A Race to Restart The Cold War


It may be Cold between Russia and The United States but Ukraine is definitely feeling the heat right now. On May 2, 2014 two Ukrainian helicopters were shot down as Ukrainian forces moved to the outskirts of Slovyansk. On the same day, dozens of people perished due to fights between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian unity demonstrators in the city of Odessa. US and Russian governments blame each other for the escalation of the crisis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited President Barrack Obama and together, they warned Russia that they will impose higher sanctions.

Although most people see Russia as the villain, Stephen Cohen and Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel think differently. They claim that “the White House declared a new Cold War on Russia—and that, in a grave failure of representative democracy, there was scarcely a public word of debate, much less opposition, from the American political or media establishment.”

Is there really a new Cold War? According to economist Nouriel Roubini, the answer is yes. Furthermore, he says that there is a chance that it can be the start of a hot war that will eventually cause another recession in the Eurozone. This is an excerpt from Roubini’s interview with Bloomberg TV’s Eric Schatzker and Stephanie Ruhle.

“Certainly among the global tail risks, the one coming from Ukraine is the most important one. There is the beginning now of a new cold war between the West and Russia, and this cold war could actually become a hot war if it’s possible Russia were to effectively destabilize and invade the eastern provinces of Ukraine, in which case things would escalate. You could have another episode of global risk aversion. If this were to become a real war, (inaudible) even a situation in which the supply of gas to Europe may be cut off from Russia. The European economy is barely now recovering from a recession.”

If there is a new Cold War, who the hell started it? Was it the Americans? Or was it the Russians? To be fair, both countries have valid points. The twenty years of NATO’s expansion has caused Russia to feel cornered. They are also correct when they say the most US media and most political leaders are one-sided in the issue. American News channels and political leaders mostly say that the escalation in Ukraine is due to President Vladimir Putin’s aggression, the desire to bring back the influence of old Moscow, and the increase of his popularity back in his homeland. But even after all these reasons; is it too impossible to ask Russia for their side of the story?

Cohen blamed the US media for ignoring Russia’s national interest for its borders “as though we don’t care what happens in Canada and Mexico.” We can also cite the anger or the Americans when Soviet missiles have been placed in Cuba but they were okay when the US placed missiles in Turkey aimed across the Black sea at Soviet territory.

Although some reasons require some thinking about, Russia’s “there are ethnic Russians in Ukraine” angle is totally bullshit. Would Mexico have the right to invade Texas when Mexican-Americans are being wronged? Of course not. But Russia’s problem why they are portrayed as the bad guys is that their actions are too visible. Although it’s unfair that the whole world is appalled by Russia’s actions, Russia is not giving enough reasons to turn the opinion of the people.

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