If I Had To Pick, I'd Pick The Cold War


Diamond Member
Nov 22, 2003

I Wish Those Days Would Come Back Once More
Posted by Stephen Green · 11 September 2006

It’s not often I disagree with Glenn Reynolds on an issue of substance, but in this case, the Instapundit couldn’t be more wrong. Read:

To read some blogs today, you'd think that this was the 9th century, with camel-riding Jihadis ready to descend on helpless American towns, swinging unstoppable scimitars. It's not that way; it's more like the Ghost Dance or similar movements borne of frustration at losing, movements that do their damage all right, but that are doomed to fail. I don't mean to understate the threat, which is real enough. But it's not on the order of the Cold War, you know, and we won that one.
With the one tiny (and farfetched) possibility of instant and total nuclear annihilation, the stakes today are much, much higher than they ever were during the Cold War.

Imagine that the US and Western Europe had succumbed to the Soviet Union, anytime between 1948 and 1989. Did the West lose the Big Battle in World War III, with Spetsnaz paratroopers guarding the streets of Bonn, Paris, London, and Washington? Or did the West lose through a loss of will – ie, adopting Soviet Communism here at home, complete with GULAGs and Five Year Plans and all the rest? Either way, the result would be the same.

The Cold War was the Great Civil War of Western Civilization -- exactly like the Thirty Years War, only greater in scope. If the Russians had won, Western Civ would have gone on as before. Only, you know, a lot more repressed and a lot less rich. As it is, the West did win, and Russia is as Russia was except for that whiff of freedom they enjoy.

And if the West were to succumb to Islamic Fascism?

(Take a moment here to shudder.)

At the very least, we’d find ourselves in a new Cold War. Like before, we’d be squared off against half of Asia. Unlike before, we’d have exactly zero allies. And damn little oil.

At the very worst?

(Take another moment to shudder.)

When some smart hawk you know compares the Current Mess to the Cold War, tell them, “You wish, brother.”

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