Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our Ms. Brooks: Back To The Future

Rosa Brooks shows how easy it is to time travel in her latest column.

First, after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, we graciously provided a little economic "shock therapy" designed to turn our "defeated" former enemy into a prospering capitalist democracy. Regrettably, we instead helped plunge Russia into an economic catastrophe. This annoyed the Russians. But we continued to help by treating Russian officials as washed-up has-beens and by expanding NATO to include most of Russia's former satellites.

In a transparent bid for attention, Russia flattened most of Chechnya. We ignored this. When authoritarian crackdowns and rising oil prices turned Russia into a repressive economic powerhouse, we still paid little attention. We pushed to include Georgia and Ukraine in NATO and proposed placing missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic. When the Russians told us they saw this as a hostile act, we continued to ignore them.

Finally, the stars were in alignment. So when tiny Georgia rashly tried to seize control of separatist South Ossetia and the Russians responded with a massive military intervention, we understood that at last we had an opportunity to travel back in time -- to the Cold War.

Why, yes. And here we are. We've even added to the angst by inking the missile defense deal with Poland with a glorious "so there!" directed to Moscow. The timing, coming as it did while the tanks were still parked in Georgia with no signs of revving up for the trip home, was hardly accidental.

What's next? Well, Ms. Brooks' concluding sentence suggests an obvious course of action:

Let's build some more fallout shelters, too.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ms. Brooks does not sound to me too amusing or too enlightening. Clinton and the EU made a mistake with the NATO expansion. Clearly, they should have jumped on the opportunity to call for farewell to arms in Europe. They didn't.

The current events should be laid at the feet of Bush and his absolutely insane policies. Russia became a superpower and explicitly told Bush not to include Georgia and the Ukraine in NATO. And then why anger the Russian even more by a nonfunctional missile defense on their border in Poland?

Bush clearly pushed the Russian over the edge without any justification for the push.

1:22 PM  

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