The Eve of Annihilation?
New Cold War!
by James W. Bannister, B.A., LL.B.
How did it come to this? When George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin met for the first time, in 2001, Bush said that he had looked into his counterpart’s soul, and liked what he saw! Did he not realize who he was talking to? Bush’s “new friend” has now declared himself an enemy!
Less than six years after that famous meeting, relations between the USA and Russia seem to have hit a new low. On February 10, 2007, Vladimir Putin, speaking to an audience including American defense secretary Robert Gates, Senator John McCain and other American and foreign bigwigs, performed an anti-American rant the likes of which has not been seen since Nikita Khrushchev banged his shoe at the United Nations back in the early 1960s.
In an amazingly blunt speech at a Munich security conference, Russia’s president accused Washington of seeking world domination, undermining the UN and other international institutions, monopolizing world energy resources, destabilizing the Mideast by its bungled occupation of Iraq, and unleashing a new nuclear arms race by planning to deploy anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe.
After being restrained for half a decade, Putin’s anti-Western impulses now seem set to be given free rein. Putin has succeeded in gaining firm control of his country. He is just as much a dictator as was Stalin in his day.
Russia is experiencing an economic revival, fueled by higher prices for exported oil. And Russia’s sometime enemy, the USA, is distracted by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is nothing, now, to stop Putin from saying — and doing — whatever he pleases.
The “Cold War” Begins Again
At the conference in Munich, Mr. Putin gave voice to a chilling theory. Russia did not lose the cold war of the 20th Century, he said, but ended it voluntarily!
The clear implication is that what Russia ended, it can begin again. The cold war, the arms race, the showdown between East and West can begin again, any time the Russians want. Perhaps it has already done so.
Just as Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech of 1946 marked the beginning of the cold war of the 20th Century, so Putin’s speech in Munich inaugurates a new cold war. It was the Russian newspaper Kommersant which remarked that all Putin lacked was a shoe.
But are we listening? Apparently not. The U.S. and its allies have been quick to dismiss Putin’s warnings as hyperbole, intended chiefly to impress the folks at home, not to be taken seriously. The Western media try to smooth things over. Today’s Russia, they tell us, is not the Soviet Union. Putin’s speech is worrisome, they say, but not fearsome.
Wrong! It would be foolish indeed to dismiss Putin’s threats as just so much posturing. Putin means what he says. He is reacting to a genuine fear of the very real American arms buildup in eastern Europe and militaristic policies and actions in the Middle East. He is saying that Russia should not be blamed, because the new cold war is being started by the USA!
Putin Blames Bush
At Munich, Putin warned that the Bush administration is igniting a strategic arms race by modernizing its nuclear arsenal and planning to deploy ballistic missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic.
He dismissed as laughable U.S. claims that these systems are designed to stop missiles from Iran and other unspecified “rogue” states. The Russians say, and some Western defense analysts agree, that these new strategic systems are really part and parcel of the Bush administration’s plan to put up anti-missile defenses in Alaska and Europe to counter the nuclear arsenals of Russia and China.
What has really been happening, ever since the supposed “fall of Communism” in the 1990s, is that America has been trying to take advantage of Russian weakness to establish absolute military supremacy, nuclear as well as conventional. In this way they hope to impose a “Pax Americana” (American peace) on the rest of the world, particularly the Middle East.
Not surprisingly, the Russians and their allies do not agree with “America’s plan for peace”. They look at the Iraq war, started by the US under clearly false pretenses. They hear strident talk from the US President and Vice-president about “preemptive strikes against threatening nations”, meaning Iran and North Korea. As these nations are on their borders and are their allies, it is no wonder the Russians and Chinese are uneasy.
Putin Means What He Says
Putin’s angry speech is a warning that Russia and China — both of which are formidable military powers — will no longer let the U.S. plan for what Putin called “a world in which there is one master, one sovereign” remain unchallenged. Thus the new cold war begins!
Some think this may be a good thing. Many Western Europeans would like nothing so much as a return to the old world order. No one wants to be dominated by Russia, but equally no one wants to be dominated by the US. Not just Europeans, but many Asians, too, believe a strong Russia is necessary to restrain some of America’s unwise and aggressive policies.
America must listen
Whether or not there is any justification for this argument makes no difference. Putin has clearly signaled his intention to resume the cold war in earnest. Who started the new arms race does not matter. Our temporal rulers — God help them (and God help us all!) — seem hell-bent on the destruction of the world!
Both America and Russia are paying lip service to arms control. Yet the Moscow treaty that reduces both America’s and Russia’s deployed strategic warheads will expire in 2012, and may not be renewed. The Bush administration says no new arms-control treaties are needed because Russia is not an enemy! Have they not heard what Putin has said? Meanwhile, both America and Russia continue to modernize their weapons of mass destruction.
Now we have an arms race not just on earth but in the heavens too. In a recent article in Fatima Perspectives, [http://www.fatimaperspectives.com/oc/perspective531.asp] I wrote of the implications of the Chinese experiment in January 2007, in which they used a missile to shoot down one of their own weather satellites. Why? Because they are entering the race to control space. Why? Because he who controls the heavens can control the earth.
Here America is pushing ahead too fast. But it refuses to talk to Russia and others about military tricks responsible space-faring nations ought not to get up to. That makes it harder to rein in those who misbehave, like China.
Yes, the cold war has begun again in earnest. Lest there be any doubt, we have only to read Putin’s speech. His rhetoric is certainly intemperate, to say the least, but we must listen carefully to what he says he is going to do, because he surely means to do it!
Last October, in the course of a talk he gave at the Last Chance for World Peace conference in Tuy, Spain, Father Nicholas Gruner said, “If somebody has maintained a policy and repeatedly stated what he thinks needs to be done, you can count on him to do exactly that, given the chance.
Take a company such as General Motors. If some man rises in a board meeting and says what is needed to turn the fortunes of the company around is more marketing and advertising, and you put him in a position of running the company, that is what he is going to do.
Similarly, if you have the Communist regime that says ‘We want to rule the world. No matter what we say, that is what we want to do. We want to rule the world and put Communism everywhere,’ these people just don’t all of a sudden, with no conversion, stop believing that and trying to do that.”
If there are any misguided individuals who are still, ostrich-like, burying their heads in the sand, thinking the world and civilization as we know it, is not in peril, let them hear the words of Vladimir Putin. Truly the moment has come when Heaven’s Peace Plan, given to us at Fatima, must be implemented. Let us work and pray earnestly that the Pope and the bishops will obey Our Lady’s command to consecrate Russia and bring us true peace.
Will the World Wake Up in Time?