11 February 2007

A New Cold War?

Vladamir Putin, the president of the Russian Federation was warned
"unilateral, illegitimate actions have not solved a single problem, they have become a hotbed of further conflicts" and that "one state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way." the AP. In response, the new US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates
tried to deflate President Putin's attack by poking a bit of fun at their past careers as spies.
according to the BBC.

Now, I personally have a great deal of respect for Robert Gates. His straight forward style of speech and honesty is very refreshing for the dictatorial policies of King George. None the less, the facts speak for themselves.

When Mikhail Gorbachev ended the Cold War with such bold steps as glasnost and perestroika, the US missed a golden opportunity. Instead of disarming the bulk of our nuclear arsenals (which Putin is still actively trying to get an agreement on), downsizing our gigantic military (the US spends over a third of our annual budget on military related expenditures, which is more than the next 10 nations military budgets combined), shutting down most of the CIA and NSA activities (relating to the fight against communism), and most importantly, stopping the extremely aggressive posture (which included funding islamic terrorist organizations in Afganistan in the 80s), the US did the opposite.

The military industrial complex in this country decided that Reagan and the warmongers here somehow 'won' the Cold War, and without anyone to counter our might, they expanded their activities. Even in diplomatic measures, we bully other nations to do our bidding (see: pressure to sign on to invade Iraq, have secret CIA torture bases and detainee flights, etc.).

Most disconcerting for Russia, is the expansion of NATO and the US into former regions of the Soviet Union. How can this be perceived as anything but aggressive? Now that Russia is back on its feet (at least economically due to oil prices), how dare they speak up for themselves. I am sure the neo-con assholes in the US will take this as a sign that the Russians want to fight again, and it will serve as fuel in the fire of their mistrust and suspicion. There is word for what they are: bullies.