The Russo-German Symbiosis in the First andrnSecond World Warsrnby Ralph de ToledanornWith the collapse of the Soviet Union and the retreat ofrnLeninist forees within the empire, hosannas ha’e rungrnout in the Western world. “Hie Cold War is over, the ColdrnWar is over,” the leaders of the West have exclaimed, and demandsrnto turn swords into knitting needles have filled the air.rnAt everv hand, there is a militant vearning to disarm, to declarern”peace dividends,” and to return to the state of inertia thatrnmarked the eras which followed World War 1 and II. To listenrnto some of the nation’s legislators, onlv a unilateral assertion ofrnuniversal peace stands hetween us and a balanced budget.rnThe facts are something else again. Few realize that exen in arnworld rid of the Soiet threat, the responsibilities piled on thern”one remaining superpower” are limitless and of far greater significance,rnthe threat to world sccuritv from the Eurosian landrnmass as great today as when Stalin and his successors ruled.rnEven fewer bother to recall—since recollection has ne’errnbeen de rigueur among policymakers, either in Wishington orrnin other Western capitals—that a spasmodic, usualh’ eo’ert, relationshiprnbetween Russia and Germany has existed throughoutrnmodern history—a relationship of tremendous significancernsince World War I, which has conditioned, if notrndetermined, the course of recent histor. That relationship—rnclose to a loose “alliance”—was interrupted by the Creat \’ar,rnrcvicd bv the Imperial Cerman General Staff with the connivancernof Lenin and Trotsk, formalized in the secret clausesrnof the Treaty of Rapallo, and continued dunng the Weimar andrnNazi eras—receiving a second formalization in the Ilitler-StalinrnPact of 1939. It was ruptured by Adolf I litler, against the advicernof Germany’s ruling classes and much of the military,rnwhen Hitler invaded the Soviet Union, but inoked againrnRalph de ioledano’s latest book isrna collection of religions poems.rnrhe Apocrypha of Limbo,rnb Cerman Social Democrats, with clear support from thernChristian Democrats and the open concurrence of suceessiernSo iet leaders.rnThe brief period of “thaw” during which the “new” RussianrnEmpire, seeking economic help from the West, made prett”rncurtseys in our direction has not lasted very long. E’en underrnBoris Yeltsin, whose tenure is indeterminate and whose loyaltiesrnare ague, the Russians have begun to reassert some of thernold tendentiousness and sourness toward the United States andrnthe West, while attempting to dip into the capitalist till. Andrnlike an off-ke Greek chorus, the communists, hierarchs, andrnrank-and-file hae made common cause with “great Russian”rnand anti-Western demagogues who would be more at ease inrnCossack uniforms. Russia ma’ not be communist, and it mayrnbe moxing toward a kind of Tsarist privatization, but in a fewrnears it could be difficult to tell the difference. The rise of arnRussian mafia, and an attendant increase in crime, are inducingrna critical instability that could well move Russia in the directionrnof corporativism, the totalitarianism of Benito Mussolini.rnThe flounderings of American foreign policy—exemplifiedrnat first b President Bush’s gurglings about a “New World Order”rnand Secretary of State James Baker’s cnical manipulationsrn—hae been followed b the total amateurism of PresidentrnClinton, Madam Clinton, and Secretar of State WarrenrnChristopher, a diplomat whose concept of polic’ dnaniismrnbegins and ends with negotiation at international pushcarts.rnPresident Bush was driven b- total self-deception. PresidentrnClinton b total ignorance, and the rest b what it would bernboth impolite and impolitic to characterize. Latter-da Metternichsrnlike Henry Kissinger at least bring some historicalrnperspectie to their discussions. Thc hae some knowledge ofrnwhat has obsessed Europe since the Hundred Years W;ir, andrn18/CHRONICLESrnrnrn