Cold War Nostalgia

July 16

Well this is just a strange idea. It’s a familiar idea, but a strange one. Life Was Simpler Then. The world is a chaotic mess now, but oh how clear and simple it was when we merely were in a standoff with the Soviets and the only risk we faced was incineration in an all-out nuclear cataclysm.
I don’t know how many people actually subscribe to this idea, but you do hear it bruited about from time to time in ‘policy circles’ which are the kind we run around in. I’ve been waiting decades to use the phrase ‘bruited about’ and now I feel slightly better for having done it.
But back to the Cold War, as some would have us go, ‘simpler’ hardly means ‘better.’ I remember it as a titanic struggle of ideologies with the sword of miscalculation hanging over our heads by a gossamer spider thhread. The whole point of the struggle was to have it end peacefully and with it the threat of a mosquito swarm of nuclear warheads spoiling our picnic. Well, we got what we wanted but now we don’t like the resulting turmoil. Here’s an idea. Instead of nuclear talks with Iran, let’s give them half our nuclear weapons and we can go back to the simplicity of Mutual Assured Destruction.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog.
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