Russian President Dimitri Medvedev has floated a not-so-subtle warning of Russia and the West descending into a new "Cold War," the blame for which he places, in traditional Russian fashion, squarely on America. As a follow up, Vladimir Putin has since hinted at the possibility of a direct conflict between Russian and American naval forces in the Black Sea. If these events of the past few weeks are a reliable indication, the world may indeed see a replay of the harrowing years of Soviet aggression.
Such a possibility stands in stark contrast to all of the meaningless "fluff" and pandering on display this week at the Democrat National Convention, which is awash with empty platitudes intended to garner the support of a gullible and ignorant public. Yet the threat of a burgeoning Russian "bear" is no more likely to abate, simply because liberal America wishes to ignore it, than was the malevolence of militant Islam during the last decade.
In truth, the original Cold War never completely ended, though the high-stakes chess game between America and the Soviet Union subsided significantly once that communist monstrosity imploded under its own weight. America had outperformed the USSR on virtually every front, from technological advancements to diplomatic successes to the mustering of a national will to prevail. Hence, the murky dreams of Soviet world dominance eventually dissipated in a world where propaganda, fear, and ignorance could not survive indefinitely with no substance to bolster them.
From the inside, courageous figures such as Natan Sharansky and Alexander Solzhenitsyn unmasked the horror and oppression behind the utopian assertions of a communist world. And despite some brief surges in Soviet technology as epitomized by the October 4, 1957 launch of Sputnik 1, the world's first artificial satellite, the inherent advantages of a free society to surpass such feats would eventually overwhelm Soviet grandstanding of its scientific capabilities and military prowess.
Furthermore, despite the efforts of those on the left to undermine the resolve of traditional America, the backbone of this country was committed to the principles of its founding, and as a result this nation was largely impervious to the relentless assaults on it up through the late 1980s when the Soviet Union collapsed. Yet many in influential positions, including those sympathetic minions within American academia, never forsook their belief in the ultimate worthiness of Soviet style communism. Not surprisingly, they have been incessantly promoting its baseless ideology on American university campuses and elsewhere among naively receptive audiences to this day.
Thus, many among the nation's current populace were either too young to recall the nightmarish events of day-to-day life inside Soviet Russia, or have been so steeped in leftist history revisionism that they have no clue as to how bad things actually were. Among such people, the possibility of a Soviet resurgence in one form or another does not sound nearly as alarming as it should. Worse yet, having been so thoroughly indoctrinated in leftist propagandizing on America's overarching evils, they see little that could possibly be worse than their own hated nation.
Meanwhile, the stage has been methodically set to leave our nation vulnerable on numerous other fronts. And while this direction may not have been consciously charted for the specific purpose of orchestrating the demise of the United States, its corrosive effects on America's former fortitude nevertheless represent an enormous boon to those entities that would see America fail, once and for all. Among these, the entire energy debate fits perfectly into such a scenario.
Russia, once its Soviet umbrella had shattered, descended into an abyss of economic recession so severe that many of its citizens publicly expressed longing for a return of unrestrained communism, with all of its tyrannical ways, simply because basic subsistence and the needs of day-to-day life had been more predictable than in the immediate aftermath of the collapse. Yet during the past two decades since that time, the economic landscape has shifted drastically, particularly as a result of the Russian export of oil.
Much of the Russian economic boom that has facilitated the rebuilding of its military and the financing of its Georgian incursion is itself the direct result of Russian oil exports. And it is of particular significance that in the current Russia/Georgia conflict, the possibility of Russian interference with the flow of oil through a major Georgian pipeline has halted the recent drop in oil prices throughout the world. Some are even speculating that this effect was the real motivation behind Russian military aggression in Georgia.
It is inarguable that Russia would indeed be selling large amounts of oil abroad, regardless of the state of America's energy infrastructure and oil reserves. However, the leverage that Russia, in light of its abundance of petroleum, now wields upon our nation has been amplified by America's current inability to discover and refine its own oil. And this is a condition that was neither inevitable nor necessary to any degree. What brought about America's dependence on foreign oil was the rise of environmental extremism within its culture and among its political class.
Throughout the decade of the 1990s, America became dangerously lulled into believing that any dangers to its well-being had simply dissipated into thin air. Yet on September 11, 2001, America was awakened to the harsh reality that brutish enemies exist. Some have admirably resolved not to ever again let their guard down to such a degree.
Others, particularly among this nation's liberal elites, have been diligently working to mischaracterize America's response to the Islamist threat as everything from a bellicose overreaction to a conspiratorial excuse for unbridled imperialism on the part of President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. According to such warped worldviews, passivity and capitulation is the only option in the face of known threats.
Fortunately, and despite the fanatical drive of the Islamists, the logistical realities of their terror campaign have been such that a nation was able, on comparatively short order, to muster the resources to deflect further attacks. The comparative calm within our shores during the seven years following 9-11 stand as undeniable proof.
Yet the nation may not be so fortunate, if it eventually faces an aggressor, not comprised of bands of lurking Muslim extremists but on the order of Vladimir Putin's Russia. As was the case throughout the decades of the Cold War, America's best interests will be served by a commitment to its own ideals, backed by cultural certainty and the military capabilities to defend them.
Copyright ©2008 Christopher G. Adamo