Red Dawn: No More Soviet Threat

Red Dawn: No More Soviet Threat

When I was a kid we used to play a lot of “army” in the backyard and the nearby construction sites. We often fashioned ourselves after the movie “Red Dawn,” a 1984 flick that showed a group of kids working a guerrilla resistance to a hypothetical Soviet invasion of the United States. Even their nickname, the Wolverines, turned out to be my high school mascot years later. It was the standard pastime for us, and our standard enemy in that standard pastime was the Russians, the Soviets. It was 1984, deep in the Regan era and there could be no bigger enemy imagined that the Red forces of the U.S.S.R.

Except now, 25 years later, the U.S. and Russia are looking more like allies than enemies that could spark a WWIII. In fact, a U.S. source said that the top priorities for Russia are to help get them into the WTO, cooperate on future missile defense issues, and to resolve economic disputes (including getting U.S. poultry into Russian markets). Where is the animosity that fueled the movies of the ‘80s? Gone with the Wind.

While Hollywood recasts America’s international WWIII villain, Russia has joined up with the U.S. in some key international issues. The biggest is that Russia is agreeing to the sanctions on Iran over their resistance to international cooperation based on their nuclear program.

"We believe that's a concrete achievement of resetting relations with Russia," said Michael McFaul, Obama's senior director for Russian affairs.

Another example is Russia allowing NATO supplies for Afghanistan through their territory (if you remember, Rambo fought the Russians in one of his movies, in fact he teamed up with a group you may remember- the Taliban), then there’s non-proliferation agreements, then there’s our agreements on how to deal with North Korea- and all of a sudden, it’s like the U.S. and Russia…are on the same team?

"We're not aspiring to a 'good' relationship or a 'happy' relationship ... it's about substance. We believe that if there is real substance, that will change the mood," said McFaul.

And while all of these things are happening, McFaul insists that Obama gives equal weight to the human rights issues going on in Russia. I doubt that, but the fact that Obama and Medvedev are working together on important issues like North Korea and Iran? That’s amazing. And it’s the first step to them stepping away from that kind of outlook on the world- the kind of outlook that means you have to oppress your own people and bleed from within. So there is hope in the future for the human rights issues, I believe. Most of them have to do with the government running amok and doing whatever they want to do with prisoners. That’s pretty basic fare when you think about the shenanigans of the world’s governments. And I think there is much to celebrate in the benchmark pop culture shift that so vividly is reflected in this year’s remake of Red Dawn. 25 years later, it won’t be the Soviets invading…It will be China.

Photo Credit: MrOmega