Beware of a New Cold War, Ms. Rice! It Could Get Hot!

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the cold war is over, and she is supposed to be an expert in Russian-American relations so I don’t want to argue with her. But I wonder whether Ms. Rice has spoken to Vladimir Putin lately. It seems to me that by building a “missile defense shield” in eastern Europe (with American tax dollars), the Bush administration is turning back the clock, and once again Russia and America are on the verge of a deadly stand-off.missile defense

Bush justifies the missile defense project (photo at right) by warning that an Iranian threat is imminent. But Putin insists the shield is designed to undermine “Russia’s nuclear deterrent.” The fact that Putin thinks in terms of a nuclear deterrent is eerily chilling. But I have to agree with the Russian strong man that the possibility of Iran attacking Poland seems remote. I would think Iran’s most logical target would be Israel.

A Russian general warned recently that by accepting a NATO missile defense base, Poland is in danger of an attack from Russia. He did not rule out the possibility that the attack would be nuclear. Ms. Rice signed the agreement with Poland today, anyway. She dismissed the Russian general’s comments as “bizarre,” and added that the U.S. has a “firm treaty” to defend Poland’s territory “as if it were its own.” Russia is “probably not wise” to threaten Poland, she cautioned.

“The cold war is over,” Ms. Rice said, adding that the “Russians are losing their credibility.” She also said that Moscow would “pay a price” for its invasion of neighboring Georgia.

Meanwhile, to counter the missile defense system. the Russian navy is producing new submarine-based missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. It’s part of a massive arms build-up made possible by the recent rise in global oil prices.

I find these developments frightening. From everything I’ve read, the Russian leaders are cold-blooded killers who would weigh the pros and cons of nuclear conflict without any qualms. They are not likely to shrink from the prospect of burning babies to cinders and poisoning vast areas of the earth for generations to come.

Of course, another cold war would probably mean huge profits for America’s military-industrial complex.

I understand – from my research on the Web – that this sector includes the Carlyle Group, a private investment company. According to various Web sources, George Bush senior and other members of the American president’s intimate circle are among the company’s shareholders.

The plot thickens when you consider the possibility that John McCain could be America’s next president. McCain is even more bellicose than Bush.

There’s something bewildering about John McCain’s reckless militarism, and I wonder whether it has anything to do with money. Jerome Corsi, who recently authored a book slandering Barack Obama, today took aim at McCain in an article on the Web, linking the Republican presidential candidate’s fortune to “organized crime.”

Quoting a Phoenix New Times story by Amy Silverman and John Doherty, Corsi described McCain’s father-in-law, James Hensley, as a convicted associate of mobsters in Arizona.

I hesitate to rely on Jerome Corsi because his Obama book is such a pack of lies, and I certainly can’t blame McCain for his father-in-law’s murky past. But I wonder whether there’s more to McCain than I know. Remember his ties to racketeer Charles Keating Jr. who was convicted in the savings-and-loan scandal back in the ’80s? There was a lot of talk back then about the savings-and-loans collapse being engineered by mobsters.

It’s all very weird, and I wonder what is going on behind the scenes. The thought is preposterous, I know, but are thugs on both sides engineering a new cold war for financial gain? Would anyone be that monstrous?

Maybe not, but Americans must not forget these words from President Eisenhower’s famous 1961 speech:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist…

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.