Cold war was supposed to be over. But it’s not over yet! Where is — ‘The Wind of Change?’
The world leaders thought that the collapse of Soviet Union on December 25, 1991, marked the end of the Cold War. Ukraine — Russia war reminded us that the wounds of the past have still not healed and the Cold War is far from over!
‘Walking down the street
And distant memories are buried in the past forever
I follow the Moskva and down to Gorky Park
Listening to the wind of change’ — Songwriter Klaus Meine (Scorpions)
After the Second World War, the two ‘Super Powers’ — United States and Soviet Union emerged, dividing the world into two armed camps on the basis of ideology, Marxism-Leninism versus liberal-capitalism. U.S led West and Soviet led East. Both sides were backed by military alliances, Nato and the Warsaw Pact respectively. The Berlin Wall, was a symbol of this divide and the ongoing Cold War.
On the night of November 9, 1989 — the fall of the Berlin Wall, marked one of the most significant historic events, reuniting East and West Germany. The grim wall or the “Iron Curtain” splitting the East from the West was torn down, officially ending the ‘Cold War’.
On this eve of November 9, 1989, the world became a different place and changed forever. Celebrations were in the air! America had said to have won the ‘Cold War’. Most people believed that the end of the cold war was harbinger of hope and peaceful new beginnings for a safer tomorrow, burying the evils, and animosity of the war, behind. In 1992 State of the Union address, President George H. W. Bush euphorically stated - “The biggest thing that has happened in the world in my life, in our lives, is this: by the grace of God, America won the Cold War.” Bush believed in what he called “a new world order” marking the end of an era.
On the 1st Anniversary of the Ukraine — Russia war, U.S President Joe Biden commits to support the defence of Ukraine “for as long as it takes”. For America, can’t see it’s adversary expanding its boundaries and for Russia, it cannot see Ukraine to become a part of Nato. In his State of the Union address, President Joe Biden stated that backing Ukraine matters “because it keeps the peace and prevents open season for would-be aggressors to threaten our security and prosperity.”
Three decades later, a questions comes to the mind. Was the cold war ever over? Looks like, it was never was! The resurgence of hostility after a brief hiatus, has unearthed the insecurity and hunger for power of these two nations. The world has after all, not moved-on. Around 300,000 people have died or got wounded in the Russia-Ukraine war. The cold war was never about the ideological differences indeed. It was always about establishing a higher sphere of influence and control in geopolitical competition. The aggressive demeanour today clearly reverberates the political strains of the past.
What did we learn from the two greatest world wars? Nothing. The atrocities of the wars had broken the spirit of humanity. There were promises made by the world leaders to maintain and promote world peace. Looks like our memory has faded, and these promises forgotten. Thinking deeper one comes to realize that we are merely puppets in the hands of narcissistic politicians whose ambitions for power takes precedence over promises of ‘world peace’ and ‘lives’ of the normal people.
The story always repeats and, we fail to learn. Would this world ever be a safe place? Why is there another war? Why are we not able to resolve conflicts peacefully? And, was the cold war ever over? President Bush got one thing right in his final address to Congress, three decades ago -Despite the collapse of the Soviet Union “the world is still a dangerous place. Only the dead have seen the end of conflict”- The New Yorker.
These lines from the song ‘Wind of Change’ seem like a prayer which is still waiting to be answered!!
‘Take me (take me) to the magic of the moment
On a glory night (a glory night)
Where the children of tomorrow dream away (dream away)
In the wind of change (the wind of change)’ - Songwriter Klaus Meine (Scorpions)
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