile defense shield and that the Israelis vehemently oppose his plans to negotiate with Iran.

All of this is, of course, quite surprising. I was led to understand that if we elected Barack Obama President of the United States, “America’s soft power [would be] ratcheted up not a notch, but a logarithm.” Looks like that’s not the case and that the identity of a single, solitary President-elect of the United States will not be enough to overcome the clash of nation-state interests and the tensions that arise as a result. Who saw that coming?!?!

Well, lots of people. And one wonders whether Andrew Sullivan might have seen it coming if only he bothered to wrap his mind around important issues, rather than engaging in endless and embarrassing speculation over whether Sarah Palin really is Trig Palin’s mother.