Cold War 2: the Empire strikes back
C-span presented an excellent package this afternoon, basically showing the resurgence of the good old USSR. Russian TV now sounds exactly like old Radio Moscow, and our small Radio Liberty / Radio Free Europe operation has been miraculously preserved, solid and competent, through the Bush era.
During Yeltsin's rule it looked like Russia might
actually become a more modern authoritarian state, perhaps something like China. After Putin took over, it was obvious that the Soviet Union was going to return; the only question was when and how.
is now. The how
is not so much the Gruzya battle; Russia has been pushing and pulling in the Caucasus for a while. This battle is more serious than before, but it's not really The Big One. No, the important signal is Russia's open threat to bomb Warsaw if we put defensive missiles in Poland. No doubt about it, the bear has awakened.
Well, what's different between Cold War I and Cold War II?
On the good side, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary are out of the Iron Curtain and won't return. The other European satellites, like Rumania and Bulgaria, will probably drift back, but the bloc in Europe won't be the same. In other words, the Roman Catholic and Protestant countries will stay Western now, and the Orthodox countries will go back East. [Addendum: the Out-of-the-Curtain group also includes Catholic Croatia and Protestant Slovenia. Ideally it would include Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, because they are Western ... but I'm afraid they're too close to Russia, and too important as commercial zones and naval ports. Putin won't allow them to remain outside the walls.]
On the bad side, and it's very bad: Sultan Bush has destroyed our industrial base, Rumsfeld has stripped our military bases, and our Army is tied up in completely pointless and counter-productive battles. Sultan Bush has allowed Arabia AND RUSSIA to gain huge economic benefits from high oil prices, which he COULD HAVE CONTROLLED by regulating the traders and opening domestic exploration. His idiotic efforts to blame Congress and blame the Democrats don't fool anyone except his idiotic parrots.
In the 1980's, Russia was in the position I've just described. Industries destroyed, military used up and occupied in Afghanistan, leaders frozen and incompetent. Reagan was able to pull a few carefully planned strings, including dropping the oil price, to collapse the Soviet Empire. Now we are in the weak position, and Putin will be able to pull a few carefully planned strings to finish us off.
= = = = =
One new question occurs to me. Is Sheikh Osama one of those strings? Was he working for Putin all along? Not consciously, because he hates Russia as much as he hates America. But was he effectively a KGB puppet?
Within America, the internal pro-Soviet subversive forces have been working with parts of the Mohammedan movement since 1968. And the Soviets have always openly supported and funded the Palestinians. Since Sheikh Osama works in the same direction as Palestine, though far more effectively, it would be reasonable to assume that he's driven and funded by the Soviets as well. I don't know of any evidence pointing to such a connection ... but when we're talking about KGB operations, absence of evidence is normal. Doesn't prove anything either way.