Wednesday, 8 July 2009

The Eagle and The Bear

For all Russia’s faults, President Obama’s wish list is already rather more fulfilled there than in, say, Georgia. Perhaps that was his real point? Those who surrounded Bush were old Trots whose life made no sense except in terms of the Cold War, just as those who surrounded Blair were either old Trots or old Communist Party hands who hated Russia for no longer being their beloved Soviet Union.

Nuclear disarmament was the one truly conservative thing that Reagan ever did. And there is now a conservative in the White House for a change. A conservative like those Republicans who called, as Pope Benedict XV did, for an end to the First World War by means of a reversion to pre-War borders, so that there would have been neither any Nazi Germany nor any Soviet Union.

A conservative like Eisenhower, with his ending of the Korean War, his denunciation of the military-industrial complex, and his even-handed approach to Israel and the Palestinians. A conservative like Nixon, who ended the Vietnam War. And a conservative like those Republicans who opposed Clinton’s global trigger-happiness. (If President Gore had proposed invading certainly Iraq, and probably even post-9/11 Afghanistan, then between eighty and one hundred per cent of Congressional Republicans would have voted against it. And they would have been right.)

Ah, yes. Clinton. The man who promised Gorbachev that support for German reunification would mean no eastward expansion of NATO.

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