I’ve said on more than one occasion that we are not only embarking on another Cold War, but that we are in one. Right now.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the conclusion of the Cold War, there was a brief glimmer of hope that Russia under Boris Yeltsin would turn into a true democratic state.
Those illusions turned murky, at best, when former KGB agent Vladimir Putin rose to power, and nearly two decades later, Russia and the Soviet Union are only different by name.
Russia is meddling in elections, they’re starting and exacerbating proxy conflicts to expand their regional and international influence, and, in yet another instance of their malice, they’re continuing to inflict harm on their citizens who present a threat to the current regime.
Numerous cases have arose where Russians who have opposed Putin have wound up sick or dead. The most famous case was Alexander Litvenenko, a former Russian agent critical of Putin who was poisoned with a rare radioactive metal. An investigation later concluded that it was probably ordered by Putin.
Now, in a another case that has rattled Britain, a former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned on British soil last week using a nerve agent. Moscow is suspected to be behind it — duh — and Britain’s reaction is expected to be severe and stern.
With each passing day, it becomes increasingly inconceivable why it needs to be explained to people why Russian behavior matters. As an explosive and unprecedented special counsel investigation intensifies stateside, the domestic conversation still revolves around whether the inquiry is politically motivated, rather than what we are going to do about Russia.
And that’s truly hard to fathom.
If the Soviet Union made a power grab to assert its geopolitical dominance at any point between 1950 and 1990, no American would question whether they deserve to be punished and held accountable.
In the 21st century, however, it appears that nearly half of America is wholly indifferent towards Russia’s actions.
Watch how Britain responds to what happened. Let’s see if their politics becomes embroiled in partisan squabbling. And this is the U.K. we’re talking about — the country that impulsively decided to leave the European Union. That we’re looking to them to set an example in international policing says a lot.
Russia is bad. That much needs to be established.
Robert Mueller has already indicted 13 Russian nationals, with very specific detail, about how they tried to influence the 2016 election. This isn’t partisan anymore.
And if people still need reminding, let’s sit down in a movie theater, use a device to prevent their eye lids from blinking a la Malcolm McDowell in Clockwork orange, and make them watch Rocky IV on repeat until they get the message.
Remember, friends don’t let friends poision former spies.
Bad, Russia. Bad.