Bush Administration hints at another Cold War

Evan Bakker

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has taken a tough line of attack, demanding that Russia quickly exit the democracy of Georgia, whose territory is in danger as Russia refuses to shake loose its hold on the neighboring country.

On August 7, Russia moved its troops into the province of South Ossetia in Georgia, igniting a worldwide crisis over how to confront the former Soviet Union. Georgia, being the post-Cold War sovereign state, had the support of America as well as many European countries.

President George Bush condemned the Russian aggression and declared that the U.S. would do everything to defend and protect Georgia’s democracy. But herein lies the problem. America has turned Russia into the bete noir of the world, accusing them of starting a conflict, while simultaneously hinting at threats of a second Cold War.

Fox News, the mouthpiece of the Bush Administration, televised a documentary which depicted Russia as a bitter superpower who wanted a return to Cold War tactics.

On Wednesday, the U.S. set up a missile defense system in Poland, which provoked Russia into declaring that they would be forced to act. Condoleezza Rice denied claims that it was aimed at Russia and said that system was aimed at Iran.

As the Bush Administration resorts to more coercive diplomacy, they fail to realize that Georgia itself started the skirmish. Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili puts the blame wholly on Russia, although Georgia sent troops into South Ossetia initially, which provoked Russia into responding.

And although Russia must be condemned for pushing further into Georgia, they are not set on reigniting the Cold War. They recognize the need for a growing economy, which can only remain if they keep tight relations with Europe and the United States.

John McCain echoed the Bush Administration last week, declaring that in the midst of this crisis, “we are all Georgians.” The sympathy towards the sovereign state is essential, but our government has been using it for purposes of underscoring Russia’s aggression towards the fragile democracy of Georgia, who is all but innocent in starting the whole debacle.

The Bush Administration has been using scare tactics to win political points for years now, invading a few sovereign states of their own. Rice perhaps put the Bush Administration’s goals most confusingly and hypocritically: “Russia is a state that is unfortunately using the one tool that is has always used… when it wishes to deliver a message, and that’s its military power. That’s not the way to deal in the 21st century.”