Who Lost Russia?

By 1988,

Ronald Reagan
, who had

branded the Soviet Union "an

evil empire
was striding through Red Square
arm-in-arm with

Mikhail Gorbachev
. Russians were pounding both men
on the back.

They had just signed the greatest arms reduction
agreement in history—eliminating all Soviet SS-20s
targeted on Europe, in return for removal of the

Pershing and cruise missiles
Reagan had

in Europe.

"Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young
was very heaven!"
wrote Wordsworth about his
first hearing the news of the fall of the Bastille.

Many of us felt that way then.

Within three years, the

Berlin Wall had come down
, the puppet regimes of
Eastern Europe had been swept away, Germany was
reunited, the Red Army had gone home, the Soviet Empire
had vanished and the Soviet Union had broken up into 15
nations. The Baltic republics were free. Ukraine was

Yet, on the eve of the G-8 summit,
Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia would re-target
missiles on NATO.
We must, he said, counter Bush`s
decision to put anti-missile missiles in Poland and
radars in the Czech Republic.

Why are we doing this?

The United States says the ABM system in Europe is to
defend against an Iranian attack. But Tehran has no atom
bomb and no ICBM.

We appear to be headed for a second Cold War—and, if
we are, responsibility will not fully rest with the
Kremlin. For among those who have mismanaged the
relationship are presidents Clinton and Bush II, the
baby boomers who appear to have kicked away the fruits
of a Cold War victory won by their Greatest Generation

How did they do it?

  • When the Red Army went home
    from Eastern Europe, the United States, in violation
    of an understanding with Moscow, began to move NATO
    east. We have since brought into our military
    alliance six former members of the Warsaw Pact and
    three former provinces of the Soviet Union:
    Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

  • Anti-Russia hawks are now
    pushing to bring Ukraine and Georgia into NATO. If
    they succeed, we could be dragged into future
    confrontations with a nuclear-armed Russia about who
    has sovereignty over the Crimea and whether South
    Ossetia should be part of Georgia.

Are these vital U.S. interests

worth risking a war?
Why are we moving a U.S.-led
military alliance into the front yard and onto the side
porch of a country with thousands of nuclear weapons?
Would we accept any commensurate Chinese or Russian move
in the Caribbean?

  • After Moscow gave us a green
    light to use the former Soviet republics of Central
    Asia to base U.S. forces for the

    Afghan war
    , the United States has sought
    permanent bases there. Russia and China have now
    united to throw us out of their back yard.

  • America colluded with
    Azerbaijan and Georgia to build a
    Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline to transmit Caspian Sea
    oil across the Caucasus to the Black Sea and Turkey,
    cutting Russia out of the action.

  • In 1999, the United States
    bombed Serbia 78 days to

    punish her for fighting
    to hold her cradle
    province of Kosovo, which

    Muslim Albanians
    were tearing away. Orthodox
    Russia had long seen herself as protectress of the
    Balkan Slavs. That Clinton ignored Russia in
    launching this unprovoked war on Serbia was seen in
    Moscow as proof that Russian concerns had become
    irrelevant in Washington.

  • After helping dump over the
    government in Belgrade, our

    —the National Endowment for
    Democracy, Freedom House and other fronts—interfered
    in Ukraine and Georgia, helping oust pro-Moscow
    regimes and install pro-American ones. Since then,
    NED has been run out of Belarus and its subsidiaries
    are about to get the boot from Moscow.

Can we blame the Russians for being angry? How would
we react to left-wing NGOs in Washington, flush with
Moscow oil money, aiding elements hostile to the Bush

  • The United States has been
    constantly hectoring Russia on backsliding from
    democracy. But compared to Beijing, Moscow is

    Montpelier, Vt.
    And why, if the Cold War is
    over, are Russia`s political arrangements any of our

If we don`t like the way Putin treats Mikhail
Khorokovsky, Boris Berezovksy and the other

robbed Russia blind
in the 1990s, maybe Putin
doesn`t like how we treated

Martha Stewart

Harry Truman
is often blamed for having started the
Cold War. He didn`t.

did. But Clinton, George W. and the

have a strong claim to having started the
second. A first order of business of the next president
should be to repair the damage this crowd has done—and
to get out of Russia`s face.



Patrick J. Buchanan

no introduction
readers; his book

State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America

can be ordered from