Russia and the lessons of history

An invasion on the pretext of reunifying an ethnic minority with the Fatherland.

Threatening Poland.

I think the free world has been down this road before.

The Russians need to remember that Poland is a NATO member and the US commitment to defend our allies didn’t end with the end of Russian dominance in Eastern Europe.

Financial centre of Warsaw, Poland's capital a...Image via Wikipedia

The need for NATO didn’t end with the change from a hostile Communist dictatorship in Russia to a hostile nationalist dictatorship, with a short somewhat democratic interregnum, either.

So, what do Russia’s hostile actions and words mean for US policy?

  1. We should get that missile defense online in Poland and elsewhere ASAP.
  2. We not only can’t reduce our nuclear deterrent, we need to modernize and expand it. (And anyone who thinks we can eliminate it is clearly unfit to be Commander in Chief.)
  3. We should expel the impotent United Nations from the US and withdraw our financial support for the organization. Our only association should be sending a representative to veto anti-US initiatives in the Security Council. Those who say “at least we’re talking” even if the UN achieves nothing clearly are fools ready to repeat the mistakes of Munich.
  4. Our rich European allies need to shoulder a share of the cost of their own defense. Distasteful as a fully rearmed Germany is, we need to insist on it.
  5. Once again the wisdom of developing energy resources in friendly territory is proven. (Russia’s de facto renationalization of its oil industry was a clue that the Russian government couldn’t be trusted. )

One final point. Many people are criticizing George Bush’s visit to China for the Olympic Games. While there is much to be worried about with China another history lesson is in order. Reagan and Thatcher dealt the final death blows to the Evil Empire (with John Paul II on hand to say the Last Rites). But it was the action of Richard Nixon two decades before in opening relations with China that set the Soviet Union up to be defeated without military force. There is not a better place George Bush could have been at the outbreak of hostilities between Russia and a US friend than Beijing.

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