Cold War yet to be won

The Weekend Australian - - COMMENTARY -

Michael Sex­ton is right about na­tions be­ing self-in­ter­ested, some more than oth­ers, but he is wrong to go down the path that says that is just the way the world is (“It’s not smart to re­heat the Cold War”, 9/2). His will­ing­ness to ig­nore the moral di­men­sion of in­ter­na­tional pol­i­tics — the strug­gle between good and evil, between free­dom and slav­ery — is sophistry. China and Rus­sia are to­tal­i­tar­ian states that, sep­a­rately and to­gether, are at­tempt­ing to de­stroy lib­eral democ­racy and, in China’s case, to re­store the (myth­i­cal) Ce­les­tial Em­pire. The Cold War, the strug­gle between lib­eral democ­racy and to­tal­i­tar­i­an­ism, never went away, and the West must con­tinue the strug­gle. Jim Wil­son, Beau­mont, SA

Michael Sex­ton blames much of the hos­til­ity between Rus­sia and the West on East­ern and Cen­tral Euro­pean coun­tries’ de­sire to pro­tect them­selves in NATO from their huge east­ern neigh­bour, and jus­ti­fies Rus­sian tru­cu­lence by its sphere of in­flu­ence be­ing ig­nored.

In do­ing so, Sex­ton seems to dis­miss East­ern Euro­pean coun­tries’ right to their own sphere of in­flu­ence within their own bor­ders. Moldova, Ge­or­gia and Ukraine are not NATO mem­bers, and all are vic­tims of con­tin­u­ing post-Soviet Rus­sian ag­gres­sion. There is no rea­son to be­lieve Poland, Bul­garia, Ro­ma­nia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithua­nia would not have suf­fered sim­i­larly if not for their NATO mem­ber­ship. Karl Karlov, Blax­land, NSW

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