Thursday, August 28, 2008

[sarajevo,1914] you'd think they'd change the script

Mikhail A Molchanov, professor of political science at St Thomas University, Canada writes:
During the whole Boris Yeltsin decade, Russia's foreign policy did not significantly deviate from the master plan devised in Washington. The country was ruled by the oligarchs, not by the elected government.

The West has called this "democracy". While the two small Caucasian nations were clamouring for protection, Moscow's hands were tied by the fear of Western disapproval.

The slightest sign of independent orientation in foreign policy was cited as a proof of Russian "imperialism".
I’m not endorsing this because it ignores certain naughtiness on the Russian side but I think this comment by Tony Sharp:
This was supposed to be about South Ossetian independence and interests. The Russian actions are those of a country determined to control its satellites and impose its will on a sovereign state - Georgia. Whatever the rights and wrongs of Georgia's position, Russia has taken advantage of them. Where next? Ukraine?
… is fairly typical of the Brit reaction, as opposed to Wolfie’s:
Go Vladimir! Thankfully Georgia isn't on our doorstep or we'd dither until everyone was dead.
Richard Havers was close to it, in my eyes, in saying:
Nothing can be quite that simple.
All right, so let’s not get into the rights and wrongs of this side of it for the moment because we’ll be arguing till the cows come home but let’s look instead at what the overall game plan entails, given that the heads of governments are not actually the primary agenda setters.

In other words, where is this thing headed?

The U.S., through NATO, lays down an ultimatum, Putin lays down a counter ultimatum, some ‘statesmen’ like Sarkozy broker a peace, Milliband gets his bit in, China backs Russia, along with Iran and India, the EU imposes sanctions, troops are massed.

Yet the cutters and dicers are all part of the same team, grim-faced and defiant all the way to the round table but there it ends over cocktails. Methinks we need to look at where the current stand-off fits into the overall game plan of creating super-blocs. Does anyone actually deny that the political map is now oriented towards blocs?

That’s what this thing is all about – jostling for position – and it has sfa to do with the good of the common man inside whatever you want to call those republics or however you draw up the map.

You’ll find me in uniform in Dad’s Army within weeks of hostilities breaking out, along with most of my vintage but that doesn’t mean I can’t ask people not to blithely accept the simplistic ‘enemy is evil’ blandishments they’d love us to accept.

Don’t forget this is exactly what the average Russian is saying in reverse.

4 comments:

TBRRob said...

Interesting thoughts.

Personally I think this whole 'new cold war' stuff is a load of Bullshit.

But you are right. Russian aggresion is great for the EU.

Unity through fear and all that.

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

Interesting, Rob, that this post got very few comments. Hope I didn't offend people.

Wolfie said...

"I am Vladimir, I have gas. I have many, many gas. You want my gas? Sure, you want my gas. You love my gas. If I say act like perfumed lady and you can have my gas, you will act like perfumed lady. You love my gas. But how much you want my gas? Put dress on. Do it now!!"

Baht At said...

Russia is just too much trouble - it's high time we nuked noscow and annexed their oil to the EU