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Flawed U.S. Policy Led to New Cold War

Published: April 9, 2014 (Issue # 1805)




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TheEast-West confrontation over Ukraine, which led toMoscows annexation ofCrimea but long predated it, is potentially theworst international crisis inmore than 50 years andthe most fateful. Anegotiated resolution is possible, but time may be running out.

Anew cold war divide is already descending onEurope not inBerlin but onRussias borders. Worse may follow. If NATO forces move toward western Ukraine or even toits border with Poland, as is being called forby zealous cold warriors inWashington andEurope, Moscow is likely tosend its forces intoeastern Ukraine. Theresult would be adanger ofwar comparable tothe Cuban missile crisis of1962.

If NATO forces move near Ukraine, Moscow may invade eastern Ukraine. This could be worse than theCuban Missile Crisis.

Even if theoutcome is thenonmilitary isolation ofRussia, todays Western mantra, theconsequences will be dire. Moscow will not bow but will turn, politically andeconomically, tothe East, as it has done before above all, tofuller alliance with China. TheU.S. will risk losing anessential partner invital areas ofits own national security, fromIran, Syria andAfghanistan tothreats ofa new arms race, nuclear proliferation andmore terrorism. And no small matter prospects fora resumption ofRussias democratization will be terminated forat least ageneration.

Why did this happen, nearly 23 years after theend ofSoviet communism, when both Washington andMoscow proclaimed anew era offriendship andstrategic partnership?

Theanswer given bythe administration ofU.S. President Barack Obama andoverwhelmingly bythe U.S. political-media establishment is that President Vladimir Putin is solely toblame. Theclaim is that his autocratic rule athome andneo-Soviet imperialist policies abroad eviscerated thepartnership established inthe 1990s byPresidents Bill Clinton andBoris Yeltsin. This fundamental premise underpins theAmerican mainstream narrative oftwo decades ofU.S.-Russian relations andnow theUkrainian crisis.

But there is analternative explanation, one that is more inaccord with historical facts. Beginning with theClinton administration, andsupported byevery subsequent Republican andDemocratic president andCongress, theU.S.-led West has unrelentingly moved its military, political andeconomic power ever closer topost-Soviet Russia. Spearheaded byNATOs eastward expansion, already encamped inthe three former Soviet Baltic republics onRussias border andnow augmented bymissile defense installations inneighboring states this bipartisan, winner-take-all approach has come invarious forms.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldnt miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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