Doesn`t Putin Have a Point?

"A soft answer turneth away wrath," teaches
Proverbs 1:15.

Our new secretary of defense, Roberts Gates, seems
familiar with the verse. For his handling of

Saturday`s wintry blast from
Vladimir Putin at the
Munich security conference was masterful.

"As an old Cold Warrior, one of yesterday`s
speeches almost filled me with nostalgia for a less
complex time,"
said Gates, adding, "Almost."

A former director of the CIA, Gates went on to
identify with Putin: "I have, like your second
speaker yesterday … a career in the spy business. And
I guess old spies have a habit of blunt speaking.

"However, I have been to re-education camp,
spending the last four-and-a-half years as a university
president and dealing with faculty. And as more than a

university presidents
have learned in recent years,
when it comes to faculty it is either `be nice` or `be
gone.`"  (
calls for partnership with Russia in security matters
,, February 11, 2007)

Gates added he would be going to Moscow to talk with
the old KGB hand, who will be retiring as Russia`s
president around the time President Bush goes home to


For one of the historic blunders of this
administration has been to antagonize and alienate
Russia, the winning of whose friendship was a signal
achievement of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. And
one of the foreign policy imperatives of this nation is
for statesmanship to repair the damage.

What did we do to antagonize Russia?

When the Cold War ended, we seized upon our

"unipolar moment"
as the lone superpower to seek
geopolitical advantage at Russia`s expense.

Though the Red Army had picked up and gone home from
Eastern Europe voluntarily, and Moscow felt it had an
understanding we would not move NATO eastward, we
exploited our moment. Not only did we bring Poland into
NATO, we brought in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, and
virtually the whole Warsaw Pact, planting NATO right on
Mother Russia`s front porch.

Now, there is a scheme afoot to bring in

Ukraine and Georgia in the Caucasus
, the birthplace
of Stalin.

Second, America backed a pipeline to deliver Caspian
Sea oil from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey, to
bypass Russia.

Third, though Putin gave us a green light to use
bases in the old Soviet republics for the liberation of
Afghanistan, we now seem hell-bent on making those bases
in Central Asia permanent.

Fourth, though Bush sold missile defense as directed
at rogue states like North Korea, we now learn we are
going to put anti-missile systems into Eastern Europe.
And against whom are they directed?

Fifth, through the National Endowment for Democracy,
its GOP and Democratic auxiliaries, and tax-exempt think
tanks, foundations and "human rights" institutes
such as

Freedom House, headed by ex-CIA director James Woolsey,

we have been fomenting regime change in Eastern Europe,
the former Soviet republics and Russia herself.

U.S.-backed revolutions have succeeded in Serbia,
Ukraine and Georgia, but failed in Belarus. Moscow has
now legislated restrictions on the foreign agencies that
it sees, not without justification, as subversive of
pro-Moscow regimes.

Sixth, America conducted 78 days of

bombing of Serbia
for the crime of fighting to hold
on to her rebellious province, Kosovo, and for refusing
to grant NATO marching rights through her territory to
take over that province. Mother Russia has always had a
maternal interest in the Orthodox states of the Balkans.

These are Putin`s grievances. Does he not have a
small point?

Joe Lieberman

Putin`s "Cold War rhetoric." But
have we not been taking what cannot unfairly be labeled
Cold War actions?

How would we react if China today brought Cuba,
Nicaragua and Venezuela into a military alliance,
convinced Mexico to sell oil to Beijing and bypass the
United States, and began meddling in the affairs of
Central America and Caribbean countries to effect the
electoral defeat of regimes friendly to the United

How would we react to a Russian move to put
anti-missile missiles on Greenland?

Gates says we have been through one Cold War and do
not want another. But it is not Moscow moving a military
alliance right up to our borders or building bases and
planting anti-missile systems in our front and back

Why are we doing this? This country is not going to
go to war with Russia over Estonia. With our Army

from two insurgencies, how would we
fight? By bombing Moscow and St. Petersburg?

Just as we deluded ourselves into believing the Iraq
war would be a "cakewalk,"
that democracy would break out across the Middle East,
that we would be beloved in Baghdad, so America today
has undertaken commitments, dating to the Cold War and
since, we do not remotely have the resources or will to

We are living in a world of self-delusion.

Somewhere in this presidential campaign, someone has
to bring us back to earth. The halcyon days of American
Empire are over.



Patrick J. Buchanan

no introduction
readers; his book

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

can be ordered from