If Richard Nixon, the erstwhile red baiter, wasn’t safely in his grave, most probably he would be writing op-eds in the New York Times saying that, “we are in danger of losing Russia.” For all the bodies of the liberal left in America dispatched by him on the way to the pinnacle of power, as president he became the originator of détente with the Soviet Union and at the same a respecter of its history and Russia’s massive contribution to arts, culture and religion. In his own words, Nixon was a Russophile. Once communism was defeated, he used to argue, Russia could assume its rightful place as a powerful European nation.
Today it seems that no one, either in the US or Europe, has the courage to stand up and say that we are in danger of falling back on our well-honed, oversimplistic cold war reflexes. The invasion of Georgia didn’t just happen because of some Kremlin malevolence. It happened because of the west’s ill thought-out position on the independence on Kosovo, the self-defeating military support President Bush provided for an unstable Georgian leader and, not least, because the west failed to bring Russia into the fold after the death of the Soviet Leninist system.