It appears, but is not fully clear, that Iceland has been negotiating a $4 billion dollar loan from Russia after Iceland was forced to nationalize its second largest bank under emergency legislation. So far this has received scarce news attention. But, as one of my friends pointed out to me yesterday, Russia coming to the aid of a NATO member state whose national security had been outsourced to the U.S. (the U.S. had troops stationed in Iceland until 2006) shows just how much the U.S. has lost its authority in the world.
An alleged aspect of the deal is that Russia would get a 99 year lease on the airport that was the former U.S. airbase. Last night, John McCain assured us in the presidential debate that there would be no new Cold War with Russia, but half way between Europe and North America, smack in the middle of the North Atlantic, it feels like the weather may have just taken an icy turn.
A note to Sarah Palin: Iceland is on the other side of Russia, the side that doesn’t have a narrow maritime border with Alaska, the side that is closer to Washington, DC.