Essays that discuss Russia, even tangentially, are guaranteed to cause controversy and invite numerous comments when they appear here at Gates of Vienna. Sunday’s post about recent events in Ukraine and the Crimea was no exception.
Refusing to jump on the Putin-is-an-evil-Russian-imperialist bandwagon is guaranteed not to win one any friends. However, a cold-eyed look at the reality of what’s happening in Ukraine requires abandoning the laser-like focus on Tsar Vlad and the Russian Bug-Bear.
A British reader wrote to us this afternoon to express his bemusement over being forced to agree with some of Vladimir Putin’s positions:
The latest thing in Ukraine has been a bit surreal as well. I’m watching Putin, a man whom I dislike intensely for obvious reasons, thinking “wouldn’t it be good if our leaders looked after our own interests like this”. This to me really sums up how bad things are in Europe, when you end up agreeing with a man like Putin more than our own hopeless leaders.
A discussion has been raging intermittently on skype about all this, with only a handful of dissenters willing to diverge from a persistent preoccupation with the dangers that Russia poses to the West. As a follow-up to my earlier post, I’d like to address some of the issues they raise — which are not trivial, and deserve thoughtful consideration.
1. Russia is currently a strategic adversary of the United States. Russia’s long-term plans run contrary to the interests of both the US and the EU.
Yes, this is definitely true. Unfortunately for us, the long-range plans of the United States and the European Union also run contrary to the interests of the American and European peoples.
To stimulate thought on the topic, consider the following questions:
- Who resists Islamization more vigorously, Angela Merkel or Vladimir Putin?
- Who imports millions of Muslim immigrants into his country, David Cameron or Vladimir Putin?
- Who allows the Muslim Brotherhood to influence — and even control — his nation’s domestic, military, and foreign policy, Barack Obama or Vladimir Putin?
To ask these questions, and them answer them honestly, is to expose the hollowness of the obsession with what Russia does.
This is not about Vladimir Putin. Mr. Putin is a distraction.
It is not in America’s best interest to have Barack Obama and his picked cronies running our government. They are traitors, or incompetents, or both. They subsidize Al Qaeda in Syria and neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine (wearing Waffen SS uniforms, for goodness’ sake).
That is the problem. Those who focus on Russia miss the elephant in the room: our own leaders have become their people’s enemies.
The new Ukrainian Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, was formerly a senior official at the central bank. He advocates “austerity” policies that are congenial to the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Yatsenyuk’s job is presumably to grease the skids as Ukraine is yanked from the grip of the Russian Bug-Bear and enfeoffed to the New World Order via the EU.
2. There are other choices for Ukraine besides Russia and the EUSSR.
No, there aren’t. At this historical moment, Ukraine can either be subordinate to Russia, or subordinate to the European Union. There are no other choices.
It would be nice if Ukraine could become a flourishing, independent democracy. But that is simply not possible, given current political constraints.