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The Cold War Report November 5, 2007
 
Retro MADness
The Cold War Report By Alexander Zaitchik Browse author Email
 
Page 3 of 3
 

Rudy as Reagan circa 1980? This terrifying idea comes from Giuiani's foreign policy guru, the raving elderly neoconservative Norman Podhoretz, most famous these days for loud Iranian-themed war-mongering and his thesis that the U.S. is engaged in WW IV against Islamofascism. Always one to see over the horizon, Poddy apparently has his pupil already thinking ahead to WW V, a repeat of WW III, which is what he calls the Cold War. Even though Podhoretz likely won't live to see America triumph in WW VI, he can be proud that his son, John, was recently named editor of the once-influential neocon idea incubator Commentary. From this perch, and with Giuliani listening carefully in the White House, MiniPod can help formulate WW VII through IX, barring a massive and fatal under-50 heart attack.

Across the pond, things have been a bit calmer on the new Cold War front, as they tend to be. October's EU-Russia summit went much smoother than the one in May, and ended with both sides calling the meetings "constructive" and "fruitful." The darkest note was hit by Putin during the concluding press conference, when the Russian president compared the current flap over missile defenses in Eastern Europe to the Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought the world to the brink of catastrophe 45 years ago last month. 

"Let me remind you what happened in the same situation in the 1960s," said Putin. "When the Soviet Union deployed missiles in Cuba, it led to the Caribbean Crisis."

Putin backed off the sloppy comparison as soon as he made it, but the line served its purpose of reminding nervous EU officials that the missile defense issue has the potential to become a full-blown crisis. 

We should know soon if that crisis comes to pass, because the U.S.-Russia missile defense stalemate is official. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates made clear that Washington's last offer was on the table: it would consider delaying final activation of Eastern European missile defense until a crisis, and consider allowing a couple of Russian officers to co-staff the sites.

It's doubtful Gates or anyone else expected this to placate Moscow. Even if it did, the offer was doomed because the Czechs immediately went bat shit. Few in Prague are planning to celebrate the upcoming 40th anniversary of Prague Spring with the return of Russian soldiers onto Czech territory. But whatever Czech politicians have to say about the radar station, it's worth remembering that most Czechs are still solidly against a U.S. missile defense station breaking ground in their country (as are most Poles). This point was raised by Robert Kennedy Jr., who was officially in Moscow last month on environmental business, but went out of his way to tell journalists and Russian officials that if Hillary Clinton is elected, she'll likely pull the plug on Eastern European missile defense. Kennedy, who is with the Clinton campaign, sensibly remarked that if the Europeans really want a contentious missile defense system, they should step up and build it themselves. The fact that they won't suggests that McCain's "tough times" are not as inevitable as the madmen of the Republican Party would have us believe.


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Zaitchik
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Alexander Zaitchik is an editor at The eXile. Email him at zaitchik@gmail.com
 
 
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