If one is to believe the newspaper headlines and TV talking heads, we are in the midst of “a new Cold War” as a result of Russia’s decision to seize Crimea. Perhaps for many people on both sides of the Atlantic the comparison is comforting: After all, the real Cold War was the last war that America and the West “won,” or seemed to have won. But it is seriously misleading.
This is not a new Cold War. The world is not heading for a clash of civilizations between two fundamentally different ways of ordering society.
It is a tragedy for Russia, and for its near neighbors, that after the Soviet Union collapsed the state was stolen by the likes of Vladimir V.… Seguir leyendo »
The plot was hatched at a bathhouse in downtown Moscow. At midmorning on Saturday, Aug. 17, 1991, the head of the K.G.B., Vladimir A. Kryuchkov, summoned five senior Soviet officials for a highly secretive meeting that he told them would be vital for the future of the U.S.S.R.
Wrapped in towels in the steam room, and later while cooling down over vodka and Scotch, the half-dozen die-hard Communist apparatchiks outlined a plan to overthrow the Soviet government. For the Soviet spymaster, the prime minister, defense minister and the other paunchy, half-naked co-conspirators, the stakes could not have been higher. And they had to act quickly.… Seguir leyendo »
Today is the real 9/11. This is not meant as a quibble about dates. Future historians will remember 9 November 1989 as far more significant than that terrifying day in September eight years ago. Countless long-forgotten events have been marked in headlines as the day we shall all remember. But nobody can doubt that the world changed on that wonderful night in Berlin.
When the Berlin Wall fell, communism died. Events have moved on fast since then. A new clash of civilisations – or in many ways an old one – began to surface. Now it is hard for anyone under about 40 to remember communism.… Seguir leyendo »
The highly decorated general sat opposite his commander in chief and explained the problems his army faced fighting in the hills around Kabul: “There is no piece of land in Afghanistan that has not been occupied by one of our soldiers at some time or another,” he said. “Nevertheless much of the territory stays in the hands of the terrorists. We control the provincial centers, but we cannot maintain political control over the territory we seize.
“Our soldiers are not to blame. They’ve fought incredibly bravely in adverse conditions. But to occupy towns and villages temporarily has little value in such a vast land where the insurgents can just disappear into the hills.” He went on to request extra troops and equipment.… Seguir leyendo »