Most of us could more or less agree that the Cold War was won thanks to a combination of Thatcher and Reagan's arms build up, falling commodity prices bankrupting an inflexible soviet economy and the total moral failure of socialism in its suppression of personal freedoms. A Russian would more likely say they lost because of Gorbachev. Yet in one crucial respect, the Cold War has not yet been won - and is still being lost, most notably in Georgia - the moral dimension.
Today, many Russians understand that their defeat in the Cold War was strategic, but they have failed to understand it was moral.
Unlike in Germany following it's defeat in World War 2, there has been no Bewaeltigung der Vergangenheit - a coming to terms with the past - in Russia. Modern Germany has a deep sense of guilt for doing wrong which has made them a nigh pacifist nation for ever. But not in Russia. Far from it. All too many Russians are still proud of having enslaved so many nations for 50 years. Bizarrely, the Soviet Union, less its worst excesses under Stalin, is looked at as some sort of Golden Age by the likes of Vladimir Putin.
Meanwhile, Russia apologists - and they are numerous in the UK - like to say that the West humiliated Russia with the end of the Cold War and so it's all our fault.
But even if that was true, isn't humiliation a small price to pay for imposing misery on hundreds of millions of people for so long?
Today Russia's invasion of Georgia shows us the incredibly introverted outlook of that nation. Russia's neighbours at present are overwhelmingly in favour of joining the West. Yet that doesn't seem to tell Russia's rulers anything about themselves. So what does our Foreign Secretary think?
Sadly, David Milliband has nothing of substance to offer. He is just too busy preparing for a leadership campaign or preaching environmentalism or just standing there doing nothing while BP has its assets expropriated.
We need new thinking and policies on Russia - there has to be a
price to pay for rolling back freedom, starting with an outright UK ban
on the importation of Russian gas, currently small at 2% but likely to
grow substantially. Or at least starting a campaign to remove Russia
from the G8 as it is no longer a Democracy.
As the President of Georgia, Mr Saakashvili, argued today in the Wall Street Journal;
If Georgia falls, also this will mean the fall of the West in the entire former Soviet Union and beyond. Leaders in neigbouring states - whether in Ukraine, in other Caucasian states or in Central Asia - will have to consider whether the price of freedom and independence is too high.