If you don't think we must become a bit like Putin – tougher, harder, less inclined to magical thinking – to deter him, you're very naive.
— John Schindler (@20committee) March 25, 2014
According to a public opinion poll by CBS News a solid majority of Americans want nothing to do with Ukraine. They believe the issue is none of America’s business with 61% saying the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is not the US’ responsibility. There is reportedly “widespread bipartisan agreement on this.” A decade of wasteful and dishonest wars has, not surprisingly, made Americans lose the taste for adventurism abroad.
But one small group of Americans has not lost the taste. In fact, they want Cold War 2.0. John Schindler, a former member of the NSA and taxpayer subsidized professor at the Naval War College, actually said “To beat Vladimir Putin, we’re going to have to be a little more like him.” A statement he repeated on social media. That the American government should become more like the Russia government. You know, the one where intelligence agencies are never scrutinized by the public?
Schindler has established himself as perhaps the shrillest voice in the Edward Snowden debate claiming, among other things, that Snowden was Russian agent all along. In his new proposal Schindler goes on to include a neo-McCarthyite attack on Professor Steve Cohen saying:
We must also confront the reality of Kremlin sympathizers and propagandists in the West. During the last Cold War, such sentiments were found mostly on the hard left, and some of them remain active today.
Within the text is a hyperlink to an article critical of Professor Cohen, the accusation being rather clear.
Schindler’s solution to win this non-existent new Cold War is, unsurprisingly, more military spending. He wants NATO members to spend more money and for America to roll back planned cuts to military forces such as the US Army. And you can bet he wants all that public money to continue to funnel to the American intelligence agencies.
But the debacle known as the Iraq War, which Schindler supported from the inside, has left the country rudely awakened from imperial sleep. Few Americans want to play king of the world anymore, now that they have become painfully aware of the cost.