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2003-05-16 - 6:14 p.m.

The Cold War, Revisited

I was born in the late 60s and vividly remember spending my grade school years ducking under my desk during a nuclear attack drill. I grew up in an era where Red Commies were the villians in afternoon playground games. No one wanted to wear the red bandana around their arm to signify that he or she was a commie. Everyone wanted the blue bandana. We all wanted to be the good guys fighting to suppress communism. We were too young to fully understand what the Cold War was all about, but that didn't stop us from "killing a red commie." We were too young to understand that the Vietnam War was more about politics and less about the Communist threat. We were too young to understand that the USSR, in order to compete with the USA in nuclear weapons production, was starving its own country. We were young, naive and fattened by stories of total nuclear distruction by the USSR. They hated us, our government, our politics, our economy, and they were determined to blast us off the face of the earth. That was all we knew as we played the Reds Vs. the Blues on those concrete school playgrounds.

By the time I graduated from high school and had started my first year of college, I had grown mystified with Russia. Not the USSR, but the old Russia during its Czar era up to the Russian Revolution. This was partly due to the movie Dr. Zhivago and to a USSR exchange student at my college. Reagan was president then and was making advancement to end the Cold War by a series of nuclear disarmament talks with Gorbechev. It was a proud day for history when the Berlin Wall fell, nuclear disarmament was in full-swing, and Communism took its last exhausted breath. I was writing a paper on the whole situation at the time and events were happening so fast, I finally had to just end my paper and turn it in. I was proud to be a Republican and that I had voted for Reagan. He made me a proud American.

Looking back, and knowing the things I do now, I can see that the end of the Cold War has actually caused more problems than if it had continued, but at least the arms race was over. The decline of the Soviet Union left the USA as the only Superpower. It has also left us with the role of the World's Police, whether we want that role or not. I once thought that our role as the World's Police wasn't such a bad thing. We would only fight injustices in the world. Right? We would never use our power against defenseless nations. Right? We would be DEFENSE; never offense. Right?

All of my illusions crumbled when GW Bush took office. I have witnessed two relatively defenseless nations crumble under the might of my country's superpower forces. I am all but convinced that these wars were more for "show-off" purposes and less for "liberation" or the "war on terrorism". And now, I am witnessing the beginnings of the Cold War, revisited. Why? Because my country, who already has the largest arsenal of any country on this earth, has decided to start its nuclear production again. Does anyone else see something very wrong about this? Not only is this unnecessary, it is a deliberate slap in the face to the Reagan legacy. Furthermore, it makes the US look like a country run by hypocrites who seek out other nations for their WMD production and seek to destroy them, when all along our own government is starting production back up of WMD. Is the Department of Defense so bored that it has to re-open this can of worms?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I lived through one Cold War. I don't think I am ready for another. And besides, who's to say that this time we can hold back nuclear threats and attacks?

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~Did You Miss These?~

Just a Reminder - Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003
Ravyne Is Moving - Friday, Oct. 17, 2003
The Mission - Sunday, Oct. 12, 2003
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