Pat Buchanan: Who started WWII?
- Who Started Cold War II?
by Patrick J. Buchanan http://buchanan.org/blog/2008/08/pjb-who-
The American people should be eternally grateful to Old Europe for
having spiked the Bush-McCain plan to bring Georgia into NATO. Had
Georgia been in NATO when Mikheil Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia,
we would be eyeball to eyeball with Russia, facing war in the
Caucasus, where Moscow's superiority is as great as U.S. superiority
in the Caribbean during the Cuban missile crisis. If the Russia-
Georgia war proves nothing else, it is the insanity of giving erratic
hotheads in volatile nations the power to drag the United States into
From Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates
said, U.S. presidents have sought to avoid shooting wars with Russia,
even when the Bear was at its most beastly. Truman refused to use
force to break Stalin's Berlin blockade. Ike refused to intervene
when the Butcher of Budapest drowned the Hungarian Revolution in
blood. LBJ sat impotent as Leonid Brezhnev's tanks crushed the Prague
Spring. Jimmy Carter's response to Brezhnev's invasion of Afghanistan
was to boycott the Moscow Olympics. When Brezhnev ordered his Warsaw
satraps to crush Solidarity and shot down a South Korean airliner
killing scores of U.S. citizens, including a congressman, Reagan did
These presidents were not cowards. They simply would not go to war
when no vital U.S. interest was at risk to justify a war. Yet, had
George W. Bush prevailed and were Georgia in NATO, U.S. Marines could
be fighting Russian troops over whose flag should fly over a province
of 70,000 South Ossetians who prefer Russians to Georgians.
The arrogant folly of the architects of U.S. post-Cold War policy is
today on display. By bringing three ex-Soviet republics into NATO, we
have moved the U.S. red line for war from the Elbe almost to within
artillery range of the old Leningrad. Should America admit Ukraine
into NATO, Yalta, vacation resort of the czars, will be a NATO port
and Sevastopol, traditional home of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, will
become a naval base for the U.S. Sixth Fleet. This is altogether a
bridge too far. And can we not understand how a Russian patriot like
Vladimir Putin would be incensed by this U.S. encirclement after
Russia shed its empire and sought our friendship?
How would Andy Jackson have reacted to such crowding by the British
Empire? As of 1991, the oil of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and
Azerbaijan belonged to Moscow. Can we not understand why Putin would
smolder as avaricious Yankees built pipelines to siphon the oil and
gas of the Caspian Basin through breakaway Georgia to the West?
For a dozen years, Putin & Co. watched as U.S. agents helped to dump
over regimes in Ukraine and Georgia that were friendly to Moscow. If
Cold War II is coming, who started it, if not us? The swift and
decisive action of Putin's army in running the Georgian forces out of
South Ossetia in 24 hours after Saakashvili began his barrage and
invasion suggests Putin knew exactly what Saakashvili was up to and
dropped the hammer on him.
What did we know? Did we know Georgia was about to walk into Putin's
trap? Did we not see the Russians lying in wait north of the border?
Did we give Saakashvili a green light? Joe Biden ought to be
conducting public hearings on who caused this U.S. humiliation. The
war in Georgia has exposed the dangerous overextension of U.S. power.
There is no way America can fight a war with Russia in the Caucasus
with our army tied down in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nor should we.
Hence, it is demented to be offering, as John McCain and Barack Obama
are, NATO membership to Tbilisi. The United States must decide
whether it wants a partner in a flawed Russia or a second Cold War.
For if we want another Cold War, we are, by cutting Russia out of the
oil of the Caspian and pushing NATO into her face, going about it
exactly the right way.
Vladimir Putin is no Stalin. He is a nationalist determined, as ruler
of a proud and powerful country, to assert his nation's primacy in
its own sphere, just as U.S. presidents from James Monroe to Bush
have done on our side of the Atlantic. A resurgent Russia is no
threat to any vital interests of the United States. It is a threat to
an American Empire that presumes some God-given right to plant U.S.
military power in the backyard or on the front porch of Mother
Who rules Abkhazia and South Ossetia is none of our business. And
after this madcap adventure of Saakashvili, why not let the people of
these provinces decide their own future in plebiscites conducted by
the United Nations or the Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe? As for Saakashvili, he's probably toast in Tbilisi after
Let the neocons find him an endowed chair at the American Enterprise
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