Saturday, May 13, 2006

Cold War

Last Sunday I wrote about the strange behavior of Dick Cheney in Lithuania. Having a week to think about it and to use the PNAC lens on the situation, the situation seems to resolve down to this. The Iran game is probably not going to work for Dick, Donald, and George. The world is too keyed up and will instantly discern any kind of b.s. that Bush might introduce as a pretext for beginning the Iran war. Blair is on the ropes in the UK and cannot provide even the most meager assistance. In addition, Ahmadinejad has written George a letter basically indicating (between the lines) that he is afraid Bush will strike. It is a clumsy letter, but Ahmadinejad is not necessarily completely sane.

The Cheney belligerence is designed to take the next best route to protracted war—reincarnation of the Cold War with Russia. In Putin he has a perfect stooge, presiding over an impossible mess in Russia. Cheney can work this gambit and seem like a democratic hero to his constituency, all of whom long for the good old days when the military industrial complex had on the Cold War nosebag.

Putin is hoist on his own petard, of course, and the PNAC crew know it! If he liberalizes Russia to avoid the churlish provocations of Cheney, he will lose his own foothold on power and Russia will meander along economically crippled and politically destitute. If he continues with the deliberalization of Russia (what I called the Putinshchina), he plays into the PNAC center pocket! If you want metaphors then consider Putin's wolf cry to be a message to the world, caste in the brutal iconography of his homeland's agony. Putin knows he is trapped and that he cannot sustain another shoving match with the American arms industry!

James Richard Brett