Thursday, February 20, 2014
The Great Game In Played Out In Ukraine and Elsewhere
the rise of anti-Russian jingoism in the American media is apparent to both the right and the left. In The Nation, NYU Russian Studies professor Stephen F. Cohen lamented about the press’s run-up to the Sochi Winter Games:
American media on Russia today are less objective, less balanced, more conformist and scarcely less ideological than when they covered Soviet Russia during the Cold War.The US media’s ideological justifications for its anti-Russianism involve gay rights (”World War G”) and democracy (“World War D”). But those concepts don’t appear much in evidence in scenes from central Kiev, where the City Hall of the embattled pro-Russian government had been occupied since December by masked men swinging iron bars. Maybe I’m just stereotyping, but the soccer hooligan Right Sector and Dynamo Kiev ultras who have done much of the fighting against the government—the lads who consider opposition leader Vitali Klitschko, the retired heavyweight champ, a wimp—don’t give off a particularly gay-friendly vibe.....
Putin has recently attempted to furnish his subjects with a conservative nationalist ideology to counter aggressive American globalist liberalism. The ex-KGB man recognizes that liberalism—in the reigning sense of minoritarianism—is suffering from diminishing marginal returns, with ever-tinier minorities the subject of its obsessions, as we see with World War G moving on to World War T. (Of course, globalist liberalism doesn’t seem to actually make countries more equal; indeed, inequality of wealth has exploded during this period of minoritarian triumph.)
Much of the American press’s anger at Russia stems from the feeling that maybe Putin is on to something. (if so Russia being attacked for decades for having a left wing ideology is now being attacked for having a right wing one - its a funny old world)
Another reason for going for them is that those in power like to have some enemy to keep us scared and we have had Islamic terrorists for sufficiently long now to be boring
"America's Global War of Terror has been a huge moneymaker for Washington's Beltway, but it's starting to get a little old. Looking to the future, why not a replay of a tried and true honeypot: an arms race with Russia?
Something we have seen minimal, virtually zero, coverage here is of the leaking, probably by the rather competent Russian secret service, of tape showing Victoria Nuland, the US assistant Secretary of State giving the Ukrainian "popular democratic" rebels their fairly literal marching orders.
The US can do this because they are funding these freedom fighters by $20 million a week.
Imagine if the Libyan government were caught paying millions to & supplying guns to
But western NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations, which invariably turn out to be largely or entirely government funded an owned bodies) have long been funding political "dissent" in Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Poland, Croatia, Bosnia, Ireland (during the rerun referendum), Britain & every EU country (almost all "environmental" organisations are 75% directly funded by the EU) and I assume from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
As Steve pointed out elsewhere, you can get a lot of unemployed football fans to occupy a public square if you give them a grant.
So all this is the modern version of the Great Game that nations, or their leaders play. But is it in any way in the interests of the people of these nations that "our" side win.
The whole attempt to get the Ukraine into the EU, from which this fight started, was simply to do the Russians down. Ukraine is an economic basket case of 50 million people. The main immediate gain being offered to get a majority of them to support alignment with the EU is that they can migrate here. Or much more likely a significant number in the western provinces - the "rebels" want power handed over to them not an election, so they don't think they would win one.
So do we want massive immigration. No we don't. Why should we.
Beyond that Ukraine and Russia are culturally the same - the difference is that Russia isn't a basket case and has enormous mineral/oil resources. If we were trying to get valuable territory we would long ago have invited Russia to join the EU, but obviously that wasn't on. But our self interest certainly makes Russia the obvious choice - except that our ruling class don't greatly fancy an EU where Putin, infinitely more competent than most of them, has a major sway.
But don't worry about the poor Russians being excluded from the cradle of European civilisation - they have found a shale oil field "far surpassing Saudi Arabia" and indeed 1/3 the area of the entire continental USA.
They'll be fine.
On the other hand the EU are also picking a fight with one of Europe's smallest countries too. One that is, as much against our interests as the one over Ukraine, and where the issue is the other side of the issue on Ukraine.
No wonder the EU got the Nobel Peace Prize.