Who Restarted the Cold War?
the lead editorial in The Washington Times of
October18, began thus:
Vladimir Putin`s invitation to Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Moscow is just the
latest sign that, more than 16 years after the collapse
Soviet communism, Moscow is gravitating toward
Cold War behavior. The old Soviet obsession—fighting
American imperialism—remains undiluted. …
"(A)t virtually every
turn, Mr. Putin and the Russian leadership appear to be
doing their best in ways large and small to marginalize
and embarrass the United States and undercut U.S.
foreign policy interests."
The Times pointed to Putin`s snub
of Robert Gates and Condi Rice by having them
their heels for 40 minutes before a meeting. Then
came a press briefing where
Putin implied Russia may renounce the
Reagan-Gorbachev INF treaty, which removed all U.S.
and Soviet medium-range missiles from Europe, and
threatened to pull out of the Conventional Forces in
Europe Treaty, whereby Russia moved its tanks and troops
far from the borders of Eastern Europe.
On and on the Times indictment
went. Russia was blocking new sanctions on Iran. Russia
was selling anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. Russia was
selling weapons to Syria that found their way to
Hezbollah and Hamas. Russia and Iran were talking up an
OPEC-style natural gas cartel. All this, said the Times,
calls to mind "Soviet-era behavior."
Missing from the prosecution`s case,
however, was the motive. Why has Putin`s Russia turned
hostile? Why is Putin mending fences with China, Iran
and Syria? Why is Putin sending Bear bombers to the edge
of American airspace? Why has Russia turned against
America? For Putin`s approval rating is three times that
of George Bush. Who restarted the Cold War?
To answer that question, let us go back
those 16 years.
What happened in 1991 and 1992?
Well, Russia let the Berlin Wall be torn
down and its satellite states be voted or thrown out of
power across Eastern Europe. Russia agreed to pull the
Red Army all the way back inside its border. Russia
agreed to let the Soviet Union dissolve into 15 nations.
The Communist Party agreed to share power and let itself
be voted out. Russia embraced freedom and American-style
capitalism, and invited Americans in to show them how it
Russia did not use its veto in the
Security Council to block the U.S. war to drive Saddam
Hussein, an ally, out of Kuwait. When 9-11 struck, Putin
gave his blessing to U.S. troops using former republics
as bases for the U.S. invasion.
What was Moscow`s reward for its
The United States began moving NATO into
Eastern Europe and then into former Soviet republics.
Six ex-Warsaw Pact nations are now NATO allies, as are
three ex-republics of the Soviet Union. NATO
expansionists have not given up on bringing Ukraine,
united to Russia for centuries, or Georgia, Stalin`s
birthplace, into NATO.
In 1999, the United States bombed
Serbia, which has long looked to Mother Russia for
protection, for 78 days, though the Serbs` sole crime
was to fight to hold their cradle province of Kosovo, as
President Lincoln fought to hold onto the American
South. Now America is supporting the severing of Kosovo
from Serbia and creation of a new Islamic state in the
Balkans, over Moscow`s protest.
While Moscow removed its military bases
from Cuba and all over the Third World, we have sought
permanent military bases in Russia`s backyard of Central
We dissolved the Nixon-Brezhnev ABM
treaty and announced we would put a missile defense
system in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Under presidents Clinton and Bush, the
United States financed a pipeline for Caspian Sea oil to
transit Azerbaijan and Georgia to the Black Sea and
Turkey, cutting Russia out of the action.
With the end of the Cold War, the KGB
was abolished and the Comintern disappeared. But the
National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House and
other Cold War agencies, funded with tens of millions in
tax-exempt and tax dollars,
engineered the ouster of pro-Russian regimes in
Serbia, Ukraine and Georgia, and sought the ouster of
the regime in Minsk.
At the Cold War`s end, the United States
was given one of the great opportunities of history: to
embrace Russia, largest nation on earth, as partner,
friend, ally. Our mutual interests meshed almost
perfectly. There was no ideological, territorial,
historic or economic quarrel between us, once communist
ideology was interred.
We blew it.
We moved NATO onto Russia`s front porch,
ignored her valid interests and concerns, and, with our
"indispensable-nation" arrogance, treated her as
a defeated power, as France treated Weimar Germany after
Who restarted the Cold War? Bush and the
braying hegemonists he brought with him to power. Great
empires and tiny minds go ill together.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America,
can be ordered from