Liz Cheney On Obama & the Cold War

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Liz Cheney takes to the Wall Street Journal to denounce President Obama's speech in Moscow:

The basis of the Cold War was not "competition in astrophysics and athletics." It was a global battle between tyranny and freedom. The Soviet "sphere of influence" was delineated by walls and barbed wire and tanks and secret police to prevent people from escaping. America was an unmatched force for good in the world during the Cold War. The Soviets were not. The Cold War ended not because the Soviets decided it should but because they were no match for the forces of freedom and the commitment of free nations to defend liberty and defeat Communism.

It is irresponsible for an American president to go to Moscow and tell a room full of young Russians less than the truth about how the Cold War ended.

I agree that President Obama gave a highly sanitized version of the Cold War. But if Liz Cheney were President, would she stand before a lecture hall full of young Russians and tell them that their country was engaged in brutal repression at home and abroad and that they should be deeply ashamed of themselves and that they should forever go forth into the world carrying the heavy moral baggage of their Communist history?

And what would such a speech accomplish, other than alienating these young Russians?

I'm very doubtful that the president's solicitousness is going to truly transform America's relationship with the rest of the world or meaningfully advance international cooperation on the thorny issues like Iran and North Korea. But the conservative criticism of this approach is unmoored from any serious suggestion of an alternative. Other than giving us a momentary frisson of self-righteousness, what would denouncing Russia in Russia in front of young, impressionable Russians, actually accomplish?

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