Russia and America – A Return [to the Old Guard]

A new strategic dialogue between Russia and the United States has been undertaken so as to reestablish a system of controls over weapons and the joint fight against terrorism. This was Vladimir Putin’s suggestion during his last press conference as President, in front of 1364 journalists (excuse me!) and that had already been thrown at Sergei Ivanov, a “tough” guy who’s also the vice-president of Russia and was the Minister of Defense at the time of the Munich Conference.

Dizzyingly, in the middle of the press conference Putin played both the friend and the foe. He was cold in insisting that Russia would no longer be intimidated, nor march on her feet [translators note-this means he would not allow Russia to be humiliated] and would defend herself if pushed to that point. He was warm in underlying that, far from desiring a return of the Cold War, [Russia] was determined to work with the next American President, “whoever he is and if he desires it.” To show such strength and the capability of striking fear into others but at the same time proposing an agreement, a friendship, and more understanding; that is a dance of seduction and then some! A seduction that could show the proper course to take if one looks at the historical sequence at play.

From 1945 until the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the world lived for all intensive purposes, under the roof of a Soviet-American home [translators note- and hence had to play by their rules]. The two superpowers hated each other, but at the same time kept one another in check with their nuclear arsenals, the same ones that assured an essential [and necessary] order during the last half of the 20th century. But then the USSR, weakened, was shattered; her satellite states declared their independences, and at the end of the process, Russia ended up alone. The rest of the world, with the United States at the forefront, imagined that while she was disintegrating, Russia had ceased to play a significant role on the international stage.

From this, two unexpected phenomenons were produced. First, Russia, rich with the natural gas and oil for which the rest of the planet was prepared to pay an ever increasing price, rediscovered the unquestionable power this affords while the United States, due political disorder-[her missteps in] Iraq!- has seen her influence curtailed a bit. The result of this double movement; Russia and the United States find themselves today, once again, in a situation of relative equality in a psycho-political sense.

For these two countries, the idea of recreating a bipolar world along the lines of the years 1945-1989 would not be completely ridiculous. Despite all the hostility these two lords of the world devote towards each other, [a cold war] would actually bring them together.

It should be noted that if this particular situation returns, which at this stage looks increasingly likely, Europe will find herself reduced in status in a new fluctuating world without strong protectors or solid alliances. However, if Russia and the United States, rid of their former European “children” once again become masters of the planet, more free in their movements now than years past, their association would keep them from being run over by a China and India in the process of learning quickly (with a capital Q) how to increase their political and economic weight.

Yes it is all very dizzying. What is coming next? Wait now for this period following the independence of Kosovo and we shall see.

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