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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

First, I want to say I agree with Mr. Sabbagh's Wednesday column because the United States is on hard times.

Our economy is bad, our military is stretched thin and the last eight years have seen policy decisions so reckless that our decisions have emboldened other states and made us either hated or ridiculed the world over.

At the risk of sounding like an uber-patriotic neoconservative - which I'm not; I'm voting for Obama - we are indeed the greatest nation in the world. However, the world is more polarized than Americans sometimes would like to admit.

Although we're bruised and battered, we are still undeniably at the top of the heap, but that isn't why I'm writing.

I want to clear up this new Cold War scare that Mr. Sabbagh has bought into.

To think a new Cold War with Russia is looming is laughable at best and sheer ignorance at worst. Russia's current grandstanding is little more than a game of distraction that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hopes the rest of the world and, more importantly, his own people will buy into.

Talk of another Cold War, which Putin has been blabbering about since coming to power, is meant to distract the Russian people and the international community from Russia's domestic issues.

Putin uses the façade of a potential Cold War to mask his concentration of power, the grossly unequal distribution of wealth and the ever-present danger of breakaway provinces.

Russia's economy is booming because of skyrocketing energy costs, allowing Putin to line the pockets of the rich oligarchy while the average Russian is worse off than they were at the height of the Cold War.

Worst of all, the world looks the other way because governments have their hands tied by their dependency on Russian energy.

Let's be honest - people don't give a damn about other people, but if a Cold War threatens to disrupt their precious, self-centered worlds, all of a sudden they have a problem.

The U.S. not sending ships to Georgia is exactly what Putin wants.

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He's counting on a distracted, ignorant American public and a lame-duck president to ignore him.

Johnathan M. Alba is a political science and history junior.

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