Miniblog #328: The Cold War Never Ended?
The other day I read the CNN article “5 lessons for a new Cold War” by Frida Ghitis. It was a disconcerting piece to say the least. In it she suggests we’re entering a new Cold War. I agree with her. Czar Putin seems to yearn for the power and prestige Russia enjoyed during the good ol’ days of the Cold War, which is not at all unsurprising since he was in the KGB. I’ve been wondering for years, however, if we’re going to have to reinterpret the events of my lifetime. This is where I would challenge the author. It seems to me that instead of a new Cold War we may well look back at the past 20 years as merely an extended détente and reorganization of East-West nuclear tension. That is, the Berlin Wall collapsed and the Soviet Union crumbled but perhaps the Cold War just went dormant. History has a way of screwing with our schema like that. Czar Putin’s proposed Eurasian Union sounds like the Soviet Union just without the veneer of communist ideology. Of course, the very idea of “Czar Putin” wanting a Cold War shows the convoluted nature of things as the czar was taken out to make way for Lenin’s communists, which directly led to the Cold War between the democratic West and the communist East. The theme that links the seemingly divergent periods in Russian history seems to be an authoritarian impulse by its leadership coupled with an inferiority complex toward Europe.