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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

Wednesday, Aug. 20


AmCham gets back to business after a summer hiatus with todays EHS Committee Working Group Meeting. Check their website for more details.



Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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