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Friday, September 01, 2006

Neo-Soviet Russia's Love Affair with Terror

Here's a hot one: Writing in Asia Times, Federico Bordonaro, "senior analyst" with something called the Power and Interest News Report, exposes the truly outrageous and horrifying nature of Russian support for global terrorism. He also documents the Kremlin's consolidation of power. And his conclusion? It's unbelievably this: Russia is only supporting international terrorism because of an inferiority complex engendered by the expansion of NATO. In other words, Russia got its feelings hurt in the 90s, that is why it is supporting global terrorism in the 00s. All we need to do to control these actions by Russia is to strike a "grand bargain" with Putin (you know, the same kind Chamberlain struck with Hitler), showing Russians that we love them and respect their opinions, and then they'll become civilized. Psychological forces sure are at work here, but Mr. Bordonaro is their victim. It's so much easier and more comfortable to think of the Putin regime as "misunderstood" than evil, isn't it? That means all we have to do is be nicer to it and it will be nicer to us. On the other hand, if the Kremlin is dominated by a clan of crazed KGB functionaires steeped in hatred of the west and yearning for revenge not because of what happened after the USSR fell but because of the fall itself, that means we're in for decades more cold war with the risk of a thermonuclear hot one. It's the Chamberlain Complex: the preferred response among cowards is to stick your head in the sand and hope for the best.

3 comments:

Technologist said...

Oh those neocons ... They always need a simple and clear picture of reality. Since the actual reality is messy, the neocons picture is always wrong :-)

Russia's politics towards West is quite understandable and is currently is driven, in my opinion, by a series of past events that can hardly be disputed.

Here is my short list in chronological order:

1) US and EU actively support Chechen terrorists prior to 9/11. The practice continues to this day, although in less active form.
2) Russia offers help in fighting terrorism after 9/11.
3) Russia is asked to provide help in Afghanistan and actually helps
4) US ignores Russian concerns before Iraq invasion. Russian business interests are pushed out of Iraq post-invasion.
4) NATO ignores Russian concerns about NATO expansion. An anti-Russian sentiment seems to be an important criteria for the country to be considered for NATO membership.
5) EU sides with Ukraine against Russia when the former starts stealing the gas from pipeline going from Russia to EU countries

In the light of these events, from Russian point of view, EU, NATO and US are driven by an irrational anti-Russian sentiment and will readily act to cause harm to Russia even if it is not beneficial to them. For example, it is hard to explain the refusal to extradict Chechen terrorists and support for Ukraine in the gas dispute in rational terms - at least I have not seen any explanation.

Since the goodwill shown on 9/11 did not work, Russia is therefore had been forced to retreat into the realpolitik, where you can only get something of value if you have something of value. Say, Russia might hope that it can trade dropping support for people US and EU consider terrorists in exchange for them dropping support for people Russia considers terrorists.

Russia is also palinly afraid of NATO and US. This idea does not sound too paranoid to me as both demontrated willingness to use force against countries that did not threaten them (Yugoislavia and Iraq respectively). Russia therefore feels better whenever US and NATO forces are tied down in places far away from its borders.

In Russia-West relationship the West is in the driver's seat; Russia is simply reacting within the little spectrum of choices left to her. Unfortunately, the Bush/Blair team apparently lost (or never had?) the skills to control the car. Here are two safe maneuvers that a sane driver could try in this situation:

1) Offer guaranteed neutrality to countries around Russia instead of pulling them into NATO. No loss for the West - can be traded for similar goodwill from Russia. As examples of Finland and Austria show, membership in a block is not the only way to avoid military interference. Trade it off for a drop in support to, say, Hamas.

2) Offer guarantees of non-interference in the internal affairs to mullahs in Iran. Trade it off for an Iranian disarmament. Iran cannot possibly be more dangerous that USSR was, and the West managed to avoid a war then.

Technologist said...

La,

Sorry for posting on your blog. I have read few more articles here, and do not see any way to carry a civilized discourse on these pages; so please do not bother to answer. Your hatred towards anything Russian is not so uncommon as you might think, but I see very little reason to argue with a racist, be she anti-Russian, anti-Jewish, or anti-white-American-male (arguably, the latter variety is more common here in the US). Chances of progress with a racist, based on my experience, are zilch, until either

1) she grows up
2) whoever is paying her for hatred stops doing it

See you in few years.

Technologist.

La Russophobe said...

Technologist: Your ignorance is quite profound. Maybe one day you will become enlightened enough to realize that "Russian" isn't a race but a nationality. Until then, you'll just be an ignorant simpleton facilitating the rise of dictatorship in Russia just the way Neville Chamberlain facilitated the rise of Adolf Hitler, and the world will remember you as such (and properly scorn you).

Naturally, like a proper neo-Soviet propagandist, you provide not one shred of course material to back up your absurd claim that the U.S. provided assistance for Chechen terrorists. If you believe that Russia is only helping terrorists who want to kill Americans because America is helping terrorists who want to kill Russians, you probably also believe that having a proud KGB spy rule over Russia is good for the country. In other words, you're far more dangerous the future of the Russian people than any Russophobe.