The L.A. Times' Rosa Brooks has done it again, taken a serious subject and made an uninformed romp of it. One wonders how the old Georgian lady seen in news photos standing wounded among the ruins of her apartment building, or the Georgian Mother running down the street, infant in her arms, trying to escape Russian tanks might feel about the humor with which Brooks brings to bear upon their plight? But, there it is for all to see in Brooks' "The Cold War, reheated" wherein Brooks puts the funny back in war. It's been too serious for too long for Brooks, apparently. We need the sunny side of ethnic cleansing, brutal invasion, and crushing occupation, don't we?
Oh, and let's not forget the skewed history, incorrect conclusions, and partisan inanities that Brooks blurted out with her little attempt at "Springtime for Gorbachev." Only with this production, Brooks is seriously trying to absolve the U.S.S.R.
After some hackneyed recounting of the 1980s, Brooks gives us the claim that "Cold War nostalgia" is "widespread" among "neocons" lately.
Among neocons and assorted righties, Cold War nostalgia has been widespread lately. And no wonder: Just compare the Cold War with the Global War on Terror. "Cold War" had a real ring to it. But "Global War on Terror"? Clumsy, and what a crummy acronym -- GWOT.
(The left's favorite boogy man, neocons, able to rewrite history, cause wars with the flick of a pen, and steal oil revenues with the raise of an eyebrow. I'd be surprised if Brooks could even name a "neocon.")
But, what real evidence there is of "Cold War nostalgia" in Brooks' estimation is anyone's guess. It looked like to me that the Old Media was the one lapsing back into Cold War reverie as they called out of obscurity all their favorite 80's Russian "experts" and Soviet spokesmen once the re-Sovietized Russia ramped up its obviously long planned invasion of democratic Georgia.
Brooks next displays her utter lack of knowledge of even current events.
The GWOT got off to a decent start, with Al Qaeda and the "axis of evil" to go after, but it turned out to be a dud. Maybe it was because having a "war" on "terror" never made much sense. Maybe it was because we quickly ran out of targets in Afghanistan and then became targets in Iraq (and now in Afghanistan too). Maybe it's because Osama bin Laden, who seemed like an excellent candidate for arch-fiend, vanished. Maybe it's because U.S.-sponsored torture didn't sit well with most Americans, who had actually taken to heart all that stuff about how we won the Cold War through the "power of our values."
A dud, she says? We win the war in Iraq and she calls it a "dud"? And the "targets" she claims we are, with violence down by many magnitudes and no further attacks on the homeland nor any important American assets in foreign lands since 2003, what "target" is she saying we've become? And, how exactly does Brooks think we won the Cold War, anyway? With her remark that some felt we won it by the "power of our values," does she think we just sat about and dared Russia to ignore our "values" at their peril? Or does she understand that, along with our values, it was our military and economic might that beat the Soviets down? Obviously she hasn’t the slightest notion.
Next Brooks goes on to intimate that WE are responsible for Putin's avarice.
Regrettably, we instead helped plunge Russia into an economic catastrophe. This annoyed the Russians. But we continued to help by treating Russian officials as washed-up has-beens and by expanding NATO to include most of Russia's former satellites.
Like a typical, hand wringing leftist, Brooks blames everyone but the responsible party. I would agree that our policies weren't perfect with the new Russia, but we are the last in line for blame to be handed out. Boris Yelstin, who Brooks might find on Wikipedia was the leader of Russia after the Soviet system collapsed, bears a lot of the blame -- a heckuv-a-lot more than do we. And we cannot let Vlad "the Invader" Putin off the hook, either. But, Brooks only sees the U.S. at fault. Now that really is a replay of the Cold War, a time when the American left ignored the Russian Gulags, aggression, and oppression to forever place all blame squarely and only on the shoulders of the U.S.A.
And why in Brooks' eyes is it such a bad thing that we offered NATO membership to the nascent democratic countries in the formerly Soviet satellite areas? Does she not realize we floated the same offer to Russia? Should not democracies attempt to stick together, assist each other, support each other?
Yes, with the offhanded treatment and sardonic humor that Brooks doles out with her fabulist version of reality, one wonders at how little she seems care about the poor people of the struggling democracy named Georgia? Why is their plight something of which to make light?
Yes, if anyone is replaying the Cold War, it is Brooks with her failed ideology and a rebirth of the self-loathing blame game once so popular with pointy-heads everywhere. Rosa Brooks, Come on Down and welcome to the 1980s.