A New Cold War: STOP IT NOW

The Cold War provided the narrative, rationale, and justification for the largest waste of resources (and millions of human beings) in human history. It was based on a mythology of an aggressive Soviet Union. The Cold War was used to legitimize domestic repression (the FBI) and international subversion and interventionism (the CIA).  One does not have to be a fan of the former Soviet Union to understand how its demonization served US imperialism. 

In addition, major tools of early post-World War Two capitalism included proclamations about how international communism was infesting the US labor movement. The launching of post-war anti-communism served to mobilize opposition to labor militancy in 1946 during the largest wave of strikes in American history. CIO militancy was based on the idea that workers should have a right to a decent living and input into the policy-making processThis red scare led to the weakening of labor, beginning with the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, that impacted on the working class for the next 60 years. And the anti-communist crusade overrode commitments to human rights at home and abroad enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Today the Cold War intellectually is being reconstructed. We know that the civil strife in Ukraine was manipulated from Washington. Many states, including Russia and the United States, intervened with equally disastrous outcomes in Syria. And NATO, whose charter explained the organization as a collective defense against Soviet aggression, should have been disbanded almost thirty years ago because the Soviet Union no longer exists. However, the NATO alliance, since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, has become a global arm of imperialism in Central and Eastern Europe, in Afghanistan, in Libya and elsewhere. Expanding a NATO presence eastward in Europe, and its attendant Cold War ideology, has supported the rise of neo-fascism in Eastern European countries. Meanwhile, the United States National Security Advisor, John Bolton refers to Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua as the “troika of tyranny.”

And now, a revitalized Cold War narrative is being promoted to justify confrontation with Russia, by no stretch of the imagination a descendant of the Soviet Union nor a military threat. This justifies new military expenditures, an escalation of arms into space, a diabolical advance in cyber security, cyber warfare, and technological age research and development for new patterns of war. The old conceptions of the political world in neo-Hobbesian terms, (“war is inevitable” and “we need to plan for the next one”) justify this madness (Dr. Strangelove on steroids). And, the agencies that in the twentieth century were largely the enemies of justice, fairness, and democracy (the FBI, the CIA, and the 14 or so other security agencies) have become the new defenders of democracy.

The peace movement has to say “enough is enough;” exposing this drive to establish a new ideological hegemony, proclaiming a new Cold War, which is broadly endorsed by major factions in both political parties.

Harry Targ