After my terribly depressing post involving that horrific murder in Philadelphia, I felt it was probably appropriate to lighten the mood a bit. So, I guess I’ll do my best CNN impression when starting this article:
Could the US and Russia be on the brink of a second Cold War!?!?!
Naw, probably not. It’s because during the Cold War, the leaders of the respective nations had a tremendous amount of respect for one another, despite hating the other guy. For example, the Cuban Missile Crisis was arguably the closest the US and Russia came to turning each other into a parking lot during the Cold War. However, cooler heads prevailed because Kennedy and Khrushchev decided to play nice and take their missiles somewhere else. Sure, there was a huge degree of animosity between the two nations, but it seems like mutual respect prevented the end of the world.
In today’s world, you are probably aware the US and Russia are still probably not on the best of terms. Frenemies might be the best word to describe our relationship. President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are like Cady Herron and Regina George from “Mean Girls” is kind of what I’m hinting at. The first Cold War focused on an arms race, scare tactics, and a 50-year tug of war over which nation was the dominant superpower. Now it’s just petty annoyances and immature antagonization. A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal reported Putin had given Xi Jinping, the President of China, a smartphone as a gift. They speculated this was because President Obama had given the Queen of England an iPod touch a few years ago as a gift. I am far from kidding right now. Keep in mind, this is not TMZ or the E! Channel reporting this “news”, this is the Wall Street Journal, a reputable, well-respected publication.
Thomson-Reuters, which you may recognize as one of the largest mass media corporations on earth, reported Putin and Obama, at a recent summit meeting, only spoke “briefly”. They then went on to speculate this was because of all the mean things Putin did to Obama such as “taking all my toys and breaking them”, and Putin didn’t really like Obama either, because Putin claimed Obama had “smelly doo-doo pants.” (citation needed) Honestly, can we appreciate how ridiculous this rhetoric is? The largest and most world-renowned news organizations are reporting on the leaders of two of the most powerful countries on earth as if they are Kardashians. How have we allowed this to happen?
I don’t want to be entirely cynical. Yes, Russia and the United States are sort of at odds over several issues, most notably Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine and Putin’s insistence on backing Bashar Al-Assad, who you may recognize as the dude who authorized gas attacks against his own countrymen. These are important issues. David Cameron, a journalist, even compared Russia’s actions towards Ukraine to Germany’s actions towards Poland prior to World War Two. Vladimir Putin is a lot of things; a scholar, a war hero, a diplomat, and a little rough around the edges, but he isn’t stupid. Adolf Hitler, in addition to being the daffiest moron in the history of time, was a coward, a poor military strategist, and a psychopath. Comparing the two of them is ridiculous.
I guess my point is reports of a second Cold War do nothing more than fuel the fire of distrust towards the Russians. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia and the United States have been reasonably friendly with one another. Yeah, differences in policies exist, but we also have differences with Canada, and we’ve been bro’s forever, except for that one time we invaded them during the War of 1812, but that’s a long forgotten memory, probably.
The point is, the likelihood of a second Cold War “breaking out” is pretty slim. Even if the two countries were to declare(?) Cold War on each other, it would be less war and more slap and tickle.