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Saturday, 26 April 2014

On Treating Putin as Pariah

Lew Rockwell
Patrick J. Buchanan

“Mr. Obama is focused on isolating President Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia by cutting off its economic and political ties to the outside world … and effectively making it a pariah state.”

So wrote Peter Baker in Sunday’s New York Times. Yet if history is any guide, this “pariah policy,” even if adopted, will not long endure.

Three years after Khrushchev sent tanks into Hungary, he was touring the USA and celebrating with Ike the new “Spirit of Camp David.”

Half a year after Khrushchev moved missiles into Cuba, JFK was talking detente is his famous speech at American University.

Three weeks after Moscow incited the Arabs in the Six-Day War, Lyndon Johnson was meeting with Premier Alexei Kosygin in New Jersey, where the “Spirit of Glassboro,” was born.

So it went through the Cold War. Post-crises, U.S. presidents reached out to Soviet leaders. For they saw Russia as too large and too powerful to be isolated and ostracized like North Korea.

These presidents also understood that the American people wanted constant efforts made to reduce tensions and avoid war with a vast country with thousands of nuclear weapons. And presidents being politicians, be they Democrats JFK or LBJ, or Republicans Eisenhower, Nixon or Reagan, responded to this political reality.

We may not have liked the Soviets. We could not ignore them.

But if throwing Putin out of the frat house and off campus is an unsustainable policy, what of the hawkish calls for a return to Cold War containment and military countermeasures against Russia?
Well, let us inspect them one by one.

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