Its rather ironic how the entire justification of the Cold War in the USA (and to a lesser degree Western Europe) was based on economic principle. Unfettered capitalism was held in the highest regard while any type of planned economy or society was portrayed as pure evil. The propaganda machine has such a persuasive effect on the human psyche and on common social values regardless of merit.
Now that the USSR has collapsed and capitalism been brought to the former communist lands, isn't it a bit strange how the US government quickly becomes critical when Russia starts to brew financial success? MoscowNews reports (I could not find this covered in the American press) that "U.S. National Intelligence Director John Negroponte warned Thursday that Russia is becoming a regional energy superpower. Strange, wasn't the evil alliance between King George, his "neocon" (ie. religious right, ultra conservatives), and the energy industry the thing that initiated a 300% increase in petroleum prices to start with?
This unholy alliance manipulated the free market, creating the conditions that artificially elevated oil prices, screwing the average "consumer" in America and to a lesser degree Europe who is entirely dependent on fuel prices, and consequently allowing Russia to exercise it economic muscle. Who is to blame for their increased political influence? Its a matter of market competence, pure and simple.
This just goes to show that the US never wanted peace with the former Soviet Union, it wanted unconditional surrender. When the Cold War ended, both sides were supposed to disarm, letting the massive military budgets to flow into a newly prosperous economy, stringent laws to be eased, allowing societies to become more free, and the rhetoric to ease, ensuring peaceful relations to future generations in the West. Unfortunately, the conservatives in the USA thought Gorbachevs generosity was a weakness, and have exploited the former union ever since. Is this the USA, or just another greedy country only in the game for its own selfish interests?