No, I don’t mean it’s grand to have them attacking Ukraine and threatening the general peace.

What I do mean is that we can finally dispense with silly notions of ideology and pie in the sky geopolitics. For as some of us said over 40 years ago, just because the Russians went Bolshie for 75 years or so doesn’t mean they ever stopped being primarily Russian.

Get in the WABAC machine to 1991. The Soviets fell on Christmas day and poor Francis Fukuyama and others said that was it, we win forever. Not quite, said still others.

But the qualification didn’t stop a wholesale purge of Russian analysts from the ranks of Western intelligence. Since 1945 we knew the Soviets as the enemy. Perceptive analysts realized that ideology was a convenient cover for traditional Great Russian ambitions. However a garrulous Boris Yeltsin, publicly drink at numerous times, seemed to herald a new age of free and peaceful Russia. Bill Clinton and Boris even had a laughing fit at an American presser, such was the supposed fun.

But smoldering in the background, lying in wait in St. Petersburg, was a little known former KGB officer humiliated and, like Hitler before him after WWI, dreaming of revenge. Even Hollywood had some notion of it, given the plot of “Air Force One.” Gary Olman’s Russian villain in that film was channeling Vladimir Putin.

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That Russia was just sleeping, biding its time. When Yeltsin handed the government to Putin in 2000 the die was cast. While showing a relatively benign face to the West, especially enchanting certain populist conservatives, some still to this day, Putin was likely already planning the revivification of Great Russia.

It was the Russia I knew, as a young US Army intelligence analyst serving in the then West Germany in the 80s. Those of us who didn’t bend with prevailing winds, but who had studied Russian history, had their number. The 90s did away with that and with the accumulated expertise. Now, the knowledge is reborn, ready to counter and contain Putin. That’s why it’s nice to have them back, masks shorn away. For the mirage is over. The reality of Russia again becomes apparent and thus easier to defeat. No more Hillary resets. We sadly, but knowingly, return to the twilight struggle.

Is this a good thing? Of course not. It was a possibly hopeful moment when Yeltsin was in charge. No one wants a resurgent czar barreling across Georgia, Crimea, and now Ukraine. But like a returning disease we’ve conquered before, we are better off knowing it so we can treat it.

So thanks Vlad. You may be feeling your oats now. But all you have done is wake us up. Hell, you’ve even managed to alienate Democrats, once the biggest fans of the Soviet Union. And Europe? You’ve actually managed to give them back a spine. Not exactly what you intended, eh comrade?