Washington desperately needed a new enemy, so the timing of Putin’s bloodless “invasion” of Crimea was just right. Al Qaeda’s value as a fear generator has been seriously compromised ever since the death of Osama bin Laden, and now that it looks like the U.S. government has taken the Syrian affiliate of the group under its wing the warlords of Washington have been in the market for a new bogeyman.
Why Russia? Out of all the possible enemies we could conjure, why go after a country that endured the most murderous tyranny in human history and lived to throw off its chains?
I can come up with enough reasons to entertain the notion that the natural course of history has anointed Moscow the role of the anti-Washington. Or, at least, that our reversion back to the Cold War paradigm was for all intents and purposes inevitable.
To begin with, Russia is a member of the nuclear club—and, more than that, is the only member with a history of confronting the United States. What this means is that the U.S. force posture is still largely constructed around a U.S.-Russian nuclear standoff. Untold billions have been invested in this concept, and too many powerful players are invested in its centrality to see it abandoned just because the Cold War supposedly ended.
Second, if we follow the money, we can trace the “new cold war” propaganda campaign...