It is also comically partisan to prioritize Russian influence over CIA overreach. This is the first time Democrats view the CIA more keenly than Republicans. This change in sentiment isn’t ideological — at least I hope not. Giving the CIA a pass for hacking foreign governments but throwing a fit when Russia hacks us is incredibly hypocritical.
In 1925, after three weeks spent in steerage on the USS America and three years spent in a German refugee camp, a seven-year old Jewish boy named Benjamin Karasik stepped foot on the island of Manhattan. He and his family had fled from the horrors of the Russian Civil War, and now they arrived in America speaking no English and with only meager savings. Twenty-five years later, Captain Benjamin Karasik was commissioned as a doctor during the Korean War. And in a few short months, decades after passing under the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, Grandpa Ben will celebrate his 99th birthday surrounded by his friends and family. Grandpa Ben was one of the lucky ones; by extension, I am one of the lucky ones as well, as are both of my sisters, my mother and all my cousins.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union the United States has been incrementally increasing its influence in the former Eastern Bloc, as well as countries that have historically been considered part of Russia (whether or not that’s good is a separate issue from whether or not it’s true.) The recent crisis over Georgia is the first of what will most likely be a long and sustained reaction and attempt to reassert Russian control in its former backyard.
Cornellians are often said to be living in the “10 square miles surrounded by reality” that is Ithaca. Yesterday afternoon, however, the Guerlac Room in A.D. White House was packed with students attending a panel discussion called “A New Cold War? The Crisis in Georgia and Its Implications for East-West Relations.”
In the event organized by the Cornell International Affairs Review, Prof. Valerie Bunce, government, joined Georgian author and political figure Irakli Kakabadze and spoke to about 100 people. About 20 members of the audience stood at the entrances of the small room throughout the two-hour discussion.
Cornell boasts of having one of the most diverse student and faculty populations in the world. With undergrads, grads and professors from over 120 countries, few are better suited to keep you up-to-date and informed on rapidly changing world events. This weekly section will highlight prominent global issues through a Cornell perspective.
Last Saturday, hundreds of Georgians in T-shirts emblazoned with the red crosses of the Georgian flag linked hands along New York City’s Fifth Avenue to protest the Russian attack on Georgia.