The Russians are Coming…

Russian subs off East Coast echo 1960s Hollywood comedy...  Source:  Google Images

The NYTimes reported today that Russian subs were spotted nearly 200 miles off the East Coast of the United States, echoing the 1960s comedy, The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming, in which a Russian sub accidentally runs ashore off the coast of Massachusetts, causing an international incident and not a few laughs.  By the mid-1960s, lampooning the Cold War was acceptable and probably a good release for Americans, who only a few years before endured the war scare of the Cuban missile crisis.  The phrase — the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming — first attributed to Truman’s Secretary of Defense Forrestal in 1949, came into common U.S. usage to reflect the anxiety about the rise of the Soviet Union since WWII.

Now, the Russians are really coming, if not rising.  The Times article suggests that these Russian naval maneuvers could signal irritation with U.S. policy — U.S. duplicity, from the Russian point of view, speaking out of both sides of the mouth, with good cop Obama flying to Moscow to press the “reset” button, and bad cop Joe Biden running off his mouth in the Ukraine and Georgia.  Not only did the Vice Mouth compliment the beauty of Ukrainian women (who does he think he is, the Beatles?), he gave verbal support to these countries’ claims to joining Western institutions, including NATO.  This mischief-making in Russia’s near-abroad is no reset, especially in Russian eyes, even though Biden, with his gleaming pearly whites, is a more acceptable Cheney than Cheney.

Worries about Russia’s tightening relations with Venezuela, with arms and energy deals and Chavez due for a visit to Moscow in the near future, are well-founded and smack of the chess moves of the Cold War.

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