Is The Cold War Back On?
Look out everybody, the domino theory may have been right after all! It’s time to dust off your bomb shelter. Or, if you don’t have one, duck under your desk and cover your head, because the Cold War — the classic game of chicken between the world’s two biggest nuclear superpowers, threatening nothing less than total global destruction — may be back on.
Well, maybe not. But according to CNN’s Peter Hamby — who, by the way, you can vote for as DC’s hottest male off-air media type — Sen. John McCain added his voice to the conservative cacophony of concerns about Russian expansionism. In an interview with WITF Harrisburg [Pa.] Public Radio , McCain said the conflict in the former-Soviet republic of Georgia indicates Russian Prime Minister — and former president — Vladimir Putin has his sights set on rebuilding the old feudal Russian Empire, if not the Soviet Union. From CNN:
“I don’t think there’s any doubt who is still by far the most powerful and influential person in Russia,” McCain said, arguing that Putin’s “personal control” of the military “indicates his position of power.”
“Of course we have to deal with Russia and we deal with Putin,” McCain said. “But it has to be on a very realistic basis. And not one that there’s any illusions about his ambitions.”
He then accused Putin of wanting to restore Russia to the days of czardom, when a monarchy exerted broad control over parts of Asia and eastern Europe.
“I think it’s very clear that Russian ambitions are to restore the old Russian Empire,” he said. “Not the Soviet Union, but the Russian Empire.”
The strategy makes sense. After all, inflating the Russian threat to scare voters helped politicians get elected for more than a half-century. Maybe the old girl’s got one more lap around the track left in her.