Do you remember where you were when the New Cold War ended? Or better yet, did you even know that there was a New Cold War in the first place?
For now, let's just spend a few moments with our memories. Ah, just saying that phrase, "The New Cold War," evokes misty water-colored scenes from a bygone era, a time of innocence, when the world was so much more simple, if not outright retarded.
It's hard to imagine the people who lived through the New Cold War. What were they like? Did the Americans who lived through the New Cold War know what a Blu-Ray disc was? Did the Russians under Putin love their children too? Believe us when we say to you, we hope the Russians did.
A better question would be: What was wrong with those morons? Were people really that stupid? Looking back, those New Cold War peddlers, who operated roughly between 2003 to 2007, appear as ridiculous as those loafing bachelors in Jane Austen movies, who spent years riding their carriages around the countryside looking for someone to marry.
The New Cold War: in February 2008, the phrase has a hair-band/Duran-Duran retro comedy about it. And yet, if we remember right, people back then were really scared about this New Cold War. Nobody we knew, but... Well, okay, actually just a few dozen media whores and Tom Clancy types in Washington and London, along with their counterparts in the Kremlin. There weren't many of them, but they made up for it with sheer 24/7 hard work, building a New Cold War house of horrors, a fun-house ride that can still scare epileptics and Fred Hiatt.
And we're giving you, the reader, an E-Ticket on the New Cold War ride before they close it down to build the new "Mullahs of the Persian Gulf Theme Park" (spinoff movie already in the works, with Johnny Depp as Ahmadinejad). So all aboard for the last tour of NewColdWarLand! Keep your hands and feet inside at all times, folks, and don't touch the audio-animatronic neo-Stalinists as we take you back to 2003. Whooo, scary days, remember? Putin refused to back the Iraq invasion and then had the nerve to steal Yukos away from Cheney. We all knew invading Iraq was the right thing to do; anybody who wouldn't march in with us had to be evil. So the pundits went to work portraying Russia as a toxic mutant, militarizing and going fascist by the day. At the same time, they told their readers—not a very discerning bunch—that Russia was getting weaker all the time. It had to be, because it was rejecting the Magic Market that makes countries strong. They tied up their little mind-puzzler neatly by explaining that it was Russia's weakness that made it dangerous. And we actually believed this. Gosh, we really were lovable, gullible goons back then!
Russia got weaker and scarier every year, reaching a bull market peak in 2007 as the Russian media started hitting back with hysterical hype about Rus's struggle with America. Finally the Russians were playing along! The New Cold War was a hit, a bankable hit!
The spinoff market was sizzling. Serious publishers were paying good money for books like Mark MacKinnon's The New Cold War or Edward Lucas's The New Cold War. By the way, they're totally, totally different books, because they have different subtitles. MacKinnon, going for style, subtitles his with a lovely pair of "R"s and "P"s: "…Revolutions, Rigged Elections, and Pipeline Politics in the Former Soviet Union," while Lucas tries for that inclusive, big-tent feel with "…How the Kremlin Menaces both Russia and the West."
Already we hear you snickering: "You've got to be kidding me! Someone published a book in February 2008 about the New Cold War? Those poor bastards! Don't they know it's not 2007 anymore? Next thing you'll tell me is that they carry purse-dogs and drive around in Minis!"
Sadly, these books really are that dated, as if Lucas just published a book called, Sub-Prime Mortgages: They're Not Just A Passing Fad! followed by MacKinnon's Florida Condominiums: The World's Best Investment!