How About a New Cold War?

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To: Website Fans, Browsers, Clients
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Vladimir Putin, a New Mussolini?

case you didn’t notice, the neo-cons and their neo-lib allies have
decided that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the latest "fascist"
on the world scene. He isn’t yet being labeled a "New Hitler,"
which is still Saddam Hussein’s distinction, but NYTimes columnist
Nicholas Kristof has practically sized him up as the New Mussolini!!
Sure, Putin is fair game for our political columnists, especially
those like Kristof who have discovered what fun it is to make waves.
But something else is going on here, when we have the national media
applauding the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine with the
same enthusiasm we saw in the march to war with Iraq. American imperialism,
it seems, is fun. In his brilliant
Monday, Justin Raimondo had it about right:

Kristof is
selling to the liberals what the neocons have been retailing to
the American right-wing: the story that Russia is rising, reverting
to Stalinism (or "progressing" to fascism). The next
step will be to raise a hue and cry over Russian "rearmament"
as we encircle the Kremlin from the Baltic Sea to the Caspian,
fomenting "democratic" revolutions on the periphery
while moving inexorably toward the center. A renewed arms race
and the return of the cold war – all launched under the rubric
of exporting "democracy" and "free markets."
This new Russophobia has something for everyone.

If Russia
is not headed for fascism, then the neocon-progressive alliance
of Russia-haters is determined to push them into it – or,
at least, to raise such a ruckus over the alleged rise of Russian
national socialism that the American public will fall for it long
enough to get a new war of civilizations going.

wouldn’t worry so much if it was just Nick Kristof trying to cook
up a new Cold War, or at least a "Cool War," but right
behind him is another neo-liberal I greatly admire, Zbigniew Brzezinski,
also sizing up Putin as a throwback to Stalinism. Both Kristof and
Zbig were passionately anti-war when it came to Iraq. But remember
it was not long ago that conservatives and liberals were united,
more or less, in their opposition to Russian communism. Maybe that
old coalition can be brought together, if only we can provoke Moscow
into playing along.

going to keep an eye on this new development, but do suggest you
go to Raimondo’s link, where you can get its full flavor. You can
also see his motion seconded
by Pat Buchanan
. They are as aware as am I that the Forces of
Darkness never sleep and the Cold War was, after all, great fun.

31, 2004

Wanniski [send him mail]
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