Back when the Soviet Union was collapsing under the weight of decades of repression, the euphoria of a victory for liberty was tempered by the notion that the Soviets were up to no good, even with glasnost and perestroika. Toronto Sun columnist and former Czech citizen Luobr J. Zink often wrote in his column in the late 1990's that Soviet detente with the West was part of a grand scheme to lure financial aid from the West and bolster communism's flagging fortunes.
Many derided those of Zink's ilk as paranoid relics of the Cold War era who simply couldn't face the good news of the demise of the Soviet Union and the rebirth of Russia as a democracy. As if all of those Soviet leaders simply dissolved away out of power and were indelibly replaced with pro-Western reformers.
Even if Zink was wrong, those pro-Soviet communists in powerful positions did not evaporate. Many were smart enough to hold their tongues and wait for opportunities to re-emerge for another communist regime. Putin was one such opportunist. His vision for Soviet re-unification, evident in the Ukraine today, is tempered only by his intelligent decision not to brand totalitarian communism as communism. Many in the West have identified him as merely a thuggish dictator type, no longer concerned with communism. I myself have made that mistake at times, though I believe his communist roots are still there and working in conjunction with his expansionist Russian dreams.
Evidence that his and his Kremlin's ties with communism are still deep came recently in his working with what many had presumed are a geo-political rival (not foe) in China.
China said on Wednesday it would conduct joint naval drills with Russia in the East China Sea off Shanghai in late May, in what it called a bid to deepen military cooperation...China's defense ministry did not give an exact location in the East China Sea, where Beijing is locked in an increasingly bitter dispute with Japan over the ownership of a group of uninhabited islets."These drills are regular exercises held by China and Russia's navies, and the purpose is to deepen practical cooperation between the two militaries, to raise the ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats," the ministry said on its website.
The reason that Putin has in working with the Chinese is ideologically driven. The Cold War is not over. It was dormant for a while, but only if you were in the West. The sooner the White House realizes that it is viewed as a patsy by Putin and that the current Russian leadership is not America's friend, the better.