By now it should be clear, even to the most naive of us, that in Vladimir Putin we are dealing with a pathologically romantic thug obsessed with his distorted view of history and the egomaniacal pursuit of his legacy. And the response by the U. S. and the West so far has been totally devoid of the imagination and resolve sufficient to deal with this level of irrational ego. The result of this, regardless of the final outcome in Putin’s war on Ukraine, is to have completely reordered American and Western policy priorities and strategies, both foreign and domestic, in order to deal with a revived, now two-front cold war. Long gone is any notion of the “end of history”; the global “Green New Deal” is dead; the loony progressive left should be sidelined; and America First-style isolationism is a pipe dream. This event will mark the end of an era of Pax Americana, and the post-Cold War I world order is over. Cold War II is upon us.
For Joe Biden this is a defining moment. It represents the urgency of a complete reset of his presidency. Will he recognize its transformative implications and respond accordingly? Maybe we’ll get at least a hint in his SOTU speech this coming Tuesday, because whatever he had originally planned to say is now pretty much irrelevant.