The last time Secretary of State John Kerry used a “Rocky IV” reference in public was at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Then, he was poking fun at Republican presidential nominee’s assertion that Russia was this nation’s most dangerous “geopolitical foe.” Kerry, then a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, declared that Romney’s view of Russia was more like the “Rocky IV” film that became a silly metaphor for the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
It drew huge applause and laughter at the DNC’s final night in September 2012.
It’s not a laugh line in today’s context.
Kerry has warned Russian President Vladimir Putin about rekindling the Cold War by threatening Ukraine, a neighboring country — and former Soviet state — with military exercises.
Ukraine has just ousted its Russia-friendly president amid terrible street violence in cities throughout that country. Putin’s decision to activate the military has forced Kerry to issue some stern warnings on behalf of the United States.
He told NBC News: “I think Russia needs to be very careful in the judgments that it makes going forward here. We are not looking for confrontation. But we are making it clear that every country should respect the territorial integrity here, the sovereignty of Ukraine. Russia has said it would do that and we think it’s important that Russia keeps its word.”
According to NBC.com, Kerry also said that “Russian President Vladimir Putin should ‘listen carefully to Ukrainians who have voiced their desire for change,’ repeating that the United States does not view its relationship with Russia as a ‘sort of continuation of the Cold War.’”
Are we going to war with Russia if the Russians intervene militarily? Of course not. However, memories of the long-simmering rivalry between the nations ought to be as long in Russia as they are in this country.
We won the Cold War. Putin ought to think carefully about how it turned out for his side if he intends to start a new one.