Tuesday, April 10, 2018

History doesn't repeat itself but it often rhymes

Yossi Mekelberg, Arab News

image from

For those who lived through or studied the period of the Cold War, there is now an inescapable and increasing feeling of deja vu. Poisonings, the expulsion of diplomats, and the demarcation of rival interests between Russia and the West are only the tip of an iceberg that is fast developing into a new Cold War.

In a quite unexpected turn of events, both father and daughter Sergei and Yulia Skripal are recovering well after the attempt on their lives last month via a toxic nerve agent. It is just a matter of time, and doctors’ permission, before a very eager British secret service will try, with the assistance of the two victims, to further piece together the jigsaw puzzle of this crime. Regardless of that, the UK government is already convinced that Moscow was involved in what appears to be an audacious violation of British sovereignty. Consequently, in a matter of just a few weeks, fault lines have reappeared between Russia and the West, the discourse has become radically adversarial and public diplomacy [JB emphasis], instead of more discreet behind-closed-doors talks, has come to characterize these relations. All the signs are that, for the time being at least, the sides involved are ready to let the situation escalate without necessarily setting boundaries to this fast deterioration in relations. ...

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