A Newer, Better Cold War

March 10, 2014

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A Newer, Better Cold War

In case you’ve been on vacation in an Internet-less corner of the world, you already know that Russia has a military presence in Crimea. And if you’re on Twitter or spend any time torturing yourself with the neocon echo chamber, you know that the usual suspects are reacting like it’s 1968 and the tanks just rolled into Prague. 

Let’s back up and talk a bit about Ukrainian history: It’s not a single country. No fewer than three Ukrainian states battled during the Ukrainian War of Independence. For simplicity’s sake, we can call Ukraine two countries stuck together. One is actually Ukrainian and oriented toward Europe. The other is a bunch of Russians who happen to reside in Ukraine. Crimea was only made part of Ukraine in 1954 by Krushchev.

I’m not a fan of expansionist wars. There is a distinctly Soviet flair about tanks rolling into any part of Eastern Europe. If Crimea and Eastern Ukraine want to be a part of Russia, in a perfect world they hold a plebiscite while Russia and Ukraine keep their dirty hands out of it and respect the decision.

“Vladimir Putin is arguably the only conservative leader of any import in the world.”

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. 

In fact, the Russians seem restrained if anything. Russian troops do seem to be greeted as liberators by Crimea’s Russian population. Just look at all these kids taking selfies with them. Not exactly the Rape of Nanking. 

The same folks who think the invasion of Iraq was “Churchillian” think there’s something sinister about Russia defending its own quite real interests right next door to itself, as opposed to some totally fabricated interests in some desolate sandpit halfway around the world. 

No, the neocon echo chamber insists that Putin is a Hitler or a Stalin, because muh freedumbs. Glenn Beck froths at the mouth about how a defiantly traditional country is lurching toward becoming the new “Red Menace.” Grown adults (well, Sean Hannity, anyway) are discussing in the most serious of tones how if only we had listened to Sarah Palin we’d be equipped to deal with this neo-Soviet menace. 

Conservative Twitter speaks of Palin in reverent tones as some kind of geopolitical-theory heavyweight. After all, she can see Vlad the Invader grabbing the mail in his pants from her living room in Alaska.

All this puts professional movement conservatism in precisely the same camp as Hillary Clinton, who recently went there, declaring that Putin is a Hitler. 

Which brings us to the next important bullet point in this drunken takedown of Conservatism, Inc.: Vladimir Putin is arguably the only conservative leader of any import in the world. He’s leading Russia in building a country on national identity, Orthodox values, and the dreaded authoritarianism, which basically means there’s someone around who’s powerful enough to bully billionaires. No less an authority than our own Pat Buchanan has asked “Is Putin One Of Us?

But hey, when has anyone ever listened to the wise old man of paleoconservatism? 

Instead, we have a mob of echo-chamber “conservatives” looking to revive the Cold War, people who fail to understand that at this moment, it’s far better to have a coward in the White House scared of his own shadow than a cowboy itching for a fight to prove that he has the biggest pair of clankers on the block. 

I don’t count myself among Putin’s American fan base. I do, however, think that the Vladimir Putin Fan Club has a lot more in the way of intellectual honesty and internal consistency than the opportunistic weasels denouncing the John Doe Currently Known as Barack Obama for not running willy-nilly into a fight that Americans don’t want. 

Forgive me, but if there were ever a moment that I was glad we have a confrontation-avoidant, mom-jean-wearing wimp in the White House, it’s right now. I just moved to a new house. I really like it and I don’t want to see it incinerated because Russia decided to ham-fistedly protect Russians. 

The establishment right is busy with its usual incitements to the yokelry with little regard for truth and no game plan longer than their next book tour. If only we could get them to take such a principled and strident stand against the very real leftists destroying civilization here in the United States. Instead, they gather at CPAC to bicker about which concessions to the left are most likely to yield the hollow victory of electoral triumph. 

If we are indeed in a new Cold War, I for one welcome our new Russian masters. 


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