In the new fireworks between the US and Russia, the rhetoric is straight out of the Cold War. The US wants to put a missile defense system on Russia's doorstep. Moscow is howling.
Vladimir Putin is talking about American "imperialism" and comparing the US to Nazi Germany. President Bush is firing back that democratic dreams have gone off the rails in Russia. Even the language of nuclear strike and counterstrike is back.
Now, Bush says "let's not hyperventilate." Too late.
This hour On Point: back to the future. We look behind the Cold War sound and fury of the new US-Russia standoff.
Quotes from the Show:
"The big deal is that [Bush's missile plan] it could be perceived as the proverbial camel's nose under the tent. ... These [missile interceptor] systems are nascent technology, very poorly tested." Gregory Webb
"The Russian reaction is totally irresponsible. ...These are constructed threats and Putin has an agenda to do this right now and that's what's disturbing." Michael McFaul
"What is troubling now is that [the nuclear talk terms] are entering the political discourse." Igor Zevelev
"This has more of a characteristic of a dust-up than a serious confrontation. ... I don't think this is the beginning of a new era or the end of an old era." Thomas Pickering
"Right now Russia has a very complex view of the United States. ... The main aim of Putin's foreign policy in the last year is the attempt to renegotiate Russia's relations with the West." Igor Zevelev
Gregory Webb, Editor of the Global Security Newswire
Igor Zevelev, Washington Bureau Chief for RIA Novosti, the Russian news and information agency;
Michael McFaul, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Associate Professor of Political Science at Stanford University;
Thomas Pickering, former US ambassador to the Russian Federation, and former US Ambassador to the United Nations.;
Mark Landler, Germany Bureau Chief for the New York Times.
This program aired on June 7, 2007.