Editor's Note: This article originally appeared at TomHayden.com. It is republished with the author's permission.
While the first Cold War was fought against communism, a successor Cold War is steadily unfolding against democratic electoral outcomes unfavorable to America's perceived interests. Russian President Vladimir Putin's illegal occupation of Crimea has for now revived raging Western memories of Joseph Stalin's top-down incorporation of the former Eastern Europe. Lost in the new anti-Russian narrative, however, is the growing US pattern of ignoring democratic electoral outcomes where they are inconvenient, in the name of "promoting democracy." Ultimately this process of "democracy through intervention" reinforces bureaucratic authoritarian trends in both East and West. The thrust of this US foreign policy mirrors conservatives’ efforts at home to limit and divide the ascending multicultural American political majority.
It should be remembered that Al Gore's election by a half-million vote majority in 2000, and his apparent win in Florida that year, did not prevent Republican mobs, Republican apparatchiks and Republican judges from forcing the Bush Era upon America. Many of those same forces are willing to do whatever is necessary abroad to thwart democratic electoral outcomes not to their liking.
Provoking the Russian Bear
The first casualty of the Ukraine crisis is the amputated memory that Viktor Yanukovych was the recognized, democratically elected president of the Ukraine before he was ousted by a mass movement, including pro-fascist militias, based in the western Ukraine who demanded an alliance with their friends in Europe and NATO. The accusation that Yanukovych was corrupt and unpredictable was not a constitutional reason for his ouster or for American intervention in a potential civil war. The released tapes of phone calls between the US ambassador in Kiev and the State Department’s Victoria Nuland proved America’s direct involvement. Nuland is married to the neo-con intellectual Robert Kagan, one of the promoters of the triumphal "new American Century" thesis after the first Cold War. Nuland was plotting to "midwife" a new anti-Russian regime in the Ukraine by ousting the country's president. When Putin proposed to defuse the crisis through a tripartite arrangement, he was rejected out of hand. For a full-throated example of America's new Cold War intention, one can read the battle cry of Senator John McCain:
The United States must look beyond Mr. Putin. His regime may appear imposing, but it is rotting inside. His Russia is not a great power on par with America. It is a gas station run by a corrupt, autocratic regime. And eventually, Russians will come for Mr. Putin in the same way and for the same reasons that Ukrainians came for Viktor F. Yanukovych.