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Cold War Comforts

NEW YORK – Western relations with Russia have rarely been worse than they are now, in the aftermath of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Ukraine and decision to annex Crimea. But US President Barack Obama has sought to assure the world that this is not the beginning of a new Cold War.

Even so, hawkish American liberals and hardline conservatives are comparing Obama’s leadership unfavorably with supposedly tougher presidents like Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. Never mind that Eisenhower did nothing to stop Soviet tanks from crushing the Hungarian uprising in 1956, or that Reagan had no intention of supporting Solidarity activists when they rose against Poland’s communist regime.