A foreign army consisting of 31,000 soldiers from an anti-American alliance
are conducting military “exercises” a few miles from San Diego. Hundreds of
tanks converge on the Rio Grande, while jets from 24 countries converge in attack
formation, darting through Mexican skies.
It isn’t hard to imagine Washington’s response.
Yet that’s precisely what has been happening on Russia’s border
with the NATO alliance, as the cold war returns. Economic
sanctions aimed at sinking Russia’s fragile economy, plus a propaganda
campaign designed to characterize Russian President Vladimir Putin as the second
coming of Stalin – or, in Hillary Clinton’s view, Hitler
– have history running in reverse. Once again, an iron curtain is descending
across Europe – only this time it’s the West’s doing.
The European Union renewed sanctions against Crimea on Friday: their “crime”
a referendum in which the overwhelming majority of voters opted for union
with Russia, restoring what had been the status quo since the days
of Catherine the Great. And the EU is slated to extend sanctions against
the Russian Federation later this week.
Yet dissent against this revival of the cold war is rising in Europe, notably
in Germany, where Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is calling
for the “gradual” lifting of sanctions to reflect progress in the implementation
of the Minsk
accords, which call for the demilitarization of Ukraine and elections in
rebel-held territory. This reflects a division within Germany’s left-right coalition
government: Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats are holding out for “full” implementation
of the accords. Yet it is the government in Kiev – held hostage by far-right
crazies – that has been dragging its feet over Minsk, refusing
to grant autonomy to east Ukraine and vowing
to continue the war against the rebels in spite of Kiev’s lack of success
in pacifying the rebellious region.
Steinmeier went further in another
interview, characterizing provocative military exercises conducted near Russia’s
borders as “warmongering.” The “drill,” which ended Friday, simulated a Western
response to an improbable Russian attack on Poland. “What we shouldn’t do now
is inflame the situation further through saber-rattling and warmonger,” averred
“Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern
border will bring security is mistaken. We are well-advised to not create pretexts
to renew an old confrontation. [It would be] fatal to search only for military
solutions and a policy of deterrence.”
The reality is that it is NATO that has to be deterred: ever since the collapse
of the Warsaw Pact and the implosion of international communism the West has
been advancing eastward, gathering its…