This blogger is very curious about the rumors of wild parties in the bowels of the Pentagon this weekend. Champagne corks were apparently flying amid reports that the Russians have signed a deal to help Iran with its nuclear power program.
Apparently the deal was signed between the two countries this afternoon at the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran. The agreement calls for Russia to supply Iran with nuclear fuel, and in exchange, Iran promises to return all spent nuclear fuel to the Russians. Nuclear weapons can be manufactured from the spent fuel, and the return of the spent fuel to Russia is intended to supply some assurances that Tehran will not be building bombs any time very soon.
So why are the boys so happy at the Pentagon?
The guys who are celebrating are the bitter-enders from the Cold War. Ole Rummy had been purging the building of these dinosaurs in favor of the 'modern soldier' who engages in anti-terrorism operations like Afghanistan and pre-emptive interventions like Iraq.
The neo-con thinking is that the era of global nuclear confrontation is over. We won after dropping only two bombs on Japan. The calculation is that Russian and China would not emerge as serious global rivals.
But suddenly it looks like the Russians are regaining their strength and are flexing their muscles and the Cold Warriors may once again have a place in the 21st Century. Yeah, enjoy the party, but this blogger thinks the cork should go back in the champagne while we think this through.
Poor George must be very confused because Mr. Putin had looked him in the eye and shook his hand just a few days ago. Everyone agreed that Iran should not get into the nuclear business. Poor George announced it on TV. And now who looks pretty stupid?
Did we know the Russians were going to sign the deal with the Iranians just days after the summit with Poor George? Or did we experience another massive intelligence failure?
What exactly is Mr. Putin telegraphing to the world? Is he saying he can lie to the President of the United States on television and then publicly screw him a few days later? Has Russia become so bold? Or did they just simply change their minds about Iran after Mr. Bush had returned to Washington?
Yeah, they're back, and up to their old tricks. And lots of people are glad to see the bear is back. The Europeans will be particularly pleased to see Russia serving as a new counterweight to Pax Americana. And of course there is the nostalgia of the heady days of Khruschev and Kennedy when you never knew when someone might drop the big one.
Russia has more untapped oil than most Arab nations, and inside the ice box they call Siberia is a continent full of natural resources, strategic metals, coal and gold. The Russians are coming alright and this time they will confront us on our own terms. They'll be players in the free market and they'll have more chips on the table.
This curious blogger wonders if Poor George will be up all night scratching his head wondering what went so wrong.