In recent days, we've reported on two amazingly contradictory developments relating to military policy.
First, on Publius Pundit last week, we reported on how Russia is delivering defensive missile systems to Iran (LR has also addressed this topic in the past). These missiles can be used to shoot down attack aircraft dispatched by NATO or Israel to take out Iran's nuclear-weapons technology (which, not by coincidence, Russia is also providing to Iran) in the event it becomes a threat to Western security.
Then, yesterday, we reported on how Russia is wailing to high heaven about the defensive missile systems that NATO is installing in Eastern Europe, even going so far as to test offensive ICBM systems designed to overwhelm the NATO defenses through the use of MiRV (multiple reentry vehicle) technology.
This is a new low in the crazed hypocrisy, utterly detached from reality, that was the hallmark of the failed Soviet state. Even if child -- but not a Russian -- understands that if you object to the use of defensive missile systems in Eastern Europe then you can't simultaneously insert such systems in Iran for monetary profit. Yet, just as the moronic Soviets did, Russians seem to feel that they can pull the wool over the eyes of the West because they're so much smarter than we are, and that they can in fact have their cake and eat it too. Do you dare to imagine, dear reader, how the Russians would react if in the immediate wake of a Russian decision to attack terrorist sites in Chechnya with SCUD missiles the US began testing a new Patriot missile destined for Chechnya by way of Afghanistan which the Chechen rebels would use to shoot down the Russian attacks? This kind of hypocrisy cries out to be called uncivilized, relegating Russia to the status of a banana republic like Zimbabwe or Zaire.
And believe it or not, that's not even what's most outrageous in Russia's conduct. Even if Russia had a consistent policy and a legitimate basis to fear invasion by NATO, its provocative actions in testing a new offensive ICBM are totally inconsistent with its powerbase, seeming very like the quixotic antics of the dictator in North Korea. In other words, the Kremlin's mouth is writing checks that its fists can't cash. The USSR, with twice as many people as Russia has and a much more vital economic system not dependent on the sale of fossil fuels, was easily routed by the NATO allies in the first cold war, arms-race conflict. What will now happen to Russia? Do Russians really imagine it will be something different? Russians, once again, are allowing their psychedelic fantasies, stoked by petroleum fumes, to control their destiny, barrelling heedlessly down a road that can only lead to their destruction. It's time to begin asking the question: What will replace Russia, as the Russia replaced the USSR?
And it's time to focus on the single most important reality of modern Russian life: The Russian people are responsible for this outrage, and deserve our contempt and condemnation in the strongest terms, followed up by a new cold war that will make the first one seem like a tea party. During the first Cold War, it was the vogue to claim that the Russian people were the victims of these types of crazed policies, that they were the helpless slaves of a rogue regime. That's no longer possible. As Publius Pundit reported yesterday, the Russian people are just as guilty of misconduct as the Kremlin itself. They are actively supporting the Putin regime, empowering it, in both elections and public opinion polls, and there is no reason to think they didn't do so during even the worst excess of the Soviet era.
In short, the people of Russia are part of the problem, not part of the solution. We trusted them once, and when the USSR collapsed we didn't take advantage of the situation as we might have done, certainly not a military sense. We've napped as neo-Soviet Russia has sought to infiltrate and reconquer nations all along the old Iron Curtain's folds, from Estonia to Georgia. We've allowed that malignant little troll in the Kremlin to consolidate his cruel reign of terror, all the while claiming we were giving Russians the benefit of the doubt.
That means we too are responsible, and we will answer to our children if we shirk out duty now, which could not be more clear. We must demand that the people of Russia take responsibility for their actions and turn back from the brink of disaster, or we must drive them over that brink with all due haste lest we find ourselves fighting a two-front conflict, one against radical Muslim terrorists and the other against the state-sponsored terrorism offered by Russia. It is hard indeed to say which one is worse.