The New World Flux

The New World Flux

There are two oddities to George Bush’s “New World Order”: (1) he didn’t create it and (2) it doesn’t exist. There is a new flux, but not a new order in the world. Its sources, all of which preceded the Gulf War, are the drama in Moscow, the collapse of the Eastern bloc, German unification, and the 1992 integration process in Europe. It is Bush’s luck, but hardly his doing, that these—or some of their climactic moments—occurred during his presidency.

The politics of Eastern Europe’s liberation were played out in the Kremlin and East European capitals while Washington watched. This was not a bad thing. Anything except a policy of American laissez-faire vis a vis Eastern Europe might have triggered unfortunate responses in Moscow. But to claim that Bush (and Reagan) “undid communism” is to ignore or to refuse to understand Soviet decline in the Brezhnev years and to ignore that America’s right-wing governors championed swollen defense expenditures on the basis of eternal struggle with a relentless Titan—who turns out to be a Titanic.

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