The recent spirited discussion about Russia has died down for a bit, so it’s time to turn up the heat and stir the pot to get the argument going again.
Russia bad. Georgia good. Right?
Also: Israel good.
However, the news article below throws that kind of simplistic moral calculus into a cocked hat.
Israel supplied the UAVs that were used by Georgia to good effect during the recent war in South Ossetia. The Russians took notice, and would like some of these snazzy planes for their own use. Since they can’t make them, they’re going to buy them… from Israel. According to RIA Novosti:
Russia to buy pilotless aircraft from Israel over 3 years — MP
MOSCOW, November 13 (RIA Novosti) — The Russian General Staff has decided to buy unmanned planes from Israel over the next two to three years, a lawmaker in the lower house’s defense committee said Thursday.
Mikhail Musatov quoted General Staff chief Nikolai Makarov as saying: “The General Staff has decided that while we don’t have such drones, over the next two to three years, we will buy them from Israel.”
Musatov said the unmanned reconnaissance planes at issue were those used by Georgia during August offensive on its breakaway republic of South Ossetia.
“These are unmanned reconnaissance planes, which had performed well in Georgia. They were used by Georgia at that time,” he said.
Numerous flights by reconnaissance drones over South Ossetia were reported by Russian peacekeepers before Georgia launched its military offensive against the region on August 8.
Earlier reports said Georgia had acquired a total of 40 drones, worth around $2 million each, from Israel between 2006 and 2008.
Außerdem könne Russland Fernmeldemittel und Funkgeräte im Ausland kaufen, die in Russland nicht gebaut werden, sagte Mussatow. Ihm zufolge gibt es in Russland nur ein Werk, das militärische Funkstationen baut. Doch die ausländische Ausrüstung sei preiswerter als die heimischen Produkte.
Abu Elvis summarizes the German for us:
It says that they don’t have facilities to produce modern communication equipment and that it would be cheaper to buy than to produce.
So who’s the good guy and who’s the bad guy in all this sausage-making?
Israel is, as usual, an equal-opportunity weapons vendor. It looks to its own security first, and if a weapons sale doesn’t threaten its security — and selling to Russia or Georgia is no danger to the Jewish state — then the deal can be cut.
It’s time to grow up and look at the world the way it really is. The USSR is gone. Russia is not the same thing as the USSR, because it does not aspire to be a global hegemon. That was what made the USSR different: international Communism had declared its explicit intention to take over the entire world.
The same as Islam, funnily enough.
That’s why it was necessary to mobilize all our resources against the USSR. But Russia is just another less-than-perfect nation. It’s a danger to some countries — citizens of the Baltic republics can be forgiven for being a little nervous right now — but not to others. Israel and the United States are not threatened by Russia, but they were threatened by the USSR.
The governments of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and China are more brutal and despotic than that of Russia, yet we have no problem doing business with them. Russia threatens its neighbors no more than the Chinese threaten Vietnam or Taiwan.
So who’s the good guy? To paraphrase Dave Mason: there’s no good guys, there’s no bad guys, there’s only you and me and we just disagree.
Russia is a country looking after its own interests. Israel is a country looking after its own interests.
If only we could look after our own interests instead of aspiring to remake the world in our own image.