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Discussion: A New Cold War?

“A New Cold War” is the latest International Affairs Forum debate. 

“With talk of a new Cold War, and Russian President Vladimir Putin floating the possibility of aiming nuclear weapons at targets in Europe, how serious do you think the deterioration in relations is between Russia and the West? How should Western governments respond?” 

Among the commenters you might recognise are bloggers Robert Amsterdam and Russia Blog’s Yuri Mamchur.


  • Cold War or Cold Bore?

    So it has descended into this? I understand that the title is supposed to be ‘sexy’…

    Good to read the regular gang from Peter Lavelle’s defunct Untimely Thoughts…

    Meanwhile in the real world, whilst ‘accidentally’ surfing on, I read:

    Boeing sets up JV with Russian titanium (27 July 2007)

    Briton buys 35,000 acres of Russian farmland (27 July 2007)

    So, 1: High tech cooperation continues (ok, in this case it is just titanium, but it is a metal of strategic value (in the early ’60s, the Russians sold the US tons of the stuff, only for the US to turn it into the SR-71 spyplane);

    2: Land reform, private ownership of land – yet here, a brit seems to have little problem in buying up lot of russian land.

    Follow the $$$, the lingua franca of international hypocrites.

    On a side note, it’s a wonder El Russoprobe that doesn’t waste it’s time spamming Boeing or other massive multi-nationals doing business in Russia rather than the english-language blogosphere (then again, they might be tempted to investigate it and have it bumped off). Maybe because the latter receives so much more instant ‘gratification’, even though it ultimately has not effect and is only popular because of the current mytho-socio-politico end of century/new century climate (i.e. Harry Potter – there was lots of interest in witchcraft etc. in the 1890s etc.).
    I voodoo if u do. Not.

  • “Cold War or Cold Bore?

    So it has descended into this? I understand that the title is supposed to be ’sexy’…

    Good to read the regular gang from Peter Lavelle’s defunct Untimely Thoughts…”


    Good rhetorical question.

    I only saw one of mentioned “regular gang” which was periodically lacking when it existed.

    It’s really past due for some upgrades in the form of personnel changes vis-a-vis the propped punditry on such topics.

  • The poll on this topic at my site is currently running 40% Yes, 42% No, and 17% Undecided.

    I think that it is an easy and bold headline. This is going to be something different entirely, but with some opportunities for easy comparison by those who are inclined to see things through such lenses.

  • Well, if that’s supposed to be hype, then I would expect at least some gratuitous shots of some slavic babes, for example a Russian v. Ukrainian ‘babe off’, or for the ladies, the equivalent male ‘hunk off’.

    Speaking of which (here I go off on a tangent), there’s always plenty of news/pics of slav babes, but where the slav hunks? What slav hunks make the ladies feel all pale and wan? I find it quite sexist and unegalitarian that blokes are generally ignored… I certainly don’t remember reading anything of the like in the press …

  • Andy, you should embrace your feminine side more! 😉

    …On reflection, more ‘Cold Sore’ than ‘Cold War’. Will the puns never end???

  • The gymnast “Sexy Alexi” Nemov has his share of female fans. I understand that he has done well for himself modelling.

    Upon his defection to the US in the 19 seventies, I recall a number of ladies being aesthetically attracted to Mikhail Baryshnikov.

    Awhile back, some might recall the Russian national football (soccer for the uncultured among us) having done some neo-nude photo shots. Never mind their not qualifying for the last World Cup.

  • What slav hunks make the ladies feel all pale and wan?

    One of my employees does. He’s 25 years old, on his second wife, and a good looking sod. He knows it too. The women in the office drool over him. He’s a cracking bloke though.

  • Getting back to Andy’s post at this thread, there’re these quoted thoughts on “the new Cold War” theme being hustled in some mass media/academia/bdy politic circles:

    “It sells newspapers and conforms to the general populations simplified understanding of such issues.”

    That can be legitimately questioned along with other aspects of former Communist bloc commentary. Andy’s link to that discussion is at what seems like a relatively well funded venue. At last note, there’re no posted replies to the new Cold War discussion at that site. At this thread, no one has yet to directly reply to any specific point made at that discussion.

    This reminds me of what a former exec. at a Fortune 500 manufacturer told me when comparing his experience to a major news organization. Media isn’t so profit driven as some think. Certain media outlets (think tanks as well) favor one agenda or agendas over others. Many of the owners of media outlets made their money elsewhere. Some of them don’t see a media acquisition as a profit maker, but more of a toy to air out certain views. This person added that in his opinion the cronyism factor is greater at media outlets than the more profit driven fields. Let me add that some media outlets like the VOA, RFE/RL, NPR and PBS receive a good deal of government funding to keep afloat.

  • As per my last posted comments, I forgot to highlight how this thread’s changing of subject matter serves as another example that the highly promoted media “new Cold War” topic isn’t so interesting to a number of those interested in former USSR matters.

  • I though VOA, RFE/RL, NPR and PBS are government organizations, much more than less. What I would like to see is a list (and the $$$ gigures) of all media outlets in central, eastern europe and the balkans that still receive subsidies in one form or another (governmental, ngo, ‘philanthropy’ etc.

    I mean of course the usual suspects, Open Society, Ford Foundation, Freedom House, European Democracy funds etc. etc. who would otherwise become bankrupt without such aid if they weren’t protected from the market. A prime example is B92 who recently boasted that it was now seen as a ‘super brand’, though remained astonishingly coy on its actual profits/turnover (it didn’t mention any). I think we’d be all suprised.

    Does the West think that all these countries would go communist again at the drop of a hat if they pulled the plug on these subsidies? Well now they can continue to be justifed to fight of rich, pro-kremlin oligarchs etc. etc.

    This is a big story that no-one wants to tell, speaking of which, UK Defense Secretary Des Browne announced last week that the UK would host US missile defense at Menwith Hill (and its famous ‘golf balls’),,2138293,00.html). I certainly didn’t hear anything about it at the time… Finally back on subject!

  • I meant above various media outlets in central & eastern europe & the balkans who would become bankrupt without their subsidy (rather than Freedom House et al)>

  • As a comparison, Russian government and Russian government funded orgs. do little to promote effective non-Russian/outside of Russia analytical views sympathetic to general Russian positions.

    Instead, there’re scenarios like Ian Pryde’s recent anti-Russian government commentary picked up by RIA Novosti.

  • Looks like my post from last night didn’t make it.

    Mike, I (tried to) reply to your comment about funding, in essence wondering how much subsidy is still paid (by the usual suspects) to numerous media outlets in central/eastern europe and the balkans (in the name of sustaining ‘democracy’ of course). It hardly shows great faith by the West that they have the ‘right kind’ of democracy. Still, now that there is a Cold Sore on, I’m sure the funding is guaranteed for a while longer…

  • Sorry about that Aleks – your comment from yesterday evening got held up in the spam filter. I’ve approved it, and it now appears above (time: 10:45pm).

    For good measure, I’ve dug out another of your comments from a week ago – about military uniforms – which also got caught up.

  • Cheers Andy. I was starting think that I’d have to look at the floor carefully incase I accidentally tripped over some marbles that I’d lost!

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