Matthew Page comments on the growing tension between Russia and the West.
I find it troubling that us in the West sit on our moral high horse castigating Putin’s Russia for her attitudes and government policy. Especially in the light of our questionable and perhaps illegal interventions into foreign countries affairs, doesn’t our outrage seem a bit . . . rich? However, before people start throwing egg’s, shoes, bagels, wet plimsolls, penny farthings and who knows what else, I should say that I have many criticisms of Russia in terms of censorship, press freedom and the treatment of minority groups. But as far as the West’s Hitler comparisons and World War Three rhetoric goes, I am somewhat puzzled. There are many serious despots in the world and Vladimir Putin does not hold that company?
As I briskly walked on a bright autumnal day to another lecture, while lightly pondering the question of why are we really so outraged by Russia, I realised what this may be about; national sovereignty.
Russia is a power which is actively opposed to the principle of interventionism and EU expansionism. In my view the EU is the aggressor in the Ukraine affair, the EU has a distinct ideology which strikes discord with Russia but it ceaselessly wishes to involve itself upon Russia’s sphere of influence. Why does no one think it may have perhaps been an EU funded mob which overthrew the democratically elected president Yanukovich, and if not why did it not condemn such an anti democratic putsch. The guarantee that western powers would not encroach or attempt to influence countries upon Russia’s borders which was given to Gorbachev upon dismantling the Soviet Union, has been broken in utter insouciance and contempt.
The commonly held fallacy that the EU is a benign force is misplaced, admittedly it does not wield its power through military force but rather through Machiavellian coup de ta’s and funding mobs and economic bribery. Ask yourself how many countries has the EU swallowed up in the past ten years and then ask yourself how many countries has Russia usurped? Then once a country becomes an EU member it loses its sovereignty in an absolute sense, as sovereignty is administered through a countries capacity to decide its laws, legislation and govern its own affair according to the will of its citizens.
The capacity for an EU member state to do these things is greatly depleted, as member states are dictated legislature by a centralised government made up of unelected officials who nobody has heard of, this leads to an erosion of democracy and most importantly, liberty, ala European arrest warrant and human rights piffle which flies in the face of all common sense on these matters.
Russia among other things is set against this, Russia wishes to govern its own affairs and set its own economic policy and is sceptical of globalization, these precepts are also something it wishes for other countries. It wishes to retain a sphere of influence but that is understandable given the EU’s aggression and the fact it is bordered by Germany and China.
We convolute Putin into being a bogeyman and draw correlations between modern Russia and the Soviet Union, the slightest knowledge of 20th Century history shows this view to be misguided. Russia does not have an all encompassing ideology set against western capitalism, and has no interest in ‘going west’. Prince Charles’s deplorable comparison of Putin to Hitler is silly, stupid and portrays Charles to have a personal disconnect with history, of which he has a duty to be familiar with. Russia was key in defeating Hitler and lost enormous life in the process. This something for which we should be eternally grateful.
I quite simply ask you to consider, how would America react if Russia began meddling in the affairs of Mexican politics? It would be rightly outraged. But we somehow think it acceptable for the EU to involve itself in countries upon Russia’s borders. Countries which were under very shadowy and ambiguous circumstances granted independence even though most of Ukraine (for example) speak Russian and share commonality in with its culture.
If those people who say they are defenders of democracy and liberty really were what they purported themselves to be, they would mistrust the EU and condemn mobs overthrowing democratically elected leaders. Finally, as China grows in might and stature on the world stage may it not be helpful to be allied with Russia instead of driving her east and into ever more closer ties with the Chinese, just a thought.
By Matthew Page
[Image credit: DonkeyHotey]