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Bush may create new Cold War

Full Speed to Port

Posted: August 19, 2008 9:08 p.m.
Updated: October 21, 2008 5:02 a.m.
The far right neoconservatives continue to get what they absolutely need to satisfy their basic needs: An enemy!

They thrive on conflict and apparently are happiest when they can tangle with a nation they consider an enemy. And when I say “tangle,” I do not mean it to include negotiations or diplomacy.

They prefer direct hands-on military muscle. When in doubt, they bomb. Iraq is their most shining example.

Why is the administration wooing nations with a common historical and geographical tie to Russia? It is hanging out the false carrot of potential NATO membership as a way to enhance its security and foster democracy.

Several of the countries formerly part of the Soviet Union are now NATO members. The current situation makes it clear that NATO membership or alliance does not guarantee that Western countries can stop Russia from whatever she wants to do in her own sphere of influence.

How long would the United States stand for a Russian-oriented military organization similar to NATO being dangled in front of Canada, Mexico and Cuba as a deterrent to potential aggression from the United States? Not the perfect comparison, but the idea behind it is clear. If you add Bush’s insistence on a nuclear shield to protect Europe from Iran’s, not Russia’s, missiles — ha! The Russians have the right to feel threatened by America’s aggressive moves. They seem purposely designed to gain Russia’s ire.

Maverick and true Reaganite conservative Pat Buchanan, who made a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1991 and 1996, made a statement on the McLaughlin Group TV show recently. He asked, “What are we doing agitating in the Russian sphere of influence? Is it unfair for Russia to have its own Monroe Doctrine?”

The problem with our administration’s approach is that its bottom-line strategy is self-defeating. Russia’s incursion into Georgia is an in-your-face message to American and Western interests that Russia is the boss in her area, and there’s not a lot anybody can do about it.

That being the case, what might the administration’s policy be? Conciliatory? God forbid. The Super Power (USA) acting in good faith needs to get not with Western allies to see what can be done to bolster NATO but with the Russians and say we need to talk. Bush ought to be on his way to Russia, or at least meet Russian leaders somewhere suitable to both. That should be happening right now. Both countries are acting like little boys instead responsible for peace in the world.

When you digest the various media writings on the subject of Georgia, you find somewhat hidden the fact that there has been conflict in the White House about the issue of Georgia between Condoleezza Rice’s rather moderate stance and Cheney’s as-usual aggressive stance.

Did he believe that the administration was going to back him up militarily?

His aggressive actions would suggest that was the case. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev told the Russian press that he believes Georgia’s incursion into South Ossetia was OK’d by Washington. No one knows for sure.

Daniel Fried, representing the State Department, made it clear to Georgia’s President Saakashvili as early as July 4 this year that the nation was not to use military action to solve problems with South Ossetia.

Whatever the outcome of this mess, it is another blow to the effectiveness of Bush’s foreign policy and moves us toward another cold war because of Bush’s rigorous Russia-threatening NATO expansion and the building of a nuclear shield over Europe, leaving Russia vulnerable to nuclear missles. So it appears that as a result of the Iraq war we have an army bogged down and not enough forces left to swat a fly. Bush is obviously provoking the Russians with an empty gun. Is that leadership or what?

Phil Rizzo is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal.


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