Conrad Black: Russian Warship in Cuba No New 'Missile Crisis'

Thursday, 27 Feb 2014 06:59 PM

By Greg Richter

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A Russian military ship docked in Cuba is mere saber rattling and not a major threat like the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, says Conrad Black.

Putin has taken a black eye in the recent Ukraine uprising, in which his ally, President Viktor F. Yanukovych, was ousted, so, "He's set about trying to make mischief for the real great powers instead of adjusting to the fact that Russia, while still important, is not the alternate superpower," said Black, appearing Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto."

Putin was drawn into the Ukrainian situation and now has been pushed out, he said. At best, Putin will be able to partition part of Ukraine into his orb, and even then, "it will be not much and by the skin of his teeth." So not much should be read into a warship in Cuba, he argued.

Still, Black said, Putin is not completely insane.

"He's not a guy whose going to push us to the verge of war like [Nikita] Khrushchev did in '62," he said. "He will nibble away at the edges and try to… remind everyone that Russia is an important country."

But Russia has plenty of problems of its own, and Putin should be spending his efforts on them, Black said.

Turning to another subject, Black said that as a former publisher, he is concerned about the FCC's plan to monitor newsrooms, even though the agency says it has been at least temporarily scuttled.

"That kind of thing is very sinister," Black said. "And whenever governments anywhere ask why people are doing things the alarm bells should always go out. Governments are there to govern… but not to meddle around like that in matters that touch upon freedom of expression."

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