Monday, November 24, 2014

American Imperialism Versus Russian Nationalism: The Great Role Reversal

Anyone trying to understand why international tensions are rising and why the World appears to be lurching toward a nuclear showdown between East and West needs to understand not only the difference between Russia and America in self-identification and foreign policy objectives, but also how those differences have so recently changed.

Russia, under the Bolsheviks, was a godless tyranny driven by an ambition for global conquest to be achieved by any means. Confronting Soviet Communism, America was a largely Christian nation constitutionally committed to individual liberty, democracy and human rights.

Today, Russia has restored the Orthodox Christian church (which dates back over 1000 years to the baptism of Vladimir of Kiev in 988), eschews imperial ambitions, and functions politically under a constitution that recognizes human rights, and provides for local self-government and the democratic election of President and Parliament.

America, likewise, has undergone a radical transformation in values and in form of government: Christianity is marginalized and demeaned, government acts with a contempt for the constitution, American democracy has become a farce in which public opinion is driven by a controlled and crudely mendacious media, elections are hijacked by hacked voting machines, and the parties are divided by distinctions in policy without a difference.

America has become the thing it used to hate: a ruthless, lawless, relentless conspiracy for World domination. America is now the Evil Empire.

The difference between Russian and American foreign policies resulting from this transformation in values is discussed by the Saker in an interview with Anacronista published in Controinformazione:

Anacronista: Today the contrast between Russian and US foreign policies is striking: on one side moderation, common sense, respect for sovereign states; on the other side coups d'etat, threats, sanctions and lies. Is the contrasting behaviour of the two powers due to incidental political calculations or to a different underlying view of life?

The Saker: The first thing to point out is that Lavrov and Putin are extremely well educated men who come from elite institutions: Lavrov from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Putin from the former external intelligence directorate of the KGB. They are far better educated than modern US diplomats. In the past the US also had distinguished diplomats like James Baker, but now they are either total idiots (like Psaki) or arrogant liars (like Powers). The second this is that the USA truly does not have a "diplomacy". After all, US "diplomacy" is just a combination of demands, promises, threats and bombings which do not require any real diplomatic skills. Third, Russia has greatly suffered from the costs of empire, both under the Czars and under the Soviet rule. As a result, Russia does not want to be an empire, or a super power, or a world policeman or a hegemon. All Russia wants is to be a *normal* but, and this is important, a *truly sovereign* country. In order to achieve that Russia has a few basic fundamental rules she really believes in:

Turn your enemies into neutrals, your neutrals into partners, your partners into friends and your friends into allies. The US can only conceptualize two categories: vassals and enemies.

Security is always and necessarily collective. If your neighbor does not feel safe, then you also are not safe. The US only feels secure then it can threaten everybody, as a result of which, everybody feels threatened.

International law really matters to the Russians. Why? Because they want a multi-polar world and that, in turn, mandates that the "rules of the game" (international law) be upheld. The US wants a unipolar world which, therefore, has no need for international law. For Russia, the use of military forces is the last resort and a failure of diplomacy. For the US the use of force is an integral part of what it calls "diplomacy"

What we are dealing with here is a deep civilizational conflict. These are two fundamentally incompatible views of the world, two mutually exclusive civilizational models which cannot coexist, much less so collaborate.

Read the rest of the interview in English translation here.


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