Cold War restarts on Bush’s watch

by Jim Longworth

Ifyou loved how our goof-off President George Bush delayed sending helpto victims of Hurricane Katrina, you’ll really like his sequel. It’scalled How I Left the Georgian Republic Stranded and Helped to Re-start the Cold War in the Process.

Honestly,it still amazes me that someone as corrupt as George Bush is at thesame time so stupid and grossly incompetent. Usually one characteristicprecludes the others.

After all, evil, arrogant people areusually brilliant. Oh well, chalk it up to sustained cocaine use incollege. In any event, Bush has blundered once again, and this time hemay have undone everything Ronald Reagan did to make the world safefrom Soviet aggression.

Remember when Bush bragged that he had“looked into Vladimir Putin’s eyes” and saw his soul? I am reminded ofthe time when, following a meeting with Hitler, Lord NevilleChamberlain assured his countrymen that Germany was no threat toEngland. Perhaps Chamberlain can be forgiven his pre-World War IInaivete. But Bush has no excuse for misreading the intentions of CzarVlad. In addition to the lessons of history at his fingertips, ourso-called commander in chief is surrounded by scores of advisors,including Soviet expert Condi Rice, who should have known that Putin’seyes were full of deceptive aggression.

But even if we giveBush and Rice the benefit of the doubt on the front end, there is noexcuse for America’s delay in putting a halt to Russia’s invasion ofGeorgia once it began, and for waiting a week to send in humanitarianaid. Said Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, “The response hasbeen inadequate, and the West failed to analyze the Russians’intentions, and they failed to react promptly to what has beenhappening”.

The fact is that Bush is scared of Putin becausehe knows that the Russian bully is aware of our weaknesses.Specifically, Vlad knows that the US military is overextended in Iraqand Afghanistan, and that Russia is one of our biggest lender nationsthat holds substantial ownership over America’s growing debts anddeficits.

That’s why Putin knew he could march into Georgiawithout fear of retribution from the West. Now, in addition toGeorgia’s current plight, her former Soviet block brothers in Estonia,Latvia, Moldova, Ukraine,

Armenia, Azerbaijan and Lithuania fear similar invasions in the future. I’mnot one for policing the world or interfering in internal politics andcivil wars, but the United States helped to dismantle the Soviet Unionso that its satellite nations could be free. If those nations areattacked by their former oppressors, then we have an obligation to stopthose attacks. The solution now is to move quickly to admitGeorgia and other similarly situated, vulnerable countries into NATOwhere Putin knows they will enjoy the full protection of its collectivemembership. At the same time, we must pull out of Iraqimmediately (where we shouldn’t have gone in the first place, and wherecivil strife will never subside), and we should stop the practice ofdeficit spending. This time Russia caught us with our pantsdown, and we were unwilling to respond. But if we don’t make somechanges, then next time we might be unable to respond. In terms thatGeorge W can understand, “We just can’t let Vlad be Putin one over onus again.”

JimLongworth is the host of “Triad Today,” airing on Fridays at 6:30 a.m.on ABC 45 (cable channel 7) and Sundays at 10 p.m. on WMYV (cablechannel 15).

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